Archive for November, 2018

Nov 10 2018

Brisbane: Limes Hotel

Limes Hotel at Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.The basics
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Brisbane: Limes Hotel

142 Constance Street, Fortitude Valley

Ph: (07) 3852 9000

W: www.limeshotel苏州美甲学校.au

Cost: Rooms start at $440 for a deluxe room and $550 for a courtyard room, but mid-week you’ll likely get one from $209-$239 on one of the deals sites. Friday and Saturday starts at $289 – if you’re early.

Limes is a small boutique hotel in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. It has 21 rooms and a swanky rooftop bar.The Room

Step inside this boutique hotel and you could be in Seoul, where space restrictions encourage intelligent design.  Long and lean, the rooms feature all the mod-cons without feeling cramped. While there are no bathtubs (a legacy of the water restrictions in place when Limes was built), the showers are large and luxuriant, with Corian vanities and expansive benchtops.

Each room also has its own feature wall, hand-painted using a mineral coating technique. The soft furnishings and other touches are carefully selected to give a sleek appearance, while still feeling homely. The Nespresso coffee machine is a particularly welcome touch.

The best feature is Limes Hotel’s connectivity – the whole place is Wi-Fi enabled. It’s a joyful point of difference, given that so many luxury hotels still charge for the internet.The Food

Limes’ room service comes from its sister restaurant Alfred and Constance, and what a delight it can be to flop down on the bed after an exhausting day to chill out with the twice-cooked caramelised pork belly ($14.90) and a freeka salad ($16.90) from their winter menu. There’s plenty of meat and seafood to whet your appetite should you fancy something heavier – try the Josper grilled duck breast for $32.

Alfred & Constance also serves a variety of easy-to-grab breakfast orders such as wraps and quiches. A simple ham-and-cheese toasted sandwich became a mouth-watering delight with the addition of succulent brioche bread.

An alternative would be to wander into the Valley where there is a wide range of Asian-style eateries, cafes and restaurants. There are plenty of fast-food options for those in even more of a hurry.The Activities

After-dark entertainment is right upstairs at the Limes Rooftop Bar. Sample the cocktail menu while enjoying modern music and sleek surrounds.  On Wednesday or Thursday night, the Rooftop becomes an open-air cinema, with tickets just $10.

Alfred & Constance has a more relaxed feel to it, being a converted Queenslander. Sample a range of local and imported craft beers and chill out in one of its many nooks and crannies.

If you want to venture further into the Valley, you’re just a few minutes’ walk from music venues like The Zoo on Ann Street, and the pubs and clubs of the Brunswick Street Mall. Just around the corner is the Judith Wright Centre for the Contemporary Arts, and a short bus ride down Brunswick Street will take you to the Brisbane Powerhouse. Both venues offer up a smorgasboard of contemporary theatre, art, comedy, music and cabaret.

Shopping is ample in and around the Valley and New Farm. Check out the funky labels along Ann Street, or head to James Street for the high-end retail experience.The Weekend

Limes is a great choice for that big weekend in the city. There are parking options near the hotel, which means you can enjoy a night out without the hassle of waiting for a cab home or organising drivers.

Do it either inside our outside the confines of the hotel.

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Nov 10 2018

McKenzie puts O’Connor on the straight and narrow

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie with Matt Toomua and James O’Connor. Photo: Matt KingJames O’Connor says a candid, no-holds-barred conversation with Ewen McKenzie has put him on the path to rugby redemption, with the Wallaby winger admitting he has struggled with life in the spotlight.
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The 23-year-old believes it will be actions, rather than words, that eventually help him win back the respect of the Australian rugby community after a long list of indiscretions, topped off by his dumping from Super Rugby side Melbourne.

But a typically forthright discussion with McKenzie will be the keystone of any significant and lasting attitude adjustment, with O’Connor saying he remains thankful to the new Wallaby coach for laying it on the table in his first days in charge.

O’Connor said he didn’t know what to expect in his first one-on-one chat with McKenzie, particularly with team discipline one of the most-pressing topics for the new gaffer.

If there was any cause for nerves, McKenzie put him to rest with the kind of upfront, no-nonsense discussion that made him such a favourite among players during his four years in charge of the Queensland Reds.

“I just went in with an open mind and I was ready for any situation. That’s what he did as well. He put faith in me. I don’t want to say exactly what he said, because that’s between us, but he showed faith in me and said ‘produce what you do best and we’ll go from there’,” O’Connor said.

“You’re in the spotlight all the time and you have to be aware of that. It becomes part of the job. In the past, I haven’t dealt with that as well as I should have.

“Communicaton is a massive key, I guess. Straight away from our first meeting until now, he’s been very open and upfront and it’s working well. He’s been very upfront with me from the very beginning, from our first conversation after the Lions.

“I’m looking forward to many more years hopefully.”

Talk remains cheap in the eyes of many observers and even team-mates, which is why O’Connor has become determined to gradually right the wrongs of the past as he finds his feet on the Wallaby wing.

“The situation where I was at, words weren’t enough. It was actions. I’m trying to do the little things right and move forward. But it’s a long process and a mindset shift. It’s not a big one but little things get blown out easily,” he said.

O’Connor didn’t ask to be the Wallaby 10 against the British and Irish Lions but relished the challenge when thrown the jumper by former coach Robbie Deans. The experiment produced lukewarm results, even if O’Connor showed improvement with each outing.

But after some early defensive wobbles in his move back to the wing, O’Connor is starting to have fun on the field once again. His running game and sparkling feet have long been his best asset and he is hoping to use his skills to full effect against the Boks.

“I play better when I’m having fun and if I’m not having fun, what’s the point? I’m in a very priveleged position to play rugby for a living and I dreamed of doing this since I was six years old,” O’Connor said.

“You don’t lose it but in certain games, you aren’t having as much fun as others, that’s for sure. I enjoy being around people and I thrive off other guys’ energy.

“I grew up playing rugby because I love to run. It’s refreshing to know where you are going to be playing so you can really provide the best service for the boys and for Australia.”

The pressure to win is becoming oppressive for the Wallabies, who have saluted just once in their past five Tests, while McKenzie will be keen to notch up a quick single to get off the mark at Suncorp Stadium.

But the feeling among Wallaby players remains positive, even if the results are yet to come. The fact senior players are finding a way to mend bridges with players like O’Connor and Quade Cooper have only helped the overall mood.

O’Connor’s mindset will be helped even further when he manages to lock down a Super Rugby club for next season. He insists he is staying in Australia, wants to remain a Wallaby and a deal with the ARU is around the corner.

“All of my contracts have been a little bit drawn out. I trust the people around me. We had a good chat last week and things are progressing really well with the Australian Rugby Union. I hope it’s close,” O’Connor said.

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Nov 10 2018

Murder accused ‘abused as a child, addicted to porn’: court

ROBERT Bretherton masturbated up to twice a day, was addicted to pornography and had a possible sex addiction, Newcastle Supreme Court has heard.
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Psychiatrist Dr Christopher Canaris told the court yesterday Mr Bretherton had an ‘‘almost compulsive level of sexuality’’.

The court also heard Mr Bretherton was sexually abused as a child.

Mr Bretherton has pleaded guilty to manslaughter, but not murder, of Jodie Jurd who was stabbed 12 times in her Bellbird home on November 16, 2011.

Mr Bretherton alleges he was substantially impaired due to an abnormality of the mind at the time of the killing.

His barrister previously told the jury that Mr Bretherton, 38, had been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum and as having a major depressive illness.

Dr Canaris, an expert called by Mr Bretherton’s defence, said yesterday Mr Bretherton showed a number of symptoms consistent with an autism spectrum disorder including an inability to relate to others, focus on routine, difficulty with change and linear thinking.

He said Mr Bretherton was preoccupied with a perceived family feud with the Jurds, an ‘‘ever-growing perception he had been unjustly treated’’ and after Ms Jurd’s death felt the family owed him an apology.

He said being on the autism spectrum hampered Mr Bretherton’s ability to cope with the stresses in his life at the time of Jodie’s death.

The court heard the couple had been arguing over the division of their assets.

‘‘Your brain and your conscious mind is overwhelmed by information,’’ Dr Canaris said.

‘‘It’s a bit like a situation where you have too many programs running on your computer over time and your computer freezes.’’

He said Mr Bretherton had signs of other personality disorders including narcissistic personality disorder.

The trial before Justice Ian Harrison will continue on Wednesday.

VICTIM: Jodie Jurd.

Nov 10 2018

Deadly Choices Indigenous health program 

HEALTHY CHOICES: Knights players Timana Tahu and Tyrone Roberts on Tuesday with a jersey promoting the indigenous health initiative Deadly Choices. Picture Anita JonesAS athletes Newcastle Knights players Timana Tahu and Tyrone Roberts are the epitome of good health – but the same cannot be said for all their peers.
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The Indigenous players are the exception to the rule among a generation of youth with poor health.

In the Hunter more than half the Aboriginal population is under the age of 25 and the area has one of Australia’s highest levels of tobacco use.

Rates of chronic disease are double that of the rest of the population with smoking and diabetes hospital admissions in the region rising between 50 and 100 per cent in the past decade.

Awabakal Newcastle Aboriginal Co-operative is hoping to turn around those figures under partnership with the Institute of Urban Indigenous Health to run the Deadly Choices program.

The program was started in south-east Queensland in 2009 and uses role models to encourage Aboriginal people to get a health check.

‘‘Deadly’’ is a popular Aboriginal term for ‘‘awesome’’.

Deadly Choices encourages Aboriginal people to quit the smokes, get regular health checks, eat healthy and exercise daily.

Awabakal chief executive Don MacAskill said they were hoping to get the number of annual health checks at the Awabakal Aboriginal Primary Health Centre Hamilton up from 50 a year to close to 6000 – which was achieved in Queensland.

Tahu said he was looking forward to getting the community involved with the program.

‘‘We have all eaten the wrong type of food, been tempted to smoke, drink too much and not exercise,’’ he said.

‘‘Once you are empowered to make the right deadly choices you can really feel the benefits and improve your chances of a long and healthy life.’’

Aboriginal residents who have a health check at the centre will receive a free Deadly Choices jersey.

Nov 10 2018

REVIEW: Beggars Opera 

From L-R: Rachel Davies, April Maguire, Tayla Choice, Stephanie Cunliffe-Jones, Stephanie McDonaldTHE BEGGAR’S (THIEVES AND WHORES) OPERA
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Presented by: Company Clegg

Season: Ended Sunday

JOHN Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera upset politicians and businessmen when it was staged in 1728 because it showed corruption in their ranks.

Gay’s dialogue, much of it very funny, and the lyrics of the short musical numbers retain zing and relevance almost 300 years on.

Sadly, director David Brown played around unnecessarily with the structure of the play as well as its title in this production featuring second-year acting students from Hunter TAFE’s Regional Institute of Performing Arts.

The stage was set as a theatre dressing room, with the 15 actors mainly in white attire and donning robes, dresses and wigs when chosen by the beggar to be characters. All the actors remained on stage throughout the condensed 75-minute length of the play, with the beggar, who only appears in the prologue and penultimate scene of Gay’s text, continually interrupting the conversations to direct the characters’ actions.

As a result, the bite of the dialogue and lyrics was frequently lost. A very good team of actors was lost in a sea of bodies in scenes that needed the cut and thrust between the two or three characters in the scene as written to do justice to Gay’s brilliance.

The chosen performance style was no doubt adopted because the acting class has just three males, so the female members had to play characters of both sexes. Having men and women played by members of the opposite sex, however, is an accepted theatre convention, so the production would have been more profitable for actors and audience alike if that had been observed as a matter of course.

The Beggar’s Opera will play at Sydney’s Seymour Centre from September 25 to 28, as part of the 2013 Sydney Fringe Festival, following its just-ended short Newcastle Civic Playhouse season.

Hopefully, it will be reworked before that event to restore the strength of Gay’s tale of the dealings between dashing highwayman Macheath, duplicitous merchant Mr Peachum, the women, Polly Peachum and Lucy Lockit, who see themselves as Macheath’s wives, and the various criminals and women at both ends of the social scale.