• 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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Nov
2

Beijing for beginners

Previously when I thought about Beijing, what I imagined was a dystopian mega-opolis, heaving with dust mask-wearing cyclists. Proletariats laboured their way to factory jobs, breathing in smog and surviving on minimum wage What I discovered upon arrival was quite different. I saw landscaping. Miles and miles of manicured gardens, trellised roses separating busy lanes of traffic, and […]

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Oct
13

Choice and opportunity

I recently caught up with a friend whose partner left her after she had a late-term miscarriage. We were talking about being single when you’re in your mid-30s and basically how much it sucks. The thing is: she didn’t choose her situation, not for a second. I know plenty of people who are dealing with situations […]

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Oct
10

What it’s like to come off Pristiq

When I was weaning off Pristiq, I Googled the side effects with desperate zeal. I wanted to know what had happened to other people, how they dealt with it and, most importantly, how long it would take to start feeling better. There’s a lot of scary sh*t out there so I am writing this for anyone […]

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Oct
10

The art of oversharing

There was a time when I kept my mouth shut. I didn’t tell people about the embarrassing, sad and stressful things in my life because privacy, right? I used to be horrified at the prospect of having to take anti-depressants, and even more alarmed at people knowing about it. I tried everything under the sun […]

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Oct
7

The best days

One of the best days of my life was spent in Koyasan, a mountain town in Japan. I was travelling by myself, staying in a traditional ryokan and had a spare day to wander around. Koyasan is the birthplace of Shinto Buddhism so there are plenty of temples and shrines to explore, and because of its […]

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Oct
5

School reunions

I have been to two high school reunions – 10 years and 20 years. The first one: I showed up overdressed, half drunk and with a chip on my shoulder. I drank too much, fell down a flight of stairs and almost certainly offended some people. The second one: I showed up as me. The difference? […]

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Oct
4

Meet the artist: Bryanna Pearl Taylor

How long have you been working as an artist? Realistically; a very long time, but I often hid behind ‘creative’ and not ‘artist’. I took the long route – via an education degree and hard days working in high schools – to come out the other side. I didn’t knuckle down to do the work until I […]

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Sep
29

Polymath

I love the concept of being a polymath aka ‘a person of wide knowledge or learning’. In life, we’re encouraged to specialise based on our talents and abilities. But what if you happen to be rabidly passionate about something you’re awful at? Or you have no experience of or exposure to a topic but you’re deeply curious […]

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Sep
28

The friendship test

I have been thinking a lot about this since I wrote about losing friends earlier this week. In my life, there have been times that I would define as friendship tests. If you’re wondering who your friends really are, ask yourself this: Who visited you and looked after you when you were sick? Who was […]

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Sep
26

Losing friends

Do you ever feel like you are losing friends? Either you have had a falling out, never hear from them or you make all the effort, which leads you to wonder: do these people even like me? One very efficient way to lose half your friends is to get divorced. The night that I found […]

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