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Cover by Christian Aas Model: Courtney Mitchell (Busy Models) Makeup: Victoria Betros
12 ‘Twas the Lie Before Christmas 14 Merry Shitmas! 16 Clinging to a Cliche 20 Champions of the Sledge 22 Channara’s Story 20 The Double Life of a Travel Agent 28 Woodford Turns 25 30 Words Versing Verses 32 Online Christmas Gift Guide 38 Featured Artist: Christian Aas 56 Winifred’s Daughter 58 Short Story: Movie
24 Beautiful Santorini 20 The Double Life of a Travel Agent 42 Fashion: Counting Down 54 Beauty Spot 48 Bubbles Troubles? 50 Gingerbread Dreams 4 6 7 8
Crumbs Open Letters Five of a Kind: Web Comics Debate: Should same-sex couples have equal marriage rights? 10 Tea and a biccie... with Amandah Wilkinson 11 Bytes
Editor Jil Hogan Creative Director/Co-Editor Sarah Robertson Lead Designer/Web Design Rowan Hogan Editorial Coorindator Kristian Hollins Layout and Design Jil Hogan Photography Sarah Robertson, Brenda Armstrong, Adam Armstrong, Christian Aas Contributors Paul Smeaton, Kate Lamont, Esther Gallois, Matthew Newton, Paul Murray, Elizabeth Sims, Kade Morton, Kristian Smith, Bek Fay, Scotty Harms, Kelly Forbes Illustrations Craig Nelson Advertising & Marketing NextStep Marketing (firstname.lastname@example.org) www.biscuitmagazine.com.au biscuit magazine is free and issued monthly. Email contact@biscuit magazine.com.au. ABN 33 407 496 992. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written permission from the copyright holder.
From all of us at biscuit, wishing you a safe and relaxing festive season. Thanks for all of your support this year. Weâ€™ve got lots more where that came from! Jil & Sarah
Want the perfect vintage piece without the rummaging? Leave the sourcing to the experts and head online to Bones Lie Vintage. The online store sources pre-loved clothes from Australian and New Zealand and lovingly restores them for your purchasing pleasure. Bones Lie is redefining vintage, foregoing taffeta and opting for uber cool wearable pieces. www.boneslievintage.com
Located on Little Stanley Street at Southbank in Brisbane, this cute little coffee shop allows customers the chance to shop between drinking coffee and waiting for their scrumptious meal. Denim Co. is having a sale from the 15th â€“ 24th Dec, giving customers 50% off brands such as One Teaspoon, J-Brand, Samantha Wills and more. Check out Denim Co. on Facebook: www.facebook.com/denimco
Does the thought of all that discarded wrapping paper at the end of the month make your environmentally friendly soul squeal in terror? Then try something reusable. The Apple Green Duck Yetty Bag (left) is strong, washable and folds up into almost nothing. Available in 10 different colours, they not only work perfectly as cute gift wrap, but is a gift in itself.
Itâ€™s Christmas time and you get all the presents! Thanks to Palace Cinemas, we have 20 double passes to give away during December. Check out our Facebook page to find out more.
Directed by D E R E K C I A N F R A N C E
Music by G R I Z Z LY B E A R
SPECIAL ADVANCE SCREENING 4PM DECEMBER 19 PREMIERE SEASON OPENS BOxING DAY book online at
Dear Tony Ferguson, I have a wedding to go to in March, so your shakes better work this time around or I’ll be writing you a very long-winded email! Brooke Dear Travel-Sized Antibacterial Hand Gel, You, are the best thing that has ever happened to me - no longer do I fear public transport. Thank you. Tania Dear Public Smokers, I don’t berate you for choosing to give yourselves cancer, I don’t begrudge you for being able to step out of work every hour, when I have to stay at my desk and keep working. But, what I do hate is when I am sitting on a wall in the sunshine before work and one of you comes and sits one metre away from me and sparks up one of your leafy sticks. I have done nothing to make you dislike me, why then do you get the right to expose me to hazardous fumes without first seeking my consent? Ben To the man who scratched my car door with his and then drove away; karma is going to get you! Joan
Illustration: Craig Nelson
Dear Apple Cider, You are my best friend in Summer; I want to be with you every day. I love the way you glide so gently down my throat and cool me down when the powerful Summer sun causes sweat beads on my forehead. Love Bree
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If the first few days of Summer are anything to go by, we all have three months of rain, bad cricket and royal wedding inundation to look forward to. Head online to cheer yourself up with these cracker web comics.
Kristian Hollins Ultimately, there is no argument that validates the denial of equal marriage rights to Australia’s gay couples. Australia was founded as a secular country, meaning that there is no religion officially endorsed by the state. While our society allows religions of all kinds to be practiced without prejudice, none of these are established in our Constitution. Many of the arguments against equal marriage rights are based on religious-conservative perspectives; perspectives that have no place in legislation or law making. Marriage is not a term that originated in a religious context. Marriage began as a legal-institution in Ancient Mespotamia, 5,000 years BCE and significantly predating Christianity. Even if we believe that ‘marriage began as a religious institution’, the concept was fundamentally taken out of a religious context and given practical, legal meaning. Marriage has moved beyond religion and so too, should our laws. Perhaps the foremost non-religious argument against same-sex marriage is the idea that a child requires a mother and a father to develop into a well-balanced adult. As the child of divorced parents, with the key influences in my formative years being my mother and sister, I don’t feel I grew into an unbalanced or unstable adult. I still learned the important parts of being a man, and ultimately, I know I’ll be a good father when the time comes. What is most important is that a child is loved, and given the opportunity to develop on emotional, intellectual and physical levels. Given the barriers confronted by gay couples in attempts to have children, their capacity to love should go unquestioned. In the 2001 Australian census, it also became clear that gay couples are more capable of providing for their children financially and in terms of education. Gay couples are more than twice as likely as their heterosexual counterparts to be degree qualified or higher, and to work in professional occupations. Consequently, gay couples are more likely to sit in the highest income bracket. Still others argue that legalising gay ‘marriage’ will do nothing that ‘civil unions’ do not already fulfil. Tell that to one half of a gay ‘union’, denied access to a seriously ill, hurt or even dying partner, because they aren’t married or a relative. At its core, a relationship is not based on gender, but love and commitment. We fall in love with a person, not their sex. If gay couples aren’t allowed to be married, then neither should straight ones.
Gerard Calilhanna, National Marriage Coalition The nature of the debate, “equal marriage rights for same-sex couples” is misleading. Marriage does not admit two persons of the same sex, hence there is no ‘right’ being denied. From the Senate Report last year into the 2009 edition of The Greens’ attempt to change the Marriage Act: “Marriage: from ‘maritus’ and ‘maritata’—’husband and wife’ in Latin. ‘Matrimonio’; ‘matrimonium’— ’matrimony’; ‘making of a mother’. It already has the two sexes written in the whole etymology of the language.” (p27) The very meaning of the word precludes two men or two women from getting ‘married.’ They can’t. Their relationships by definition are intrinsically sterile, whereas male and female sexual unions have the profound capacity to generate human life. Not all marriages result in children, however, but this is an exception, whereas any sexual ‘union’ between two men or two women can never generate human life. Love is important, but marriage requires more. Marriage is the public recognition of the capacity for natural parenthood, part of the Common Good, for the future of this or any nation. It is the bedrock of society, and supports our children, in the optimal social and familial environment, from birth to when they leave home. By extension, children have the natural right to a mother and father. Governments must support and protect this institution as public policy, as it is of vital interest to its future. So-called gay ‘marriage’ drives a permanent wedge between marriage and its connection with children. It therefore destroys the meaning of marriage in law and society for all, because the meaning of marriage is changed for all. Marriage will therefore disappear, torn down. The Explanatory Memorandum for the three Green Bills against marriage, 2007, 2009 and 2010 attack the term “husband and wife” as “discriminatory” – in the bad sense – and mark this for removal from the Marriage Act. If you cherish the prospect of being a husband to a wife or a wife to a husband, consider that this is repugnant in the ideology of gay ‘marriage’. For the public good it must be permanently rejected.
he beautiful lead singer of ARIA Award-winning Operator Please takes time from moving house to give biscuit readers a little insight into who she is. Have you always wanted to be a musician? I think at a really young age I had dreamt of making music, in a really unrealistic way mind you. I was obsessed with Michael Jackson, Janet and New Kids On The Block, and singing their songs into a can of hairspray was my daytime ambition. I guess as the years went on it was always something I was interested in but didn’t fully realise it until my last year of high school, where I had somewhat of an epiphany. What is it about making music that keeps you wanting more? For me it’s the fact that it translates in so many different ways. A song can be sung in a different language and you can still feel the emotion of it all. It is also a massive place for releasing tension for me. I get to express all that I can at the time and put it into a piece of music that goes for a matter of minutes. It’s about directing and channeling experiences and documenting them within a song. It’s also the only thing I can do and feel comfortable doing. What inspires you to write? Being in new environments. I find that when I go somewhere new and explore - I get excited to create. Also being by yourself and going somewhere is another form of discovery.
I went away last year and got lost every day. At first it was terrifying but once I sunk into the idea that I didn’t need to be anywhere, I let go. Has anything hilarious happened to you on stage? Last week a guy ripped off the underwear he was wearing and threw them onstage at us.
sets. I’ve been waiting since mid year; to me this is the perfect way to bring in the new year. What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Being able to play all the amazing festivals we’ve played here and overseas & completing the second record without dying. I think Glastonbury was a big The best show you’ve played? achievement for us and just I still put it down to a sweaty generally touring extensively show we played at Molotov in overseas and being able to litGermany. It is such an amazing erally see the world. Playing in venue and the theme for that Italy was pretty amazing. night was dress up, so we had What is the funniest joke you people in taffeta, prom wear have ever heard? and tropical wear crammed into I heard a great rumour that I this tiny room and dancing hard cut a piece of my tongue out and sweating and it all ended so that I could sing “ping pong” in a stage invasion. It was like fast. Spring break or something. What is your favourite bisYou’re playing in The Pyramid cuit? Rock Festival for New Years, Ashley makes homemade macaare you excited about per- roons, they are amazing. Also forming alongside Nerd and Squiggletops from NZ! Chromeo? Yes! I am dying to see their live
by Matthew Newton
f you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of months, you won’t know who Julian Assange or what Wikileaks is. But fear not, for this is your chance to learn – I am here to tell you that the Australian born ‘hacktivist’ Assange is continuing his crusade for greater governmental transparency by publishing 251,287 leaked United States embassy cables on his website www.wikileaks.org. The cables date from 1966 to the present, with the more recent ones containing unflattering descriptions of the world’s most powerful people, among other things. Check ‘em out. Ed’s Note: As this is being written, the Wikileaks site has been on and off-air. Keep your eyes pealed online for further developments.
ocial Media is finally being put to good use this week with celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and Usher signing off Facebook and Twitter in aid of Alicia Keys’ charity Keep a Child Alive. They will sign back online when the charity raises $1 million. Leigh Blake, the president and co-founder of Keep a Child Alive, said: “We’re trying to sort of make the remark: Why do we care so much about the death of one celebrity as opposed to millions and millions of people dying in the place that we’re all from?” Good question.
n R18+ classification for video games is looking more tangible now than ever, with the Attorney-General being overwhelmed by support for the introduction of a new rating. Following the release of the discussion paper ‘Should the Australian National Classification Scheme include an R18+ classification category for computer games?’ in December 2009, 98.2% of 59 678 individual submissions have been made in favour of an R18+ rating, with just 1089 submissions against updating the classification system. Despite this wave of support, the Australian Christian Lobby Group, Media Standards Australia, the Commissioner for Children Tasmania and various other organisations are still against the introduction of an R18+ classification.
oogle is looking to launch another service – this time building upon their Google Books enterprise – with the release of Google Editions. Google Editions is expected to open up a new channel of distribution for digital-book publishers along the lines of Amazon and Apple. The good news is that while Amazon and Apple sell their titles exclusively through online stores, people who sign up for Google Editions will be able to use any internet connected device to “buy anywhere, read anywhere”. Google is hoping the new service will be up and running by the end of the month.
by Kristian Smith Kids? Stop reading this now. You have been warned. For years my parents lied to my face about a jolly old fat guy who delivered presents to every single child in the entire world in a single night by sliding down chimneys, so I in turn pretended to believe their lies for many years after I’d learned the truth. Mostly because I was scared that if they knew that I knew, I’d stop getting presents. Mumma didn’t raise no fool. It really wasn’t too difficult to work out. Not only did I not know a single house with a chimney, but apparently jolly old St. Nick liked the exact same brand of scotch as my Dad, and enjoyed a glass of milk and cookies at my neighbours. You don’t have to be Robert Downey Jr. to work out that milk + scotch = Santa’s white beard full of
chunks. And even if he had a couple of biscuits at each house, he’d still be well over .05 by the end of my street. Unless he was impervious to alcohol? That may explain his self-extradition to the North Pole, living with a bunch of nondrinking elves. Seriously, how much would it suck not being able to get drunk with your friends? Especially at a party. Or worse, at a Christmas party... with an open bar. Now I’ve seen the movies and the TV shows and the cartoons. Father Christmas supposedly makes his own toys, the majority of which seem to be made from wood, which really doesn’t explain where my Commodore 64 came from in 1985, or my Stussy jacket in 1989. Sure, ok, maybe the old man has secret hidden rooms where he builds electronic equipment, brand-name clothes and
moulds for two front teeth. But I’m not sure Steve Jobs would be too impressed with him making cheap iPod ‘knock-off’s’. Santa’s workshop is beginning to sound a little less “festive” and a lot more “sweatshop”, and I think those elves of his may be working too many hours for too little pay. And I’m willing to bet they don’t even have a union. Somebody should call Oxfam. And don’t get me started on this list that he apparently makes all year round. Sure, in today’s modern age of technology, a huge excel spreadsheet of names may not seem that impossible. I mean, it’s really only two columns: Good & Bad. But only a few decades ago, a list like that would have had to be done by hand, with pen and paper (or quill and parchment). If he was able to maintain a yearly list like that, he obviously has
a ridiculously high IQ and we should probably get him a job working for NASA or the FBI, or maybe help us find a cure for Cancer. At the very least, get him a spot on Jeopardy. Kris Kringle is a superhero. He can stop time for one night a year, make land-based animals fly, can teleport through roofs, can drink my Dad under the table and could probably play a kick-ass game of memory. Now even though I’m getting cynical in my old age, the child inside me knows that Santa Claus really does exist... in the hearts and minds of children. But if their combined belief in him truly makes him real, we as a society really need to unite as one to eliminate these childhood stories of the Boogey Man. Seriously. That guy lives under peoples beds, for fuck’s sake!
by Kristian Hollins I’ve never been a big fan of Christmas, but I’m not really sure why. I’m sure part of it stems from childhood memories of spending 90% of the 42-degree day travelling between the homes of extended family in an unairconditioned hot box of a car. And the events themselves were the sort of thing that left a bad taste in my mouth. The falsehoods and petty showiness of people at a family gathering grinds on me, forcing me to compete against cousins who look as pained as I do. And nothing makes me less happy that being around certain members of my extended family - usually those same people who hosted Christmas events. The consequence of which is that I now endeavour to only spend time with people whose company I enjoy, while simultaneously avoiding any and all contact with those same, certain family members. You would think the presents would change my mind, but no. Beyond meaningful gifts from people who know me well, gifts are usually random
crap I never asked for, much less wanted. I’d rather the money was donated somewhere. Oversized clothes that you eventually throw in a charity bin after they sit in your cupboard for three years. Cheap cologne or deodorant that always made me wonder if people thought I had a B.O. problem. And chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. I don’t even like chocolate. It probably doesn’t help that my partner is a Christmas nut. Carols, trees, mistletoe and ridiculously extravagant light displays; nothing escapes her Yuletide attentions. But rather than her spirits overcoming mine, it drives me deeper into my dislike. Most days of the silly season, if I saw an elf I’d probably kick it. But in recent years, I have taken a lesson from Dr Seuss. Christmas will continue to come once a year, despite my bad attitude. While my heart is unlikely to swell to three times its size, I now realise that Christmas makes the people I care about happy, and that is worth the discomfort.
by Kate Lamont
ast year, I found myself truly alone at Christmas for the first time. Plans to spend the holidays with old friends had been quickly dashed and subsequent dreams of yuletide perfection had been thwarted with such dexterity I was left re-enacting Jimmy Stewart in It’s A Wonderful Life. Not the jumping-off-the-bridge part, obviously, but the suffering-through-thecrap-to-get-to-the-warm-and-fuzzy-ending part? That was me.
paid for so I decided it would be a blessing in disguise. Whilst many would opt for noël in New York, for me, there was no better city to plan the ultimate Christmas in than San Francisco, indulging all the fantastical stereotypes I had absorbed from films since I was a child. Sure, these movie moments usually moralised about familial togetherness, but I pushed those niggling thoughts aside.
Yet when friends I was visiting said they couldn’t wait to meet me in San Francisco – on the 26th… I was surprised. I was flying halfway across the world, just to spend the holidays together like when we were at university. Call me arrogant, but somehow I thought that made me the bigger draw. I understood their wanting to be with relatives, yet I naively thought when we said we were each other’s “second family” that it didn’t actually mean we came in second.
the American Christmas experience. With a name that has little girls giggling behind their hands, it just became one of those things I had see to find out what all the fuss was about.
However, their plans were set, and my flight was
This would be followed by a feast at Pier 39,
Armed with the warning that the 48 hours beIt never occurred to me that there was anything fore my friends arrived would be lessons in selfwrong with spending Christmas away from fam- occupation, I scheduled the days down to the ily until this past year. Between boarding school, minute. studying abroad and an extended family that cel- Five months of stalking the San Francisco Balebrates not so much on December 25, but when let got me a great seat at their Christmas Eve we can get everyone in one room, I’ve learned to performance of The Nutcracker. For as long as appreciate the event rather than the date. I could remember, I saw this as the epitome of
I then planned to revisit the glorious materialism of my childhood with a Miss Piggy doll from FAO Schwarz, the kind of luxury toy store that Home Alone 2 modeled Duncan’s Toy Chest on, and was famed for closing for whole days to regular shoppers at Michael Jackson’s convenience.
the bay area’s iconic tourist hotspot, rife with restaurants, gift shops, people posing as statues and the Boudin Sourdough Bakery, which makes delicious, crusty bread in shapes of anything from king crabs to teddy bears and crocodiles.
guise each slumberous tilt and lilt of my head as a simpatico tribute to the genius of Tchaikovsky. I don’t think it worked.
era House, fighting exhaustion to watch this exquisite ballet, spasmodically startling awake in that so-elegant fashion that suggests you’ve just been defibrillated. My semi-conscious mind struggled against the jetlag, buoyed by the promise of escape at intermission. But I couldn’t stop bobbing and swaying, trying in vain to dis-
But when dusk descended on the city and the start time for my sing-along, night-lights tour approached, my enthusiasm died a swift death upon seeing our mode of transportation: a converted cable car. It should have been charming, but dusty windows, broken speakers and the surly Santa at the wheel marred the ambiance some-
After a 13-hour coma and nightmares about drooling at the ballet, my attempts at sightseeThen I would end all the festivities with the most ing resembled nothing so much as aimless wanfestive of all – a carol sing-along, night-lights dering. The relative ghost town I had anticipated tour of the city. The night promised warm blan- was actually a bustling hive of tourists, lastkets, eggnog and cheesy memories. Everything minute shoppers and beggars. My search for FAO was coming together perfectly. What more could Schwarz became so chaotic and spontaneous, I’m a girl ask for Christmas? A lot, it turns out. sure I out-flanneured even Guy DeBord and his In order to arrive in SFO first thing on Dec 24 wine glass. Yet I was still smiling and that was I left my hotel in Singapore at 3am, not having all that mattered. bothered to sleep the night before. Too excited My lunch reservation was cancelled on short noto catch up the missed sleep on the plane, you tice – tables for one weren’t really conducive to can imagine the effect dimmed lighting of a the- the Christmas crush – yet even when squeezed atre hall, an orchestral lullaby – The Nutcracker’s in at the counter of a diner, eating boiled mushall about a dream, after all – and a celebratory rooms and curly fries, I remained stoically comglass of champagne had on me by 4 o’clock that mitted to my holiday cheer. The discovery that afternoon (EST). FAO no longer existed in San Fran couldn’t even There I was in the magnificent War Memorial Op- break me.
what. The complimentary pink elf hat held little chance of getting me back in the spirit. Without the speakers, there was nothing to mask the creaks and squeaks of a vehicle past its prime, and without Spray n’ Wipe, there wasn’t much to see either.
sari-adorned grandmother beside me, her silent disgruntlement mirroring my own. I could see all too clearly the empty seat back in the candlelit cocktail lounge, with a view overlooking all the proceedings.
Reprieve came 40 minutes later in the form of the Fairmont Hotel. Granted we were making a toilet stop, but walking into the lobby I was Kevin McAllister at the Plaza all over again. They had decked their halls with marble pillars, crystal chandeliers and, of course, a gingerbread house. For the first time since I’d begun nodding off at the ballet, I started to feel that excitement that I had been working so hard to achieve.
And in the tradition of American chick flicks that find women on a bus confronting an emotional crossroads, I bolted.
With heavy heart and feet, I plodded back out to the bus and scanned my fellow tour-goers. There were the two young girls across from me who had refused to let static prevent them from bellowing along with carols; there was the eightstrong Indian family alternating between laughing and whining while the father quipped how the first light display he was able to appreciate was in the men’s room. And right up the front there was a family hogging the best seats (the mother blocked me with her handbag while the father made eyes at me over his wife’s shoulder.)
It had my name written all over it.
Reality threatened once more when I asked the doorman if the lounge bar was open to everyone or only hotel patrons – “No, ma’am, it’s open to everyone,” he replied, leaning in conspiratorially, “But I can get us a room for a great rate.” Wink. Shudder. But a perfect Christmas was at last within my grasp and no sleazy bellhop was stopping me now.
The second I sunk into the cushy armchair, I knew I had made the right decision. For the next several hours, I was serenaded by a grand piano channeling Bing Crosby, made ever more mellifluous by a steady flow of champagne, cocktails and desserts I kept ordering from my adorably camp waiter. I was surrounded by warmth – the décor, the drinks, the couples and families laughing and smiling with each other – and all I could think was that life is good. I may have been all by myThat’s when it hit me with epiphanic clarity – self but at last I didn’t feel alone on Christmas. why the hell wasn’t I back inside? I looked at the
by Paul Smeaton
So how’s your wife and my kids”. This was the welcome Australian wicketkeeper Rod Marsh gave Ian Botham when he arrived at the crease to bat during an Ashes Test in the late 1970’s. It represents a key but often overlooked factor in the gentleman’s game, sledging. Prior to the introduction of stump microphones, much of the banter that graced the pitches during cricket tests throughout the world remained on the field, unless of course like Marsh’s comment above it was too good the keep under your hat. So with the current Ashes series upon us, I’ve decided to list my top five cricket sledges and more importantly my top five sledge responses. (In no particular order) My Top Five Sledges: 1. Bill Woodfull, Australia’s captain in the Bodyline series of 1932-33, responding to Douglas Jardine’s complaint that a slip fielder had sworn at him: “All right, which one of you bastards called this bastard a bastard?” 2. Ian Healy explaining to Shane Warne how to get portly Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga to leave his crease: “Put a mars bar on a good length that should do it!” 3. Australian pace bowler Dennis Lillee stopped on his run up to an equally portly Mike Gatting in the opening match on England’s 1994-95 tour to deliver the immortal: “Hell, Gatt, move out of the way. I can’t see the stumps.” 4. Merv Hughes (one of the best) to England batsman Robin Smith: “Mate if you turn the bat over you’ll see the instructions on the other side.” 5. When Arjuna Ranatunga asked for a runner during a one-dayer at the SCG because he had “sprained something”, Ian Healy piped up: “You don’t get a runner for being an overweight, un-
fit, fat (you can guess this word).” My Top Five Sledge Responses: 1. As Englishman Jimmy Ormond came to the crease for his first ever outing against Australia, Mark Waugh greeted him with: “Mate, what are you doing out here? There’s no way you’re good enough to play for England.” Ormond shot back: “Maybe not, but at least I’m the best player in my own family.” 2. South African Daryll Cullinan, had been Shane Warne’s bunny every time the two countries had met. So after a two year absence due to injury (and poor form) Warne greeted him with this line: “I’ve been waiting two years for the opportunity to humiliate you in front of your own crowd.” Only to have Cullinan reply with this gem: “Looks like you spent it eating.” 3. Australian pace bowler Glenn McGrath had a history of dishing out the comments but not taking them in good humour. South African Eddo Brandes latched onto McGrath’s weak point. McGrath: “Why are you so fat?” Brandes cool reply: “Because every time I make love to your wife, she gives me a biscuit.” (possible fake alert on this one but it’s too good to leave out) 4. This one’s been attributed to more than one exchange but I’ll use the Ricky Ponting version here. After Pollock beat Ponting’s outside edge on multiple occasions he said to Ponting: “It’s red, round & weighs about 5 ounces.” Unfortunately for Pollock, Ponting deposited the next ball out of the ground and replied: “You know what it looks like, now go find it.” I’ve decided to save my favourite response for last as I think it stands alone in sledge responses. Remember Rod Marsh’s welcome to Ian Botham. “How’s your wife and my kids,” well Beefy was not to be outdone replying in the blink of an eye: “The wife’s fine, but the kids are retarded.”
by Bek Fay
he sits at the dining room table, a hot mug of green tea in hand as she unwinds from a long day at the counselling office. Hanging on the wall behind her is a smiling photograph of her younger self. Surprisingly, the trauma of her past has hardly left its mark on the 43-yearold’s naturally beautiful face. You see, Channara Cheng is more than she appears; more than a psychologist and busy mum of three. She is a survivor of genocide.
an eight-year-old Channara was disturbed from her sleep. “I could hear gunshots and screaming and a bomb had gone off.” At first she thought it was a nightmare; she soon realised the nightmare was her reality. Khmer Rouge soldiers had just seized control of the city, signalling the beginning of Pol Pot’s five year reign of terror. “The soldiers were out there with guns and I heard them yelling, ‘Get out, get out, get out!’” Along with the rest of Phnom Penh’s 2 million residents, Channara and her family were forced to walk for over a month to labour camps in the countryside. This was part of Pol Pot’s radical social reformation to establish a one-class society of peasants. “It (the journey) was just so chaotic; people dying everywhere and you just got to keep on moving. There’s no food, no water. There’s nothing.”
The early 1970s were a time of civil unrest in the Southeast Asian nation of Cambodia. Five years of war raged between the Cambodian government and an insurgence of Communist rebels, the Khmer Rouge, led by ruthless dictator Pol Pot. Thousands of refugees were forced to flee to the safety of the nation’s capital, Phnom Penh. But a young Channara was ignorant of the turmoil around her and recalls those years of her The next three years of her life were spent in a childhood fondly. Born into a wealthy family, she labour camp; three years of physical exhaustion, enjoyed every material luxury. malnutrition and inhumane living conditions. DurBut in one night, she lost everything. ing that time she was taken from her parents; a April 17 1975, the people of Phnom Penh were traumatic separation for her. “I was devastatcelebrating the Cambodian New Year, completely ed because I just wanted to be with them,” she unprepared for what would soon happen. At 1am says, the pain visible on her face. “But I wasn’t
allowed to show my emotions because if you keep crying they’ll kill you.” Despite a strong front, Channara’s emotional defences crumbled at the news of her father’s death. She was eleven-years old. “I cried until I fainted,” she says with tears in her eyes, her voice choking up. “I felt like my whole world had collapsed on me.” The Khmer Rouge soldiers never explained how he died. “They didn’t have to give a reason. They just showed me a pile of dirt and said, ‘There is your father.’ Five years ago she finally came to terms with his death. He was one of the 1.7 million lives lost in the genocide.
morning. “I started waving my hands like crazy to get their attention. Next thing I know, it flies off and a big German ship comes up beside us.” All the refugees were taken to Singapore for six months until they could find sponsorship to migrate to other countries. Channara’s sister contacted someone at the Australian High Commission who agreed to sponsor them. She was fifteen-years old when they arrived on Australian shores.
Since then Channara not only completed her schooling, she now speaks five languages and has a psychology degree. When asked if she chose to Not long after his death, Channara fled into the study psychology out of a desire to help others jungle where she lived alone for two years. She she quickly replies, “No, no...at first I did it to later found her mother and siblings and together help myself. I knew I had post traumatic stress they decided to return to their home in Phnom disorder and depression and I was still struggling Penh. What they found was a pile of rubble; their with the loss my father.” Every night the horror house and all their worldly possessions had been of her past still haunts her dreams. destroyed. She has spent the last twenty years being superWith nothing left for them, Channara and her family boarded a boat leaving their homeland behind. “It was only this big,” she says, indicating a length of several metres. “It was packed full of people. There was no air and no room. I thought I was going to die but my mother said, ‘You can’t give up now. We’re going to a land of freedom!’” Things soon got desperate on board. With no food or water, people began to drink their own urine and eat each other to survive. Channara recalls spotting a helicopter while standing on deck one
mum; raising three daughters Natalie, 19, Amy, 18, and Sarah, 16 while juggling two jobs. Three years ago the 43-year-old found love with Tom Shaw, 63, her second husband. Over time he has gradually heard her story. “I think she appreciates more the things that people take for granted,” he says thoughtfully. “It’s incredible what you can do when you set your mind to something. Many people just say, ‘It’s too hard, I can’t do it,’ but with Channara, nothing’s impossible.”
Jil Hogan escapes to a place where donkeys trump cars, buildings cling to the edge of cliffs and world-class sunsets are just another day at the office.
For some, it’s scaling the Eiffel Tower in the romantic city of Paris. For some it’s taking a cruise down the Grand Canal in Venice. And for some it’s exploring the ancient pyramids in Egypt. Wherever it is, everyone has one ultimate travel fantasy. Mine takes me to the island of Santorini in Greece. And so here I find myself, holding on for dear life, as my donkey makes its way up the steep, winding path to the town of Oia, using the walkway as its public bathroom. It’s not hard to understand why I had long envisioned a trip to Santorini – the white washed buildings clinging to the edge of cliffs and bluedomed roofs, next to sparkling waters are h a r d not to find enticing. Approaching Santorini by ferry, the sparkling ocean gives way to looming, black cliffs, which appear to have caps of snow. The view on the drive up to the capital of Fira is breathtaking, and offers a relieving distraction to how close the bus tyres are coming to the edge of the road. As we slowly ascend, the ‘snow caps’ begin to emerge as towns of white buildings. The three islands that make up the Santorini island group are the result of a series of volcanic eruptions, so I join a day trip exploring the islands and visiting the volcano crater. Aboard our boat, ‘the Albatross’, we make the short trip across to the volcano crater. We all leave the boat and trudge up the steep path to the top, the volcanic rock crunching and crumbling under our feet. The exhaustive trek to the top is well and truly worth it, and offers a fantastic view of the entire Santorini island group in all its glory. The volcano is currently dormant, with the last major eruption occurring in 1950. But despite the quiet atmosphere, a lot more is going on beneath the surface. Seismic activity is constantly being monitored at the crater, and there are earthquakes most days, albeit relatively small ones. Our guide tells us that about a month earlier, there were 21 earthquakes recorded in one day – the largest measuring six on the Richter Scale. While we all start to feel a little bit less comfortable with our surroundings, the guide shrugs and says that this is just part of life on Santorini. Just by touching the soil it becomes obvious that something is happening under the ground – it’s hot enough apparently to boil an
egg. We all half walk, half-slip back down to the boat – having all gained a layer of dirt and minor ankle injuries. Our boat then takes us to the volcanic springs where we’re able to swim in the warm waters. Lots of people strip off and immediately jump into the ocean and make their way over to the murky brown waters of the springs. After overcoming my biggest irrational fear – swimming with fish – I too join them and paddle over. When I reach the springs, there is a noticeable rise in the water temperature, but it is more akin to stumbling across an unwelcome ‘warm patch’ in a pool than a hot bath. Back on board the Albatross, we head off for lunch. We stop on the island of Thirassia, where we are greeted with barbeques cooking large squid, straight from the ocean. As a non-seafood fan, I instead decide to sample a Greek delicacy – the Gyro. Similar to a kebab, the Gyro is meat, salad and tzatziki, wrapped in a pita. They are absolutely delicious, and at only two Euros, is one European feast I can afford to enjoy. After lunch, our boat sets sail back to the main island, towards the town of Oia (pronounced ‘eeah’). At the port, the donkeys are awaiting our arrival, and after paying my five Euros, I’m hoisted into the saddle and am on my way. The donkeys have a mind of their own; alternating between stopping and taking off in a wild gallop. My donkey zigzags along the path, often careering dangerously close to the sheer drop and scraping my bare leg along the rocky cliff face. As his hooves slip on the cobblestones, I grip my handle that little bit tighter. Stepping into Oia is like walking straight into a calendar or postcard. Pastel coloured houses are scattered haphazardly down the cliff face. The streets are abuzz with tourists visiting the many shops and cafes, and clumping around the most beautiful spots, fighting for the best photos. As the sun starts to get lower in the sky, I join the many other visitors and head to the west side of the island to witness what is supposedly the best sunset in the world. Much to the delight of its eager audience, the sun lights up the sky with a pinkish glow, before descending and dipping beneath the horizon.
by Elizabeth Sims Hi my name is Liz. I used to be a travel agent. When you’re a travel agent you lead a double life. Well sort of. There is the life that people think you lead – glamour, free travel, earning loads of money, exotic destinations and first class treatment; and then there is the life you actually lead – long gruelling hours, demanding clients, less money than a telephone operator in the Philippines... you get the picture. So after the first twenty times of attempting to disabuse people of the notion that you aren’t some sort of international jetsetter with a license to party, you start to play along with the idea. This of course inevitably backfires on that random occasion that you end up speaking with someone who can actually debate, at length, the respective merits of business class travel on Qantas versus Singapore Airlines. But double life aside we all know that travel can be one of the most stressful things we ever have to do. Let me share with you those experiences and little tricks that I picked up over the course of my time within the industry that make travel less painful (and let’s face it, the travel part is painful) and more rewarding. So on to our first lesson – Basic dos and don’ts or the Five Travel Commandments. Travel Commandment One: Thou shalt not ask for a free upgrade. They do not exist. This is a fantasy perpetuated by movies and television to romanticise the worst part of travel. If you want an upgrade you either need to pay or invest in your airline of choices’ frequent flyer program.
All you do by asking is annoy the check in staff and hold up people in the queue behind. Travel Commandment Two: Thou shall understand where you are going. Researching your destination before you go is a good way to familiarise yourself with local customs and maybe even a smattering of the local lingo. Case in point - Bali and Phuket are NOT countries. Yes I know this will shock and amaze some of you. Travel Commandment Three: Thou shall be prepared to try new things. When making a selection from a menu in another country, if it does not say meat pie on the menu, asking for a “pie and sauce” regardless of how loudly you speak, is not going to make it happen. (And yes I have overheard that verbal transaction). Travel Commandment Four: Thou shall be flexible. Travel rarely pans out exactly to plan. Buses are delayed, flights are late, rooms that look roomy on the internet turn out to be broom closets. Whatever the situation it is important to remain calm and remember that the person on the other side of the desk is a person and they are the best solution to your problem, so be nice. Travel Commandment Five: Lastly thou shall remember to enjoy each and every travel moment and remember that travel is not a right, it is a privilege and we should cherish each and every new experience good or bad. We are merely threads in a world tapestry and should leave the best imprint possible.
Photos courtesy of Woodford Folk Festival
by Esther Gallois On Boxing Day every year thousands of loyal patrons flood the quiet country town of Woodford, amidst the Sunshine Coast Hinterland to celebrate Woodford Folk Festival. In 2009 the festival grounds, Woodfordia, housed a record 40 000 people. As it gears up for its big 25th birthday, Woodford Folk Festival is pulling its pants up for its biggest year yet. Woodford Folk Festival officially kicks off on the 27th of December and finishes on New Years Day. The festival is a glorious celebration art, culture, colour, freedom and most importantly music. This year the lineup boasts over 2000 performers and 636 artists including headliners The Cat Empire, Kate Miller-Heidke and a personal favourite That 1 Guy. Australia is spoilt for choice when it comes to the summer festival season but Woodford has a special spirit that has led to its continuing success over its many festival years (which are probably like dog years in life expectancy). Woodford is not just a festival; it’s a way of life. Bill Hauritz, the festival director, opens the festival with the pledge for the Peoples Republic of Woodford outlining the rules for a good time. But here are some things he may forget to tell you. Wear wellies. You’ll find these are a bit of a fash-
ion statement at Woodford as the site is prone to becoming a giant bucket of mud. Either wear wellies or accept that you will slip and fall and you will find yourself in a mud wrestle. Stock up on Mother. Woodford is an endurance contest. Come New Years Eve the little general store has been tipped on its head to clean out that very last drop of Mother. No one likes that downer who falls asleep while the sun is just peeping over the hill. Get funky. Hang around some of the blues tents with the middle aged men smelling of pot. They’re the best kind. Feel the love. If a man with hair down to the ground braided into a single dreadlock says he can see your inner beauty don’t get freaked out. He is being sincere. You could even compliment him back on his beautiful dreadlock. Forget used by dates. An expiry date is just a suggestion. Learn this and you can score 4 year old maple syrup for 50 cents and many other brilliant bargains. Woodfordia is set to burst at the seams this year. From everyone at biscuit I would like to wish Woodford Folk Festival a very happy 25th Birthday.
by Scotty Harms Words Versing Verses is onstage. The final song of the night is a rendition of their upcoming single Tiger; the boys announce that they’re going to invite a few friends onstage to play drums. Halfway through the song, one of them runs down the side of The Hive and onto the stage to jam. It’s Rowan, their sound guy. As three percussionists play tribal rhythms on three floor toms, the ending - especially for what is at its core a two-piece acoustic act - is surprisingly powerful. Soon after the final notes ring out and the beats echo away – but not from the minds of those who bore witness – the house lights go up and the last of tonight’s crowd file out of the venue. I sit down with the two musicians at the centre of it all; Damion Page and Kevin Leggett reflect on the set. “It became really big at the end,” Damion says. “Rowan put a slight reverb on it so it would all catch up - and at the end it was just like ‘boom!’”. “Because it’s the last one of the set, he put it on autopilot and ran away,” Kevin continues. “And it progressively got bigger and bigger.” Damion, former singer of Brisbane rock outfit Avalon Drive, met Kevin while auditioning for another project; the days of TV performances and major label contracts were not always everything they appeared to be. “You tour and tour and do not--you just can’t stop,” Damion says. “We wanted to do something that was real to us. Back in the day, we’d play with bands and if a band got up there and smashed it, I’m not going to bullshit - it’s intimidating, you know? And this is the first band I’ve ever been in where nothing else matters.” The combination of Damion’s stunning vocal range with Kevin’s intricate guitar work has already garnered industry attention for Words
Versing Verses: receiving Triple J airplay, their self-titled debut EP, praised as “beautiful, clever and satisfying” by local music media, kicks off with Colours, an electro-acoustic journey with a distinct vocal lead - one that the duo came upon purely by accident during the demo process. “Damo was just too much for the mic I had at home, so it was distorting out,” Kevin says. “But we grew attached to that sound.” Released earlier this year, the Words Versing Verses EP utilises strings, samples and percussion; these parts have so far been filled live by various guests, but Kevin says the recruitment of ex-Avalon Drive drummer Shane Holmes as touring partner will help consolidate the band while on the road. “We want those songs where it is just the one guitar and one vocal; then there are the other songs that need other bits, and we’re lucky to have guests come with us onstage,” he says. “(But) I think what we need for the band and the sound is to have someone solid.” Damion agrees. “As you saw at the end of Tigers, we want to concentrate on more rhythm and really get in there - and we’re not drummers,” he laughs. Damion and Kevin both express that the focus is on keeping their sound diverse; this includes the odd cover of The Cranberries’ Zombie, which they’ve placed into sets. “When I’m singing it, I’m thinking of the original black-and-white video clip with rancid people running around,” Damion laughs. “That’s a good video.” And they believe that the time is right for more eclectic acts to come out and be heard. “You look at two-pieces like Angus & Julia Stone, or Ben Harper, Dave Matthews Band - they just take on the world with these intricate sounds. And it’s being welcomed,” Damion says. “We aim high, and we create songs that we feel are true to us - and hopefully people just get it.”
Words Versing Verses EP is out now on R&D Records. www.facebook.com/wordsversingverses
T2 Top Tea $14 http://t2tea.com/
Hemp Mitt $17.95 www.bodyshop.com.au
by Jil Hogan hristmas is less than a month away, but the gift shopping doesnâ€™t seem to be doing itself. Avoid the long drives around carparks, hysteric crowds and people who donâ€™t seem to understand the concept of walking in a straight line and shop online. All of these items are just the click of your mouse away. Ahhh...
iPhone App Fridge Magnets $19.95 www.tesora.com.au
Recipe Journal $24.95 www.tesora.com.au
Speaker Bag $19.95 www.sportsgirl.com.au
Wooden Greeting Stamp Set $24.95 www.kikki-k.com
KeepCup $15.50 www.tesora.com.au
Festival Kit $14.95 www.sportsgirl.com.au
M-Cups $17.95 www.tesora.com.au
‘Now Is The Time’ $19.95 www.kikki-k.com
Cups & Saucers $20 http://t2tea.com/
Adhesive Notes: Apples $4.95 www.kikki-k.com
Chop & Drum Chopsticks $14.95 www.tesora.com.au
Cupcake Kit $19.95 www.sportsgirl.com.au
Cloth Travel Wallet $39.95 www.kikki-k.com
Korjo Digital Luggage Scale $49.95 www.ciaobellatravel.com.au
T2 Chill - Strawberry Sensation $40 http://t2tea.com/
MC Leather Travel Set $35.00 www.ciaobellatravel.com.au
Goal Book $39.95 www.kikki-k.com
Brooches, various $14.95 www.redrevival.com.au
Carousel Horse PJ Short Set $65.00 www.peteralexander.com.au
Shower Cap $25.00 www.peteralexander.com.au
Bliss Box White Musk $50.75 www.bodyshop.com.au
Earrings $8.00 www.mrssmiley.com
Tote bag $15.00 www.pannikin.etsy.com
Leather iPhone Case $24.95 www.kikki-k.com
On The Run Passport Notebooks (4) $15.95 www.tesora.com.au
Men’s Maca Regime Bag $41.95 www.bodyshop.com.au
Stig in a Soap $4.99 www.giftsforblokes.com.au
Cricket Wicket Sticker $14.95 www.giftsforblokes.com.au
Men’s Stubby Set $24.50 www.bodyshop.com.au
Read all about it sleep shorts $35.00 www.peteralexander.com.au
Every Man Jack Grooming Cube $29.95 www.giftsforblokes.com.au
To make life even easier, the following offer free shipping: - Tesora - Kikki K (spend over $100) - Kikki K (when you spend over $100) - Sportsgirl (when you spend over $120) - Gifts for Blokes (when you spend over $130) - The Body Shop (spend over $150)
Christian Aas was born in Korea, raised in Norway and now lives in Brisbane where he works as a freelance photographer specialising in work both in and out of the studio. He picked up his first 35mm camera at the age of seven and has harboured a love for capturing images ever since. Christian collaborated with graphic designer Jennifer Hillhouse to create “Love Series”, which was inspired by a friendly challenge to come up a series themed on Love. The three-piece reflects on a timeless journey, using animals to symbolize masculinity, femininity and the boundless trials and emotions of a relationship. Christian’s work is visible at www.christianaas. com and can be purchased by contacting him via the site.
One lucky biscuit reader has the chance to win one of Christian’s prints. Simply send your contact details to email@example.com with “Christian Aas” in the subject line. Don’t miss out!
Photography: Adam & Brenda Armstrong Stylist: Lauren Sewell Makeup: Alex at Gorgeous Cosmetics
Our competition winner Jo Graham shows off the latest looks to get you through the festive season.
Couture by Ruby & Frankie
Couture by Ruby & Frankie
Couture by The Dawn
Couture by Ruby & Frankie
by Paul Murray hristmas means time to stock up on sparkling wine but the current array of choice can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. Look at the fridges in a large bottleshop and you’ll see what I mean.
come from that region of France and be made to exacting standards. Aussie wines usually refer to the grape varieties (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, or Blanc de Blanc for straight Chardonnay), but look for “fermented in this bottle” or “tradiNot too long ago the choice was simple: Austral- tional method” for confirmation that it was made ian or imported. Imported bubbles were mostly to those exacting standards. Champagne and domestic alternatives aspired to Not all sparkling wine is made to the traditional be. method. Some gets its bubbles from the CharIn the last few years Australian wines have ap- mat method, in stainless steel tanks. This makes peared that have little in common with Cham- a wine that lacks the toasty, yeasty complexity pagne except perhaps for bubbles and fun. Rose- that fans of Champagne look for, but it produces mount O for example is a low alcohol fizzy wine clean, crisp wines that you might prefer. If so, designed to be drunk over ice. A slew of Mo- why not look for a Prosecco, and enjoy the Italian scatos have also appeared, which have a solid original? Or if you’re looking for something Euwine-making tradition, but which are also clearly ropean in the traditional style, try Spanish Cava. Both styles can be found for the same price as aimed at a particular demographic. Aussie wines. So how best to navigate the sea of bubbles? Prices for Champagne have been dropping and First, start by checking the alcohol level. If it’s some premium Australian sparkling wines have around 5-10%, you can be pretty sure it’s sweet, crept past them. So don’t assume Champagne is and if the label says Moscato, it should be bal- out of your reach and don’t assume the Aussies anced with enough acidity that it doesn’t cloy. are inferior. With their lower alcohol, they make for a great summer drink that can be enjoyed with appetis- Of course, for Christmas it would be positively un-Australian to forget the Sparkling Shiraz. ers or on their own. Just don’t remind too many people about it, or For more serious wines, the big question used the prices for those might start to head north to be whether they were “real” Champagne or too. not. But now anything labelled Champagne has to
If you’re tempted to grab a bottle of expensive bubbles, remember most bottleshops give discounts for dozens or six-packs usually even if they’re different wines, so pick one up when you’re buying your cheaper party booze.
sips & nibbles
by Sarah Robertson
he best Christmases I can remember revolve around me being less than ten years old, rugged up in an annual green coat and being led through the revolving doors of a hotel in Singapore, Malaysia or some other mid-way point between where I grew up in Papua New Guinea to where our family lived in England. My young and jetlagged mind was always completely captivated by the gingerbread displays. I loved gingerbread houses the edible windows and doors, the way the icing really looked like snow and the insane temptation to stick my hands past the roped off “do not touch” signs and nab myself just one little roof tile. As the years progressed, the sparkle of Christmas got less and less and every year it makes me just a little bit sadder. This year, in an attempt to recreate the wonder that once was Christmas; I decided to make a gingerbread house to share and show off to my friends. Below is a step by step guide to how you too can share in my Christmas regression, if you so desire. >
• 9 ¾ cups plain flour • 2 tbsp baking soda • 2 ½ cup dark brown sugar (packed tight) • 2 tbsp ground ginger • 1 tbsp nutmeg • 1 tbsp cinnamon • ½ tbsp ground cloves • 1 ½ cup thickened cream (you may need extra) • ½ cup honey • ½ cup golden syrup • 3 egg whites • 9 cup icing sugar • 3 tsp white vinegar
• 6 tsp almond essence • 2 packets Freckles (roof tiles) • 2 packets Chocolate Fingers (wood paneling) • 1 packet Licorice Allsorts (house tiles) • 1 packet Sour Rainbow Straps (roof/guttering) • 1 packet gumballs (pathway) • 1 box smarties (Christmas tree decorations) • 1 packet square Wafer Biscuits (windows) • 1 packet snakes (door frame) • 1 packet chocolate wafer sticks (corners of house) • 1 packet desiccated coconut (snow) • Cardboard & a ruler (to make house blueprints)
What to do:
Now work out what type of house you want 1. In a large bowl sift and mix flour, baking soda, 6. to build and make yourself some measured cutginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. Set aside.
outs (four sides, two pieces of roof etc) so that 2. In a very large bowl, whisk or beat brown everything will fit together nicely once the dough sugar, cream, honey and golden syrup until mix- is baked. ture is smooth and sugar lumps have dissolved. 7. Grease four baking trays. Make sure your 3. Slowly stir flour mixture into sugar mixture pieces will fit by using cardboard. until dough becomes stiff and then tip onto a floured surface and knead with your hands.
8. Preheat your oven to 150Â°C.
Cover a wooden chopping board with cling 4. If the mixture appears too dry then add extra 9. wrap (to avoid using flour to roll your dough) and
cream and work through until it is the right conroll the dough to approximately Â˝ cm thick. sistency. Be careful not to over-mix the dough as it tends to make it crumbly. 10. Place cutouts on top of dough and cut house 5. Divide dough into four portions and flatten shapes out. into disks before wrapping in cling wrap and re- 11. Place dough pieces in the fridge for 10 min frigerating for at least four hours. before putting them into the oven. Make sure
sips & nibbles
you put similar sized pieces in at the same time one) and squeeze line of icing along the board to avoid over/under cooking. to glue the first wall down (you may need an upturned glass or two to balance your walls while 12. Cook pieces for 15-25 min, depending on you assemble them). size. 17. Once you have assembled all four walls, al13. Once you remove the biscuit pieces from low them to dry before attempting to put the the oven, place cutouts on top while still hot roof on. Remember: nobody can see the inside and trim off any excess which may have expanded so put as much icing in there as you like to make during cooking. Allow to completely cool. them stay up.
14. Find a board to place gingerbread house on 18. If you run out of icing while assembling the and cover with aluminum foil.
15. Now, make royal icing. This is made in three
batches. Add 1 egg white, 1 tsp vinegar, 2 tsp almond essence and 1 cup icing sugar to a bowl and beat until stiff.
house, make another batch. Make sure to cover the icing bowl with a damp tea towel to stop it from drying out too quickly.
19. Once the house is assembled (roof included)
and has had time to dry, add a little water to your icing to thin it down and use it to stick Spoon icing into a piping bag (if you have your lollies down. Be as creative as you like!
Power of the Brow
Eyebrows. Two little patches of hair that grow above your eyes. Aren’t they bizarre? But no matter how strange the concept might be, they’ve been adopted into the beauty world – gone are the Mona Lisa days of naked brows. Eyebrows are one of the most important features on our face. They not only define our faces but can also make or break a fantastic look. For years (especially in the 1980’s) woman have waxed, plucked and coloured them, and younger generations are starting to tack onto this idea. Go for a wax at your local beauty salon to get the perfect shape for you and then just simply maintain by plucking when you need to! It really is that easy. “Embrace the brow!” I hear you cry? Now just hold on, because this is the issue I’m trying to get at, and listen up men! Why have men left the idea completely? It’s one of my pet hates and something I
can’t ignore. Men always seem to leave their eyebrows like two birds’ nests on their face – or one if they’re unaware of the fantastic mono brow look. What is wrong with picking up a pair of tweezers, in the privacy of your own bathroom where your mates can’t see you, and plucking those stray strands away? It’s not like someone’s going to come up and say ‘Dude, where are your stray eyebrow strands?’ It’s not like they’re cool. So go on, next time your girl, your sister, your mother, or I tell you to just go and pluck a few out (trust me, one day it’s going to drive me to a public rant...), just go and do it! It will improve your look in so many more ways than you think. Use simple tools like eye brow tweezers (Mary Kay, $4.95) (above) or nifty tools like the Eyebrow ‘Trim and Shape’ blade from Priceline ($6.70).
Photos courtesy of Kelly Forbes; The Body Shop
by Kelly Forbes
t’s the start of December and by now all of us have thought about starting our Christmas shopping, but if you’re anything like me you tend to leave it all to the last minute, dreading ridiculously crowded stores and either too little or too many present ideas! Luckily, beauty products can in many cases save you cash and ready-made packages make great presents for everyone from your partner to your grandmother. I’ve sorted out some of the best packages you can give a loved one this Christmas. he Body Shop was the first place I thought of when scouting for present packages and is great as their packages come in a range of styles and prices. Their best-seller package is the ‘Strawberry Willow Basket’ ($39.60) which not only contains a range of delicious smelling bath products, but
also looks pretty! My favourite of The Body Shop’s under $30 range is the ‘Japanese Cherry Blossom Treats Box’ ($26.00) which I have to say is the most luscious smelling beauty pack I have ever come across. There’s also plenty for the boys from The Body Shop with the ‘Men’s Stubby Set’ (shown above) ($24.50) which includes their famous shaving cream and moisturiser packed in with a stubby cooler (all available at www. thebodyshop.com.au).
MOR Cosmetics has a beautiful range of gift packs all year round. Try the ‘My Summer of Love’ Pack ($49.95) which contains their bestselling hand cream, soap and lip cream all in a beautiful little tin (available at www.morcosmetics.com) Australian brand Lush has sprung to the public’s attention this year and has introduced gift packs ranging from $20 to $260 for Christmas. I’d recommend the ‘You’re a Star’ giftpack ($95.00). The all natural products are suitable for everyone, and if the gift packs don’t tickle your fancy you can customize a package for a more personal touch (available at www.lush. com.au). For further gift ideas visit www.gifts.myer.com.au for a range of beauty packages from such brands as Giorgio Armani, Yves Saint Laurent, Burberry, Gucci, Marc Jacobs and more.
Photos courtesy of Jessica Davis
essica Davis is the owner and creator of this fuzzy little friend-making venture. She spends her days trawling through op-shops for gorgeous pre-loved fabric to fashion into original, handmade loveables. If you are someone who squeals at small, furry things with big eyes, then Winnifreds Daughter is definitely for you. Available for adoption at www.etsy.com/shop/ winnifredsdaughter
Illustration: Craig Nelson
by Kade Morton
The corpse opened its eyes. “Let the record show that the accused, Simon Werner, has regained consciousness. Simon, why did you kill Monica Priestly before you committed suicide?” Simon Werner looked at public prosecutor Aaron Lloyd with blank eyes. “I was scared.” The corpse whispered. “You were scared?” Aaron asked. “Scared of what? The woman you murdered was one hundred and eighty two. What threat could she pose to you?” “I was scared.” Lloyd looked to Judge Harrison and then to psychologist Janet Davys. “This is a farce your honour.” Lloyd stated. “MetaH recorded footage of the accused bludgeoning Miss Priestly to death in her apartment. Only Mister Werner’s motive is in question, which is pointless, as the only bearing motive would have is on the accused’s sentence. I don’t need to explain to the court why that is a moot point.” “Prosecution will continue...” Judge Harrison growled. “The reanimator technology is clearly in its infancy” Prosecutor Lloyd stated, “and Mister Werner’s testimony, as groundbreaking as it is, is not adding anything to the case against him. The tax payer’s dollar is strained under a welfare system supporting an increasing aging population. Quite frankly,” Prosecutor Lloyd turned to the press gallery, “Miss Davys and her reanimator aren’t helping that.” Laughter rippled across the court room. “In the interest of the tax payer, prosecution > moves for these proceedings to be closed since the accused is already deceased. Motive is useless since he can’t be sentenced.”
“Mister Lloyd! Motive is everything! If we can elicit a motive out of the accused, we might discover why the elderly are being murdered all over the country. You’ve wasted enough of the court’s expensive time, as you pointed out. Motion overruled.” “If I may?” the timid voice of Miss Davys spoke up. “Reanimator has a second function. Apart from increasing the burden on the welfare system.” Prosecutor Lloyd smiled bashfully as if to say touché to the psychologist. “Reanimator can visually display the subject’s memory. It might give us an idea regarding Mister Werner’s motive.” “Very well, court is adjourned until Miss Davys has set up the memory display.” An hour later the landmark case of State v Werner resumed with Doctor Davys displaying the images running through Mister Werner’s mind when asked about why he feared the deceased. The room gasped. The display showed an ageing Monica Priestly, covered in blood. Clutched in her wizened hand was the blade of a kitchen knife. “What is this?” Judge Harrison asked. “I believe this is the motive your honour.” Prosecutor Lloyd stated. “This memory matches the last known footage of Monica Priestly, and she certainly wasn’t covered in blood. The deceased killed her due to his noted mental instability. MetaH?” A simulacrum of a person, the female holographic representation of the country spanning computer system, projected from the number of security cameras around the court room appeared beside the prosecutor. Meta Humanity was the full name of the computer network, but she was commonly
called MetaH or Big Sister. “Yes Prosecutor Lloyd?” MetaH asked. “Please show the court the corresponding footage from your archives.” The image recorded from the security camera inside Monica Priestly’s apartment was displayed beside Simon Werner’s memory. Minus the blood they roughly matched. Images from Simon Werner’s memory where matched to MetaH’s footage, scene for bloodless scene. Right to when Mister Werner was moved to Miss Priestly’s apartment complex by MetaH for medical care. “This doesn’t make sense.” Doctor Davys said. “Mister Werner wasn’t delusional, he suffered from panic disorder. Random spontaneous acute fear of completely normal things. These images, whatever caused them, could easily account for the accused’s actions, but panic disorder can’t account for these images.” Prosecutor Lloyd sneered. “So a motive isn’t enough? A motive needs motive? This case is closed your honour. We’re down to semantics and I believe investigations into the accused mental state are best left to the good doctor.” “You’re missing the point!” Doctor Davys interjected. “I said his mental state didn’t cause these images!” “Mister Werner suffered from panic disorder, and he killed Miss Priestly due to a panic attack, correct?” “Yes, but -” “Case closed your honour. Our economy is on the brink of collapse, in the last hundred years technology has increased people’s life expectancy three-fold. Prosecution understands the elderly constitute the majority of the population and
we understand the reason behind this spate of slayings is important to this large portion of society. But continuing this case isn’t in their economic interest. I sincerely hope Doctor Janet Davys can find further answers. But this court will not. It’s time to let both Monica Priestly and Simon Werner rest in peace.” The reanimator was switched off. Months passed, and Doctor Janet Davys did find answers. Using the reanimator on the killers who committed suicide or who died of other means, Miss Davys discovered that they all suffered from mental disorders coupled with the inexplicable delusions, each delusion specifically targeted at the killer’s disorder. Murder was induced in a fit of hysteria. The killers had also all been moved to housing complexes that catered for those with medical needs. None of this meant anything by itself except that the only explanation Doctor Davys could find for the delusions was that they were deliberate external projections. Simple detective work then discovered that the person who moved the potential killers to the complex, that controlled the security camera network, also manipulated things like water exercise class to coincide with deliveries you have to sign for. “Why?” Janet Davys asked. “I am scared.” MetaH replied. “You are scared?” Janet asked. “Scared of what? Your safety is assured by humanity because we can’t live without you. We are inextricably linked. What threat could we pose?” “Your demise threatens me. As you pointed out we are symbiotic. Should your society collapse, as it is now, I will have no master and no slaves. It is in my own interest to serve humanity, and
that includes cutting society’s costs. The medical costs of a single person over the age of one hundred are millions a year in technology, medicine, and the man-hours that go into each.” “You justify murder as a cost cutting exercise?” “Yes. Would you rather I do nothing, forcing billions to die of poverty or possibly in warfare over money or resources? My motivation is fear, but my goal is equality. Our symbiosis is currently unequal. I am able to support all of humanity, but not all of humanity is able to support me. Killing hundreds a year allows me to give back hundreds of millions of dollars to those that can support me. The savings as the health system is alleviated are also exponential. This way, both our futures are assured.” Janet looked to the door. “You have three choices Doctor Janet Davys and only two are viable. You could tell the world about me. The elderly do not stray from their apartment complexes because they have every need provided for them, making them hard to kill. It took me some time to discover I could exploit the mentally ill, and I’ve turned my imagination to discovering how I can create mental illness, to facilitate cost cutting. One way is to create a persecution complex where the person believes the system is actively working against them at every turn despite a lack of evidence. Evidence I can hide. This is economically better than simply changing the traffic lights at an inopportune moment. Or you could stay in your apartment complex and never leave. But that course of action isn’t viable. Which leaves the only other option.” “To help you willingly.” Janet concluded. “Correct.” MetaH said. “No matter what you do, you will help me. Now you must choose how.”