"There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened." – Douglas Adams.
"I’m astounded by people who want to `know’ the universe when it’s hard enough to find your way around Chinatown." – Woody Allen.
"Duct tape is like the Force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together…." – Carl Zwanzig.
"Computer programming is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning." – Rich Cook.
"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." – Bill Watterson
Hollywood never had it so right – there’s no place like home. Instead of a quaint Kansas cottage though, if I clicked my ruby slippers, I end up in the shoebox they came from. Living in an apartment can still be a home though – albeit with good and bad experiences. With a few tips, anyone living in close quarters can survive and thrive.
A home is more than just a place to sleep – it is a retreat to leave toothpaste uncapped, and fridge doors plastered with whacky magnets. The ability to relax in peace is why having a home is so important – whether it be a caravan, a typical house, or an apartment. The difference lies in how does each mode of abode affect sanity and relationships.
Even if you’ve never lived in an apartment and never will, it’s interesting to know how to handle being in small spaces with other people, such as when on a camping holiday, or squashed in between strangers on an aircraft.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) conducted a survey in 2003-4 that listed 76% of Australian households are houses with three or more bedrooms on separate land, leaving 11% of the 7.7 million dwellings as apartments. Units or flats can vary in size, and for this article, when I talk of apartments, I do not mean penthouses like in Homes of the Rich and Famous with their three floors each with a butler and gilt caged elevator. No, I speak of buildings somewhere in between the dreary Soviet apartment blocks and those ritzy doormenned supermodel lofts – limited privacy, limited space and no garden.
So why do people live in apartments? There are two reasons; lifestyle choice and financial constraints.
Those who live in apartments by choice are like people that buy sports cars: it’s for lifestyle not practicality. And just as hard to fit a set of golf clubs into. Apartments are located in high-density areas, offering nightlife and proximity to work and transport. The other reason why people live in apartments is money, or lack thereof. Unlike Europe, Australia has plenty of land to clutter up with giant houses. But to afford a house in an area where take-away meals are more than just cardboard boxes – and I don’t mean the packaging – one needs the bank balance of an escaped rogue trader. Having a double income isn’t necessarily a help either. The ABS states that an average of 2.51 people live in a household – creating a frisson of friction when a romantic element is involved.
There are difficulties in maintaining sanity and relationships no matter the circumstances of apartment living – it’s not all martinis in dressing gowns and top-hatted doormen – the reality is a shoebox of sardines, lives and stuff crammed into a tiny space like excited TNT molecules in a test tube. The results can be just as explosive. Ever wonder why Big Brother has a massive studio house? That’s because if the contestants were all in an apartment, the series would last a week before they killed each other in a frenzy of crazed angst.
Close proximity to other people affects all senses; you see more, smell more, hear more, and bump into each other or table corners. Mystery is the ingredient to relationships as is vanilla to ice-cream. Proximity living means no mystery; you hear every expulsion of air from any possible orifice from one’s beloved. That’s why movie stars need mansions in Beverly Hills. Because they need to keep up the mystery that yes, even Brad Pitt suffers the effects of a double garlic and onion shwarma.
Even ignoring the shudder-inducing irritations, there’s always the day-to-day impracticalities of apartments; similar to trying to play beach cricket in the space shuttle. Inviting heaps of people over for parties threatens to cause structural damage to the balcony not even big enough to swing a cat. Walls are chock full of bookcases, shoe racks, cabinets, cupboards, or shelves. Doing laundry becomes a logistical planning activity resembling a Beijing back alley; hanging sheets over chairs and the television. Which, if you can’t see, you might be able to hear nextdoor’s DVD collection of Dad’s Army or a stereo output of Johnny Cash. Meeting them in person (the neighbours, not Johnny) there’s always the awkward side glances in the lift as you comment about the flickering light and avoid the issue of overhearing last night’s loud domestic squabble. To escape the tirade, a long poke around at the potplants on the balcony was required, deluding yourself that the corn might grow, and there might be enough for one meal. In the distance there lies the greenery of the home-owners and their laden lemon tree, envying the gin and tonics they would have on their spacious balcony.
That said, the grass is always green when there’s grass. Having an apartment has advantages – no hayfever-inducing lawn-mowing or fingernail-staining weeding. Just pay the body corporate every quarter and some other sucker prunes the rosebushes that double as a burglar deterrent.
For the most part, apartments are also more secure – it’s a lot harder to break into a window when falling involves concrete and multiple fractures. Deciding to redecorate an apartment might only take a splash of paint on a feature wall and voila, you’ve gone from French Provincial to Warhol Modernista.
Whether you’re in for the long haul or just biding time until housing prices fall (hah!), how do you survive apartment living to keep sanity and relationships intact?
—Sardine Survival —
Tips to make the most of your surrounds with efficiency
-Storage: getting stuff out of the way means less things on which to bruise shins. Swedish home décor company Ikea has a great range of utilitarian shelving to store all that random stuff.
-Downsizing: unless your wardrobe has a slip lane into Narnia, consider what you really need in an apartment. The whipper-snipper you bought using American Express points last year will only become useful for trimming ear airs because that’s how old you’ll be before being able to afford anything with a hedge.
-Rationalising. Just because you like a vase/picture/book/clock doesn’t mean you should buy it. It’s not like there are walls to hang it on anyway.
-Practicalities: Laundry: do smaller loads and use an indoor drying rack. The TV antenna can only hold so many pairs of socks.
Tips to interact with others, and maintain romance with your partner
-Personal Space: keep the peace with space, whether it be an afternoon alone, or an escape room to shut out the blarings of the Simpsons. Take up a hobby – separately.
-Romance: just because you’re at home, some basic personal hygiene considerations still apply, such as shaving legs in another room, shutting the door to pee, and limiting garlic intake.
-Neighbours: Don’t make friends and don’t make enemies. A simple hello in the lift is enough for them to think you’re a nice enough person to spare late night party noise.
-Friends: only invite as many people as you have chairs.
Living the high life in a high rise needn’t be a low down. Apartments can be just as homely as a house, without all the hassle. With a few considerations and ingenuity, clicking those ruby slippers will still bring you home.
In 2008, National Playgroup Week runs from Sunday 27 April to Saturday 3 May. World’s Biggest Playgroup Day will be held on Wednesday 30 April. Tens of thousands of families around Australia are expected to join in the fun at a range of family-friendly events.
In Canberra, World’s Biggest Playgroup Day includes "Games in the Park" a fantastic free event at Black Mountain Peninsula from 10am to noon, and there will also be a display at Centro Hyperdome. The theme and key message will be “Learning through Play”.
A highlight at all the events will be a giveaway of activity scrapbooks called Vegemite Little Aussie Readers, which are aimed at promoting early literacy for ages 0 – 5. Go to a National Playgroup Week event, or visit a Tyres & More outlet, to get a copy. Find out what’s planned for National Playgroup Week 27 April – 3 May 2008 at www.playgroupaustralia.com.au or call 1800 171 882 (toll free).
This is welcome news for both buyers and sellers who appreciate the comfort that an indoor venue provides.
Tuggeranong’s newest market is held on the last Sunday of each month and is quickly becoming a popular and vibrant community market offering arts, craft, jewellery, home wares, aromatherapy, crystals, scrap-booking supplies and much more, plus the Jetty Café situated within the Community Centre is open during market hours. “We are endeavouring to showcase some of Canberra’s and especially Tuggeranong’s talent with a very niche offering of products”, said Ms Mayfield. “So whether it is handmade or manufactured, we are looking for quality not quantity".
The organiser has also set up a website to keep both buyers and sellers updated on dates, opening hours and events associated with the market. This can be accessed via www.tuggeranongindoormarket.com.au
The next Market will be held on Sunday, 24 Feb 2008 indoors at the Tuggeranong Community Centre, Cowlishaw St, Greenway, the building next door to McDonalds.
The market is open between 10am -2pm and entry is free to the public.
Visit the Market, enjoy a cuppa at the Jetty Cafe, stroll along Lake Tuggeranong and enjoy the community atmosphere.
From the unusual to the unique, there is always an impressive showcase of handmade arts and craft on display with plenty to appeal to both locals and visitors.
We are a growing community market that is always looking to expand our the range of stalls
Our next market is on Sunday February 24
Types of stalls we are looking for:
* home baking
* charties/school/sporting fundraising
* general art & craft and
* anything creative
If you are looking for somewhere to sell/promote your goods or services please contact us to find more and/or book and site
Farmers Market brings exclusive Mediterranean flavours to Canberra
Using their Mediterranean culinary expertise and impressive experience, owners of multi-award winner Pilpel Fine Foods have developed an exclusive range of exotic flavours for the Capital Region Farmers Market visitors.
Pilpel Fine Foods produces dips and soups which are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and contain no animal fat, preservatives, artificial colours or flavours, representing an ideal option for vegan and vegetarian people.
Pilpel Fine Foods, the Hebrew word representing the whole capsicum family, was founded in December 2004 by Israeli couple Dari and Yehiel Kaplan who came to Australia in 1989 in search of some international experience.
“My husband was a chef in a five-star hotel in Israel and wanted to become executive chef, but to do so he had to get international experience. We were both a bit young and crazy and just decided to pack our bags and come to Australia. We’ve never looked back on that decision,” Dari said.
The Kaplans had been owners of a restaurant and catering service for 15 years when they decided to start Pilpel Fine Foods in Bondi, NSW.
“The catering and restaurant market is very demanding and we needed a new adventure. Yehiel loves creating new products and so we saw a perfect niche market with dips and soups. With my graphic design background, I could create beautiful labels for our products too,” Dari said.
“We started with six dips sold in deli stores and independent supermarkets. Within nine months we had entered David Jones. We now have 13 dips in the range and we introduced soups and pesto last year,” she added.
With four kids, four employees and on average 13-hour daily shifts, the Kaplans have found time to travel to Canberra every Saturday for the past two years to sell their products at the Capital Region Farmers Market at the Exhibition Park.
“When we first started our business, some of our friends moved to Canberra and started talking so highly of Canberra people that we thought we had to try the Farmers Market,” Dari said.
“It was the best decision we made. The Farmers Market has put us on the map, so to speak. Customers saw the consistency in the quality of our products and started visiting us every weekend. We now have strong contacts and good support in Canberra,” she said.
Dari said Capital Region Farmers Market is the only market she visits with her husband who has developed a range of products exclusively for Canberra residents.
“We like having direct contact with Market customers and getting their feedback. We can understand what they want and have a much more hands-on approach on our business,” Dari said.
“Throughout the years, some of our customers have started asking for specific products and so we have developed a whole range of products strictly for the Farmers Market, which includes marinated olives, antipasto, curries, marinades and cheese spreads.
“We bring a lot of our Mediterranean background from Israel to our products whilst always keeping an Australian twist to our recipes. We use Australian produce as much as possible. This way, we’re giving back to Australian farmers and residents.
“We have formed close relationships with a lot of the customers and some of them now buy our new products without even tasting them first simply because they trust us,” she added.
The Sydney Royal Fine Food Show awarded Pilpel Fine Foods 10 medals for its dips in 2006 and medals for all its soups in 2007.
“Food experts predict that in the next few years, Australia will have the best food in the world which will be made of a combination of Mediterranean, Australian and Asian flavours. This obviously works for us,” she added.
Pilpel Fine Foods has also introduced non-vegan pesto under the brand name Darikay.
The Capital Region Farmers Market has over 100 stalls and is open every Saturday morning at the Exhibition Park (EPIC) from 8 am to 11 am.
The Farmers Market is a genuine farmers market, offering a diverse range of fresh food and agricultural produce straight from the producer to the customer. There are over 100 market stallholders each Saturday morning selling everything from fruits and vegetables to specialist organic products, meats, breads, chocolate, wine and olives.
All funds generated from the Market are fed back into regional communities and other projects chosen by the Rotary Club of Hall which founded the Market in 2004.
For more information on Capital Region Farmers Market, visit www.capitalregionfarmersmarket.com.au.
Released for Capital Region Farmers Market by Dennis Rutzou Public Relations (www.drpr.com.au)
For further information please call Kim Larochelle or Nicola Rutzou on (02) 9413 4244.
McDonald Room, Menzies Library, Australian National University
Suggested Donation $20/$15
The basic ground has always been there, but like a hidden jewel, we must uncover the treasure that lies within us. To do that, we need to follow the path, which fortunately has been revealed to us by the great masters. It unveils the fruit, one’s own and others’ intrinsic beauty, which can truly manifest from diligent spiritual practice. Tibetan Buddhist teacher Khandro Thrinlay Chodon will speak about how the ground, path and fruit can make our lives more meaningful.
McDonald Room, Menzies Library, Australian National University
Suggested Donation $20/$15
The basic ground has always been there, but like a hidden jewel, we must uncover the treasure that lies within us. To do that, we need to follow the path, which fortunately has been revealed to us by the great masters. It unveils the fruit, ones own and others intrinsic beauty, which can truly manifest from diligent spiritual practice. Tibetan Buddhist teacher Khandro Thrinlay Chodon will speak about how the ground, path and fruit can make our lives more meaningful.
McDonald Room, Menzies Library, Australian National University
Suggested Donation $20/$15
Often we say too much, think too much and do too much. It’s time to stop and watch! There is wisdom in silence that needs to be explored in order to live more fully. Tibetan Buddhist teacher Khandro Thrinlay Chodon will expand on this theme, revealing the beauty of direct perception, and ways to go beyond conceptual mind.
Student to Industry Program (SIP) is partnering with The Australian Institute of Fitness to produce an exciting array of career information and training options within the Health and Fitness industies for students, teachers and parents.
Multiple stall holders will be present on the night with giveaways and prizes drawn throughout the evening.
Two scholarships will be available for entering on the evening – one being a $3000 scholarship from the AIF and the other being $5500 scholarship for Certificate IV in Massage or Aromatherapy with Om Shanti College.
The event if open at 5.30pm and will run until 7.30pm at the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) on Freemantle Drive at Stirling.
If you have further inquiries, please contact The Student to Industry Program on 6205 8464 and speak to Trish, Paula or Katrina.
Last November the Canberra Youth Theatre Actors Ensemble wowed audiences in its sell out installation-based production Comfort. Comfort was recently listed in The Canberra Times as one of reviewer Alanna Maclean’s 10 favourite theatre productions for 2007 in Canberra, stating it was “youth theatre at its best and most imaginative”.
This year the CYT Actors Ensemble will be engaging audiences’ with a production about community. CYT has commissioned Ross Mueller, a Melbourne based playwright, to adapt Markus Zusak’s award winning novel The Messenger to the stage. Mueller has recently submitted the first draft and CYT is preparing to audition its Actors Ensemble who will play the key roles in this major production.
The Messenger is a darkly humorous, thought provoking and moving story that reminds us how difficult it is for some young people to find their place in the world. In the current climate of self-preservation and self-absorption The Messenger is a timely narrative about engagement. It is a story for our community, all communities. As Ed himself states: “Christ, it’s deafening. Why can’t the world hear? I ask myself. Within a few moments I ask it many times. Because it doesn’t care, I finally answer, and I know I’m right. It’s like I have been chosen. But chosen for what? I ask. The answer’s quite simple: to care.”
The CYT Actors Ensemble meets every Saturday and is for 18-25’s who are passionate about developing core skills in acting and theatre making. CYT is committed to providing young adults with opportunities to learn about the craft of acting and explore the boundaries of theatre making. It is run by the Artistic Director, Pip Buining, with guest tutors who specialise in voice, movement and physical theatre.
Auditions for the CYT Actors Ensemble will be held on Saturday 23 February. Applications for the Auditions close on Monday 18 February.
In today’s fast paced society mental health is of increasing interest and relevance for many. The demand for information has been steadily increasing, as more and more people start taking an active interest in their own mental health.
The Mental Health Foundation (ACT), a leading mental health service provider and information resource, has responded to this growing demand by organising a series of public information talks, to be held throughout all regions of Canberra. A Gungahlin talk on bipolar disorder will be the first in its series.
The Foundation’s public information talk on bipolar disorder is receiving much community interest. Andrea Close, a local media celebrity, is one of many Canberrans who are keen to help out: Andrea will discuss her own perspective and experiences of this illness. This talk is an opportunity for you to learn and understand life differently, to see and experience other perspectives.
A leading team of mental health professionals will also take your questions on bipolar disorder. They will discuss what symptoms people experience, what treatments and services are available in Gungahlin and Canberra. The public information talk will be informative and engaging, a good opportunity.
Date: Tuesday 4th March 2008
Time: 7.00pm to 9.00pm
Location: Gungahlin Regional Community Service Building,
Gungahlin Place, Gungahlin ACT
Light refreshments will be available so please RSVP for catering purposes – 6230 7629 or [email protected]
Visit the Foundation’s website (www.mhf.org.au) or call 6282 6658 for more information.
21 – 29 February
Reception: 6pm Wednesday 20 February
Leila Feuer (Painting)
Daniel Flood (Painting)
Frank Lindner (Photomedia)
6 – 14 March
Reception: 6pm Wednesday 5 March
Masahiro Asaka (Glass)
Margaret Carlin (Ceramics)
Linda Davy (Ceramics)
Ayako Saito (Sculpture)
Online postgraduate catalogue
Each year TRANSIT LANE will profile the
work of ANU School of Art postgraduate students
who are exhibiting their work in our annual
graduate “season” of exhibitions. On this site
each student has their own online “gallery”,
with their cv, artist statements, and images of
their work. This snapshot of their professional
development will stay on the site, and can be
added to in the future. Past graduate students
are also encouraged to submit material for their
own gallery space on TRANSIT LANE. In between the
exhibition seasons, TRANSIT LANE will post news
and information about the goings-on in the
Visual Arts Graduate Program, and news and
reviews about the activities of our alumni.