Elsewhere festival, Maitland Gaol, October 10, 2015ELSEWHERE
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Maitland Gaol

October 10

THIS festival meant a few firsts for me. I’d never been to Maitland Gaol, and after three years in Newcastle, I’d yet to try Doughheads or Newy Burger Co.

Walking through the jail entrance, I briefly thought about how entering this place might have been for criminals in years past, but those thoughts were far too serious for a music festival. Instead I bought a delicious cider and met up with some friends where we spent the next 20 minutes enjoying The Soorleys and coming up with clever titles for this story, as music, merrymaking and captivity bring an eclectic assortment of words to play with. “Inmate land”, “Shaking in Shackles” and “Prison’s not so bad” all seemed like possibilities.

I came to the festival ready for anything. With an open mind, a limited knowledge on the bands, and a curiosity for the place, I was prepared.

We hunkered down in the grass and stuffed our faces with Newy Burger Co. (The vegie burger was juicy and delicious; it was evident they cared for their non-carnivore counterparts.)

Hayden Calnin filled our ears. He was melodic and mesmerising, and as the afternoon sun began to set, the feeling of freedom that comes with beer and rock’n’roll was overshadowed by the history of the place and stories that never had a chance to be told.

I briefly read about Thelma Plum before the show, but, like all things good, she was heaps more fascinating after experiencing her in person. I watched her groove on stage and recognised more than a few of her songs from Triple J. She was stunning, and I was captivated with this gorgeous, bodacious brown-eyed woman, whose music had me tapping my feet. She moved, clapped, danced and always maintained a steady, direct, hypnotising gaze.

The Basics, Elsewhere festival, Maitland Gaol, October 10, 2015

The Basics came on just as the sun was going down and I was getting my salted caramel doughnut sugar rush from Doughheads. The Basics were funny guys, cracking jokes and being self-deprecating, about the money they had poured into their latest music video. Their songs were perfect for the night, with strong themes of . They performed a song called Lucky Country, and one called Hey Rain about Queensland. As they wrapped up their set, they piqued the crowd’s curiosity by prefacing that the next song was a cover perfect for the location. My friends and I threw out guesses. Would it be Folsom Prison? Would it be Jailhouse Rock? Of course we should have guessed, as the metallic riff from ACDC’s Jailbreak blared out into the crowd. I was a bit starstruck when I learnt that Gotye plays as their drummer and also sings!

Evidently Josh Pyke was the big name of the night, and my friend Sophie grew up on his songs. I was eager to hear what the fuss was all about, as another friend had earlier described Pyke as “wuss rock, but not in a bad way”. I can’t say that Josh Pyke moved me the way he did almost every other swaying girl in a flowing dress, but nevertheless, he was a definitely a nice way to end the evening. Elsewhere was the place to be.

Nick Kyrgios: Canberra’s Dimitri Morogiannis aiming to follow in his idol’s footsteps

Canberra junior tennis player Dimitri Morogiannis credits Nick Kyrgios as a mentor and inspiration. Photo: Rohan ThomsonHe is from Canberra, is not short on confidence and lets his emotions fly on the court.
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And no, it isn’t Nick Kyrgios.

Introducing rising star Dimitri Morogiannis, a 16-year-old who has worked closely with Kyrgios and has lofty ambitions to be the best in the world.

Morogiannis is coming off the biggest win of his young career after breaking through for his maiden victory in an ITF junior event at the Canberra International last weekend.

The Erindale College student has known Kyrgios for the past five years and was his hitting partner when he was home in the ACT after the US Open.

Kyrgios has polarised opinions for his on-court behaviour after he was fined at the Shanghai Masters and sledged by AFL star Taylor Walker on social media.

But Morogiannis says the Kyrgios he knows is completely different to the one who is portrayed in the media.

“If you know him really, he’s probably the most down to earth and humble guy you would ever meet,” Morogiannis said.

“He’s an outgoing, happy guy and respects everyone.

“I just say everyone just support him because he’s one of us. He’s from Canberra. Everyone in should support him.”

Kyrgios has spoken with Morogiannis about his experiences on the professional circuit, both good and bad.

“He’s someone to look up to in the stuff he’s done really well, and the stuff that is not the right thing, keep that quiet,” Morogiannis said.

“He’s kind of mentored me a bit through the questions I ask if I need some help.

“You see a lot of players in tennis swear and nothing happens after, but when Nick swears, they make a big deal out of it.”

Morogiannis made a statement in winning the Canberra Junior International, going through the tournament undefeated before beating Jeremy Taylor in the final 7-6, 6-2.

He showed plenty of emotion in the victory and said that was an essential part of his personality.

“I’m a bit like Nick, I show some fire on the court to my supporters to get me through my matches,” Morogiannis said.

“I’m Greek. Nick’s Greek as well, typical Greek guys are larrikins.

“There’s a point where you have to stop, but there’s a point where you can pump yourself up at the same time.”

Morogiannis isn’t shy about setting lofty goals for his career having seen the heights Kyrgios has scaled.

“I really want to be where Nick is right now, or even better,” he said.

“I have a dream to be No.1 in the world and I’m trying my best to get that.

“This is just a small drop in the ocean, this win on the tour, but there’s plenty more to come.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of ChangZhou Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Gerry Harvey makes captain’s call on Royal Descent for Caulfield Cup

Strapper Glen Barnes with Royal Descent. Photo: SuppliedGerry Harvey made a captain’s call to have Royal Descent run in the Caulfield Cup.
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Royal Descent is the queen of the Chris Waller stable and has clocked up six group 1 seconds, the latest in the Turnbull Stakes, in a photo finish, at the beginning of the month, which led to Harvey’s decision.

“After the Turnbull, I rang Claire [Bird] my racing manager and said I would like to run her in the Caulfield Cup and we had a blue,” Harvey said.

“She told me ‘I am not doing that to this horse … she can’t run in a Caulfield Cup again’. I said it’s my horse and I want to run there. It was a robust discussion.

“She ran in it as a four-year-old and was beaten 1.9 lengths, she is six now and they all say she is better than ever, so why not have another go?

“She wins this I might have a Melbourne Cup runner.”

Harvey can dream big and he has the best trainer in the country and the very-confident Glen Boss in the saddle to help cause a shock at Caulfield on Saturday. But the outside stall of 22 makes things tough.

“[Claire] and Chris had the Myer [Classic] picked out for [Royal Descent] and wanted to go there. The Caulfield Cup is one of the top five races in the country and for someone like me who is addicted to racing it’s something I want to win,” Harvey said. “You don’t get too many chances to win it.

“The next day we were talking about something else and I asked her about Royal Descent and she said we had paid up. She had talked to the trainer and Bossy, she wasn’t happy but thought it was worth a crack.”

Royal Descent might not have the superstar record – her only group 1 was the n Oaks in 2013 – but she has a following because she turned up for every battle and is invariably in the finish.

She has been a runner-up in the George Main Stakes for the past three years as well as seconds in an Epsom and a Doncaster, a race she was third in this year. She has earned respect even though her record is only five wins from 29 starts, with 15 placings.

“People like her,” Harvey said. “They don’t feel sorry for me when she runs second but they feel sorry for the horse.

“I think a lot people would love to see her win a big race, because of what she’s done. Why not a Caulfield Cup?”

It is a question that Boss has a positive answer to, after being in the saddle in the Turnbull Stakes when Preferment just got the better of her.

“If Preferment was there on the weekend he would be favourite,” Boss said. “I can’t believe she is still 20-1. She beat them all home in the Turnbull.

“She is a fully mature mare now and there are no weaknesses. I’m not worried about the gate because I think we are going to end up in the same position in the run anyway.”

Waller will also saddle Grand Marshal and Who Shot Thebarman in the Caulfield Cup but there is something about Royal Descent for him and the stable.

“She is a different mare this time – you just have to look at her and the way she does things,” Waller said. “She never lets us down. Glen is confident, it is one of those things you want to hear from your jockey.”

Royal Descent is steady at $21 quote with Ladbrokes in a market that has not seen too much change since the barrier draw on Tuesday. Mongolian Khan remains the $4.80 top pick but the good draws for Rising Romance and English stayer Snow Sky have seen their prices trimmed to $10 and $11. They have joined Set Square, Fame Game and Hauraki at the $10 line.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of ChangZhou Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Resistance blame hard to swallow

IT’S not me it’s them, say many people about the overuse of antibiotics.
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And many mistakenly believe that the body becomes resistant to antibiotics rather than the bacteria becoming resistant to the antibiotics.

That’s part of the findings of Bond University research published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.

It reviewed 54 studies involving 55,225 people and showed about 70 per cent had heard of antibiotic resistance, but most didn’t understand it.

“Any time an antibiotic is used the individual’s risk of developing resistance increases,” Gold Coast university’s Dr Amanda McCullough said.

“This resistance can spread to family and other members of the community, creating a pool of resistant bacteria.

“These resistant bacteria become problematic when an infection occurs and antibiotics that would have treated the infection are no longer effective.”

The study found 88 per cent of participants mistakenly believed the body becomes resistant to the antibiotic, but more than 70 per cent knew using too many or unnecessary antibiotics caused the resistance.

“The main problem is patients did not think that they used too many or that their antibiotic use was unnecessary, in fact, they typically thought other people were the main issue.”

The same applied to health professionals, with studies showing 98 per cent thought it was a serious problem, but less than 70 per cent thought it was a problem for their practice.

“Many people also tend to believe that they need something when they are sick and doctors may feel pressured to meet their patients expectations of treatment. The facts are that antibiotics offer little or no benefit for the treatment of some common illnesses like colds, coughs and sore throats.” AAP

Building trust the key to countering terrorism

Greg Moriarty and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Thursday. Photo: Andrew MearesEasier access to authorities needed to stop extremism
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What police and intelligence officials have been saying for months might now become a reality.

They can’t watch everyone all the time. Neither their resources nor ns’ expectations of basic liberties will allow that. So instead they need the Muslim community to be their eyes and ears when it comes to spotting extremism.

That starts with parents and families but it extends to teachers, friends and community leaders.

This was grasped in theory by the Abbott government but never really applied. For every mention of respect for Muslims, there was an equal and opposite dose of combative rhetoric, which tainted the waves of new national security laws as anti-Muslim and created a gulf between the community and the government.

Thursday’s meeting focussed heavily on how to avoid the law enforcement route and look at softer, earlier intervention, which means having trusted avenues the Muslim community can use to get help with loved ones they’re concerned about.

So how does that happen?

At the moment, the main pathway is to pick up the phone and call the national security hotline – hardly a comforting idea for a worried parent. That was how one recent alleged plot came to authorities’ attention but that won’t happen every time, especially when problems arise among newer communities whose relationship with authorities is distant.

There will be all sorts of recommendations about different pathways – new phone hotlines, new websites, new apps, outreach programs through schools.

But counter-terrorism czar Greg Moriarty got to the heart of the issue on Thursday afternoon by saying that worried community members need to be able to reach out to “people they can trust”.

Trust is the key. If that bridge can be built, Thursday’s talkfest will have been an immensely useful exercise.

The results, if translated into action when they go to Malcolm Turnbull and state leaders late next month, could do more to keep ns safe than endless waves of new national security laws.

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The original release of this article first appeared on the website of ChangZhou Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Father defends son charged over alleged gang-rape of teenage girl filmed on GoPro

Tristan Carlyle-Watson, who was allegedly in the room when a group of men raped a teenage girl. Photo: FacebookA week ago Tristan Carlyle-Watson fronted his father and revealed he was likely to be charged following the gang-rape of a teenage girl.
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“He was worried when he told me, of course he was,” his father, James, told Fairfax Media on Thursday.

Mr Carlyle-Watson was allegedly one of up to eight men inside a room at a house party in Sydney’s west in May when a teenage girl was pack-raped and filmed.

The “deplorable” ordeal was captured on a 16-minute video, recorded on a GoPro camera.

Police investigating graffiti offences came across the camera by chance and handed it over to the Child Abuse Squad.

On Wednesday, five males, including a 17-year-old, were charged over the sexual assault at a party in St Clair months ago.

Police allege a number of men in the room on the night of May 22 took turns in having sex with the teenage girl, who lost consciousness.

Fairfax Media understands police are looking at the possibility the alleged victim had her drink spiked before the assault.

It is also understood the girl only knew at least one of the men involved in her alleged assault.

Mr Carlyle-Watson, 25, who is charged with concealing a serious indictable offence, applied for bail in Penrith Local Court on Thursday.

The court heard Mr Carlyle-Watson encouraged his other co-accused to engage in the “deplorable” conduct.

“At no stage did he try and help the victim, who was unconscious,” prosecutor Varinder Pawar said.

The other co-accused actually laughed at the alleged victim, Mr Pawar said.

He said the girl sent a text message to Mr Carlyle-Watson after the assault and asked what had happened.

She asked for her property back and sent messages asking “what happened last night” and “who is this Kurt person”, the court heard.

Mr Carlyle-Watson allegedly told her “nothing happened” and that he didn’t want any more communication with her.

Mr Vawar said there was a distinct possibility there was further evidence that may have been disposed of or could be disposed of.

However Mr Carlyle-Watson’s lawyer submitted that was only speculation and his client was not the principal offender.

Magistrate Mark Douglass said Mr Carlyle-Watson’s previous convictions for stalk and intimidate and use a carriage service to harass did not assist him.

They also supported the prosecution’s fear that he could interfere with the witnesses and the alleged victim if on bail, Mr Douglass said.

Mr Carlyle-Watson, who appeared via video link, shook his head as bail was refused.

His father first heard of his son’s arrest after one of his friends called him on Wednesday.

He said his son, who hasn’t been charged with sexually assaulting the girl, wasn’t involved in the actual act.

“My son doesn’t want to do that,” he said.

“He has girlfriends all over the place. The way he gets on with girls … why would he want to go waste his time and do that?”

He said his son and some of the others charged over the assault were friends who had grown up together.

Some of the men are married and another is engaged, it is understood.

Andrew Waters, 23, and  Kurt Stevenson, 25, also had their cases mentioned in Penrith Local Court on Thursday.

Mr Waters and Mr Stevenson, who have been charged with aggravated sexual assault, did not apply for bail and the cases were adjourned to December 10.

Ayden Devereux, 24, who has been charged with aggravated sexual assault and filming a person in a private act without consent, will also stay behind bars after making no application for bail.

A 17-year-old boy, charged with indecent and sexual assault offences, appeared in Parramatta Children’s Court and did not apply for bail.

National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service 1800 RESPECT

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of ChangZhou Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Former Wallaby James O’Connor fires back at Greg Martin over ‘immature twat’ radio outburst

Radio rant: Greg Martin during his playing days for the Wallabies.RWC Schedule: When is the Rugby World Cup final?Rugby World Cup interactive: your guide to every teamFull coverage of the 2015 Rugby World Cup
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A war of words has erupted between departing former Wallaby James O’Connor and commentator Greg Martin after the former’s release from the Queensland Reds this week.

O’Connor accused Martin of betraying the “sacredness and brotherhood” of the Wallabies after the player-turned-broadcaster labelled him an “immature twat” on commercial radio.

The 44-Test outside back, who spent one season at the Reds but failed to break back into Michael Cheika’s World Cup line-up, cited personal reasons for his decision to leave the Super Rugby outfit this week.

He accused Martin of questioning his character with limited insight into his personal circumstances and appeared to compare the situation to the media’s treatment of AFL star Buddy Franklin, who called time on his season citing mental health issues.

“Greg did not say these comments while I was present, he offered me no chance to respond and frankly from the position I stand he does not care,” O’Connor wrote in the statement posted on Facebook on Thursday night.

“He has no interest in the truth; he has no interest in finding the real story. Greg’s interest is his own opinion and making his own headlines, with no consideration to whom he drags through the mud.”

Martin has been an outspoken critic of O’Connor’s throughout a controversy plagued career, which saw the Queenslander’s ARU contract torn up before a move to Europe in 2013.

After the Reds’ announced O’Connor’s departure this week, Martin took to the airwaves with a stinging attack on the player’s shortlived return to n rugby. 

“This could be the greatest waste of n rugby talent,” Martin said.

“He’s played 44 Tests for at the age of 25, [but] hasn’t played in the last few years because of his bad attitude.

“A guy that just hasn’t matured.”

The comments incensed O’Connor, who wrote: “I am the first to recognise that my previous behaviour was not one of an upstanding individual, but like all people I wish to learn from my mistakes and look to improve upon myself. Greg’s comment on ‘everyone else growing up, except for James O’Connor’ implies that I have no recognition of the consequences of my previous actions.

“I find it ironic that the man accusing me of being immature then preceded to call me an ‘immature twat’, and ‘a little punk’ on live radio. A childish insult at best, from a 50 year old father.”

O’Connor also accused Martin of trying to sabotage the Wallabies’ World Cup campaign.

“Greg likes to talk about the sacredness and brotherhood behind playing for the Wallabies,” he wrote.

“However he does not hesitate to insult those exact players that pull on that jersey. After playing just over a handful of caps, he’s pulled on the Wallaby jersey enough times to know how devastating it could be to have fellow countrymen alienate you in the media.”

Martin has ruffled feathers in the past with a take-no-prisoners approach to commentary around the game in .

He drew the ire of the Ewen McKenzie-coached Wallabies last year after declaring No.8 Wycliff Palu had “dogged it” against the All Blacks in Auckland.

This time it was Martin’s commentary during the Wallabies’ pool match against Uruguay that landed him in hot water and appears to have sparked the feud.

In a video message on Twitter, O’Connor defended the performance of No.10 Quade Cooper and ridiculed Martin’s own playing record, showing a clip of the former centre’s role in the try that cost the Wallabies the 1989 British and Irish Lions series.  Hey guys something I’d like to share with you. https://t整形美容医院/R6aqiulJM7— James O’Connor (@JamesOConnor832) October 15, 2015

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of ChangZhou Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Josh Hazlewood steps in for the rested Mitchell Starc as Blues take on Queensland

The good news for Queensland’s cricket team is Mitchell Starc is being rested from the NSW attack for Friday’s one-day match at Drummoyne Oval, the bad news is that he has been replaced by Josh Hazlewood.
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Hazlewood, who was rested during the first four games of the Matador Cup by Cricket after his massive workload – he bowled during 50 of the 52 weeks that coincided with the end of the Ashes series – conceded he has big shoes to fill.

Starc has taken 19 wickets for the Blues at an average of six and in the process he’s enhanced his reputation as the world’s best white-ball bowler.

“The NSW boys are expecting 5-30 from me and [Queensland] might be happy that I’m playing and not Mitchell,” said Hazlewood. “It’s been good to watch how well the Blues have been bowling and you can’t help but to feel good about the line-up we have.

“It’s been great seeing everyone play their role and I just want to fit in at Drummoyne and do my thing and let the rest take care of itself.”

While the Blues’ bowling attack has spearheaded the state’s undefeated start to the tournament, Hazlewood didn’t expect the decision to rest Starc, who has been battling spurs in his ankle, to have much impact  on the way the bowlers perform. “When you look at the attack you’ll see I’ve bowled with these guys a fair bit for NSW and ,” he said.

“We know each other’s roles and what we’re trying to do – I’ve played a fair bit with Sean Abbott, Guridner Sandhu and our two spinners, Nathan Lyon and Stephen O’Keefe, so  hopefully I’ll fit into my role seamlessly. Sometimes you feel as though you’ve been interrupted when you come back from a rest because your body needs to get used to bowling day in, day out and getting used to the rigours of cricket.

“But I feel really good for the break, I feel a lot stronger and recovered for the time off.”

Queensland coach Phil Jaques said he’d told his players the opportunity to take on someone of Hazlewood’s calibre was a rare chance to test themselves. “He’s a really good player, he’s played a lot of international cricket and he’s fresh and ready to go,” he said.

Jaques expected Queensland’s Joe Burns, who was selected for the doomed tour of Bangladesh, to make his time at Drummoyne count. “Joe probably hasn’t made the runs he would have liked in the last couple of games but he is a terrific player, he’s already had a taste of n level and I’m sure he’s hungry to test himself against a strong NSW side,” he said.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of ChangZhou Plastic Surgery Hospital.

SIMON WALKER: Topping off the guru lists

SIMON WALKER: That’s Life archive
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THERE are certain times in every life when one wonders if one has been successful.

That time might arrive with a glance at one’s superannuation balance, and the dazzling lack of zeroes at the end of it.

Or it might be a glance at one’s waistline and how it’s impeding one’s view of one’s less-than-dazzling super statement. This might not be a bad thing.

Or it may come with a glance at one’s kids, who may or may not get out of juvie within the month.

We’re all different and it’s natural to look for ways to measure up, preferably with a sense of humour, because you might need it.

Inevitably, if you wonder long and hard enough, you’ll end up on the internet reading “guru lists”.

Those scientifically compiled tables of signs, omens, psychopathies arranged in no particular order by people who may have sold pyramid schemes in a former life.

Designed to inform if you are successful “in the now”, or likely to be in the soon-to-be-arriving now – that’s guru talk for “the future” – prior to death, which is a sure indicator you need a new guru.

You know the lists I’m talking about.

Guides like: “10 things you need to stop doing if you are going to be successful”.

I’m always surprised No1 on this type of list is not: Stop taking the piss out of these lists.

Or: “11 things you need to start doing if you are going to be successful.”

Getting off your arse and doing something rarely seems to get spelt out.

Then of course there’s the “12 signs you are successful and simply unaware of it.”

Often cited in the “13 hard-core pieces of evidence you’re in denial” list.

And rarely referred to in the “14.5 sociopathic tendencies of millionaires”.

That’s because millionaires are focused, they think big, they make mistakes (often with other people’s money) before making truckloads of their own.

Based on that standard they may be totally unaware that they are successful, but you’re not, courtesy of the guru lists you might want to copy in your darker moments.

Like when you contemplate your super balance.

Yes, you can get can transported out of your comfort zone reading these lists.

And usually, moving out of your comfort zone is No9 on such lists.

It’s all about manipulating misgivings. I mean, moulding mindsets.

That’s why I warmed to one I stumbled across the other day on a business-type “yeah baby, go for it” website.

It was called “20 Habits of Eventual Millionaires”.

This was a list I could get my teeth into because it combined the idea of being probably not that successful in the now with the possibility of being hopefully a bit more successful sometime in the soon-to-be-arriving now, prior to death.

I noticed early on that chewing your fingernails did not rate a mention as one of the habits.

But I read on anyhow because the suspense was killing me.

According to this particular guru it’s all about “Taking one ray of light and combining them all to become the sun”.

In fact, one was urged to put that concept to one’s 20-year-old self and ask him or her what constitutes success.

Knowing my 20-year-old self, I believe he may well have asked what I’d been smoking. And if I had any spare. But I got the gist of where this list was coming from.

Reverse engineering. Envisioning the end product, you, and working backwards through the process that led to its arrival.

If this process seems alarming, I suggest you refer back to the “12 signs you’re successful but unaware of it” before proceeding.

I did because I was struggling for claret at that moment. I mean clarity.

One trait top of the “20 habits of eventual millionaires” list I found easy to understand was: “Avoid death.”

String that one out as long as possible I would have thought. A little obvious but a good indication of the level of nitty gritty detail this guru was prepared to go into.

Gurus should never get too specific.

Another habit that didn’t seem so self-evident was: “Every day be around people who are kind to you and love you.”

Ironic in a Catch 22 type of way, depending on where you work and how things are going at home.

Which is OK because the next habit is: “Solve difficult gratitude problems.”

Apparently it helps to be grateful for things that really give you the gee willikers.

As the guru outlines, it’s the difference between being scared in a movie and saying, “wait, it’s just a movie”.

Except it’s not a movie.

Speaking of movies, the next habit is a shining light: “Write down 10 ideas a day.”

A great idea, unless that idea you’re writing repeatedly is, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

Planting seeds is recommended because, according to my guru, 50 per cent of flowers come from 1 per cent of seeds.

I get lost when it comes to such garden variety mathematics, but I can’t help suspecting it could help when buying a Lotto ticket, and may also have applications regarding my super statement.

Hopefully that’s something I can measure up in the long term and tick off my guru list when it comes to signs of success.


RESTAURANT REVIEW: Don Beppino’s House of Lasagne Don Beppino is a stalwart on the Newcastle dining scene for either takeaway or eating in. Pictures: Peter Stoop
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Don Beppino is a stalwart on the Newcastle dining scene for either takeaway or eating in. Pictures: Peter Stoop

TweetFacebookAS far as Newcastle institutions go, Don Beppino’s is sewn more tightly into the tough fabric of our town than even our beloved Newcastle Knights. When Slammin’ Sam Stewart first led the Dominance out in ’88, Don Beppino’s had already been preparing fresh pasta in all shapes and sizes for over 15 years.

When Toowoomba Airport’s most high-profile couch surfer played that inside ball to Darren Albert on September 28, 1997, Don Beppino’s had been tossing fresh pizza bases into the air for 24 years.

While Nathan Tinkler mucked around with the Kingdom’s club, Don Beppino carried on cooking delicious Italian cuisine for many hungry locals, well beyond the borders of Merewether.

For 40-something years, Don Beppino’s House of Lasagna has been a Novocastrian gastronomic landmark. In this time, it’s become a beacon for old-school value and comfort in an ever-changing world of kale and micro greens.

At night, The House of Lasagna shines out from Railway Street courtesy of a straight row of bright white light bulbs, reflecting off white painted bricks, and two Italian flag-inspired awnings that arch over windows either side of the entrance.

Inside, the space is resplendent with more white – from the painted grooves on the rendered walls to the Roman-esque statues and figures, which includes two twisting columns at the entrance with the heads of roaring lions on top. The room is a rectangle with the service counter running in an L shape. There are pizza-making facilities at one end and selections from tonight’s menu, ready to go, at the other.

The dining space is small . . . no, wait, cosy. The dining space is cosy. There are wooden tables and chairs that are already set with glassware and cutlery, and laminated menus in the shape of an Italian flag, which will double as a place mat, as required. There’s a white statue of Diana the Hunter, in the window, and a reprint of The Creation of Adam, next to a pair of green shutters and a planter box, on the wall.

Whether dining in, or taking away, you place your order with the friendly staff behind the counter.

Unsure just what to eat, my dining associate and I ordered the ‘Mixed Dish’ option, which is “a combination of all the foods on the menu, including the meat dishes”. Bountiful and borderless, our meal came out within five minutes and was served as one. Deliciously indefinite, the Mixed Dish had, pretty much, all the hits on one plate. At least six separate dishes are unified as one under a generous helping of tomato passata, breadcrumbs (gratin), and baked cheese.

Separate small plates help us to divide and conquer the carbo-loaded feast set before our eyes. Slabs of veal rest at the top of the pile, held together by yellow globs of cheese that stretches as it clings desperately to the slices of baby beef being removed from the mess. Firm, yet soft, and very, very flavourful, the veal would have tasted even better on its own.

Underneath the veal is a mound of pasta in all the different vowel-ending shapes – rotini, tortellini, cannelloni, and ravioli – in shades of yellow and orange. Individually, the flavours of each is present and accounted for – sweet, nutty, herbaceous, rich and creamy – and the homemade pasta is really something special, but in the chaos of the plate, they all meld into one, great big, baked and indistinguishable mush of carbs and cheese.

As we wade our way through our meal, a constant stream of customers taking away boxed versions of what we’ve been eating keeps the takeaway section of Don Beppino’s busy, which, to be fair, is what this place has been set up to cater for.

The pizzas being prepared behind the glass look fresh, and somehow have less cheese on them than our mixed dish of veal and pasta, and if we weren’t so full we’d have ordered a pizza to go.

[Our BYO Dolcetto d’Alba, Piedmonte red was a top match with our Italian mash up, and the chilled carafe of local tap water provided some extra refreshment too.]

There are definitely more discerning places to go out for a meal in Newcastle, and the next time we go I think we’ll order a few separate plates instead.

But, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more timeless, family-friendly, value-for-money restaurant, either in town or out, which is probably the reason why Don Beppino’s (white) House of Lasagna is a Novocastrian institution.

What: Don Beppino’s House of Lasagne.

Where: 45 Railway Street, Merewether, Newcastle, 2291; Phone 4963 3969. On Facebook here

Drinks: BYO, soft drinks, water.

Hours: Dinner, Mon-Sun 5pm-10pm. Lunch, Tues-Sat from 11:30am.

Vegetarian: Yes.

Bottom line: $48 for two, plus drinks.

Wheelchair access: Yes.

Do try: Veal. Tortellini. Takeaway.