Heilung – live in Melbourne

Heilung is an experimental folk music band made up of members from Denmark, Norway, and Germany. Their music is based on texts and runic inscriptions from Germanic peoples of the Iron Age, and Viking Age.

  • drums, including one with horse skin painted with human blood, two drums with deerskin and a drum with goatskin
  • bones, including a human forearm bone and deer bones
  • a buffalo horn rattle
  • a clay rattle with human ashes
  • a Hindu ritual bell
  • antiques from temples
  • a reconstructed silver cup from the Viking age

Another win for the Vine & music industry

Another fantastic win for the Vine, the North East & the music industry! We were never going to let the pandemic silence the Vine & we have some more exciting announcements & awesome events coming up ! Cheers!🍻🥁🎶❤️

💃Dancing is back🕺And at The Vine Hotel live music is back in a big way, thanks in part to a $36,000 grant they were awarded by the Federal Government’s Live Music Australia grants.I dropped in this week to chat to Jimmy, Vikki and the team at The Vine, and Jimmy told me how he had found the grant through the funding finder on my website, applying in August when we were in lockdown with some spare time on his hands.The funding will go towards installation of outdoor stage and equipment upgrades to host a series of summer music events at the Vine – and the funding will help with live music into the future, attracting more bands and keeping costs of tickets down by making it easier for bands to come and play without having to bring more of their own equipment.It was great to chat to Jimmy and hear about all the projects they have on the go – regular all-ages gigs, changes to the staging inside as well.There are businesses like The Vine all over Indi – investing in the future, innovating, and creating jobs for locals. I am proud of the work they are doing and I am working hard to make sure they are supported to reach their goals.If you want to find out what grants your business or community group could be eligible for, you can use the Indi Funding Finder as well. And while you’re there, check out the resources to help your application stand out:https://www.helenhaines.org/resources/grants

5 nights with Karen From Finance

Hospitality is infectious! There is nothing better than creating a positive experience a guest (or me) will never forget. Only a happy, well trained & motivated team can create this. Clear goals, realistic targets, great communication. Thank you Karen From Finance for selling out 5 evenings at The Vine Hotel & my fantastic, loyal team for making it run so well. Also to LINE Wangaratta for spreading joy, greeting & checking in everyone & making such a positive change in the North East! 🌈 The fun, has just begun!

Karen From Finance & Me after her fifth show June2021

The Road to El Dorado

Our PM Scomo says we’re only allowed to exercise once a day so thought I’d make the most of it with a historic cycle to El Dorado. It is one of the last remaining authentic country towns in Australia! 2 tonnes of gold was sucked up here between 1936-54. Didn’t find any gold today. 🦘 #roadtoeldorado #EldoradoDredge 🚴🏼‍♂️🚵🏼‍♂️🏗⚖️🛎⚱️🇦🇺

The race to get home..

It was the morning of Tuesday 17th of March. I was on my way from Bristol – Southampton to meet an engineer who was installing a new streaming service for our brewery.

This had been a scheduled meeting with myself & my boss.

My boss rang me the day before to let me know he would be self isolating as the COVID-19 situation was escalating & he would be able to come.

He let me know if I don’t feel comfortable taking public transport to not worry about it. At this point I wasn’t to fussed. The trains were already fairly empty from people already being asked to work from home where possible.

Its a 3hour journey from Bristol-Southampton thank to track work & rail replacement buses.

Half way through my journey I received 2 texts almost simultaneously from my Brother Dan & bro in law Sammy. TheY informed me that the Australian government urged all Australians abroad to come home now or risk being stranded/ cut off. I instantly rang my boss to explain the situation. He told me if I have to go, to just go! Although I knew ultimately it was my decision I just wanted to get his thoughts on the situation. He said if I need to turn back around now & head to the airport tonight or tomorrow to just do it.

I knew I had to act fast. I decided to carry on with my journey & meet the engineer out of respect as we had already rescheduled once. I spent the other half of the trip searching for flights from UK – Australia. I wasn’t surprised to see the flights were fairly reasonable priced considering the situation. Well the situation changed quickly , I guess I wasn’t the only Australian who got a text from their family about the news. Within 15 minutes of me searching for flights they had gone up £200.

I decided to go for Royal Brunei airline as it was a great value flight & also one of the shortest journeys. Flight was £750 1 way, Heathrow to Melbourne.

Flight booked. Shit is real! I’m heading back to Australia only 7 weeks of me returning back to UK. It’s a bit surreal.

I called Chloe immediately, she was shocked but understood. I returned home & started packing, I had less than 24 hours to pack up my life & get to the airport. Chloe was heading to London the following morning so it worked out well, her parents also live next to Heathrow. We were not even out of Bristol when I received a call from a London number, who could this be I thought.

It was a flight attendant from Royal Brunei, he let me know that I would not be able to board my flight due to new restrictions placed in that country. I was shocked, this was my worst fear. Before booking with Royal Brunei I looked at travel restrictions, a lot of airports were restricting customers even transitioning through their airport.

Although I went into panic mode, I thanked him for calling me & letting me know as soon as he did. Considering the amount of interruption and uncertainty in the travel industry going on I didn’t expect this kind of service.

I looked at the time, it was 11:30pm in Australia, I needed to let my family know that I am not allowed to board.

After calling all immediate family members with no answer, I finally got an answer from Aunty Megs. She told me she would try my sister Jessy, the only one without a mobile. She was able to get through to her landline & connect me with Sam!

Due to the short notice of these unexpected travel plans I didn’t have the funds to just fork out on another long haul flight.

I had rang the Australian embassy in London for advice, they were shocked that Royal Brunei were doing these restrictions & had not heard about them yet. Their advice was to book another commercial airline.

I managed to get a flight from London- Switzerland – Singapore – Sydney – Albury. FOUR flights and over 48 hours later I arrived home.

When I was checking in at Heathrow, I was told only Europeans were currently allowed to transit through Switzerland since I had an Australian passport I would not be able to board. Because I was a UK resident I was allowed to board! Phew!

The layover in Zurich was short, the flight was full of uncertain Italians trying to get back to Europe as all flights to Italy were being cancelled.

I knew the restrictions to transit through Singapore were changing fast, at the point of me boarding, no passenger that had recently visited France, Italy, Germany & Spain were allowed to transit. Another sigh of relief thank goodness I had not been there recently. Unfortunately for quite a few Australians were refused boarding to Singapore.

The flight from Switzerland to Singapore is a 12 hour journey, I knew potentially their could be new laws by the time I land. I knew UK was next on the list of restrictions. Thankfully it had not been on the list of countries yet!

Due to the restrictions, the flight was fairly empty and I was able to have a sleep.

I left at a time where UK prime mister Boris was giving vague guidelines on the British pubs. He recommended people avoid pubs, although had not yet shut them. When he announced this customers were cancelling their bookings in droves & takings were instantly down. Job losses were imminent. My employer City Pub Group PLC, would obviously have to scale back the business in order to survive. I said I would be more than happy to go back to bar tending, cleaning , dish washing through this time of uncertainly.

I also told my boss I am happy to take unpaid leave until everything settles. Of which was granted. This meant my job was secure.

I’d received this in writing promptly from my boss. This was reassuring as I had worked really hard the last 4 years to get to the position I was in. I could breathe a sigh of relief & continue my journey to Australia.

The day I arrived, it was announces pubs were closing in the UK. This was huge, its like ripping the heart out of the UK. Their culture, their life, my job, my way of life. I understand why. It still doesn’t make it any more shocking to me. An industry I grew up in, shut down with a few hours warning..

I knew Australia was heading that way..

Total cost to get home $3600.

I’m glad I acted fast, as of today there is no possible way to get from UK – Australia.


Written on day #4 of quarantine.

Jimmy letting go of Beard

Published in the Wangaratta Chronicle 14th Jan 2019 

Jimmy letting go of Beard

Aussie spirit on show for men’s health

PHOTO: Leah Anderson-Byrne
SHAVE IT OFF: Local Jimmy Ladgrove will be shaving off his five year old beard on Australia Day this year, to raise money and awareness for men’s health. The shave will be held at his family’s pub, The Vine Hotel, starting at 3pm.

AUSTRALIA Day activities won’t just involve a barbecue and drinks for local Jimmy Ladgrove, who will be shaving goodbye to his beard after five years.

The 28 year old has returned for the summer after four years in the United Kingdom to work at his family owned and operated pub, The Vine Hotel, and raise money and awareness for men’s health with his big beard shave.

“The beard was always going to come off for charity it was just a matter of time,” he said.

“It’s coming up to five years since I started to grow it, and it will also be 10 years since my friend took his own life in Albury.

“Now we’re connected more than ever and I’m hearing a lot of reports about the alarming rate of suicides in Australia, especially on the border.

“These deaths don’t just affect small communities now, they can ripple across the world instantly with people more than ever sharing their grief and searching for help online.

“In my travels over the years I’ve met a lot of men struggling with their mental health and I believe now is the time for me to be part of a change and raise awareness.

“I’ve made the most of my whiskers creating a following of thousands on my social media while taking part in four reality shows in the UK and my beard fans and family were shocked at my announcement, but what’s really shocking to me is the alarming rate of men struggling with their mental health.”

Jimmy’s shave is aiming to raise awareness and get people talking.

“I’d like to be an example that whatever you’re going through you can start clean, whether that be moving to a new country or city, taking the leap of faith and changing career paths, or simply choosing to grow a beard,” he said.

“The funds raised will go to tackling men’s health on a global scale, which includes improving mental health for men and boys in rural and remote Australia.

“This is important to me because I have my father, three brothers and seven nephews living on the border and I’d like them to be a part of a healthy, resilient community.

“I’d like to do what I can to reduce the stigma and improve the understanding of mental health problems.”

The great shear off will be at The Vine Hotel on Australia Day at 3pm with the shave set for 5pm and a $5000 fundraising goal.

Jimmy has already sold over 100 tickets at $10 for the event, get yours at https://www.facebook.com/ events/2051626831561547/ or http://www.trybooking. com/458001, or to donate, go to https://uk.movember.com/ mospace/13908970.

Dare Iced Coffee Commercial – Australia

I was cast as a hipster for Dare’s new 12 month Advertising Campaign for their new Cold Pressed Iced Coffee.

We shot the Ad at Little Creatures Brewery in Geelong, Victoria. It was transformed to look like a coffee factory.

As little as my part is I am so proud to be featured in such a funny advert for an amazing brand.

Shot in February 2018.

Dare Iced Coffee






What’s 14hrs in Emirates Business class like? (MELB-DXB)

So here I am… at the airport.I don’t even know what my body or mind is doing to me. I can honestly say I’ve never been so scared in my life. Some voice in my head keeps saying are you crazy what are you even doing. The other voice is saying, this is exactly what you wanted. This was your dream, you thought about this day for many many years. I’m feeling sooooo excited, but also petrified, nervous, everything in between. Excuse me if I have made it look easy but this is the hardest thing I have ever done. Shout out to all my family and friends for supporting me & helping me get this far. When I came back from the USA I said to mum I don’t want a house, I just want to travel for the rest of my life. Now here I am with 5 different currencies in my wallet, a 1 way ticket in business class to the other side of the world. My life is in a 30KG suitcase. I am leaving some amazing people behind but my Ol mate Bear Grylls once said, Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. I just have to say be bloody careful what you think about as it will become reality if you think about it enough. I hope everyones dreams also come true. #thinkbelieveachieve xx


Greetings from 10668m up in the air just casually flying at 828km/h on this fine Friday night. If you ever wonder what a $6,999 business class ticket gets you. Here we go. It’s everythang. My seat turns into a full on bed but who even wants to sleep when you have an open bar. Sipping on Hennessy XO & Chivas 18. Had a 3 course meal; salmon and steak. It’s Friday why not pull an all nighter an mangle with the millionaires. ✈ did I mention the super fast wifi . Who even knows where it’s even coming from. I kinda feel sorry for the 400 people in Povo economy below me #awkies . Emirates you win.

Dating in the Dark Australia S1 Ep1

For those of you that didn’t already know I was on dating in the dark Australia. .. . yeah ur prob thinking lol what.. But it was the greatest most scariest/stupidest yet best thing I’ve ever gotten myself into. I was soooo lucky to get chosen for the show ! had a blast. lots of laughs/awkwardness/tears.
Eternally greatful that Fox8 chose me!! Looking back on this experience it really makes me laugh.

To see some highlights here is a link to a video


2 years in Melbourne (the worlds most liveable city)

I moved to Melbourne when I was around 18 years old. It was a big move for me. Being born and raised in small town country Victoria, Melbourne was about 4 hours away from my family. I visited Melbourne a fair bit growing up, school excursions were often there. My dad would take me to the football occasionally. It wasn’t until I turned 18 and I went to Melbourne to party like a rockstar that I decided I’d like to live there. I managed to get a job transfer as I worked for a corporate electronics company that was based in Melbourne.
I packed up my little bags, donated my car & I was on my way. Thankfully I had an uncle that owns many houses in the lovely inner city suburb of Richmond. He would rent out the rooms to backpackers or students. I loved this, I got to choose my housemates, I would find them on websites, take them through the various houses ect. The location of the houses is spectacular, very close to city, nice nightlife, close to all the arenas every thing is only a short walk away!
I absolutely loved living in a share house. Being 1 of 6, I was used to sharing everything growing up and not having much privacy. The people I lived with truly inspired me to travel! These travellers would come alone or with a friend, Just pack up and leave from the other side of the world. I loved the thought of this. We would exchange stories and inspire each other.
What I love most about Melbourne.
The food,
Melbourne is such a multicultural city there is so many delicious cuisines to try. I enjoy trying different food and would often go on food hunts. They also have great markets with fresh produce

Melbourne is known for its music. Melbournians love their live music. This city doesn’t disappoint, there are many venues that have live music all the time. Many international artist visit Rod Lava arena & select few superstars fill out the big Etihad stadium. You will see buskers on some streets, some better than others.

The shopping.
The shopping is really the best in Australia. You could easily spend a day at chadstone shopping centre. I love the botique stores down chapel st in South Yarra. I spent a lot of my time shopping.

The night life
Melbourne night life is really buzzing, the states liquor licenses allow some venues to keep open till 10am , so you really can party till the sun comes up. They have something for everyone, laid back pubs with local live music. A great nightclub scene. As well as a select few gay venues.

The transport. If you live in the inner city like I did, It’s great that you don’t need a car. The transport is pretty reliable with services going fairly often. Richmond was great as it was a transport hub that connected you to most of Melbourne. I found it value for money with my student card. I was paying around $15 a week. It has since gone up to around $18. Melbournes MYKI system allows you to have 1 card for all busses, trains & trams.

It is a walkable city.
I love that it is very walk and bike friendly. I love exploring cities by foot and Melbourne really allows for this.

Sport. If you love sport, then yes Melbourne is known for its sport. It has more sport than any other city in Australia. I am not so much a fan of sport but did enjoy going to the Australian Open a few times. I don’t mind an AFL game here and there to have a perv and get amongst the Aussie culture that they take so seriously.

I can certainly see why Melbourne is highly regarded as one of the most liveable cities. I really enjoyed my two years here! I do see myself living back in Melbourne when I am older.

My first year in Melbourne I worked full time. The following year I did full-time study with a part time job. I studied Screen and media in Collingwood. For one of my projects I created this video on the suburb Melbourne. Its a few years old but gives you an idea.

It stars me, I also edited it & did the voice over.