You might need some downtime to recover from last weekend’s Splendour in the Grass, but if you still have energy to burn – there is plenty going on this weekend in Byron Bay!
The Byron Bay Writers Festival takes place this weekend with lectures, stand up comedy, book launches, debates, pitch events and workshops. There are plenty of events going on outside of the festival too – see http://www.byronbaywritersfestival.com.au/v2/index.php?Itemid=115 for more information.
Also, the Bangalow BBQ and Bluegrass Festival is on in Bangalow on Saturday – with plenty of live music, stalls and BBQ cook offs!
On Friday night, Dan Hannaford is at the Northern, Kellie Knight and the Daze are at the Rails, Luke & Sebastian followed by the Triple J’s at the Beachy, Cari Cari at the Buddha Bar and open mic & tapas at Aquarius.
On Saturday, Kyle Lionheart is playing at the Northern, local rocker Diana Anaid at the Rails, DJ Discrow at the Beachy and Inigo at the Buddha Bar.
Local band Potato Potato are also playing a free show at the Treehouse from 7.30pm.
On Sunday, Jesse Pumphrey is at the Northern, Kellie Knight and the Daze from 4.30pm at the Beachy – followed by DJ Captain Kaine at 8pm, and the karaoke world championships at the Buddha Bar from 6pm.
Writers at the Rails celebrates its 22nd anniversary at the Rails at 2pm, with guest Omar Musa – a fantastic hip hop artist and slam poet. Afterwards, Ree Nay will be on at 6.30pm.
The Byron Market is also on Sunday from 10am – with live music from Guy Kachel and Lou Bradley.
Look who popped in to say hello! Kwanhee Moon, was at Lexis | Byron Bay from January to March this year. He then went to Lexis | Brisbane. We were all pleased to see him and delighted to hear the improvements in his English. He started here as an Elementary student and even simple conversations were difficult for him. Now, he can’t stop talking! Well done Moon. 🙂
We have two new starters today – Jun from Japan and Frederic from Germany! Jun is a trainee chef from Tokyo, and Frederic is half French and half German and lives near Hamburg – he is here to do our English + Surfing programme.
The sun has come out for them today and we’re sure that they will both have a fantastic time!
Today we had a very sad graduation ceremony! Micha is leaving after four weeks of studying here – he will be here for an extra week so be prepared to party with him before he goes! He praised the teachers for their enthusiasm, dedication and sense of fun; and also spoke about how much he enjoyed staying in the student house.
And – after six months at Lexis | Byron Bay – Fabiana is leaving us! Fabiana has been the life and soul of Lexis since she has been here – she has been such a vivacious, chatty and uplifting character to have around! We will all really miss her! She will head to Fiji, before returning to travel some of Australia in a van and then going to Bali! She is hoping to also travel South East Asia, Sri Lanka and South Africa before returning home to Brazil. What an adventure! It was an emotional speech from Fabiana, who told us that teacher Julia holds a special place in her heart similar to that of her first ever teacher! She made a beautiful speech and we all blubbed like babies.
We’re easing into the weekend this week – with a Splendour pre party at the Northern tonight, and wine tasting tomorrow afternoon from 2pm in the student lounge! See you there.
After sampling some shiraz and supping on some sauvignon, take the good times to the pub for some live music and yummy Stone and Wood. If you’re not making it out to Splendour, there is still plenty going on to keep you entertained over the weekend.
On Friday night, the brilliant Gold Coast blues band Hell & Whiskey will be playing from 6pm at the Northern, local Byron band A Little Province are playing at the Rails after a hiatus overseas, and DJ Longtime is at the Beachy.
If you fancy some classic ballet – the Byron Community Centre are putting on a triple bill of excerpts from infamous ballets – The Rites of Spring by Igor Stravinsky, Les Sylphides by Frédéric Chopin and Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. Tickets are $28 and it is running on Friday and Saturday at 2pm and again at 7pm, and on Sunday at 2pm.
Sasha March Band are at the Buddha Bar and Aquarius are holding their open mic and tapas night, whilst Ginger Pig (who had Outkast visit them today for breakfast!) have a new DJ in for Friday nights – DJ Pob.
On Saturday, dance the night away at the Northern with DJ Chris Bradley or DY Fonzaius at the Beachy – or have a bop to The Urban Chiefs at the Rails. True Vibenation are at the Buddha Bar and Dinkum Bohos are playing out at Pizza Paradiso at Suffolk Park from 6.30pm.
And on Sunday, local band Wandering Eyes are throwing a ‘Splendour Bender’ at the Rails from around 7.30pm! See https://www.facebook.com/events/1480685512167967/ for more info. Betty Blissett is playing at the Beachy from 4.30pm, and Buddha Bar are throwing some more karaoke from 6pm.
And don’t forget that the Scandinavian Film Festival is running over the weekend at Palace Cinema and includes some awesome Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish and Icelandic movies!
So it turns out that I am ever so slightly useless at the raw food phenomenon. However I had fantastic help from Mika Murase, Indira Figueredo, Midori Kake, Hanna Bae, Natsuko Oshima, Noriko Nishimura, Sanae Innami and Hung-wen Chen! Thanks so much girls, you were all awesome support when I forgot to pit the dates and also when our hand blender started smoking and throwing off sparks!!
The end result was actually very delicious, fresh and nourishing!
The lovely Brazilian Fabiana Sanches Miranda, pictured above, is leaving Lexis | Byron Bay on Friday after studying here for 24 weeks. Not only is Fabiana a lovely, happy, friendly, smiling student that we’ve enjoyed having around, she is an amazing success story; she tested as a Beginner on her written placement test back in February but leaves with a strong Upper Intermediate certificate just 6 months later.
I caught up with her earlier today to find out the secrets of her success.
“Well, it didn’t start brilliantly. My first day was terrible! My homestay family were lovely but talked so quickly and with such a strong Australian accent that I couldn’t understand anything. Then I came to school for the placement test and induction and I just felt lost. I felt much older than the other students (I’m 36) and also my English was so low. I worried that I’d made a big mistake.
“However, I was placed in the Elementary class and this was really good for me. Marie is such an amazing teacher at that level, and I realised I understood everything we did in class. My confidence grew and I began talking more. Then, over the next couple of weeks I made some great friends and discovered my way around Byron Bay. After that, everything was wonderful!
“I think one of the reasons my English progressed so quickly was because I am addicted to reading. I didn’t bring any Portuguese books with me so I joined Byron Bay’s library and borrowed books from there. I read biographies of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, as well as an amazing novel called Flowers for Algernon and a non-fiction book; The Anatomy of Spirit. I’m currently reading The Fault in our Stars. When I first started, it was really hard and I had to keep translating into Portuguese, but now, I use the context to guess the unknown words. I don’t look them up immediately; I just make a note of them to refer to later. I think that reading this much is the main thing that helped me progress so quickly, but I also love listening to music and I’ve watched the whole 4 seasons of Game of Thrones in English while I’ve been here in Byron Bay!
“And of course, I learned a lot in class! I’ve had three teachers during my time at Lexis and they were all amazing. I really like the way that we have a test every Monday; it means we always have to review what we studied, instead of just forgetting it. Also, the Options classes are great because we can choose what we want to study, we work with students from other classes, and the teachers have more freedom to choose materials to suit the students – rather than having to follow a book.
“Outside of class, the English Only Policy was really valuable (even though I was caught speaking Portuguese once and I had to write an essay about the benefits of speaking English all the time). It was really good when we did activities because then it was another hour or two every day speaking English with students from different classes and different countries.
“I’m really glad I chose to study in Byron Bay because this place is so special – the energy, the smell and the people. It’s really totally different to my city, which has 20 million inhabitants. I love the fact that when we are in the classroom, we can hear the birds singing outside and that everyone here is open to discovering themselves and trying new things.
“Actually, I think that’s the best thing, overall, about my experience. As I said before, when I first arrived I was worried that I was too old and that I wouldn’t make friends or wouldn’t be able to learn because of this. All my friends in Brazil thought I was crazy to come here as a student because I’m a manager in Brazil, with a great job and the status that entails. However, what I’ve learned here is that age doesn’t matter. I was living in the past before but now I know that people can have new and exciting experiences at any age. I’ve learned that I am a confident person and I can learn new things. Actually, I think I am addicted to this lifestyle now. In fact, being here has inspired me so much that, after just a couple of months at home, I’m going to head to Costa Rica to study Spanish for three months. I feel like a teenager!”
The Scandinavian Film Festival is coming to Byron Bay! Starting this Friday 25th July, the festival runs until Wednesday 30th July, showcasing amazing films from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland – including Home, August Fools, The Keeper of Lost Causes and The 100 Year Old Man who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared.
See the programme at http://www.palacecinemas.com.au/_img/custom/enews/ScandinavianFF2014web.pdf to see what films are showing.
Welcome to our two new starters this week!! Sanae is from Japan and is keen to learn English so she can make friends from around the world. Eleonora is from Italy and has a friend living in Mullumbimby, who recommended Byron to her. She will be with us for four weeks and then travel some of Australia.
Two sad goodbyes today at Lexis | Byron Bay! Jasmin from Switzerland and Lea from France wave their farewells today – Lea to head back home to France, and Jasmin will be travelling for a while before returning to Byron Bay in the summer – as Lisa pointed out, good move there Jasmin!
Another weekend has rolled around in Byron Bay! (and in the rest of the world, for that matter…)
On Friday night, why not go to see Sleep.Makes.Waves, Breaking Orbit and Teal at the Northern, Scott Day-Vee Duo followed by Yeo at the Beachy, or Dave Scott Band at the Rails?
If you want something that will make you laugh, head along to Byron Theatre for their comedy cabaret – Confessions of a Control Freak – tickets are $35 and the cabaret features local singer and comedienne Mae Wilde. A great way to test your English listening skills!
Brazilian night has come around again at the Buddha Bar – featuring Trio Mandala – drop in for a dance and some drinks Sao Paolo style!
Also Empire Cafe in Mullumbimby will be opening on Friday and Saturday nights as of this weekend – with gourmet burgers, BYO beer and wine and live music/DJs!
On Saturday, Sammy 2 Towels is playing at the Beachy, The Dirty Channel at the Rails and the Northern is putting on Atypical Affair – featuring DJs Chris Bradley and Russell Smith, Robina, Webber and Steve Demeris. Its a free event in their backroom which should be pretty pumping!
Elsewhere, Remi is playing at the Buddha Bar – a Melbourne based hip hop artist and winner of Triple J’s huge Unearthed competition. Tickets are available from http://www.ticketbooth.com.au and are $17.50
And finally – plenty to entertain you on Sunday – as Late for Woodstock play their smorgasbord of covers from The Doors to Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival to Led Zeppelin; at the Beachy from 4.30pm. This is followed up by DJ Taya at 8pm.
Blind Willie Wagtail are playing at the Rails, and Dave Graney at the Northern – whilst at Buddha Bar from 6pm are the Byron leg of the World Karaoke Championships!! Free entry – this will be hilarious. And if you enter, you could be in with a chance of winning your share of $50,000 worth of cash and prizes; and possibly end up competing in the finals in Sweden! I can just see the Lexis contingent hitting Sweden 🙂
CLEANER WITH ATTENTION TO DETAIL – 5–star resort near Bangalow. Refs and ABN required. Phone 6687 2527
Secondly, two Barista roles:
SMILING HAPPY BARISTA for coffee shop in Mullum. Call 0431 428 108
CASUAL BARISTA for The Pass Café – must hold RSA and be available for weekday, weekend and evening work. Email resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thirdly, a couple of catering opportunities:
JUNIORS REQUIRED for busy Brunswick Heads takeaway shop. Afternoons, nights and weekends. Call or text 0449 867 885
EXPERIENCED WAIT STAFF for Kinoko Japanese Restaurant. Deliver resume in person to 23 Jonson St or email it to email@example.com
And, finally, here are the top picks from the rest:
EXPERIENCED CASUAL SALESPERSON for Tommy Bahama men’s and women’s clothing and accessories. 2-4 days per week. Must have 2 years’ experience in a similar role and be flexible in regard to working weekends. Email or call Tom Cross firstname.lastname@example.org or 0419 399 339
LIVE IN MOTEL MANAGERS OR ASSISTANT MANAGERS . Apply in person to Byron Bayside Central Studio Apartments at 14 Middleton St.
EXPERIENCED LOCAL HOUSEKEEPER to provide for the cleaning, laundry and food preparation needs of a busy family. Directly relevant experience is a must. Email Danielle at email@example.com
On Friday, with surfing being called off due to poor conditions, our Teen Activity Programme Students – Lea, Ulysse and Gregoire – went kayaking around Cape Byron. It was a perfect day for going out for a paddle, with blue skies and calm waters, and they were lucky enough to be able to observe two whales as they frolicked in the Bay.
Atsushi is from Japan – Atsushi is a professional rugby coach back in Japan and has come to learn English so that he can better teach foreign players, and also hang out with them after training! Maru is from Taiwan and has been in Australia for two months already – and has travelled Perth, Alice Springs and Uluru, Darwin, Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef – she is already a seasoned Aussie traveller!
Daniel is from Vienna in Austria, and loves rock climbing, mountain biking and bush walking. He wants to learn to surf here in Byron, and is keen to use his scuba diving licence to see native marine life here as well.
Naomi from the south of France has been to Australia before, and was actually born in Sydney! She is a keen surfer and loves anything to do with the ocean. She will be taking progressive surfing classes along with English lessons; so will soon be carving like a pro! She also plays in a roller derby team, so will be checking out the Bay Rollers here in Byron!!
Hello folks!! I’m back after my two and a half week hiatus over to the Wild, Wild West. It’s great to be back in Byron Bay after some chilly Perth weather!
This weekend sees plenty of live music, spoken word, collaborative art and other awesome shindigs – so as always, plenty to do – which is good for me as I can keep the post-holiday blues at bay.
First up, on Friday night we have bands and DJs galore… Leigh James is at the Beachy from 5pm, followed by Jakubi + Everyday Carry from 9pm; Bohemian Cowboys are at the Rails (always great for a dance); E-Lion is at the Buddha Bar and Aquarius are holding their now weekly open mic night with fresh local talent and tapas.
If you are stuck for something to do on Friday afternoon – the Northern is holding a White Ribbon fundraiser featuring MC Ellen Briggs, and Rohin Funkmeister Knight and the Cumkuats – from 12pm.
The Northern are following this up with local boys Vernas Keep, with The New High and Andrew Morris, playing from 8pm.
On Saturday, Pandamonium DJs are at the Beachy from 9.30pm, Little Bastard are playing at the Rails and the Northern has a triple whammy of live music with Younger Dryas,Tropical Zombie Duo and The Silver Dollars.
Also – the Buddha Bar are hosting an amazing musical talent from Brisbane – The Lyrical. He is playing from 8pm, showcasing his mix of beat boxing, folk guitar and socially conscious lyrics. Not to be missed!
And last but not least, Sunday is a happening day in Byron Bay this week – starting with Throwathon and Jesse Pumphrey at the Northern, and Lionheir at the Rails. The Beachy are amping up the Sunday sessions this week with Ragga Jump from 4.30pm, followed by Elementals at 8pm.
Buddha Bar are hosting their Byron Social Motorcycle Club (The Ride II) which is perfect if you like fast bikes and those that ride them; followed by Tango Argentine (fitting what with the World Cup result!!) at 6pm.
For something a little different, hip hop artist/poet Luka Lesson is performing at Kulchajam from 5.30pm – go to https://www.facebook.com/events/1413834622234345/ for more info! Tickets are $10 on the door.
And out at the funky ArtYard in Bangalow – Artwomb is coming that bit closer to town! This amazing collaborative art, music and food event features local musicians, interactive jam stages, a veggie feast and the main event – a large shared canvas where everyone can go and play with some paints! Starting at 2pm, this will be an awesome Sunday afternoon.
This week is sadly Miho’s final week. She has been here for eight weeks in total and has really participated in everything Byron Bay has to offer. I caught up with her earlier today, to ask her about her favourite things. Here’s what she told me:
“The best thing aboutByron Bay is the sky; both during the day and at night. In the daytime it’s always so blue and at night you can see lots and lots of stars.
“I liked everything aboutmy teacher, Julia (pictured with Miho, above). I especially liked her teaching methods and that she always gave me good advice. I asked her how I could improve my speaking and she gave me lots of good suggestions for practising English outside class.
“All my classmateswere great and really easygoing. Sometimes, I felt that they were more fluent than me, and I couldn’t speak as well with them as I wanted to, but they were always really patient and didn’t mind at all. Ena was my favourite classmate because she was really nice to me on my first day. We met in class and, at lunchtime, she asked me if I had brought any food. When I said ‘no’ she suggested we went to get lunch together and we’ve been friends ever since.”
“The activity programmewas excellent. I really enjoyed all the activities; yoga, the stargazing, cooking and the grammar workshop. My favourite was yoga, every Monday. It was relaxing and active at the same time so, afterwards, I always felt good.”
Miho, we have loved having you at Lexis | Byron Bay. Thank you for taking the time to talk to me today. We wish you all the very best for the future.
Friday’s Big Prize Trivia Quiz was very hotly contested. Two teams were neck and neck for the entire game. Eventually brainiacs Pascal, Mike, Laryssa and Midori won by a single point and took home the wine and the kayak vouchers.
15 year olds Ulysse and Gregoire are here on our Teen Activity Programme, studying English for 3 hours in the morning and surfing all afternoon. They are both already competent surfers, having met on a surfing holiday in the south of France earlier this year. Gregoire has actually studied at Lexis before. He was at Noosa for four weeks in 2013 and had such a great time that, this time, he’s staying in Byron for five weeks.
Welcome guys. We hope you all have a wonderful time here in Byron Bay.
Today we welcome five new students; Ludovic, Ulysse and Gregoire from France, Natusko from Japan and Jasmin (not pictured) from Switzerland.
15 year olds Ulysse and Gregoire are here on our Teen Activity Programme, studying English for 3 hours in the morning and surfing all afternoon. They are both already competent surfers, having met on a surfing holiday in the south of France earlier this year. Gregoire has actually studied at Lexis before. He was at Noosa for four weeks in 2013 and had such a great time that he’s staying in Byron for five weeks this year.
19 year old Ludovic is also from France and also a keen surfer. He has been studying at Lexis Brisbane for the past 2 weeks and is now looking forward to being in a small town with great waves. All three of them will be hitting the water this afternoon.
Natsuko is a pharmacist in Japan. Her hobby is travelling but she told me that, while she has been to many countries, she couldn’t understand what people said because she couldn’t speak English. So now she has come here to change that. She has a cousin in Melbourne but decided to study in Byron Bay because the weather’s much better here and there are fewer Japanese students.
Jasmin is currently on her way to Byron Bay, as she only landed in Brisbane this morning. We look forward to meeting her later today. She will be staying in the student house and studying with us part-time for two weeks.
Welcome guys. We hope you all have a wonderful time here in Byron Bay.
Jenny, from Switzerland, studied in Kathleen’s class for six weeks and is now going travelling. Jenny hated studying grammar and was famous for asking Kathleen difficult grammar questions. She thanked Kathleen for all her help and said she “hoped the grammar would find her” back in Switzerland.
Gregoire, also from Switzerland, was at Lexis for 12 weeks. He started in Pre-Intermediate and finished with an A at Upper Intermediate (grades based on the weekly progress tests). He was universally loved by classmates and teachers alike, especially because he does a great Clark Kent impersonation!
Good luck all of you and don’t forget to join Lexis Byron Bay on Facebook, if you haven’t already, so that you can keep in touch with your new friends from all over the world.
Have you started planning your weekend yet? Here are some ideas to fill those long hours until you can come back to school.
No doubt everyone will be partying at the Rails or Woody’s again on Friday night. (Thanks Bob and Mariana for the pics). Music will be provided by Hammer & The Goon and DJ Sanchez respectively.
The movie, Last Paradise, is being screened at Pighouse Flicks, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday at 6pm. The film, described as “a 45 year quest for paradise and adrenaline told in stunning original footage” follows a bunch of kids who first met playing in the extreme wilderness of New Zealand in the early 60s.
Meanwhile The Flumes will be delivering an “intoxicating outpouring of psychedelic melodies over a stylish rhythm section laced with soulful vocals” at the Brewery, from 8pm (FREE).
If those don’t take your fancy, around town you choose from: Jon J Bradley and The Dirty Channel at the Beachy, Prowler, Feeling Dave and Kit Bray at the Northern, Frothing on Friday at the Ginger Pig, and Kirtan with Sri Prahlada at Byron Community Theatre.
Why not escape to Moreton Island for the whole weekend? BWT have a package which includes camping on the beach, sand boarding down the dunes, snorkelling the shipwrecks and all your food and equipment for $259 (Transport not included) – See Pierre for more details.
Or how about an African drumming workshop? It’s at Kulchajam between 11am and 12.30pm. Contact 0434 585 992 for more info.
Elsewhere you can find DJ Discrow at the Beachy, Elegant Shiva, The Loathing and Ziggy Alberts at the Northern, Bossy Big Heart at the Rails, Mr Speaker and the People Party (a Byron based collective totally 17 member) at the Brewery and Gordi at the Treehouse.
First of all, don’t miss the Byron Bay Market at Butler St Reserve 8am-4pm
Then, Sunday evening how about The Beards at the Northern, DJ Captain Kaine at the Beachy, Andy Jans Brown and Coz Mic at the Rails or Sunday Funday at the Treehouse.
Today, Yvonne delighted us all with her classic Cheese Fondue. Everyone joined in to grate cheese, cut bread and stir the pot. And then of course, we all enjoyed participating in the dipping (even though I dropped most of mine on the table).
Below is the recipe Yvonne used. It’s extremely simple and very easy to reproduce at home.
600g shredded cheese (50/50 Gruyere and Emmental)
I garlic clove
A third of a bottle of white wine
3 teaspoon of cornflour
3 small glasses kirsch
Ground pepper and nutmeg to taste
Rub a heavy saucepan or fondue pot with the split garlic clove.
Dissolve the cornstarch in the kirsch.
Put the cheese and wine into the pan and slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
When the cheese is completely melted, add the kirsch and cornflour mixture, stirring vigourously.
Continue to cook and season to taste with pepper and nutmeg.
Serve over an alcohol lamp or candle plate warmer so the cooking can continue on a low heat.
Now enjoy by dipping in small pieces of bread, meat or vegetables speared on a fondue fork.
Keep stirring with your bread as you dip.
NB. It’s tradition that anyone who loses their bread in the pan must either pay for a round of beer or a bottle of wine, or, alternatively, kiss the person sitting next to them!
It’s a little bit chilly in the Byron shire this week so if you need some extra cash to buy yourself some mittens, here’s the pick of the jobs advertised in this week’s Echo…
1. Are you an excellent cleaner with experience and a car? Then call Robyn 10-4 Monday to Friday on 0404 822443 for flexible hours and a quality job.
2. Casual cleaners are also required for busy B&B (Mullum/Ewingsdale area). Must be reliable and have car and ABN. 3-12hrs per week, $25 per hour. Call 6684 0350 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Or would you like to work as a live-in nanny for 17 hours per week in exchange for a private room with own toilet in Suffolk Park? You would be caring for two school aged children and must have good English. Call Flavia on 0425 873055
Other situations vacant this week include:
Artiwood Education Toys are seeking an experienced part time Marketing & Sales Person to work with a small team in Mullumbimby. Email email@example.com
Fumitoshi (Toshi) has been at Lexis Byron Bay for 6 weeks. He is one of the happiest, most positive people I’ve ever met and it has been an absolute delight having him at the school. Today he flies to Perth, ready to start at Lexis | Perth on Monday. I caught up with him before his flight to ask him some quick questions.
Why did you choose to study Byron Bay?
First I was just going to go to Noosa and Perth, but then I heard that Byron Bay was really beautiful so I decided to spend some time here too. I’m happy I did.
What was the best thing about studying English in Byron Bay?
The beaches, the teachers and the fact that everyone is so close; both classmates and teachers. It’s like a family here.
Has your English improved much since you arrived?
I hope so. Yes, I think so. (His teacher says it has a lot; especially his speaking.)
What helped your English the most?
The English Only Policy. It was perfect. And my lovely teacher, Kathleen. She is the best teacher I’ve ever seen!
And finally, what would you say to anyone who was thinking about studying English at Lexis Byron Bay?
You must come here!
And we’d love more students like you, Toshi. I hope you have a really great time in Perth. We’ll miss you.