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Turns out holding onto old or unused items are stressing Aussies out

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A new survey of 1,000 people has shown that a shocking 88 per cent of Aussies are stressed out by the amount of clutter and unused items in their home. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The survey was conducted by PureProfile on behalf of MobileMuster this year and found that 58 per cent felt frustrated or annoyed at themselves for holding onto things they no longer needed.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">31 per cent actually felt stressed out or weighed down by these items as well.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This research shows that keeping hold of things that we no longer need, or use can be stressful,” Flinders University Professor of Psychology Mike Kyrios told </span><em><a href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/home/holding-onto-old-and-unused-items-is-making-australians-stressed/news-story/c7918d0bf2834b9fbaaf738cd8f70f93"><span style="font-weight: 400;">news.com.au</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Not only does it clutter our homes, but our old things often weigh us down mentally as our things act as reminders of our former self, which can actually stop people from feeling free and living in the present.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">89 per cent of those surveyed said that they thought that getting rid of the things that cluttered up their home would make them feel happier, but 39 per cent struggled to let go of things as they thought they might be useful in the future.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We know that many people struggle to part ways with their old things because of FOMO — or a Fear Of Missed Opportunities, which often leaves us holding on to things in case we need to use them again, but in reality, we never do, and they just clutter our space,” Prof Kyrios said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Another 63 per cent said that they have held onto an item due to emotional or attachment reasons despite no longer using it.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Psychology tells us that many of us have an inner conflict between feeling attached to our things because we have spent time using and enjoying them,” Prof Kyrios said. “We can struggle as we find it hard to detach ourselves from them.”</span></p>

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When to prune

<p>Ever wondered when the best time is to prune your garden or to grow fruit? This calendar should help you out.</p> <h4>Pruning calendar</h4> <p><strong>Late winter</strong></p> <p>Dormant-prune deciduous fruit trees such as peach, nectarine, apple, pear (always lightly), cherry and European and Japanese plums.</p> <p>Cut back autumn-fruiting raspberries to within a few centimetres of the ground.</p> <p>Begin pinching back cordons and espaliers and rubbing out unwanted vegetative buds to maintain the desired shape.</p> <p>Prune blueberry bushes from the end of harvest through to the following bud break by removing or cutting back old canes. Late winter pruning is ideal.</p> <p>Cut back canes of any newly planted raspberries and hybrid blackberries.</p> <p><strong>Spring</strong></p> <p>Prune apricots in very early spring and before blossom opens.</p> <p>Prune citrus; remove dead or diseased wood and crossed rubbing branches. Remove one limb every three to four years to improve light penetration (the flower bud loss has little effect on yield).</p> <p>Prune passionfruit vines in mid- to late spring.</p> <p>Continue to shape cordons and espaliers during spring by rubbing out vegetative<br />buds that would form unwanted branches and spoil the established shape.</p> <p>Thin the small fruits on early stone and pome fruit trees to improve harvest quality.</p> <p><strong>Summer</strong></p> <p>In the early part of summer, continue judicious fruit thinning on late-season deciduous fruit varieties.</p> <p>Prune gooseberry bushes and white currants after fruiting has finished.</p> <p>Carry out summer pruning on deciduous fruit trees after harvesting in late summer. Only do dwarfed varieties if necessary.</p> <p>Cut out raspberry canes that have fruited.</p> <p><strong>Autumn</strong></p> <p>Complete any summer pruning of deciduous pome and stone fruit trees in early autumn.</p> <p>Cut down the shoots of blackberry hybrids that have fruited.</p> <p>Complete pruning of white currant and gooseberry bushes, and prune red and blackcurrant bushes.</p> <p><strong>Other</strong></p> <p>Tropical trees are usually pruned immediately after fruiting. In the first year this will simply consist of cutting back the leader to about 1 m high. Thereafter, make one thinning cut annually by removing a single limb; this will keep the tree at a manageable size.</p> <p>Bananas are cut to the ground after fruiting. Each plant will be replaced by an emerging sucker.</p> <p>Avocados are pruned lightly immediately after harvest. In the home garden trim only one side or the top of the tree annually. Rotate the part that you trim each year to maximise fruit production.</p> <p><em>Written by Reader's Digest Editors. This article first appeared in <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/gardeing-tips/when-to-prune">Reader’s Digest.</a> For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></p>

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“It’s all gone”: The moment a building gets destroyed by mistake

<p><span>A Sydney gym owner was left devastated after an excavator smashed through her building in a demolition mishap.</span></p> <p><span>The Booty Parlour in Balgowlah will now have to be flattened after an excavator working on the site next door slipped on a pile of rubble and crashed into the two-storey building, leaving a huge hole in the wall and a sagging roof.</span></p> <p><span>Surrounding buildings on Sydney Road were evacuated over fears that the gym could collapse.</span></p> <p><span>The Booty Parlour’s owner Jessica Zukowski said she had closed the studio to celebrate her birthday when the incident occurred on Tuesday.</span></p> <p><span>“I actually had had champagne with my husband because we were about to celebrate my birthday with my family,” she told <em><a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/sydney-traffic-building-collapse-leads-to-road-closures-in-balgowlah/b5eee493-8851-47fb-9340-0ddd56b94cce">9News</a></em>. “We got a couple of calls from friends – that’s how we found out.”</span></p> <p><span>She said she lost about $200,000 worth of gym equipment from the accident.</span></p> <p><span>“We’re not allowed in and we won’t be able to retrieve anything from inside, it’s all gone,” Zukowski told the <em><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-04/sydney-booty-parlour-gym-destroyed-by-mistake/11476874">ABC</a></em>.</span></p> <p><span>In a Facebook post, Zukowski said it was a “super sad day”.</span></p> <p><span>“Our beautiful studio has been destroyed by the accident on Sydney Road in Balgowlah. Fortunately no one was in the studio when the accident occurred and everyone is safe,” she wrote on the gym’s page.</span></p> <p><span>“We’re so sad to say goodbye to this space but so grateful for the memories. It’s been an amazing two-plus years of operation here.”</span></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fthebootyparlour%2Fposts%2F2100277710274961&amp;width=500" width="500" height="821" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see the pictures of the building.</p> <p><em>Photo credit: <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.facebook.com/manlysocialforlocals/" target="_blank">Manly Social</a></em></p>

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Chaos in stores as BIG W launches 80 per cent off sale

<p>BIG W has launched a massive clearance sale with thousands of items heavily discounted, some up to 80 per cent off.</p> <p>The budget department store has had a tough run this year, with the announcement in July that 30 of its stores would be closing.</p> <p> Some items available in the clearance sale start from just $1.</p> <p>Discounted brands include the much-loved Dyson, with the brand’s vacuums reduced to $449. The Dyson V7 Origin cordless vacuum has had $200 slashed off the price, making it available at $399.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/media/7830426/big-w-body.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/2b576de8d5e94b9a8162bf2e769eb9fa" /></p> <p>A huge range of toys are available in the clearance sale, including Lego, Marvel and Disney brands available at a large discount.</p> <p>Bedding, beauty products, exercise and fitness gear, camping equipment and luggage are also included in the sale.</p> <p>There’s 40 per cent off on Covergirl, Maybelline, Max Factor X and L’Oreal cosmetics as well as 30 per cent off Logitech computer equipment.</p> <p>If you finally want to get into meal prepping or just have a better way to store your food, the department store is offering ½ price on Décor food storage.</p> <p>The clearance sale is online and in store and is available while stocks last. Some deals are only available until the 19th<span> </span><span> </span><span> </span><br />of September, so get in quick!</p>

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Time's up for "monster" magpie after 40 complaints and 3 years of attacks

<p>An aggressive magpie who had 40 complaints made against it has been killed in Sydney’s north-west ahead of another swooping season.</p> <p>The magpie was infamous in Bella Vista as it attacked multiple people on Old Windsor Road over the last three years, and its hostile behaviour wasn’t due to nesting season.</p> <p>Hills District Council said the magpie attacked outside of “swooping season” which usually starts at the beginning of spring.</p> <p>“A particularly aggressive magpie has been impacting pedestrians and cyclists along the path and on Old Windsor Road adjacent to Francesco Crescent Reserve, Bella Vista over a number of years,” a spokesperson for the Hills Shire Council said.</p> <p>“Council has received 40 complaints over the last three years and there have been confirmed injuries, of which several resulted in hospitalisation from this particular magpie.</p> <p>“The magpie was known to attack people outside of ‘swooping season’ and its attacks are not linked to the protection of a next.”</p> <p>The council revealed that attempts were made countless times to relocate the magpie, before they decided to kill the animal.</p> <p>“Council does not usually take action to remove or destroy magpies – the usual procedure is to signpost known risk areas as birds are generally only aggressive for four to six weeks per year.</p> <p>“Having regard to the number of complaints, number of confirmed injuries and ongoing risk associated with the location, and after having exhausted all practical alternatives to alleviate the risk, Council was issued a permit from the National Parks and Wildlife Service to engage a pest controller who humanely euthanised the bird to prevent further serious injuries. This course of action was not taken lightly.”</p>

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8 things you never knew you could put in your dishwasher

<div id="page1" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>You’d be surprised just how many household items can be given a thorough cleaning in your humble dishwasher.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/13-things-you-never-knew-you-could-put-in-the-dishwasher"><strong>1. Small plastic toys</strong></div> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/13-things-you-never-knew-you-could-put-in-the-dishwasher"> <p>Germs can linger on your kids’ toys for months. Disinfect them by putting them in a mesh lingerie bag on the top shelf of your dishwasher. Then just let the normal cycle run.</p> <p><strong>2. Hairbrushes</strong></p> <p>Your hairbrush can hold almost 3,500 colonies of bacteria, according to University of Arizona research. Remove any stray hairs and drop your brush in the silverware tray for a thorough cleanse. Remember: Only plastic brushes or combs. Wooden or boar-bristle brushes will get ruined.</p> <p><strong>3. Potatoes</strong></p> <div id="page5" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Making mashed potatoes for your next big family gathering? Cut your preparation time and wash your spuds on a rinse-only cycle – no detergent! – on the top shelf.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/13-things-you-never-knew-you-could-put-in-the-dishwasher"><strong>4. Refrigerator shelves</strong></div> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/13-things-you-never-knew-you-could-put-in-the-dishwasher"> <p>Between leaking meat juices and spilled food, your fridge can get really gross really fast. Instead of scrubbing every last inch clean, throw those shelves in with your other dishes.</p> <p><strong>5. Penholders</strong></p> <div id="page8" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>When it comes to cleaning, common desk items like penholders and trays for scrap paper often get overlooked. If they’re metal or plastic, toss them in your next dishwasher load.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/13-things-you-never-knew-you-could-put-in-the-dishwasher"><strong>6. Bathroom stuff</strong></div> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/13-things-you-never-knew-you-could-put-in-the-dishwasher"> <div id="page10" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Your bathroom is a haven for bacteria, from soap dishes to bathtub drain plugs to toothbrush holders. Luckily, all of them can be cleaned on the top rack with your other dishes.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/13-things-you-never-knew-you-could-put-in-the-dishwasher"><strong>7. Nail clippers and tweezers</strong></div> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/13-things-you-never-knew-you-could-put-in-the-dishwasher"> <div id="page11" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Most cosmetic tools like nail clippers and tweezers are dishwasher safe. You can even wash plastic makeup brushes.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/13-things-you-never-knew-you-could-put-in-the-dishwasher"><strong>8. Razors</strong></div> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/13-things-you-never-knew-you-could-put-in-the-dishwasher"> <div id="page13" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Razors can get dirty from more than just hair. They also pick up the chemicals in your shaving cream and salts from the water. When you wash them in a dishwasher, use liquid detergent. Tablets can leave grit on the metal.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/13-things-you-never-knew-you-could-put-in-the-dishwasher"><em>Written by Claire Novak. </em><em>This article first appeared in <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/13-things-you-never-knew-you-could-put-in-the-dishwasher" target="_blank">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

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10 tips on how to help your indoor garden thrive

<div class="slide-title"> <div id="page1" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Plants bring life and colour into the home and require little in the way of maintenance. Follow these simple tips and your plants should flourish.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/gardening-tips/how-help-your-indoor-garden-thrive"> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/gardening-tips/how-help-your-indoor-garden-thrive"><strong>1. Position plants carefully</strong></div> <p>Look for the best place in the house for each plant, and don’t be afraid to try different locations until you find the best spot. </p> <p><strong>2. Re-create a forest floor</strong></p> <p>If a room seems too dark to sustain a healthy plant, don’t be fooled. Most indoor plants originate in tropical and subtropical regions, in particular equatorial forests, and they thrive in dim environments and filtered light. The ideal spot is in front of a large window facing east or west, filtered if necessary through a net scrim curtain.</p> <p><strong>3. Sun-lovers face north</strong></p> <p>If you have a plant that thrives on lots of sun, place it on a windowsill facing north or north-east. Check soil moisture levels regularly and inspect the leaves to check they are not being burned. At the slightest sign of withering, move the plant towards the middle of the room.</p> <p><strong>4. Plants for the bathroom</strong></p> <p><span>Ferns and other moisture-loving plants do best in vaporous rooms like bathrooms where they can lap up regular doses of mist.</span></p> <p><strong>5. Water from the bottom</strong></p> <div id="page6" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Water poured directly onto the soil may flood, or not reach the pot plant’s roots. Instead, water plants bottom up by standing them in a dish and filling the dish with water. Delicate plants such as fuchsias thrive on this method. For this method to work, all pots should have holes in the bottom through which the water is absorbed.</p> <p><strong>6. Keep away from drafts</strong></p> <div id="page7" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>If you don’t want your plant to die of heat or cold, avoid placing it in draughty areas or near ducted heat or air-conditioning outlets.</p> <p><strong>7. Do not over water</strong></p> <div id="page8" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Water your plants only when the potting mix feels dry to the touch – over watering is often the cause of indoor plant death. Check by pushing your finger into the soil; if it comes out without any trace of soil on it, start watering. Remember that plants may need more frequent watering in summer.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/gardening-tips/how-help-your-indoor-garden-thrive"><strong>8. Remember, plants like to be misted</strong></div> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/gardening-tips/how-help-your-indoor-garden-thrive"> <div id="page9" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Most indoor plants benefit from an occasional misting of water. Make sure the water is at room temperature and use an atomizer or spray bottle. Misting is particularly beneficial if you live in a centrally heated or air-conditioned house as the air can become very dry.</p> <p><strong>9. Apply some fertiliser</strong></p> <p>Feed your plants with small amounts of fertiliser. The fastest and simplest solution is complete liquid fertiliser in the recommended dose, usually every two to four weeks – check the label. </p> <p><strong>10. Use ice cubes</strong></p> <p>An efficient way to water your plants directly at a steady rate is to use ice cubes. Put a couple on top of the pot soil and leave them to melt.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div id="page6" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <div id="page7" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <div id="page8" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/gardening-tips/how-help-your-indoor-garden-thrive"> <div id="page9" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <div id="page11" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p class="p1"><em>Written by Brenda Schmerl. This article first appeared in <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/gardening-tips/how-help-your-indoor-garden-thrive" target="_blank">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

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“Do not drive your car!”: The alarming note a family found

<p><span>A Queensland family found a note warning them not to drive their car for an alarming reason.</span></p> <p><span>The family – who live in Slacks Creek, southeast of Brisbane – were at home on Sunday at around 5pm when they found the handwritten note left on the car’s windscreen.</span></p> <p><span>“Do not drive your car,” the message read.</span></p> <p><span>“There’s a snake underneath or in your motor. Call a snake catcher for your own sake! Please, this is no joke!”</span></p> <p><span>The message was confirmed to be true after the family reviewed their home security footage, which showed a 1.6-metre carpet python slither under the car.</span></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fwww.snakecatchers.com.au%2Fposts%2F1082514311937181&amp;width=500" width="500" height="706" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p><span>Snake catcher Bryce Lockett was called in to capture the snake. “The family weren’t sure if the snake had left either,” Lockett told <em><a href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/concerned-passerby-leaves-note-on-car-snake-warning-020458652.html">Yahoo News Australia</a></em>.</span></p> <p><span>“They didn’t want to open the bonnet either. They were terrified.”</span></p> <p><span>Lockett told <em><a href="https://10daily.com.au/news/australia/a190902vyact/do-not-drive-your-car-the-terrifying-note-a-family-found-20190902">10 daily</a> </em>the snake was found at the back of the car’s engine. “While the python isn’t venomous, it risked harm to itself and the car’s engine due to its location,” he said.</span></p> <p><span>As the weather warms up, snakes come out of their brumation period to bask in the sun, feed and mate.</span></p> <p><span>“Males can get very engrossed in trying to impress females and don’t realise where they are or what’s around them,” said Lockett.</span></p> <p><span>“We tend to get called out at this time of year for male snakes fighting in people’s roofs and backyards.”</span></p> <p><span>Snake catcher Tony Harrison also said this is a busy time of the year. “September was a very, very busy month and October too; a quiet day was six or eight call-outs and some days up to 14 at least,” Harrison told <em><a href="https://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/warm-weather-has-snakes-on-the-move-across-queensland/news-story/57c5ba43d6195429cb43c47bbab7d196">The Courier-Mail</a></em>. </span></p> <p><span>He said the number of call-outs will increase further in December.</span></p>

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Obama shells out almost $22 million on bizarre island retreat

<p>Barack and Michelle Obama are planning on buying a massive Martha’s Vineyard estate.</p> <p>The Obamas’ are in contract to buy an almost 12-hectare beachfront property, with a massive 640sqm main house.</p> <p>According to the<span> </span><a href="https://nypost.com/2019/08/22/barack-and-michelle-obama-are-buying-15m-estate-in-marthas-vineyard/"><em>NY Post</em></a>, the family were just renting the beachfront house for the summer but quickly fell in love and made an offer.</p> <p>The seven-bedroom, eight-bathroom property certainly has room for everyone and has a living room with vaulted ceilings and a stone fireplace.</p> <p>The home also includes a chef’s kitchen and a formal dining room with giant windows. The home is located in Edgartown, Massachusetts and was formerly owned by Boston Celtics chief Wyc Grousbeck.</p> <p>The master suite has a fireplace and a private sun deck for the power couple to relax in.</p> <p>Outside, there’s a pool with a fireplace as well as a private beach which include a boathouse.</p> <p>The location is known for its classic white-painted New England architecture and is ripe with world-class restaurants where other celebrities frequent, including David Letterman and Amy Schumer.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see inside the Obama’s new home.</p> <p><em>Photo credits: <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.realtor.com/news/" target="_blank">Realtor.com</a></em></p>

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6 things you should never do at home during severe weather

<p>Follow these tips to stay safe in severe weather in your home.</p> <p><strong>1. Never run a generator indoors during a power outage</strong></p> <p>A generator is the best thing to have in a blackout. But it can make<span> </span><em>you</em><span> </span>blackout (or die). Hurricane Katrina led to more than 50 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning. Like any internal combustion engine, a generator engine exhausts carbon monoxide gas, which can give you a headache, knock you out, or even kill you. This is easy to avoid, though: Don’t run a generator in your garage or porch, and keep it at least 3 metres from your house.</p> <p><strong>2. Never talk on the phone</strong></p> <p>Your home is probably the safest place to be in an electrical storm. But here’s a safety tip you may not know. Lightning can still get to you through the conductive paths in your house; that means your wiring, your plumbing, and water.</p> <p>Talking on a corded phone, taking a shower or bath, working on your desktop computer, or handling power tools during an electrical storm isn’t much safer than standing outside. It’s best to stay away from all water and appliances until the storm passes.</p> <p><strong>3. Never not be aware of your safe place</strong></p> <div class="views-field views-field-field-slides"> <div class="field-content"> <div class="field-collection-view clearfix view-mode-full field-collection-view-final"> <div class="entity entity-field-collection-item field-collection-item-field-slides clearfix"> <div class="content"> <div class="field field-name-field-slide-content field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item even"> <p>Whether you’re at home or the office, know where you’re going to go during severe weather. If you don’t have access to an underground shelter, move to the interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and get under a sturdy piece of furniture.</p> <p>Take a few minutes and put together a family survival plan. It’ll help keep your loved ones and your home safe. Keep in mind these everyday fixes to survive everything.</p> <p><strong>4. Never board up windows during a storm</strong></p> <div class="views-field views-field-field-slides"> <div class="field-content"> <div class="field-collection-view clearfix view-mode-full field-collection-view-final"> <div class="entity entity-field-collection-item field-collection-item-field-slides clearfix"> <div class="content"> <div class="field field-name-field-slide-content field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item even"> <p>The time to board up your windows is on a calm, sunny day before a storm arrives. If you wait until a tropical system starts bringing wind and rain to the area, you’re endangering yourself. Large boards could be blown out of your hands, becoming a dangerous projectile.</p> <p>Listen to the forecast and make a decision several days in advance whether you’re going to board the windows or not.</p> <p><strong>5. Never look out the window!</strong></p> <div class="views-field views-field-field-slides"> <div class="field-content"> <div class="field-collection-view clearfix view-mode-full field-collection-view-final"> <div class="entity entity-field-collection-item field-collection-item-field-slides clearfix"> <div class="content"> <div class="field field-name-field-slide-content field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item even"> <p>We all know that windows are dangerous during storms, but what do most people do when they hear a severe weather warning? They run right to the window to see what they can see. In high winds, windows can easily brake sending glass and other debris inside!</p> <p><strong>6. Never get shocked in a flooded home</strong></p> <p>If your home has been inundated over electrical wiring, power outlets, electric hot water systems or other electrical installations (including switchboards), organise a licensed electrical contractor to check the premises as soon as flooding or water has abated. Do not touch them and do not attempt to unplug them or test them in any way.</p> <p>All electrical appliances affected by water should be inspected by a qualified electrician before use. No matter whether the water on an appliance came from a flood, or through general storm damage, never turn on the power to an appliance until it has been checked first.</p> <p class="p1"><em>Written by Elizabeth Flaherty.<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.handyman.net.au/17-things-you-should-never-do-home-during-severe-weather">Handyman</a>.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

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See inside Jackie O’s gorgeous vineyard home that's selling for $65 million

<p>Jackie Kennedy’s stunning Martha Vineyard estate has been listed for an eye watering $65 million. </p> <p>Jackie purchased the expansive 340-acre oceanfront property, known as Red Gate Farm, in 1979. </p> <p>The main residence alone is a whopping 5,456-square foot property and boasts five en-suite bedrooms, two “powder” rooms as well as a chef’s kitchen. </p> <p>The home also included a chef’s kitchen and the property also has a two-story guest home with four bedrooms and three bathrooms. </p> <p>The property has been listed by the celebrity’s oldest daughter, Caroline Kennedy who said: “Forty years ago, my mother fell in love with Martha’s Vineyard.”</p> <p>"When she found Red Gate Farm, it was a perfect expression of her romantic and adventurous spirit. The dunes and ponds and rolling hills of Aquinnah gave her the chance to create a world where she could be so close to nature, close to her family and friends, and, most importantly, close to her beloved books. She even built a fairy treehouse for her grandchildren. </p> <p>“Those grandchildren are grown so now it is time for us to follow my mother’s example and create our own worlds. We hope that a new family will treasure this place as we have for three generations.”</p> <p>The breathtaking property was designed by Hugh Newell Jacobsen and was renovated in 2000 by Deborah Bere, Dean of the Yale School of Architecture, </p> <p>Situated on the edge of Squibnocket Pond, the estate has over a mile of the Atlantic beachfront as a glorious view. </p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see Jackie Kennedy’s gorgeous home.</p>

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Are common garden chemicals a health risk?

<p><em>As the weather warms and days lengthen, your attention may be turning to that forgotten patch of your backyard. This week we’ve asked our experts to share </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/au/topics/gardening-series-31530"><em>the science behind gardening</em></a><em>. So grab a trowel and your green thumbs, and dig in.</em></p> <p>Gardening is good for your health, but it can pose some risks if you’re not careful. For example, you should use <a href="http://www.cancer.org.au/preventing-cancer/sun-protection/campaigns-and-events/slip-slop-slap-seek-slide.html">sensible protection against the sun</a> to prevent cancer, a significant cause of death in Australia.</p> <p>Gardening in Australia also requires, to varying degrees depending where in the country you are, pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers. There is an enormous number of agents with multiple formulations, depending on what you are doing, what plants you are tending, the size of your garden and the kind of soil.</p> <p>These garden treatments are designed to be specific and potent, so they can be applied less often and work (mostly) only on the things you want them to work on. All of them – even the “natural” ones such as sulfur dusts to control caterpillars and mildew – are chemicals, which means they have health risks.</p> <p><strong>Regulation of chemicals</strong></p> <p>While not perfect, gardening product safety is regulated in Australia. Let me introduce you to the <a href="http://apvma.gov.au/">Australian Veterinary Medicines and Pesticides Authority</a>. This body regulates pesticide (a substance that kills pests such as insects and weeds) and herbicide (a substance that kills only weeds) products sold in Australia.</p> <p>The AVPMA regularly reviews products for safety concerns, though the reviews may be decades apart. It co-ordinates with World Health Organisation bodies and its counterparts in Europe, Canada and the United States.</p> <p>Given the sheer number of compounds and formulations available, I can’t possibly cover the safety of all chemicals, or even all groups of chemicals. If you are concerned about a particular product, you can search the AVPMA site for the ingredients in a given pesticide, herbicide or fertiliser.</p> <p>This may be tricky, as some will not necessarily have a chemical name on them, just the trade name. However, most pesticides and herbicides from reputable companies should have a <a href="http://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/safety-and-prevention/health-and-safety-topics/material-safety-data-sheets">material safety data sheet</a> (MSDS) with them. This should give you the details you need to check through the AVPMA site.</p> <p><strong>Pesticides</strong></p> <p>There are three ways to deal with pests (well, four if you count laboriously picking them off your plants): repel, smother or poison them. All these can harm people if they are exposed to significant quantities. But in an urban garden, exposure to pesticides is typically small and of limited duration.</p> <p>Common smothering pesticides are oils such as petroleum oils used to control, say, leaf pests on citrus, or pests in a variety of other circumstances. If you apply these often, without gloves, you might get skin irritation; or <a href="https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search2/f?./temp/%7E3mAY3J:1">lung irritation</a> if you breath the spray in. So always follow the directions, which include wearing gloves and spraying so the wind doesn’t blow the spray back into your face.</p> <p>Modern poisoning insecticides include the <a href="http://apvma.gov.au/node/19186">pyrethrums</a> which are found naturally in some chrysanthemum flowers. Both the natural pyrethrum and synthetic pyrethroids have low toxicity to humans – <a href="http://apvma.gov.au/node/2760">particularly at the doses</a> found in garden products. Continuous use of pyrethroid insecticides <a href="http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/pyrethrins.pdf">has no health implications</a> for humans if instructions are followed.</p> <p>Neonicotinoids are synthetic insecticides that mimic nicotine, which is toxic to insects. These have a place in pest control if used thoughtfully and sparingly. Unlike pyrethroids, these insecticides target a pathway in the insect nervous system shared with humans, so could potentially harm us.</p> <p>When used as directed, <a href="http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/imidagen.html">poisoning should not occur</a> and animal studies suggest human exposure should not lead to <a href="http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/imidagen.html#study">significant health effects</a>. Neonicotinoids <a href="http://apvma.gov.au/node/12291">are toxic to bees</a>, although <a href="https://theconversation.com/neonicotinoids-linked-to-wild-bee-and-butterfly-declines-in-europe-and-us-63999">Australia has not had the big bee crash</a> seen in the US and parts of Europe.</p> <p>Chronic use of neonicotinoids in a human gardening population has not been assessed for long-term health effects, but a <a href="http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/wp-content/uploads/advpub/2016/7/EHP515.acco.pdf">small study of agricultural workers</a> has shown no effect of chronic exposure. Another small study, however, suggests some association with memory loss.</p> <p><strong>Herbicides</strong></p> <p>Again, there is a bewildering variety of herbicides, depending on what weedy species is being targeted and how the weed is being killed.</p> <p>Right out of the gate is glyphosate, used for <a href="http://www.lawncareadvice.com.au/lawn-weeds/94-controlling-broadleaf-weeds.html">broadleaf weeds</a>. This chemical, commonly sold as Roundup, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/apr/21/glyphosate-probably-carcinogenic-pesticide-why-cities-use-it">caused some controversy</a> after the <a href="http://www.iarc.fr/en/about/index.php">International Agency for Research on Cancer</a> (IARC) concluded it was a probable human carcinogen.</p> <p>However, the IARC’s determination was based on only a small number of animal studies and didn’t include a number of animal studies where glyphosate did not cause cancer. It also said <a href="https://theconversation.com/council-workers-spraying-the-weed-killer-glyphosate-in-playgrounds-wont-hurt-your-children-54831">nothing about risk</a>; that is, what is the likelihood glyphosate would cause cancer at the concentrations humans are usually exposed to?</p> <p>The European Food Safety Authority and the AVPMA have evaluated the evidence and determined that <a href="http://apvma.gov.au/node/13891">under appropriate handling conditions</a> applicable to general backyard gardeners, there is no risk to humans.</p> <p>As a comparison, a homemade herbicide of salt, vinegar and soap that is claimed as a replacement for glyphosate is <a href="https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2014/06/06/homemade-herbicide-of-salt-vinegar-and-soap-more-expensive-and-toxic-than-glyphosate-in-roundup/">more toxic than glyphosate</a>.</p> <p>Another herbicide for woody weeds, like blackberry, is <a href="http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC34645">Triclopyr</a>. This can cause eye and skin irritation, but has no serious long-term health impacts if proper safety procedures are followed.</p> <p><strong>Fertilisers</strong></p> <p>There are many formulations and varieties of fertilisers depending on soil type and location (where I live is basically sand). Health risks are basically related to long-term inhalation of fine particles, which could cause breathing difficulties. Once again follow the safety instruction.</p> <p><strong>Caveat</strong></p> <p>Just because a given product is not, or minimally, toxic to humans, that does not mean you should apply it to your garden by the bucket load. Always apply any garden chemical with care and thought, using the right amount at the right time for the right purpose.</p> <p>Any agent you apply or spray can cause adverse reactions if you don’t use it as directed. Getting <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s2817126.htm">“organic” garlic and soap insecticide spray</a> in your eyes will hurt like billy-o, just like the latest you-beaut synthetic pyrethrum spray, even though both are pretty much non-toxic to humans.</p> <p>Inhaling dusts can irritate your lungs. Always make sure you are wearing gloves, apply sprays and dusts downwind and wear goggles if necessary. Always follow the directions.</p> <p><em>Written by Ian Musgrave. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/are-common-garden-chemicals-a-health-risk-65643"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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Royal hideaway! See Inside Elton John’s French home

<p>When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex faced a wave of criticism and backlash from the media and public - a long-time friend of Prince Harry’s mother, Elton John, decided to step in. </p> <p>The musician who once said the late Princess Di could wal into a room and make everything “great,” has come to the defense of the royal’s youngest son and wife for taking a private jet to France for a secret getaway with their newborn son, Archie. </p> <p>world-famous celebrity revealed he footed the bill for the private jet - which is reportedly carbon-neutral - and that the family were visiting him at his estate in Nice. </p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="/media/7829885/harry-meghan.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/75c49c1403d44c4fbb27e56f5bcf4b0c" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Elton John greeting Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry at the London premier of The </em><em>Lion King on July 14, 2019.</em></p> <p>"After a hectic year continuing their hard work and dedication to charity, David and I wanted the young family to have a private holiday inside the safety and tranquility of our home," John explained in a Twitter thread.</p> <p>The vacation, we are sure, was stuff made of dreams based on the mesmerizing photos of Elton’s stunning French property. </p> <p>The home was built in the 1920’s as an artist’s colony, according to<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://people.com/home/all-about-elton-johns-home-in-france-where-meghan-markle-and-prince-harry-recently-vacationed/" target="_blank">People<span> </span></a>magazine, however it was refurbished to suit the singer’s personality. </p> <p>The sprawling property, said John to<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/elton-john-homes-old-windsor-london-atlanta-nice-france-article" target="_blank">Architectural Digest</a><span> </span>in 2000, was what “heaven must be like this.”</p> <p>"If Gabriel popped out from behind a tree and said hi, I wouldn’t be surprised. The gates close behind me, and I leave the rest of the world behind."</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see Elton John’s gorgeous French property - where Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan vacationed. </p>

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The science is in: Gardening is good for you

<p>As the weather warms and days lengthen, your attention may be turning to that forgotten patch of your backyard. This week we’ve asked our experts to share the science behind gardening. So grab a trowel and your green thumbs, and dig in.</p> <p>“That’s all very well put,” says Candide, in the final line of Voltaire’s novel of the same name, “but we must go and work our garden.”</p> <p>I studied this text at high school before I became a gardener and professional horticulturist. We were taught that Candide’s gardening imperative was metaphorical not literal; a command for finding an authentic vocation, not a call to take up trowels and secateurs.</p> <p>In fact, Voltaire himself really believed that active gardening was a great way to stay sane, healthy and free from stress. That was 300 years ago.</p> <p>As it turns out, the science suggests he was right.</p> <p><strong>The science of therapeutic horticulture</strong></p> <p>Gardens and landscapes have long been designed as sanctuaries and retreats from the stresses of life – from great urban green spaces such as Central Park in New York to the humblest suburban backyard. But beyond the passive enjoyment of a garden or of being in nature more generally, researchers have also studied the role of actively caring for plants as a therapeutic and educational tool.</p> <p>“Therapeutic horticulture” and “horticultural therapy” have become recognised treatments for stress and depression, which have served as a healing aid in settings ranging from prisons and mental health treatment facilities to schools and hospitals.</p> <p><strong>Gardening and school</strong></p> <p>Studies of school gardening programs – which usually centre on growing food – show that students who have worked on designing, creating and maintaining gardens develop more positive attitudes about health, nutrition and the <a href="http://www.kohalacenter.org/HISGN/pdf/HPP_2011_MMR_Sample1.pdf">consumption</a> of <a href="http://search.proquest.com/openview/61a8bb123ec000d6a6348aeb950645fa/1?pq-origsite=gscholar">vegetables</a>.</p> <p>They also <a href="http://horttech.ashspublications.org/content/15/3/439.short">score better</a> on science <a href="http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/syllabi/435/Articles/Klemmer.pdf">achievement</a>, have better attitudes about school, and improve their <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15330150701318828">interpersonal skills</a> and <a href="https://food-hub.org/files/resources/Blair_The%20Child%20in%20the%20Garden_J.%20Environ%20Educ_2009.pdf">classroom behaviour</a>.</p> <p>Research on students confirms that gardening leads to higher levels of self-esteem and responsibility. Research suggests that incorporating gardening into a <a href="http://kohalacenter.org/HISGN/pdf/Thechildinthegarden.pdf">school setting</a> can boost group cohesiveness.</p> <p><strong>Gardening and mental health</strong></p> <p>Tailored gardening programs have been shown to increase quality of life for people with <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J004v16n01_02">chronic mental illnesses</a>, including <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J004v16n01_02">anxiety and depression</a>.</p> <p>Another study on the use of therapeutic horticulture for patients with clinical depression sought to understand why gardening programs were effective in lessening patient experience of depression. They found that structured gardening activities gave patients existential purpose. Put simply, it <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/01612840.2010.528168">gave their lives meaning</a>.</p> <p>In jails and corrective programs, horticultural therapy programs have been used to give inmates positive, purposeful activities that lessen aggression and hostility during and after incarceration.</p> <p>In one detailed study from a San Francisco program, involvement in therapeutic horticulture was particularly effective in <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J076v26n03_10">improving psychosocial functioning</a> across prison populations (although the benefits were not necessarily sustained after release.)</p> <p>Gardening has been shown to help improve the lives of <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jacqueline_Atkinson/publication/265575473_AN_EVALUATION_OF_THE_GARDENING_LEAVE_PROJECT_FOR_EX-MILITARY_PERSONNEL_WITH_PTSD_AND_OTHER_COMBAT_RELATED_MENTAL_HEALTH_PROBLEMS/links/55094b960cf26ff55f852b50.pdf">military veterans</a> and <a href="http://www.joe.org/joe/2007june/iw5p.shtml">homeless people</a>. Various therapeutic horticulture <a href="https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/dspace-jspui/handle/2134/2930">programs</a> have been used to help people with learning difficulties, asylum seekers, refugees and victims of torture.</p> <p><strong>Gardening and older people</strong></p> <p>As populations in the West age, hands-on gardening programs have been used for older people in nursing homes and related facilities.</p> <p>A systematic review of 22 studies of gardening programs for older adults found that gardening was a powerful <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01924788.2013.784942">health-promoting activity</a> across diverse populations.</p> <p>One <a href="http://journals.lww.com/jcrjournal/Abstract/2005/09000/Effects_of_Horticultural_Therapy_on_Mood_and_Heart.8.aspx">study</a> sought to understand if patients recovering from heart attack might benefit from a horticultural therapy program. It concluded:</p> <p>[Our] findings indicate that horticultural therapy improves mood state, suggesting that it may be a useful tool in reducing stress. Therefore, to the extent that stress contributes to coronary heart disease, these findings support the role of horticultural therapy as an effective component of cardiac rehabilitation.</p> <p>While the literature on the positive effects of gardening, reflecting both qualitative and quantitative studies, is large, most of these studies are from overseas.</p> <p>Investment in horticultural therapy programs in Australia is piecemeal. That said, there are some standout success stories such as the <a href="https://www.kitchengardenfoundation.org.au/">Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation</a>and the work of nurse <a href="https://www.anmfvic.asn.au/membership/member-profiles/steven-wells">Steven Wells at the Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre</a> and beyond.</p> <p>Finally, without professionally trained horticulturists none of these programs – in Australia or internationally – can take place.</p> <p><em>Written by Chris Williams. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/the-science-is-in-gardening-is-good-for-you-65251"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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“They are truly disgusting”: Are you making this mistake while cleaning your kitchen?

<p>One university hygiene expert has warned the public that an item in your kitchen must be avoided at all costs.</p> <p>It’s a single rectangular sponge, and according to Professor Marylouise McLaws, who’s a germ and hygiene expert at the University of New South Wales, this item is “truly disgusting”.</p> <p>She told<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/what-the-dirtiest-item-in-your-kitchen-is-075647429.html" target="_blank">Yahoo News Australia</a><span> </span>that people should be more wary of the good old kitchen sponge.</p> <p>“They are truly disgusting. I recommend people don’t use them at all,” Professor McLaws said.</p> <p>“Those sponges are full of water and can contain bacteria that can cause an upset stomach. A small amount of that bacteria in the water can give it the perfect environment to breed in.”</p> <p>Professor McLaws said that a “perfect storm” for bacteria is when the sponge is taken to a kitchen bench that has already been contaminated by regular household items and their germs, such as from bags, animals, backpacks and other items from outside.</p> <p>“I dislike them intensely. They could be used on the floor, but should certainly never be used on dishes after that,” Professor McLaws said.</p> <p>Professor McLaws encourages people to use paper towels with soapy water or mild bleach spray instead of using bacteria-ridden sponges.</p> <p>“You have no idea if the cat has jumped up on it [the kitchen bench], and what kind of things are being brought in on the bottom of shopping bags,” she said.</p> <p>She also reminded people that they should clean “high-touch” areas.</p> <p>“These include places like the fridge handle, the dishwasher and other nobs and handles that are used frequently by multiple people,” she said.</p> <p>A warning is in place for the use of tea towels, as these are breeding grounds for bacteria as well.</p> <p>“Viruses and bacteria can just sit on tea towels. Households wanting to cut down on sick days should use a different towel for hands and dishes,” Professor McLaws said.</p> <p>However, towels in the bathroom are only usually used by one person and can be washed once a week.</p>

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Ideas of home and ownership in Australia might explain the neglect of renters’ rights

<p>In Australia, when we think of home, we think of ownership. This normalisation of home ownership is reflected in the “Great Australian Dream”, the belief that it’s the best way to achieve financial security. This “dream” is based on the premise that if you work hard you will one day be able to buy a home. Home ownership is an important goal for many Australians. Home ownership implies success.</p> <p>Linked to the importance of home ownership are our conceptions of home – what home means and the ways home can and should be made. Popular understandings of home suggest that feelings of home are most easily created between a house and the person who owns it.</p> <p><strong>What is home?</strong></p> <p>So ingrained is this relationship between home and ownership that in <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/gec3.12354">my recently published paper</a> I argue that research rarely considers the ways non-owners make and think about home. This is problematic, given recent housing trends.</p> <p>Recent changes in housing, particularly the increased cost of home ownership and <a href="https://theconversation.com/australia-needs-to-reboot-affordable-housing-funding-not-scrap-it-72861">curbing of public housing</a>, have created a greater demand for rental housing. As a result, there is an undersupply of privately rented housing in Australia.</p> <p>Australian tenancy laws add to the <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-insecurity-of-private-renters-how-do-they-manage-it-77324">insecurity of the private rental sector</a>. Tenancy laws and policy reflect cultural norms in Australia, where private renting is seen as a form of short-term, transitional housing.</p> <p>Recently, significant media and public <a href="https://theconversation.com/an-open-letter-on-rental-housing-reform-103825">attention</a> has been directed at the <a href="https://theconversation.com/life-as-an-older-renter-and-what-it-tells-us-about-the-urgent-need-for-tenancy-reform-103842">impact of state-based tenancy legislation</a>. It is argued that tenancy laws need to be changed to reflect current housing trends and the needs of many tenants to have long-term, secure housing.</p> <p>Rental insecurity is a persistent source of stress for many tenants. It’s a key reason that many tenants struggle to feel at home in their rental property. A person’s ability to identify feelings of home with their dwelling has been shown to impact <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14036090120617?casa_token=norku4gEmtoAAAAA:VN2dQFxec3pdp9jtLzo6TrUmE3Us7oa_-mZq0wZRRwSTAep3DjdqdaCc_hFARNCALCZWta1jDQ83Nw">psychological health and overall well-being</a>.</p> <p>My research findings suggest that while tenancy law affects the ways we understand and make home, likewise, our meanings of home affect how we shape and understand tenure and policy. Australian tenancy law reflects broader cultural values that associate the meaning and making of home with home ownership.</p> <p>While researchers and policymakers focus on how tenancy law can negatively affect or restrict renters within their homes, the actual practices of home-making by renters are often overlooked. Current understandings of home typically reference what home means to home owners. My research points to the importance of understanding the ways private renters make home – and make home meaningful – so that any changes to tenancy law reflect the needs of tenants.</p> <p><strong>Is having a home a right or a privilege?</strong></p> <p>While there is no doubt that small changes are being made, perhaps the <a href="https://theconversation.com/dickensian-approach-to-residential-tenants-lingers-in-australian-law-65146">lack of consideration for tenants in tenancy laws and policy</a> is indicative of our larger beliefs about what it is to “feel” at home and make a home. The “Great Australian Dream” is based on the belief that hard work will eventually lead to home ownership. Yet owning a home is becoming impossible for many people, irrespective of how hard they work.</p> <p>If we understand home to be a basic right, then we will have policies that reflect this. If we understand home to be a privilege, reserved only for those who manage to achieve home ownership, then we will forever live in a country where tenure security and a feeling of being “home” are reserved for those who are able to buy a house. Consequently, our policies will continue to support the idea that, ultimately, a rental property cannot be “home” to a tenant.</p> <p>The question then remains: do we consider home a right or a privilege? This issue is at the very heart of Australia’s housing crisis. Until we change our meaning of home by separating it from ownership, we will never be able to “fix” Australia’s housing crisis.</p> <p><em>Written by Bronwyn Bate. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/ideas-of-home-and-ownership-in-australia-might-explain-the-neglect-of-renters-rights-104849"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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Get ready for spring! BIG W set to release homeware range starting from $5

<p>If you’re a fan of a big bargain, then BIG W’s latest homeware’s range might just be what you are looking for. </p> <p>The money-saving retail store has just released their<span> </span>Common Ground<span> </span>collection - promising warm colours, sleek design and affordable prices. </p> <p>“We believe that everyone should have the chance to come home, open the doors and feel proud of the space they’ve created for their families,” Mitch Armitt, Head of Home Universe - BIG W said in a statement. </p> <p>“This collection gives customers access to quality trend pieces for the whole home at affordable prices.”</p> <p>Those looking for a way to introduce a softer and more neutral tone to their home will find BIG W’s latest range offers shoppers a vibrant colour range including greys, cream, and pops of blues, golds and red with a “tribal twist.”</p> <p>One of the main standouts customers will be able to get their hands on is the $20 Mirabella London sphere table lamp. With a gold base and a design that spells out luxury living, it is sure to be a sell out. </p> <p>Those wanting to adventure out in a bolder and warmer colour palette for Spring will love the Baked Apple bedding set for $59. With burnt red tones, it is the perfect modern addition for a home gearing up for sunnier weather! </p> <p>The<span> </span>Common Ground<span> </span>collection is available in stores and online now. </p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see the whole<span> </span>Common Ground<span> </span>collection.</p>

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Have you been using a knife and fork wrong?

<p>With the festive season rapidly approaching it would be a good time to start perfecting your table etiquette.</p> <p>Surprisingly, new British research has discovered that 40 per cent of people don’t know how to correctly use a knife and fork.</p> <p>Etiquette expert, Jo Bryant, specialises in table manners and shares the correct ways to hold a knife and fork, when it’s appropriate to use one utensil over another, and finding your way around an elaborate dinner setting.</p> <p>“When it comes to good table manners and etiquette, it is easy to feel daunted. Whether we are trying new cuisines, curbing bad habits, remembering the basics or managing tricky situations, it can seem like there is a lot to get right,” Jo explained.</p> <p>“However, the aim of good table etiquette is simply the essence of good manners: to behave with consideration, thought and respect towards fellow diners – as you would expect them to behave towards you.”</p> <p>Jo revealed the correct way to hold your knife, which involves the index finger resting along the top of the handle. Forks should be held with the tines pointing downwards with your index finger on the handle. Gripping your cutlery with your hands around the centre shows very bad table manners.</p> <p>Jo shared insight into when to ditch your knife explaining, “You should not cut up your food, then put down your knife and fork, or just a fork.”</p> <p>The only occasion it is acceptable to eat with a fork is when eating a meal that only requires a single utensil, such as spaghetti.</p> <p>“In this case, the fork should be held with the tines facing upwards, similar to a spoon,” she continued.</p> <p>If you feel overwhelmed when it comes to elaborate table settings with different sets of cutlery fear no more. Jo revealed the ins and outs of how to work your way around the table.</p> <p>The first rule of thumb is that cutlery is used from the outside inwards, entre cutlery is placed on the outside of the table setting while the main utensils are on the inside next to the plate.</p> <p>If soup is being served as a starter, then the spoon is placed to the right and outside of the main course knife.</p> <p>Dessert cutlery is usually positioned across the top of the place setting, with the bowl of the spoon pointing to the left and the tines of the fork to the right. This rule is broken in extremely formal circumstances, like a banquet with the Queen, where pudding spoons and forks are placed innermost to the knives and forks.</p> <p>Side plates go to the left of the forks, usually with a butter knife and napkin.</p> <p>Wine and water glasses go to the top right of the setting.</p>

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