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The Day Australia came of age

When I was a child standing to attention at school assembly to commemorate Anzac Day, I experienced mixed emotions. Firstly, pride in my country, but sadness that so many young people had died on the battlefields in a war that held very little meaning to those of us standing facing the flag with hand over heart. The other emotion I felt was of disappointment – irrational as seen from my more mature eyes, but disappointment nonetheless because my father didnʼt serve in the war. He was too young to serve in the First World War and too old for World…

The Pyrenees – it doesn’t get better than this

The Pyrenees has it all. At just over two hours easy drive from Melbourne and an hour from Ballarat and Bendigo, the Pyrenees offers superb wineries, stunning scenery, inspired walking tracks, picnic areas, camping grounds, delicious food and so much more.  A visit to the Pyrenees is an adventure, a place where you can explore and indulge your senses. If you’ve ever deserved a break, this is the year to make it a good one.  Moving beyond one of the most challenging years we can remeber and as we see life slowly, but steadily moving toward a greater state of…

Town support

Living in a small country town locals are very protective of their traders, so when circumstances threaten those businesses, local support comes into its own.  When Covid hit, there was considerable concern for the survival of favourite businesses. Brothers, Jorban and Raj Singh of Creswick’s Smokeytown Café sat down together when the lockdowns first hit and discussed what they would do.  Without hesitation, they agreed that no matter what happened, they would keep the doors open, albeit for take away only, but they knew they had to be seen to still be operating.  Sometimes they were standing in their café,…

The natural way to unwind

The Covid pandemic threw up a whole new concept for living that for many proved to be stressful. Lockdowns meant separation from family and friends, working from home, parents being teachers, Zoom meetings – it seemed that our lives were controlled by the internet.  Little wonder that so many suffered cyber overload. There is a place where you can recover from those negative vibes.  Imagine no phones ringing constantly, just peace and quiet and communing with nature.  Banyandah Homestead Cabin on the Lake is a stunning farm, close to everything if you need it to be and yet private.  The…

Yvonne George – The Eternal Knot

Each autumn and spring Mica Grange gardens opens their doors to lovers of gardens and art with their biannual exhibitions.  The spectacular exhibitions of the blend of mother nature and artwork is remarkable and 2021 is no different. This year, Bendigo sculptor, Yvonne George is exhibiting new works showcasing her kinetic pieces that she describes as “These pieces are based on the eternal knot, the symbolism within wisdom, compassion, life and death.  We are the result of what we think, what we focus on and what we believe.”  Yvonne added, “these kinetic pieces are an interpretation of energy through movement. …

Yay – we can dance again

How good is this! From today at 6pm we don’t need masks in retail, although they still need to be carried for public transport and ride sharing. There will be greater seating in restaurants, cafes and other entertainment areas and 75% capacity at AFL football games, but let’s not be too cavalier, we still need to be mindful that there is still a pandemic in play. But the best news is – we can dance again! It is so exciting to be publishing this magazine again, especially with a terrific new look. Like so many Covid hit us hard too…

Mica Grange Open Garden

Each weekend from 27 March to 25 April plus Easter Monday, the spectacular gardens of Mica Grange with their panoramic views across the Sutton Grange valley will open for their Autumn Sculpture and Garden Art Exhibition. The opening features sculptors from Victoria, South Australia and regional NSW, plus a vast range of garden art, plants and preserves.  The exhibition provides garden lovers with an abundance of creative ideas to enhance the beauty and enjoyment of their own gardens. Group bookings are available weekdays only. This autumn Mica Grange is catering in eco friendly boxes and coffee cups.  Soft drinks will…

Back on the horse

After almost a year in the wilderness, it is so good to be back on the horse producing our first hard copy of Secrets in 12 months. We couldn’t publish until now as all our outlets for the magazine were closed, so readers couldn’t pick up the mag – now life is relaxing and there is a greater sense of normality (whatever the new normal is going to be) we are having fun again. Available from 16th March. Check out our new website http://secretsmagazine.com.au Image by Michael Angang on Unsplash Awesome Artistry and Bravery Back in 2016 we came across…

Autumn Astrology 2021

All the astrological news has been focussed on AQUARIUS. Not only do we have both Jupiter and Saturn in this sign, but we had a line up of three personal planets there as well. One of which was Mercury who retrograded through the sign. So Aquarians this is your moment in time. Jupiter will offer many possibilities to Aquarians, but as you tend to have many plans at the best of times it may just make your cosmos bigger. Luckily Saturn is also winding its way through the sign and it brings groundedness and practicality. So, the Aquarians born between…

Awesome Artistry

Back in 2016 we came across artist Guido Van Helten who had been commissioned to paint murals on disused silos in Brim, which became the first of the now famous ‘silos arts trail. We have now discovered that Guido has taken his talents to Western Australia where he has painted a giant mural on the Wellington Dam in Collie W.A. Covering 8,000 square metres, this mural is a whopper and another in Guido’s awesome record as an outstanding street artist, known worldwide for his creations. This work titled Reflections required a specially designed scaffolding to enable the work to be…

Onward and Upward

The joy expressed by this visitor to the last Pyrenees Unearthed festival in our opening image, exemplifies the sense of relief we were feeling last week about the prospect of life continuing to return to “normal”. After a year we all want to forget, when so many of our much loved festivals and events were cancelled, it was a delight to see many of them returning to the fold in 2021. That was before we were thrown into lockdown once again. This newsletter was ready to post last week, then came the news of another lockdown. It was a shock,…

Brim was the first

Great ideas always have to have a starting point and the now famous Silo Art Trail – Australia’s biggest outdoor art gallery has been one of those inspirational ideas. The Trail brought together renowned street artists from Australia and across the globe to give new life to ailing towns in the Wimmera/Mallee region. The first was the tiny town of Brim whose Active Community Group saw the potential and engaged artist Guido van Helten to turn their disused wheat silos into a giant canvas. In our autumn 2016 Issue we profiled Guido and spoke with Brim’s Shane Wardle about their…