• Christmas gifts for people you hate

    Wednesday, November 7, 2018

    In keeping with my current Christmas gift-buying obsession, here’s my fail-proof guide to gifts for people you loathe: A leaf blower: You hate them. Soon, everyone else will too. A chutney gift pack: Has anyone ever used a Christmas chutney? This will live in their pantry and/or fridge and be moved from house to house, […]

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  • Christmas presents for people like me

    Tuesday, November 6, 2018

    It’s around this time of year that I do terrible things to my credit card. I love Christmas and I love buying presents. If you are looking for gift ideas for middle-aged women who love Marimekko but wear K-Mart, here’s some things that I can personally recommend as being both ethical and excellent. Original artworks Art […]

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  • Love your skin suit

    Thursday, October 25, 2018

    Silence of the Lambs has made the concept of a skin suit a little bit too literal but stay with me folks. We are all born into a skin suit that is composed of pretty much the same stuff as everyone else’s. Our genes dominate what it will look like. Some people get an Armani, […]

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  • Losing babies

    Wednesday, October 24, 2018

    The Spark and I have lost three babies this year – one in January and two in the past week. Without going into the excruciating details, all I can say is that this is a very common experience. Every second person I speak to shares their story of loss. One of the midwives who looked […]

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  • Woo-Oahu! My stay at Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki

    Thursday, October 4, 2018

    Most of the time I am a suburban mum covered in toddler snot but occasionally – almost magically – I get yanked out of my leggings and sent spinning into a world of luxury. That’s what happened recently when I wound up at the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Waikiki. When I was dropped off at the […]

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Jan
14

What happens when you damage a rental car

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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Dec
20

Stillness

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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Dec
14

Summer holiday viewing/reading

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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Dec
11

Christmas survival guide

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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Dec
6

Too busy? Just stop

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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Nov
28

Why we need more Vikings

I have just finished binge watching Season 4 of Vikings and I am now completely intrigued by viking culture. I’m not talking about the pillaging and rapacious violence. What I’m referring to is how women were treated. As equals. Women went on raids. Women engaged in warfare. Women were high priestesses and queens who had the […]

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Nov
27

Bellbird Dining + Bar

When quality local produce, cheerful staff and a relaxing setting – complete with actual bellbirds – come together, it’s a happy union. Bellbird Dining + Bar at Casula Powerhouse in Sydney’s South West is all of this, and more. The chef, Federico Rekowski, cares deeply about what he puts on the plate. The fresh goats curd, for […]

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Nov
24

Gold thread

If you imagine that every day is a thread in a tapestry that you are weaving, ask yourself: what colour was today? The cumulative effect will be visible when you finish. The mistakes, the design choices, the colours and complexity. What do you want the overall picture to look like? Every single day contributes to the […]

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Nov
21

Dear Aunty Em: Sex number

‘My boyfriend wants to know how many people I’ve slept with. I know how many people he’s slept with and my number is way higher. What should I do? Tell the truth or lie?’ – Sexy McSexface Dear Sexy McSexface, Men are funny. They want to date an attractive girl but then act all surprised when she’s popular. […]

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Nov
16

The problem with government

The first problem is recruitment. Do you know how to get involved in politics? If you wanted to run for the local council, your State Government seat, or for the Federal seat in your electorate, do you know how to go about it? Have you met any politicians lately? Have you had a chance to speak […]

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