杭州龙凤 22/05/2019

Time for truth: how to face the end of a life lived well

Polglase Kylie Polglase with her mother Rosemary and her dog Toby. ”Everybody dies [yet] every time I talk about it, I am treated as if I am being negative.” Photo: Wolter Peeters
Shanghai night field

Even as a six-year-old, Kylie Polglase was comfortable talking about her own death from cystic fibrosis, a terminal lung condition.

”If I don’t do all this treatment, I will get sick and die,” she wrote in a picture book more than 20 years ago.

Now a frail 26-year-old, Ms Polglase, of Cherrybrook, is using her limited breath to convince others that talking about death – and creating an advance-care directive on how we want to die – should be a normal part of life.

This week she spoke at the launch of a plan by NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner to make discussions about the quality of our deaths as common as those about the quality of our lives.

Making an advance-care plan should be like making a will, or deciding to become an organ donor, Ms Skinner said.

It is something we should talk about in healthy midlife or early in an illness with our families, friends, legal advisors, carers and medical practitioners, she said.

Ms Skinner’s mother, a nurse, made her children promise there ”would be no heroic interventions”.

Yet the government’s action plan finds many decisions about end-of-life care are made in a crisis, often resulting in unwanted and often unwarranted life-sustaining measures. It will include an education campaign to encourage doctors, lawyers and aged-care providers to discuss and suggest advanced-care directives, changes to ensure that advanced-care plans are incorporated in all health care records, and the introduction of a standard form to replace the many different ones being used.

Currently, those who do feel comfortable talking about their own deaths, including the chronically ill like Ms Polglase, are often treated as if they are crazy or suicidal.

”Everybody dies. It is not like I am different,” Ms Polglase said. ”Yet it is very weird that every time I talk about it, I am treated as if I am being negative or depressive or people say ‘Have you thought about talking to somebody about it?”’

Although she is an advocate for advance-care plans, she doesn’t yet have one of her own.

”I’ve recently had discussions about the decision I want to make and that’s been met with, ‘Have you thought about seeing a psychiatrist?’ It’s just very odd.”

Doctors tell her that she doesn’t need an advanced-care plan yet, and that she has plenty of options.

Ms Polglase is relatively well now. But the lungs she received in a double lung transplant are failing, she has had a stroke and lost the sight in one eye, and she suffers from conditions such as osteoporosis and arthritis, conditions that are most commonly associated with advanced age.

She’s outlived most of her friends who received new lungs, and has seen many awful deaths. ”All the losses I have witnessed have influenced my thoughts. It seems very rare that we get what we want at the end.”

When Ms Polglase got her new lungs, she also got asthma. ”My worst fear is that I will end up in intensive care, or in an ambulance, or in an emergency department room, and they’re going to resuscitate me or artificially keep me alive, and it will be against everything I want.”

She is now concentrating on improving the quality of her life, instead of the quantity. Before the transplant, Ms Polglase had never eaten yum cha, owned a dog or caught a bus to the city. Now she has.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

杭州龙凤 22/05/2019

Magpies beaming as star returns

Adelaide’s Nathan Van Berlo tackles Collingwood’s Dayne Beams. Photo: Sebastian CostanzoThe come-from-behind win against Adelaide would certainly have put a smile on Nathan Buckley’s face on Friday night, but the return of Dayne Beams would have had him positively beaming.
Shanghai night field

The importance of Beams’ long-awaited return from a quadriceps injury to the Pies’ flag chances can’t be overstated.

A fully fit Beams will be a key factor as the Pies look to build momentum into the finals, or even snare a top-four berth, and he showed exactly what the side had been missing during his long injury layoff with 25 possessions in the hard-fought, 27-point win against the Crows at the MCG.

The 23-year-old suffered the frustrating quad injury on the eve of the home-and-away season, but was initially thought set to miss two to four weeks.

But he re-injured the muscle at training in the lead-in to the round-four clash against Richmond and was put in cotton wool until finally proving his fitness with a best-on-ground, 26-disposal effort in the VFL last week.

Beams started on the bench – he would do so at the start of every term – and came on to the cheers of Collingwood fans at the four-minute mark, but looked understandably rusty early in his first AFL game of the season.

He didn’t get his first touch until the 13th minute, but then he was away. The reigning Copeland Trophy winner displayed his trademark run and carry and was soon trading handballs with running teammates and providing the linking run that has been missing as Buckley’s side struggled to recapture its early season form.

He had seven touches for the first quarter and even showed his delight at being back among the cut and thrust of the contest by being a willing participant in a bit of argy bargy after the first-quarter siren.

As the Pies worked into the game, so did Beams who looked increasingly assured with the ball in hand.

His class on his return to the fray was underscored by his disposal efficiency of 84 per cent, while he also had four clearances and laid four tackles.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

杭州龙凤 22/05/2019

Bumper harvest as producers celebrate best crop in a decade

The good oil: Gerard Healy, farm manager at Boundary Bend’s Boort estate in north-west Victoria, examines his trees. Photo: Luis Enrique AscuiPlenty of summer sun and hardly any autumn rain left the limbs of Margi Kirkby’s trees in Moree sagging with plump olives by harvest time in March.
Shanghai night field

Now, with each of her 95,000 trees cleaned of olives, Ms Kirkby, of Gwydir Grove in the state’s north-west, can safely proclaim 2013 a bumper year. Her groves yielded 170,000 litres of extra virgin olive oil, up 70 per cent on last year’s figure.

”This year was definitely good and last year was no doubt bad,” she said. ”The olives don’t like a wet harvest because the rain washes the flavour out. It was dry this time around.”

Stories of bountiful crops are being echoed by olive farmers across Australia, with NSW producers on track to hit 1.1 million litres of olive oil this month.

An unprecedented 19 million litres of olive oil is expected to be squeezed from this year’s national harvest, which ends this month, nearly double last year’s effort of 10.5 million litres, the Australian Olive Association said.

Rob McGavin, co-founder of Cobram Estate, Victoria’s leading olive oil producer, is celebrating bumper crops after two disastrous years of heavy rain and flooding, which at one point forced him to navigate groves spread across 6500 hectares in the Murray Valley in a rowboat.

This year’s crop is the best he has seen in a decade, both in size and quality, he said. ”We have enjoyed perfect sunny days and cool nights during the season, and amazing growing conditions for our olives.”

Mr McGavin, who is also a director of the Australian Olive Association, expects Victoria to lift its production from 5.5 million litres last year to 14 million litres, after seeing his trees bear twice as much fruit.

NSW is Cobram Estate’s biggest market, he said. ”Our olive oil is simply just from squeezing the fruit, just like a freshly squeezed orange juice,” he said.

”Olive oil should smell fresh, like cut grass. If it’s anything old like oil, like cheese, that’s bad. It should leave your mouth clean, not leave your mouth oily,” he said.

Steve Goodchild, owner of Pukara Estate in the Hunter Valley, labelled his harvest of 380 tonnes as ”average”. He began machine harvesting in mid to late April when the fruit became just over 20 per cent oil.

”Our fruit ripened early and there was no rain over harvest – it was great,” he said. ”Olives are quite prone to having an off and on year and this year the cycle is on the better side.

”The Hunter produces milder … less pungent oils. So, again, timing is crucial when managing the harvesting window.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

杭州龙凤 22/05/2019

What to drink … with braises

Lamb shanks.UP TO $20
Shanghai night field

Hoddles Creek Pinot Noir 2012, $20While pinot noir is often the drink of choice with duck, it’s also incredibly versatile – brilliant with slow-cooked lamb shanks with Middle Eastern spices. The 2012 Hoddles Creek pinot noir will gain complexity over the next five years or so, while its acidity and restraint make for excellent drinking now. Subtle, with a pretty nose, fragrant with forest-floor, cherries and earthy notes that follow through on the palate. It’s medium-weighted, tangy, with fine tannins but plenty of depth. Let it breathe for a few hours and it will unfurl more detail. From Randall the Wine Merchants, Newtown.

UP TO $30

Lo Stesso Fiano 2012, $30Winemakers Georgia Roberts (wine rep by day) and Emily McNally (of Occam’s Razor and Jasper Hill) have collaborated for their second vintage, making fiano with fruit sourced from a well-known Heathcote vineyard, and it’s a beauty. This smells of creamed honey, stone fruit and ginger spice with Mediterranean herbs. While it’s quite a luscious full-bodied white, it’s not overripe or heavy as there’s fine acidity driving it. The palate is fantastic: creamy, slick, with loads of texture, incredibly moreish, with just the right savoury appeal. Drink with the Turkish braised eggplant dish, imam bayildi. From Rathdowne Cellars.


Comando G La Bruja Averia 2011, $38Love the name of this from three young producers who love garnacha, calling themselves Comando G, after a Japanese cartoon. Under that label they just make garnacha, with the top, rare and expensive Rumbo al Norte an astonishingly beautiful wine. Yet the ”village” La Bruja Averia is delicious, too. The fruit is sourced from vines aged for 30 to 50 years in the Caldalso do los Vidrios region of Madrid. It’s perfumed, floral, with cola and liquorice notes; savoury despite bright juicy fruit. Medium-bodied with fine tannins, it’s spot-on with braised oxtail. From City Wine Shop.


Thomas Wines Kiss Shiraz 2011, $60Kiss is one of Andrew Thomas’ individual vineyard wines and its flagship shiraz. It’s the Hunter Valley at its very best. There’s nothing heavy, overextracted or harsh about this shiraz, with its core of beautiful sweet fruit, and it smells of crushed red berries and rosemary. There’s spice and tangy good acidity melding with the plump, ripe tannins. Still tight, with an attractive herbal edge, but a poised shiraz with power underneath. Will age for another decade or enjoy now with braised beef cheeks. From thomaswines上海夜生活m.au

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

杭州龙凤 22/05/2019

Legal drug hardest of all to kick, study finds

The synthetic drug ”bath salts” is more addictive than any other drug, including methamphetamine, a landmark study has found.
Shanghai night field

Use of the so-called legal high has skyrocketed in NSW in recent years, causing at least one death and prompting a state government inquiry and a raft of retail bans. But information on bath salts, which mimics the high of cocaine, is limited and much of the public and political focus has been on synthetic cannabis.

Results from a laboratory study by the Scripps Research Institute in California revealed that the drug can be up to 10 times more addictive than methamphetamine.

In the study, rats were capable of dosing themselves intravenously with either MDPV, often called bath salts, or methamphetamine simply by pressing a lever. Overall, the rats averaged about 60 lever presses for a dose of methamphetamine compared with an average 600 presses for a dose of MDPV.

The researchers concluded that MDPV posed a ”substantial threat for compulsive use that is potentially greater than that for methamphetamine”.

MDPV showed ”greater potency and efficacy than methamphetamine”, the study said. Despite the alarming findings, just four synthetic cocaine products are on the Department of Fair Trading’s list of 19 banned synthetic drugs. The rest are synthetic cannabis products.

A recent state government inquiry recommended outlawing eight ”families” of synthetic drugs but all were cannabinoids.

Makers of bath salts tweak their recipes to circumvent illegal drug classifications so the drug remains legal. However, Eros, the adult shop association that has campaigned in support of synthetic cannabis, will not touch bath salts.

An industry ”code of practice” drafted by Eros last month proposed allowing synthetic cannabis to be sold to adults with proper warnings but forbade selling bath salts.

”We are really down about those substances. They can be really dangerous,” Eros co-ordinator Robbie Swan said.

Last year, Central Coast truck driver Glenn Punch, 44, and his partner, Rachael Hickel, 42, went into a psychotic and paranoid fit after injecting bath salts, which Ms Hickel claims was sold as a herbal high in an adult shop. Mr Punch went into cardiac arrest and died.

Ms Hickel has since launched a campaign to ban the products.

Drug and Alcohol Research Training director Paul Dillon said little was known about bath salts or MDPV.

”We’re getting so many new substances coming onto the market and we just can’t respond fast enough,” he said. ”We are so 10 steps behind and simply banning things is ludicrous.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.