BOOK TITLE: The Australia Times - Life & Love magazine. Volume 2, issue 2

February 2014Vol. 2 No: 2
Independent Media Inspiring Minds2
Deputy Editor:
Cover image courtesy of Jillian Bogarde
EDITOR’S WELCOME .......................................................................... 5
THE PERILS & PITFALLS OF ONLINE DATING .................................... 11
LOVE BY NUMBERS .......................................................................... 16
THE RELATIONSHIP WITH TECHNOLOGY ........................................ 21
MY HEART IS A GLOBE: WICKLOW .................................................. 24
YOUTH ALLOWANCE ...................................................................... 29
IDENTITY THIEF ............................................................................... 36
LOVE SUM ...................................................................................... 44
PARALYSIS OF THE HEART ............................................................... 48
A DOG NAMED ‘OOKS .................................................................. 54
A STEAMY AFFAIR ........................................................................... 58
STROKE STORY ............................................................. 70
Image Credit: Jillian Bogarde - http://jillianbogardephotography.tumblr.com/post/47335452623
This issue, we dive head first into the murky
waters of the 2014 relationship and endeavour
to figure out what it means to you.
Ames xx
Whether its the bond you share with your signicant
other, the best friend you consider your sister, or that
saucy minx staring right back at you in the mirror
we promise this month you’ll be swooning over sweet
senments one minute and literally rolling on the oor
laughing the next… did someone say
online dang disasters?
Whatever your relaonship
status, there’s something
sure to oat your boat
in this month’s TAT
Life & Love mag.
So jump aboard and
get paddling!
This issue, we dive head first into the murky
waters of the 2014 relationship and endeavour
to figure out what it means to you.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds 5
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Image Credit: Jillian Bogarde http://jillianbogardephotography.tumblr.com/post/1833957239
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Dont bitch about
it being a day for
Dont say you are
going to get the
girls together instead
because it is ‘lame’.
You will be the only
one that comes across
as lame.
Treat it like any
other boring day.
Dont ingest
copious amounts
of chocolate because it
is everywhere you look,
you will just regret it
and feel worse later.
Dont go looking
for the easiest date
you can find. If you are
doing it to save yourself
heartache, you might
end up causing it in
someone else
Have sex with him
Let him sleep
He doesnt care
Let him watch the TV
He doesnt want to do anything
These days it seems that half the world
is online dating in some form or another -
my friends don’t know what an oven is
after being taken out six nights a week
by cyber daters from Plenty of Fish; my
Mums friends are marrying people they
met on Match.com; my gay friends are
shagging half the world through Grindr,
and even half of British Parliament have
apparently been browsing for extra
marital relations.
You can buy a kettle online, book a trek
through the Himalayas, nd your long
lost uncle or bore the whole world with
the fact that it’s Friday and the weekend
is upon us. I know it’s Friday. I have a
calendar. And a brain.
So why not shop for a boyfriend online?
Where else would you nd one? I don’t go
clubbing, and if Im out with my friends I
want to talk to them. Besides, they would
probably disown me if I abandoned them
as soon as we walked through the door
and prowled around in the shadows
like a ravenous hyena. When I go to the
supermarket it’s with my Mum and were
more interested in the wine offers than
the assembled menfolk.
11Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Plus I’m not entirely sure that I trust these
people that meet their husbands at the
supermarket. Whenever I go, it’s full of
angry looking women brandishing packs
of braising steak, 87 year old men and
acne-faced boys stacking shelves and
discussing their impending schoolies
Meeting someone at the gym would be
unlikely as Im usually dripping with sweat
and end up being mistaken for the water
fountain. Plus, I hear you actually have to
go to the gym to meet someone at the
I could try meeting someone at a gig,
but then they would probably be wearing
SKINNY JEANS. There are two kinds of
‘skinny jean’ guys, in my experience.
A) Those that are too fat for skinny jeans.
They’re not actually fat, but they’re not rail
thin either and so oozing into skinny jeans
just makes them look like a sausage going
down a vacuum cleaner attachment.
B) Those that are skinny enough for skinny
jeans. In which case they are probably a
smack addict.
Browsing through guys on a
dating website from the comfort
of your armchair, in your annel
reindeer pyjama bottoms with
a glass of wine in your hand,
sounds a lot more appealing
than actually having to put on
make-up and make conversation
with people.
Plus you can lter through and weed out
all of those things that you don’t like in a
guy, but usually don’t nd out about them
until you’re married and pregnant.
He can’t spell! He says “da” instead of
the”! He takes pictures of himself in the
mirror looking brooding with no top on!
Delete, delete, delete. Obviously Im not
everyones cup of tea either. I drink pints
of ale, snore like a freight train and have
an unhealthy obsession with zombies.
I denitely wouldn’t go out with me.
I have actually tried online dating before.
I was living in the UK at the tender age of 22,
after I’d broken up with my rst serious
boyfriend. A few friends were on My
Single Friend, and had been on dates
with people that had teeth and were not
serial killers. If youre not familiar with My
Single Friend (which you probably are and
I’m just being incredibly condescending),
it’s the UK dating site and brainchild
of Sarah Beeny, a POM who is more
commonly sighted on Discovery: Home
channel, frowning disdainfully at
peoples whimsical novelty toilet seats.
The concept is that your friend writes
your prole, so you feel less lonely and
I thought the whole thing seemed a bit
bleak and wasn’t that keen, until my friend
wrote my prole for me, made me sound
way more interesting than I actually am,
and I had received my rst message. All
thoughts of being stung by the £20 joining
fee were forgotten as I rushed to hand
over my credit card details and fumbled
excitedly for the inbox.
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It was a message from Sarah Beeny
welcoming me to My Single Friend.
F***ing Sarah Beeny.
I went on my rst blind date with a guy
called Ben who wanted to be a stand-up
comic and looked like Harry Potter.
I like guys that are funny, and I like guys
that can play Quidditch, so this seemed
like a win-win. We arranged to meet at
Londons Tottenham Court Road tube
station at 6pm. Tottenham Court Road
has about 87 exits, and is not dissimilar
to a being caught in a buffalo stampede
at 6pm on a Friday.
I had tried incredibly hard to be late, but
for once in my life seemed to be early. As
the rst one there, this meant that I had
to stand underneath the We Will Rock You
sign and try to look attractive, friendly,
interesting, witty and good at cooking
for ten minutes. I didn’t want to look
miserable so had a manic grin plastered
over my face. Everywhere I looked were
Harry Potter lookalikes, so I kept jumping,
starting to walk toward people with my
arms outstretched, getting closer and
realising it was just another Chinese
man with glasses on, veering away at the
last minute and crashing into ve rogue
Eventually he turned up, ten minutes late,
out of nowhere as if hed been hiding in
the crotch of the We Will Rock You sign
the entire time. By this point, I’d given up
on trying to look attractive, friendly, etc,
etc, and was slumped against the wall
reading the paper, with a face like thunder
and an ink moustache.
We bellowed “Hello!” in each other’s
general direction, made our awkward
introductions, gamely discussed how
nice the weather was, guffawed heartily
at each other’s sh*t jokes and generally
tried not to ruin it all by falling over.
We couldn’t go anywhere for a couple
of minutes as my newspaper had done
that funny thing where the sides bend
out and you can’t fold it up and feel like
youre erecting a tent, so then I gave up
and in my panic threw it on the oor, then
realised Id littered, snatched it up again
and just waved it around like it had been
a cool dance routine all along.
We went on a few dates, but the
whole thing zzled out after hed
taken me to a jazz bar and I’d
fallen asleep on the sofa.
I hadn’t considered online dating again
until I came back to London from Australia
last Christmas. This time I was not getting
my hopes up, and denitely not forking
out twenty quid to get a message from
Sarah bloody Beeny. I set up a prole
on Plenty of Fish, sifted through the
messages cynically, and turned into
the most snobbish, judgmental version
of myself. I deleted anyone that hadn’t
been to university, anyone that worked
as a manual labourer and anyone from
Essex. Seeing as I am from Essex myself,
this was very hypocritical, but I had
visions of spending two hours sitting
opposite a hairdo in a pink shirt, and
didn’t much fancy it.
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I set up a date with a guy called Chris,
who had charmed me with tales of how he
was from Liverpool but wouldn’t steal my
hubcaps. Unsure if this was some sort of
saucy euphemism, I decided to meet him
anyway. Maybe my hubcaps could do with
He wasn’t late, we had a great time, had way
too much to drink, and ended up in a bar in
Londons East End, both signicantly worse
for wear. I’d agreed to meet my Dad for a
lift home - which is a double-edged sword.
My Dad is a London taxi driver, and it’s
great to have a lift home in the back of
a comfy black cab, but he has a habit of
calling me to say hes ve minutes away
when Im nowhere near ready. He also
has a habit of driving off and leaving you if
you’re not standing there when he pulls up.
Many a night has ended with me sprinting
through the streets of London like a
maniac, shoving bystanders out of my
way and vaulting over railings so that he
doesn’t drive off without me.
In order to hide my drunkenness
from my Dad, I downed a glass
of water, which of course did
not have the instantaneous
sobering effect I’d envisaged.
As Chris and I left the bar, I felt a slight
hiccup brewing, and was quite shocked
to discover that it was not a hiccup, but
the water travelling back up. The water
rocketed out in a projectile stream, all
over the back of Chris’ Barbour jacket.
At least it was sort of wiped clean.
The patrons of the bar looked on in horror
as I carried on walking nonchalantly, with
Chris strolling along in front with no idea
that I’d just projectile vomited on his back.
Outside, I thanked him for a great night,
kissed him on the cheek and ran hell for
leather to my Dads cab.
Needless to say, I’ve given online dating
a break for the time being. I worry that I
shouldn’t be let out in social situations
and someone should lock me in a
cupboard and feed me through a hatch.
For now, I’ll stick to supermarkets.
Who knows, one of those
87-year-old men might be a
lonely billionaire not long
for this world.
Image Credit: ©DC Comics Inc. 1980
14 Independent Media Inspiring Minds
We tend to think of
relationships as static,
as if we could just get into
them, assume a position
inside them and then
continue to hold it,
essentially without
changing forever,
world without end.
But in fact, our
are fluid, vivid,
and constantly
- Daphne Rose Kingma
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Its the term psychiatrists use to
describe the kind of all-consuming,
giddy, elated, nothing-else-matters
frenetic excitement we experience
when we meet someone and feel
a spark. I love that feeling - you
can get addicted to it. I still feel
high thinking back to that time of
unbridled limerence when I rst
met my man. I can feel my heart
in my throat as I sent a casually-
worded text a few days after we rst
met, and every hour that passed
as I awaited a response felt like a
lifetime. In those rst heady days of
a new relationship, life feels electric.
We’ve been together for over 5 years
now - 1,912 days to be exact. We
could get really crazy and break
it right down, itemize every little
moment like a shopping list:268
dinner dates together. 29 movie
screenings. 22 picnics. 16 holidays. 23
countries. 78 cities. 956 phone calls.
5,736 texts. 3 different houses. 4
By Victoria Schladetsch
I came across a new
acronym the other day:
New Relationship Energy
By Victoria Schladetsch
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different jobs. 55 quibbles. 2 “Im
sorry” cakes. 1 proposal. 15,330
days of the rest of our lives together
(based on the average life expectancy
in Australia).
Its easy to quantify relationships,
and when we talk about the days,
months, years spent together as
one tends to do when describing
ones relationship, it’s often met
with lukewarm admiration or
unconscious indifference from the
enquirer. We start to talk numbers a
lot as relationships gain momentum
- 1 house, 2 cars, 3 kids, and so it
goes. But what does it all add up
to, really? How do we change as
our relationship develops, how do
we grow?
How do we truly measure
a meaningful, connected,
loving relationship??
I read the passage on NRE with
intrigue and admittedly a little
jealousy. All of a sudden I missed
that excitement, the aching heart,
the blissed out banana brain, my
whole world all of a sudden centred
upon, in full-focus, this wonderful
microcosm of desire. Limerence,
as this emotional state is called in
professional circles, is described as,
an involuntary state of mind which
results from a romantic attraction
to another person combined with
an overwhelming, obsessive need
to have ones feelings reciprocated
(thank you, Wikipedia).
With NRE, our edgling infatuation
heightens the senses in each little
moment, creating buzz at the
slightest thought or word or touch.
Our attention is completely focused
on the anticipated emotional
response of our new-found lover.
I was reminded of a piece of poetry
an old boyfriend once wrote to me
whilst we tried to make it work
long-distance, a eeting scene that
never happened yet played out so
vividly in his mind and was thus
penned in minute detail. The joy
of limerence is that so much of the
hype is built in the crystal castles
of our thoughts and the fantasies
that are never lived out.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
I began to wonder if perhaps NRE
only faded as we eventually lived
out all of the fantasies within the far
reaches of our imagination. As we
begin to feel secure in our partners
love, those feelings of cognitive
obsession mellow, and that giddy,
slightly OCD desire often switches
into a softer gear. We no longer feed
off the adrenaline and anxiety; the
sweaty palms slowly dissipate and
the butteries save themselves for
those rarer moments. We discover
the casual comfort of unconditional
love, and matching ugg boots,
and cuddles with the three of us
(me and him and the kitten)
in front of the TV. All that said,
it doesnt mean we become
complacent. Far from it.
Remaining present within
the little moments of
a relationship is at the
heart of our growth, both
individually and together.
Like NRE, we focus on
the attractive elements
and anticipate the return
of our love.
Its how we create meaning and
depth in each day that passes.
Our relationships might develop
boundaries and safety nets with time,
but they also broaden our horizons,
pushing us into new territories
and forging new connections.
That mutual trust and love that
evolves is what thrusts you both
forward, stronger as two become one.
Perhaps that’s the only instance where
numbers truly matter.
Best of all - NRE never
really dies. My heart still
utters for him now.
Happy Valentines
Day TAT lovers
By Victoria Schladetsch
Image Credit: Jillian Bogarde
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
As a society, we rely on technology
for everyday tasks. People are busier,
they work differently, the ofces are
smaller and the computer is faster.
With the advances we have in technology,
are we as a culture becoming lazier?
And if we are becoming lazier, is it
impacting on our social lives as well as
our private lives?
When did relationships get so
competitive? When did they turn into
a game of who cares the least? What
happened to olden day romance? There
were no mobile phones, no Facebook
and no online stalking making the
‘getting to know you phase’ redundant.
The equation is two parts relationship,
with one part technology and what I
have been calling, ‘relationology’. (You
have to admit, it sounds better than
technoships, which could be mistaken
for a really bad ‘90s DJ). Relationology
is not only when people begin to use
technology for all their relationships,
but also when they rely on technology
for their relationships.
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I don’t want anyone to misconstrue
what I am saying. I don’t believe there
is anything wrong with looking for
and nding someone special online.
However it appears to be a common
occurrence that some people aren’t
using the technology for the way it was
intended. Resulting in people getting
the wrong impression, fake interactions
and a broken heart.
There are dating sites and apps available
a plenty, but how do you know which
ones to trust, and which ones to doubt?
The short answer is that you don’t. You
just have to remember that it depends
on what you want…
There are always going to be the risky
choices. The blokes that are just in it
for an easy lay, the girls who want a
relationship with every single guy that
friends’ them, the guy who won’t leave
you alone, and the girl who thinks she is
too good for him.
If you’re up for playing games, then
Tinder is probably going to be your
app of choice. Flirting, chatting,
meaningless attention half the time.
Comparing notes on the same guy
your mate is a Facebook friend with.
Having that uncomfortable moment
when you realise the same guy is
tuning you and your sister. Setting
your distance radius to 5km or less
because anyone that takes more
than 15 minutes to pay a visit isn’t
worth your time.
If you’re looking for something a bit
more meaningful, then you’re going to
have to put in a bit more effort. Make
a bigger online prole, with a bigger
dating site, explain what youre looking
for, and hope that someone who wants
the same things nds you.
There are always going to be the horror
stories. The girl who nds out the guy
she is dating is dating three other girls
at the same time. The guy who invests
his whole self into impressing that girl
before being told he isn’t good enough.
The girl who starts off normal, but turns
in to a jealous psycho after a few weeks…
At the end of the day – there is probably
just as much a risk with online dating
as there is as meeting someone at a
bar, a bookshop or a booze cruise. You
never know if you might end up with a
crumpled heart in the wastebasket. But
if you are in the market for a signicant
other, don’t just limit yourself to relying
on technology.
Image Credit: Ed Yourdon / Jesus Solana
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
I originally viewed travel as an escape.
From change Consequences Life My life -
Desperately looking for the chance to run from my baggage.
Trying to create a life for myself, unconsumed by my past.
‘Fly away, get lost, and never be found
Truth be told, what I rst perceived as liberation, was in reality,
soaring through my life.
And the time had come for me to soar alone.
They say, ‘home is where the heart is’, and my heart was in travel.
With a recently obtained European map
I closed my eyes and opened my mind
Accepted my fate, and selected my next destination.
Wicklow, Ireland.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Image Credit: K. Felice
An out-of-the city town, combined of beautiful, everlasting landscapes.
I envisioned being situated in Wicklow’s National Park.
Surrounded by the mountains, lakes, and colourful elds I’d seen once
before in romantic comedy, PS I Love You.
Alone Just me My thoughts.
Seeking peace and desolation
Searching for clarity.
But the universe had much bigger plans for me.
He was smart Kind Charismatic Beautiful.
I was drawn to his passion-
For his life For his future
For every moment he lived, and loved.
He walked into my life at a time I wasn’t even aware I needed him.
I was a girl on a broken path, found by a boy who thought he knew his.
Carrying the world on my shoulders, with fear of self-pity and disapproval.
He taught me about the movement of life.
Assorted direction and diverse paths.
To embrace change
Forgive and forget
For that is the only acceptance to happiness-
‘When life throws you off path, ghting change will only push you further
back. Embrace it, for every choice will only bring you one step closer to the
path your destine for’
He woke me
When I had been completely oblivious to sleepwalking.
He moved me, Inspired me.
Taught me to let go and open my heart to new possibilities.
To take chances, and accept life as it’s thrown my direction
I remember stumbling across a playground, randomly and somewhat
perfectly within the mountains.
For the rst time in what felt like a long time, I embraced my inner child.
Jumping on the carousel without a care in the world.
Spinning so fast, until every worry, every fear, spun right out of me.
Then there was just him and I.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Image Credit: K. Felice
A reason, a season, a lifetime-
To Brian on Valentines Day.
Space Clarity
A dream in a broken reality.
A fantasy.
I chose Wicklow.
A small country town of Ireland.
Between the endless mountains, eternal rivers,
I knew I could completely lose myself.
An extensive blur of elapsed time,
clouding my future.
Nevertheless, assuredly, when the
sun shone through, there he was.
He was everything I never knew I
was looking for.
I was instantaneously moved
by his passion.
Felt my spirit lift with every smile.
In that moment, lost- and found.
Floating amongst the clouds,
with no regard for existence.
I was awakened.
4 days
3 nights
Shattering walls of innite heartbreak.
Reminded of the shimmer in each and
every one of us.
Exposed to the signicance of numerous
passages, we call life.
4 days,
3 nights.
Life happens when you least expect it.
Some people inspire you, make you believe that you are so
much more worthy then you give yourself credit for and some
people tear you down, just because they can.
Surround yourself with the people that brighten your day
just that little more. Push you to reach your full potential.
Love you, even on days when you don’t love yourself.
Don’t give up hope this Valentine’s Day,
for it’s just another day, and anything is possible.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
is a ‘Not For Prot’ Organisation helping to
provide warm clothing to Queenslands homeless.
We seek donations for adults, children and babies. New and old blankets, clothing, beanies,
scarves and gloves, as well as burial outts for babies born sleeping” are always needed.
Please visit www.knittingforbrisbanesneedy.com.au for more information.
Image Credit: Anne Worner - http://www.ickr.com/photos/we_ocial/11594354833/
Along with the body crisis
and relationship obsession,
worrying about ageing is yet
another luxury bestowed upon
us in our society.
The midlife crisis is a moment in time
where a person becomes acutely aware
of just how much, or how little, time they
have left. Its a glass-half-full or vice-
versa moment characterised by fear,
loathing and the little red sports car.
We’ve all heard the story of the decent
family man who threw it all away for a
much younger girlfriend, however what
about those other dening ages when
we’re inevitably forced to stop and take
stock of where were at and where
we’re going in our lives. With signicant
age milestones comes celebration
and parties but also time to reect on
whether we are hitting those important
unwritten life-markers or not. Were
forced to look to our peers and assess
whether were keeping up. For me, this
happened last week when I celebrated
my birthday and realised that I was
rmly ensconced on the wrong side of
my late 20s. They say Saturn returns
into our lives three times in a lifetime
(four times, if you make it to 118).
With this return comes an inuential
turning point where a person crosses
over a considerable threshold and
enters into a new chapter of their life.
Unfortunately for us, its not a smooth
transition and takes a couple of years
to process. The three turning points
generally occur around the ages of
59, 89 and in your fabulous late 20s.
Research suggests that, of the three
categories, the visit in your late 20s
is by far the hardest to endure; I mean,
how much relationship drama can a
By Daniel Walmsley
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
person have at 89? The ‘phenomenon’
generally occurs for the rst time around
the years of 27 to 29, or thereabouts and
is a time lled with difculty, adversity
and many, many life lessons (thanks
again, universe). This is supposedly the
time when we ofcially leave our youth
and enter into adulthood. For some of
us this can be hard to accept, leading
to some downright crazy behaviour, also
known as the late 20s crisis.
Once again, I get it; I realise I’m not 60
but let’s face it, 30 is no spring chicken
either and before you call me ageist,
nish the article and criticise me then.
As many of us begin to navigate Saturns
return we come to realise there are
certain unwritten expectations of us
that the “people” in our lives expect us
to hit; expectations that you’ve:
Committed yourself to
a serious relationship
Begun a fabulous career
trajectory that knows no limits
Got a home of your own
(be it rented or mortgaged)
Got a general hope for
the future.
But what happens when you haven’t hit
these milestones and more importantly
what about if you don’t want to? The
general vibe is that your 20s are a
time when society will permit, even
endorse, silly and reckless behaviour
to the extreme. But by the time you
reach your 30s, even the slightest
indiscretion is considered immature and
totally unacceptable. I’m not endorsing
irresponsible and stupid behaviour but
I’m suggesting that theres too much of
a division between these two decades in
our lives. They say that were supposed
to learn from these mistakes in order
to grow into the mature adults that
we’re all destined to become. However
is it possible that for some of us this
sudden ageing comes prematurely as
a result of some unwritten life rule that
forces us into maturity well before were
ready? Who made the decision that it
was suddenly inappropriate to eat fast
food four nights a week and live pay-
check to pay-check? Perhaps, we really
are growing up too fast. We’ve heard
the horror stories of friends nding
themselves eye-ball deep in mortgaged-
hell, committed to work and family
commitments well before their time.
Many people nd themselves in this
situation as a result of committing to
the life they think they should be living
rather than pursuing a different path,
one closer to their heart. Maybe its not
the judgment of others that traps us in
these oppressed situations, perhaps the
conict comes more from within. Maybe
we’re born with an innate sense of how
we’re supposed to live out the course
of our lives and the struggle comes
from venturing off course. Thankfully for
many of us, we have amazing support
networks that allow us to pursue our
dreams, with help readily available.
Image Credit: Claire Montagna
30 Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Current trends have made it socially
acceptable for people to continue living
with their parents well into their 20s (and
in some cases, even their 30s). For most
of us, moving out of home is a process
that happens gradually over time, with
the chance to return always a possibility.
Even once we have our own places we’re
not expected to be entirely independent
either. Knowing that our parents are
there whenever we need their wisdom
and support is the best kind of security,
especially in those ‘in case of a rent
emergency’ instances.
But one does have to ask, is this simply
a smart nancial move or are we stuck
in some sort of a stunted adolescence?
Even if you’ve made the decision to
live with your parents as a fast track
to achieving your goals, is it really
just a signier that you’re completely
inadequate at coping in the real world?
If everyone took this approach, would
the western world be doomed? What
happens when these so-called babies
start having their own babies…will
they be able to cope? Could a stunted
adolescence really be the catalyst for
the apocalypse? And with those few
simple questions, the neuroses kick in.
There comes time in everyones life where
the stigma attached to missing a few of
those life achievements can be a bitter
pill to swallow. I guess, truth-be-told,
this isn’t a completely unreasonable
notion either. Part of life is learning to
be self-sufcient. I mean, as horrible
a notion as it is, your parents won’t
always be there to support you, and
what does one do when that day
comes. They’re certainly not going
to permit youth allowance based on
the fact that an applicant is young
at heart. Could ageing simply be a
gradual descent judged simply on
the length of time between nights
out? Sure you may still look like
someone in their mid-twenties, but
is this something that should be played
on or even something to be proud of?
Maybe the sensible ones are the people
that nished their degrees, found a
partner, bought a house and let go being
a complete narcissist.
Image Credit: Claire Montagna
31Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Perhaps we will eventually wear
premature aging as a badge of honour
when theres a backlash against youth,
allowing people to grow up gracefully,
and earlier than ever. Maybe a sudden
change of heart by parents across the
board will encourage this notion, at
which time they will refuse to nancially
support their children after the age of
18. I’m just throwing ideas out there
as this isn’t happening any time soon.
But at the same time, help from parents
isn’t exempt from drawbacks either.
By accepting nancial assistance from
your parents youre essentially selling
them stock of your life and at times they
can be the absolute worst stakeholders…
theres no such thing as free Internet.
Sometimes having the freedom to make
your own decisions without parental
judgment is a completely liberating
So you’ve established that a little bit
of support is a good thing, and you’re
working hard towards achieving your
goals with just enough resources left
to have the occasional time of your life.
Sure it may occasionally be on someone
else’s dollar, but it won’t always be that
way. You’ll pay it back in time; you’re not
ready to give up the freedom of youth just
yet. You’ve also managed to so far evade
Mother Time, retaining a youthfulness
that still warrants the odd licence check
across the bar, with just enough ageing
and wisdom to give you that little bit of
an edge; everything in your life is good
albeit a little precarious. And then, on
that particularly lonely birthday where
someone special didnt wish you a happy
birthday, you drank way too much and
found yourself alone. You RSVP to a pity
party for one and entertain a thought:
when is it time to grow up?
As we learn with most things in life, its
all about nding a balance. If no one ever
grew up our society would never advance
and wed probably hurtle ourselves into
extinction. So I guess growing older and
wiser is an unavoidable and necessary
part of life. The whole self-destructive,
aint-gonna-live-to-see-30 routine does
get exhausting eventually, especially
when you’re on the eve of your 30th
birthday. While it is important to let
that spirit run wild occasionally, there
comes a point where you need to get
a little serious and establish your own
self-sufcient life. Whether we like it
or not theres no such thing as forever
young’. Another sobering question to
ask yourself is: “When was the last time
you had a conversation with an actual
18-year-old”? It’s a scenario that makes
even the youngest at heart feel positively
ancient, and quite frankly, quite content.
And if the thought of letting go of
the carefree and indulgent life you’ve
become accustomed to is unbearable,
then just don’t think about it.
You’re not ready to enter
the next phase yet.
But a word to the wise,
keep one eye on
Image Credit: Kabsik Park
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By Dawn Misso
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Recently my eldest child asked me
what is Australia Day and why we
celebrate it. In my best attempt to
give him a longwinded
snap shot
of Australias troubled history, and
why we celebrate Aus day, our
conversation veered to the topic of
“What does identity mean Mum?”
he asked eagerly.
Identity is……something that makes
you, you. It’s about what makes you
unique or different from anyone else.
I watched his face closely, trying to
gauge if what I said made sense to
him (and me). Whenever my kids ask
me deep and meaningful questions,
I always worry I dont have a good
enough answer, or whether I am
explaining things on a level they can
After a few moments, his eyes lit up:
so because I have long hair and like
Lego that makes me unique; that’s
my identity?
“Well yes, that’s part of it. It’s also
things that you like and do that
others may not, things that are
special to you.” Phew, glad it kind of
made sense!
He thought a bit more before adding:
“it’s not good when people copy you
then is it Mum? Because that means
they are stealing your identity.” Wow,
this kid - how I love that he is such
a deep thinker, but how to answer
this question?
Image Credit: James Vaughan - http://www.ickr.com/photos/40143737@N02/4167751227
37Independent Media Inspiring Minds
I’m instantly reminded of a saying
my mum would throw around:
Imitation is the sincerest form
of attery. What a bunch of
poppycock! That phrase didnt sit
well with me then and it doesnt sit
well with me now. Choosing not to
pass these clichéd ‘pearls of wisdom
on to my boy I cautiously replied,
“Well kind of yes. It’s not nice to
copy other people.
But why then do people copy Mum?”
One of the things I love about
being a parent is that kids question,
challenge your questioning and make
you re-think your views and values
on pretty much everything. This
last question really hit home. Why
do people copy others and to what
extent does it threaten our identity?
As a child, I was always pretty sure
of my identity.
It wasnt until primary school that
my identity was really challenged.
Back in the day it was an oddity to
come from a mixed family, in my
case Asian and European. I was, in
the words of J K Rowling a ‘muggle’
or ‘half blood’ and proud of it. But to
the kids of my Anglo-Saxon primary
school I was ‘adopted,’ ‘different’ and
other’ in every way.
Surprisingly it didn’t bother me,
I embraced my difference. Id eat
curry one day and meat and three
veg the next. That was my kinda
One of the best things my mum
ever taught me was, ‘it’s good to
be different, do what you love and
dont follow just because everyone
else is.’ Its a great little saying, and
theoretically makes sense. In reality
though, it can be difcult to achieve.
Although I loved being different, it
was lonely at times. I didnt have
many friends, was excluded from
birthday parties (the only girl in
the year level to be not invited
on an occasion), and was bullied
quite badly, even physically for
a few years by a particular girl.
All because I refused to conform.
I was also terribly uncoordinated.
Any ball game would inevitably
result in the ball making painful
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contact with my head, when I swam
I looked like I was drowning, and I
couldnt ride a bike. I would much
prefer to read a book.
Yep, I was (and still am) a super
nerd. This was a big challenge in a
school of sporty, Rip Curl clothed
kids. Although it was hard, I refused
to change who I was.
It really bugged me though when
these kids who had been incredibly
horrible copied my work! Why on
earth would they want to copy
someone they hated so much?
Thankfully none of the kids at
primary school attended the
secondary school I was sent to.
Secondary school was pure heaven. I
was still a super nerdy, uncoordinated
bookworm but it was OK to be
different at my new school.
Believe it or not, I was popular
because I was ‘weird and different.
Finally, mums words really began to
resonate with me and I was feeling
more comfortable and accepted for
having my own identity.
It wasnt until I met my future in
laws that my identity was again
challenged. My husband has always
said he fell in love with me because
I was different. But to his family,
it was that same ‘difference’ that
bred jealousy, resentment and hatred.
It got ugly for many, many years -
stories of which I will share another
time because it’s long, complicated
and very painful.
On one occasion when my hubby
asked them, “Why dont you talk to
Dawn?” They replied: “because shes
Seriously, how does one respond
to that? Arent we all different?
Funnily enough, it was the same
sort of behaviours and treatment I
had encountered at primary school,
but this time by grownups on a much
deeper level.
Exclusion, jealousy, you name it they
did it. But this time it was worse
because they even tried for over a
decade, to turn my husband against
me. I’ve always thought it is a
reection on yourself how you treat
others, and thankfully he saw through
Image Credit: Jillian Bogarde - http://jillianbogardephotography.tumblr.com/post/54212792200/seastarsforever
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all the lies and sabotage attempts.
But it was incredibly painful for both
of us - I mean, that was his Mum
and Dad and his siblings.
For the rst time in his life he was
standing up for what he wanted, he
was forging his own identity which
was different from what they had
envisaged for him and they hated it.
They despised the lack of control
they had on his life and blamed me
and my ‘difference’ for it.
I never knew difference could be
contagious. He said it was the best
thing that ever happened to him; that
my ‘difference’ gave him the courage
to gure out his own.
Just like primary school, the siblings
started to copy me. It began with
small things, using the same
skincare products (despite the fact
they insulted me for my ‘pimple
free’ skin often). It then moved onto
clothing style, hairstyle, jewellery
etc. you name it.
As time went on, the elder sibling’s
obsession and jealousy became
more and more noticeable, even to
members of her extended family.
This sibling even copied my wedding
dress, and I mean it was identical.
Her aunt actually asked me if I had
lent it to her for the day. Awkward.
Both my kids are born in the same
month of the year (not planned),
guess who was expecting that same
month too? Yep. Family members
asked if it was deliberate so her
kid could be born in the same
month as ours. Very, very awkward
(and creepy).
All the activities I would do with my
kids and was criticised for, such as
music, swimming etc - they are now
doing exactly the same programs
with their kids.
So why does this bother me?
Does it stop me from being myself
or doing things my way? No. Does it
steal my identity?’ Not literally, but
it’s incredibly frustrating she cant
forge her own identity and instead
feels compelled to copy me and now
our family.
The younger sibling is just as bad.
She is obsessed with an Australian
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personality. She models her
appearance, diet, exercise and life
on this star. If this celeb buys a bike,
then she has to. Shes even taken up
hiking to be like this celeb. Inspiration
is one thing, but obsession and at
out copying is another.
What I dont understand is why do
both siblings feel like they are not
enough that they have to be someone
else? That their identity is worthless,
that they have to take another’s?
Now I hear what you might be
thinking. This is one mixed up
family and I should run for my life.
And although the former may be
on the money, it parallels the same
behaviours of kids in primary school.
They demonstrate similar responses
to my identity and difference that
those kids did.
So, what did I tell my son when he
asked ‘why do people copy others?’
Because they are jealous, insecure
sheep, who have no guts to be
their own person, and instead try
to live vicariously through others.
Over time it becomes obvious to
those around them and it chips away
at them little by little, ‘til one day
they look in the mirror and dont
know who the hell they are and
suffer some sort of breakdown.
Of course, I didnt really tell him that.
What I said was, “Your identity is special
because it is unique to you. There
is no one in the world just like you.
Sometimes others are confused about
who they are or perhaps they like
something you are doing so much,
they wish they could do it too. And
that is why people copy others.
Yes, it can be frustrating and yes it’s not
a good thing to do. But people do do it.
However no matter how hard they
try, the imitators will never be as
good as the original. Your identity,
your difference is precious and dont
change it for anyone. And never let
someone’s copying you make you
lose your true identity.
Follow Dawn on instagram @missodj
Image Credit: Jillian Bogarde - http://jillianbogardephotography.tumblr.com/post/62402732065
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I certainly sought, and got, a lot of this
advice when I was in that over-analytical
stage of dating (which, if you’re like
me, is pretty much the whole time up
until he more or less shakes you by the
shoulders yelling “I love you!!”). You
know what I mean, when you air a tiny
insecurity about your relationship and
get the whole, “oh, he hasn’t said I love
you yet? type of comment with the
judgemental eyebrow raise that could
make you doubt your very existence.
Getting perspective and taking stock
can be a great thing, but letting too
many people chime in with their two
cents can turn you into a neurotic mess.
Im not saying you shouldnt take a read
on things - I mean, if he cant remember
your name, you should probably pick
up the nearest copy of “hes just not
that into you” and pay close attention.
But I’m not talking about escaping
straight up crappy relationships. I’m
talking about trusting your gut.
Image Credit: Jillian Bogarde - http://jillianbogardephotography.tumblr.com/post/47910816750
Many people put a
lot of stock in signs
in a relationship, and put a lot of effort
in reviewing them amongst friends.
Girls, Im looking at you.
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Image Credit: Jillian Bogarde -http://jillianbogardephotography.tumblr.com/post/72042368181/happy-new-year-3
Romantic clichés about relationship
signs abound, especially around
this distinctly romantic time of year -
Valentines Day. I’ve observed that
when it comes to dishing out advice
(solicited or not) everybody has an
idea about what is ‘normal’, everybody
has an interpretation about what any
given action (or lack thereof) means
about the person in your life and their
intentions in your relationship. People,
often women, treat a relationship like
an equation.
Like somehow
whereas of course,
I have had so many people tell me that
my guy was no good. That I should do the
maths, and realise that he didn’t add up
to something worth my time. He didn’t
follow the checklist, he didn’t give the
signs. He couldn’t do love by numbers.
I didn’t always know why, and my, did I
have my doubts. When it took him over
a year to introduce me to his parents, or
tell me he loved me, or would sometime
forget to call, I doubted myself and him.
My friends gave me various versions of
the same advice.
“If he cared hed do the normal things,
at the normal times” they’d say. But
formulas and timelines and signs?
They don’t allow for that person in
your life to be human. Your friends
can’t experience that gut feeling
you have when you just know. When,
despite evidence, equations and
analysis, you can’t - and don’t want to -
let it go. They can’t, and sometime
you can’t, assume knowledge over the
emotional baggage that someone is
packing. A persons motivations run so
much deeper than a checklist that you’ll
nd in a typical womens magazine.
My guy has been through a lot, and a
lot of that wasn’t immediately obvious,
and I would have never understood
who he really was if I had ditched him
the rst time he failed to live up to Cleo
‘Bachelor of the Year’ status.
I’m not suggesting you put up with
crap. But just remember, people
aren’t simple. They aren’t predictable
and they can’t be solved through
cold hard maths. How often have you
done illogical things, imperfect things,
things that don’t t the sum of a fairy
tale romance? The only thing you can
know for sure is that relationships are
hard, but the right person will always
feel worth it.
Trust your instincts rst,
or you could
miss out on
really solving
the equation.
48 Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Image Credit: Jillian Bogarde - http://jillianbogardephotography.tumblr.com/post/67469356768/self-portrait-for-darkroom-photography-class
When my boyfriend told me he loved me,
I was speechless. I was speechless, not
because I didn’t feel the same way.
I was speechless because my fear in saying
it back paralysed me. My brain couldn’t send
the right messages to my mouth, to tell it to
open and utter the same words back.
It wasnt until ten minutes later,
when my face was buried in his
chest and he couldnt see me,
that I could say it back to him.
Does love always come
with this fear?
This same fear that paralysed
me in saying, “I love you,
resurfaced at the start of the
I found out three days into the
week, that my close friend was
in hospital with pneumonia.
Again, I became paralysed
when I was told the news. I
physically froze, but my mind
was racing. The last time I had
spoken to my friend was only
the previous Sunday when
she wasnt feeling that great,
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but we thought that it was the
result of a very boozy Saturday
night. It was now Wednesday,
and my best friend had been
bound to a hospital bed for three
days and I hadnt been there for
I flung into action. All I wanted
was to hear from her, just to
know that she was doing okay.
I wanted her to know that I was
here for her with whatever she
Again, I became overwhelmed
with fear. Will this always
happen to me?
In the same week, another close
friend revealed that her beloved
puppy was sick and had been
nursed at the Vet for the entire
week. If you currently are - or
have been - a pet owner, you will
know the utter uselessness and
crushing misery you feel when
your pet looks at you with their
sad eyes, and while you know
they are hurting, you are helpless
to understand.
When my friend told me about
her puppy, I was desperate to be
there for her as much I could. I
wanted her to know I understood
what she was feeling. I wanted
her to feel me there by her side
through this time. I was fearful
for her; I didnt want someone I
love hurting like this. I was fearful,
because I didnt want her to lose
something so close to her that
she cherished.
The love I have in these two
friendships is great, and
during this week, it was at its
strongest. You always tell your
best friends that you love them.
Whether it is at the end of a
heartfelt message, an email to a
traveling friend or during a 2am
alcohol-infused conversation. In
that week, I wasnt having one
those 2am conversations - but
I was expressing this love in my
friendships. At first, the love was
mixed in with fear, however I
still dont know if that is just me.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Image Credit: Jillian Bogarde
Or is that just one of the many
emotions that comes hand in
hand with love? What I do know,
is that my love for my friends
is real. While I may not have
been able to directly fix things
for them, I wanted them to know
I was there. Whether it was just
lying with my sick friend on her
hospital bed watching day time
television, or comforting my pet
loving friend’s puppy with her.
I am now able to utter those three
words to my boyfriend without
freezing up. It was strange at
first not being afraid to say it.
This made me wonder …
Perhaps the fear I was feeling
wasnt the love itself, but the fear
of being vulnerable. After all, is
there anything more vulnerable
than saying, I love you?
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
By Marilyn Linn
I have no idea what the red kelpie-collie
cross-bred dog’s name was short for.
Sometimes he was called ‘Ookersbut that
was all - except occasionally ‘mongrelby
my grandmother.
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I have been told that when I was a baby
in the pram my grandparent’s dog, ‘Ooks’,
was my constant companion, growling
at anyone who ventured near, except for
my grandfather. Even my mother was
excluded and had to skirt around the big
orange dog with caution.
When I was a toddler, the dog followed
me everywhere as I played outdoors, but
I only remember him as a growly dog I
couldn’t pat. He didn’t like being touched.
In the evenings when my grandfather
came home from work, ‘Ooks was allowed
inside to sit in the passage while we had
dinner, which we called tea’ in those days.
‘Ooks slunk in behind my grandfather and
kept close to the wall until he reached
his spot where he could watch us eating.
In winter he came into the lounge room
to be warmed by the re. He made his
way to the lounge room by slinking along
the skirting boards. I often wonder what
had happened to him when he was a pup
to make him so grumpy.
Only my grandfather fed him because
he growled at my grandmother too.
He must have been quite old by the
time he died because I remember
him being there until I was about nine
years old. One rainy afternoon, ‘Ooks
went out to meet my grandfather when
he came in from work. Pa stopped to
open the front gate, drove in, and then
closed it again before driving down to
the garage.
He stopped again. Usually if I hadn’t
already opened the garage doors, Pa
would open them.
On that particular rainy day, I hadn’t
opened the garage for Pa. It seems ‘Ooks
ran out to meet him and unfortunately
slipped on the wet concrete, falling under
the car’s wheels. The car was a big, heavy
Chevrolet and the weight killed poor old
‘Ooks outright. My grandfather and I sat
in the car, arms around each other, and
cried. When I was all cried out and Pa had
dried his eyes and mine, I went and told
my grandmother what had happened. She
didn’t even turn around from the stove,
where she was cooking. I repeated what
I had said and again she didn’t respond.
I went to my room and cried my heart
out, because even if the dog had been
cantankerous, I was fond of him. He was
buried between the shed and the side
fence and it distressed me to look there.
Pa painted ‘OOKS’ on a wooden cross to
mark the grave of the last dog he had.
Image Credit: http://www.ickr.com/photos/cskk/5570565185
55Independent Media Inspiring Minds
58 Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Image Credit: Rebecca Siegel
By Connie Lambeth
That’s it. Enough. Over it. No more bags.
This brand new year it’s loose leaf only. Preference: herbal.
For those of you who will be out and about this Valentines, you may as well skip this page
right now… however if you have style by the bucket loads and aren’t afraid to show it
(or are enjoying your own company in your pjs watching your favourite movie) read on…
I’m sleek and shiny and totally
fabulous. Way too good for a crass
little bag. Ok, I guess an occasional
one wont do any harm, however
one must have standards.
I love the way I sit squat and proud
on the glossy bench. Mind you
I have to put up with that little
excuse for a pot next to me.
Tea: An aromatic beverage commonly prepared by pouring hot or
boiling water over the cured leaves of the tea plant Camellia sinensis.
After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world.
59Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Nevertheless I sit smug, condent
in the knowledge that ‘she’ prefers
three cups to one.
She sometimes mutters on about
the artistic beauty of her ‘stable of
pots’ as shes apt to call us… not that
I think two constitutes a ‘stable.
She even favours certain delicate
china cups… doesn’t like the rim
too thick she says.
In the same breath she mutters
on about the joy of the whole tea
making process, the calming effect
of kicking back with the perfect
brew, and the mindfulness of it
all. Might be something in it. What
would I know?
Sometimes I feel quite humiliated.
The days she decides to stick that
ridiculous cosy over my sleek, taut
body… the one with the orange
oversized mouse she calls ‘cute
and creative. Shes just back from
holidays with another nonsensical
cosy. I mean really… ladybirds?
Even a spatter of lurex and splash
of sequins would be preferable. A
plain insult to cover my fabulous
form in ‘bugs… ugh. “If you’ve got
it, aunt it”, is what I say. Shrouding
my seductively smooth lines is
completely unnecessary well
maybe now and then when frost
abounds and Im not feeling so hot.
Today Im feeling good with not a
cosy in sight. Here she comes again
with that jug of just boiled water.
Must be the second time today
and not yet afternoon.
She seriously has an addiction issue.
Once heard her say:
“Where there’s
tea there’s hope.
Oh well not my problem… at least
I’m useful as well as sleek, glam
and just plain gorgeous.
Anyone for a cuppa?
How to Make the
Perfect Cup of Tea
A simple cup of tea is far
from a simple matter”.
Mary Lou Heiss
Store tea in airtight container
away from strong aromas like
cheese & spices.
Use good quality tea.
Use fresh water, preferably ltered
or spring, not previously boiled or
distilled. (The more oxygen in the
water the better tea will taste).
Avoid using water that’s either
under-boiled or over-boiled.
Warm teapot before adding tea
leaves and water.
Spoon in one teaspoon loose leaf
tea for cup plus one for the pot.
Can also use a ball or infuser.
Steep green tea for 1 minute,
black teas 3-6 minutes, oolong
teas 6-8 minutes and herbal teas
8-12 minutes.
Add milk at the last possible minute!
Image Credit: http://www.ickr.com/photos/nomadic_lass/8378813118/sizes/o/
60 Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Benets of
Drinking Tea
If you are cold,
tea will warm you;
If you are too heated,
it will cool you;
If you are depressed,
it will cheer you;
If you are excited,
it will calm you.
William Ewart Gladstone
Various research over recent
decades suggests drinking tea has
many benets including increasing
metabolism and helping maintain a
healthy body weight, with virtually
no calories. There is thought to be
higher immune boosting activity
amongst tea drinkers, and the
phytochemicals present in tea may
protect bones. Tea may also reduce
the risk of heart attack and stroke
and has two or three times less
caffeine than coffee.
3 Top Picks:
Clipper Teas
Organic White Tea
Yarra Valley Tea Co.
Dandelion & Chicory
Herb Teas
“There is something
in the nature of tea that
leads us into a world of
quiet contemplation
of life”.
Lin Yutang
The Importance of Living
Cardiovascular Tonic
Alfalfa, Burdock
and Echinacea
Immune System Boosters
High Antioxidant
(From buds and leaf tips)
Camomile, Valerian
Root, Lemongrass,
Stress Busters
Aids nausea, digestive
and circulation
Helps with fever, protects
liver, neutralises toxins
Milk Thistle
Liver Cleanser
Assists digestive, coughs,
mood swings during
61Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Independent Media Inspiring Minds62
History of Tea
“Tea… Is a religion
of the art of life.
Kakuzo Okakura
The Book of Tea
The history of tea is long and
complex, spreading across multiple
cultures over the span of thousands
of years. Tea likely originated in
Yunnan, China during the Shang
Dynasty (1500BC-1046BC) as a
medicinal drink. In one popular
Chinese legend, Shennong the
legendary Emperor of China and
inventor of agriculture and Chinese
medicine, was drinking a bowl of
just boiled water due to a decree
that his subjects must boil their
water before drinking it some time
around 2737BC. A few leaves were
blown from a nearby tree into his
water, changing the colour. The
emperor took a sip of the brew and
was pleasantly surprised by its
avour and restorative properties.
Drinking tea became popular in
Britain during the 17th Century.
The British introduced tea production
as well as consumption to India
in order to compete with the
Chinese monopoly on tea.
Tea Ceremony
A Tea Ceremony is a ritualized
form of making tea practiced in
the East Asia cultural sphere by
the Chinese, Japanese, Korean and
Vietnamese. The tea ceremony, also
called the Way of Tea, is a cultural
activity involving the ceremonial
preparation and presentation of
tea. The tea ceremony is understood
and practiced to foster harmony in
humanity, promote harmony with
nature, discipline the mind, quieten
the heart, and attain the purity
of enlightenment… the art of tea
becomes teaism.
High Tea
British Afternoon Tea
“Tea to the English is
really a picnic indoors”
Alice Walker
The term “high tea” is actually
owed to Englands working class,
who transformed the afternoon tea
into their primary evening meal,
serving much heartier fare such
as meat, cakes, bread and pies.
“High Tea” is a reference to the table
the working class sat at while taking
their tea - tall in comparison to
the low, delicate tables at which
the gentry took their lighter,
more formal tea.
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Want to host a high tea in
the comfort of your own
home? This company hires
all that you need or even do
everything for you!
The High Tea
Sydney Melbourne Perth
Brisbane Adelaide
Look for your choice of
establishments which serve
High Tea or try one below:
Mamor Chocolates
and High Tea Szalon
153 Smith St.
Collingwood VIC.
Ph: (03: 9419 3869
5-19 Lilianfels Ave
Katoomba NSW.
Ph: (02) 4780 1200
The Sassy Cookie
41 Duncan St.
Victoria Park W.A.
Ph: (08) 9361 0979
Just Tickled Pink
274-276 Unley Rd.
Hyde Park S.A.
Ph: (08) 8271 6370
Fancy a good Tea House for a
stunning cuppa or need some
tea-making implements?
Oriental Tea House
455 Chapel St.
South Yarra VIC.
Ph: (03) 9826 0168
The Tea Room
Gunners Barracks
End of Suakin Drive
Sydney NSW.
Ph: (02) 8962 5700
Image Credit: Alexander Baxevanis
Want to Knit your Very Own Tea Cosy?
“Never trust a man, who when left alone with a
tea cosy… Doesn’t try it on.
Billy Connolly
Wild Tea
by Loani Prior
Really Wild
Tea Cosies
by Loani
Tea Cosies
by Guild of
Master Craftsman
Tea Cosies 4
by Emma Varnam
So next Monday morning…
“Don’t overthink,
have a cup of tea.
Image Credit:
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Nice profile but you should shorten it,
a lot of guys arent going to read all that not
because there shallow but because they not only
have to read an essay but write a message but
and when only 1 in 10 girls reply to guys time is
against us. I know how guys think.
I liked your profile and read over it you
sound cool but I have no questions as I know
everything about you!
Image Credit: Jillian Bogarde - http://jillianbogardephotography.tumblr.com/image/66797150733/
A guide on the wrong way to introduce yourself
to a girl, for all the single guys out there
66 Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Image Credit: Jillian Bogarde - http://jillianbogardephotography.tumblr.com/image/66797150733/
Well thanks for the hot tip.
But Im not looking for a lot of guys
and the ones who cant be bothered to read a few
hundred words about me and then write me a
personal message, is definitely not the type
of guy Im looking for.
If you have no questions then Im not sure
why youve even bothered to message me at all.
Oh. Apart from so you could advise me how to
online date appropriately, of course.
If you think that my bio, with a handful of things
that Im interested in, sums up all of me in a
nutshell I feel a bit sorry for you.
Theres a considerable amount more to me.
You dont know everything about me. As a matter
of fact, you know nothing about me.
Just for your peace of mind.
I dont struggle getting guys to message me.
Lots of guys, actually. All kinds of guys.
So many that I get to take my pick on who
I reply to. Which typically would be the ones who
come up with something relatively original, find at
least one question to ask me and sometimes even
compliment me on providing some detail in my
profile, compared with most other girls.
So thanks for you unsolicited and completely
useless feedback. Good luck with your search to
find a real girl, with a personality and a brain.
Youll need it.
67Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Our Love
Stroke Story
Independent Media Inspiring Minds70
my ance rantsis
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71Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Jonathon and I met through
mutual friends five years ago.
It was one of those love stories
I had only ever dreamed of and
never thought actually existed.
When we first laid eyes on each
other, there were fireworks -
cliché I know but it was true
- there were sparks going off in
my head. I acted as if I was not
at all interested and wouldnt
even give him my phone number,
but he found me on Facebook
and eventually, I finally caved.
We bumped into each other on
a night out, by chance, and we
escaped our respective friends
to sneak away for a private drink.
I knew there and then that he
would be the man I would marry.
We married in March 2013 and
we were blissfully happy - our
love and bond had reached
this deeper level that married
people talk about but you never
believe exists. Everything felt
pretty darn perfect.
ust after
am on a
riday night in
my mobile rang, waking me from my dreams.
was suddenly wide-awake and my heart
was pounding out of my chest.
hat was the phone call that changed everything.
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nd then the phone rang…
My husband had finished his shift
at work and was headed to his
mates house for a Friday night
knock off. He was stumbling over
his words and his right side had
gone limp, however he swore
he felt fine. Thankfully, his friend
recognized the signs and called
an ambulance.
onathon was having a stroke.
At 1.03am my phone rang, at
1.08am I was desperately hailing
a cab from outside our home.
Those five minutes that it took me
to throw on my clothes and leave
the house were the longest five
minutes of my life.
Suddenly, a doctor was calling me,
asking if I was aware my husband
had antiphospholipid syndrome.
Anti-what?” I responded. My
husband had only ever had two
sick days in the last five years.
He seemed perfectly healthy.
Sure he worked too hard, but a
stroke? How could this happen to
him? Didnt strokes only happen
to old, overweight people?
I arrived at the hospital about
forty minutes later. Jonathon was
in emergency, grinning ear-to-ear
and repeating “hiiiiiii, “hiiiiii,
over and over. He looked like
a happy drunk, but his right side
was limp and I later learnt that
he was blind and deaf on his
right side and had significant
brain damage. The damage
was to the part of his brain that
stores our ‘dictionary’. Jonathon
would need to learn to speak all
over again.
I was asked to make decisions
that night I never dreamed of
making during our marriage
particularly not that soon
after saying “I Do. They were
decisions that had potential
for such serious, life changing
outcomes - and could even
cause death.
But, I mentally prepared myself
that night, there in that emergency
ward. I had no other choice. Less
than six months earlier, I had
committed myself to this man, in
front of all our family and friends.
I had promised to love and care
for him in sickness and in health.
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Image Credit: Photos by Soul Impressions Photography - Courtesy of Amy Dance Vrantsis.
I am a strong woman and I
promised myself that I would take
care of him no matter what.
And take care of him is what
I did, spoon-feeding him his first
meal and doing everything on
his left side as it was easier for
him. Then a text message from
a physio friend changed things.
Her advice? “Use the affected
side as much as possible to get
the brain working again and to
help with rehabilitation.
I was suddenly a woman
possessed. I demanded that any
visitors sit on his right side and
I made Jonathon eat his second
meal with a spoon. Though food
ended up all over his face and
he missed his mouth most of the
time, he finished the whole bowl
without my help. During all of this
we both bawled our eyes out.
ur love and my husbands
wilfulness is what got us through
the last four gruelling months.
My husband was always a
stubborn man - I say that was
the reason for all our pre-stroke
arguments! He liked to be right
and he always did everything
to the best of his ability. He now
has his biggest fight ahead of
him: learning to talk, read, write
and use his right side again.
Stroke only happens to old,
overweight people - or so I thought.
Stroke can happen to anyone, at
any age. In fact, according to
the Stroke Foundation, one in
every six Australians will suffer
a stroke in their lifetime. It is the
biggest reason for disability in
adult Australians and it kills more
than cancer. Stroke does not
received government funding,
yet costs the Australian economy
$2.14 billion every year.
As our one-year wedding
anniversary approaches and I
reflect on our year, our lives are
not as I envisioned they would
be. In many ways, our life is -
although tough at times - pretty
Jonathons stroke taught us many
ratitude –
We are so thankful
every day that Jonathon is
recovering. That he got to the
hospital so quickly before there
was any further brain damage..
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For family and friends who
stop their everyday lives to
give you everything you need
to get through the hard times.
Love, hugs, listening ears, food.
You name it we received it!
I now have the
patience of a saint! Conversation
takes longer - much longer - and
I often allow Jonathon minutes
to get the right word out, even
though I know exactly what hes
talking about. All in the name of
Jonathon has kept his cool even
when the word ‘piano’ comes out
as “penis” or ‘apple’ as “nipple”.
We laugh it off and continue on.
Most importantly, it’s taught us
never to take our love for one
another for granted. We have a
deeper respect for one another,
a deeper love and a whole new
way of communicating when
words just dont work.
e live life as if it is
a gift and the greatest
gift of all is sharing it
with the one you love
or better or worse.
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