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Simple things we'll miss from lockdown

<p><span data-sheets-value="{&quot;1&quot;:2,&quot;2&quot;:&quot;With many of us heading \&quot;back to normal\&quot;, there are some aspects of lockdown we'll miss in our everyday life. Read more:&quot;}" data-sheets-userformat="{&quot;2&quot;:829,&quot;3&quot;:{&quot;1&quot;:0},&quot;5&quot;:{&quot;1&quot;:[{&quot;1&quot;:2,&quot;2&quot;:0,&quot;5&quot;:{&quot;1&quot;:2,&quot;2&quot;:0}},{&quot;1&quot;:0,&quot;2&quot;:0,&quot;3&quot;:3},{&quot;1&quot;:1,&quot;2&quot;:0,&quot;4&quot;:1}]},&quot;6&quot;:{&quot;1&quot;:[{&quot;1&quot;:2,&quot;2&quot;:0,&quot;5&quot;:{&quot;1&quot;:2,&quot;2&quot;:0}},{&quot;1&quot;:0,&quot;2&quot;:0,&quot;3&quot;:3},{&quot;1&quot;:1,&quot;2&quot;:0,&quot;4&quot;:1}]},&quot;7&quot;:{&quot;1&quot;:[{&quot;1&quot;:2,&quot;2&quot;:0,&quot;5&quot;:{&quot;1&quot;:2,&quot;2&quot;:0}},{&quot;1&quot;:0,&quot;2&quot;:0,&quot;3&quot;:3},{&quot;1&quot;:1,&quot;2&quot;:0,&quot;4&quot;:1}]},&quot;8&quot;:{&quot;1&quot;:[{&quot;1&quot;:2,&quot;2&quot;:0,&quot;5&quot;:{&quot;1&quot;:2,&quot;2&quot;:0}},{&quot;1&quot;:0,&quot;2&quot;:0,&quot;3&quot;:3},{&quot;1&quot;:1,&quot;2&quot;:0,&quot;4&quot;:1}]},&quot;11&quot;:4,&quot;12&quot;:0}">Though the downsides of the coronavirus lockdown outweigh the benefits, there are some aspects we may come to miss as we return to normal, everyday life.</span></p> <p><span data-sheets-value="{&quot;1&quot;:2,&quot;2&quot;:&quot;With many of us heading \&quot;back to normal\&quot;, there are some aspects of lockdown we'll miss in our everyday life. Read more:&quot;}" data-sheets-userformat="{&quot;2&quot;:829,&quot;3&quot;:{&quot;1&quot;:0},&quot;5&quot;:{&quot;1&quot;:[{&quot;1&quot;:2,&quot;2&quot;:0,&quot;5&quot;:{&quot;1&quot;:2,&quot;2&quot;:0}},{&quot;1&quot;:0,&quot;2&quot;:0,&quot;3&quot;:3},{&quot;1&quot;:1,&quot;2&quot;:0,&quot;4&quot;:1}]},&quot;6&quot;:{&quot;1&quot;:[{&quot;1&quot;:2,&quot;2&quot;:0,&quot;5&quot;:{&quot;1&quot;:2,&quot;2&quot;:0}},{&quot;1&quot;:0,&quot;2&quot;:0,&quot;3&quot;:3},{&quot;1&quot;:1,&quot;2&quot;:0,&quot;4&quot;:1}]},&quot;7&quot;:{&quot;1&quot;:[{&quot;1&quot;:2,&quot;2&quot;:0,&quot;5&quot;:{&quot;1&quot;:2,&quot;2&quot;:0}},{&quot;1&quot;:0,&quot;2&quot;:0,&quot;3&quot;:3},{&quot;1&quot;:1,&quot;2&quot;:0,&quot;4&quot;:1}]},&quot;8&quot;:{&quot;1&quot;:[{&quot;1&quot;:2,&quot;2&quot;:0,&quot;5&quot;:{&quot;1&quot;:2,&quot;2&quot;:0}},{&quot;1&quot;:0,&quot;2&quot;:0,&quot;3&quot;:3},{&quot;1&quot;:1,&quot;2&quot;:0,&quot;4&quot;:1}]},&quot;11&quot;:4,&quot;12&quot;:0}">Here are just some that you may miss once we go back to "normal".</span></p> <p><strong>Getting to see your kids grow in real time</strong></p> <p><span>Working parents know all too well the pain of missing important milestones like baby’s first steps or a first lost tooth. Pictures and video just aren’t the same. But being in lockdown allowed us to watch our kids grow in real time, without the interruption of school, work, or daycare. It’s amazing how much little ones change, even day to day.</span></p> <p><strong>FaceTiming grandma every night at bedtime</strong></p> <p><span>Video and regular calls went way up during lockdown as people felt the urge to reach out to loved ones more frequently. Even if relatives weren’t directly in harm’s way, we still wanted to check in and make sure everyone was doing well. Not only that but we had the time for extended chats, allowing for a deeper level of connection.</span></p> <p><strong>More options for working from home</strong></p> <p><span>Companies that had always said that there was no way their employees could work from home suddenly found a lot of effective and interesting ways to make it work when they had to. Lockdown showed us how to really take advantage of technology to simplify jobs and cut out a lot of unnecessary meetings and busy work.</span></p> <p><strong>Fresh-baked bread and three-course meals</strong></p> <p><span>It’s almost certain that you increased your cooking skills during lockdown, with many people finding real joy in learning to create in the kitchen. Busy nights call for quick food you can throw together (or take out!), but lockdown nights allowed for slower, more complex meals. We got to re-learn what it’s like to enjoy the process of making and eating good food.</span></p> <p><strong>The week-long board games</strong></p> <p><span>Activities normally reserved for camping trips or power outages suddenly became the norm in lockdown as folks rediscovered their love for all kinds of games, from Monopoly to lawn darts to jigsaw puzzles to epic ping-pong battles.</span></p> <p><strong>Seeing the bottom of your laundry basket</strong></p> <p>It’s much easier not to fall behind on the basic household chores like laundry and dishes when you never leave your home! We had the time to do chores, but also more desire to do them, as we were confronted with the laundry mountain multiple times a day.</p> <p><strong>Blowing your daily step goal out of the water</strong></p> <p><span>It may sound strange that one of the best things about being forced to stay at home was the outdoors, but the truth is that while many of us were out of the house pre-lockdown, we weren’t spending much time outside. Lockdown made daily, or even thrice-daily, walks around the block something to look forward to. Then there was getting to soak in the sunshine as you worked from your deck or gardened or played with your kids in the yard. We got to watch sunrises, sunsets and cloud formations we never would have seen normally. Oh, and we logged so many more steps – when all you can do is walk, you do a lot of walking.</span></p> <p><strong>All the overjoyed pets</strong></p> <p><span>If there’s one group that was absolutely thrilled about lockdown, it was our pets. Dogs and cats (well, some of the cats) relished all the extra time, attention, walks and treats they got from owners. No longer did they have to watch mournfully at the window as we left; their humans were there with them all the time – exactly as they’d always wanted. We’ll definitely miss all those extra furry snuggles.</span></p> <p><strong>Hooting and singing while hanging out of your car</strong></p> <p><span>People couldn’t congregate as normal, so we were forced to find other ways to celebrate, including birthday drive-bys, Zoom game nights, Netflix parties and driveway gatherings. Not only were these get-togethers generally more chill, but they required a level of creativity and participation that made them feel fun in ways normal parties didn’t. Plus, when else are you not just allowed, but encouraged, to drive by your friend’s house multiple times as part of a parade while scream-singing “Happy Birthday” and honking?</span></p> <p><em><span>This article was written by Charlotte Hilton Anderson and first appeared in </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/culture/things-youll-secretly-miss-about-lockdown" target="_blank"><span>Reader’s Digest</span></a><span>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V" target="_blank"><span>here’s our best subscription offer.</span></a></em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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10 things you’ll secretly miss about lockdown

<p><span>Weight gain, feelings of isolation, news-induced nightmares, job losses, toilet paper shortages, illness: The list of downsides of the coronavirus lockdown is long and painful. Yet as places start to reopen and lockdowns are lifted, we are recognising that staying at home wasn’t all bad. In fact, there were a lot of really awesome things about lockdown—things we’re actually going to miss when we go back to “normal” life. Here’s an idea of when that’ll be, and what it could look like.</span></p> <p><strong>The perfect excuse to say no</strong></p> <p><span>If you’ve suffered from FOMO (the fear of missing out), lockdown helped us discover JOMO, or the joy of missing out. While it was sad to miss parties and work trips, it was also kind of a relief to have no obligations. And you didn’t have to worry about coming up with a believable reason not to do things! “Sorry, government/health orders” is an airtight excuse.</span></p> <p><strong>Au naturel hair</strong></p> <p><span>Lockdown gave us permission to let it all go – from curling irons to makeup to bras, we found freedom in letting our bodies revert back to their natural states. One perk: Many of us discovered our hair was much healthier and shinier when not subjected to daily washings, heat tools and hair dye. Sure, the grey roots showed, but it was fine because the pit hair had finally grown long enough to be soft. Going back to blow dryers and razors again is tough.</span></p> <p><strong>Finding new ways to save money</strong></p> <p><span>There’s no doubt that the pandemic has caused a considerable amount of financial stress for many people. But it also offered a unique opportunity to save money by creating a kind of forced frugality. With restaurants, movie theatres, shopping centres and other entertainment venues closed, we weren’t tempted to splurge on a night out. With only going to the supermarket once every week or two, we did less impulse buying. With no one to see us, we didn’t feel the need to buy makeup or clothing. And petrol money? Who needs petrol when you’re not driving anywhere? Lockdown really helped us separate our needs from our wants.</span></p> <p><strong>A ten-second commute</strong></p> <p><span>Walking from your bed to your desk in the next room is a far cry from battling traffic to drop the kids at school and then get into the office. While working from home does have its downsides, the ten-second commute was definitely a bonus.</span></p> <p><strong>Soaking in the sound of silence</strong></p> <p><span>While the empty roads can feel a little weirdly apocalyptic at first, it’s easy to appreciate the reduced pollution and noise. For many, lockdown was the first time they’d experienced the sounds of nature around their home without interruption. Who knew there were so many types of birds in your area? Or how deeply you sleep when it’s truly quiet?</span></p> <p><strong>Indulgng your inner sleeping beauty</strong></p> <p><span>Working from home, plus a reduced (okay, cancelled) social life, left us with a lot of extra time on our hands, which many of us used to catch up on our years-long sleep debt. When was the last time you got to completely turn off your alarm and wake up naturally, go to bed as early as you like, or take a little midday nap in the sunshine? It felt good!</span></p> <p><strong>Playing "Old Town Road" on the flute you hand-crafted out of wood scraps</strong></p> <p><span>Hip-hop dancing. Baking. Painting. Speaking French. Embroidering sarcastic sayings. People embraced a wide variety of new (or long-forgotten) hobbies and skills in lockdown and, while we may want to keep them going once life returns to “normal,” we all know it’s going to be tricky. Busy schedules have a way of taking over, and when you’re not home all the time, it’s a lot harder to monitor your sourdough every few hours or water your tomatoes three times a day.</span></p> <p><strong>Cosy family dinners</strong></p> <p><span>During lockdown, dinnertime was no longer just a nice moment of the day; it became the defining event of the day, the thing everyone looked forward to. Not only did we have time to cook healthier, tastier meals, but most of the time we could count on everyone being home to eat together. Okay, this didn’t stop your kids from fighting or your spouse from zoning out on their phone, but at least you were all doing it at the same table, together.</span></p> <p><strong>Bonding with your next-door neighbour</strong></p> <p><span>Nothing brings people together like a shared crisis, and due to the nature of the pandemic, the people we ended up closest to were the ones we live closest to. There are so many beautiful lockdown stories of people delivering groceries for elderly neighbours, checking in on nearby single parents, filling driveways with positive chalk messages and performing lots of other little kindnesses to people we would usually just wave to before closing the garage. The sense of community was real and it was beautiful.</span></p> <p><strong>Boredom</strong></p> <p><span>Being bored is usually seen as a negative, something to be avoided at all costs. But boredom researchers (yep, that’s a thing!) say that being bored can lead to increased creativity, better ability to focus, increased problem solving, less stress and anxiety, and an enhanced feeling of well-being. We never thought we’d say it, but we’ll miss being bored sometimes. Our brains need down time too!</span></p> <p><em><span>This article was written by Charlotte Hilton Anderson and first appeared in </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/culture/things-youll-secretly-miss-about-lockdown" target="_blank"><span>Reader’s Digest</span></a><span>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V" target="_blank"><span>here’s our best subscription offer.</span></a></em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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‘Holy smoke, what am I doing here?’: Maker Andrew shares his experience

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the latest episode of </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Making It Australia</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, the remaining Makers were tasked with inventing a large-scale device to solve a common problem.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After wowing the judges with his chicken-powered alarm clock, Andrew was the next Maker to leave the show.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The metalworking extraordinaire sat down with </span><span style="font-weight: 400;"><em>OverSixty</em> </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">to tell us about his experiences on the show and what he has gone on to do since.</span></p> <p><strong>O60: What was the highlight of being a Maker?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The highlight of being a Maker was to live and work with an incredibly talented, inspiring group of people for a long period of time. That is something that doesn't happen often in your life, and [I have] very strong, warm memories of it.</span></p> <p><strong>O60: What surprised you most about your <em>Making It</em> experience?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">What surprised me most, I don’t think I was as prepared as much as I should have been. When I got there and assessed myself against the abilities of the other competitors, I was a bit intimidated because these people not only were great artists but had skills in all these other areas.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">And I thought, ‘Holy smoke, what am I doing here?’ And I said to them I’m the Volkswagen that snuck into the BMW car park, and [I’m] gonna get found out real quick. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But I lasted longer than I thought.</span></p> <p><strong>O60: On the show, you mentioned that you were formerly a booby trap instructor for the army. How did you make the transition to crafting and metalwork?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">That was one of many skills,  many qualifications I had in the army. I was a mine warfare and booby trap instructor. I taught a couple of courses in the area, but my main employment was working with army tanks. But I did [work as a] booby trap instructor as one of my extra qualifications. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Well, I got out of the army after 20 years. And then, as a 40 year old, joined the shire as an apprentice diesel mechanic. And I learned a whole lot of new skills there that I didn't have: workshop procedures and how to do things safely and they put me on a welders course so now I had some skills. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">And coming off of a farm we had 100 years or more … [I] had access to all these materials. And I now had a welder in my hand. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So … just one day, the wife said to me, ‘Why don’t you go up to the shed and do something creative?’ and I built this cow. And I didn't think it was real good. But I took it down [to display] and no-one shot a hole in it or pushed it over with their ute. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">And someone said take it to an art show. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Anyway, I did that and it won first prize. I couldn't understand how it would do that, because I didn't think it was very good. But the judges were academics out of Sydney and they saw something in it. And they gave me a fistful of money and my name in the paper and I thought, ‘This is alright, I’ll have another crack at this’, and it just flowed from there.</span></p> <p><strong>O60: What’s next for you after <em>Making It</em>?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Well I’ve got two basically completed public artworks in my shed that I’ve got to deliver, one to Maroopna, in Victoria and one in Jinjili, up the hill.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I'm currently working on a fruit bat for a private commission. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Next week, I'm jumping on a bus as a tour guide, touring the various public artworks I have in the region … and I’ve got the microphone, and I’ll tell them all about the artworks as we go around the district.</span></p> <p><strong>O60: <em>Making It</em> posed challenges that saw you use a whole range of different skills and techniques, has it changed how you have gone about your creative practice since leaving the show?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I’m now more open to try different things, and maybe mix what I'm doing with something else. You get into something and you're comfortable with it, you tend to stick with it, especially if it’s successful.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But now I'm open to thinking about change and different things to stay in front of the game.</span></p> <p><strong>O60: Last but not least, if you had the chance, would you do it again?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If I knew that certain logistic problems were sorted, I would. Otherwise no. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It's a once in a lifetime, amazing experience and you'd never be able to duplicate it a second time because it was the wonder of getting under the lights, and going to the city, and I'm a country boy and I hate driving around the city and it’s all those events all tied together [that] made it a once-only, amazing thing. I don't think I'd get the buzz out of it a second time.</span></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/CUMFJGZpWbO/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <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/CUMFJGZpWbO/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by David Andrew Whitehead (@scrapartoz)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With only five Makers remaining, </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Making It Australia</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> returns next weekend for another crafty episode.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Making It Australia</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></p>

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Reddit user reveals what his father-in-law did to earn a lifetime ban from Bunnings

<p dir="ltr">An Australian Reddit user has shared details of his father-in-law’s lifetime ban from Bunnings Warehouse, and commenters were quick to let him know just what they thought of the man’s actions.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to the son-in-law, his father-in-law “lost his temper at customer service”, and told them “he was coming down to the store to pick up his bed (which had been having delays and had a been a f*** around).</p> <p dir="ltr">“Guy took it as a threat. Dad’s not exactly the calmest person, so they probably are in the right. But he didn’t mean it that way, and he’s legitimately sorry.” The man shared the story in an effort to solicit advice for how he could go about getting the ban reduced.</p> <p dir="ltr"><a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/karens-and-darens-bunnings-shopper-slammed-on-reddit-after-details-of-his-lifetime-ban-are-revealed-c-4171519" target="_blank">Speaking to 7 News</a>, Bunnings General Manager Operations Ryan Baker said that the store has a “zero tolerance approach to team abuse” and “won’t hesitate” from banning offenders from stores.</p> <p dir="ltr">Commenters were quick to praise Bunnings for doing the right thing in defending their employees from abusive customers. Many agreed that retail staff didn’t deserve abuse, while others said there should be more consequences like this in order to teach people to be respectful.</p> <p dir="ltr">One response read, “Good. F*** him, he’s a s******t for treating someone like that when it’s not their fault.” Another pointed out that Bunnings doesn’t issue lifetime bans easily, so it “must have been quite the tantrum”.</p> <p dir="ltr">One person mentioned Bunnings Karen, the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-11-28/bunnings-karen-condemned-online-for-refusing-to-wear-mask/12928476" target="_blank">woman who went viral</a><span> </span>after refusing to wear a mask per store policy, saying, “Geez, I don’t even think Bunnings Karen got a lifetime ban. Your father-in-law needs to learn some manners. Feel sorry for retail staff and the s*** they have to put up with.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Another commenter went on to dub difficult male customers ‘Darens’, saying that “Karens and Darens” have “mastered the system”, having figured out that “yelling and making a scene gets them what they want”.</p> <p dir="ltr">One user put it simply: “Mate, if you’re bad enough to get a lifetime ban from f*****g Bunnings, there’s something wrong.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images</em></p>

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Five steps to make your own terrarium

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Terrariums have become a popular way to display plants and add a little greenery to your different spaces.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though they may seem complicated, terrariums are quite easy to make, don’t require too much upkeep, and can be made in all sorts of shapes and sizes.</span></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/B_c3wSip_DL/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <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/B_c3wSip_DL/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Terrarium Dreams (@terrariumdreams)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Here are the supplies you need and steps to follow in </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.bhg.com/gardening/houseplants/care/make-a-terrarium/?slide=slide_beeb0402-ca09-4fbc-8f81-e6b770a5c9f9#slide_beeb0402-ca09-4fbc-8f81-e6b770a5c9f9" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">creating your own</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> DIY terrarium.</span></p> <p><strong>Supplies you need</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Most of your supplies can be found at your local garden centre, with the exception of the container your terrarium will be created in, which you can find at a craft store.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The choice of container can also influence the kinds of plants you can include. Open terrariums being better-suited to dry climate plants, and closed terrariums working best for plants that thrive on moisture and humidity.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Aside from a container to house your terrarium, you will need:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Activated charcoal</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Potting soil</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sheet moss</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Trowel</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Plants</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Gloves</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Once you have your supplies, it’s time to start assembling your new terrarium by following these five steps.</span></p> <p><strong>1. Build the base</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To start with, cover the base of your container with 3-5 centimetres of activated charcoal.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This layer helps to both remove odours from the terrarium and drainage to ensure that your plant roots don’t sit in soil that is too wet.</span></p> <p><strong>2. Mix soils</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Once the base is done, mix some of the remaining charcoal with the potting soil. Mixing the two, either with your hands or a trowel, also assists with drainage.</span></p> <p><strong>3. Next layer</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Next, add the mixed soil and charcoal to the container until it is between a quarter and one third full.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To remove large air pockets in the soil, gently pack the soil as you add it.</span></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/CA5-cKSHLoE/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <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/CA5-cKSHLoE/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Terrarium Dreams (@terrariumdreams)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>4. Add plants</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After removing the plants from their containers, position them on top of the soil with enough space between them for additional soil.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some top picks for terrarium plants include starfish plants, air plants, and nerve plants.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For a healthy terrarium, it’s best to choose plants with similar watering and light needs.</span></p> <p><strong>5. Dress and water</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Once the additional soil has been packed in and around the plants so that the roots are covered, position moss on top of the soil and around the plants.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Then, give the terrarium a water and place it in a well-lit area with indirect light.</span></p> <p><strong>Further care</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Once the plants have established themselves in the terrarium, little upkeep is needed.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As they grow, you may want to trim branches that grow outside of the container, or trim the moss to control its thickness.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: @terrariumdreams / Instagram</span></em></p>

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Jamie Durie under fire for controversial building plans

<p>Celebrity gardener Jamie Durie has come under fire over his development plans to build a six-storey "family home" in Sydney's exclusive suburb of Avalon. </p> <p>The 6 bedroom house is estimated to cost over $3million, as Jamie has submitted an application to tear down 17 native trees to make way for the mansion. </p> <p>Jamie, an ambassador for Planet Ark's National Tree day, has applied to have the original 1960s cottage pulled down from the site, to make way for his new design that is <span>“innovative, sympathetic and responsive to the topography of the site”.</span></p> <p>Northern Beaches Council was inundated with complaints and objections from furious locals and organisations, <span>including the Pittwater Natural Heritage Association and the Avalon Preservation Association, to prevent the trees from being removed. </span></p> <p><span><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844411/jamie-durie-house.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f5dd68194d314889ad793a1593c2bdf1" /></span></p> <p><em>Views from the original 1960s cottage. Image credit: DA Application Documents</em></p> <p><span>Durie told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/jamie-duries-development-plan-for-a-sixstorey-mansion-has-hit-a-roadblock/news-story/1a76993854d5be608b94ad39366c0b85" target="_blank">The Daily Telegraph</a> that there had been a "gross misunderstanding" in his application, saying 5 of the trees would need to be removed regardless of his plans according to the arborist's report. </span></p> <p><span>Jamie said, “The amendments to the design reduce the footprint and preserve additional native trees.”</span></p> <p><span>Despite his amendments, the development application was still met with strong opposition on the local council's website. </span></p> <p><span>“If this is a ‘family home’ then homes have certainly blown-out when compared to the modest homes that have until now sustained our fragile ecosystem in Pittwater,” one objector wrote.</span></p> <p>Neighbour<span> to the property and former acting judge of the Land and Environment Court John Sheehan, wrote in his objection that the application was “fatally flawed” is “likely to have serious and irreversible impacts on biodiversity values”.</span><span></span></p> <p><span>Some neighbours are concerned about the development's affect on trees on their own sites, and how it will impact local wildlife. </span></p> <p><span>The area has been designated one of special significance listed by the Office of Environment and Heritage as an endangered ecological community.</span></p> <p><span>Avalon Preservation Association’s Peter Mayman said it “would overwhelm its environmentally sensitive block” and could threaten “riparian and foreshore vegetation and wildlife corridors”.</span></p> <p><span>Despite growing </span>concerns from ecological organisations, Jamie claims his plans would "not significantly impact" the native flora and fauna of the proposed site.</p> <p>He said, <span>“We are passionate when it comes to creating a native habitat and as a qualified horticulturalist and (landscape architect)...we are well positioned to do so.”</span></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images / DA Application Documents</em></p>

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Bicarb to the rescue

<p>This magic ingredient has scores of extraordinary uses about which you may have had no clue - until now.</p> <p><strong>Rescue Remedy 1 Clean your produce</strong></p> <p>You can’t be too careful when it comes to food handling and preparation. Wash fruit and vegetables in a pot of cold water with 2-3 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda and voila, it will remove some of the impurities tap water leaves behind. Alternatively, put a small amount of bicarbonate of soda on a wet sponge or vegetable brush and scrub your produce. Give everything a thorough rinsing before serving.</p> <p><strong> RR2 Make your own dishwashing detergent</strong></p> <p>The dishwasher is fully loaded when you discover you’re out of your usual powdered dishwashing detergent. What do you do? Make your own by combining two tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda with two tablespoons of borax. You may be so pleased with the results you’ll switch for good.</p> <p><strong>RR3 Remove crayon marks from walls</strong></p> <p>Has a small child redecorated your walls or wallpaper with some original artworks in crayon? Don’t lose your cool, just grab a damp rag, dip it in some bicarbonate of soda and lightly scrub the marks. They should come off with a minimum of effort.</p> <p><strong>RR4 Deodorise your rubbish bin</strong></p> <p>If something smells off in your kitchen, it’s probably emanating from your bin. Some smells linger even after you dispose of the offending bin liner, so make sure you give your bin an occasional cleaning with a wet paper towel dipped in bicarbonate of soda (wear an old pair of rubber gloves for this job). Rinse the bin out with a damp sponge, then let it dry before inserting a new bag. You can also ward off bad smells by sprinkling a bit of bicarbonate of soda into the bottom of the bin before inserting the new bag.</p> <p><strong>RR5 Douse that fire</strong></p> <p>Did you know that bicarbonate of soda is the main ingredient in many commercial fire extinguishers? You too can use it straight out of the box to extinguish small fires throughout your home. For quick access, keep it near the stove for any unforeseen mishaps. In the case of a grease fire, first turn off the heat, if possible, and try to cover the fire with a pan lid. Be careful not to let the hot grease splatter you. Also keep a box or two in your garage and inside your car to quickly extinguish any mechanical or car-interior fires. Bicarbonate of soda will also snuff out electrical fires and flames on clothing, wood, upholstery and carpets.</p> <p><strong>RR6 Get stains off piano keys</strong></p> <p>That old upright may still sound great, but those yellowed keys definitely hit a sour note. Remove age stains by mixing a solution of 1/4 cup of bicarbonate of soda in one litre of warm water. Apply to each key with a dampened cloth (you can place a thin piece of cardboard between the keys to avoid seepage). Wipe again with a cloth dampened with plain water, then buff dry with a clean cloth.</p> <p><strong>RR7 Remove musty smells from books</strong></p> <p>If books that have just been taken out of storage have a musty odour, place each one in a small brown paper bag with two tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda. Don’t shake the bag, just tie it up and let it sit in a dry place for about a week. When you open the bag, shake remaining powder off the books and the smell should be gone.</p> <p><strong>RR8 Deodorise rugs and carpets</strong></p> <p>How’s this for a simple way to freshen up your carpets or rugs? Lightly sprinkle them with bicarbonate of soda, let it settle for about 15 minutes, then vacuum it up.</p> <p><strong>RR9 Polish silver, and gold jewellery</strong></p> <p>To remove built-up tarnish from your silver, make a thick paste with 1/4 cup of bicarbonate of soda and two tablespoons of water. Apply with a damp sponge and gently rub, rinse and buff dry. To polish gold jewellery, cover with a light coating of bicarbonate of soda, pour a bit of vinegar over it and rinse clean. Be warned though: don’t use this technique with jewellery containing pearls or gemstones, as bicarbonate of soda could damage their finish and loosen the glue.</p> <p><strong>RR10 Tidy up your toilet bowl</strong></p> <p>Instead of using chemicals to clean your toilet bowl, just pour half a box of bicarbonate of soda into the cistern once a month. Leave overnight. This cleans both the cistern and the bowl. You can also pour several tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda directly into a toilet bowl and scrub it on any stains. Wait a few minutes, then flush away the stains.</p> <p><strong>All these tips</strong> – and hundreds more to save money and time – can be found in Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things, Reader’s Digest, RRP $49.98. To order visit <a href="http://www.healthsmart">www.healthsmart</a> magazine.com.au or call 1300 300 030.</p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/home-tips/bicarb-to-the-rescue">Reader’s Digest</a></em></p> <p><em>Image: Reader’s Digest</em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

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How to ripen avocados in just 2 minutes

<p>All you need is plastic wrap and a microwave. And an avocado.</p> <p>Avocados are the internet’s favourite fruit. Everywhere you click, there’s a discussion about how healthy it is, how expensive it is, and whether it’s considered a fruit or a vegetable. But whether or not you eat enough avocado toast to fill your Instagram feed, that fruit is still worth keeping in your life – for nutritional benefits and <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/13-must-follow-recipes-for-the-perfect-homemade-face-mask">beauty hacks</a>.</p> <p>The problem is finding the best avocado. Once ripe, it only stays good for two or three days before it’s too late. Your best bet is buying an unripe avocado and helping the process along, which saves you time and money (did we mention avocados are expensive?). Luckily, you can ripen avocados at home with some easy tricks.</p> <p><strong><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/nothing.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/8cc2df06d88a40458efb69e4343fa64f" /><img style="width: 500px; height: 280.88235294117646px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844184/avocados-2-um.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/8cc2df06d88a40458efb69e4343fa64f" /></strong></p> <p><strong>How to tell if an avocado is ripe</strong></p> <p>First things first, how would you even know if an avocado is ripe? It’s not like you can slice it open quickly to check. It all comes down to the colour and the texture. Let’s begin with colour.</p> <p><strong>Bright green:</strong> If your avocado has a bright green colour, this means that it is still around four to seven days from being ripe. Avocados this colour will typically be hard to the touch and will need to rest on the benchtop for a few days – maybe even a week – before you can eat them. Underripe avocados tend to lack flavour.</p> <p><strong>Very dark green:</strong> While browsing the avocado bins at the grocery store, check for the darkest green if you think you’re going to want to eat this avocado within a day or so. You want it to be firm, but with a slight give (not too mushy). If you find this, you may have the perfect avocado on your hands.</p> <p><strong>Black:</strong> Avocados that are too dark, almost black, are past ripeness. They may look a bit more wrinkled and are very soft to the touch. If you feel as if you could bruise the fruit just by holding it, the avocado is overripe. The inside will often have some brown spots and won’t taste as fresh.</p> <p>Sometimes colours can vary, so step two of the avocado ripeness test is touch. Gently press into the avocado to feel how hard it is. You want to make sure that the fruit is soft with a little give, but not too soft that you feel like you could morph the shape with your hands. You can also pluck off the tiny stem and see if it’s green underneath. The green colour means that the fruit is ready to eat. If you need to pull really hard to get the stem off or it won’t budge, that means it isn’t ripe yet.</p> <p><strong><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/nothing.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/72ac4d94e2d04154bdfb5fabd7a64c6f" /><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844185/avocados-5-um.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/72ac4d94e2d04154bdfb5fabd7a64c6f" /></strong></p> <p><strong>How to ripen avocados quickly</strong></p> <p>How much of a time crunch are you in? Do you need the avocado ready for dinner in a few minutes? Do you want to have it with tomorrow’s lunch? Or maybe you want it for your weekend guacamole. Whatever the case, there are tricks for all time frames.</p> <p>A ripe avocado in just two minutes?! Yes, it is possible, thanks to this Taste of Home hack for how to ripen avocados. Cut it in half vertically and remove the pit. Wrap each half in microwave-safe plastic wrap. Microwave on high for two minutes. When they’re cool enough to hold, run the wrapped avocados under cold water so they stop cooking.</p> <p>Here’s another trick: Wrap the uncut fruit in tinfoil and bake on a baking sheet at 95˚C for ten minutes. (Disclaimer: If your avocado is too hard, it could take up to an hour for it to soften. Check every five minutes if it’s not ripe in ten.) Then remove your newly softened avocado. Leave it in the fridge for a few minutes to cool down.</p> <p>A note of warning though: this method can slightly affect the taste of the avocado, so it’s best to use only when necessary, and preferably where the avocado is only one component of a dish.</p> <p>If you need the avocado ready in one to two days, try placing it into a bowl or a paper bag with an apple or banana. Poke holes in the bag with a toothpick and leave it at room temperature. All of these fruits produce something called ethylene gas, which softens fruit by breaking down the internal cell walls and turning starch into sugar.</p> <p>The obvious and simplest way to ripen an avocado is to just allow it to happen naturally by letting it sit on the counter for a few days until it’s ready.</p> <p><strong><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/nothing.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/c9fbe55a15e142a6a0243db326195221" /><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.4327485380117px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844186/avocados-6-um.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/c9fbe55a15e142a6a0243db326195221" /></strong></p> <p><strong>How to store avocados</strong></p> <p>Make sure you don’t just throw your avocados in the fridge (along with these <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/20-foods-you-shouldnt-put-in-the-fridge">other foods that shouldn’t go in your refrigerator</a>), because they’re best kept at room temperature. But on the contrary, if your avocado has reached perfect ripeness, you can throw it in the fridge to slow down the ripening process, making it last approximately one to three days.</p> <p>Now that you know how to ripen avocados at home, brush up on these other <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/how-to-store-fresh-food-so-it-lasts-longer">food storage guidelines that’ll help keep your food for longer.</a></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on </em><em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/how-to-ripen-avocados-in-just-2-minutes">Reader’s Digest</a></em></p> <p><em>Images: Reader’s Digest</em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

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Maker Russell reflects on Making It experience

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Episode two of </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Making It Australia</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> saw competitors embrace their inner child in two creative challenges.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the first-ever Team Challenge, the Makers came together to make functional billycarts, with Russell, Rehana, Dan, and Denise winning with their Beelycart.</span></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/CT4MDN7Nbt0/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <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/CT4MDN7Nbt0/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Making It Australia (@makingitau)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rizaldy took out the Main Challenge with his magical forest cubby house.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, another person had to go, and this time it was Russell.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They sat down with </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">OverSixty</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and revealed their highlights of being on the show, as well as an insight into the show's unusual elimination process.</span></p> <p><strong>O60: What was the highlight of being a Maker?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I would say that the biggest highlight was the other Makers. To be with such talented people, it was such an experience, like, the creative energy when we were all together.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">And we all got along so well, like we were all so different yet all so similar at the same time.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I don’t know how to explain it, it was as if we’ve known each other for years.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">We would have dinners and hang out together while we’re not filming. And it was so good because we got to talk about art, we got to talk about film, about music, and it just [had] so much positive energy.</span></p> <p><strong>O60: What surprised you most about your <em>Making It</em> experience?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The thing that probably surprised me the most [that] I could do more than what I thought I could.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sometimes when you look at someone else who’s talented or who’s really good at something, and you’re like, I can’t do that. But I realised when I got there … everyone was sort of positive and encouraging … and it made you want to try stuff.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">And so I found out that I actually could do a lot of things that I didn’t think I could do.</span></p> <p><strong>O60: On the show you told Susie and Harvey that crafting is a way of representing your identity as a non-binary person. Could you tell us more about that and how it felt representing the queer community on the show?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Yes of course. One of the reasons why I went on the show was I wanted to be a good representation for the queer community and to be someone that people can look to, because when I was younger, there wasn’t a lot of role models, as such, to look to. … you know, if there was someone like me when I was younger, maybe I could’ve got a better understanding of myself a little earlier than I had in life.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I have been contacted by quite a few people on social media with just all these kind words and comments of support and admiration of some sort.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It makes the whole experience even greater to be able to bring happiness and joy to the people that I’ve never even met.</span></p> <p><strong>O60: What’s next for you after <em>Making It</em>?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Well, at the moment I’m in lockdown, but I have started a YouTube channel, and I want to base it around crafting. It’s called </span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFDW0TRqu0_LRhgtC6leVpA/featured"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Procrastinating with Russell</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> [and] I want to base it around being a creative and someone who deals with mental health.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I feel as if there is a big stigma around mental health and it has… definitely increased during COVID and lockdown, and it’s become very noticeable with everyday people. So if I make relatable content … it will be a positive influence to people.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Like being creative, you just can’t help but smile and have fun. And, you know, you don’t have to be a fine artist of any sort. And anyone can do it as well, be it a four year old or a sixty year old.</span></p> <p><strong>O60: We love the way the show seems to be trying to do away with the idea of eliminations. You and Kat seem to still be there in some capacity. What’s the deal?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Well, we pretty much stayed at the farm. Kat [has been] hanging out the washing and I’m sewing up a storm.</span></p> <p><strong>O60: Last but not least, if you had the chance, would you do it again?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In a heartbeat. Definitely, I would. It’s the greatest thing I’ve done so far.</span></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/CT4VuhGP7cL/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <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/CT4VuhGP7cL/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Russell Zorino-Brown (@luckyfellow)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Making It Australia </span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">returns next Wednesday and Thursday on Channel 10.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Channel 10</span></em></p>

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EXCLUSIVE: We chat with Maker Kat

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The debut episode of </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Making It Australia</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> saw 13 creatives test their skills in two challenges.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jack came out on top in the first Faster Craft challenge, while Robert won the main Master Craft challenge with his traditional shield carved from red gum.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, one person had to go, and Kat was delivered the bad news after her Gaelic harp lacked finishing details and its iconic shape.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844110/making-it-ep1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/24746c9540954f85a085fa02448af98d" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Supplied</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After her departure, Kat sat down with </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Over60</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> to talk about her time on the show, and give a few hints about whether we will see her again.</span></p> <p><strong>O60: What was the highlight of being a Maker?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The experience of meeting other people and forming such good memories while we were together.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">We all got on so well. I was nervous about coming on the show but there were no dramas at all. I don’t know how [the show] pulled it off.</span></p> <p><strong>O60: What surprised you most about your <em>Making It</em> experience?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">[Everything that happened] behind the scenes was interesting, and getting to how production [of a TV show] works.</span></p> <p><strong>O60: On the show, you surprised Susie and Harvey by sharing that you bought your first book recently. What was the book that you bought and have you made any more progress?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">[It was called] </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The subtle of not giving a f**k</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">. I’m about halfway through but whenever I try to read I get distracted by other things … I might stick with my colouring books.</span></p> <p><strong>O60: What’s next for you after <em>Making It?</em></strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I’m currently studying a cert 3 and 4 in fitness, and want to become a [personal trainer] next year. I want to expand my brand and start by offering it to friends and family… I just want to make people around me more healthy.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I’m also getting into photography and doing photoshoots for my friends and family. … I saved up and got myself a new camera… I don’t have eight hours on a weekend to paint but [with photography]  I can go out for an hour or two and satisfy that craving for art.</span></p> <p><strong>O60: You were the first to be “eliminated” . . . but it seems like you are still on the show! Can you tell us more about that? Is <em>Making It</em> trying to change the format of elimination style reality shows?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I can’t go into too much detail about it, but it won’t be the last time you’ll see my face on the show.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s not like other reality shows like </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Bachelorette</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> where it’s your love life that gets squashed [after elimination].</span></p> <p><strong>O60: Last but not least, if you had the chance, would you do it again?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Absolutely. I would totally do it again.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Making It Australia</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> will be returning on Thursday night and challenging the remaining makers to construct their own Happy Place.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Supplied</span></em></p>

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Home gardens vital for pollinators

<h2><strong style="font-size: 14px;">They provide a rich and diverse nectar source, study finds.</strong></h2> <div class="copy"> <p>Urban areas are a surprisingly rich food reservoir for pollinating insects such as bees and wasps, according to a UK study <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2745.13598" target="_blank">published</a> in the <em>Journal of Ecology</em>.</p> <p>Home gardens are particularly important, the study found, accounting for 85% of the nectar – sugar-rich liquid that provides pollinators with energy – within towns and cities and the most diverse supply overall.</p> <p>Results showed that just three gardens generated on average around a teaspoon of the liquid gold – enough to attract and fuel thousands of pollinators.</p> <p>“This means that towns and cities could be hotspots of diversity of food – important for feeding many different types of pollinators and giving them a balanced diet,” says lead author Nicholas Tew, from the University of Bristol.</p> <p>“The actions of individual gardeners are crucial,” he adds. “Garden nectar provides the vast majority of all. This gives everyone a chance to help pollinator conservation on their doorstep.”</p> <p><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.pollinator.org/pollination" target="_blank">Pollinators</a> include bees, wasps, butterflies, moths, bats and beetles. They are critical for ecosystems and agriculture as most plant species need them to reproduce, and <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.453.4134&amp;rep=rep1&amp;type=pdf" target="_blank">research suggests</a> their survival relies especially on the diversity of flowering plants.</p> <p>To explore how our sprawling urban areas could support them, Tew’s research group previously led the <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="http://www.bristol.ac.uk/biology/research/ecological/community/pollinators/" target="_blank">Urban Pollinators Project</a> in collaboration with other universities. They found that cities and gardens – community and private – are vital for pollinators, leading them to question how to quantify and harness this resource.</p> <p>“The gap in our knowledge was how much nectar and pollen urban areas produce and how this compares with the countryside,” Tew explains, “important information if we want to understand how important our towns and cities can be for pollinator conservation and how best to manage them.”</p> <p>So, for the current study, Tew and colleagues measured the supply of nectar in urban areas, farmland and nature reserve landscapes, and then within four towns and cities (Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds and Reading) to determine how much nectar different land uses produce.</p> <p>To do this, they extracted nectar from more than 3000 flowers comprising nearly 200 plant species using a fine glass tube and quantified it using a refractometer, an instrument that measures how much light refracts when passing through a solution.</p> <p>Then they sourced nectar measurements from other published studies and combined the nectar-per-flower values with numbers of flowers from each species in different habitats as previously measured by the group.</p> <p>Overall, nectar quantity per unit area was similar in urban, farmland and nature reserve landscapes. But urban nectar supply was most diverse, as it was produced by more flowering plant species. And while private gardens supplied similarly large amounts per unit as allotments, they covered more land – nearly a third of towns and cities.</p> <p>It’s important to note the findings are specific to the UK, and maybe parts of western Europe, Tew says. Most urban nectar comes from ornamental species that are not native, which can be attractive to generalist pollinators but may not benefit specialist species that feed from selective native flower species.</p> <p>Thus private gardens in other regions might have different benefits. Australia, for instance, has more endemic species and specialist pollinators than the UK, so while non-natives would still provide some benefit, natives may be more important overall.</p> <p>Most recommendations for attracting pollinators in Australia include supporting native bees and other local specialists. Suggestions include planting more native species and providing <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="http://www.australianenvironmentaleducation.com.au/australian-animals/australian-pollinator-week/" target="_blank">accommodation</a> for native bees, most of which are solitary species – unlike the familiar, colonial European honeybee.</p> <p>But in general, Tew says home gardeners can all support biodiversity with some key strategies, especially planting as many nectar-rich flowering plants as possible and different species that ensure flowers all year round.</p> <p>Other <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.rhs.org.uk/science/conservation-biodiversity/wildlife/plants-for-pollinators" target="_blank">recommendations</a> include mowing the lawn less often to let dandelions, clovers and other plants flower, avoiding <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/scientists-call-for-urgent-action-on-bee-killing-insecticides/" target="_blank">pesticides</a> and never spraying open flowers, and covering as much garden area as possible in flowery borders and natural lawns.</p> <!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --> <img id="cosmos-post-tracker" style="opacity: 0; height: 1px!important; width: 1px!important; border: 0!important; position: absolute!important; z-index: -1!important;" src="https://syndication.cosmosmagazine.com/?id=138747&amp;title=Home+gardens+vital+for+pollinators" alt="" width="1" height="1" /> <!-- End of tracking content syndication --></div> <div id="contributors"> <p><a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/science/biology/home-gardens-vital-for-pollinators/">This article</a> was originally published on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com">Cosmos Magazine</a> and was written by <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/contributor/natalie-parletta">Natalie Parletta</a>. Natalie Parletta is a freelance science writer based in Adelaide and an adjunct senior research fellow with the University of South Australia.</p> <p><em>Image: Cosmos Magazine</em></p> </div>

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How to Block out the Neighbours

<p>Blocks are getting smaller while house sizes are getting bigger, so we're living closer to our neighbours than ever. At the same time, we aren't willing to give up our outdoor areas or our privacy.</p> <p>Homes are not just moving out but up to capitalise on living space and views, so being overlooked from above is now a problem for many residents.</p> <p>Charlie Albone, a landscape designer and TV presenter, says privacy is a common concern.</p> <p>‘While people don’t mind looking on to rooftops so much, when other people’s windows are looking into your space it becomes an issue,’ says Charlie.</p> <p>Luckily, there are many effective ways to solve the problem.</p> <p>Modern homes can put space above privacy but landscaper Charlie Albone has the solution.</p> <p><strong><img style="width: 437px; height: 246px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7843963/block-neighbours-2-um.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/0485f738c5554680b91d4c385252975b" /></strong></p> <p><strong>Define the borders</strong></p> <p>Planting is a simple solution, as well as being easy on the hip pocket. Property-line plantings can provide year-round screening and a neat hedge can be an easy way to define adjoining yards or block sightlines. But success largely depends upon available space.</p> <p>‘Hedges can be lovely but they need at least 800mm width of garden bed to thrive. For people in urban environments, there often isn’t the space to spare,’ says Charlie.</p> <p>‘Bamboo is the best solution here as it takes up very little space and grows vertically.</p> <p>‘Nandina, also known as sacred bamboo, has a nice upright habit and gives a similar effect, though it’s not technically bamboo.’</p> <p><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/gardening-tips/best-screening-hedge-plants">Click here to see 6 of the best screening hedge plants</a></p> <p><strong>The problem with trees</strong></p> <p>Planting trees around the house or along a boundary line can lead to major problems if you don’t do the research first, cautions Charlie.</p> <p>‘If people have it in mind to create privacy with trees, they often go for the biggest and most dense varieties they can find. But a big tree only gets bigger and the root system can cause damage to the foundations of the house and fence lines,’ he says.</p> <p>Trees can also be a source of dispute if their size blocks light or views, or if branches encroach across the boundary line.</p> <p>Certain types of trees that are heavy shedders such as jacarandas and liquidambars can be particularly annoying for neighbours. Council may step in if complaints are made.</p> <p>The law changed in August 2010 to include height restrictions for trees and hedges that block views or light.</p> <p>Make sure you research the likely growth of the tree you are considering and check guidelines with local council before buying.</p> <p><strong>Plant in layers</strong></p> <p>If space isn’t an issue, layered planting will actually make the garden look bigger. Planting a mix of deciduous or evergreen trees, shrubs and perennials creates a cottage garden look.</p> <p>Landscapers recommend grouping varieties in odd numbers. Stagger evergreens in the background and in the foreground, layer deciduous material for texture and colour.</p> <p>‘For screening, aim for a height over 1800mm, which is the standard fence line height,’ says Charlie.</p> <p>Deciduous shade trees, which grow from five to more than 15 metres high, depending on the species, are a good way to obscure a neighbour’s view from a second-storey window or balcony.</p> <p>‘Chinese tallowwood is one of my favourites. It gets great colour in the warm months and will reach a height of about six metres,’ says Charlie.</p> <p>Positioned over a patio, the canopy provides privacy and shade in the summer. In winter, the bare branches allow the sun to shine in, but this does also bring some loss of privacy.</p> <p>Use native lillipilly along a fence for an attractive, fast-growing screen.</p> <p><strong>Add a water feature</strong></p> <p>Even if your neighbours are not looking into your space, you may still hear them. Planting can help with noise reduction but one of the most effective buffers against the buzz of conversation or the hum of traffic is a water fountain.</p> <p>Whether it’s an off-the-shelf unit that sits on a table or a custom-built permanent feature, running water is an excellent way to screen out sounds.</p> <p>Moving water becomes louder the further it falls and the more tiers it travels over. To avoid having to raise your voice over the roar, choose a fountain with an adjustable recirculating pump to find a sound level that’s soothing for you.</p> <p>A water feature incorporating a fountain is an effective noise screen.</p> <p><strong>Put up a screen</strong></p> <p>After many years of total seclusion on a large block, a new house built nearby prompted Handyman’s Lee Dashiell to seek out a privacy solution.</p> <p>‘It was quite a shock to find the house would look directly onto our outdoor living area,’ says Lee.</p> <p>‘We knew we needed some kind of screening but we had enjoyed the open feel of trees and bushes and didn’t want to be boxed in.’</p> <p>The family decided on Eden Deluxe Euro bamboo panels. ‘This type of screen is not solid but creates an effective visual barrier and the organic look blends into the area.’</p> <p>It took about an hour of shifting the panels around then viewing them from different positions to ensure they blocked out what they wanted.</p> <p>‘Eventually we decided the horizontal position was the most effective,’ says Lee.</p> <p>To install the panels a solid piece of timber was nailed to the posts so they could rest on it while being attached. Pilot holes were drilled and 100mm treated pine screws were used to fasten the panels to the posts, then the support timber was removed.</p> <p><strong>TIP</strong> Screening panels may need to be treated with protective oil or varnish to weatherproof them and protect against deterioration</p> <p><strong>TIP</strong> Screening panels may need to be treated with protective oil or varnish to weatherproof them and protect against deterioration</p> <p><strong>Building a barrier</strong></p> <p>Screens are effective barriers and can be installed quickly. Bamboo and reed screens add an organic feel but can rot if they are not sealed and waterproofed.</p> <p>‘When space is really tight, a screen works well,’ say Charlie.</p> <p>While not suited to very large areas, screens can also provide a pleasing mask for plain fencing.</p> <p>‘If you have a nice stone wall that is perhaps 800mm high, to make it a good privacy option you can build a treated pine extender on top to the 1800mm mark,’ says Charlie.</p> <p>‘A laser-cut screen over the fencing looks really good.’</p> <p>Screens made from lattice or ornamental metalwork may not provide complete privacy but they add visual interest and allow light and breezes to penetrate.</p> <p>Photo: Thinkstock</p> <p>A combination of a screen and lush plantings keeps this pool area private without feeling boxed in.</p> <p><strong>Install a fence</strong></p> <p>Major new landscaping additions such as a pool or patio may require a visual buffer in a hurry.</p> <p>A solid board fence is the quickest way to add year-round screening but be sure to discuss materials with your neighbour and check guidelines with local council before installing.</p> <p>As fences have a minimal footprint, they can be used in long or narrow side yards or other places where available space is tight.</p> <p>They come in many styles but the cheapest, easiest option is treated pine.</p> <p>‘What you often find, especially in new builds, is that people have a kitchen window that looks out over a narrow patch of grass right on to a flat fence, which is not the most pleasing view,’ says Charlie.</p> <p>Break up the mass with a screen, an open lattice or baluster top, or plant flowering or evergreen shrubs in front to soften its solidity.</p> <p>‘If you have a fence and want to improve the look of it quick smart, paint can be a good option.</p> <p>‘A dark fence looks great in a tropical style garden, while a formal, mostly green garden looks good with a cream tone,’ says Charlie.</p> <p>There’s no doubt a wall provides privacy, but a solid wall can feel oppressive to both sides.</p> <p>It can also be a big and expensive effort to build solid walls, and involve getting council approval or engineering work, so it’s best to reserve them for retaining rather than screening purposes.</p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on </em><a href="mailto:https://www.readersdigest.com.au/diy-tips/how-block-out-neighbours"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

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5 food safety tips for proper food handling

<p>Get up to speed about the proper way to handle food to minimise the risk of food poisoning.</p> <p>In light of recent food poisoning cases around the world – a salmonella outbreak in the US in June that sickened over 100 people was linked to contaminated pre-cut melons and several people in Australia died because of contaminated rockmelons in February – it is more important than ever to get up to speed about the right way to handle food.</p> <p>Closer to home, Malaysian and Singaporean netizens were shocked by a video that circulated on social media in June this year of staff at a Bangsar, KL, eatery <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3maABRgv8G4">washing plates in a dirty puddle</a>.</p> <p>Contamination can occur at several junctures, such as during the production of the food, the processing of raw materials, and even during the transport and display of the food.</p> <p>When a food product finally makes it to the kitchen, it is also in danger of cross contamination, which is the transfer of bacteria or viruses through the use of contaminated items such as knives or chopping boards.</p> <p>Be vigilant and adopt these 5 food safety tips to minimise the risk of food poisoning.</p> <p><strong>1. Picking up refrigerated and frozen items last</strong></p> <p>At the supermarket, pick up your refrigerated and frozen items last, just before you make your way to the checkout counter.</p> <p>Choose chilled items that have been properly packed without any tear in the packaging.</p> <p>If you are looking to shed some dollars from your grocery bill, try these <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/Spend-Less-On-Groceries-With-These-19-Tricks-Savvy-Shoppers-Use">supermarket shopping hacks</a>.</p> <p><strong>2. Buy raw meats that have been properly displayed</strong></p> <p>Never buy chilled or frozen items that have been displayed at room temperature.</p> <p>If you do most of your grocery shopping at the wet market*, this is particularly important. Take note of how the raw seafood and meats are being displayed.</p> <p>Are they in a chiller? Is there sufficient ice packed around the items to ensure they’re stored at a safe temperature?</p> <p>Once you get your meat home, you still have to cook it, however. Try this version of a classic stroganoff that <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/recipes/beef-and-mushroom-stroganoff">stretches a modest portion of meat</a>.</p> <p>* For those in Australia and New Zealand, the wet market is an Asian grocery store that sells fresh meat and produce.</p> <p><strong>3. Bringing the food home safely</strong></p> <p>Our hot and humid weather can provide extra challenges when it comes to keeping our food safe.</p> <p>If your journey home will take longer than 30 minutes, keep your chilled and frozen items in an insulated bag and make use of the free ice that is provided by some supermarkets to keep the items well chilled.</p> <p>Store the items in the fridge as quickly as possible.</p> <p>In light of recent food poisoning cases around the world – a salmonella outbreak in the US in June that sickened over 100 people was linked to contaminated pre-cut melons and several people in Australia died because of contaminated rockmelons in February – it is more important than ever to get up to speed about the right way to handle food.</p> <p>Closer to home, Malaysian and Singaporean netizens were shocked by a video that circulated on social media in June this year of staff at a Bangsar, KL, eatery <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3maABRgv8G4">washing plates in a dirty puddle</a>.</p> <p>Contamination can occur at several junctures, such as during the production of the food, the processing of raw materials, and even during the transport and display of the food.</p> <p>When a food product finally makes it to the kitchen, it is also in danger of cross contamination, which is the transfer of bacteria or viruses through the use of contaminated items such as knives or chopping boards.</p> <p>Be vigilant and adopt these 5 food safety tips to minimise the risk of food poisoning.</p> <p><strong><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.2903225806452px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7843907/food-handling-um.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/070f60984208487ea761a3e32e6bc07c" /></strong></p> <p><strong>4. Storing raw foods properly</strong></p> <p>Raw foods should be kept separate from cooked foods while in the fridge.</p> <p style="font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit;">Different types of raw foods (e.g., meat, eggs, vegetables) should also be kept separately from each other to avoid cross contamination.</p> <p style="font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit;">If you’re not planning to cook the meat in the next three to five days, it’s best to freeze it.</p> <p style="font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit;">Get the most out of your beef buy with these delicious and easy <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/recipes/beef-skewers-ginger-dipping-sauce">beef skewers with ginger dipping sauce</a>.</p> <p style="font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit;"><strong>5. Avoid buying pre-cut fruits</strong></p> <p>If you’re concerned about the cases of contaminated pre-cut fruit, you may want to buy a whole fruit and cut it up yourself at home.</p> <p>Wash the fruit properly by rubbing it with your hands under running water.</p> <p>If you’re cutting it up, use a separate chopping board than the one you use for raw meat.</p> <p>In a race to eat all of your fruit purchases before they all spoil? <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/kitchen-tips/how-to-preserve-fruit">Try bottling it as a preserve!</a></p> <p><em>By Siti Rohani</em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images and Max Pixel</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/5-food-safety-tips-proper-food-handling"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a></p>

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Expert laundry tips you’ll wish you knew sooner

<p>Keep your clothes cleaner, your home greener and your electricity bill low with these expert laundry tips.</p> <p>By Anna-Kaisa Walker, <em>Reader’s Digest Canada</em></p> <p><strong>Go scent free</strong></p> <p>A 2011 study found that fragranced products cause dryer vents to emit seven compounds that contain hazardous air pollutants and two that are carcinogenic.</p> <p><strong>Choose products wisely</strong></p> <p>Even “unscented” brands may not be what they purport to be. “Unscented detergents can still contain fragrances to mask chemical smells,” says Lindsay Coulter, the David Suzuki Foundation’s green-living expert.</p> <p><strong>Try your hand at DIY</strong></p> <p>If you want to avoid mystery ingredients, make your own detergent. The David Suzuki Foundation recommends using ½ cup per load of a mixture of two teaspoons of salt, two tablespoons of baking soda, two tablespoons of liquid Castile soap and one litre of hot water.</p> <p><strong>Nix the essential oils</strong></p> <p>Don’t scent homemade detergent with essential oils. Some dryers heat up to about 57˚C, which is above the flashpoint for some essential oils.</p> <p><strong>A little vinegar goes a long way</strong></p> <p>If your towels are musty, add a cup of white vinegar or a cup of baking soda to your wash load (but not both at once).</p> <p><strong>Watch out for microfibres</strong></p> <p>Your fleece jacket made from recycled bottles likely contains microfibres – pollutants that account for 35 per cent of microplastics in the world’s oceans. “With every wash, your garments are shedding microfibres that end up in waterways and eventually in the food chain,” says Coulter. Special fibre-trapping bags can help keep them out of the drain.</p> <p><strong>You don’t always need chlorine</strong></p> <p>Instead of using chlorine bleach, disinfect your clothes by line drying. Sunlight’s ultraviolet rays are effective at killing bacteria in fabrics. Bonus: they’re free.</p> <p><strong>Don’t overuse detergent</strong></p> <p>Using more detergent won’t make clothes cleaner. Over time, excess detergent can build up and cause smelly residue inside your machine. Use the least amount of detergent possible – start with half the recommended amount, and if your clothes still come out clean, you can try reducing even further.</p> <p><strong>Clean your lint tray</strong></p> <p>Lint buildup in the filter and vents is a primary cause of the dozens of fires started by dryers every year in Toronto, says Papeo. “Empty your lint tray before every load and vacuum the filter and inside the trap from time to time.”</p> <p><strong>Your socks really are going missing</strong></p> <p>The real “sock monster” responsible for your missing hosiery? Your washing machine. Small items can slip past the rubber gasket on a front-loading washer, and get trapped underneath the drum. If you’re suspicious, get a pro to investigate, and wash all your socks in a mesh bag to prevent disappearances.</p> <p><em>Photos: Reader’s Digest</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="mailto:https://www.readersdigest.com.au/culture/expert-laundry-tips-youll-wish-you-knew-sooner">Reader’s Digest</a></em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

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Ten gardening tips for beginners

<p>Wondering how to start a garden? You can find your confidence to do it with these expert gardening tips.</p> <p><strong>Site it right</strong></p> <p>Starting a garden is pretty much all about location. Place your garden in a part of your yard where you'll see it regularly because if it’s out of sight, it’ll be out of mind. This way, you'll be much more likely to spend time in it.</p> <p><strong>Follow the sun</strong></p> <p>Misjudging sunlight is a common pitfall when you're first learning to garden. Pay attention to how sunlight plays through your yard before choosing a spot for your garden. Most edible plants, including many vegetables, herbs, and fruits, need at least six hours of sun in order to thrive.</p> <p><strong>Stay close to water</strong></p> <p>One of the best gardening tips you'll ever get is to plan your new garden near a water source. Make sure you can run a hose to your garden site, so you don't have to carry water to it each time your plants get thirsty. The best way to tell if plants need watering is to push a finger an inch down into the soil (that's about one knuckle deep). If it's dry, it's time to water.</p> <p><strong>Start with great soil</strong></p> <p>When starting a garden, one of the top pieces of advice is to invest in soil which is nutrient-rich and well-drained. You can buy garden soil from hardware stores and mix this in with existing soil to make it more nutrient- dense for your plants.</p> <p><strong>Consider containers</strong></p> <p>When space is at a premium, look to containers. You can grow many plants in pots, including vegetables, herbs, flowers, fruit trees, berries, and shrubs. When gardening in containers, use a pot that's large enough for the plant it's hosting, and fill it with some potting mix. This will help the plants to thrive and it will also protect against over and under watering.</p> <p><strong>Choose the right plants</strong></p> <p>It's important to select plants which match your growing conditions. This means putting sun-loving plants into a sunny spot, choosing heat-tolerant plants in warm climates, and giving ground-gobbling vines like pumpkins and melons ample elbow room - or a trellis to climb up. Do your homework and pick varieties which will grow well where you live and in the space you have.</p> <p><strong>Discover your zone</strong></p> <p>Knowing your ‘hardiness zone’ can help you choose the best plants. Simply put, it describes the coldest place a plant can grow. The higher the zone number, the warmer the climate. So, if a plant is ‘hardy to zone 4’ and you garden in zone 5, that plant will survive in your yard. If, however, you're in zone 3, it's too cold to grow that particular plant.</p> <p><strong>Learn your frost dates</strong></p> <p>Planting too early or late in the season can spell disaster for your garden. You need to know the last average spring frost date for your area so you don't accidentally kill plants by putting them out prematurely. It's also good to know your first average fall frost date so you can get your plants harvested or moved indoors before late-season cold damages them.</p> <p><strong>Add some mulch</strong></p> <p>Apply a layer of mulch that's two to three inches deep around each plant. This will help reduce weeds by blocking out the sun, and reduce moisture loss through evaporation, so you have to water less. Or, you can put down straw, shredded leaves, pine straw or some other locally available material.</p> <p><strong>Feed plants regularly</strong></p> <p>We've already talked about the importance of starting with great soil, but that soil works best in concert with regular boosts of high-quality nutrition for your plants. In other words, amazing soil + top-notch plant food = super garden success!</p> <p>So, a month after planting, begin feeding your garden with some plant food you’re your local store and be sure to follow label directions.</p> <p><em>Photos: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

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Why clean indoor air is so important

<p>It's a fact that clean indoor air is every bit as important as the air quality outside of your home - in fact, it can be more important according to a recent study of air pollution, published by <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.who.int/health-topics/air-pollution#tab=tab_1" target="_blank">The World Health Organisation</a> (WHO). <br /><br />An important finding of this study was that clean indoor air, or rather lack of it, <strong><em>is</em></strong> associated with air pollution, and it needs be addressed in both first and third world countries. This covers everything from how we prepare our food, to how we heat our homes and the products we use on our clothes or in our cleaning. <br /><br />It also cover something we rarely think about unless it’s in plain sight – and that's <strong><em>mould. </em></strong></p> <p><strong>Can mould in your home affect your health?</strong></p> <p><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/43325/E92645.pdf" target="_blank"><strong>The Who Guidelines</strong> <strong>for indoor air quality: dampness and mould</strong></a> (2009) state that one of the leading factors in poor indoor air quality is mould. Often, people are not aware of how quickly mould can grow in the home and the harmful health effects it then causes for those who are living with mould in their environment. Sometimes you can’t even see that it’s there. However, its spores can be everywhere.</p> <p>If you have any kind of water damage in your home, such as a drip, flood or a leaking pipe, this can lead to mould growth in as little as 24-48 hours. Mould grows very quickly in wet or moist environments, so it’s important to clean up any leaking water and prevent it from growing or spreading as soon as possible.</p> <p>Mould’s a bit of a scourge, to say the least. Did you know that each year, mould destroys more wood around the world than all the fires and termites combined? </p> <p><strong>Mould contamination is far more common than we think</strong></p> <p>It’s estimated at least 45 million buildings in the US have unhealthy levels of mould. Well, with Australia’s humid and tropical climate in our highly-populated coastal areas, we are particularly susceptible to mould growth as well.</p> <p><img src="https://img.youtube.com/vi/VI0_azQv6N8/hqdefault.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Even if your home is safe, who knows if you’re breathing in mould spores at your office or gym? Mould is often hard to find and can remain hidden behind a wall, in the ceiling or under carpet for years.</p> <p>Getting rid of mould by professionals can often often expensive and the price can soar into the tens of thousands if the problem is severe. While mould removal is difficult and expensive, it’s worth it because the long-term health consequences can be even more costly.</p> <p><strong>What is mould illness like?</strong></p> <p><strong><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://moldprollc.com/10-common-symptoms-of-mold-biotoxin-illness/" target="_blank">Biotoxin illness</a></strong>, or mould illness, is quite common. If you’re living in a home with a mould infestation, mycotoxins from the mould usually spread to other parts of your home, as well especially any textiles you have such as curtains, lounges, beds and clothes.</p> <p>These mycotoxins can affect your immune system severely and lead to health conditions like allergies, hypersensitivity, respiratory problems (asthma, wheezing, coughing) and some other serious conditions such as memory loss, depression, anxiety and reproductive problems.</p> <p>Mould can impact more than just our respiratory system – it can even cause serious psychological issues like memory loss and depression.</p> <p><strong>What are we doing about mould illness?</strong></p> <p>In Australia, the identification and indeed diagnosis of mould illness seems to be slower than other parts of the world, simply as many of our doctors and medical profession don’t have the necessary training yet to identify this condition.</p> <p>A 2019 <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House/Health_Aged_Care_and_Sport/BiotoxinIllnesses/Report" target="_blank">Parliamentary Inquiry</a> into biotoxin illness recognised the disease, but the training and expertise to handle this illness is still developing.</p> <p>However globally, the lack of recognition of mould illness still occurs. Dr Scott McMahon MD from Roswell in New Mexico specialises in mould related illness. He said in 2017: “Possibly every doctor in the United States is treating mould illness and they just don’t realise it.”</p> <p><strong>Clean indoor air is vital for improving your air quality</strong></p> <p>If you can smell a musty or mouldy smell in your home or work environment, it can signify mould.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Have a professional mould company visit and assess it</strong><br />You may think you can’t see any mould but if you can smell it, there’s every chance there’s some it’s hiding somewhere.</li> <li><strong>Reach for natural solutions</strong></li> <li>There are many products you can use to clean your home of mould. One Australian company making a more natural solution is called <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://san-air.com.au/" target="_blank">San Air.</a> The products are plant-based but they help control bacteria – including mould – in the air. It helps to provide clean indoor air. It was created by the ex-head of a pharmaceutical company, using only plant-based ingredients. San-Air is blended to produce microbial reduction properties at low dosage. In other words, you won’t know it’s working, but you’ll enjoy the clean indoor air!</li> </ul> <div class="wp-block-embed__wrapper"><em>Photo: Getty Images</em></div>

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The top six benefits of decluttering your home

<p>We all collect a lot of material possessions during our lives and if we don’t declutter at some stage, it can become overwhelming later on down the track when you find you have so much stuff, you can hardly move.</p> <p>So, here are some extra reasons to motivate you to start decluttering your home now.</p> <p>By decluttering your home and you will end up decluttering your life and it doesn’t need to be as painful as you might think.</p> <p>There are many benefits to owning fewer possessions. Even though it can feel tough to move into action, once these benefits reveal themselves, you’ll be so glad you did.</p> <p><strong>1. Less to clean</strong>: Cleaning is already enough of a chore, but having to clean in and around things you have don’t really want or need makes cleaning your home so much more stressful. With less in your home, cleaning will be easier.</p> <p><strong>2. Less to organise</strong>: When you declutter, finding things will suddenly become so much easier. Things won’t just ‘disappear’ anymore. You can actually move around your home and enjoy the space, instead of moving around things which are in your way and cause you stress because you know you don’t need them.</p> <p><strong>3. Less stress:</strong> Looking around at your clutter can be a sickening sight when your home is cluttered. Once you declutter, you’ll be able to look around and enjoy some possessions and feel more relaxed in the home you love.</p> <p><strong>4. Less debt:</strong> When you declutter, you realise you don’t need to shop for so many material possessions and this will keep your wallet and bank accounts fuller. Your credit cards will be used less and your home won’t get filled with costly things you don’t need.</p> <p><strong>5. More financial freedom: </strong>Many of us can live from week to week on our pay cheque or our retirement income. But when you combine decluttering with minimalism, this will help you build up your savings so you have something there in case of an unexpected emergency.</p> <p><strong>6. More energy for your greatest passions: </strong>With less debt, more financial freedom and a clean home, you can now focus your energy on the things you enjoy instead of worrying about what else you need to buy or what else you need to throw out. Ultimately, decluttering will make you happier!</p> <p><em>Photo: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

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Handyman builds his wife a pub in their garage for just $300

<p>After eight weeks in lockdown, one Sydney man has had enough. </p> <p>Unable to visit the pub due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, Daniel Rule decided to bring the pub to him. </p> <p>His wife Kaylyn told <em>Sunrise</em> that she had mentioned to her husband that lockdown was making her miss going to her local pub for a cold one.</p> <p>Agreeing with her, Daniel pulled his resources and decided to build a pub in the garage of their Sydney home. </p> <p><span>“I honestly didn’t think it would happen as fast as it did - it was all done within a couple of hours,” Kaylyn told the Channel Seven breakfast show.</span></p> <p><span>The impressive set-up features a bar bench made out of wooden pallets, flashing lights and bar stools. </span></p> <p><span>Daniel purchased all the materials at a cost of $300, after browsing Bunnings Warehouse and local businesses on Facebook Marketplace. </span></p> <p><span>Kaylyn decided to document the construction process on her TikTok account, and the video has been viewed over half a million times. </span></p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">In the video, Daniel creates the bar by nailing together wooden pallets before sanding down the surface and applying varnish.</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">He also mounts two shelves to the back bar to hold alcohol and a television for watching their favourite sports.</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">Kalyn said the reaction to the video has been “crazy”.</p> <div class="hide-print ad-no-notice css-qyun7f-StyledAdUnitWrapper ezkyf1c0"> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">“I just wanted to make the video so I could show our friends and family - we honestly didn’t think it would blow up like this.”</p> <div class="hide-print css-drbrjk-StyledCardContainer e148s7sr3"> <div class="e148s7sr1 Card-Media css-m8orbs-StyledMedia-StyledCardMedia e1m2h3dd6"> <div class="Card-Media-Content css-1kaoam0-StyledMediaContent e1m2h3dd7"><em>Image credit: TikTok @kaylyn.rule</em></div> </div> </div> </div>

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Prince Charles implores big business to help us ‘go green’

<p>Prince Charles has made an impassioned plea to global business leaders, imploring them to help us ‘go green’, following huge bushfires that recently ripped through Greece as well as unprecedented storms in Haiti.</p> <p>The prince wrote this call to business leaders in the <em>Daily Mail, </em>saying businesses with money have a critical role to play, and that if we unlock this private sector investment, we could bring about a 'game-changing green transition'.</p> <p>Talking about the devastating bushfires in his beloved Greece, Prince Charles wrote the scenes of these fires have been 'terrifying' and 'the stuff of nightmares'.</p> <p>He tells of his heartbreak at seeing the land where his father and grandfather were born being 'swallowed up by ferocious flames' and warns that 'time is rapidly running out'.</p> <p>'We now have no alternative,’ he writes, ‘… we have to do all we possibly can in the short time left to us to avoid the enormous climate catastrophe that has already begun to show its face in the most terrifying ways.’</p> <p><strong>We have time left, ‘but only just’</strong></p> <p>Prince Charles writes, there is time to address the crisis, 'but only just'.</p> <p>The prince wants leading companies to sign up to his 'Terra Carta', a charter which commits them to putting sustainability at the heart of all their business activities.</p> <p>More than 400 have so far, but Charles warns the crisis is 'monumental' and can be tackled only by big business and governments working together.</p> <p>Warning that weather-related disasters should serve as a wake-up call, the prince writes: 'We have been in the 'last chance saloon' for too long already, so if we do not confront the monumental challenge head on - and fast - we and the world as we know it will be done for.'</p> <p><img class="post_image_group" src="https://over60.monday.com/protected_static/657795/resources/279481326/big-Bushfires%20in%20Greece%20UM.jpg" alt="" data-asset_id="279481326" data-url-thumb="https://over60.monday.com/protected_static/657795/resources/279481326/thumb-Bushfires%20in%20Greece%20UM.jpg" data-url-thumb-small="https://over60.monday.com/protected_static/657795/resources/279481326/thumb_small-Bushfires%20in%20Greece%20UM.jpg" data-url-thumb-big-scaled="https://over60.monday.com/protected_static/657795/resources/279481326/thumb_big_scaled-Bushfires%20in%20Greece%20UM.jpg" data-url-large="https://over60.monday.com/protected_static/657795/resources/279481326/large-Bushfires%20in%20Greece%20UM.jpg" data-url-big="https://over60.monday.com/protected_static/657795/resources/279481326/big-Bushfires%20in%20Greece%20UM.jpg" data-url-original="https://over60.monday.com/protected_static/657795/resources/279481326/Bushfires%20in%20Greece%20UM.jpg" data-filename="Bushfires in Greece UM.jpg" data-is-gif="false" data-post-id="1129824677" /><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7843343/bushfires-in-greece-um.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/b62701f2e6ec4bf6aa76d00c19998c81" /></p> <p><strong>This call to big business is significant</strong></p> <p>While Prince Charles has been vocal about climate change before, this challenge to big business is a significant intervention from his previous actions.</p> <p>It comes in the wake of a stark report from the United Nations' panel on climate change earlier this month which warned of unprecedented global warming and which was described as a 'code red' moment for humanity.</p> <p>On 31st October to the 12 November, Britain will host <a rel="noopener" href="mailto:https://ukcop26.org/" target="_blank">COP26, the UN's climate change conference</a>, in Glasgow, which is seen by some as one of the last chances for major nations to agree an approach to prevent potentially catastrophic global warming.</p> <p>Prince Charles has been a pioneer in highlighting environmental issues. Last year, he launched the Sustainable Markets Initiative at the World Economic Forum in Davos in a bid to accelerate global progress on sustainability.</p> <p>The 'Terra Carta' is one of its flagship initiatives. It aims to provide a roadmap for businesses to move towards an ambitious and sustainable future by 2030.</p> <p>Its concept is based on the 1215 Magna Carta, and aimed at holding major companies accountable for helping to protect the planet.</p> <p>In today's article for the <em>Daily Mail</em>, the prince says we have been 'testing our world to destruction' and it is now up to all of us to get involved to combat climate change.</p> <p>The prince also made a significant private donation to the Hellenic Red Cross recently to help assist its humanitarian response to the residents of the fire-stricken areas in Greece.</p> <p><strong>The prince opened his story in the Daily Mail with these words:</strong></p> <p>Owing to family connections, I have always felt a particular fascination and affection for Greece.</p> <p>Apart from the allure of her landscapes, history and culture, both my father and grandfather were born there, which is why I was so touched to be invited earlier this year to celebrate the bicentenary of the country's independence.</p> <p>Now, five months later, it has been heartbreaking to see the devastating fires affecting Greece, Turkey, and now Italy which has just recorded Europe's highest ever temperature.</p> <p><strong>And he ended his story with this heartfelt call to action: </strong></p> <p>This is why COP26 is so crucially important for our very survival on this increasingly over-heating planet – something our children and grandchildren are rightly and deeply concerned about.</p> <p>The 'coalition of the willing' joins me in hoping that the conference will deliver the transformational decisions and the roadmap for change for which our planet is crying out.</p> <p>We now have no alternative – we have to do all we possibly can in the short time left to us to avoid the enormous climate catastrophe that has already begun to show its face in the most terrifying ways, most recently in the Mediterranean.</p> <p>World leaders, working closely with the private sector, have the power to make the difference. COP26 affords them an opportunity to do so before it is finally too late.</p> <p><em>Photo: Getty Images</em></p>

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The surprising health benefits of gardening

<p>Gardening has some health benefits you can’t put a price on. A Dutch study from 2011 asked two groups of people to complete a stressful task.</p> <p>Straight after this, they assigned the groups 30 minutes of either gardening or reading. When tested, the gardeners’ stress hormones were found to be significantly lower.</p> <p><strong>Dirt has some interesting benefits</strong></p> <p>There’s something about digging in the dirt that’s incredibly satisfying. Why? Well, it could be the dirt itself. <em>Mycobacterium vaccae</em> is a healthy bacterium which is found naturally living in soil and it’s been found to increase serotonin and provide anxiety relief when inhaled.</p> <p><strong>The physical benefits of gardening increase as we age</strong></p> <p>When you’re out digging, pulling weeds and planting new things in your garden, you’re helping to strengthen your hands, which is especially important as we get older.</p> <p>As we get to a more senior age, we tend to lose our grip strength and conditions such as arthritis become more common, leading to difficulty performing tasks. But it helps to keep moving and so doing some gardening will assist you.</p> <p><strong>It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a back yard</strong></p> <p>Many of us don’t have a back yard so we think we can’t do gardening any more. But you can still do some fruitful urban gardening in large containers. The bigger the pots, the better, because after watering, the soil stays wet for longer.</p> <p><strong>Maintenance can take as little as five minutes per day</strong></p> <p>Once you have your garden set up, it only takes as much time as it takes to walk around your garden and put your finger in the soil up to the second knuckle to check on it.</p> <p>If the soil feels moist and cool, then there’s no need to water. But if it feels dry and crumbly, it will need to be watered.</p> <p><em>Photos: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p> </p> <p><em> </em></p>

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