Coughlans clean up

16/09/2018 // by admin

Maeve Coughlan in full control at the national championships.JUDO
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AOIFE Coughlan overcame Commonwealth Games representative Catherine Arscott for the first time to claim a maiden senior national judo title recently in Wollongong.

The dual Gippstar winner edged through to the women’s 70 kilogram senior final bout after a marathon semi-final, which ended in a golden score Ippon-throw victory for the Traralgon Judo Club member.

The final also went to golden score, replicating the corresponding bout at the 2013 open, but this time the result went Aoife’s way.

Aoife backed up to claim the 70kg junior title in her return to competition after a break earlier this year.

Sister Maeve Coughlan also achieved a near flawless weekend competing in the cadet, junior and senior 63 kilogram divisions, bringing home a medal of each colour.

The current world number two junior has enjoyed a great run of recent success, including gold and silver medal efforts at the International Judo Federation World Ranking List competitions in Hong Kong and Macau.

TJC was well represented at the championships, with eight Judoka – from under 12 to masters – joining a 90-strong Victorian team.

Zach Nabulsi and Noah Nightingale both reached finals in their respective divisions to come away with silver medals, while Aaron Nabulsi managed bronze in the under 55kg division.

In his final year competing in the senior boys division, Jordan Nabulsi secured his third national title, despite giving away several kilos to his Northern Territory opponent Joshua Fong.

Axel Nightingale also fought well in his first national event.

With a shoulder injury ruling him out of the Commonwealth Games team, Eoin Coughlan acted as an assistant manager for the team.

Eoin, however, returned to competition at the Southern Cross Open this month after a shoulder reconstruction to claim the 81kg division and resurrect his bid for an Olympic berth in Rio.

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English lesson and a giant killer

16/09/2018 // by admin

Terrance English being presented his national championship trough by 9th Dan Kyokushin Master John Taylor.
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Seven year-old Elaina Domagala is presented her silver medal by ninth dan Kyokushin master John Taylor.

KARATE

A 12-month layoff proved merely a speedbump for Traralgon Budokan, Kyokushin fighter Terrance English, who took out the Australian Heavyweight full contact title this month in Sydney.

Returning from knee surgery to the scene of his 2012 national crown, English fought a “brilliant strategic fight” to win the final, which impressed even the most experienced fighters in attendance.

Kyokushin branch chief and seventh dan black belt Gary Viccars said it was one of the finest bouts he had ever witnessed.

“It was the best tactical fight I have ever seen,” Viccars said.

“He fought an experienced Shin Kyokushin black belt and he took him to the cleaners.

“This guy had an attitude but it did not faze Terry and when he got angry he hit him with some of the best shots you would see anywhere.”

English was one of nine Traralgon Bodokan fighters competing at the AKKA Kyokushin Karate Nationals.

Aaron Nabulsi also claimed gold, defending the 12 years boy’s crown with five unanimous victories, besting a field of 40. Elaina Domagala proved a surprise package in the non-contact division, earning the tag of “giant killer” from Viccars.

The seven year-old blitzed through her preliminary bouts convincingly, before a narrow split decision loss in the final. Traralgon also entered Jordan Nabulsi, who reached the third round before bowing out, while Zach Nabulsi, Johnny Kavadias and Athena Kavadias gave strong accounts.

Traralgon Kyokushin Dojo newcomer Jai Rowson made everyone take notice by winning three bouts to take the national title.

“(It was) an amazing performance to win the champions trophy over much higher graded opponents. He is one to watch in the future,” Viccars said.

Sherriden Trevena also fought at the event.

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In a state of fear

16/09/2018 // by admin

Omar’s brother was killed in Iraq and his body dumped at a mosque. Eight other relatives are in Iraqi prison and he has no contact with them. He does not know if they are still alive. photograph bryan petts-jonesOmar* sometimes stops himself from picking up his mobile phone when it starts ringing.
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Six years ago the Latrobe Valley resident was on the phone with his brother, who was living in Iraq, when the latter was taken by a group of Shia men. He was later killed and his body dumped at the mosque where he had worked as an imam.

“He was talking to me and asking me how to take photos because he had a newborn baby (and then) I thought the line was disconnected,” Omar said.

Omar said his mother chased the gunmen and threw stones at them to defend her son, unaware she was being shot at.

The militias then told Omar’s parents to leave Iraq or they too would be killed.

He said the men even wrote a sign and placed it in front of the family’s Basra house threatening anyone who would rent or buy the property.

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World’s Best Diet revealed by scientists

16/08/2018 // by admin

There’s never a shortage of diets promising to help us shed kilos but the real holy grail of weight loss is nailing a way of eating that keeps the weight from creeping back on. But scientists from the University of Copenhagen believe they have an answer: a higher protein/ lower carbohydrate pattern of eating they’ve called the World’s Best Diet.
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A name like this has a lot to live up to but this eating plan, published as a book in Denmark in 2012, is based on credible research – a large European study known as the Diogenes Diet that compared five different diets to see which worked best at keeping weight off.

Fish features heavily in the ‘World’s Best Diet’.

A total of 773 adults who’d already lost an average of 11 kilos were assigned to one of five diets each based on a different combination of protein and carbs – some were lower in carbs and higher in protein and vice versa. Some diets included high GI carbs- meaning the ‘fast’, often more refined carbs that raise and lower blood sugar rapidly; others had slower burning low GI carbs that raise and lower blood sugar more slowly. And the winner? The low GI carb and high protein combo. The people on this diet not only kept the weight off during the six months of the study but they also continued to lose weight too.

This way of eating works because both protein and low GI carbs help us produce more of the satiety hormones that keep us feeling full, explains Jennie Brand-Miller, Professor of Human Nutrition at the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre.

Brand-Miller, co-author of the Australian edition ofWorld’s Best Diet, believes we’ve often missed out on the filling power of these foods – partly because of the ‘eat more carbs’ message but also because so many carbohydrates are very refined.

“The advice over the last 30 years has put too much emphasis on carbohydrates and neglected the satiating effect of protein – we took it for granted that Australians were getting enough protein,” she says. “At the same time the carbohydrates we were eating were getting fluffier.”

There are no fluffy carbs in this diet. Instead it’s based on fresh vegetables, lean protein sources like fish, poultry, legumes, nuts and dairy foods and dense, grainy foods like rye bread, pumpernickel and barley – the book’s recipe for rye porridge with apple and hazelnuts is the polar opposite of lightweight breakfast cereal.

The reason these robust carbs are more filling than their more refined cousins like white bread isn’t just that they keep blood sugar levels steadier, Brand-Miller explains. They also stimulate cells in the gut that produce one of the satiety hormones we need to feel full. These cells are located deep down in the gut – a place that rapidly digested carbs never reach because they’re digested in the upper half of the gut, Brand Miller explains.

“This explains why we still feel hungry after we’ve eaten fluffy white rice,” she says.

But while the World’s Best Dietis higher in protein and lower in carbs it’s no radical diet. The idea is to modestly lower the carbohydrate content of the diet and modestly increase the protein content to give a ratio of around 2:1 in favour of carbs, says Brand- Miller explaining that a typical Australian diet is generally higher in carbohydrates with a ratio as high as 4:1

Another reason why increasing protein is helpful is because it helps the body’s basal metabolic rate – the rate at which it burns kilojoules – to stay higher, she adds.

One concern about higher protein diets has been the long-term effects on health, especially with eating plans high in animal foods. But after a year, the people taking part in the Diogenes study, who were eating the high protein low GI carb combination, ‘had healthier levels of inflammatory markers in the blood – a positive sign that their risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases had lowered.’

Brand-Miller is now testing whether the diet reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. If you’re overweight and have a family history of type 2 diabetes, you may be eligible to participate (go to: preview.ning南京夜网/sydney).

World’s Best Dietby Arne Astrup, Christian Bitz, Jennie Brand-Miller and Susan B. Roberts is published by Penguin, rrp $35.00.

SMH

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Big decision over Bridges

16/08/2018 // by admin

A car going over the Dripstone Bridge which is set for a make overWellington Councillors will discuss the future of two timber bridges on major thoroughfares when its meets on Wednesday night.
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The Dripstone Bridge which is on a major access road to Lake Burrendong and the Gundy Bridge on the Renshaw McGirr Way which receives traffic from Yeoval and further to Parkes are both ailing infrastructure and council technical services director Stan Robb will ask councillors to make a big decision.

Council would have to get to work on the bridges almost immediately because they are in a state of disrepair.

“It’s a matter to ensure safety for all motorists in the longer term,” the council’s technical services director Stan Robb said.

Council’s general manager Michael Tolhurst said

“Following a structural assessment of the Gundy Bridge on Renshaw-McGirr Way and Dripstone Bridge, Burrendong Way a 10-tonne load limit is to be placed on these bridges from Thursday until further notice.” he said

“Signage will be installed shortly to warn motorists of these restrictions and additional signage will be installed to provide alternative routes for heavy vehicles.”

“Alternative arrangements for vehicles over 10 tonnes to use Renshaw-McGirr Way and Burrendong Way are currently being investigated and it hoped that these can be put in place as soon as possible to minimise the interruption to traffic and freight.”

Councillors will be asked to push on with work on new bridges in both places and it will seek a number of alternatives in relation to funding them. In the longer term traffic diversions in these key tourism areas may happen and while council understands it will be inconvenient to many holidaymakers and freight operators its understood the works are now a matter of some urgency .

The new timber bridges funding in the state government budget may help Wellington fix the bridge problem.

“NSW Councils can also now apply for further federal funding of $565 million for the Black Spots programme and $300 million through the Bridges Renewal programme” The deputy prime minister Warren Truss said.

“The Coalition Government is committed to ensuring local councils and the communities they serve get the funding they need to deliver the infrastructure and resources of the 21st century.

.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

South Australia snaps on InstagramOUR TOP 50

16/08/2018 // by admin

South Australia snaps on Instagram | OUR TOP 50 What a shot! Waves coming into Southport Beach. Photo: @dubstamatic
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Stunning scenery at One Tree Hill. Photo: @_myutopia_

The beautiful and historic Adelaide Arcade at Rundle Mall. Photo: @rs250_life

Looking across to Granite Island at Victor Harbor. Photo: @pegsontheline

Driving along and enjoying the rugged beauty of the outback. Photo: @puppa49

The dingo fence in South Australia’s outback. Photo: @puppa49

Beautiful coastline at Brighton beach. Photo: @juzscottie

Long exposure shot of the beautiful Port Noarlunga beach. Photo: @sanch1

Sunset and spectacular clouds at Henley Beach. Photo: @chillography

Motorbike riding on sand dunes at the Yorke Peninsula. Photo: @paul_rumbler

The day someone tore a hole in the sky over the Barossa Valley. Photo: @swannysa

Beautiful day for a walk along Brighton beach. Photo: @schillg1

Romantic sunset at Glenelg beach. Photo: @sharonlee007

Sunset and fishing at Port Noarlunga. Photo: @benheide_photography

An amazing coastal shot of Rapid Bay. Photo: @harriee26

Sprawling vineyards at Willunga. Photo: @cheryl_ferraro

Gazing at a spectacular sunset at Willunga Hill. Photo: @rowlandanthony

The Laratinga Wetlands at Mount Barker. Photo: @ilovemountbarker

Early morning fishing on the Onkaparinga. Photo: @bordersinaus

Enjoying the view across to Aldinga. Photo: @tommo_paul

Waves crashing at Port Willunga beach. Photo: @dubstamatic

Enjoying nature’s beauty at Victor Harbor. Photo: @gioiaperinetti

Seaside boardwalk at Kangaroo Island. Photo: @silvialipphotography

Exploring the beauty of Kangaroo Island. Photo: @silvialipphotography

Lighthouse at Cape do Couedic, Kangaroo Island. Photo: @silvialipphotography

Beautiful sunrise at Emu Bay, Kangaroo Island. Photo: @silvialipphotography

What a sunrise at Waitpinga Beach on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Photo: @adamburkephoto

A lonely station in the middle of nowhere at Coonawarra. Photo: @lis_stone

Riding along on the Cockle Train at the Fleurieu. Photo: @soulbird79

Sunrise at Remarkable Rocks, Kangaroo Island. Photo: @benjamingoode

Beautiful sunset at Carrickalinga by the beach. Photo: @laura_wrap_lady

Nature’s art at Kangaroo Island. Photo: @dilaraterziler

Sunset at Brighton beach. Photo: @bordersinaus

Sunshine and waves at Hallett Cove. Photo: @flickity9

Spectacular sunset at Marino Rocks. Photo: @altri_photography

The remarkably beautiful River Murray. Photo: @shydutch

Hazy orange sky at McLaren Vale. Photo: @benheide_photography

Winter beauty at McLaren Vale. Photo: @lis_o

Spectacular coastline near Port Lincoln. Photo: @minor_roses

The rugged beauty of the Flinders Ranges. Photo: @louise_thrush

Spectacular clouds over the Obelisk at Robe. Photo: @tomtilbury

Port Noarlunga jetty at night. Photo: @jasminemillman

Sunrise at Barham Beach, Middleton. Photo: @wayne_willis_photography

Seagull watching at Henley Beach. Photo: @theburrow_

Canola fields at Snowtown. Photo: @maxi0001

Sprawling vineyards at the picturesque Barossa Valley. Photo: @kneemer

Sunset at Glenelg beach. Photo: @shaun1068

Trekking along the terrain of Kangaroo Island. Photo: @alex_hang

Beautiful view across the Torrens to the riverbank precinct. Photo: @isoldemalaufsklo

The historic Gawler Railway Station on the Gawler line of the Adelaide Metro. Photo: @toto_ruel

TweetFacebookWe’ve trawled through Instagram looking at photos at #SouthAustralia during August and have selected our top 50.

View our favourite 50 snaps in the gallery above.

Commuters to face lengthy queues at ticket windows if they don’t have Opal card

16/08/2018 // by admin

More of the same: Commuters struggle through the ticket barriers at Central station. Photo: Tamara Dean.Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian is warning train travellers they could face lengthy queues at ticket windows next Monday if they do not have an Opal card.
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Weekly MyTrain tickets, as well as cheaper adult off-peak return tickets, are two of the 14 ticket types that will no longer be sold from Monday, as the government attempts to encourage travellers into using the electronic smart-card.

Ms Berejiklian said there had recently been a sharp increase in the number of people signing up for the Opal card – 55,000 in one week recently taking the total sign-up to more than 580,000 – but commuters could still find themselves stuck in a line on Monday.

“The key thing for me is just to make sure that people are aware they could be facing long queues on 1 September if they don’t have the Opal card,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“There will be a lot of ticket sellers having to explain to people what their options are if they are caught out,” she said.

“If you are used to buying a weekly and you can’t buy one anymore, you will have to say to the person “what do I do now” and so it will take a bit longer to explain all your options.”

The government is already selling vastly fewer paper tickets than it did a few months ago. In 2013, commuters bought about 100,000 weekly MyTrain tickets in a regular week. Last month that number had halved, and in the week ending August 17, 38,000 weekly train tickets were sold.

Some commuters have been concerned they are, or would be, paying more when using the Opal card.

Ferry or bus users comparing fares to individual trips on TravelTen tickets may pay more – particularly if they do not travel more than eight times a week – as well as people who had purchased quarterly or yearly tickets.

But Ms Berejiklian has said the government risked collecting less fare revenue overall under the Opal card, and said that most people who had started to use the card were pleased with what it cost them.

“The concern is among those who have not switched over yet and have made assumptions about what it will cost them,” she said. “So I say to people, give it a go.

“Even if you think you might be paying more you will be pleasantly surprised.”

Commuters may be confused if they have acquired an Opal card but not used it for 60 days. In this case, the money they would have loaded into their card would have been refunded, meaning they would need to load money onto their card again.

Pensioners will continue to be able to buy Pensioner Excursion tickets, while bus tickets such as TravelTens are still likely to be sold for at least another year.

Anyone buying a yearly or quarterly train or MyMulti ticket in the next week will continue to be able to use it until it expires.

Tickets not sold after this week:

My Train:

Adult Off-Peak Return

Adult Weekly (7 day)

Adult Fortnightly (14 day)

Adult Monthly (28 day)

Adult Quarterly (90 day)

Adult Yearly (365 day)

Concessions Monthly (28 day)

Concessions Quarterly (90 day)

Concessions Yearly (365 day)

My Multi:

Adult Monthly (28 day)

Adult Quarterly (90 day)

Adult Yearly (365 day)

My Ferry:

Adult TravelTen

Light rail:

Adult Yearly (365 day)

Have you switched to Opal? Tell us what your experience has been with it.

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Flaming pride

16/08/2018 // by admin

Walhalla identity and Country Fire Authority volunteer Russell Wright is spearheading a CFA callout for LGBTI firefighters to join him in the Gay and Lesbian Pride march in Melbourne next year.The rainbow colours of the equal rights movement has seen some notable enhancements of late.
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This year’s Gay Pride march in St Kilda saw police force ‘blue’ and emergency service ‘orange’ added to the palette, as members joined the 5000-strong parade in support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community (LGBTI).

Next February, under the leadership of Walhalla identity and CFA volunteer Russell Wright, the Country Fire Authority will add its trade-mark firefighter ‘red’ to the colourful event.

“I believe strongly in gay rights and the LGBTI movement and being a gay firefighter, so I sort of took it upon myself to lead the charge, which I’m very happy to do,” Mr Wright said.

“After this year’s Pride March, a friend said to me ‘Why aren’t the CFA in it? You should get in there and bat for the team. The police and SES are in it, you should get in there and push for it to be included’.”

Subsequent lobbying by Mr Wright saw the July launch of the ‘CFA Pride’ project – supported through official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts – with the support of CFA Gippsland regional director Mark Potter.

“There had been open discussion on gay (online) forums about the lack of a dedicated social networking site… since its launch we’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of support we got within CFA,” Mr Wright said.

“I’ve spoken to some gay members joining up who have had small apprehensions, feeling it’s probably not an environment for them, but the CFA is not the really blokey environment as some people might think.

“Here we’ve got lots of ladies involved and people from all backgrounds and walks of life. Our LGBTI members are just another component of that diversity.”

Mr Wright views his experience as an openly gay volunteer in the CFA as a “large positive” since joining the Erica and District brigade in 2009.

“When I joined there was only one or two that probably thought ‘oh god, here we go’ … there was probably a bit of a notion that ‘he wouldn’t want to break a nail and leave’,” Mr Wright said.

“But other than that, I haven’t had any discrimination, in fact it’s been the complete opposite – I’ve had some great support and made some great friendships here, some of my best friends are straight firefighters.

“I’m not saying that’s going to be everyone’s story in the CFA, but my personal experience has been great.”

Mr Potter acknowledged the significance of CFA’s participation in the upcoming event.

“The CFA Pride group is a great grassroots initiative that has my full support – as does any initiative that promotes inclusion in our emergency services,” he said.

Victoria Pride March president Matt Renwick commended CFA’s involvement in the march.

The 20th annual Gay and Lesbian Pride March will be held on 1 February 2015.

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Tender roast leg of lamb with skordalia

09/07/2018 // by admin

ROAST LEG OF LAMB WITH SKORDALIA
Nanjing Night Net

sea salt

extra virgin olive oil

freshly ground pepper

1 small bunch of thyme skordalia

5 whole garlic cloves, roasted with the lamb

2 pink eye potatoes

2 tbsp ground almonds

1 tsp sea salt

freshly ground pepper

juice of 1 lemon

60ml extra virgin olive oil

Serves 4

Remove lamb from the fridge 2 hours before cooking and season with salt. Allow the meat to come to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Rub the lamb leg with extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper, spread the thyme over the lamb then place in a large roasting tin. Add the 5 cloves of garlic for the skordalia to the lamb to be roasted.

Roast for 20 minutes, then turn the lamb over and turn the oven down to 160°C. Turn the lamb every 20 minutes. After 1 hour, check the meat’s core temperature. The final resting temperature should be 60°C, so aim for 55-56°C to factor in the residual heat. Once that temperature has been reached, remove roasting tin from the oven and get the oven temperature down to 60°C for resting, holding the door ajar if necessary. Once 60°C has been reached, remove the thyme and garlic and return the lamb to the oven for 30 minutes.

To make the skordalia, cook potatoes in simmering salted water until tender, peel and pass through a ricer or a sieve into a bowl. Squeeze out the flesh of the roasted garlic, discarding the skin, and add to the potatoes, mixing thoroughly. Add the almonds, salt, pepper and lemon juice and mix. Add the oil in a thin stream, whisking all the time. Check the seasoning.

Remove lamb from the oven and place on a chopping board. Holding the shank with a tea towel, take a sharp knife and cut down the bone, removing a large cut of meat. Turn the lamb and cut down each side of the bone, removing the remainder of the meat. You should have two large pieces of meat on the board. Slice each piece across the grain, creating semi-circular slices. This gives the most tender result.

Divide the lamb between plates, add a dollop of skordalia, season and drizzle with cooking juices.

CARROT, ALMOND AND MACADAMIA CAKE

185g ground almonds

230g caster sugar

125g savoiardi (ladyfinger) biscuits, roughly chopped

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

5 eggs, separated

1 large carrot, finely grated

1 tbsp Grand Marnier

zest of 1 orange, finely grated

200g macadamia nuts, lightly roasted and gently crushed

thickened cream, to serve

Serves 8

Lightly grease a 24cm-round springform cake tin and line the base and sides with baking paper.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the almonds and sugar in a food processor and process to form coarse crumbs. Transfer the crumb mixture to a large mixing bowl. Process the savoiardi biscuits and baking powder together until the biscuits are finely crushed, then combine them with the crumb mixture.

Lightly beat the egg yolks, and add to the crumb mixture with the carrot, Grand Marnier, orange zest and macadamia nuts. Mix until all the ingredients are moistened and well-combined.

Beat the egg whites until firm peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake mixture in three batches. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, spread cake batter and bake for about 40 minutes, or until cooked when tested with a skewer.

Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool. Whip the cream and ice the top of the cake. Cut into wedges and serve.

HOT TIPS

* To ensure a perfect roast every time, invest in a thermometer – it will be worth its weight in gold. Remember, the higher the heat in the oven the longer the meat will keep cooking.

* Skordalia, a Greek-style potato-and-garlic puree, is awesome with roasted or pan-fried chicken, as well as fish. Once you’ve made it, it will become a regular on your menus.

* The cake is perfect by itself, but if you want to go right over the top, serve it with some really rich vanilla ice-cream.

SOMETHING TO DRINK

SangioveseHailing from the Canberra wine region, Ravensworth’s 2013 La Querce Sangiovese ($25), is a fresh, medium-bodied red. It’s brimming with notes of ripe cherries, red apples and subtle spices to complement the richly flavoured lamb, and has an acidity that will cleanse the palate.

Photography by William Meppem.  Styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.

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Fashion’s power over our emotions

09/07/2018 // by admin

lorelei vashti
Nanjing Night Net

When I was 20, my heart started beating so loudly it terrified me. I went to a doctor and she told me I was having a panic attack and that I should try to breathe either more or less, I can’t remember which. Then, in a whimsical offhand way, and in a tone of voice that wasn’t medical, she added that next time I was freaking out maybe I could try focusing on something other than the distorted white noise of my own mind: why not try, say, focusing on the hem of my dress?

That day I was wearing what my friend Beck used to call my Mintie dress – green and white – that I’d chopped off and re-hemmed myself, tacking it in a clumsy schoolgirl Home Ec way. As I sat and concentrated on the wonky stitching, I did calm down. Years later, I understand now how this tactic can helpfully disembody oneself from one’s addled brain. Back then, neither I nor the doctor could have known that her excellent advice would encourage me to go and build an entire pharmacy full of hems over the next 10 years: one that, to my great pride and absolute shame, now fills five wardrobes across two states.

I work as a freelance writer and editor, which means I hardly need to leave the house. Still, putting on a particular outfit can mean the difference between being able to focus on the work or sitting there, helplessly grappling with my thoughts for hours.

I have tried to throw dresses out, give them away or otherwise let go of them, but whenever I do I go through an overdramatic grieving process for a particular dress and its associated memory. The dresses stayed.

It seems obvious to state that clothing has some power over our emotions. Most of us can relate to the idea that dressing smartly for a job interview helps us feel more confident; we have all heard of actors preparing for a role by dressing in the clothes their character would wear.

I recently read a study that discovered people score more highly on cognitive exercises when they’re wearing a white lab coat – apparently the brain makes a connection between the item of clothing and the reputation doctors and scientists have for being careful and rigorous, and they take on those characteristics themselves. On the other hand, if you’re told the coat belongs to a painter, you won’t score any better, because the power of a piece of clothing depends on the symbolic meaning you give to it.

However, I still think the best way to observe the influence clothes have over our own psychological state is to wake up every morning and just get dressed.

The popular line goes that wearing something fabulous can make you feel like a new person, but as someone who collects dresses, most mornings my goal is the opposite: I want to feel like an old person, or rather, be reminded of the old person who used to be me. Even as I move away from her towards the safer harbour of the future, these flashes of my old selves, relentless and repetitive, illuminate my way. Memory, like a lighthouse, shines the most vivid moments back to us, over and over, and these stories become the myths we stitch together and inhabit every time we try to answer the question, “Who am I?”

The teal ’50s chiffon dress, the only luxury I took away with me on a half-year trip to India, was also what I wore to the opening night of a glamorous ballet, years and worlds away. The light cotton backless dress my mum made when she was a teenager was a favourite during my early 20s – it was perfect for Brisbane’s sweltering summers. I wore it to an outdoor street festival where I had an argument with my boyfriend and left, storming impetuously towards home as the sun set. I hoped he would chase after me, and the moment I felt the cool of his hands against the warmth of my naked back I melted into his hug, and we returned to the festival together.

There’s the too-long vermilion dress which my mum chopped off and, with the excess fabric, made a floaty sash that twined round my waist four times. I wore it to a New Year’s Eve party, and left early, alone, as midnight rang through the city streets, wondering if I would ever fall in love again; I didn’t wear it again until two years ago, accompanied by my new boyfriend to the wedding of a dear friend. Now, that same friend and I have both just had our first babies.

Lying in bed with my newborn daughter asleep beside me in the days following her birth, the wardrobe door partly open, I could see a familiar vermilion frill shining out from it like a smile, coyly whispering its tales of lonely New Year’s Eves and joyous wedding parties, and all the other moments I couldn’t have known would happen in my future until they had been sewn into my past.

And that very first Mintie dress? It has been re-hemmed many times: only once on a sewing machine properly, by an ex-boyfriend’s mum, when we visited her out in the middle of Queensland.

I am still reminded of her when I wear it, as well as that first doctor who suspected I was tumbling into a years-long blackout before I could see it myself. The dress also makes me recall the kindness of the air hostess who offered me tissue after tissue as I wore it and wept for the entire flight on my first move to Melbourne in 2003; also, the man who skilfully disunited me from it years later in his bedroom above the New York bar where, moments earlier, we had been drinking White Russians.

While some people remember stages of their lives through the smells of certain places or the music they were listening to during that time, I remember them through my dresses. The racks of my wardrobe have long become bookshelves; the dresses are pages that I fill with new stories every morning I wake up and put one of them on.

Edited extract from Dress, Memory by Lorelei Vashti, published by Allen & Unwin this week, $28.

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