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杭州龙凤 21/09/2019

Victims disgusted by bishop’s joke at sex abuse inquiry

Admitted to have played down sexual abuse by priests: Bishop Michael Malone. Photo: Simone De PeakNot everyone laughed when Bishop Michael Malone joked in the witness box at the Newcastle sex abuse inquiry that he should have destroyed documents relating to criminal priests in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese.
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There was disgust in the public gallery, where victims of paedophile priests and their families have spent several weeks following the evidence on whether the Catholic Church and police covered up sex abuse allegations.

Counsel assisting the inquiry Julia Lonergan, SC, asked the bishop about Catholic canon law, which requires bishops to keep files on criminal cases involving priests at their dioceses secret, locked and closely guarded. He agreed the church law requires bishops each year to destroy documents where the guilty party has died or 10 years have passed since sentencing.

Asked whether he had followed these rules, Bishop Malone replied: ”No, I didn’t destroy any documents in my time as bishop.” Then he joked: ”Perhaps I should have.”

Gesturing at the hefty volumes of evidence laid out on the witness stand around him, he added: ”They’re all here.”

A little later, Ms Lonergan asked him to clarify that his comments were jocular.

”Only in so far as we might not be in this court room now had I destroyed them”, he said.

Speaking outside the court, Newcastle man Steven Smith, 52, said the comments were offensive and hurtful.

”You know, we are talking about people’s lives here,” Mr Smith said. He said he had been abused by an Anglican priest as a boy.

”I know people who are struggling personally because of this process and what is being revealed,” Mr Smith said. ”It certainly should not be joked about.”

Bishop Malone admitted he had played down sexual abuse by priests to defend the church’s reputation.

He said he had regretted that sexual abuse issues were ”impinging on the stability of the church” so ”in my earlier time particularly, I tried to prevent that from causing damage to the church by trying to play it down, perhaps, a little”.

He gave evidence on Friday that sexual abuse was ”very divisive” within the church. He said he had decided, in 2004, he ”could not sit on the fence” so had decided to look after the victims.

He said he had met resistance from priests within the diocese after he changed his stance. Asked whether this had improved with time, he said: ”I would say not.”

The inquiry continues.

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

杭州龙凤 21/09/2019

Lost in translation: famous songs can be given whole new meaning

You think arguing over whether Annie Lennox was singing ”Sweet dreams are made of cheese / Who am I to disagree?” is just for purveyors of dairy products?
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Or whether Rihanna “found Dove in a soapless place” makes any less sense than other lyrics the Bajan singer has uttered?

Ha! Get back in line.

For it’s a truth universally acknowledged that mondegreens – for that is now the widely accepted term for misheard lyrics – can be serious matters.

And not just because telling a particularly oafish fan of Cold Chisel that there’s a worrying hint of bestiality in one of the band’s best-known hits (”cheap wine and a three-legged goat”) could get your face rearranged.

A probably unscientific and definitely questionable poll by online streaming service Spotify claims that, in Britain at least, the Eurythmics mondegreen from Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) is the most misquoted lyric, ahead of Rihanna’s. And who are we to disagree? But there’s plenty more where that came from.

Most famous, perhaps, is the mistaken (or is it?) belief that Jimi Hendrix sang “scuse me while I kiss this guy” instead of “scuse me while I kiss the sky”. And I suspect many people who saw the film clip with the vacant-eyed models playing around Robert Palmer thought it perfectly natural to hear “might as well face it, you’re a dick with a glove”.

But yea, verily it is written that wherever two or more words are put together, there’s every chance someone will mis-hear. Yes, including national anthems. Who knew there was a personal message in Advance Australia Fair that may or may not advise “Australians all let us ring Joyce”? Or with an alternative national song, wasn’t the bald-headed Peter Garrett asking a perfectly reasonable question in Blue Sky Mine when he sang “Who’s going to shave me?”

And can you be sure that James Reyne (famously parodied on The Late Show singing unintelligibly, except for the line ”and something about a beach”) is not actually saying “bew-be-bup pitbull” in the song allegedly called Beautiful People? You know it makes sense.

History will probably record this as apocryphal but there’s something right about the story that when non-French-speaking fans listened to the Beatles’ bilingual Michelle, instead of hearing ”Michelle, ma belle / Sont des mots qui vont tres bien ensemble / Tres bien ensemble”, what they were hearing was ”Michelle, ma belle / Some say monkeys play piano well / Play piano well”. Hey, it’s not as though Paul McCartney was a stranger to stupid lyrics even when he was trying to be serious.

Sometimes, though, it’s best just to go with the flow, to recognise the essential truth in the misheard lyric.

That’s why, if you think about the political implications of The Israelites by Desmond Dekker, a song about oppression of the black man, you really should feel that the chorus declares “oh, my ears are alight”.

That’s righteous, brother.

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

杭州龙凤 21/09/2019

Crows suffer double trouble

Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson maps out strategy at quarter-time. Photo: Sebastian CostanzoAdelaide’s season suffered twin blows at the MCG on Friday night with the 27-point loss to Collingwood making its chances of mounting a late finals run slim and an injury to Patrick Dangerfield making it nigh on impossible for the Crows to make the eight.
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The Adelaide star sprained his right shoulder in a fierce collision with Pie Sam Dwyer in the first quarter and was clearly in pain and limited for the rest of the contest.

“I grabbed the doctor just before I came in because I knew that would be the question and he said that he could play next week, but the reality is he could be out for two to three weeks,” Brenton Sanderson said after the match.

“That’s probably what a sprained a/c joint [demands].”

With six wins and nine losses after 16 rounds, the Crows’ unlikely finals chances hinge on beating one, or more likely both, of their next two opponents.

They host the equal-top Cats next and then travel to Patersons Stadium to take on Ross Lyon’s well-drilled Dockers the week after with that enormous task made even tougher with the likely absence of their star playmaker.

Sanderson said that he had considered subbing Dangerfield out of the game, but the club doctor had assured him there was little risk of the onballer doing any further damage.

The coach did, however, move Dangerfield out of the firing line in the middle of the ground and into the forward line for most of the second and third terms before putting him back on the ball as the Crows made one last desperate lunge for the win.

“I just didn’t feel comfortable putting him in the middle, but then – and this is the character of this player – he grabs me at three-quarter time and says ‘just put me in there – I won’t let you down’,” Sanderson said.

“It’s a sign of an incredible young player who loves his footy club and wants to win.

“Maybe we should have done that earlier, but I just didn’t feel comfortable putting him in there. You could see the pain he was in with his arm and his shoulder.”

Adelaide went into the round two wins outside the eight and will drop three wins behind if Port Adelaide can muster an upset win over Hawthorn at AAMI Stadium, but Sanderson said his team wouldn’t throw in the towel.

“Clubs now can go two ways [in this situation] – you either drop your bottom lip and you give up or you put your shoulders back, you keep your chin up and you look for ways to get better as an individual and as a team,” he said.

“I just told the players that we’ve got to ensure that we come to work on Monday and we still keep looking for ways to get better as a football team.

“The boys are disappointed tonight, they’re very shattered in the rooms, and I’m a disappointed coach, but we’ll come to work on Monday and we’ll keep working hard to get better.

“There’s still seven games to go. We’re not going to give up and that’s the most important message for our fans. This football team, and me as coach, we’re not going to roll over and die now.”

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

杭州龙凤 21/09/2019

New injury worry for Magpierecruit

Nathan Buckley gives Heath Shaw some advice. Photo: Sebastian CostanzoJust when he was starting to feel at home at Collingwood recruit Clinton Young is now facing another nervous wait to discover if his frustrating season will again be interrupted by injury.
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The former Hawk looked as if he belonged in just his second game in the black and white on Friday night, collecting 21 disposals, five inside 50s and four rebound 50s during the Pies hard-fought 27-point win over Adelaide at the MCG.

However the 27-year-old wingman finished the game with ice on his hamstring and cause for concern after relaying to the medical staff that he felt pain in the area after sprinting late in the final quarter.

Pies coach Nathan Buckley said they did not know how badly Young had injured his hamstring, however he said the early indicators were not promising.

“He’s an experienced player and he knows his body pretty well and he doesn’t like what it feels like,” Buckley said of Young, who had to wait 15 rounds to get his chance because of a variety of injuries already this year.

“We haven’t got any confirmation, but clearly he was quite disappointed at the end of the match. He is definitely a player that has had a frustrating season,” he said.

The Pies have a ready-made replacement to step up in Harry O’Brien, whose spot as an attacking link between defence and attack has been effectively filled by Young in the last two weeks, while O’Brien has battled highly-publicised personal issues.

If another potential injury setback for Young was the negative out of Friday night’s win, the positive was Scott Pendlebury.

The classy midfielder amassed a career-high 42 disposals (16 contested possessions), had 14 score involvements and kicked two late goals to lift his team to victory when Adelaide threatened to steal the match with a gallant last-quarter fightback.

Buckley said Pendlebury was entering that bracket of elite midfielders who had the ability to overpower any tagger in any game.

“You sit back in the box and the eyebrows go up,” Buckley said.

“He’s had a very strong season, he’s been able to withstand the tag basically week-in, week-out,” he said.

“His contested ball numbers suggest that it is pretty hard to stop him because he really dictates the contest.

“And to be able to finish with a couple of goals, one on the left from 50, one on the right from 50, it almost looks too easy.”

Pendlebury was assisted by teammate Dane Swan, who drew Adelaide tagger Nathan Van Berlo in the second half after gathering 22 disposals in the first half.

Dayne Beams also got through his first game back after missing the first 15 rounds with a serious quadriceps injury, and Buckley said he was pleased with his comeback, which included 25 disposals and four clearances.

“He actually looked stronger and got better as the game wore on,” the coach said.

“His touch is excellent. He will be better for it.”

If there was another concern for Collingwood aside from Young, it was the goal-kicking of Travis Cloke.

Although he got plenty of the ball, taking 11 marks to go with 18 disposals, the Pies power forward finished with just 2.5 from nearly a dozen shots at goal – barely making the distance or spraying several shots from in or just outside 50.

Cloke struggled to gets his hands on the ball early, however came into the game when Ben Reid moved forward and spread the defence.

For the second week in a row, key defender Reid sparked a resurgence after going forward, booting two crucial goals and finishing with seven inside 50s, however Buckley said he did not have any plans to move the swingman close to goal on a permanent basis.

“Right now, I think Reidy going forward is something in our back pocket, it’s not a one-wood. It’s not our main choice, at this stage,” Buckley said.

At 10-5 and having won five of their last six matches, the Pies have the chance to push for a top four spot over the next two weeks with back-to-back games against Gold Coast (away) and Greater Western Sydney (home).

However Buckley’s message after the game was that his team needed to fix its slow starts after the Pies were again blown out in the opening minutes against the Crows and conceded a big lead, just as they did against Carlton the week before.

“If you give the opposition a sniff, it just makes it harder yards to get the game back on your terms and then control it from that point on,” Buckley said.

“Regardless of the opposition, we just need to be playing our brand of footy from the opening siren . . . we’ve just got to keep concentrating on playing our best footy for longer.”

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

杭州龙凤 21/09/2019

Swans and Giants put equal faith in youth

Sydney have fielded as many first-gamers this season as Greater Western Sydney despite the raft of draft concessions handed to the competition’s newest club.
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In what is likely to come as a surprise to many, the Swans are matching the Giants when it comes to blooding new talent this year, with five each, but it has not stopped them from building a strong foundation for a tilt at back-to-back flags.

The contrasting fortunes of the two teams is due in no small part to the vastly different age demographics of their lists.

Whereas the Swans have an even blend of youth and experience the Giants, having decided to stockpile the best kids in the country in the past few drafts, own a list dominated by second-year youngsters.

Sydney’s long injury toll has forced the Swans to turn to youth, but their five debutants this year have had the benefit of coming into senior ranks surrounded by experience – a luxury the Giants do not have.

For example, when Lachie Whitfield made his senior debut in round one the No.1 draft pick had just two 100-gamers to turn to for on-field direction whereas the rookie-listed Dane Rampe had 19 premiership Swans giving him guidance.

Swans coach John Longmire said the leadership of veterans such as Jude Bolton, Ryan O’Keefe, Jarrad McVeigh, Kieren Jack and co had been invaluable in helping the club’s five debutants make the transition to the firsts. ”It does help those blokes to see how they train during a pre-season, how they prepare from week to week, how they interact in meetings, how they come out on the weekend and compete week in, week out,” Longmire said.

Winning also helps.

”If you’re playing a consistent brand of footy, and you come into a team and enjoy the fruits of your labour by working, and understanding that therefore leads to the end result, is important for the younger kids,” Longmire said.

”It’s been something we wanted to do the last few years – inject the younger players into our team.”

The long-term injuries carried by several key Swans has meant Rampe, Brandon Jack, Tom Mitchell and Jed Lamb have been able to string together multiple games rather than yo-yoing to and from the reserves.

Again, the ability of their leaders to shoulder the load has taken the pressure off their youngsters.

”That’s meant the younger players coming into the team can play that role without having that pressure on them even though we’ve had some significant players out of the team,” Longmire said.

”It’s clearly not ideal but what it does do is provide some opportunities, and every team goes through it.”

The big test will come later in the season and in the finals but Longmire has seen enough to suggest they can handle the added pressure.

”That’s what we’re seeing at the moment and we’ve been really pleased with those kids,” he said. ”To be able to get used to playing senior football with men, against men, in front of crowds is a good thing.”

Giants list manager Stephen Silvagni said this week he was comfortable with the club’s recruiting philosophy even if it brought short-term pain.

”I’m really proud to see what they’re doing,” Silvagni said.

”I often speak to other clubs and they often give praise for what the group’s been able to do. They’re 20-year-old young men and they’re coming up against seasoned athletes. It’s a brutal game and it generally takes them four to five years to get AFL bodies.”

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

杭州龙凤 22/08/2019

Mobsters Inc.

Big hitters: Paul McCarthy and Amanda Bishop. Photo: ABC TVFrom its opening frames, it is clear there is something very, very different about Ray Donovan (Showcase, Tuesday, 8.30pm). The writing is meticulous, but so is the writing on so many shows. As viewers, eating freely from a buffet that includes Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and Dexter, brilliant writing is almost passe. It shouldn’t be, but in the midst of such an embarrassment of riches, it’s easy to be … meh.
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Liev Schreiber – it’s pronounced Lee-ev, in case you were wondering – is Ray Donovan, a ”fixer” for the rich and famous in Los Angeles. And for a moment it looks like Ray Donovan – the show, not the man – might be another one of those almost intriguing but ultimately shallow wrapped-up-in-itself LA stories. Entourage, anyone?

But then we meet Ray Donovan – the man, not the show – and things start to get interesting. This is one deeply, deeply flawed guy. So flawed he makes Don Draper look like St Peter. His siblings, Terry (Eddie Marsan) and Bunchy (Dash Mihok), seem so impossibly damaged, each in their own way, that they wrap elder brother Ray in ever more intriguing layers of complexity.

And then, onto that, writer Ann Biderman drops Jon Voight as Mickey, Ray’s dad, whose return to the family has all the cold discomfort of a Mafia don’s final kiss. This is a family who will be forever altered by the sins of the father, and the resulting rage of the son.

In that sense, we might be looking at the first show to properly inherit the mantle of The Sopranos, the crime drama that is perhaps HBO’s greatest contribution to the genre, Sex and the City and crimes against fashion notwithstanding. Ray Donovan isn’t a pure crime show, however, and The Sopranos has left mighty big concrete shoes to fill.

Seemingly worlds away – change of continent, change of accent, change of genre, change of tone – is the ABC’s new foray into political satire, Wednesday Night Fever (ABC1, Wednesday, 9.30pm). Sketch comedy is the bastard child of sitcom, so this sits less easily on the national mantle.

The first episode was given a hasty rewrite at the 11th hour because of the tectonic shift in the political landscape, so much of the action was driven by Paul McCarthy as Kevin Rudd and Amanda Bishop as Julia Gillard. Both deliver accomplished studies of their targets.

Some of the impersonations were a little less entire, notably Kim Kardashian and Ruby Rose, but both are ripe targets for satire. Taking potshots at Shane Warne is lazier, and depends on a mostly outdated suite of characteristics. The parody of Clive Palmer seemed like much more fun.

”Downton Abbott” might have been the debut episode’s finest moment, or even the sight of Dave Eastgate pushed into leather pants and a decidedly

heavy-metal motif, had it all not been followed by a Julia Gillard rendition of I Dreamed a Dream, the anthem from the musical Les Miserables, performed by Bishop. ”But the factions come at night,” she warbled, ”with the Murdoch press behind them.”

Sketch is a perfidious genre. It is often criticised for only getting it half right, an assessment that often ignores the fact that even the very best sketch comedies only get it half right. French & Saunders and The Fast Show were on the money only half the time.

Ditto Fast Forward and The Naked Vicar Show, Australia’s top shelf of older sketch shows. What is clear, though, is that Australia’s political establishment has turned itself into a national joke. And anyone brave enough to kick it deserves a round of applause.

Ruth Ritchie is on leave.

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

杭州龙凤 22/08/2019

Deals of the week: hanging on Hayman

Hayman Island.PRIVACY ASSURED
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Hayman, a luxury private island resort in the Great Barrier Reef, is offering four nights for the price of three for two people in a Pool Room, with daily buffet breakfast in the Azure restaurant, paddle-skiing, windsurfing and catamaran sailing, use of the gym, sauna and steam room, tennis, squash, golf-putting and driving, croquet and island walks.

For sale until August 31 for travel to December 20. Transfers are not included; subject to availability. Phone (07) 4940 1838; see hayman上海夜生活m.au.

CATS’ MEOW

Safari company &Beyond’s six-day South Africa big cat adventure includes two nights at historic Kirkman’s Kamp in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, famed for its leopard encounters, or two nights at &Beyond Ngala Private Game Reserve. Sharing unfenced borders with Kruger National Park, Ngala is known for regular sightings of large lion prides. The tour ends with three nights at one of four safari lodges at &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve, known for its cheetah viewing.

Until December 31, the adventure is priced from $2672 a person and includes five nights’ accommodation, all meals, house alcohol and beverages, and game drives. See andbeyond上海夜生活m.

WILDLIFE ON ICE

Peregrine’s 2014 Arctic brochure has just been released, and the company is offering up to 25 per cent off 2014 voyages when they are booked before July 31. A popular polar trip is the 11-day Spitsbergen Explorer, a cruise around Norway’s Svalbard archipelago with plenty of wildlife on the way. New trips are also on offer. See peregrineadventures上海夜生活m/arctic-2014-offer.

RECIPE FOR FOODIES

Travel Associates has a five-night holiday to Hong Kong with accommodation at the 4½-star Kowloon Hotel that includes private airport transfers, breakfast daily and a free upgrade to a Harbour View Room.

Also included is a Central and Sheung Wan Foodie Tour that explores six family-run hospitality and food-producing establishments, where participants sample the city’s distinct flavours.

The package is priced from $769 a person. For an extra $75 a person, a one-day Hong Kong Disneyland Park ticket can be added, or for an extra $80 a person, take a Lei Yue Mum Seafood Village Dinner Cruise.

The Kowloon Hotel is in the heart of Kowloon’s shopping district on Nathan Road and minutes from Victoria Harbour, the Star Ferry terminal and Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

The price is valid for travel November 18-December 20 and January 20-March 6, and for sale until September 30, unless sold out prior. Land only.

Phone 1800 044 066; see travel-associates上海夜生活m.au.

FIJI FANTASTIC

This Fiji holiday package includes more than $1500 of extras: unlimited golf, a full-day cruise to South Sea Island and to one of four other islands, return airport transfers, a nightly two-course dinner or a $FJ1000 ($580) Wine, Dine and Spa credit a room.

The Fijian island escape with My Fiji costs from $1790 a person, twin share (ex-Sydney, $1890 ex-Melbourne), and includes return economy airfares and seven nights’ accommodation in an Ocean View Room at the Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa, as well as a buffet breakfast daily. Phone 1300 003 454; see myholidaycentre上海夜生活m.au/Fiji.

COTTAGES BY THE SEA

Stay at the 4½-star Lake Weyba Cottages Noosa , with lake views, in-room spa and wood fire, and receive a breakfast hamper, wine and chocolates, Wi-Fi and use of canoes and mountain bikes.

The price – from $269 a night for two – is a saving of 23 per cent. The offer is valid for two-night minimum stays until the end of October, or until sold out.

Phone 1300 887 979; see wotif上海夜生活m/hotelW8820.

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

杭州龙凤 22/08/2019

Letters: Insurers won’t come to the party

LETTER OF THE WEEK
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It is ironic that many retirees reach that time in their lives when they can most afford to travel overseas about the same time as they begin to accumulate pre-existing medical conditions that insurance companies will not cover. As a result, I suspect large numbers of retirees simply do not travel overseas and this must add up to a considerable amount of lost business to travel agents, tour providers, airlines, etc. Rather than lose this business, would it not be worth the travel industry promoting travel insurance where these pre-existing conditions can be covered for an appropriate premium that allows for the greater risk?

-Ken Thurgood

TOLD YOU SO

Thanks to this publication, my husband and I have just returned from the most amazing holiday in Europe, which was booked through Outdoor Travel after seeing an ad for its Bike and Barge holidays in Europe. We are in our 60s, in good general health but not particularly fit. However, we were able to cycle about 30 to 50 kilometres each day, travelling from Bruges to Amsterdam. We also visited various places of interest including a flower market, working windmills, museums, a cheese farm, strawberry farms and countless cafes, bars and restaurants. Our accommodation was on a refurbished Dutch working barge, the Iris. The food was excellent and the guide, boat owner and staff all went out of their way to make sure our holiday was very special. We had so much fun and both have such a sense of achievement from doing this.

-Sue Grant

CARGO CULT

I sympathise with Lorna Donaldson (Letters, July 6-7). Two weeks ago on a flight from Dubai, the aircraft was filled to capacity. The amount of on-board baggage was incredible. On approaching Kuala Lumpur, a man became agitated as he could not find all of his on-board luggage. After creating a scene and being abusive to the purser, it was finally located. Between his wife and himself there were five pieces of hand luggage, plus two duty-free bags. This is unfair to passengers who abide by the rules and have trouble placing their one piece of hand luggage in the overhead lockers.

-Ken Johnston

MONKEY BUSINESS

Our cruising friends were not keen to visit Kuta or the southern parts of Bali on a day shore excursion. As a keen visitor to Bali, I suggested a taxi trip from the port to Ubud. Afterwards, my friend told me they had indeed visited Ubud and the Monkey Forest and they’d videoed the monkeys eating bananas, doing somersaults and landing in the water … an amusing sight. My friends sent the short video to Australia’s Funniest Home Videos at the behest of grandchildren and were suitably surprised and rewarded with a $500 prize! It pays to listen to others’ suggestions!

-Alison Watts

CLASS ACT

We travel several times a year to Perth with Qantas and wish to congratulate them on the introduction of seats that only recline a small amount in economy class. Too many times have we been subjected to the selfishness of people who recline their seats to only a few centimetres from our faces, making a four- to five-hour journey very uncomfortable.

-Valerie Dyball

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

杭州龙凤 22/08/2019

Weekend Away: Torquay

Torquay is the gateway to the Great Ocean Road. The RACV Torquay Resort.
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Jane Reddy tees up for a relaxing stay at the new RACV resort in TORQUAY.

THE SETTING

The Royal Automobile Club of Victoria’s spanking new resort is at the start of Great Ocean Road, the winding stretch best known for the 12 Apostles, Bells Beach and the world’s longest-running professional surf event, the Rip Curl Pro. It’s the RACV’s sixth Australian resort and ideal for exploring one of Victoria’s top attractions (pulling about 7.2 million visitors a year).

THE SPACE

Wood Marsh Architecture has been at the helm of the $115 million resort. The five-floor rammed-earth structure, described as an elongated sequence of concave, convex and converging curves, is striking, with an ironbark fascia designed to form part of the coastal landscape. Overlooking the Ogilvy Clayton 18-hole traditional coastal links golf course, home to the Torquay Golf Club, it’s a vast space tempered with open fires, lounges, American oak floors, wool carpets and works from the Ian Potter Museum of Art. One of RACV’s first patrol cars, a yellow 1937 Austin 7 Coupe utility, is a reminder of the club’s history. Spend an afternoon fireside with a tipple from surrounding wineries, watching golfers on the course and ocean swell beyond.

MOD CONS

It has everything: indoor 25-metre pool with separate spa, children’s paddle pool and sauna, gym with 40 pieces of cardio equipment, resistance training machines and free weights. After a spell in the quiet hammam at One Spa with reclining lounges in bubbling pools, rain showers and marble steam chambers with the scent of citrus and cinnamon, your locker combination will be a vague memory.

COMFORT FACTOR

In each of the 92 rooms there’s little danger of cabin fever, with three-metre-high ceilings and, on the upper levels, true ocean views, not glimpses, through big picture windows and slider doors.

Bathrooms are similarly spacious, with separate showers and deep baths. Four ocean spa suites have separate bedrooms and for families there are interconnecting rooms. Curtains are a shimmering shade of the sea, upstaged only by underwater photographs on the walls by local artist Stephen Wickham.

FOOD

Local produce stars at Number One Restaurant, including Kennedys Creek Beef, Western Plains pigs and L’Artisan Cheese Timboon. Affable Frenchman and food and beverage manager Andre Smaniotto is known in the area for his macaroons and his grandmother’s recipe using Portarlington mussels, a house specialty, is served in the White’s Paddock bar and bistro.

WORTH STEPPING OUT FOR

Take the 1.2-kilometre walk or cycle to the patrolled Torquay and Jan Juc beaches.

THE VERDICT

Standout accommodation, dining and recreation in one place. A space to rejuvenate before striking out along the Great Ocean Road.

HOW TO GET THERE

It’s a 90-minute drive from Melbourne’s city centre, 80 minutes from Melbourne Airport, 45 minutes from Avalon Airport, 20 minutes from Geelong railway station and 45 minutes from the Queenscliff Sorrento Ferry Service.

ESSENTIALS

1 Great Ocean Road, Torquay, Victoria, 3228. Phone (03) 5261 1600; see racv上海夜生活m.au.

Members (RACV, NRMA and affiliated motoring clubs across Australia and New Zealand): Golf view, ocean view from $195 a night; premium ocean view $235; ocean spa suite $335. Buffet breakfast is included for two adults.

For a family booking (children under 14), the second interconnecting room is half-price (golf and ocean view rooms).

Non-members: Golf view, ocean view from $260 a night; premium ocean view $314; ocean spa suite $447.

The writer stayed courtesy of RACV Torquay Resort.

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

杭州龙凤 22/08/2019

Ah, that’s more like it

Inner balance: yoga on the beach.Sue Williams relishes the relaxation offered by a no-longer militant health retreat.
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A woman stands crying and shaking with fear on a remote hilltop in the Gold Coast hinterland.

Terrified of heights, she’s about to take a turn on the longest flying fox in Australia. Why? Because she decided to visit one of the country’s oldest health retreats for a tranquil, relaxing, healthy break – and hadn’t factored in one of the personal challenge features on offer.

Ten minutes later, after leaping off the hillside with a harness and an exceptionally loud shriek, she says she’s very glad she did it.

“I never imagined I’d ever do anything like that in my life,” she says, with a grin. “But it was an incredible experience, and I think it’s definitely changed my view of myself.”

And that, after all, is what the Eden Health Retreat is all about.

One of the first health retreats to open in Australia, 29 years ago, as Camp Eden, back then it just had a different way of going about it.

In its early days, the hideaway in the lush rainforest of the Currumbin Valley was a strict, puritanical regime where guests would stay in rough bunk beds, four to a hut, eat only vegetarian food, be threatened with a bucket of cold water if they failed to rise at 5.30am for the obligatory exercise, would be sent home if discovered in possession of alcohol, chocolate or magazines, and were compelled to take part in every activity – or else. The physical “challenges” were an integral part of the boot camp-like program. Nearing its 30th anniversary, it’s been remodelled as simply Eden and, after a $7 million revamp, the accommodation nestled among the hills and trees is luxurious, there’s even fish and meat on the menu and all activities are optional.

The extensive range of spa treatments now have top billing, there are lessons with a life coach, the early-morning exercise is only if you feel like it, and contraband (these days updated to include mobile phones and laptops) is discouraged, but no one is sent home in disgrace for possession.

Some things, however, remain the same. Eden remains the only retreat in Australia that offers a full program of activities all day, every day, from 6am to 8pm (although they’re now elective), there’s the same great pool and spa, and those “challenges” remain for those who want them.

“That’s a unique part of our program,” general manager Stuart Bell says. “It’s about challenging yourself and building your confidence. Some people don’t want to do them, and that’s fine, but others like to try something they’ve never tried before, or maybe never even considered. They can end up on such an emotional high as a result; they’re doing cartwheels for the rest of the week.”

The rest of the retreat is a great deal more tranquil. While, by 6am each morning, most are being led through a qigong session – a mix of gentle exercise, stretches and deep breathing – by the infectiously jovial Frank, a 67-year-old bundle of good humour and extraordinary flexibility, others are having a lie-in.

A brisk walk follows along one of the paths through the rainforest and then everyone piles into the shared dining room for a wholesome breakfast, the first of the five excellent meals and snacks of the day, with portion control for those wanting to lose weight.

Spa sessions are decided at the start of the week and are scheduled into everyone’s personal daily rundown, provided the night before. These range from the signature facial, which includes a back massage and an aromatic

hot-oil hair and foot treatment, to peels, anti-ageing collagen treatments, wraps, scrubs and a Chinese health assessment with acupuncture.

The massage menu is also vast, with the retreat’s headline Kahuna bodywork one of its most popular: a sublimely slippery Hawaiian experience that really does transport you to another world with an almost magical mix of massage and stretch performed rhythmically to music.

The day’s activities are varied, with exercise, walks, a bike ride, meditation and every which type of yoga. “Laughter yoga” was a new one on me – a session of pulling funny faces and playing silly games that left everyone in hysterics and exercised, we were reliably informed, all our internal organs, as well as the funny bone.

And as a postscript, everyone’s encouraged to write themselves a letter home that arrives two weeks later, reminding them of what they’ve learnt. So, where’s the nearest flying fox?

The writer was a guest of the Eden Health Retreat.

TRIP NOTES

GETTING THERE

Fly to the Gold Coast or Brisbane airports or catch a train to Varsity Lakes, where transfer vehicles will be waiting, or drive yourself. It’s 30 minutes from the Gold Coast Airport.

STAYING THERE

The minimum stay is five days; maximum … there is no maximum. A five-night stay starts at $2690 twin share, which includes the choice of one of two treatments, and goes up to $3390 for single occupancy of a deluxe king room. Seven nights from $3090 to $4400.

MORE INFORMATION

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