Lifestyle, Live, Uncategorized

How much talcum powder?

I was lucky enough to have grown up in a town that was multicultural. My friends were Australian aboriginals, Asians, Chinese, Greeks, anglo-Australians. Our names were Theodopolous’, Portaminis’, Chins, Nguyens and Johnsons but these differences did not divide us – we were just the Darwin bush mob. We were all just mates!

14291752_10210770476281166_5002246247429281277_nI never felt that I was anything else but just a Darwin girl. My skin colour did not determine who I was. My parents brought me up but a community raised me. As well as my parents, I called a Cypriot man, dad, an anglo- Australian woman from Alice Springs, mum. I had siblings who were part Aboriginal and part Japanese. Maori, Chinese and Torres Strait islander aunties and uncles and cousins, an uncle who arrived to Australia in the wheel carriage of a WW II aircraft, an auntie who was really an uncle (but damn she had good legs), my childhood was filled with different colours and different races but we didn’t see any of that – we were just family. This was the Australia I grew up in, but it worries me that the Australia my children will return to is not the same. Australia today, is a place where the hysteria of terrorism and politician’s voices have closed doors to acceptance. I am not saying that we should ignore the threat of violence to our shores but we have become a society that is scared and intolerable to what is different. We have gone back to the days of the ‘white Australia’ policy, days of old where a town like Darwin was segregated, where people were differentiated by their skin colour not their heart.

I remember my mother telling me the story of my younger sister, pouring a whole tub of talcum powder over herself because she wanted to be white like her godmother. She would have been just over a year old but she saw the difference in their colour and wanted to be like the woman she loved and admired. 305580_10150625647333546_1371428434_n.jpg

For those of us that have moved to Australia and want to make Australia our new home and for those of us that are second or third generation non-anglo Australian, how much talcum powder do we need to put on ourselves before we are again accepted for just who we are, and not our colour or religion? Because in the end, we just want to be loved and admired, just like you.





Live, Travel, Uncategorized

The World’s Most Underrated Beaches – West Timor, Indonesia — The Mandagies

Recently I had the pleasure of hosting this lovely couple from Seattle, Washington and their wonderful friends. It was a delight. It has been a delight to read about their travels here in Indonesia. Please read about their recent adventure to Kupang in West Timor. Hope it inspires to visit the lesser known towns and provinces of Indonesia and GO BEYOND BALI!

Berty’s family and I decided to make the journey across the island and visit two remote beaches: Kolbano Beach and Oetune Beach. We wanted to check them out because Timor is much less populated than other islands in Indonesia, and we had a good chance of having them all to ourselves. (This also means great…

via The World’s Most Underrated Beaches – West Timor, Indonesia — The Mandagies

Fashion, Love, Uncategorized, What I love

Tulle & Batiste (my secret little fashion find)

One of my favourite upcoming boutiques in Bali is this little gem – Tulle & Batiste on Jln Petitenget, Seminyak across the road from another favourite – Pison Coffee. I mean what more can a girl want? – coffee and cake on one side of the road and pretty frocks and accessories on the other. Well maybe if Saigon Street moved next door, then I would be in 7th heaven.

Aptly named as Tulle and Bastiste – tulle is a lightweight and very fine netting, most commonly used for veils and gowns where batiste is a fine cloth of cotton or linen for high-quality garments, it will definitely give it rivals a run for their money in the fashion stakes.

Tulle and Batiste offers vintage inspired collections of women’s clothing all personally designed and curated by Miftahul Jannah, with the love and support of her husband, Jeroen. Tulle and Batiste plays homage to the unique mystical empire of Bohemia. Designed for those who are charmed by Bohemia’s mental fairyland, as there are no roads in all of Bohemia. Where one must choose and find one’s own path, be one’s own self, love one’s own life. (Taken from their own website

This new kid on the block has become one of my favourites, having acquired 3 gorgeous go-to pieces from them in the last 6 months (ssshhhh…don’t tell the hubby).  The next time you are in Bali check them out or pop on over to their online  or Instagram shop. The ship free anywhere overseas I noticed.

Stay stylish.




Lifestyle, Live

Dr Tina – Medicine Woman

Growing up in the 90s, I used to rush home from school, breeze through my homework and sit with my sister and watch the TV series. Dr Quinn – Medicine Woman. I loved Jane Seymour. Some of my friends had your typical girl crush on Claire Danes or Alicia Silverspoon but I simply wanted to be Plain Jane or at least her alter TV ego Dr Mike. Like I mean, the lady was hero material, even starting with her name – Dr Mike. She was a female doctor in a small wild-west town, in a man’s world. What could you not love about her?

What attracted me to Dr Quinn though was not just her courage and strength but something much more – it was her desire to administer natural herbal medicines as used by the native Indians for centuries. This was pioneering. This was on television. I didn’t like it so much when my own Dr Quinn, my Mother, would administer the same medicinal practices on us as a family. One of my fondest memories of my Mother, my Dr. Tina, was when I was probably in Year 3. I had contracted the mumps like probably most of my peers in my classroom. Rather than take me to our family doctor (a jovial Indian man who loved prescribing Amoxicillin for every ailment you could dream of – I am sure it was his own Miracle drug), Mum feathered and tarred me! Literally! She used a bird’s feather and coated my throat with a mixture of vinegar and white slaked lime and sent me back to school. I don’t think the teachers were pleased.

Another incident was when our father had injured himself and sliced his ankle to the bones with the blade of our tractor whilst he had the grass cutter blades on. Poor Dad. The tractor had rolled over and his leg and foot were caught underneath. He was bleeding profusely and we lived at least 2 hours at the time from the nearest medical facility. My Mum went to assist my Dad and to stem the bleeding she applied instant coffee…yes that’s right!…your every day Nescafe Original in a jar variety, which could be found in all rural and remote homes in Australia then, once the bleeding was stopped, she then pounded up some turmeric and mixed it with garlic infused coconut oil (this oil was in a crystal decanter and stood pride of place on a shelf above the beloved Encyclopedia Britannica – we used this oil for everything) and wrapped it around the wound AND THEN took him to the hospital. When she got to the emergency room, the attending doctor asked if she was going to make a cup of coffee out of Dad or a salad dressing – Mum wasn’t amused, she had saved my Dad’s foot after all.

Before all the commercial hype, Dr Tina was prescribing her family daily doses of moringa (moringa oleifera- otherwise known as the Miracle Tree), soursop leaves (annona muricata), brahmi (bacopa monieri), gotu kola and sambiloto and anything else she could grow in that dispensary of hers on our farm. I suppose we had our own farmacy. Pardon the pun.

(Take the time yourself, to Google each leafs health benefits. But please consult your doctor prior to changing your medication or using these herbs)

As a kid, of course I hated it. Give me Panadol any day even that awful cherry flavoured one, a shot of penicillin, and a dose of aspirin. No! none of that was happening in her practice; ailment: fever, prescription: basil leaves and ginger; ailment: toothache, prescription: chew on the root of a kava plant (Piper methysticum).

Damn those hocus-pocus potions!

But now as an adult, I am avid user of these natural remedies probably to the point of addiction because I can finally see and understand, that my mother, her mother and those before me, lived long active lives due to a daily dose of these ‘green leaves’. And funnily enough through societies desires to find natural, healthier alternatives, more and more people are enjoying the benefits of these green leaves as an alternative to modern drugs.

Thank you Dr. Tina and I am glad you only charged me family rates.