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‘They have done nothing wrong’

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 22 Februari 2015 | 23.08

Quick! Call Bondi Rescue! We're just drowning in those eyes ... Source: NewsComAu

IT'S not the dogs' fault. That's the first thing you need to know in the wake of the awful Four Corners report last week.

The second thing you need to know is that greyhounds need your love — and a home. Far from the vicious image portrayed, these are beautiful, placid animals with wonderfully silky fur. They actually feel a lot like cats to the touch. And you know what? Plenty of greyhounds actually get on with cats too.

Most kittens are way more likely to injure you. Source: NewsComAu

There are several agencies out there who love these beautiful, sweet natured dogs, and work hard to help them transition to life as pets.

Our favourite is a group called Every Greyhound. It's run by two Queenslanders who simply like to be known as Angela and Sharon because they're not after any publicity. They just want the dogs they fell in love by accident (they have no background in greyhound racing) to be loved and cared for.

Sharon and Angela have spent thousands over the years setting up the website, paying for spots on Facebook, and of course feeding the many dogs that end up on their respective doorsteps. Like we say though, they're not after publicity.

"This site is not about the people behind it, it's about the dogs in front of it," Angela tells news.com.au.

Though the breed is called a greyhound, grey greyhounds are actually known as blue. Just cos. Source: NewsComAu

Every greyhound is active on Facebook and you can also follow them on Twitter. There's also a website. All three sites are full of heart-melting hounds.

Every Greyhound aims to be Australia's directory of greyhounds looking for homes as pets. She calls it a "one stop shop" for potential adopters. It's also one of the few places where owners and trainers can list their dogs for private adoption.

Sadly, most greyhounds never get the opportunity to be rehomed. Many pups are deemed unsuitable for the track and 'disappear'. Let's just say that doesn't mean they go for a walk one day and never come back.

Greyhounds make great fielders in beach cricket. Source: NewsComAu

"Dogs that are injured in racing are often destroyed, because they're not financially viable to treat. Thousands are put down when they are too old and slow. There are no reliable figures, but the percentage of greyhound puppies born each year that ever make it to life as a pet is probably in the single digits," Angela says.

One of the concerns many people have about greyhounds is that dogs subjected to barbaric training practices might turn on humans later in life. Experience shows that such instances are very, very rare. Indeed, a US study found that greyhounds are the most docile dog breed. Yep, you read that right.

Greyhound lovers will tell you that what makes this breed so amazing and versatile is their ability to leave their past behind and adapt to new loving surrounds exhibiting no signs of old behaviours. They truly are wonder dogs.

They might drown you in drool, but that's likely to be the worst of it. Source: NewsComAu

The Every Greyhound ladies haven't engaged in any such emotive arguments this or any other week. They call themselves "racing neutral". They won't comment on news stories and they don't and won't play politics. They just want to find homes for beautiful animals.

"We exist to help and support the people who do the real hard yards, the people who take these dogs in, love them, teach them how to live as a pet, and find them new homes," Angela says.

But this week has not been easy. Some people have equated the cruelty of certain humans in the greyhound racing industry with the nature of the dogs themselves, leading Sharon and Angela to be trolled on both Twitter and Facebook.

"Some of the comments are deeply hurtful," Angela says.

But the organisation and its good works continue, albeit on a bit of a shoestring.

My friends Sharon and Angela don't deserve to have had such a ruff week! Source: NewsComAu

"Our website is a wreck in technical terms," Angela says. "Sharon and I would love to get it redeveloped, and we wrote specifications last year for our dream site.

"But there never seems to be time to do the paperwork to become an incorporated association, which would make us eligible to apply for small grants. So we make do, and just keep going.

"Because it's worth it, if it helps one dog to find a loving home."

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Lee caught up in hunting pics

Cricket legend Glenn McGrath faces Twitter backlash after photos emerged of him posing with dead animals in Zimbabwe. Photos: Chipitani Safaris Game Park

Former cricketer Glenn McGrath. Source: Supplied

UPDATE: Former Australian cricketer Brett Lee is the latest sporting casualty to be dragged into a social media storm over hunting photos.

Another image surfaced online today after yesterday's backlash against Glenn McGrath when photos of him hunting African animals on safari in 2008 circulated social media.

The latest picture shows Lee with McGrath around a dead bleeding animal hanging off the back of a vehicle and two children posing in the photo.

One of the children appears to be holding the dead animal's head up.

Social media users immediately responded with distaste.

Former cricketer Brett Lee is in the firing line over controversial hunting photos Source: News Corp Australia

A tweet showing the controversial image of Brett lee and a dead animal. Source: Twitter

Yesterday Australian cricket legend Glenn McGrath was shamed on Twitter after photos emerged of him posing with dead animals in Africa.

Warning: Photos below may disturb some readers

The images appeared on social media but were taken in 2008. McGrath was seen holding a gun in front of several animals, including an elephant and a buffalo.

They were originally posted on the Chipitani Safaris game park website, but have been since been taken down.

McGrath then posted a statement on his Twitter account expressing his "deep regret", and saying he was going through a tough time in 2008 due to the death of his wife, Jane McGrath.

"In 2008 I participated in a hunting safari in Zimbabwe that was licensed and legal, but in hindsight highly inappropriate," McGrath said.

"It was an extremely difficult time in my life and looking back I deeply regret being involved."

The cricketer has been slammed online, with many people labelling it as "disgusting".

McGrath is a known hunting enthusiast, often going out with fellow cricketer Brett Lee on his rural property.

He has previously spoken to the Sporting Shooters' Association of Australia magazine, saying: "Hunting is as much about mateship as anything else. Some of the best friends that I have are hunters; they're not a bunch of rednecks that go around shooting anything that moves."

One of the buffalo's McGrath hunted. Source: Supplied

After McGrath took his 500th test wicket, his late wife Jane McGrath bought him a special hunting rifle. McGrath admitted to SSAA that his wife never really liked him hunting, but accepted that it was a passion of his.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

What it’s really like in Hollywood before the Oscars

A view of the Hollywood boulevard outside the Dolby Theatre as preparations are underway for the 87th annual Academy Awards. Source: AFP

RIGHT now I'm sitting less than 100 metres from the Dolby theatre where the world's biggest movie stars will soon gather for the 87th Academy Awards.

There is a palpable excitement in the air and it's amazing to think that in just a few hours, people in more than 225 countries will be watching a live telecast from this exact spot.

The Dolby theatre is on Hollywood boulevard, which has been closed off to traffic for the past few days.

The whole street has been transformed into a 152 metre long, 10 metre wide red carpet. The carpet is surrounded by tall black curtains so that people can't see in, but there are a few gaps which hundreds of tourists are doing their best to snap photos of. There are security guards everywhere.

Workers arrange flowers next to an Oscar statue. Source: AFP

An Oscar statue is covered by plastic on the red carpet. Source: AFP

Of course I expected the security to be heavy, but trust me, it's intense. Some members of the press have already been banned from attending the Oscars because they posted photos of their credentials on social media.

The security team warned us that this was a no-go in case people attempted to copy it and sneak inside. Try and access the wrong area with your credentials and you'll be banned.

Post a photo from inside the Dolby theatre and you'll be banned. Bring a suit instead of a tuxedo (such as I did) and you run the risk of being turned away when you arrive at the ceremony (it's OK, I got a rental).

Journalists interview Chinese actress Huang Shengyi on the red carpet outside the Dolby Theatre. Source: AFP

Walking around the front of the venue amongst a throng of excited tourists, press and Oscars staffers, you really get a sense of just how big a production this is.

It's not just an awards show with the biggest stars in the world, it's also a live TV show with an expected audience of several hundred million people. When the ceremony kicks off, 40 ushers will guide the 3,300 guests inside, with 300 people working away in the telecast production office to make sure it's beamed seamlessly around the world.

Another 350 crew will be working behind the scenes to make sure the night runs smoothly. And amongst it all will be 1,676 members of the press waiting to report on who the 6,124 Academy members have cast their votes for in the 24 award categories.

Again, the excitement is palpable.

A worker carries an Oscar statue on the red carpet outside Dolby Theatre as preparations are underway for the 87th annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California. Source: AFP

In the Best Picture category, it's a two horse race between Boyhood and Birdman.

For Best Actor, Eddie Redmayne is the hot tip over comeback kid Michael Keaton.

Best Actress will almost certainly go to Julianne Moore and J.K.

Simmons is a safe bet for Best Supporting Actor.

Patricia Arquette is the favourite for Best Supporting Actress and Birdman director Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu is also expected to win an Oscar.

Keira Knightley is up for an award for best supporting actress for her role in The Imitation Game. Source: AFP

Reese Witherspoon has been nominated for an Oscar for best actress for her movie Wild. Source: Getty Images

It's Hollywood's night of nights and hardly anything can ruin it, but the weather could slightly lessen the glamour. It will hover around 15-20 degrees all day and for the first time since 2010, there's a chance of some rain on Oscars day.

It's only a 30 per cent chance, but it's one that the organisers have a contingency plan in place for.

If there's is drizzle, the entire red carpet will be covered by a marquee. The stars will stay dry, but the 771 fans sitting in the public bleachers might get a little wet. But hey, it's worth it.

The stage is set, the excitement is building even more and I can't wait!

Oscar statues are seen on the red carpet outside the Dolby Theatre. The countdown is on. Source: AFP

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Bali Nine duo ‘love Indonesia’

'Love and respect' ... The brothers of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran have addressed the media on behalf of their brothers. Source: News Corp Australia

AS THEY wait on death row, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran have issued, through their families, a message of gratitude to all their supporters and to the Indonesian authorities and have again asked the Indonesian President to allow them to live.

Today, after visiting the Bali Nine duo in jail their brothers, Michael Chan and Chinthu Sukumaran, made a statement on behalf of the two men.

"Our brothers are very grateful for the support and kindness shown to them by so many people and we are amazed at the strength and resilience during this stressful time," Michael Chan said outside Kerobokan prison today.

"As they reflect on their past they are also thankful to the Indonesian Government, the prison officials and many volunteers that have allowed them to create a wholistic rehabilitation program that is now the envy of most prisons worldwide.

"We see and hear many prisoners doing courses go onto jobs and better lives. Our brothers' great wish is for the President to allow them to continue this help, to rebuild the lives of many more Indonesians for many more years to come," Mr Chan said.

Reflective ... Michael Chan and Chinthu Sukumaran gave a short statement today on behalf of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran and thanked everyone for their support in Kerobokan Jail. Picture: Adam Taylor Source: News Corp Australia

And Chinthu Sukumaran told how the two young men have embraced and love Indonesia, the country where they have been jailed for almost a decade — for their role in a plot to smuggle 8.2 kilograms of heroin into Australia — and where they have turned Kerobokan jail into a learning institution.

"Myu and Andrew love Indonesia, they have a great respect for the Indonesian people and its culture and it was through the support of the Indonesian justice system that they were able to help set up many programs that have helped a lot of Indonesians and has also helped better themselves and they are very grateful for that", Mr Sukumaran said.

"And I just want to remind everyone to remain respectful at this time and thank you for all your support."

'Thank you for your support' ... Myuran Sukumaran's mother Raji attended the brief press conference. Source: News Corp Australia

Supporter ... Sydney pastor Mal Feebrey has visited the men since their arrest in 2005. Source: News Corp Australia

Also visiting yesterday was Sydney pastor Mal Feebrey, who first met Chan and Sukumaran after their arrest in 2005 and has been visiting ever since and struck up a relationship with the pair.

In Bali for the past few weeks, Mr Feebrey simply said to his friend Andrew Chan, as he left the jail yesterday: "See ya later."

Mr Feebrey, tears in his eyes, flew home to Sydney on Sunday night. But it was not "good bye", it was just see you soon. Saying goodbye is too final and he, like so many touched by their case, refuses to give up hope.

"I want to believe that there can be a favourable outcome for them," Mr Feebrey said.

Mr Feebrey, who works in drug and alcohol rehabilitation with a group called ONE80TC in Sydney says he would be proud to have Chan and Sukumaran work as anti-drugs campaigners. He is in awe of what they have achieved inside the jail.

He said that despite the trying personal nightmare they are now enduring, Chan has remained positive and yesterday had his visitors captivated yesterday by stories of his personal journey inside jail.

Condemned ... Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran inside the workshop at Kerobokan Jail. Source: Supplied

"He told 100 stories in there today. It was so captivating, it was very riveting," Mr Feebrey said.

Mr Feebrey was in the jail visiting last month when Chan learned the dreadful news that his clemency plea had been rejected by President Joko Widodo.

"It was a completely surreal moment, watching him get up and walk away. He said 'it's okay', I have to go and see someone in the clinic who is sick," Mr Feebrey recalls.

At one of his darkest hours, Chan was going to comfort and help a fellow Indonesian prisoner who was sick, having suffered a stroke and with a paralysed arm. His thoughts were with this man not himself, Mr Feebrey says. The moment says so much about Chan and Sukumaran and

their journey from drug traffickers to anti-drugs campaigners and educators inside the jail, he says.

"There's a saying: Instead of waiting for someone else to give you flowers, go out and plant a garden. That's exactly what he has done in jail."

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran's delayed Indonesian execution has inspired two social media campaigns.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Better than ‘The Best Job In The World’?

Chris and Jess Bray 'at work'. Source: Supplied

CHRIS Bray was a finalist for Queensland Tourism's famous 'Best job in the world' campaign back in 2009. But thankfully he didn't get the job, because what he gets to do now is even cooler. Prepare for job envy:

Imagine getting to travel to the world's most wonderful places including Africa, the Amazon, Alaska and the Galápagos Islands every year for 'work' — which involves staying in extravagant accommodation, eating gourmet local seafood and chartering private helicopters, planes, safari vehicles and even luxury ships to photograph wildlife.

Amazingly, that's the role my wife Jess and I have found ourselves in: running one day photography courses around Australia and small-group photo safaris around the world — and we even get to take three or more months off each year to go sailing in the Arctic on-board our sailboat!

Here are the seven most unforgettable experiences I've been lucky enough to witness:

You call this a job Chris? Source: Supplied

Photographing bears catching salmon so close they splashed me

While sailing Alaska, we happened upon this bay filled with brown bears gorging themselves on salmon.

Unlike the overly popular 'Brooks Falls' where tourists get allocated a short timeslot on a crowded viewing platform, here we spent days on end sitting beside the river watching as dozens of bears practise their own fishing styles, completely ignoring us, sometimes pouncing on fish so close that they splashed us. We now run photo safaris to this bay in Alaska — it's the most incredible photography experience I've ever had.

Sorry salmon. Source: Supplied

Lion cubs playing with my GoPro mounted on a remote controlled toy car

A video I shot of a lion cub playing with my GoPro was so adorable that it went viral the same day I uploaded it while I was still running one of our safaris in Kenya.

Not the GoPro! Source: Supplied

It was on TV in the United States that night, and GoPro even bought it and made a TV commercial from it. I've also sold similar footage of lions to National Geographic Channel and even had polar bears chew on one camera.

Cheetah jumping on top of our safari vehicle

Our two safari vehicles were parked near a wild cheetah in the Maasai Mara in Kenya when it suddenly decided to leap up on top of the roof of Jess's car!

It sniffed around, peered inside at our guests and just lazed on the roof for some ten minutes enjoying the vantage point before hopping off and sauntering away.

An extremely close call. Source: Supplied

Photographing Hummingbirds

Before visiting the cloud forests in The Andes, I'd never seen a hummingbird before. Suddenly, they were buzzing everywhere!

Beautiful hummingbird. Source: Supplied

As stunningly swift as they are beautiful, photographing them using natural light is a wonderful challenge and we now take guests to the Galapagos to take pictures of Hummingbirds each November.

Witnessing a genuine tribal fire-dance in Papua New Guinea

It was the first time Australian Geographic ever sent a photographer overseas and I got to spend two amazing weeks exploring PNG.

Barefoot fire dancer in the middle of flames. Source: Supplied

The tribes around Rabaul sometimes perform a 'fire-dance' for tourists, but a contact took me and the Australian Geographic writer travelling with me deep into hills one night to see the real thing. Dazed on some forest drug, these naked, barefooted men first danced around, then through and then up and down inside this huge fire.

Some passed out and fell into the flames, others carried giant pythons and later even screaming toddlers through the fire, all to rhythmic chanting and drumming from the women. It was incomprehensible.

Fire dancer engulfed in flames. Source: Supplied

Iceberg Sailing

While sailing our little 29-foot, wooden sailboat 'Teleport' up the coast of Greenland and through the infamous Northwest Passage over the top of Canada and Alaska (the first junk-rigged sailboat ever to do so), we found a beautiful arched iceberg.

Chris and Jess's yearly 'holiday'. Source: Supplied

I hopped in the blow-up dingy with my camera, and Jess sailed around the other side to get the perfect photo. I missed her first pass though, as a huge iceberg beside me suddenly broke apart and rolled over sending a wave of icy water towards me.

Jess and my secret adventure wedding

At the edge of the abyss. Source: Supplied

And of course I couldn't leave out our adventurous wedding.

If it looks cold, that's because it was! Source: Supplied

No one knew where we were taking them — the invite just said to be at the airport dressed for the cold and we'd bring them back four days later. It turned out to be in the snow, half way up Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, in the middle of winter. It was awesome!

Our groomsman was not impressed with the pash. Source: Supplied

If you aren't already jealous enough you can follow Chris Bray on Instagram, join him on one of his one-day photography courses, or on a photo safari.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Bali Nine death island transfer looms

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran's delayed Indonesian execution has inspired two social media campaigns.

Four Indonesian air force Sukhoi jets at Denpasar International Airport. Source: Supplied

FOUR Indonesian Air Force Sukhoi fighters jets have arrived in Bali for what is believed to be a mission to fly in protective support when Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are transferred to the prison island of Nusakambangan.

Details are not clear, but is understood that the condemned Australians could be shifted in a matter of days.

Ominous ... The Sukhoi jets could be used for protective support in the transfer. Source: Supplied

It is thought Chan and Sukumaran will be flown from Denpasar under guard on two long-range helicopters direct to the prison island on the south coast Java, or by a fixed-wing aircraft to Jogjakarta or Cilacap, the mainland city right alongside Nusakambangan.

Four Indonesian air force Sukhoi jets at Denpasar International Airport. Source: Supplied

The Russian-made Su-30 jets touched down in Bali after 10am yesterday, having been preceded by support crews. They are expected to fly in flanking support when Chan and Sukumaran are shifted.

Indonesian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30 & Su-27 Flanker aircraft in action in Darwin in 2012. Picture: ADF. Source: Supplied

Their presence is part of a display of intent by the Indonesian authorities who have stated that they will not tolerate any outside interference in the executions.

Indonesia's supreme army boss General Moeldoko said on Friday that he was ordering special forces and weapons systems to be in place for the transfer, because "the military deeply understands the possibilities of threats".

General Moeldoko claimed he was not talking about any specific country, but relations between Indonesia and Australia have deteriorated badly over the planned executions.

LOVE AND RESPECT: Chan and Sukumaran on their adopted home

DEATH WATCH: The burden of executions

Relations between Indonesia and Australia have deteriorated badly over the planned executions. Source: Supplied

In Cilacap yesterday morning, hundreds of Indonesian infantry with assault rifles, dummy weapons and Avon inflatable boats staged a major exercise on the beach, just a short distance from Nusakambangan.

The Indonesian infantry trained on a beach opposite the island slated for Chan and Sukumaran's executions. Source: Supplied

Indonesian authorities have stated that they will not tolerate any outside interference in the executions. Source: Supplied

Indonesia's military 'deeply understands the possibilities of threats' over the impending executions. Source: Supplied

It is not known whether the exercise is related to the coming executions but General Moeldoko has said it was Indonesia's intention to secure the execution island by air, land and sea.

Indonesia intends to secure the execution island by air, land and sea. Source: Supplied

Minor protests have been held across Indonesia with people piling up small change in a symbolic message to Prime Minister Tony Abbott — who asked Indonesia to remember the $1bn Australia gave in aid after the 2004 tsunami — that he can have the money back.

Jakarta's turn ... the 'Coins for Australia' campaign gathers momentum in the capital. Picture: Nadira. Source: Supplied

In Jakarta yesterday, campaigners made the most of the city's car free day to collect money at a central roundabout.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Real Housewives: ‘What does this b*tch have?’

The birds are back: Gamble Breaux, Chyka Keebaugh, Jackie Gillies, Gina Liano, Lydia Schiavello, Janet Roach, Pettifleur Berenger. Source: News Corp Australia

REAL Housewives of Melbourne is back, with ribbon-twirling, terrified housekeepers and a love triangle involving a pig, all in the first episode. But is new Housewife Gamble hiding a scandalous secret?

Strap yourselves in, folks: the second season of Real Housewives of Melbourne is off and away.

But before we get stuck in, we need to pour one out for a dearly departed homie. Yes, we're talking about Andrea, the nanny-terrorising, list-making aspiring self-help mogul who, after being crucified for her shady antics last season, wisely decided not to return for another round of Real Housewives.

Every show needs a villain and truth be told, Andrea played the role perfectly. Joni Mitchell was right: you don't know what you've got til it's gone. Andrea, we hope you're in a better place (Actually, we know you are — you're in Toorak).

Both new Housewives have successfully completed the mandatory pre-season short course on sassy hand-on-hip posing. Source: Supplied

Housewifekeeping out of the way, on to season two … And the Housewives each have a cringe-worthy new opening title catchphrase!

The most perplexing of the lot has to be Gina's "I deal in fact … NOT friction," which makes us wonder if she's gunning for a lucrative personal lubricant sponsorship.

We get our first glimpse of the two new improbably-monikered Housewives, who both use their opening credit sequences to dabble in wordplay worthy of Shakespeare himself:

Gamble Breaux: "Gamble on me, and you're SURE to win." BECAUSE HER NAME IS GAMBLE DO YOU SEE?!?!

Pettifleur Berenger: "THIS little flower is NO shrinking violet." BECAUSE HER NAME IS FLEUR DO YOU SEE?!?!

Housewives introduced, the season starts with a catch-up lunch for Jackie, Chyka and Jackie — whose crimped hair is giving us a real J-Lo vibe.

You just KNOW there's a bottle or two of La Mascara secreted in her handbag. Source: Supplied

Jackie's stunned that the other two ladies are looking so svelte, complimenting them both on their between-season weight loss.

What's their secret? Lydia says she's refined her eating habits lately but she still averages "eight coffees a day". For a woman who — and you'll forgive us for making this assumption — probably has no real need to get out of bed before about 2pm, that's an awful lot of caffeine.

Before long, Lydia's on to her trademark sex talk (YASSSS). Chyka says eight coffees a day would make her heart pound, to which Lydia responds "My heart's used to getting pounded." (You're definitely doing sex wrong, Lydia).

When Jackie suggests they start their meal off with a tequila shot — it being, ooh, I don't know, 10am — Lydia has another drink in mind:

We're barely two minutes into the new season and Lydia's already working blue. How long until she mounts a helicopter? Source: Supplied

Oh Lydia, we've missed that razzed-up spirit of yours. You make Fifty Shades of Grey look like a Mother and Son marathon.

Janet soon phones in to the lunch from her Porsche, telling the girls she's been spending some time with a man named Carlos, who Chyka imagines is probably "Italian, suave, naughty, a bit of fun — right up Janet's alley." Without friction, we hope.

Janet's called in to tell the girls she's having a birthday party, and while she's inviting the rest of the Housewives, she's reticent about inviting Gina given their 'frenemy' status. AND WE'RE OFF. They'll be throwing around pearlers like 'lower your testosterone' and 'insignificant arse hair' before the episode is out, mark my words.

An aside: Janet's been set up weirdly in her first chat-to-camera of the season — rather than talking to an unseen interviewer just off camera, she looks right down the barrel of the lens. It's a little disconcerting — like watching a RealDoll in a hostage video.

"Pls send help". Source: Supplied

Janet's off to meet up with the Carlos over lunch. Is he an improvement on the leather necklace-wearing dude she hooked up with last season? We'll let you be the judge.

We swear we tried to take a flattering screenshot. Source: Supplied

Turns out Carlos and Janet aren't dating — yet. He's actually helping her organise her birthday party, but he's got some bad news: they're going to have to change the venue. She's not happy, but Carlos diffuses the situation by complimenting the eternally up-for-it Janet on her "beauty, depth and intelligence." She may have a bit of a thing for this younger man, but don't worry guys — she totally plays it cool in the face of his flirting.

*jaw unhinges* Source: Supplied

Back at lunch with the girls, Lydia hops on the phone to make sure her personal assistant is managing her big assignment for the day: buying shampoo.

"Go and buy your own bloody shampoo!" Jackie From The Block barks.

"I don't have time," Lydia shrugs, as her weekday lunch approaches its fourth hour.

To be fair, Lydia's got a busy day ahead of her: She's got to take her dog Figaro — the most pampered yet miserable soul this side of Britney Spears — to an appointment.

"What, to buy him a dress?" Jackie says.

"EWW, dress? He's not gay," Lydia scoffs, alienating approximately 99 per cent of the Real Housewives fanbase in an instant.

"I mean, I LOVE gay," she corrects herself, "but he's not."

"I love gay" is probably our favourite syntax-free Lydia-ism since "Are they pant?" Great save, Lydia — you'll have your own Mardi Gras float before you know it.

Continuing her preparty prep, Janet visits her hairdresser, Patrick, who's looking a little … different to last season. Like, 'Growing out my Posh Spice bob, don't wanna talk about it' different.

Would you trust this man to cut your hair? Source: Supplied

While Patrick attends to her hair, ignoring his own, Janet calls Gina to invite her to the party.

Ah, Gina. Our first glimpse of this olive-skinned lioness, some 16 minutes into the episode, is a classic. It appears the producers have dropped her off somewhere in Melbourne's outer suburbs solely so they can film her while she struts her stuff next to a shop awning emblazoned with a sign saying 'The bitch is back.' #symbolism #miseenscene

For this shot alone, give Real Housewives ALL THE LOGIES. Source: Supplied

Gina's catching up with her sister Bettina, having just got back from Los Angeles where she's been visiting her Geographically Impossible Partner, Dean. She drops a bombshell: she's planning on moving to LA (at this very moment, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills feel a collective chill down their avian spines).

Chatting to her sister, Gina makes an off-the-cuff joke about Janet's upcoming birthday being her 85th. We know how this show works now, so let us make a little season two finale prediction: Janet and Gina will argue at length about whether Gina really called Janet old in episode one, as the other Housewives watch on disinterestedly, waiting for their respective book deals to be finalised. In the car park outside, Andrea will loiter with intent before being moved on by security.

As her party preparations continue, Janet pops into a cake shop. Surrounded by dozens upon dozens of cakes, she informs the owner that she's planning a birthday party. His sincere response is perhaps the best line of the episode:

"DON'T TELL ME! You need a cake."

Watch out Jackie Gillies, your position as RHOM's resident psychic may be under threat.

"I'm sorry Janet, we don't sell cakes here … TRICK! Oh, I crack me up. What's it like outside? I've never left this shop." Source: Supplied

Sitting down to discuss what sort cake Janet should order for her birthday, the baker uses all his best upselling techniques to flog Janet the most expensive creation he possibly can, literally scoffing in her face when she meekly asks how much it will all cost.

Her response to this heavy-handed salesmanship? A slightly desperate, "Would YOU like to come to my party?"

Janet, you're breaking our hearts.

It's party time, and the Housewives travel in pairs to the big event. In Jackie and Chyka's car, the mood is buoyant, with the pair caught up in a cacophony of girl-talk and clinking champagne glasses. Over in Gina and Lydia's car, the atmosphere is … frostier.

*tumbleweed* **but, like, a really fancy tumbleweed with rhinestones and a fake tan** Source: Supplied

After what feels like about three years of increasingly tense silence, these two old friends break the ice.

Gina: "How's [husband] Andrew?"

Lydia: "He's goo-"

Gina: "WELL I heard you two separated. From two different sources. Independently. THREE, actually."

Lydia: "NUP."

We would have no qualms about jumping from this moving vehicle and rolling under the nearest bus. Sweet relief.

At the party, Janet announces that a new Housewife, Gamble, will be joining the fun.

"Her real name is Gamble, she's had it since birth, she IS a real person," Janet insists, helpfully nipping any scurrilous 'Gamble-is-actually-a-Roomba-in-a-wig' gossip in the bud before it even starts.

So, here's how we're introduced to Gamble Breaux. She lives in Mount Eliza, where she spends her days:

a) Sprawled on a rug in front of her fireplace grooming her teacup Pomeranian:

DREAM LYF Source: Supplied

b) Practicing her ribbon-twirling (it's a real sport, haters back off) by the pool:

DREAM. GODDAMN. LYF Source: Supplied

c) Chilling on her yacht with the elderly eye surgeon squeeze she met on E-Harmony:

She bagged a surgeon with a yacht? Last time we met a guy off the internet we had our own episode of Catfish Source: Supplied

During this intro package — the fabulousness of which will only truly be understood by future generations studying the greatest achievements of the 21st century — Gamble reveals she used to be a model in Singapore. As mysterious backstories go, this is up there with Regina George's "I hear she does car commercials in Japan".

Back to reality. Gamble rocks up at the party and immediately puts her foot in it with Jackie when she asks how long she's been working as a psychic: "Twelve years? Oh, I thought you were just mucking around!"

Jackie takes the dis well, mind you.

"Some of the other ladies might not like her straightforwardness, but you know … life's one big Gamble." Season two drinking game: Do a shot every time somebody awkwardly shoehorns a 'Gamble' pun into a sentence. Be sure to pre-book your ambulance.

Next, Janet heralds Gina's arrival at the party with the following announcement: "Ohhhh, attention everyone! Stage right! Drag queen has entered the building!"

Gamble's response suggests she's got a lot to learn about this show.

Yeah that's the point, babes. Source: Supplied

Gamble and Gina start chatting, and — surprise, surprise — they instantly get on.

"Gina is so gorgeous! If I was gay I'd turn for her," Gamble gushes. Wait, so if you were a lesbian you'd turn straight for her? This is confusing.

We're then introduced to the second new housewife, Pettifleur, who's depicted in her introduction package standing on her balcony high above Melbourne, sipping from an antique teacup and plotting world domination like some sort of campy Batman villain.

"One day, all this will be mine. First against the wall: anyone who doesn't like my snakeskin coat." Source: Supplied

Pettifleur was born in Sri Lanka and came to Australia as a teenager, carving out a successful career in property development. She lives in a swanky Collins Street penthouse with her partner, her sons, and — wait a minute! Could this be?

Who'd going to launch the Kickstarter to free Leah from Pettifleur's penthouse? Source: Supplied


The part of 'put-upon housekeeper' in Real Housewives season two will apparently be played by Pettifleur's harangued houseslave, Leah. Or, as Pettifleur calls her, as if summoning a disobedient pet: "LE-ARRR! LE-ARRR! LE-ARRR!"

Back at Janet's party, Pettifleur makes quite the entrance — and she knows it. Here's how she sizes up the other Housewives:

"I know they're all thinking: What does this fabulous bitch have?"

Making small talk with her new pals, Pettifleur fills Jackie and Gina in on her background: While Sri-Lankan born, she's also got Swiss, Dutch and Portuguese heritage.

"So, what language do you actually speak?" Jackie asks the woman she's been speaking English to all evening.

Pettifleur, stony-faced: "English."

Jackie appears confused.

"Don't say Zimbabwe, don't say Zimbabwe" Source: Supplied

Party over, the episode finishes with a scene that seems more suited to Twin Peaks than Real Housewives. The next day, Janet meets Carlos for a little day-date in the park, where he's walking his … dog? Guess again.

Carlos tenderly caresses Janet's competition. Source: Supplied

Carlos is the proud owner of a giant pet pig, who he's dressed rather saucily in a feathered, flapper-style headband. Ignoring horrified looks from passers by who just don't understand their love, Carlos whispers tender words in his companion-swine's ear.

"Gorgeous girl … you're looking like a real lady today."

Carlos just got a LOT more interesting.

Janet tries not to look shocked that her date with Carlos comes with a big side of bacon, but her resolve is tested when he casually drops into the conversation that he and his four-legged lady friend usually sleep in the same bed.

But Janet doesn't have time to contemplate a polyamorous relationship involving a 1920s jazz-pig — she's got bigger issues on her mind. Namely, she's finding it hard to move past some "not very nice gossip" she's heard about Gamble's mysterious past.

"Mmm, I've heard many stories about Gamble," Carlos confirms.

The words 'Singapore modelling career' suddenly sound rather sinister …

Next week: Janet confronts Gamble about the 'many stories' she's heard.

Gina, Jackie, Chyka, Janet, Lydia, Gamble and Petit Fleur in Sydney. Source: News Corp Australia

Real Housewives of Melbourne airs every Sunday, 8.30pm on Arena. Check back as soon as episodes air each week for our full recap.

In the meantime, join our recapper Nick Bond on Twitter (@bondnickbond) to workshop how we can emancipate Pettifleur's poor housekeeper. #freeleah

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

The new language of I’m A Celeb

Stampede? ... the all-in trial is involved a bunch of tracker elephants "chasing" the celebrities. Picture: Channel 10 Source: Supplied

Tonight on I'm A Celebrity - Chris and Julia explain the Elephant Stampede trial.

EVER since they started calling this veldt a jungle, I feel like I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here has been taking bold liberties with the English language.

There are a lot of words being bandied about that are only clinging to their original definitions by the flimsiest of holds, not least "celebrity", "food", and "craft".

In fact, words are a problem throughout this episode. For example, in the first all-in challenge, in which Chrissie and Andrew choose two competing teams by selecting celebrities using the 'captain's pick' method (made "popular" by Tony Abbott), Merv Hughes is the last to be chosen.

Daddy Daddo explains that "Merv is big enough and ugly enough to cope with it", and that sentence is clearly four words too long at the end.

The team-choosing opens up a lot of to-camera analysis of various relationships within the group.

Anna is a bit miffed that Freddie "Frair-ie Flin-off" Flintoff hasn't even asked her what she does yet — a true shame, as most of Australia doesn't know either.

Joel complains that there's a bit of a 'boy's club' emerging with Frair-ie, Merv, Daddy Daddo and Barry, who between them have enough hair to cover almost one and a half medium-sized humans.

All of the celebrities talk through which weeks they've found the hardest, which brings me to the first truly ill-defined word: "hardship". Anna is CLEARLY floating around on an inflatable pool doughnut, and everybody knows that those things are the most fun ever. "Hardship".

The next word that really needs to take a long hard look at itself is "stampede". The all-in trial is called 'Celebrity Stampede', and will involve a bunch of tracker elephants "chasing" the celebrities as they sprint from tree to tree in the "jungle", collecting stars.

We're told the elephants have been rescued from actual, non-inflatable-pool-doughnut-style hardship, but I even have to put "rescued" in inverted commas, because they're forced to take massive trunky whiffs of both Joel and Barry's three-week-old head-bandannas in order to get their scent.

Then, one by one, the teams are racing through grassy trails towards trees, collecting celebrities and stars (distinction intentional) as they go. Barry takes a wrong turn and has to go back! Mareen's star gets stuck in a tree and Tyson has to climb it! Is there time? Will they escape the thundering quadrupeds? Will they ever get enough stars before it's too late?


Yes, they will.

Star power ... the competitors collected red stars. Picture: Channel 10 Source: Supplied

They will also have time to shower, solve a Rubik's cube, and illuminate a 13th-century manuscript.

These elephants are "stampeding" in the same way that I'm "charmed by medical photographs of scabs". The celebrities scramble. The elephants amble. The celebrities puff and gasp their way across the finishing line, a mere four to six weeks before the elephants do.

In announcing the challenge winners, Dr Chris reports to everyone that both teams managed to avoid the elephants, a surprise to nobody but particularly to all of the people not mildly or recently inconvenienced by elephants. "Stampede".

Showtime ... Dr Chris said everyone managed to avoid the elephants. Picture: Channel 10 Source: Supplied

The winning team — Daddy Daddo's lot — get to spend an evening in a jungle bar, and I'm pleased to admit that the word "bar" is aptly applied here. It has all the elements I've come to expect from a bar — comfortable seats, beer, wine, cocktails, greasy food, monumentally terrible karaoke, and the distant sound of monkeys.

The only thing missing from my classic understanding of the word "bar" is an Englishman with his pants around his ankles, but that's just because Frair-ie Flin-off donated his spot to the clearly thirsty Maureen.

That woman is sucking back glasses of bubbly like she's the only one at a brickie's barbecue with a bottle opener.

At this point we also realise that the word "cook" is barely adequate to describe Julie. She cooks. She knits. She sings. She steals three centimetre knobs of ginger, putting all of her campmates in peril of punishment. Piquant, delicious ginger. I understand, Julie. Sometimes I, too, would take risks for a root like that.

'Ginger ninja' ... Julie Goodwin with a piece of contraband ginger. Picture: Channel 10 Source: Channel 10

Meanwhile, back at the comparatively quiet loser's camp, things are as interesting as a blank wall at Centrelink. Better not vote any interesting people out, right punters?

We have brief fireside interlude wherein each celebrity names and describes the charities they're playing for, an important reminder that this game is about more than just eating maggots and

breathing in powdered leopard dung and using hedgehogs as toilet paper and sticking beetles up your nose.

Dinner ... Julie Goodwin whips up a meal with a piece of contraband ginger. Picture: Channel 10 Source: Channel 10

On tonight's I'm a Celebrity - Julie Goodwin steals some ginger - will she get away with it?

Interlude over, and we finally find out why shares in swimwear and earplugs are about to plummet.

Lauren, primo shade-thrower, shrill rule-screeching banshee and eater of poo-cake, is eliminated.

The camp just lost one of its most loved and interesting inhabitants.


Jo Thornely doesn't get enough attention at her day job, so she writes for various outlets, takes up way too much bandwidth on the internet, and loves it when you explain her jokes back to her on Twitter. Follow her on Twitter @JoThornely

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More
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