Its official, the festival season has been kicked off with a bang and crackle! This year Parklife coincided with the Brisbane Festival’s Riverfire so there was an extra treat of fireworks to add to the festivities.

Parklife Brisbane 2012 highlight photos here

What a bumper issue it is for this week’s Time Off magazine! Not only will you find new monthly mini mag Muso covering all technical aspects of bandship and muscianing with industry insight and a bunch of equipment reviews but we throw a Kardash-ass sized contribution with photos for the front cover, lead story, Live cover and live gig coverage!

Fast rising stars, The Medics take the front cover and lead story after cleaning up at the NIMA‘s; GC rockers, Helm take the err… helm on the Live cover and we get amongst it with the Twerps at Metro Arts as part of the fun for the Brisbane Festival.

All crammed into this week’s issue #1596.

Get it FREE from all the usual street press outlets or read current and back issues online @ Time Off magazine – Brisbane


A couple weeks back the Brisbane Table Tennis Centre once again became home for the QMHE – Qld Model Hobbies Expo, a weekend of scale model displays, workshops and competitions.

Being our first time out, we weren’t too sure what to expect but definitely weren’t disappointed with hundreds of builds on display from the basic kit projects to ultra realistic reproductions. Subjects covered the usual military, automotive and flying machines and on to fictional spacecraft, anime mecha warriors reenacted movie scenes to the straight up weird.

Retailers were also out in force selling all the staples along with some very specific items, you know its serious business when there’s a store pretty much only selling tiny metal facades for those wanting that final touch of authenticity. Unfortunately a lot of places were selling full blown RRP (and then some) but there were the odd jewels of exhibition specials and paints at “I’ll take two!” kind of prices.

All in all, not a bad way to spend a couple hours with a lot of very passionate builders only too happy to gush about their latest creation.

Complete QMHE photos gallery here

Getting There
The closest train station was over a kilometre away but we decided to walk from our hotel to take in some of the residential sites as well as making a short detour pass the Drum Tower, however after that there wasn’t much to see. Catching the train was a breeze – get on at Gulou Dajie, change at Xizhimen and get off at Beijing Zoo. A taxi would have been more convenient but judging from some of the traffic we saw along the way, I dare say the train would be quicker (depending on where you’re coming from of course).

Drum Tower

Once there you’ll have to purchase your tickets, don’t go into the courtyard and expect to get tickets at the gate, look for a line of ticket windows with a mass of people looking like a cross between the stock market and the lines at a music festival. This isn’t London, no
one knows what queuing is, throw in wandering tour groups and masses of school excursioning kids and you’ll understand why I recommend
pre-purchasing your tickets if you can. Like most major attractions there’s rarely a quiet time but a week day visit may see a few less locals.

When inside there’s three areas roughly divided into amphibians, reptiles and birds; big animals and aquarium; and lions, tigers and bears (oh my!). Of course the star attractions are the pandas and the area, especially at the start of the day, was packed so we decided to head away from the crowds.

Things kicked off with the reptile enclosures but the first flag appeared when we saw a group of locals coaxing otters by feeding
them sausages and other snacks while staff stood by unconcerned. I don’t know about you but I have no idea what otters eat let alone what could potentially kill them! I for one definitely wouldn’t want no otter homicide on my hands.

Normally we love zoos especially the big ones where the animals have plenty of space to roam but as we continued it became more and more obvious and rather disheartening to see a lot of the enclosures in varying states of disrepair not helped by the original poor attempts at “authenticity” re: jungle mural painted brick wall.

Sporting a similar poorly simulated scenery was the penguin enclosure, which like several displays wasn’t included in the ticket price. A separate ticket had to be purchased for this enclosure and quite frankly it wasn’t worth it, even with our overwhelming love for the little tuxedo wearers.

Like the penguins, it was an extra fee to get up close to the giraffes but this time you could actually feed them by hand (leaves and other greenery, not the stuff from your bag).

The hippo, rhino, elephants, lions and tigers were all either off in the distance or not visible at all so it was a quick breeze through those sections. Back to the pandas, the crowd had waned a little but it was still at least 3-4 people deep in parts and quite a battle to get close to the viewing glass to snap a photo, but well worth it when you do.

Photo tip: battling the crowd is the easy part, getting your camera close enough to no get any reflection from the glass or 10 camera phones in your shot while dodging some parent holding their terrified scream protesting kid in between the rail and the glass is the real challenge. Just like waiting at a bar to be next in line for drinks you need to choose your moment and make a quick move to any opening spots. Keeping an eye on the movement of other background animals could help you lock in a good shot as well. Wide to mid range zoom with macro ability will be the best lens choice for the whole day, I found a long telephotos lens wasn’t necessary.

With that bit of disappointment done and the rest of the Beijing sights seen, there was only one thing left to do… SHOP!

More Beijing Zoo photos here.

Beijing 2011 part #1 – Arrival + Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City
Beijing 2011 part #2 – The Great Wall – Mutianyu
Beijing 2011 part #4 – Shopping

Beijing photo gallery here
Beijing Zoo photo gallery here

Ironically it took The Boys to break up the sausagefest in our Time Off Magazine Live cover shoots. The spunkettes bring some sass to the pages in this week’s issue #1595.

Get it FREE from all the usual street press outlets or read current and back issues online @ Time Off magazine – Brisbane

A very special event happened recently and it was covered by our good friend and landscape photographer extraordinaire, Mel Sinclair (who is currently on an Icelandic photographic tour, can’t wait to see the photos from that one!)

And now over to the Bride and Groom!

-= Thankyou’s and Credits =-

Our special event could not have happened with out the help and kindness from many of our friends and family, we thank you all for a most wonderful and memorable day.

Wedding & Reception Planner:

Bride’s and Bridesmaids’ dresses:
Paradise Brides

Flowers and Decorations:
Treudie, Ashlee, Trudy
Flowers in Paradise
Aunty Patti (Handmade additions)

Mel Sinclair
Mel Sinclair Photography

Wedding Cake/Cookie cakes:
Nerolie’s Cupcakes
Facebook: Nerolie’s Cupcakes

Dunes on Shelly

Christine Mills

Rosemary, Ben, Alex
Savoir Fare

MC, Usher:

Uncle Bruce

Parking attendants:
Tim and Mark

Late night Yum Cha:
Floral Apron Fryers

Mel’s Photo gallery here

Bonus photos from Katie here, thanks Katie!

Our Time Off Magazine Live cover shoot for this week is Martyr Privates.

Read about them in this week’s issue #1594.

Get it FREE from all the usual street press outlets or read current and back issues online @ Time Off magazine – Brisbane

Gold Coaster’s (don’t hold that against them 😉 ) Miacarla are in the hot seat this week for our Time Off Magazine Live cover shoot. Their “Same ol story” track has been stuck on high rotation here for quite some time now with plenty of toe tapping and sing along moments, can’t wait till they venture up our way!

We also ducked out to the Beetle Bar to catch some very Brisbane style rock in the form of The Stress of Leisure.

Check them both out in this week’s issue #1593.

Get it FREE from all the usual street press outlets or read current and back issues online @ Time Off magazine – Brisbane