• 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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Dec
8

Your report card

Adults don’t get an end-of-year report card. This can mean we end the year wondering, ‘Was it a good year? Did I perform well? How can I do better?’ What’s great about reports is that you receive objective feedback on what you did well and where you need to improve. Back in the day, your parents […]

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Dec
7

Blu babymoon

Planned romance is a fraught area, especially when life’s absurdities get in the way. That’s what happened with The Spark and I on our recent babymoon to Sydney’s five star Radisson Blu. I’m only six months pregnant but the next few months are crazy and before we know it, we won’t have had time to […]

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Dec
6

The travel paradox

Have you ever experienced that thing where you get home from overseas and Australia seems both excellent – the best country in the world – and worse, a shabby imitation of everything you’ve just seen elsewhere. Because of Australia’s colonial and early immigration history, a trip to Europe is basically a school excursion back to […]

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Dec
1

Glasgow to Rome by rail

Rail journeys retain some of the romance of yesteryear without the inconvenience of, say, a horse drawn cart or walking for miles in the snow. What’s surprising is just how good the trains are, especially if you’re willing to book a business or first class ticket. In the UK, Sir Richard Branson’s ubiquitous Virgin runs the […]

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Nov
11

Lost an earring?

Many of us have experienced that sinking feeling in our stomach as we have watched an earring, or other small item of jewellery, disappear down the sink. The good news is that just because you lose something down the sink does not mean that it is lost forever. There is still a good chance that […]

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Nov
9

Shanghai for beginners

My knowledge of Shanghai was previously restricted to Kung Fu films showing a bunch of dudes whooping ass wearing leather jackets. In fact, ‘Shanghai’ could’ve easily been any Chinatown in the world, according to my cinematically restricted fantasy. So what’s it really like? For starters, big. Shanghai is home to 24 million people. The city is […]

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Nov
8

5 truths about your body

You are going to get fat ‘I was so thin but I thought I was so fat’ is a common statement among women looking at old photos of themselves.  At every stage of my life I have routinely thought ‘I am so fat’ and taken various measures to address this supposed problem. That is, until now. […]

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Nov
8

Hot spot: Bogor, Indonesia

How well do you think you know Indonesia? For starters, how many islands are there? Answer: 18,306 (!). Did you know that Indonesia has the most active volcanoes of any nation in the world? And what about geography? Can you point out Jakarta on a map? Most Australians have heard of Bali and some will have even […]

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Nov
7

To the little dude in my stomach

You’re still growing. Your ETA in this world is still months away. Until then, I just want to share a story about what kind of guy your Dad is. He got side-swiped in traffic this morning. The other driver was a P-plater and she pulled out without properly looking. To give you some background, he’s […]

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Nov
4

Goodbye perfection

Ridding yourself of the need – or desire – for perfection is one of the kindest things you can do for yourself because it’s a package deal. When you say ‘see ya later’ to perfection, expectation and disappointment get walked off the gangplank too. I’ve been painting a bit recently. The hidden bonus, beyond the calm […]

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