• What happens when you damage a rental car

    Sunday, January 14, 2018

    Have you ever wondered what will happen if you damage your rental car? Well, friends, you can rely on ol’ spatially challenged Castle here to deliver. On my recent East Coast road trip adventure, my friend Michael and I hired a car from Avis. To our great delight, when we went to pick it up […]

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  • Stillness

    Wednesday, December 20, 2017

    As the year winds up and many of us look forward to a break, consider this simple concept. Stillness. Think of water in nature. Movement stirs up sediment and it becomes murky. Remove that turbulence and the sediment sinks. Clarity returns. Over the next few weeks, find time to be still. Stop thinking. Stop doing. […]

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  • Summer holiday viewing/reading

    Thursday, December 14, 2017

    I’m at the point in the year where I am ready to lie down for about a month. On the upside, this is also the exciting time when I plan what I am going to binge watch/read over the holidays. Let’s face it: no one has ever described me as ‘athletic’. As a recently new […]

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  • Christmas survival guide

    Monday, December 11, 2017

    Most of us approach Christmas with genuine goodwill and positive intentions but that doesn’t mean that things always work out. Exhaustion, financial stress, heat, alcohol and lots of togetherness can lead to interpersonal friction that can ruin your whole festive season. With this in mind, psychotherapist and relationship specialist Melissa Ferrari says it’s important to be […]

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  • Too busy? Just stop

    Wednesday, December 6, 2017

    This time of year should be called Crabbymas: the festival of exhaustion that takes place before Christmas. Lots of us turn ourselves inside out getting to parties, end of year catch-ups, and hitting the shops to stock up on gift boxed pretzels and fruit mince pies. Some of us start to feel like our glass […]

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Jul
15

Top five: Bay of Islands, NZ

There is nothing easier than driving from Auckland to the Bay of Island because there is only one road. You find that road, you follow it for 3.5 hours and then you’re in Paihia, the bayside village that is the gateway to Northland. The Spark and I went up there on a second honeymoon because […]

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Jul
6

It’s International Kissing Day

Surely this has got to be the greatest day OF ALL TIME?! My husband is the world’s greatest kisser and, while I am obviously biased, I am not the only person who has told him this. He was out at a club one time and was kissing a young lady who turned to her friend and said, […]

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Jun
29

Hello role model

I met a journalist on a recent work trip that I adore. Not just admire. Not just like. I want to be her when I don’t grow up. She is the deputy editor of a big newspaper travel section, used to teach English literature at the university, has two daughters and speaks fluent French. I have […]

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Jun
27

Clancy’s Soap Opera

By Meagan Patroni As soap operas go, there’s love, loss and a rollercoaster of emotions. That’s the case for a fella I met in Victoria’s You Yangs; Clancy. His handsome features, rugged hands, round behind and eyes to-die-for draw the ladies from miles. In fact, I have travelled 45 minutes from Melbourne to see him. […]

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Jun
23

The power of memory

The weirdest thing happened to me this morning. I have started writing a book (again – this is a regular occurrence) but this time it is based on real events. Delving into those memories, I started getting really sad. I had a little cry while I was writing and then, for the rest of the […]

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Jun
22

Enough

It seems we live in a world of always more. It is enormously calming to know you have enough. Enough love. Enough money. Enough security. Western culture is built around concepts of achievement, betterment and expansion. Most business conversations deal with increased profits, improved margins and market growth. But what if you are, have, and do enough […]

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Jun
16

Stuff rich people like: part 2

I was recently lucky enough to nosey around some very fancy places, including one of the top five lodges in the world. What I noticed is that wealth has a very distinctive look. While I have written about this before, here is some updated information based on my recent experiences. If you want to fake […]

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Jun
8

Set design and costume

Have you ever considered that you might be typecasting yourself with your costume and set design choices? I wrote an enormously misunderstood post about this a while back. What I was trying to say is that you can play any character you want. By making conscious choices about costumes and sets, you can be whoever you […]

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May
31

A reaction against shiny

I feel a creeping desire to become shabbier. Not dye my hair or wear make up. Forget about fashion. Give up trying to be cool. I’ve spent many years trying to shape myself into something acceptable but the problem is that I’m becoming apathetic about impressing people. Shininess takes so much work, energy, time and […]

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May
24

Win a trip to Europe

No kidding you guys! You can actually win a one week Rail Europe trip that includes flights to Paris, hotels and food. I have been putting off going to Europe forever. I am always scared that I don’t have enough money to do what I want to do (hint: drink wine, look at art and […]

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