Documentary: Australia in the year 2020 (as envisaged in 1990)

This documentary from the late 80's/early 90's Australia offers fascinating insights into what the pre-internet world thought the new century i.e. right now would be like. As a child I remember watching this TV show and pondering about what 202o would be like. It felt like a pipedream to me, as inconceivable as driving a moon rocket…

Grotesque and Fascinating Body Art by Lucy McRae

The Grotesque Body Archetype: Art by Lucy McRae

Make your Maker is a nightmarish, macabre lab setting where experiments drip and flow with gellatinous human body shapes in turquoise and lurid green colours. These body parts are harvested, sliced and then consumed greedily. Artist Lucy McRae's work has been featured in Dazed and Confused, Wallpaper and for advertising with skincare brand Aesop. She…

Book Review: The Fahrenheit Twins by Michel Faber

Book Review: The Fahrenheit Twins by Michel Faber

I had the pleasure of meeting Michel Faber at the Auckland Writers Festival this autumn. He's a reserved, humble and softly-spoken fellow who was gobbled up by the overly bold interviewer, someone far less important, whose name escapes me. Faber brought with him onto the stage a pair of dainty red women's shoes and only…

Medieval Icelandic Sagas: Tales of Blood Feuds, Dangerous Women and Warriors http://wp.me/p41CQf-Iu9

Medieval Icelandic Sagas: Tales of Blood Feuds, Dangerous Women and Warriors

In this series of podcasts, Australian writer and broadcaster Richard Fidler and his friend, Icelandic writer Kári Gíslason travel to Iceland to regail us with the stories of the ancient Vikings; tales of blood feuds, dangerous women, fugitives and warrior poets. They also go to the windswept country to discover more about Kari's own mysterious origins.…

Every Picture Tells A Story: Cracking Open a Keg on Cockatoo Island, 1925.

Every Picture Tells A Story: Cracking Open a Keg on Cockatoo Island, 1925.

Here's the auspicious launching of the HMAS Warrego II a Cockatoo Island Dockyard in Sydney Harbour circa 1925. Trainspotters here will remember that I did a post a few years ago about the creepy and now largely abandoned Cockatoo Island and it's industrial relics. Read it here. Well this photo recalls when Cockatoo Island was in…

Unseen Art from Australia’s First Fleet http://wp.me/p41CQf-8h

The quirky origins of Australia’s native animal names

Although I thought that the cockatoo was an Aboriginal word, it's not! Its a relic of the first Europeans visiting the spice isles of Maluku (now Malaysia) in the 15th Century. They had birds there akin to cassowaries and cockatoos. Other well-known Aboriginal-sounding names are in fact from abroad as well. ‘Bandicoot’: an Indian name…

Cruelty Free Product Review: Warbotanicals

Cruelty Free Product Review: Warbotanicals

Warbotanicals is a community skin care range that was created 14 years ago by partners in work and love Donna Fowler and her partner Richard. Beginning with one shop in Warburton, Victoria, the range has expanded and is now a thriving online business with the range travelling to farmers markets throughout Victoria, Australia. Donna uses her…

Book Review: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

Book Review: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

This is a book to devour in enormous gulps. When you do come up for air, fill yourself with black tea and then settle back into your armchair, to be borne aloft once more. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent is a bittersweet and melancholy tale of a woman named Agnes Magnusdottir. Set in Iceland in…

What's Your Favourite Smell? Mine Is Petrichor

What’s Your Favourite Smell? Mine Is Petrichor

So basically, the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) in Australia have invented a truckload of good things. Insect repellent was one - out of necessity in  Australia no doubt. Polymer banknotes was another, and so was WiFi. But probably their most esoteric and weird invention was a word to describe a smell. Petrichor.…

Tinder Tales As Told By Puppets

Tinder Tales As Told By Puppets

Tinder is that ruthless app that allows users to swipe left on their device to move to the next potential lover. How simple and yet malevolent! Although around 50 million people are using it worldwide so that's telling. This is a collection of true dating experiences on Tinder, demonstrated by some amazing puppets. Tales from…

Treasures to Love and Adore: Smith Journal

Treasures to Love and Adore: Smith Journal

In the magazine publishing world nowadays, it takes a good deal of creativity and originality to be able to stand out and make revenue.  This Australian magazine is built upon solid foundations of authenticity. From cover to cover it's high quality. What makes it so great is there is a subtle harmony of beautiful design…

Supermodels from the 90's: Nostalgia and Mortality Smack-Down in 5,4,3,2...

Supermodels from the 90’s: Nostalgia and Mortality Smack-Down in 5,4,3,2…

1995 to 2015: Fashion Goes Full Circle When I was a teen in the 90's, the hair was fluorescent, the patterns were dark plaid and the lipstick was dark purple. Large, overexaggerated sunflower prints on shift dresses were in - a nod towards the 60s. All of these trends have reached their zenith yet again…

A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts: Cheeky Fruit and Veg Boxes by Australian Farmers

A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts: Cheeky Fruit and Veg Boxes by Australian Farmers

A word of warning: fruit and vegetable packaging in Australia is bright, risque, cheeky and just plain weird. Some feature cheeky innuendo like the upturned erect bananas on Dicko's Bananas or a box of melons with a buxom 50's babe on the box. Others are verge on hallucinogenic, like Dimbulah's Srhoj Citrus featuring happy-faced citrus fruits…

Wine and Curry Pairing Made Easy

Wine and Curry Pairing Made Easy

One tricky situation which often faces wine drinkers and curry lovers is, which wine goes well with which curry? There is such a kaleidoscope of vibrant flavours in Indian dishes. So it may seem challenging to find a wine to complement rather than destroy the flavour of the food. Here's some practical advice for pairing Indian…

Cruelty Free Product Review: Dermalab's Super Hydrating Moisturiser

Cruelty Free Product Review: Dermalab’s Super Hydrating Moisturiser

Dermalab is a Kiwi-made, Kiwi-owned skincare range that's aimed at the budget end of the market. It has simple and unassuming branding that's pleasing to the eye and functional but not fancy. Simple, straight-forward branding informs the user that they have found a simple 1-2-3-4-5 routine that works for pretty much all skin types including…

Cut The Crap at The Checkout: A Guide to Free Shipping For Australia and New Zealand

Cut The Crap at The Checkout: A Guide to Free Shipping For Australia and New Zealand

After a few months of living in New Zealand, I've found the selection of bricks and mortar clothing stores, book shops and electronics outlets very wanting. Particularly when it comes to men's clothing. My boyfriend, although incredibly fussy – was pretty much unable to locate a plain black, classic fit shirt or plain black t-shirt…

Welcome to Ethical & Cruelty Free Products

Cruelty Free Product Review: Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil

Trilogy's brand genesis essentially begun with the discovery by New Zealanders Catherine de Groot and Sarah Gibbs of the marvelous benefits of rosehip oil. In 2002, the two ladies launched the Trilogy brand based on the efficacy of rosehip oil as a natural and effective alternative to synthetic skincare ingredients. As their hero product, certified organic…