Monday, October 26, 2015

Bula! Fiji 2015!

How is it October? Last time I checked it was April, surely?

I realised today that there was no mention on my blog about our trip to Fiji!  This makes me sad, for we had a truly wonderful time and I feel that you should know about it. Not the entire trip, because that would be a very long post, but the highlights!

It was July, and despite all the Fijians complaining about how cold it was, it was NOT cold.  The days were in the late 20's, temperature wise, with hardly any humidity, which is just how I like my days when there are pools at my disposal.

Yes, I did say 'pools'. Our resort had two, a huge one for everyone and another adults only pool. No prizes for guessing where we spent most of our time. There was a swim up bar and we enjoyed Happy Hour there most evenings.

Also, I highly recommend buying a cheapo version of a go-pro camera with a waterproof case, I think we paid about $60 from Target and it took some great photos!

This happened on the first day. And it may well have been the best money I spent there, made hair care so easy. Even if I did spend a small fortune on the sunscreen I kept spraying on my head because I was terrified of getting sunburnt. It took them several hours and Chyken was forced to drink cocktails while he waited. Poor man.

 So many delicious curries in Fiji! And a lot of seafood, if seafood is your thing. It is not my thing.

These guys went around our resort every evening singing. If you were out on your balcony they would stop and sing TO you, otherwise they just wandered around the whole place eventually ending up poolside for a few more songs before a man ran around the resort lighting all the torches.

We did a couple of day trips out to islands, and the one where we went on this sailing boat was our favourite! Only about 30 passengers and a great, fun, happy, lovely crew. We had a massive lunch, a swim, a snorkel, and we fed and cleaned turtles!

We took more video than we did photos of the snorkelling, but trust me when I say it was amazing. So many fishies!

Entertainment on the other cruise included these guys. Chyken was particularly impressed with how musical most people seemed to be. He kept saying to all the guys 'Men don't sing in Australia!!!'

And Fiji had some of the best sunsets I have ever seen!  Just stunning.

In short, we LOVED Fiji and we really hope to get back some day! 

P.S. This post was not sponsored in any way, shape, or form. We paid for the entire thing ourselves!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Silvers Circus in New Gisborne - Review

I was given a double pass to roll up and see Silvers Circus by the good people at Cavanagh PR. All opinions are my own.


It's been quite warm around these parts for October, so warm that there's been a bushfire burning not far from here the last couple of weeks. It was a warm night when we headed to see Silvers Circus.

I've been to lots of circuses (circusi?) in my time, and I can honestly say that Silvers Circus is the best Australian one I've ever seen. I said that when I saw them last year and paid for it myself, this is not the free tickets talking, I promise.

The acts are world class. During some of the aerial stuff I actually thought I might vomit with fear. Even though logically I know they wouldn't be up there doing it if it wasn't safe, it really doesn't look like that a lot of the time.

There's a little something for everyone here, not too much clown (I know there are lots of people who don't like clowns), there's enough, but not too much, and the use of audience volunteers is funny without making people step too far out of their comfort zone. 

Lots of different sorts of juggling (including a woman who juggles fire with her FEET!) and the woman on the roman rings had me on the edge of my seat. Likewise the tightrope walker.  There's no net!  How are they allowed to do that?!

I'm still trying to work out how Simon the magician pulled off some of the magic tricks, maybe it is REAL magic?!

There are two main stand outs though and they are the Wheel Of Death and the Double Wheel of Steel, the Wheel of Death is a metal globe that crazy talented men roar around inside on motorbikes.  I mean, have you ever? And just when you think it's too much they put a woman in there and ride within inches of her! Insane!

However, the absolute highlight for me was the Double Wheel of Steel. Two men spin around at stupid speeds balancing each other and if that's not enough they get on the outside and seem to almost touch the top of the tent. I have no idea how it works, but it is marvellous to watch. (This is where I actually thought I might throw up!)

Silvers Circus is in New Gisborne until Sunday. It's not often that such world class entertainment lands right on our doorstep, so we should be taking advantage of it so they come back!

For all the details and to buy tickets, go to their website.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Silvers Circus Is Coming To Gisborne! ***Giveaway***

***This competition is now closed. Jules, Sarah, Bernadette, Jaki, and Sally were the lucky winners.***

Silvers Circus have never set up their tent in Gisborne, but that is set to change this week when they roll into town!  I've got some family passes valued at $120 to give away (2 adults and 2 kids) for the show this Friday night, 16th October, read on to see how you can win one of them!

Now, I know a lot of people have heard of Silvers Circus, but did you know that the family that own Silvers actually live in Gisborne when they're not under the big top? The Gasser family moved here about 20 years ago when Gisborne was a little village. It's close to the airport, so it allows them to get to and from wherever the circus is at the time. The whole circus family is super excited to finally set the big top up here and show everyone what they can do! 

Silvers Circus have been travelling around Australia for nearly three decades. I remember seeing this circus as a kid down on the Mornington Peninsula and being entranced by the whole thing, especially the magic tricks!

Silvers Circus still has magic, but now has so much more as well. There's Gypsy, who manipulates up to 80 hoola hoops. At the same time!!!

There's Klara, who juggles fire.  With her FEET!

Rosita shows strength and grace on the Roman Rings.

And two young men with nerves of steel will have you holding your breath as they zoom around in the Double Wheel of Steel.

There is all this and more at Silvers Circus!  They have top notch fairy floss and I haven't even mentioned the Wheel Of Death yet!  Curious?  Well, you'll have to go along to see what I mean!  You can get your tickets from their website and they start at just $20!

Show times for New Gisborne are:

October 2015
Wednesday 14th - 7.30pm 
Thursday 15th - 7.30pm
Friday 16th - 7.30pm
Saturday 17th - 1.00pm & 7.30pm
Sunday 18th - 11.00am

The lovely people at Silvers Circus have given me some family passes for the Friday October 16th show to give to you guys!  All you have to do is leave a comment here or on the Silvers Circus post on the Chickens and Bees Facebook page and in 25ish words, tell me what you're most looking forward to seeing at Silvers Circus. 

You have to until Tuesday at 8pm to enter and then we'll choose the winners and you'll be running away with the circus before you can say 'Roll Up! Roll Up!'

(Please make sure you leave an email address if you're commenting here on the blog so I can contact you!)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

How To Get Cheap Theatre Tickets

I’ve been going to see live theatre since I was eleven and my Mum took me to see Seven Little Australians starring Alyce Platt from Sale of the Century and Beven from Young Talent Time (be still my beating heart!). I love it. One of my favourite places in the world is inside a theatre just before a show starts.

I’ve been fortunate in that this little old blog has led to me being given tickets to a few shows, and I’ve won some competitions to see things lately, but on the whole, seeing live theatre can be an expensive habit.  However, over the years, I have learnt some ways to keep the costs down. Some of these tips are Melbourne based, but I would imagine other cities/theatres have similar things.

So, here they are, in no particular order!

Preview Performances

Before a show has an official opening night, they will often have previews and these are generally cheaper. Sometimes things aren’t quite ready and that can be really interesting to see, plus you are seeing it before most people get a chance to.

Mid Week Shows

Shows that aren’t on Friday and Saturday nights are almost always cheaper.  Plus, the available seats are usually better.

Restricted View

If you know your way around a particular theatre, there are usually seats that are better than others, and ones that are cheaper than others. For example, Her Majesty’s in Melbs sells restricted view seats. There are ones up the back of the stalls, and although it means you can’t see right to the top of the stage, for most shows this doesn’t actually matter, because not a lot happens up there anyway. They also have some great ones about halfway back in the stalls that are behind a pole. I’ve sat there heaps of times and the pole doesn’t actually get in the way at all. These seats are about half the price of the seats next to them. Also check out B and C reserve seats, if you just choose 'best available' when searching, it will select the most expensive ones.
I have also noticed that Melbourne Theatre Company often sells the front row at a drastically reduced price. I am yet to figure out why, I’ve sat there and the view is fantastic.
If you don’t know the layout of the particular theatre, call them and ask about restricted view seats.

Social Media

If you find the pages/accounts of any shows you are interested in seeing on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and like/follow them, they will often post special offers there. Sometimes it’s a flash sale for 48 hours and you can snap up a bargain if the timing is right.

Rush Tickets

If a show isn’t sold out, you can sometimes just turn up to the theatre a couple of hours before the show starts and they will sell you a ticket at a huge discount. I’ve paid $45 for tickets I know are worth closer to $150 doing it this way. They call these ‘Rush Tickets’ and they are usually also advertised on social media. I usually check on the website and make sure there are a fair few unsold seats before I go to the theatre. You can also often get rush tickets through the TodayTix app.

Free Ticket Sites

There are a couple of websites that sometimes give out free tickets to things. Two I use are Promotix and It's On The House. Some of them are completely free, some have a small admin charged attached and some require you to pay for a membership to get the tickets, but it's usually WAY less than what the tickets actually cost.


A lot of shows have Lotteries, you enter for free, and then at a certain time you're notified if you won cheap tickets. Most of these are run through TodayTix, but some are through the ticketing agency themselves. Again, keeping an eye on the social media accounts for the show will usually tell you how to enter. BE WARNED that there is usually a time limit to claim and pay for the tickets after the notification email arrives, once that time is up, you'll miss out.

Group Bookings

If you get a group of you together and buy all the tickets at once, you will pay less. The amount of people you need varies for this, but usually at least 8 or 12 people will get you a discount.

Half Tix Melbourne

There’s a little booth behind the Melbourne Town Hall in Little Collins Street that sells reduced price tickets to shows for that day and/or the next few days. The ‘catch’ with this is that often you have to buy them in person at the actual booth which means you need to get there before they close, and that’s not always possible for me as I don’t live close to the city. They do have some of their things available on their website though. Be aware that they are not always the cheapest option and you might get cheaper by using the Rush Tickets method as mentioned above.


If you see a competition, enter it! I have lost count of the amount of people who say to me ‘You always win stuff, I never win stuff’ but when I ask them if they enter competitions they say no. How can you possibly expect to win if you don’t enter? Some good websites/Facebook pages to keep an eye on for this are Theatre Matters and Stage Whispers.


If it’s a theatre company that puts on lots of shows, they will often offer discounts if you buy tickets to several of their shows at once. You should be able to easily find information about this on their website or by calling them.

Mailing Lists

When you buy tickets online at either Ticketmaster or Ticketek, ALWAYS tick the box near the end to say you would like to get offers. A lot of the time they will send you stuff that isn’t relevant, but they will also send you stuff that is.  Also join up to as many other mailing lists as you can. For starters I recommend LastTix, Smart Tix, TodayTix and Showbiz. These guys typically send out an email once a week with discount offers, sometimes more, sometimes less.

Having said all this, sometimes I still pay full price for things.  There are a few reasons for this, sometimes it’s because a show only has a short run and I fear it selling out. In some theatres I like sitting in certain places, so I will pay the extra to guarantee it.
Do you have any tips for seeing good stuff on the cheap?

If you ever have any questions about seeing live stuff in Melbourne, please feel free to contact me, I’m happy to help if I can!
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