A Love Letter to Brisbane

Dearest B

I never expected to fall in love this way. It happened so slowly, then one day the realisation hit me like a moving train. I love Brisbane.

At first I resisted your charms, dear city. I was very unsure and yearned for the familiar. I missed the sand between my toes, the wide open roads and commodores. Then one day I found myself in one of the coolest bars I’ve ever been to (still my favourite local haunt) listening to music I love, surrounded by people who were clearly loving it just as much. They were dressed amazingly, dancing brilliantly and having the best time ever; so was I!

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You are bold and interesting, fun, vibrant, progressive. Everything a city should be. You’ve opened my eyes and my heart.

I landed here a broken girl and am leaving as a woman; stronger, wiser and wilder than ever.

I never could have imagined the complete makeover you would give me. I have had my ups and downs with you, don’t get me wrong, but I’m leaving a little piece of my heart here.

So much can happen in 7 months.

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I got to see a show by the great Baz, listen to countless numbers of incredible live bands, pop over to Sydney for work, road trip to Byron and Noosa, be a finalist in a pin up parade, master the art of frozen veggies and chicken, watch the world go by from my balcony…

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Jess and I have cemented ourselves as sisters. We may fight like cat and dog over dishes, but there’s no one I would rather have spent this time with.

People have come and gone in our stories. Some came along to make it better for a little while, others were just another lesson. It’s what being a young woman is all about! I look forward to meeting all the new people to come. I want hear their stories and create some new ones with them. Meeting people has to be my favourite thing in the world. They are amazing.

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We have two weeks left in our little home. I won’t miss fighting with the tourists to get in the lift, or the construction work at 8am on a Saturday, but that damn balcony has known so much. My little happy place. It’s heard hour long phone conversations with distant friends, tears over a glass of wine, dinner and debriefs, drinking games with new friends, early morning music sessions with Rock stars (I shit you not mate)…. It’s been a wild ride.

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This last weekend in particular will go down in the history books as one of the coolest fucking weekends of all time. Anyone who knows me knows my obsession with live music and passionate views on soul, funk and new wave. We reached peak Brisbane when we pulled a visiting Melbourne band. We aren’t groupies. We are Band Aids. The rest of that story can stay in my vivid memory. Just call me Penny Lane…

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So what does the rest of our year hold?

Well, after a two week rest in our beautiful little home of Perth (and a quick trip to Margs for my second pro stalk of the season) we will be jetting to America for 3 months of debauchery before coming back to business time. I plan on being a little money making gun in my new team, looking after my dear WA agents, smashing out the savings.

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Come October my little Ling Ling, Elana, and I will be partying in Thailand. I will finally be visiting the place that’s been top of my bucket list since I was 16: Maya Bay, Phi Phi Island.

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Come 2017… Who knows? Melbourne has been thrown around as an option… A rather delicious one for a live music junkie like myself. Maybe another big trip or another 6 month stint. Perth will always have my heart, but I’m going to live this life I have chocked full with every adventure I can create.

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So if anyone is ever keen for something cool to do… Hit me up guys. You know where to find me!

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Thank you Brissie for teaching me to be me, embracing my weirdness and teaching me what life is all about. The independence has been incredible. I think I’m just about ready to take on the world. Goodbye fragile little girl from a year ago! Same heart, bigger self worth. Why not? You’re going to spend the rest of your life taking care of other people, so right now, you just do you. Fiercely and unapologetically; and most definitely, don’t give a single thought to what others think. They don’t think about you as much as you think they do, and those who do love you regardless!

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I’m going to miss you B. Thanks for the memories. I’ll be back to make more, you can count on that.

Love always

Harleigh Q

xo

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Perth: A Completely Non-Biased Guide to the Best Place in the World

They say home is where the heart is, and in July 2005 that is exactly what Perth became to me. I was 14 and terrified. It’s an absolute world away from the green and fresh and hill filled landscape I was used to.

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One of the first things I noticed: Perth is flat. Everywhere. Sometimes a road may be on a slight hill. Shocking, I know.

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I was so overwhelmed. Suddenly I had red dirt and bush land and a coastline worthy of any award. I got lucky.

Don’t get me wrong, it took a long time to settle, but I met some beautiful souls to help me along the way. Check out the sexy uniforms.

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Now one thing I must say, having not been born in Western Australia I have the unfair advantage of having lived somewhere else. England is beautiful, but there are things about the Australian way of life that are absolutely unbeatable. I’ve made a countdown of my top 5 favourite things about Perth. As previously stated, this is non-biased and completely subjective (yeah right) but for anyone who wonders about the most secluded city in the world, this is why I love her, and she will always be my home.

5.  The Outdoor Lifestyle

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One thing I have honestly struggled with on the East Coast has been the lifestyle. Of course here we are city chicks. Just call me mini Carrie. We haven’t had a car, we uber regularly or occasionally hire. We walk EVERYWHERE. In spite of all of that though, I never feel like I’m outside. Weird right? It must have something to do with the high-rises blocking the direct sunlight. I love the city, but my favourite thing to do at home is go for long walks with Papi. We walk straight down to the beach through our beautiful little piece of the world, the glorious Secret Harbour, and trek a few kms on the sand. Ruma likes to loop around and if it’s warm my toes are hitting that water.

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Even better; the 7am alarm, tea in a thermal cup, wettie on and board in the car. The air is pretty fresh and smells amazing. It’s not easy finding the motivation to crawl out of bed. It was actually around this time 2 years ago that I bought my baby board!

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You really can’t beat that time spent gasping for breath on the sand with a towel wrapped around your head. The ocean is powerful and scary and yet the most peaceful place I’ve ever been.

4. Australia Day

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Aussie flag facial tattoos: $2.00

Hot 100: Sharing excellent taste in music with fellow Australians? Priceless.

3. The Beaches

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From top to bottom the coastline here is breathtaking.

From Cottesloe

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To Shark Bay

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To Denmark

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To my home

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We. Are. Spoilt. Not a jelly fish or croc in sight. Maybe a couple of sharks though… She’ll be right!

2. The Sunsets

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And that’s all I have to say about that.

  1. Margaret River

If you’ve met me, ever, you’ve probably heard me talk of my love for my future home. It has absolutely everything I love and more.

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We have caves!

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We have surf breaks!

Also featuring as more wine than you can poke a stick at. You’re welcome.

I’m going to wait until I’m a little bit more travelled before I descend south. I plan on having a quirky little house with at least 2 dogs (Rottweiler and Boxer) and I’ll do yoga and go for morning runs; grow my own herbs; probably live off green juice and misery. Just kidding. Its my goal though so I’ll make it happen when I’m ready.

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If anyone ever wants to know more about WA, what to see, where to go, just ask! I know it’s far and I know it’s not cheap, but it’s worth every single penny. I sell it for a living and I know I’m only 6 months in, but my love and passion hasn’t wavered. I hope it never does.

Sometimes you need to leave to appreciate what you have. I did, and I do, and I always will.

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Mumma and Papi, thank you for doing the greatest thing you could ever have done for us. You’ve given us the best life possible. I’ll spend the rest of my days adoring you for it. More than life 😘.

Love to my family all over the world

Harleigh Q

xo

P.s. This blog also features the many incarnations of Leigh’s hair and a few more Google pictures than I usually like to use.