Rock -1, Helen – 0!

A competition you say, a competition to win 6 months travel and $50,000 upon your return?  Was this competition made with me in mind – how do I enter? Oh, create a three-minute video and a blog entry… ok um sure.  Wait, it has to be different and original – show off your personality and your subject all with in 3 minutes and 500 words… right…


Camera and tripod in hand with a small gaggle of supportive friends in tow I stood outside the Opera House and looked up and thought about what I was going to say.  Then I realised that the only times I had been inside the Opera House was when I was with tourist friends.

I walked back outside and decided to consider this over a beer – to the Glenmore it was, an old hotel at the Northern end of the Rocks.  The Glenmore has a rooftop bar that is packed every evening of the week – we snagged a table ordered the nightly special and began debating what I could show that was original and different about Sydney.

What it boiled down to was that the best parts of Sydney are fairly obvious – the beach, the pubs and bars, the food and of course the bridge.  So how could I show these things without becoming cliché? The answer was glaringly simple – my friend asked me one questions

“You’re not from Sydney, so why do you love living here?” Not skipping a beat I answered

“Because there is always something to do. Something different!” She just raised her eyebrow at me – that eyebrow said – well there you go, show that!

For the next week I carried my camera and tripod around with me everywhere (I think I became a little lopsided from carrying it slung over one shoulder – note to self buy a rucksack big enough for tripod… or a smaller tripod) and filmed things that I was doing.  Sometimes I was with my friends and sometimes alone.  The great thing about having my friends there was that I didn’t look as strange talking to a camera on my own… the bad thing was that I had to do several takes because you could hear their laughter – thanks guys!

Slowly I pulled together a series of clips that showed my life in Sydney, from the underground prohibition bar, Baxters Inn, to swimming in rock pools.  When I saw my life broken down like that I had a “hell yeah” – Sydney rules moment. Then the real problem started, how to compress it into 3 minutes?  Three nights later I had a clip that I didn’t completely hate but I still didn’t have an ending…

What better way to end it then to show myself doing something adventurous.  There is a cliff just round the corner from my house that people (mainly teenage boys) jump off on hot days and every time I see them do I simultaneously think – they are crazy and I want to do that!  This would be the perfect ending…

Two problems – I don’t do well with heights and finding the right time of day to do the jump.

I cajoled some friends into coming with me, as a tripod doesn’t work too well in water. I Googled high-tide (for the record, my computer is telling me that googled isn’t a word – catch up Apple googled became a word about ten years ago) and at the allotted time I hit the beach and took one look and said, “google lied – that’s not high tide!”

Apparently the summer storms we have been having had created a false sandbar stopping the tide from coming in as high as it normally did but creating some really great waves… shme waves!

In vain hope I tested out the water depth… it didn’t even come up to my shoulders – cliff jump cancelled.  To practise I decided to jump off some smaller rocks.

Jump one – success.  Jump two – disaster.

I climbed up onto the rock, took one step towards the edge and my legs slipped out from underneath me.  My legs flung upwards, my hands went down to catch my head, they slipped out as well – at this split second I had one thought – you are falling and there is nothing that you can do stop it, its going to hurt – A LOT! Sure enough I landed flat on my back – my friends gasped and swallowed their laughter.  Slowly I pulled myself together, shoving down the tears of pain and shock.

“Please tell me someone filmed that?”

“Um no… I was looking the other way…”

I threw back my head and laughed… slightly hysterically.  Gingerly I stood up and climbed of the rock only to realise that I was bleeding from my arms – they had been cut open with giant gashes.  As I climbed back into the water I didn’t think how the salt might sting but how I was attracting any sharks that may be lurking in the area – faster than I ever swam at any school swimming-carnival I was at the other side of the pool and out of the water.

Footage from the first rock jump would have to do!

Now the hard part begins – convincing everyone to vote for me so here are some reasons to vote for me:

  1. I love to travel and tell stories about my travel – this is the perfect competition for me
  2. I hurt myself during the making of my clip – feel sorry for me?
  3. It takes you five seconds and costs nothing but will make me deliriously happy
  4. Good Karma brownie points
  5. I will owe you one!
  6. I REALLY WANT TO WIN! And so I am begging you – help me!

How to vote:

  1. Click the link below
  2. Scroll down for a while
  3. Watch the video
  4. Read the blog entry
  5. Decide if you think I am worthy – this is easy – I AM!
  6. Use the buttons in the green box on the right to SHARE, TWEET, STUMBLE or PIN this link!

Thanks for all your support!

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