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Topless Man with grey sweatpants stretching horizontally from a ladder

Calisthenics: body strength training or a performance art for girls?

πŸ’ͺ🏼 Calisthenics (US English) or Callisthenics (UK English), one the biggest crazes in fitness worldwide, is a form of strength training using bodyweight exercises and minimal equipment… except in Australia, where it means something rather different. Do a search for “calisthenics” in Australia and what you’ll get are loads of images of young girls dressed […]

International Women’s Day (IWD). A day of campaigning ♀ … or a day to buy flowers πŸ’

πŸͺƒ In Australia, IWD is a day of campaigning and awareness, elements that are much closer to the day’s original purpose of bringing mainstream attention to issues affecting women. However IWD as a day of significance in Australia is a relatively new phenomenon. Today was so invisible in Australia in the 1980s that the first […]

Hugging and cheek-kissing in southeast Europe. The does and don’ts

Do you know what to do with hugging and cheek-kissing in southeast Europe? Do you know which countries kiss twice and others three times? One time in the mid-1990s I had to walk the last kilometre to the Bulgaria-Macedonian border uphill with heavy luggage. This was pre-mobile phone days, so I had no idea if […]

Cancer and gallows humour: Thank you for the flowers πŸ’; I hope they die before I do! 😏

WARNING: potentially triggering material. Very, very dark humour about cancer ahead. 4 February is World Cancer Day and… erm… conveniently, the day after is the anniversary (15 years now) of being given the oh so exciting news that I had testicular cancer… stage 4… so it had spread: 5 tumours in my stomach 🍀, 11 […]

Out today! Elixir, In the Valley at the End of Time

The latest book that I played a part in its fruition (no, I’m not in it this time), by my dear friend, the award-winning writer Kapka Kassabova, is now available for purchase. It’s an extraordinary journey through the history, people and nature of the region from where my maternal grandfather came from, and where many […]

Seachange, Treechange, E-change

Something Australian (but no way uniquely) today… Do you fancy an escape from the rat race and going for a seachange 🌊, treechange 🌳 or e-change πŸ’»? These terms all describe different forms of migration of people of all ages ⏳, wealth brackets πŸ’Έ and professions πŸ’Ό from Australia’s big cities πŸ™ to provincial and […]