A record number of Canberrans will be heading to Sydney on March 6 to tackle a 55km walk while raising funds for the Fred Hollows Foundation.
Now in its fifth year, the Sydney Coastrek involves teams of four taking on the challenging distance with all of the funds raised helping to work towards ending avoidable blindness in Indigenous Australia and in developing countries around the world
The Canberra Achilles team were on top of the fundraising leader board and only overtaken this week, but team member Lindy Hou said that being on top of the leader board isn't important.
"I just like to do my bit. It costs as little as $25 to restore sight for someone who doesn't need to be blind. So I tell people it doesn't matter about being on top, every little bit helps," she said.
Lindy, who went blind at 36 and is a Paralympic gold medallist in tandem cycling, will be doing the trek with her two nephews-in-law Stephen Carter and Jamie Wells, and friend Cathy Leibman, who will all take turns at guiding her.
"The condition that I have they haven't found a cure for yet. But four out of five people don't need to be. So if other people can see, that's great."
"The target for Coastrek this year is $3 million and that would restore sight for 120,000 people which is the equivalent of filling the Olympic stadium twice over."
Not walking with Lindy on the day is her black Labrador guide dog Harper.
"He's not going to walk 55 kilometres – that's not part of his job description. I haven't worked out whether he'll come to Sydney or not. But he's getting on a bit, he's getting close to retirement," she said.
There will be 3,400 trekkers taking part on the day, with a record 23 teams and nearly 100 people from the ACT.
You can still donate to any of the teams at coastrek.com by clicking 'donate here' and searching for the relevant team.
Apocalypse in Deakin
The SAFIA and Ariana Grande video clip saga went full circle this week.
First Canberra indie band SAFIA suggested American singer Ariana Grande had copied the video clip for their song You Are The One in her video clip for One Last Time.
Director of Grande's video clip Max Landis responded saying that the clips were similar, but rejected the idea that the clip was copied.
Then the Grande fans launched death threats at SAFIA via Twitter, and another Australian band Injured Ninja accused SAFIA of copying one of their own 2011 video clips.
Everyone seems to have moved on now to some degree, but the fact stands that the SAFIA clip is a visually-beautiful creation, shot on a budget in a little street in Deakin.
The video's director Jimmy Ennett from Crux Media said they filmed the single-shot clip back in September 2014.
"It was a fun afternoon – we got all our friends and family involved and it was a really budget clip but we put in a lot of work to make it look good," he said.
"It was all shot in four times slow-mo so it's only a 40-second take really. We did six takes all up and used the fifth one."
They used a business park in Deakin which was closed on the weekend for the shoot.
"There was a street there that was long enough so we used that," he said.
"Everyone was so enthusiastic and really keen to help out. A lovely lady offered her private ambulance for us to use, the fire department offered the fire thing, the airport let us light off flares. Being from Canberra, people help out with that kind of thing. It was actually quite fun."
If you haven't seen the clip yet, you can find it at facebook.com/safiamusic.
Young artists full of beans
An unlikely spot in Belconnen is helping to nurture the future of young Canberra artists.
Andrew and Kylie Young opened their café Everbean Espresso Bar late last year in the space formerly occupied by Gloria Jeans café on the ground floor of Westfield Belconnen.
It's the first foray into the hospitality world for the duo – Andrew works in the public service, and after being made redundant from her last role, Kylie works part-time in real estate and part-time at Everbean.
"We're trying to really create that café experience but in a mall," said Andrew.
"We're trying to keep things local where we can, so we use Ona coffee, and use local suppliers like Poachers Pantry."
To brighten up the venue, the couple came up with the idea to use their walls to display the works of young artists.
"At the moment it's Merici College – they've come on board and we display their artwork free," he said.
"All of the art works are for sale, and we also don't take a commission."
The Youngs are also working to try and show off the up-and-comers even more.
"We're working with Westfield to try and do an exhibition after-hours, so the students can come in and show off their artwork to family and so forth," he said.
"It gives them a chance to display their artwork, so that they can get the public to see it. Because at the moment they just do exhibitions at school so it's just the school community who see it."
Keep an eye on facebook.com/everbean.com.au for information about upcoming exhibitions.
Bloggers on their Merry way
Canberra blogging super duo Carla and Emma Papas from The Merrymaker Sisters have been included in the lineup for health and wellness event Thr1ve.Me in Sydney next month.
The inaugural event on March 13-15 is run by health food eatery Thr1ve which has five locations around the country including a store opposite Supabarn in the Canberra Centre.
Thr1ve.Me will see American fitness author, blogger and author of best-selling The Primal Blueprint books Mark Sisson come to Australia for the first time ever to talk all things about the primal and paleo lifestyles.
The Merrymaker Sisters will be running health coach sessions during the three day event, and will be sharing the spotlight with other speakers including Sarah Wilson, Dan Churchill, Scott Gooding and many more.
If you want to follow Emma and Carla up and check it out, there are still tickets available from thr1ve.me.
- Chinese New Year celebrations continue this weekend at Westfield Woden with lion dancing, Chinese Opera performances, live cooking demonstrations by Chinese Dumpling House and Savoury Kitchen, food sampling and kids' activities including lantern and dragon-face making. February 21-22. For more information and times visit westfield.com.au/woden.
- See a special one-off screening of classic Elvis flick Blue Hawaii this Wednesday February 25 at 6pm at Dendy Cinemas Canberra. You will even get to walk the blue carpet. Tickets $12 from dendy.com.au/Movie/Blue-Hawaii.