Category Archives: Culture

Buddha Baby

As you fly down the highway, heading south from Sydney, you will notice a bright orange temple on your left. This is the Nan Tien Buddhist Temple. Many times, I have gone past it and thought it looked like a fabulously interesting place. Two years ago, I decided to add it to my bucket list. Last year while going through my bucket list items, I decided to pop onto the temple website and discovered they do meditation retreats. I booked myself in for a 2.5-day retreat in mid-June and thought it would be a fascinating experience.

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Chat 10 Look 3

Chat 10 Look 3Yes, that is a reference to Chorus Line. No, this post is not about musical theatre. Instead, it is an ode to a podcast that is a meeting of two great minds in Australian Media.

The delightful duo that is Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales meet every week to discuss what they have read, what is on TV, trending news and pretty much whatever else crosses their minds. Having known each other for many years, it feels as though pair has invited you to join their clique. Skipping across topics, from something trivial to a serious event history, Crabb and Sales tell starting personal anecdotes but also offer some brilliant book recommendations. This really shouldn’t be a surprise given their wealth of knowledge and experience in the industry.

For those of you who think the ABC is for Grandparents, I can’t tell you how wrong you are. Sales has fronted the news program 7:30 for the past 6 years, prior to which she covered key global events as a foreign correspondent and radio host for the ABC. Crabb is also an ABC associate who is known for her role as a political editor as well as Kitchen Cabinet, her TV program where she goes to prominent Australian’s homes to interview them and enjoy s home cooked meal. Both are also remarkable authors too. Man, now I realise the pressure is on!

Of course, being the journalists they are all about references so all the shows or books they mention are detailed in the show notes on

For those of you who are already fans, you will realise I am pretty late to this party. It has been hitting the airwaves since 2014 so for anyone who is hearing about this for the first time… you have 52 episodes ready to go!

The show’s motto says it all – ‘think of it as time well-wasted’. But is time really wasted when you are enriching your mind?

RSPCA; Your Way

Have a pooch and want some quality one on one time with them? Don’t have a pooch and feel deprived of slobbery kisses and hugs? The RSPCA Million Paws Walk is just around the corner and there are a few ways you can get involved.


You can sign up for the Million Paws Walk challenge and ask your family and friends to donate for your efforts. See how many steps you can clock up leading to the final event day.

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Shittown, Alabama

STOP EVERYTHING YOU ARE DOING! And start listen to S-Town, the latest genius podcast from the minds behind Serial and This American Life.

If you already listen to the latter podcasts, you will be familiar with the poetic narratives and soft suspense of the NPR shows. If you don’t, WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?

This seven part serial starts out pointing you in one direction but then you quickly find yourself on a ride that leaves you confused and wanting more. It has a little bit of everything – a murder mystery, a treasure hunt, a tragic death and the tales of life.

Without giving too much away, the unique characters from this story are real people and there are plenty of stories around the internet revealing their faces and homes. But before you go searching for this, listen to the podcasts. You get a real sense of their journey as you follow creator Brian Reed uncovering secrets and discovering more about the goals and realities of the people of Woodstock and Bibb County.

The beauty of a podcast is the can be played on your commute, as you exercise or in bed before you fall asleep so you really have no excuse not to start listening. It is only 7 hours in total, after all.

So get on it, and don’t forget to tell us your thoughts in the comments below!


I do believe in fairies…

If Emma Watson wasn’t awesome enough already with her activism, talent and epic Goodreads list, she is now also a fairy. The best kind of fairy there is: a book fairy. She is basically living my dream life.

Watson joined forces with The Book Fairies to spread the joy of reading, leaving books in public spaces for anyone to happen upon and enjoy.

On International Women’s Day, fairies all over the world from New Zealand to London took to the streets to take a literary stand for women, leaving some of the greatest feminist literature of our generation on the tube, at bus stops or in town centres. All the books left that day were from Watson’s Goodreads ‘Our Shared Shelf’ but leaving novels around major cities is not an incredibly new concept with organisations like Book Crossing and Books of the Underground already in existence.

Books on the Underground has been running for half a decade and it was working with this talented crew that The Book fairies were born. Fairies now operate in dozens of countries around the world (there is most likely some one in your city :O). The beauty is that anyone can sign up, all you need is the sticker starter kit which can be ordered from their website (The stickers help finders know that the book is not lost property but free for the taking!).

So I guess we know what we will be doing this weekend!



The World of Goodreads

Goodreads? What is this Goodreads?

Have you ever felt like you have just figured out this amazing, awesome new in vogue thing only to discover you are possibly 5 years behind everyone else?

We went through that in the final week’s of December 2016. Weirdly enough, we have Emma Watson to thank for the Goodreads discovery. She published her Reading List for 2016 and the magical journey started.

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When a prequel of the sequal, following the original, just isn’t enough…

Do you ever flick through your local chain cinema’s new releases and feel slightly bored with the films available? A solution to your cinematic woes could be taking a slight detour and trying something at a foreign film festival. As much as it can make one feel like a slightly alternative, cultured, up tight, hipster, there are some gorgeous benefits to giving these films a go. If you have a bit of free time in the next few weeks, try the Alliance French Film Festival running in Sydney which ends on 30th March.

French films can be noticeably different in a couple of ways. The most obvious is the use of more realistic looking actors and filming techniques. French films seem to be happy to embrace natural looking people of all different ages and shapes. Try 150 Milligrams and it’s a nice shock to see a middle aged looking woman wearing everyday clothes on the screen. Another option is In Bed with Victoria and see the main love interest look like the dork that was next to you on the morning train. It’s a little refreshing having a break from the ‘Stepford Wife’ gloss that seems to coat most American movies.

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Awesomely Awkward

Let’s face it. If we’re able to even have a normal conversation with the male species, we count that as a win. Getting them to actually want to spend time with us on a more permanent basis? Epic Win. Having had no experience in these matters, we can only base the research of this post on the books we’ve read, things we’ve watched and whatever we’ve daydreamed.

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Podcasts to fill your time and your mind

podcastRunning through the park, lounging on the couch on a Sunday afternoon, squished on the tube, waiting at a bus stop; these are all moments that we usually spend thumbing through our iTunes playlist or Facebook feed. Why not spend this time a little more wisely, learning about the yourself and the world? I like some tunes as much as the next person but sometimes you want to challenge your mind as well as your singing ability (also people will love you more on the tube if they cannot hear your death metal from the other side of the car).

Here are a few podcasts that will make you question your very existence:

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