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Have yourself a merry DIY Christmas

<p>Christmas doesn’t have to be all about spending big! How about a little homemade charm with your decorations this year?</p> <p>December often brings a financial and environmental strain. Christmas trees, wrapping paper, decorations. It all adds up both financially and also for the environment. So why not make some of your own Christmas decorations and put your DIY skills to use during the most expensive and unsustainable time of year?</p> <p>Here is an easy 'Christmas tree' that you can build using some cheap products found at your local hardware store. The end result can be as big or as small as you like (therefore not taking up valuable space in your lounge room!) and can be easily packed away for next year!</p> <p>It's as simple as buying a sheet of MDF, some plumber's pipe in a variety of sizes, spray paint and a few Christmas baubles in your chosen colour scheme.</p> <p><strong>Step 1</strong><br />Firstly, paint your MDF backing board. Buying a good quality spray paint will make the job easier and improve the look of the end result. Rustoleum is self-priming, and comes in a variety of metallics and on-trend colours. It is readily and affordably available at Bunnings Warehouse. We have chosen basic matte black and white for the background. It is quite easy to just paint a block colour, however we have chosen to mask the board up and paint stripes to give our finished piece a little more dimension. Start by painting the entire board white and then mask and paint black over the top. Remove the masking tape before the paint dries!</p> <p><strong>Step 2</strong><br />Cut the plumber’s pipe into pieces with a small handsaw, and spray paint with whatever colours you have chosen. Metallic gold and silver work really well here, but you can also use sea mist green, which pays homage to Christmas foliage beautifully.</p> <p><strong>Step 3</strong><br />Using a hot glue gun (also available at hardware stores), adhere the piping to the backing board in the shape of a tree and fill some of the pieces with Christmas baubles. You can go crazy with the colours or keep it totally neutral! We are still scarred over letting children trim the Christmas tree in years gone by, so stuck with a neutral palette.</p> <p><strong>Step 4</strong><br />Finish with your favourite decorations. For fun and a bit of extra colour, we added a deep burgundy velvet ribbon. You could also add small LED lights, or other trimmings to your tree. You could hang it on a wall, lean it on the mantle, or stand it in the corner of your room, ready to lay gifts at its base!</p> <p>It's that simple. Easy, sustainable, DIY Christmas. Happy festive season!</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see the easy DIY steps.</p> <p><em>Written by Jane Frosh. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/wyza-life/have-yourself-a-merry-%E2%80%93-diy-christmas.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Hidden women of history: Neaera, the Athenian child slave raised to be a courtesan

<p>The ancient worlds of Greece and Rome have perhaps never been as popular as they presently are. There are numerous television series and one-off documentaries covering both “big picture” perspectives and stories of ordinary people.</p> <p>Neaera was a woman from fourth century BCE Athens whose life is significant and sorrowful – worthy to be remembered – but may never feature in a glossy biopic.</p> <p>Possibly born in Corinth, a place where she lived from at least a young age, Neaera was raised by a brothel-keeper by the name of Nicarete.</p> <p>Her predicament was the result of her being enslaved to Nicarete. While we don’t know the reason for this, we do know that foundlings were common in antiquity. The parents of baby Neaera, for whatever reason, left her to fate – to die by exposure or be collected by a stranger.</p> <p>From a young age, Neaera was trained by Nicarete for the life of a hetaira (a Classical Greek term for “courtesan”). It was Nicarete who also named her, giving her a typical courtesan title: “Neaera” meaning “Fresh One”.</p> <p>Ancient sources reveal Naeara’s life in the brothel. In a legal speech by the Athenian politician and forensic orator, Apollodorus, the following description is provided: “There were seven young girls who were purchased when they were small children by Nicarete … She had the talent to recognise the potential beauty of little girls and knew how to raise them and educate them with expertise – for it was from this that she had made a profession and from this came her livelihood.</p> <p>“She called them ‘daughters’ so that, by displaying them as freeborn, she could obtain the highest prices from the men wishing to have intercourse with them. After that, when she had enjoyed the profit from their youth, she sold every single one of them …”</p> <p>The occasion for the passage from Apollodorus is a court case that was brought against Neaera in approximately 343 BCE. Neaera was around 50-years-old by the time of her prosecution, which took place in Athens.</p> <p><strong>Trafficking and abuse</strong></p> <p>The circumstances of her trial are complicated, involving the buying, selling, trafficking and abuse of Neaera from a very young age.</p> <p>Piecing together the evidence from Apollodorus’ prosecution speech, which has come down to us with the title, “Against Neaera”, it transpires that two of her clients, who shared joint ownership of her, allowed her to buy her freedom around 376 BCE.</p> <p>Afterwards, she moved to Athens with one Phrynion, but his brutal treatment of her saw Neaera leave for Megara, where circumstances caused her to return to sex work.</p> <p>Further intrigues involving men and sex work saw Neaera eventually face trial on the charge of falsely representing herself as a free Athenian woman by pretending to be married to a citizen.</p> <p>The charge of fraud was based on the law that a foreigner could not live as a common law “spouse” to a freeborn Athenian. The fact that Neaera also had three children, a daughter by the name of Phano, and two sons, further complicated the trial and its range of legal entanglements.</p> <p>While we never discover the outcome of the trial, nor what happened to Neaera, the speech of the prosecutor remains, and reveals much about her life. Unfortunately, the speech of the defence is lost.</p> <p>We do know, however, that the man with whom Neaera cohabitated, Stephanus, delivered the defence. Of course, he was not only defending Neaera – he was defending himself! Should Neaera have been found guilty, Stephanus would have forfeited his citizenship and the rights that attended it.</p> <p>Stephanus had a history of legal disputes with the prosecutor, Apollodorus. He also had a history of being in trouble with the law. For example, he had illegally married off Phano – not once, but twice – to Athenian citizens. Shady “get rich quick” schemes motivated such activities, and it seems that Stephanus was adept at using both his “wife” and his “daughter’ for bartering and personal profit.</p> <p>Another accusation revealed during the trial alleged that Stephanus arranged for Neaera to lure men to his house, engage them in sex, and then bribe them. And while Apollodorus provides no evidence for such a scam ever having taken place, judging by Stephanus’ track-record, it does not seem implausible.</p> <p><strong>Remembering Neaera</strong></p> <p>Reading through the long, complex and damnatory speech of Apollodorus, we risk losing sight of the woman at the centre of it. Caught amid petty politics, sex scandals, and personal vendettas is a woman who becomes peripheral to the machismo being played out in court.</p> <p>Yet, somewhat ironically, this is the only ancient source we have that records not only Neaera and the life she was forced to lead – but the life of a hetaira from infancy, girlhood, middle-age and, ultimately, past her "use by” date.</p> <p>Had she not been taken to court as part of the factional fighting of ancient Athens, had she not had her reputation annihilated so publicly, we would have never known about Neaera.</p> <p>Were it not for Apollodorus and his ancient version of “slut-shaming”, Neaera’s story would have been lost.</p> <p>But it hasn’t been lost. Somewhere, amid the male rhetoric, her story endures. Unfortunately, her voice is not preserved. All we can read in the speech, “Against Neaera” are the voices of men; her prosecutor and the witnesses he calls to the stand.</p> <p>Ironically, these testimonies and accusations - so casually introduced in ancient Athens, but received so differently today - emphasise the inhumanity of the sex trade in an antiquity too often and too unthinkingly valorised.</p> <p>The document known as “Against Neaera” is the only record we have of this (almost) hidden woman. It prompts us to remember. And it’s important to remember Neaera.</p> <p><em>Written by Marguerite Johnson. Republished with permission from <a href="https://theconversation.com/hidden-women-of-history-neaera-the-athenian-child-slave-raised-to-be-a-courtesan-126840">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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Natural history on TV: how the ABC took Australian animals to the people

<p>Most of us will never see a platypus or a lyrebird in the wild, but it’s likely we’ve encountered them on television.</p> <p><a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10304312.2019.1669533">Our new research</a> looks at the vital role early ABC television played in making Australian animals accessible to audiences.</p> <p>In the early years of ABC TV, there was very little locally produced animal content. When animals were on the small screen, they were usually imported from the BBC.</p> <p>Foremost among the imports was David Attenborough’s <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0918481/">Zoo Quest</a> (1954–1964), following the young naturalist’s exploits in Guyana, Borneo and Paraguay collecting live animals for London Zoo.</p> <p>Zoo Quest was formative in the development of natural history television. It launched Attenborough’s career and established many of the cultural conventions of the format: the authoritative and intrepid male narrator venturing to exotic places in search of animals being their wild selves.</p> <p>For Attenborough, the thrill of showing animals in their natural states gave the show “<a href="https://books.google.com.au/books?id=1lHs8bTVh8oC&amp;pg=PA8&amp;lpg=PA8&amp;dq=%22the+spice+of+unpredictability%22&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=PHg_-HorBL&amp;sig=ACfU3U2rfkJS_gutZ9keb76WpQ2Ogzn7Iw&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=2ahUKEwid_7WvyK7lAhVDuI8KHVWSDJEQ6AEwAXoECAcQAQ#v=onepage&amp;q=%22the%20spice%20of%20unpredictability%22&amp;f=false">the spice of unpredictability</a>”.</p> <p><strong>From the farm to the bush</strong></p> <p>The initial strategy for local animal content by ABC TV was to use familiar radio techniques – panel talks and natural sounds – and just add pictures.</p> <p>Junior Farmer Competition, for instance, was a successful radio show. When it moved to television in 1958, live cattle, sheep and poultry were brought into the studio and competitors were asked to handle them before the cameras.</p> <p>This show was a remarkable experiment in visualising a radio format – but it didn’t last. The logistics of wrangling livestock in a TV studio proved too difficult.</p> <p>During the 1960s, the ABC began screening locally made wildlife shows. Wild animals were no longer somewhere else, in Africa or South America: they were all around us.</p> <p>Wildlife Australia (1962-1964) was written by ornithologist and radio broadcaster, Graham Pizzey and produced with the CSIRO. The series took viewers into unique Australian environments, and explored the native wildlife in these habitats.</p> <p>Other shows offered variations on this theme of an emerging environmental nationalism. Around the Bush (1964) starred naturalist and educator <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/environment/green-before-it-was-fashionable-20070912-gdr373.html">Vincent Serventy</a> out in the field; Wild Life Paradise: Australian Fauna (1967), was filmed at the Sir Colin Mackenzie Sanctuary (later Healesville Sanctuary) and offered content about what made Australian animals unique.</p> <p>As recurring references to Australia in these titles suggest, these shows were determinedly national. They often represented animals as living in “the bush” or “the environment”.</p> <p>This early reference to “the environment” framed it as a zone where nature and culture interacted – usually with bad outcomes for nature. As early as 1962, audiences were invited to look at animals as both fascinating and vulnerable.</p> <p>Animals and their habitats were framed as in need of public attention and concern in order to limit human intrusion and impact.</p> <p>While nature conservation movements had been around since the post WWII period, they often focused on preservation of scenic sites for human pleasure. This early environmentalism gave <a href="https://www.mup.com.au/books/defending-the-little-desert-paperback-softback">conservation a more political edge</a>. It valued nature in its own right and questioned development at all costs.</p> <p><strong>Dancing Orpheus</strong></p> <p>Probably the most groundbreaking early natural history show made by the ABC was <a href="https://aso.gov.au/titles/tv/dancing-orpheus/">Dancing Orpheus</a> (1962).</p> <p>Celebrated for its visual and technical prowess in capturing the secretive superb lyrebird, the most powerful scene showed a cock bird performing its elaborate courting display. The narration by John West offered scientific explanation, but the focus was on the extraordinary aesthetics of this pure natural expression.</p> <p>Dancing Orpheus was celebrated not just because it captured a rare and beautiful lyrebird performance, but because it also showed the emerging power of television to make remarkable Australian animals visible to audiences.</p> <p>Dancing Orpheus was one of the catalysts for the development of natural history television at the ABC, which really took off with the watershed series <a href="https://beyondtheestuary.com/fire-and-water-vale-charles-ken-taylor-poet-filmmaker-1930-2014/">Bush Quest with Robin Hill</a> (1970).</p> <p>Bush Quest featured the artist and naturalist Hill observing and sketching the wildlife of central and coastal Victoria. It established a new audience for Australian wildlife, breaking with earlier presentations of the remote bush or outback.</p> <p>Bush Quest cultivated a new environmental ethos in viewers increasingly aware of nature’s fragility.</p> <p><strong>An ongoing legacy</strong></p> <p>The ABC’s Natural History Unit was created in 1973. This small unit produced a suite of top rating programs that publicised a huge variety of Australian animals, way beyond the usual kangaroos and koalas.</p> <p>Its watershed moment was the internationally acclaimed series <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4590316/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Nature of Australia</a> (1988). Nature of Australia offered audiences an experience of national identification and pride based on our remarkable natural – rather than cultural or military – history. It put nature at the heart of definitions of national uniqueness.</p> <p>Early natural history television on the ABC showed audiences animals and places they didn’t even know existed, and explained natural processes in ways that were accessible and engaging. It also showed audiences how vulnerable these animals and habitats were to human actions and intervention.</p> <p>Natural history television on the ABC didn’t just make animals entertaining: it implicated audiences in their lives and survival, a significant factor in building environmental awareness.</p> <p><em>Written by Gay Hawkins. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/natural-history-on-tv-how-the-abc-took-australian-animals-to-the-people-125221">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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Queen Elizabeth celebrates stamp collector society’s 150th anniversary with a grin

<p>Queen Elizabeth was in her element as she visited the Royal Philatelic Society to celebrate its 150th anniversary.</p> <p>Philately is the study of stamps, postal history and other related items. The Royal Philatelic Society, according to this Instagram post by The Royal Family, aims to “promote the science and practice of the study of stamps as well as maintain collections of stamps”.</p> <p>The Queen is an avid stamp collector herself, as she has a collection that’s estimated to be worth AUD $189,291,500 NZD $199,885,605 and had a huge grin on her face as she was shown around the new building.</p> <p>Her stamp collection, according to<span> </span><em>Telegraph UK</em><span> </span>includes a rare Mauritian stamp valued at AUD $3.7 million NZD $3.9 million and the stamp went on display for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002.</p> <p>She opened a new headquarters for the society, which is the oldest in the world. The Queen also met with architects, administration staff, supporters and young collectors who are busy working hard to keep the tradition of stamps alive.</p> <p>The nearly 93-year-old wore an eye catching sea blue coat dress with contrasting navy velvet trip by her personal dressmaker Angela Kelly. The look was accompanied with a matching hat.</p> <p>Angela Kelly has revealed a number of secrets from her 20 years of working with The Queen and is the first tell-all book to be sanctioned by her Majesty. The book is titled<span> </span><em>The Other Side Of The Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe</em>.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see the Queen enjoy herself at the Royal Philatelic Society.</p> <p><em>Photo credits: Instagram <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B5VN1P8H6Dn/">theroyalfamily</a></em></p>

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What I learned as a hairdresser in a war zone

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I don’t think my life is much different from anyone else’s, except that I decided to be a hairdresser in a war zone.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When I first arrived in Kabul, I felt like I had been transported to biblical times – only most of the people had guns and I only had my scissors. It wasn't until I spent time in Afghanistan that I learned how powerful my trade of hairdressing was. The minute I pulled out my scissors and cape, I felt like the most popular kid in class – everyone wanted a haircut or colour.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">People like to think that because women are covered, they are plain – no makeup and hair undone. Let me tell you – that is the opposite of the truth. I have always gone that extra mile with my own hair and makeup, but these women made me look like a Plain Jane.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One lady told me how she drove 12 hours over the Khyber Pass to Pakistan – dodging the Taliban the entire way – just to get foils and a good haircut. The Taliban had forced the salons to close and a few had gone underground. I was stunned at the risk these women took just so they could have their hair done for a wedding party – a custom that had always been a strong part of the culture but was now against the law.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It was when I walked into that first salon that I knew there was no turning back. I was going to do something for my sister hairdressers. I realised that hairdressing was a fantastic portable skill, one that was perfect for Afghanistan, and one that could give women choices and a way to feed their family.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This was a skill that could be done in or out of the home, and it would be a sanctuary for women only. No man could control – or even step foot into – the salon. It would be such an empowering place for the women to be free.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Opening the Kabul Beauty School was one of the most rewarding but difficult things I have done in my life. In the beginning, when I was working with so many young Afghan women at the school, I felt so overwhelmed by the traumas that each of these girls had endured for so many years. But on the other hand, I saw the strength and power that each of these young women seemed to have been born with.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I was horrified when I heard about arranged marriages at the age of twelve, how so many had to flee their homes for years due to the Taliban, and about those who had to stop going to school in fourth grade because of war. I was amazed at the core strength of these women.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I never had the intention of being a writer, but I always wrote. I kept daily notes and journals so that my head could purge some of the information it was gathering each day. Often, I felt that I was on overload, I was out of my comfort zone, I was out of my element, and each day, I was listening to a new and difficult story that one of the girls needed to share.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The more I wrote, the more I began to understand that these women didn't need my pity, that we really are all the same. Like them, I am a woman, I am a mother, and I am a daughter. When I realised that, it all came together and the fun began. When I stopped looking at them as poor, tragic Afghan women, and instead as women who had gone through lots of stuff and who now wanted to move forward – just like most of us – everything changed.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I decided I wanted the world to see these beautiful women as I did. I wanted them to be more than a news clip or a sound bite. I wanted the world to see them through my eyes.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Afghanistan is a complicated place, and so when I left, I felt shattered. I had really thought that I would spend the rest of my life in Kabul; I never saw myself moving back to the United States. I missed the girls and my old life so badly, and spent the next few years grieving the loss of my Afghan family.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Because I didn't want to let go of Afghanistan, the only way I could keep it close was to keep writing about it. I told my agent that I really wanted to write another book, but this time I wanted to write fiction. I wanted to write happy endings. I figured if you put it in writing, just maybe it will happen in real life. Also, I had to prove to my kids that I wasn't a one-hit wonder.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I have learned so much about myself while writing my five books. I’ve learned that I am a storyteller first and a writer second. I love the process of developing a book. I love how the characters come alive and become your best friends, and how some turn into people you never want to see again.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Writing is my best therapy, it is my best friend, it is a true companion.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Deborah Rodriguez’s new book, The Zanzibar Wife is available now (Penguin Random House, RRP $32.99).</span></em></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Deborah Rodriguez. Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/wyza-life/what-i-learned-as-a-hairdresser-in-a-war-zone.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p>

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How to hold a successful garage sale

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Clearing your home of clutter or old and unwanted items is an important task when you’re planning to sell or move house, but it can be also be a great way of simply freshening up and re-organising your home.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you hold a garage sale after the clean up, you also have a chance to make some extra money and have a fun day with family, friends and neighbours. If you don’t know where to start, the key is planning and preparation. Here are our five tips for a garage sale.</span></p> <p><strong>1. Decide on a date</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Choose a Saturday or Sunday, three to four weeks ahead. You need time to collect, clean up, arrange and price items. By deciding on a date in advance, you also have a deadline to work towards. Make sure the date does not clash with any major local events or sport activities, and that helpers are free to assist on that day. </span></p> <p><strong>2. Start Collecting </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Begin sorting through your home for goods you are willing to sell, including everything you want to get rid of. You will be surprised - your junk can be another person's treasure. Remember, though, that some items may need to be cleaned or repaired to ensure a good price. It’s important that you tell as many neighbours, friends and family as possible that you are having a garage sale, as they may have some items they want to sell and may be willing to help out on the day. </span></p> <p><strong>3. Spread the word</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Advertise in your local paper two weeks before the day, but don’t forget to use social media (many neighbourhoods have their own Facebook pages) or websites such as gumtree.com.au. Facebook has recently launched its ‘Market’ in Australia aimed at helping people find things for sale locally. Ask local shops and supermarkets if they allow signs in their windows, and consider community notice boards.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Also place signage on the corner of your street and main road, either the evening before or early on the morning of the sale. Often your local real estate office will be able to help you with the supply of pointer signs because agents are frequently asked to help their clients with garage sales. Remember to keep all signs and advertisements brief - the day, date, start and finish time and your property address is all that is required.</span></p> <p><strong>4. Be prepared </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Make sure all items are clearly priced with stickers before the day. Keep pricing simple – saves having to do a lot of adding up on the day. Have plenty of change available, including small change and notes. Money belts are useful for collecting cash or you can use a till as long as it is never left unattended. It is also a good idea to have a calculator, pencil and paper, bags, boxes and newspaper to wrap valuables. And don’t forget to have drinks and seating handy for you and your helpers – it can be a long morning! </span></p> <p><strong>5. On the day </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Don’t be surprised if you find serious buyers knocking on your door an hour or two before start time. A good ‘official’ starting time is 9am, so that visitors won’t disturb you too early. During the day, remember to keep your house locked at all times, and ensure you have a secure place inside your home to put cash as it accumulates. State a clear finish time so people are not coming too late in the day. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After the sale has finished, donate leftover items to a local charity. By being prepared you will be able to relax and enjoy the day, ending up with a clean house and a little extra cash at the end.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Stewart Bunn. Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/property/how-to-hold-a-successful-garage-sale.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p>

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Sam Armytage goes public with new boyfriend

<p>Samantha Armytage has revealed that she is in a relationship with former farmer Richard Lavender.</p> <p>The <em>Sunrise </em>host, who has remained <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/tv/samantha-armytage-confirms-new-romance-there-are-good-things-happening">tight-lipped</a> about her relationships in the past, shared her story in a joint interview for <em><a href="https://www.who.com.au/who-sexiest-2019-sam-armytage-richard-lavender">Who</a> </em>magazine’s “Sexiest” issue.</p> <p>Armytage said when she was first introduced to the 60-year-old man by a mutual friend around Easter this year, “there was a connection” between them from the beginning.</p> <p>“His eyes were the first thing I saw,” Armytage said.</p> <p>Lavender said he “had no idea” who Armytage was because he doesn’t watch TV a lot. As their relationship progressed, Armytage asked Lavender, “Can you watch this show once so you know what I actually do for a living?”</p> <p>According to <em><a href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/morning-shows/instantly-attracted-sam-armytage-goes-public-with-new-boyfriend/news-story/5988406a31f7e540a84730db8482f1e1">news.com.au</a></em>, Lavender was a farmer who now works in rehoming, retraining and breeding thoroughbred horses in Bowral, NSW.</p> <p>Despite coming from different fields, the couple found that they shared a lot of interests. “We both enjoy horses, skiing, architecture, art,” she said. “That’s really important to have a lot in common. And so far, so good.”</p> <p>Armytage said she likes that Lavender is not part of “the media circus”, while Lavender said she is “very natural” as a TV personality.</p> <p>“I think a lot of the people who are in showbusiness are a bit flouncy,” he said. “I’ve seen a few celebrities in public – it’s not always attractive.”</p> <p>Lavender comes to and stays in Sydney during the week while Armytage is filming <em>Sunrise</em>, while the weekends are dedicated to spending time together on his property in the Southern Highlands.</p> <p>Armytage said the couple are “happy and having fun” right now.</p>

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The looks that stop the nation: Best outfits from Melbourne Cup

<p><span>The race that stops the nation is here, and stars from Australia and around the world are dressed to impress for the occasion.</span></p> <p><span>Celebrities and punters arrived at Flemington Racecourse ahead of the main event at 3pm.</span></p> <p><span>Lady Kitty Spencer, who attended the event as the special guest of sponsor Lexus and the Victoria Racing Club, stunned in form-fitting multi-coloured ombre dress with bell sleeves. She paired the sparkly attire with an elaborate black headpiece and strappy heel. </span></p> <p><span>The last time Lady Kitty attended the Melbourne Cup was in 2015, where she wore a white ensemble with a silver-and-white headpiece.</span></p> <p><span>Former <em>The Block</em> contestant Elyse Knowles dons a plunging leopard-print dress, complemented with a black wide-brimmed hat and pointy-toed heels.</span></p> <p><span>TV presenter and former pageant queen Rachael Finch has chosen a Roland Mouret red dress with a wide-brimmed hat, strappy heels and a clutch bag in matching colours.</span></p> <p><em><span>Studio 10 </span></em><span>host Angela Bishop has chosen a long black frock with eye-catching red heart print, paired with a headpiece and a set of long earrings.</span></p> <p><span>Jock Zonfrillo, restaurateur and one of <em>MasterChef</em>’s <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/food-wine/new-masterchef-australia-judges-finally-announced" target="_blank">new judges</a>, has gone for a three-piece suit with black, white and red plaid pattern as he appeared with his wife Lauren, who stunned in black floral dress.</span></p> <p><span>Former tennis player Sam Groth showed up in navy suit and white pants, while his wife Brittany has opted for a long Bohemian-style blue dress.</span></p> <p><span>Scroll through the gallery to see the pictures from the Melbourne Cup. </span></p>

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Princess Charlotte’s striking resemblance with fellow royal

<p>Princess Charlotte has often been compared to her royal family members – some say she bears a striking resemblance to her father Prince William, while others believe she inherited her looks from her grandmother, Princess Diana.</p> <p>Now, a new royal has been pointed out as Charlotte’s lookalike.</p> <p>28-year-old cousin Lady Kitty Spencer is Princess Diana’s niece and a cousin of Prince William and Prince Harry. Spencer is Princess Charlotte’s first cousin once removed.</p> <p>Over the weekend, Lady Kitty shared a throwback photo of herself riding a horse in 1992.</p> <p>“Lexus Melbourne Cup here we come!! Channeling my inner jockey since 1992!” she wrote on the caption.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B4UNWWHheix/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B4UNWWHheix/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Lexus Melbourne Cup here we come!! Channeling my inner jockey since 1992! 🐎 🏆 @lexusaustralia @flemingtonvrc #MelbourneCup #MelbCupCarnival #LoveCupWeek #ExperienceAmazing</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/kitty.spencer/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Kitty Spencer</a> (@kitty.spencer) on Nov 1, 2019 at 1:15am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Fans were quick to notice the Lady’s striking resemblance with Princess Charlotte.</p> <p>“Gosh you look like Princess Charlotte here,” one wrote.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bw72MZGlW5P/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bw72MZGlW5P/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal)</a> on May 1, 2019 at 2:31pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“So cute!! Princess Charlotte looks like you!!” another commented.</p> <p>“Beautiful and like Princess Charlotte,” one added.</p> <p>Another photo that Lady Kitty shared from November 2018 from her first day at school also had fans pointing out her similarities with Princess Charlotte. “I thought she was Charlotte,” a fan wrote.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BqexQAQhkBd/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BqexQAQhkBd/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">First day of school 🤓 #tbt</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/kitty.spencer/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Kitty Spencer</a> (@kitty.spencer) on Nov 22, 2018 at 3:22am PST</p> </div> </blockquote>

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Celebrate Christmas like a Royal

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As the holiday season approaches, many of us will be busy buying presents, testing out Christmas recipes, and organising festive feasts for our loved ones, so it’s only befitting to ensure you host an impeccable dinner party.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Zarife Hardy, Director of the Australian School of Etiquette, shares her etiquette tips and reflects on some royal traditions so you can celebrate Christmas as the Royals would.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Royal Family have traditionally spent Christmas Eve together at the Queen’s country home, with the grandchildren putting the finishing touches to the tree. Holiday rituals in the royal household today come from ways of celebrating popularised by Queen Victoria herself. Some of these traditions have become the accepted way we celebrate Christmas nowadays.</span></p> <p><strong>Royal traditions</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Royals will lay out all their presents in the drawing room, opening their gifts on Christmas Eve. The Monarch’s gifts are unlikely to be pricey, as the Royals tend to buy each other jokey things. At 8pm, a candlelit dinner is served, with the ladies in gowns and jewels, and the men dressed in black tie. While it is a formal affair, it is also a wonderful opportunity for the families to catch up.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On the morning of Christmas Day, a full English breakfast is served before everyone attends the traditional church service. Afterwards, they return home for a turkey roast with all the trimmings, before gathering to watch the Queen's speech at 3pm. In 1840, the Christmas Day menu for Queen Victoria and her family included both roast beef and a royal swan or two. Today, the staff can put their feet up, as the family insist on serving themselves their own buffet supper.</span></p> <p><strong>Dos and don’ts</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Reflecting on these traditions, there are some key etiquette learnings that trace back to Queen Victoria’s days — many of which Queen Elizabeth II still likes to follow today.</span></p> <p><strong>Here are some tips to properly prepare you for the holidays:</strong></p> <p>1. Send Christmas cards. Most people enjoy receiving cards and Queen Victoria was a huge fan of the Christmas card.</p> <p>2. Be a gracious guest. If you have been invited to someone’s house for lunch or dinner, show your manners: be on time, bring a gift, don’t drink too much, and know when to leave.</p> <p>3. Always greet guests at the door. Be the perfect host — greet your guests at the front door, introduce them to everyone, and have plenty of food and activities. Do as much preparation as possible the day before so you can enjoy the celebrations with your guests.</p> <p>4. Be generous but don’t get into debt! You don’t have to spend a fortune on gifts — it is nice to give something small to everyone, particularly the children. If funds are limited, bake cakes or biscuits, and present them in a festive gift bag or tray.</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Royal Family doesn’t gift expensive items, rather they like to give each other gag gifts. Prince Charles was once given a white leather toilet seat but found it so comfortable, he now brings it with him on all overseas tours.</span></p> <p>5. Show gratitude even if you don’t like the gift. Keep in mind that the person took time to think about you and select something he or she thought you would like.</p> <p>6. Have fun at the office party but don’t forget where you are. It is never okay to drink too much, tell off-colour jokes, or get too close to other colleagues.</p> <p>7. Spend extra time with children or grandchildren. Be prepared to remind them of all the manners you have taught them — it’s easy to forget during the chaos of Christmas.</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">8.. Don’t forget your thank you cards. Make sure to send a written acknowledgement to all who have given you a gift, hosted an event you attended, or done something special for you. Most importantly, enjoy every moment — Christmas only comes once a year, so be kind, be generous, be grateful.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Zarife Hardy. Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/wyza-life/celebrate-christmas-like-a-royal.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p>

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Budget ways to dress up your home

<p>I want to expand on that post, by showing you that when it comes to the finishing touches in your home, budget can be beautiful.</p> <p>There’s nothing better than decking out your home without spending a lot of money, and below I’m going to tell you which pieces of decor and furniture you can skimp on that are still incredibly stylish.</p> <p><strong>Lamps<br /></strong>Mood lighting in a space is super important, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money here. You have my full approval to spend around $60 on a table lamp and under $150 for a floor lamp. With table lamps, opt for varieties with a large base and shade. They’ll take up more space on a table, which means more visual impact.</p> <p>The one thing to look out for with floor lamps is sturdiness. Some cheaper floor lamps can have unstable, wobbly legs (especially tripod varieties). So give your lamp a shake in-store to make sure it’s well grounded. </p> <p><strong>Art prints<br /></strong>I’m a big fan of investing in original art from local artists when decorating a living room, for example. But if you’re dressing a spare room, hallway, office or other room that you don’t spend a tonne of time in, a cluster of budget art prints is the way to go. </p> <p>There are tonnes of online stores that sell prints for around $20 or $30 each (quote art is still on-trend and I love it). Buy four prints, pop them in some cheap IKEA frames, and hang them in a line down your hallway. Instant update for under $200 total. </p> <p><strong><u>Bonus tip:</u></strong> Canvas art is usually priced really well too, it’s light as a feather, and makes a big impact for minimal spend. </p> <p><strong>Mirrors<br /></strong>If your budget is tight, cheap mirrors are the way to go. The beauty of the more affordable ones is that they’re smaller and lighter, so they’re easy to hang using velcro Command hooks or similar.</p> <p>If you want to make a big impact with your mirror, consider four smaller square mirrors hung on the wall in a grid. It’ll take up the space of a much larger mirror, but without the price tag and hassle of hanging something so heavy. </p> <p><strong>Stools<br /></strong>I usually say that anything you sit on should be invested in, because comfort is essential. However, stools are the exception. The truth is, you won’t spend a lot of time on the stool itself (15 minutes while having a tea or coffee), so you don’t have to spend hundreds here.</p> <p>To ensure sturdiness, though, go for a metal bar stool that comes in one piece. That way, the legs won’t wobble and you don’t ever have to worry about it falling apart underneath you. Pop a cushion on top if you need some extra comfort.</p> <p><strong>TV unit<br /></strong>The TV unit is one of the furniture pieces I always advise clients to skimp on if they’re on a budget. This is because you generally don’t even look at it when watching TV, and it’s not a piece built for comfort. It’s literally a rectangular box that elevates your television off the floor.</p> <p>I suggest you go cheap here and save your money to spend on other items. There are TV units on the market for under $70 that come on wheels and still have cavities in them for your DVD player, stereo or set-top box. </p> <p><strong>Hall table<br /></strong>I love a hall or entry table inside the door of a home. It’s a great place for dropping keys and mail. And if nothing else it gives you a space to decorate! The good news is that you can go cheap here too.</p> <p>The one thing to be careful of is not sitting anything too heavy on a hall table. The height of a hall table means that it’s already quite fragile. Cheaper versions often feature thin legs. So either secure it to the wall so it can’t topple over, or ensure it only holds light decor that won’t smash should it get knocked over.</p> <p><strong>The moral of the story<br /></strong>I like a home to have a mix of new and old, pieces you’ve splurged on and items you’ve gotten for a steal. It makes your space feel more well-rounded and personal. So don’t be afraid to go cheap when you need to. It saves you money and then you can invest in more costly design elements that really matter!</p> <p><em>Written by Chris Carroll. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/property/budget-ways-to-dress-up-your-home.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

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Where is Da Vinci’s $450m Jesus painting?

<p>A highly anticipated exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci’s works at the Louvre is set to open on October 24.</p> <p>Nearly 120 of the Italian artist’s most famous art pieces will be brought together with <em>Mona Lisa</em> at the Paris museum to commemorate the 500<sup>th</sup> anniversary of his death.</p> <p>However, with less than two weeks to go before the show opens, there are doubts as to whether the popular <em>Salvator Mundi </em>– the first Leonardo to be found for more than a century – will be featured.</p> <p>The painting, which depicted Jesus in Renaissance dress, emerged as the world’s most expensive after it sold at a 2017 auction for US$450.3 million to Prince Badr bin Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.</p> <p>The painting’s whereabouts is currently not known. New York art historian and dealer Robert Simon claimed he had heard that it was “being kept in a secure art storage facility in Switzerland” as of months ago, while <em><a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-10/da-vinci-s-450-million-masterpiece-kept-on-mbs-s-yacht-artnet">Artnet.com</a> </em>alleged it was stored on a superyacht owned by Saudi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.</p> <p><em><a href="https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/salvator-mundi-set-to-be-a-no-show">The Art Newspaper</a> </em>went further to claim that the <em>Salvator Mundi </em>will be “a no-show”, given that the museum had yet to secure the approval for the loan four weeks prior to the opening.</p> <p><span>A spokeswoman for the Louvre told the <em>Observer</em>: “I confirm the Louvre has asked for the loan of the <em>Salvator Mundi</em>. We don’t have the answer yet and thus, don’t have any further comment.”</span></p> <p>The painting’s authenticity has also been called into question. It was initially attributed to the “school of Giovanni Boltraffio”, a student of Leonardo’s, before it was upgraded to “a work by Boltraffio” in 1958. The piece was only authenticated as “an autograph work by Leonardo” in 2011.</p> <p>Several experts have challenged the attribution, with some <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvator_Mundi_(Leonardo)#cite_note-nytimes.com-85">claiming</a> the painting was a “studio work with a little Leonardo at best”.</p>

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How I survived an online dating scam

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">By the time Jan Marshall, an online dating scam victim from Melbourne, realised that ‘'Eamon Donegal Dubhlainn" did not exist she had already lost $260,000 in life savings, become isolated from her family and friends, and was spiralling down a dangerous path of self-loathing and isolation. It wasn’t until she stopped blaming herself that she was able to turn it all around.</span></p> <p><em><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> spoke with the anti-fraud ambassador to talk about her experience, her long road to recovery, and how she’s now helping other Australians to avoid making the same mistake.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It took only 72 days for Jan to fall prey to an international romance scam but years to come to terms with what had happened.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In 2012, 62-year old Jan moved from Brisbane to Melbourne for work and to be closer to family. She was looking for companionship, someone with whom she could explore Victoria, when she decided to try online dating for the first time.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jan joined free dating website Plenty of Fish and almost immediately she was approached by a man called “Eamon”, who was posing as a lonely engineer from the UK.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I didn’t have a lot of experience with online dating, and I certainly didn’t have the awareness that people would be out to get you. So I took it on face value and I responded to the initial declarations of interest and affection and eventually love,” says Jan.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Through emotional manipulation, the scammer started to earn Jan's trust and worked his way into her heart</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">First, he would reveal intimate details about himself, laying the groundwork for Jan to do the same. Then talked about what they liked and didn’t like, their interests, passions and previous relationships. Above all he made Jan feel special and loved.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“By the time he popped the question, ‘Would you marry someone like me?’ I said yes,” Jan admits. “And that’s exactly what they want to do, they want to get you into that state because they know that when you’re in that state they can manipulate.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Her scammer was persistent, too. He would email and message Jan at all hours, and this left her sleep deprived.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Eventually he managed to isolate her from family and friends. “They get you to the point where you don’t have any control. If there’s anybody out there who’s trying to warn you—and I did have friends who were trying to warn me—they [the scammers] are pretty skilled at separating you from those people. And whether you like it or not you just retract,” she says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">By the time Jan realised she was part of an elaborate financial scam it was too late. She had already lost $260,000. Jan was told the money was for business ventures in Dubai and Europe.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It was always supposed to be a loan, and that I would get the money back,” Jan explains. “When you are in love with them you trust them, you are generous to them, you want them to be happy, and when they raise issues with you, you help them. The same way you would with any family member.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It wasn’t until that man broke contact with me that I realised it was a scam.” While Jan reported the incident to Victorian police, who eventually traced the scam back to Nigeria, she says she doesn’t expect to ever see the money again.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Luckily I was working at the time and that enabled me to deal with some of the financial issues but I still am not able to recover financially from that.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I was retrenched from my job, so I spent about 14 months unemployed. I had to borrow money from friends. I got hardship money out of the little bit of super I had left, and that got me through, and I’ve since started another job. But there’s still credit card debt and tax debt,” she says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Many of the people I’ve spoken to talk about the fact that financially they can never recover.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As the official ambassador for ACORN, a police service that tracks and investigates online crime, Jan is hoping her story will prevent others from making the same mistake. She has also set up a blog, Romance Scam Survivor, dedicated to the cause, and launched a support group and meet-up for victims and vulnerable individuals.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Going public with her story was challenging at first, says Jan. “Initially like many others I really blamed myself. You think you have done wrong, and the attitude of society is that you’ve allowed yourself to be tricked.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“What I realised as I researched scams and what happens in scams is that actually I’d been manipulated by professionals—skilled professionals—and it’s much, much more than a trick. It’s deliberate and criminal fraud,” Jan says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“So coming to terms with that helped me to realise that it wasn’t something that I had done, and when I understood how the scammers worked I was able to turn it around from blaming myself to starting to speak out about it.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Last year, the ACCC received 2620 Australian reports of romance scams, with a total of $22.7 million lost in online dating fraud incidents.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However experts say the figures are a gross underestimate, as many victims are too embarrassed or reluctant to report scams.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Romance scams continue to cause significant emotional and financial harm to the community. We know these figures are only the tip of the iceberg,” said ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard in a statement released earlier this year.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Nearly one in four of the reported romance scams started on social media, particularly Facebook. However, online dating sites are also popular with con artists.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If online dating sites don’t have advice about safe dating practices, then consumers should carefully consider whether those sites have their best interests at heart,” Ms Rickard said.</span></p> <p><strong>Protect yourself online</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Never provide your financial details or send funds to someone you’ve met online.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Run a Google Image search to check the authenticity of any photos provided as scammers often use fake photos they’ve found online.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Be very wary if you are moved off a dating website as scammers prefer to correspond through private emails or the phone to avoid detection.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Don’t share photos or webcam of a private nature. The ACCC has received reports of scammers using this material to blackmail victims.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you think you have fallen victim to a fraudster, contact your bank or financial institution immediately and report it to: </span><a href="http://www.scamwatch.gov.au."><span style="font-weight: 400;">www.scamwatch.gov.au.</span></a></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Mahsa Fratantoni. Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/relationships/how-i-survived-an-online-dating-scam.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au. </span></a></em></p>

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Are these the top 5 TV families of all time?

<p>Are these the top 5 TV families of all time? Whether dysfunctional or picture-perfect, fictional families have taught us that anything is possible with the support of a loving family. What is your favourite TV family of all time?</p> <p>Whether dysfunctional or picture-perfect, fictional families have taught us that anything is possible with the support of a loving family. What is your favourite TV family of all time?</p> <p>Join our countdown of the top 5 TV families!</p> <p><strong>1. The Bundys (Married With Children)</strong></p> <p>With his half-baked wife, ditzy daughter, nerdy son, annoyingly perfect neighbours and unrealised professional football dreams, it’s no wonder poor old Al Bundy barely cracks a smile throughout the ten seasons of Married With Children (1987-1997).</p> <p>His career as a shoe salesman also irked the unconventional father figure, but we fell in love with this unlikely family unit nonetheless, and their flaws only made us adore them more. Oh, Al!   </p> <p><strong>2. The Fletchers (Home and Away)</strong></p> <p>The enduring Fletcher family has been roaming the streets and surfing the waves of Summer Bay for decades. The best known of the Fletchers would still have to be Sally (Kate Richie) and her adopted parents Pippa (played by Vanessa Downing and Debra Lawrence) and Tom (Roger Oakley).</p> <p>The foster-parents-come-caravan-park-managers with seemingly endless love and room to spare encountered a multitude of trials and tribulations but always managed to keep the family together, even after Sally called a mentally unstable murderer “a real psycho” or when she discovered her imaginary friend was actually her twin brother.</p> <p><strong>3. The Clampetts (Beverly Hillbillies)</strong></p> <p><em>"Come and listen to my story 'bout a man named Jed </em><br /><em>A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed </em><br /><em>And then one day he was shootin' at some food </em><br /><em>And up through the ground came a bubblin' crude </em><br /><em>Oil, that is. Black gold. Texas tea…”</em><br />A ragtag bunch, if ever there was one, the endearing Clampetts!</p> <p>Dominating TV ratings during the 1960s, The Beverly Hillbillies told the story of a simple Ozark-mountain family who struck gold, made millions and moved to an exclusive California address. Throughout its nine year run between 1962-1971, the Clampetts starred in 274 slap-your-knee Benny Hill style funny episodes.</p> <p>Hilarious scenarios arise as their untrustworthy banker does his damnedest to keep their oil earnings in the bank by lavishing them with an opulent lifestyle and appeasing unhappy neighbours who want them out of town. Overall, it’s a rollicking good time! </p> <p><strong>4. The Keatons (Family Ties)</strong></p> <p>During the height of President Reagan’s reign the world was introduced to a young Republican named Alex P. Keaton, played perfectly by Michael J. Fox in his breakout television role.</p> <p>Born to a couple of ex-hippies – architect Elyse and community radio employee Steven – the family also included less-than-intelligent, but flirty as hell, Mallory, middle-child syndrome prone Jennifer and, later, baby Andrew.</p> <p>The sometimes political but always funny storylines had that beautiful sitcom quality of wrapping up neatly after half an hour, and they never failed to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.</p> <p><strong>5. Dorothy And Sophia (The Golden Girls)</strong></p> <p>No list would be complete without the ragtag team of Dorothy Zbornak and her mother, Sophia Petrillo. These two women were so different it was hard to believe they were related, the side-splitting banter between the kooky mother and sensible daughter was so good it turned a show featuring a mature, all female cast into a smash hit. We love them for it!</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see our top 5 TV families of all time.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of Wyza.com.au</em></p>

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Skin checks: Don't neglect your skin

<p>It is perhaps not too surprising that Australia has a relatively high skin cancer risk compared to other countries. In fact about two in three of us will be affected to some degree before the age of 70 and over 750,000 new cases of Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma are diagnosed and treated each year.</p> <p>Skin cancer can usually be treated effectively, but there is always a potential for some instances to become quite serious or even fatal and the symptoms are not always very obvious. This makes it vital to maintain a sound strategy for managing your skin cancer risk.</p> <p><strong>The first line of defence</strong><br />As with any health issue, prevention is always better than cure. With so much of our lifestyle being outdoors, it can be easy to forget how much sun exposure we are subjected to. While we may be more conscious of it if we are at the beach or some other relaxation activity, we may not be so vigilant during everyday activities, such as gardening or driving. The sun does not discriminate, however, so constant protective action is essential.</p> <p><strong>The key preventative issues to remember are:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Avoid sun exposure in the peak danger times of 11am -3pm (daylight saving time)</li> <li>Wear a broad brimmed or legionnaires’ hat, long sleeved collared shirts and longer trousers/skirts</li> <li>SPF 30+ sunscreen applied 20 minutes to exposure and reapplied every two hours</li> <li>Close fitting sunglasses - Australian Standard AS1067.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Get familiar with your own skin</strong><br />Even the most cautious sun-smart habits, however, do not eliminate the risk of potentially dangerous skin cancers occurring. Skin cancers rarely hurt and are much more frequently detected by visual checks, rather than any specific pain or discomfort. That means it is essential to be vigilant in inspecting your own skin every three months to keep a track of anything suspicious and to notice any changes in skin blemishes, moles or spots. Some advice on how to do this by yourself (or with the help of a friend or partner) can be found here <a href="http://%20www.cancer.org.au/preventing-cancer/sun-protection/check-for-signs-of-skin-cancer.html">cancer.org.au/preventing-cancer</a></p> <p>Jot down the dates of inspection and any observations on abnormalities or changes. Particular issues that need further investigation by a medical professional include:</p> <ul> <li>a new spot that is different from other spots around it</li> <li>change in shape, size, or colour of a spot, mole or freckle</li> <li>spots, sores or moles that are not healing, itch, tingle, bleed or weep</li> <li>a spot that becomes raised or develops a lump</li> </ul> <p><strong>Regular professional check-ups are essential</strong><br />If you are concerned about any abnormalities you should see your usual doctor, but even if you don’t detect anything yourself it is important to get regular inspections from your doctor on an annual basis, or at more frequent intervals that they recommend if they believe you are higher risk.</p> <p>Skin cancer clinics are also quite prevalent and may be an option for these check-ups. These are usually operated by GPs, but make sure you check up on the qualifications and experience of the person who will examine you.</p> <p>Such examinations will often identify scaly growths or lesions caused by sun damage particularly on the face, scalp, lips, and the back of the hands. While the majority of these are not cancerous and can be treated quickly and simply with a freeze spray or topical creams, they can eventually become cancerous if left untreated.</p> <p>For further information on screening and for details on the various types of skin cancers, visit:<br /><a href="http://www.cancercouncil.com.au/skin-cancer/">cancercouncil.com.au/skin-cancer/</a></p> <p><em>Written by Tom Raeside. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/skin-checks-dont-neglect-your-skin-this-summer.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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