Dan Wilkinson

Sunrise & Sunset – The perfect time to Recharge & Reset #SKYPORN

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Sunset 801 Pink Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group). www.hotndelicious.com
Sunset 801 Pink
Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai.
Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).
http://www.hotndelicious.com

Sunrise and sunset are easily my favourite time of day. I’ve been shooting #skyporn since before #skyporn was invented.

There’s simply nothing quite like walking along a deserted beach as the sun rises to recharge, reset and put things into perspective. The same goes for sunset.

Back in my Dubai days when I was traveling the world serving chicken or beef as Emirates Airline cabin crew, the 3-bedroom bachelor pad I shared with 2 of my best mates had 4-5 balconies, most of which faced west.

I kid you not, every single day that I wasn’t jet-setting around the globe, getting hammered at the pub or at rugby training with the boys in 35+ degree heat, I’d be on my White Building balcony watching the sun go down. I lived in that Sheikh Zayed Road apartment (#Club203 for the regular party-goers :D) for 5 years and must have taken hundreds of photos with my old Nikon F60 SLR on that window to the world. Cheeky beers, tunes crankin’, chillin’ solo or with friends complete with peach, purple skies during the call to prayer with a mosque silhouette. Perfection.

I became addicted to those long moments of inspiration, so much so that I named a song after it  ‘Endorphins’ and a rather significant factor in selecting my new Melbourne apartment recently, was that it had a 10th floor west-facing balcony. Air balloons, birds in flight, aircraft coming in to land at Melbourne International Airport.. I’ve only been here 3 weeks now, but almost daily I soak up nature’s little slice of heaven with and without iPhone camera at the ready.

I don’t know who invented the #skyporn hashtag, but I can tell you the 1st time I heard it and you had me at sunset..

Sun rises over a secluded beach near Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road in Australia

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Waking up to a beach sunrise.. perfection

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Pretty lady.. sundown Melbourne-town #magic#Melbourne #beautiful ❤️

Beauty is Everywhere

Melbourne.. beautiful ❤ #love #skyporn #melbourne#hotndelicious #mornporn

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Beauty Is Everywhere – using everyday moments in daily life as an opportunity to recharge.

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For any entrepreneur or those with entrepreneurial mindsets, the double-edged sword of always being switched-on, every waking hour of the day, means that having tools at the ready to enable you to take time out from your lifestyle/busy mind to reset & recharge are crucial.

Even as we speak, it’s Sunday for me & I promised myself I’d stay away from the laptop and yet here I am chasing the weekly biz blog I promised myself I’d write every week in 2014.. justified it to myself in that it’s both a personal and biz blog that helps feed my creative thirst, plus the lines between both elements of my life (by design) are so close that they’re heavily blurred 😉

What’s not blurred though is that I’ve known for quite some time that to stay healthy in body & mind there are both planned and impromptu moments in everyday life that I can employ to stay fresh & clear. For me these days, aside from the obvious relatively healthy diet and exercise, are meditation and a little thing I like to call #BeautyIsEverywhere.

#BeautyIsEverywhere:

While I didn’t invent #BeautyIsEverywhere, for Hot & Delicious the #BeautyIsEverywhere hashtag is dedicated to those everyday moments of beauty in nature (or man-made) that I utilize to reset, recharge & inspire myself at a time in my life when I’m super driven, living on the edge of my seat and at the wheel driving a 1000 miles per hour.

Daily on my way to work, heading down to the shops or out for a night on the town, I’m constantly taking snapshots with my eyes. Some images are captured on my smartphone and make their to the internet through the various Hot & Delicious social channels and others I just soak up with a deep breath, a smile and savour as mine alone.

Whether it be #skyporn, a beautiful beach setting, street-art, flowers, architecture or whatever it is that floats you away, it’s important to keep your busy mind aware and open to the surroundings around you. These little hits of endorphins can make your day, help keep a clear mind & ideas flowing that can change the world! 

Hit me up on Instagram: @hotndelicious, on Tumblr or Twitter @hotndelicious

Feel free to tag @hotndelicious and in your #BeautyIsEverywhere hashtags as I’d love your recharge moments to be mine also.

Dan Wilkinson drives social media strategy, community management & works as music industry advisor at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group

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2 days ago I woke up to a beach sunrise over the ocean, sand & the waves at my feet.. 2014.. I’m ready..

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Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson

2 days ago I woke up to a beach sunrise over the ocean, sand & the waves at my feet..

This year I went from 80% self-employed in my own music industry business, Hot & Delicious Group to coming out the other side of winter working full-time for America’s #1 Digital Agency, SapientNitro, driving social strategy for one of Australia’s largest brewers.

A year of contrasts & definitely not a quiet one, but coming through my 3rd brain tumour operation in 15 years just a year & a half ago, looking back on previous years and knowing all the cool shit I’ve nailed over the past 3 years, it definitely feels like one where I’ve treaded water a little more than usual [to put it in perspective I’ve still created sponsorship partnerships for The Aussie BBQ series of international music showcases with Virgin Australia and Studios 301 in the USA, travelled to LA and Austin (Texas), captured images of Australia’s top musicians/providing social media services for The Aussie BBQ/Sounds Australia at the world’s largest music conference SXSW, project-managed Federation Square’s Helix Tree – Light In Winter installation and starting working with a range of beer/cider brands (incl. Miller Genuine DraftPeroni Nastro AzzurroCarlton Dry, Sweden’s #1 cider KopparbergBulmers and Strongbow cider)] to name but a few projects. Treading water’s not the right phrasing.. a better one would be working in the thick of projects, rather than keeping the eagle eye view from above..

The new job’s been hell-for-leather since Day 1, but I am excited about the team we’ve built, working with people who inspire me, the prospect of being in a position now to present wicked new ideas & game-changing concepts in the new year, access to global resources/networks to achieve our goals and a regular salary (vs working contract-to-contract), which will help allow me to focus on an as of yet unfulfilled music career and a bunch of new Hot & Delicious Group projects in my “downtime”.

The craziness of the past 5 months in particular means I reached the Xmas/New Years holiday period completely exhausted and ready for a solid mental break. As a result, I took the measure of banning myself from all forms of social media for a week from Xmas Day – New Year’s Day. That rest from social channels, family holiday at Portarlington, camping/fishing/skindiving with a bunch of mates on a beach down the Great Ocean Road and today’s trip down to Republica Cafe (St Kilda Beach) to soak up the 25°C blue skies, led to clarity and this explosion of thoughts on paper, which may or may not make it to my Hot & Delicious blog (I’m leaning to yes.. Ha ha.. :D). 

That insight is that during the ups & downs on the roller-coaster of life this year, I’ve managed to have amazing experiences, but these “Good Times” have been accompanied with “Capture this, Update that, Tweet this person, read this article, write that article, watch that TV series…”. It’s true that Sundays have pretty much been kept for me and generally-speaking I’m broadcasting/checking social less on Sundays, but in reality there’s been very few times outside of work or on days off where I’ve made an effort to go out, do something fun & just soak up that particular moment in time for what it is, without feeling the need to update one of my social channels. Connected, Connected, Connected.

I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve created for myself through hard work & the ability to see opportunity in the gaps of the patterns & differences of the world around me, but my #1 goal for 2014 is to soak up the joy of this life by taking more time out for me including chilling & focusing on projects that I love. More passion, energy & happiness will no doubt ensue. Sure.. Capture this, share that is a big part of who I am and what I do.. the reality being that social media is a big part of my life at play/work and an extension of my personality, but it doesn’t define me. 

Living in the moment is what I want to see more of from myself this year and not a concept that’s new to me, but taking time out to reflect & enjoy is where we get fresh energy, a sense of calm and it’s in this headspace where the fresh ideas & magic flow.. 2014.. I’m ready..

Dan Wilkinson.
16:04pm, Tuesday December 31st, 2013.
Republica Cafe, St Kilda Beach
Melbourne Australia.

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Georgia Fair – ‘Love Free Me’ evokes exciting flashbacks & this edgy, folk rock jam has me soaring!

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Georgia Fair live at The Aussie BBQ - SXSW

I can still tell you the first time I saw Georgia Fair live.

Severely hungover after four days of partying hard in L.A. in the lead-up to SXSW, I had my first taste at The Aussie BBQ – LA showcase, as the latest wicked Aussie talent took to the global stage.

Instantly captivated, Georgia Fair swiftly became a part of my USA tour listening rotation, shooting them live twice in the next week in Austin (TX) at the Sounds Australia – Sound Gallery on 6th St and The Aussie BBQ – Official SXSW Showcase.

Now Georgia Fair are back with their latest single ‘Love Free Me’ and I couldn’t be more excited! 

Recorded in Los Angeles, ‘Love Free Me’ evokes exciting flashbacks of my first music biz trip to the USA earlier this year and yes this edgy, folk rock jam has me soaring!

Listen – Georgia Fair ‘Love Free Me’

Catch Georgia Fair live on tour with The Paper Kites national album tour in August & September:

FRI 30 AUG | THE SMALL BALLROOM, Newcastle

SAT 31 AUG | METRO THEATRE, Sydney (ALL AGES)

THU 05 SEP | THE SOUNDLOUNGE, Gold Coast

FRI 06 SEP | THE HI-­FI, Brisbane

SAT 07 SEP | THE NORTHERN, Byron Bay

SUN 15 SEP | THE HI-FI, Melbourne (U18S MATINEE)

FRI 20 SEP | JIVE, Adelaide

SAT 21 SEP | FLY BY NIGHT, Fremantle

FRI 27 SEP | THE WARATAH HOTEL, Hobart

SAT 28 SEP | THE FORUM, Melbourne

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Kingswood + Bertie Blackman live at The Corner Hotel.. Possibly the best rock photography you’ve ever seen 😉

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Kingswood live at The CornerJet-set everybody! Kingswood have wrapped a killer Australian tour and they are USA bound!

Last Thursday Hot & Delicious hit Kingswood’s sold-out ‘Ohio’ single launch at The Corner Hotel (Melbourne). Supported by Bertie Blackman + Lurch & Chief, Kingswood delivered their usual punch of wicked riffs, soaring vocals, cheeky chat between tracks and kick-ass live show. And when lead singer Fergus Linacre stopped the last song halfway through to have the whole Corner Hotel crowd get down on their knees.. cherry on the cake! Seriously one of our favourite live bands right now.

The 2nd half of 2013 sees the Melbourne lads jetting off to Nashville’s Blackbird Studio to record their debut album with Jack White’s long-time Grammy-winning producer, Vance Powell, back to Australia for a couple of festivals, a string of USA shows and then back to Aussie again for the summer festival circuit.

The banter, the stage-craft, balls & all rock & roll.. Kingswood are destined for glory!

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Kingswood – Images by Bianca Morgans (Hot & Delicious Group)

Bertie Blackman – Images by Bianca Morgans (Hot & Delicious Group)

The Jungle Giants crank The Corner Hotel! Sick live photos!

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The Jungle Giants - Corner Hotel 060713

Valley Fiesta 2011. First time I saw The Jungle Giants live. 

I was living in Queensland working with Brisbane Festival, when one of my Spiegeltent colleagues raved about this young band of awesome local-Brisbane musos that I just had to check out. That band was The Jungle Giants and their wicked catchy tunes swiftly reached high-rotation on my iPhone. Just a few weeks later I was project managing Valley Fiesta for Strut N Fret when they hit the Brunswick St Main Stage & wow.. do they crank!

Flash forward to Splendour last year & I was fortunate enough to hang out with the band whilst camping/drinking buddies with Andy (The Belligerents) & his crew; such friendly, down-to-earth peeps with mad skills who obviously love what they do, so when I heard The Jungle Giants were down in Melbourne last weekend, I just had to be there & get one of our shooters along.

With amazing live energy and performance/stagecraft, The Jungle Giants blew away the sold-out Corner Hotel and left me wanting to know just one thing..  Do they feed you Skittles & Red Bull before each show, Andrew? 😀

The Jungle Giants are currently on their ‘I Am What You Want Me To Be’ single tour with 2 more shows this weekend in Brisbane (Friday 12th July – Oh Hello!) and Sydney (Saturday 13th July – The Standard).

Crank this shit loud, check out our pics from The Corner Hotel below & get your ass down to a show.. you will not be disappointed!

Tour Dates:

Brisbane (Friday 12th July – Oh Hello!)

With The Belligerents, Young Men Dead

Sydney (Saturday 13th July – The Standard).

With Bloods, Bec And Ben

Hot & Delicious images shot live at The Corner Hotel (Melbourne) by Dan Soderstrom

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Hit The Jungle Giants up on thejunglegiants.com

The Aussie trek to Gallipoli – ANZAC Day 85th Anniversary Gallipoli trip & podcast.

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ANZAC Cove

DOWNLOAD the PODCAST – #127 ANZAC Day – A trip to Gallipoli (Turkey) SOLOCAST. 

It’s 1am and I’m struggling for sleep, so I put the pen to page to release thoughts that have been burning a hole in my brain.. my journey to Turkey to experience ANZAC Day’s 85th anniversary on the Gelibolu (Gallipoli) Peninsula. This week I recorded a Bondi Beach Radio show and Hot & Delicious Rocks The Planet! podcast that I created around ANZAC Day, my trip to Turkey for the 85th anniversary of the dawn landing in Gallipoli and what April 25th means to me. Download it here.

On April 23rd my flight touched down in the beautiful city of Istanbul and we hit the road in the station wagon that was to be our home for the next few days. After a brief encounter with a Turkish policeman (clip-on koalas are great for avoiding speeding fines ;)), we arrived in Eceabat on the Gallipoli Peninsula, parked our “hotel” on a grassy lot across the road from Vegemite Bar and immersed ourselves in the local culture… ah, I mean drank copious amounts of 500ml Efes beer cans with other Aussies/Kiwis who’d made the trek to Turkey for ANZAC Day.

The next morning with dusty heads we headed off to the nearby ANZAC Cove and surrounding battlegrounds to learn about Australia’s first foray into war as a country in it’s own right. For the uninitiated, during World War 1 Allied forces were sent ashore at ANZAC Cove to capture the high-ground overlooking the Dardanelles, the strait of water connecting the Aegean and Black Seas. Securing the Gallipoli Peninsula would mean being able to protect Allied ships being sent to re-supply and support the Russians who were under heavy threat by advancing Turkish forces.

Map of Gallipoli

In the cold dark dawn of April 25th 1915, our Aussie diggers hit the beach below sheer cliffs which meant initially that less than a few hundred Turkish soldiers were required to hold their ground against thousands of ANZACs whilst the commander of the Ottoman forces, Mustafa Kemal, (later known as Atatürk, the founder of Turkey) mustered the Turkish 19th Division to contain the ANZAC troops.

If you’ve not had the privilege, the Gallipoli experience is one that is almost impossible to describe. After spending the day traveling around the various battle-zones, our crew headed down to ANZAC Cove at midnight along with thousands of other Australians, Turkish nationals and New Zealanders. Sitting there in the freezing cold night at the base of the cliffs at ANZAC Cove, I tried to imagine what it would have been like for the young Australian and New Zealand soldiers (many of them younger than 18) half a world away from their loved ones and home. Soaking up a mixture of emotions I recounted tales of World War 1 horror, acts of selfless bravery and thousands upon thousands of casualties on both sides. I was also struck by the tribute later made by Atatürk to those ANZACs who died in Gallipoli that is now inscribed on the Atatürk Memorial in Turakena Bay, Gallipoli:

“Heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives! You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”

All these emotions and a moving pre-dawn service on the crowded foreshore left a lump in my throat and tear in my eye. It is for this reason that every ANZAC Day no matter where in the world I am, rain, hail or shine, I rise in the early hours to attend the ANZAC Day Dawn Service.

Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance has been my port of call in recent years and to this day whenever I stand in silence for the Ode of Remembrance and the bugle call of The Last Post, the memories, goosebumps, lump and chills return.

It’s just impossible to fathom the sacrifice of our ANZACs both past & present.. but this is what ANZAC Day means to me… This is what it means to be Australian..

“At the going down of the sun and in the morning.. We will remember them.. Lest We Forget”

DOWNLOAD the PODCAST – #127 ANZAC Day – A trip to Gallipoli (Turkey) SOLOCAST. 

ANZAC Day 2013

DOWNLOAD the PODCAST – #127 ANZAC Day – A trip to Gallipoli (Turkey) SOLOCAST. 

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2 weeks ago I saw a request on @theright.fit influencer app to create content for @DefenceCare, their 2017 ANZAC Appeal and I immediately jumped right on the opportunity. The funds raised by donations to the ANZAC Appeal go directly to Australian service men and women with physical injuries and mental illnesses.
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Ever since my Turkey trip in 2001, I attend the ANZAC Day Dawn Service every year as I feel, regardless of your perspective on military service and war, that those past and present who have sacrificed their time and lives in the service of our country and way of life are to be championed, supported and adored.
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I’m wearing my ANZAC Appeal badge all weekend and if you too would like to make a small, but positive impact on the life of another person today, then head on over to http://www.anzacappeal.com.au to buy a pin or make a one-off donation.
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I’m also wearing my grandfather’s medals at the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance ANZAC Day Dawn Service on Tuesday. I never knew him as he was tragically killed in an accident just 6 months after my parents got married in an accident 1968, but my dad tells me that I am a lot like my grandfather in appearance and personality, so finding his photo albums of his military service in the Middle East and Kokoda in World War II, seeing his service records and wearing his medals for the first time this year brings me closer to him and makes me happy.
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Be selfless and make someone else’s day today. Head on over to http://www.anzacappeal.com.au.

With thanks to:
Images by Victoria Bryce, Letisha Dall and Dan Wilkinson
http://www.anzacsite.gov.au/
http://chattours.com.au/
http://www.ataturktoday.com/

DOWNLOAD the PODCAST – #127 ANZAC Day – A trip to Gallipoli (Turkey) SOLOCAST.