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Delirium Cafe, Brussels: no small beer

Posted on 29/06/2018 by

A world of choice awaits at Brussels’ Delirium Cafe, writes David Whitley.
Nanjing Night Net

The barman returns to the table looking rather disappointed. “We’ve not got any of the Angolan mango beer left,” he says, as if the news he has to break dishonours his entire family. “We’re waiting for our importer to deliver another batch.”

It’s OK though. It’s not as if we’re lacking an alternative. The beer menu at the Delirium Cafe in Brussels is a genuine epic, better measured in kilograms than number of beers listed. Even the bar’s owner, Joel Pecheur, admits that he doesn’t quite know how many beers are listed on the 240-page monster.

He estimates that the Delirium sells approximately 2000 beers from Belgium alone, and around 500 from overseas. Not all are in stock at any one time, but most are.

Indeed, the Delirium is recognised by Guinness World Records as having the largest selection of beers in the world – a total 2004 when they measured it. Of course, the mature thing to do in such circumstances would be to seek out the finest tipples and savour them. The immature thing would be to attempt to drink one beer from as many of the 78 countries represented as possible.

That’ll be one Breznak Pils from the Czech Republic and one Cubanero Fuerte from Cuba, please Mr Barman.

Some of the collection is instantly recognisable. You can have a Guinness from Ireland, a Singha from Thailand or an Asahi from Japan. You can also indulge in a truly pointless exercise by ordering a VB.

But it’s all the more exciting when you start plunging into the more obscure tipples. It’s unlikely that many visitors to Delirium have encountered Foraya Portari from the Faroe Islands, Akosombo from Ghana or Hinano from Tahiti before.

Of course, this is all a big gimmick. But it’s an excellent one that has proved exceedingly popular. The original bar opened in 2003, but the extended realm now takes over an entire alley.

There are now seven bars under the Delirium banner, each specialising in something different.

There’s a pirate-themed rum bar, a faux-Aztec tequileria, a vodka-toting “monastery” and an absinthe specialist. Each has hundreds of its chosen poison.

But beer is still the calling card, and the logistics of getting more than 2000 varieties in the same place are eye-popping. We sit down with Joel Pecheur, who is parked at a table in the alleyway, somewhat ironically sipping on a Coke.

He explains that getting the inventory in is a phenomenally difficult task – they’re reliant on several importers to bring in the obscure finds from around the world, and getting the numbers right is tricky.

Order big numbers and you’ve got to find somewhere to store them.

“We’ve got a warehouse on the outskirts of Brussels,” says Pecheur. “But we grew 40 per cent in the last year and need a new one.”

Sell-by and use-by dates are also an issue, but a small stock of one beer can end up wiped out in a session by a group developing a taste for it. Sourcing is also a big task – Delirium has 10 full-time employees devoted to finding beers, many of which come from tiny breweries.

“A new phenomenon is vintage beers – like wine, it’s the beer from a certain brewery in a certain year,” says Pecheur. “It’s very difficult to keep them the right way, but when the brewery stops producing them we try to keep some for the connoisseurs.

“There are also beers from breweries that have since disappeared. More than 50 per cent of the beers on our original list are no longer made.”

We’re given a behind-the-scenes tour. There are shelves and shelves of bottles, all divided by country and put in alphabetical order. The Belgian beers are slotted into categories and there’s a vast collection of specialist glasses.

Most breweries demand that their beers are served in a specific glass, and hundreds of these get “appropriated” as souvenirs each weekend.

The fields of crates and kegs show an almost industrial-scale operation.

Once the round-the-world challenge begins in earnest, we’re met with a few interesting novelties. The Taybeh from Palestine has an extremely distinctive spicy taste, while the Bolivar is a truly multinational effort. It’s made with rice from Thailand, quinoa from Bolivia and cane sugar from Costa Rica, but tastes heartily Belgian.

A few rounds in, the flagship Delirium Cafe gets sweatily, noisily busy, and we elect to head upstairs to Delirium’s latest baby.

The Hoppy Loft focuses on microbrewed keg beers from around the world. You could happily swat a pterodactyl with the catalogue-style menu.

Befuddled both by prior intake and choice, we end up telling the barman to just give us one from each country. The Scots, Americans, Dutch and Danes get their chance to impress, and the table fills with some dark, stormy-looking beverages.

My friend takes one look at the bottle of Rasputin from the Netherlands: “Uh-oh,” he says. “We’re on the 10-per-centers. This is not going to be pretty.”

It isn’t – and the likes of Mutzig from Cameroon and Chinggis from Mongolia are left untouched in favour of a spectacularly ill-advised jaunt through the absinthes, rums and vodkas in the other bars. As the evening goes on though, one thing becomes oddly clear. Delirium should be a paradise for knowledgeable connoisseurs, tasting their way through some of the finest Belgian Lambic and abbey beers.

But the crowd is all wrong. The later it gets, the more the alley looks like a youth club.

The local kids and the party-focused tour bus crowds are in for the famous booze theme park, and the place with the best selection of drink on the planet is filled with the people who are least likely to care what they’re drinking.

Alas, those Togolese tipples and Bolivian brews will have to remain in the backstage beer labyrinth for a little longer.

The writer was a guest of the Belgian Tourist Office.

TRIP NOTES

GETTING THERE

Thai Airways is offering flights to Brussels from Sydney via Bangkok from $1708. Phone 1300 651 960; see thaiairways南京夜网.au.

DRINKING THERE

The Delirium empire can be found in Impasse de la Fidelite, an alley off Rue des Bouchers in central Brussels. See deliriumcafe.be.

STAYING THERE

The Crowne Plaza at 3 Rue Gineste has historic charm and four-star rooms from €190.80 ($272) a night. See crowneplazabrussels.be.

MORE INFORMATION

belgiumtheplaceto.be.

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

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Bangkok: write minded

Posted on 29/06/2018 by

Colonial influences: the Mandarin Oriental Hotel spa. Mandarin Oriental Hotel executive suite.
Nanjing Night Net

Dining on the terrace.

The spirits of literary greats permeate these halls, writes Catherine Marshall.

There’s an elephant in the room – and it’s made entirely of chocolate. It carries on its back a saddle wrought from confection, and inside the saddle is a load of exquisitely crafted chocolates. Propped against a miniature easel beside the elephant’s flank is an edible painting of Bangkok’s legendary Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

I bite into the painting; it is deliciously sweet, but leaves a vaguely subversive taste in my mouth, too, for I’m standing inside the very building that I have just – metaphorically – eaten. From my suite high up in the hotel’s River Wing extension I can see the Chao Phraya River snaking languorously past the hotel terrace and meandering back towards Bangkok’s northern outskirts; the sun is beginning to sink and its rays briefly glaze the coffee-brown waters of this city thoroughfare.

The riverboats churning through it can’t have changed much since 1887, when expatriates and local aristocrats gathered here to celebrate the opening of this establishment, built in place of the original Oriental Hotel.

Grand and neoclassical, it was seen as an appropriate addition to the city of Bangkok, which by then was the fast-growing capital of Siam, as Thailand was then known, the only country in south-east Asia spared colonial rule.

But colonial influences abounded then and still do today, in the golden teak bells that hang from the vaulted ceiling in the lobby, in the white wicker chairs and lazily whirring ceiling fans in the Authors’ Lounge, in the stationery that has been embossed with my name and placed on a writing bureau overlooking the river, and, of course, in the chocolate elephant that stands on the dresser and carries in its regal bearing the memory of a time long since past.

Sitting at my bureau with its leather and teak accents, its pens and gold-stamped paper, and all of Bangkok lying sprawled outside my window as inspiration, I can easily conjure that intellectual, jasmine-scented past. The new hotel attracted visiting writers from the West who would drink gin and tonics on the terrace and imagine into being the characters who would populate their novels.

John Le Carre completed The Honourable Schoolboy here, W. Somerset Maugham recovered from malaria in one of the cool, soothing suites, and Ernest Hemingway ever-faithfully propped up the bar.

For my own part, I took afternoon tea in the Authors’ Lounge, sitting amid the ghosts of all those legendary writers as I drank my specially formulated oriental brew and nibbled tiny quiches and croissants. I could picture Joseph Conrad sitting in the corner just over there, and Dame Barbara Cartland holding court across the room, a pot of creme brulee held between her jewelled fingers. The lounge had felt like the repository of an intriguing literary history, for it takes up much of the first floor of the original wing at whose opening all those expatriates and aristocrats could be seen rubbing shoulders back in 1887; today, the upper level has been commandeered by four heritage suites named for Conrad, Somerset Maugham, Noel Coward and James Michener.

Their books are squeezed among countless others on shelves in the library, which is tucked just off the lounge and doubles as a reading room for guests who wish to linger.

The hotel’s later additions, separated from the original building by richly scented tropical gardens, are also appointed with suites bearing the names of literary patrons: Gore Vidal, Jim Thompson, Wilbur Smith.

But this theme is not just a marketing gimmick, for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel pinned its literary colours to the mast in 1979 when it co-founded the South East Asian Writers’ Awards (also known as the SEA Write Award).

I had briefly browsed the library at afternoon tea, but decided that too much cerebral activity was sinful in a city so attuned to the importance of holistic well-being. So I caught a teak barge – used to shuttle guests – to the other side of the river, where an annex contains the hotel’s health centre, jogging track, Thai cooking school, the Sala Rim Naam restaurant and the serene, wood-panelled cocoon that is the Oriental Spa.

Here, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s spa wellness manager, Neelam Khatri, explained that the establishment sought to maximise their guests’ experience by combining traditional massage with Ayurvedic consultation, yoga and meditation. Khatri’s gentle voice, the scent of oils and steamy Thai fruit tea and the abiding silence were already inducements to a somniferous afternoon, but I believe I may have actually slumbered when my therapist gently delivered a signature aromatherapy massage.

Reawakened, I had returned to my suite. And now here I stand, high above Bangkok, observing a city transformed by darkness and the glitter of electric light.

The writer was a guest of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Bangkok and Qantas.

TRIP NOTES

WHERE

The Mandarin Oriental, 48 Oriental Avenue. Qantas flies to Bangkok from Sydney daily. Phone 131313, see qantas南京夜网.au.

HOW MUCH

Rates for a superior room start at $362 a night. See mandarinoriental南京夜网/bangkok.

TOP MARKS

Attentive yet unobtrusive staff; daily bowl of tropical fruit with a card explaining its origins; the personalised invitation to attend cocktails; welcoming treats such as that chocolate elephant.

BLACK MARK

Watching those expansive riverside windows being cleaned somewhat spoils the romance.

DON’T MISS

Dinner at the hotel’s five-star Sala Rim Naam restaurant. Set across the river from the main compound and housed in a beautiful Northern Thai-style pavilion, it delivers a rich sensory experience of Thai cuisine.

MORE INFORMATION

tourismthailand.org; smartraveller.gov.au.

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

Hong Kong: the green unseen

Posted on 29/06/2018 by

Sai Kung East Country Park.There’s more to Hong Kong than shopping in its steamy canyons, writes Natasha Dragun.
Nanjing Night Net

Hong Kong may be one of the world’s great cities – with towering skyscrapers and endless shopping malls – but beyond the bright lights a host of fresh-air activities await. Away from the congested cityscapes hugging Victoria Harbour, more than 70 per cent of Hong Kong, hard as it may be to believe, is given over to land and water nature reserves.

And because the city is so compact, many activities are within easy reach of hotels. Here’s a look at the best ways to get a taste of Hong Kong’s surprising great outdoors.

HIKING

You don’t have to travel far to enjoy wilderness – in fact, some of the city’s top hiking trails are located on Hong Kong Island, easily accessible by public bus.

The Dragon’s Back is probably the best-known of these, the ridge sweeping down to a fishing village in Shek O Country Park. You’ll wander through groves of bamboo and woodland before emerging to open hillsides blanketed with wild azaleas and rose myrtle, offering unbroken views over Clear Water Bay, Stanley and Hong Kong’s eastern islands.

The walk ends at Shek O, where cheap-and-cheerful seafood stalls sell barbecued octopus and bottles of ice-cold beer. Dragon’s Back can be done independently, but guided hikes are also available with Walk Hong Kong. The group’s popular Deserted Beaches Hike takes you to some of the New Territories’ prettiest stretches of sand in remote Sai Kung.

Here, lush tropical vegetation and forested ridges give way to white sandy beaches, many of which you’ll have entirely to yourselves. To reach them you’ll hike through old Hakka villages, where local farmers once nurtured “feng shui woods” to preserve local flora and fauna.

In the same neighbourhood, the group’s Geopark Hiking Tour takes you along Sai Kung East Country Park, home to a volcanic column wall, one of the world’s largest examples of its kind.

KAYAKING

Junks, ferries and container ships aren’t the only harbour traffic. A growing trend is to explore the city’s waterways by kayak.

Local outfit Kayak-and-Hike offers full-day packages to the Ung Kong archipelago, part of Hong Kong’s Global Geopark in the eastern New Territories. Trips launch from Sai Kung with a junk ride through coves and past forested hills to Sha Kiu Tau fishing village. There, you’re kitted with kayak, life vest and snorkelling gear before paddling out to explore caves, sea arches and eventually Bluff Island, to see some of Hong Kong’s coral and marine life.

Work up a sweat hiking to the island’s lookout before cooling off with a swim or snorkel – the visibility is typically great, and you’ll likely spot Chinese demoiselle, clown fish and racoon butterfly fish, among other species.

You can BYO picnic or join tour leaders for lunch at a local Chinese restaurant back at Sha Kiu Tau.

BIKING

You don’t see many cyclists in congested Hong Kong city, but biking opportunities do exist.

Several organisations, including the Hong Kong Mountain Bike Association are dedicated to the development and upgrade of off-road tracks in the relatively untouched New Territories, as well as on far-flung islands.

Excellent maps and trail descriptions on the association website mean that you can tackle different trails on your own.

The organisation also offers skills sessions and, in collaboration with Crosscountry HK, guided half and full-day trips tailored to different skill levels.

Similarly, Mountain Biking Asia leads two-wheel tours of Hong Kong on sedate tracks through the New Territories. Over 35 kilometres you’ll cycle through historic villages before reaching the Nam Sheng Wai Peninsula, where thousands of migratory birds flock for the winter.

A fortifying dim sum lunch in the old market town of Yuen Long ends a half-day tour; those wishing to extend the trip can cycle on through wetlands surrounding Deep Bay, near the border with mainland China. The bird identification cards handed out en route are a nice touch.

WILDLIFE

It’s hard to believe that anything lives in Hong Kong’s heavily trafficked harbour, but the waters are home to a surprising collection of marine life, including wild dolphins – pink ones at that.

Officially known as the Chinese white dolphin (apparently constant blushing gives them a rosy glow), the cetaceans call the city’s Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau Marine Park, in the western waters, home.

Hong Kong Dolphinwatch – an avid supporter of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature and supporter of dolphin research – leads trips to the park with informative talks on the fragile marine ecosystem along the way.

Despite their dwindling numbers (some estimate that there are only a few hundred left), the dolphins are a resident species of Hong Kong and can be spotted year-round. But if you’re unlucky and don’t see a dolphin on the tour, you can simply join again for free on any other scheduled trip.

BIRDWATCHING

Avid twitchers descend on Hong Kong during the city’s cooler months, when migratory birds take refuge in the marshes and mudflats of the city’s wetlands and nature reserves – more than two million birds descend on Mai Po Nature Reserve in the New Territories alone.

The Hong Kong Birdwatching Society offers guided trips to the reserve, led by ornithologists who will regale you with an astounding amount of information about the 380 species of birds that inhabit the park, 35 of which are of global conservation concern, including the Saunders’ gull and the black-faced spoonbill.

Free monthly birdwatching activities, in conjunction with the tourism board, take you to Hong Kong Park, where you might spot the white-crested hornbill or racket-tailed treepie, and Kowloon Park, home to flamingos, ringed teal and tropical pigeons.

The writer travelled courtesy of Cathay Pacific and The Upper House.

TRIP NOTES

GETTING THERE

Cathay Pacific operates daily flights from Sydney and Melbourne. Phone 131 747, cathaypacific南京夜网.

STAYING THERE

Designed by Andre Fu, the Upper House’s 117 rooms are all about pared-back luxury. Rooms start at $HK4500 ($619) and have floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Victoria Harbour, free minibar snacks, Wi-Fi and satin amenity pouches. See upperhouse南京夜网.

SEE + DO

The Hong Kong Birdwatching Society offers free guided tours. See hkbws.org.hk.

Hong Kong Dolphinwatch’s four-hour trips run on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and cost $HK380 an adult. See hkdolphinwatch南京夜网.

Bikewise courses and guided mountain-biking trips with Crosscountry HK from $HK940 for the first rider, $HK560 for subsequent riders, bike included. See crosscountryhk南京夜网; hkmba.org.

Mountain Biking Asia’s guided tours include lunch and wetlands entry from $HK500. See mountainbikingasia南京夜网.

Kayak and Hike’s day tours run from 8.45am to 4pm and cost from $HK700 a person. See kayak-and-hike南京夜网.

MORE INFORMATION

discoverhongkong南京夜网.

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

Man responsible for 1984 Marulan kidnap and assault added to NSW Most Wanted

Posted on 17/05/2019 by

A man convicted over the kidnapping and sexual assault of a woman in the 1980s has been added to NSW Police Force’s Most Wanted list.
Nanjing Night Net

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of 48-year-old Al Green.

In January 1984, a 17-year-old girl was kidnapped and sexually assaulted by a man along the Hume Highway near Marulan.

Following an extensive investigation, police from Monaro Local Area Command arrested Mr Green in 2012 and charged him with detain for advantage and assault-related offences.

He pleaded guilty; however, a warrant was issued when he failed to appear at his sentencing hearing in January 2014.

Green has now been added to the NSW Police Force’s Most Wanted list and investigating officers are appealing for anyone who may know of his whereabouts to contact them.

He’s described as being of Caucasian appearance, between 175cm and 180cm tall, with medium build and brown hair and eyes. He has a large scar on his forehead.

He was formerly known as Glen Alan Rozynski.

It’s believed he may be in the Strathfield or Marrickville regions of Sydney or interstate.

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

Man ‘threatened with knife’ at East Nowra service station

Posted on 17/05/2019 by

Police are appealing for witnesses after a service station attendant was allegedly threatened with a knife inEast Nowra early Sunday morning.
Nanjing Night Net

About 2.25am, a 64-year-old attendantwas working at a service station on Kalandar Street, when a man entered the shop.

He allegedly approached the counter, threatened the attendant with a knife and demanded money.

The 64-year-old hit the man on the wrist with a metal pole.

Police claim the man then left the location while continuing to threaten the attendant.

Police were contacted and detectives from Shoalhaven Local Area Command attended, commencing an investigation.

A crime scene was established and investigations are continuing.

Investigators are appealing or information about the incident and would like to speak to a man aged about 40, wearing a dark blue hooded top, dark blue pants and fawn boots.

Anyone with information about this incidentshould call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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

POLICE BRIEFS: Weapons charges, missing wallabies

Posted on 17/05/2019 by

TWO men have been refused bail after a gun and knives were found in their car at Adamstown on Saturday night.
Nanjing Night Net

Police had been searching for a Nissan Skyline they believed had been involved in a number of pursuits in recent days when they stopped a vehicle of a similar description at 8.30pm.

Officers found the firearm and knives before arresting and charging two men aged 22 and 21 with possessing those items.

They were refused bail to face Newcastle Local Court on Monday.

POLICE are investigating whether a number of wallabies that were kept at the University of Newcastle were stolen or released by vandals.

Police were called to the Callaghan campus on Saturday afternoon after reports that an enclosure had been broken into and a number of birds and wallabies were missing.

Some wallabies returned to the enclosure, but some remain outstanding.

Anyone with information is asked to call Newcastle police on 4929 0999.

Commonwealth Games: Shelley Watts strikes gold

Posted on 17/05/2019 by

Commonwealth Games: Shelley Watts strikes gold Golden girl: Shelley Watts. Pic: Getty Images
Nanjing Night Net

old medalist Shelley Watts (2ndL) of Australia poses with silver Laishram Devi (L) of India and bronze medalists Alanna Audley-Murphy of Northern Ireland and Maria Machongua of Mozambique during the medal ceremony for the Women’s Light (57 – 60kg). Pic: Getty Images

Golden girl: Shelley Watts. Pic: Getty Images

Golden girl: Shelley Watts. Pic: Getty Images

Golden girl: Shelley Watts. Pic: Getty Images

Golden girl: Shelley Watts. Pic: Getty Images

Shelley Watts of Australia celebrates winning the gold medal against Laishram Devi of India. Pic: Getty Images

The gold medal bout – Shelley Watts against Laishram Devi of India. Pic: Getty Images

Shelley Watts of Australia celebrates winning the gold medal against Laishram Devi of India. Pic: Getty Images

Shelley Watts of Australia celebrates winning the gold medal against Laishram Devi of India. Pic: Getty Images

The gold medal bout – Shelley Watts against Laishram Devi of India. Pic: Getty Images

The gold medal bout – Shelley Watts against Laishram Devi of India. Pic: Getty Images

Shelley Watts of Australia celebrates winning the gold medal against Laishram Devi of India. Pic: Getty Images

TweetFacebookMOREPhotos:Shelley Watts makes the gold medal boutPhotos:#Selfies4ShelleyThe latest:The Commonwealth GamesThere have been Australian female boxers of note, but there will never be another first Australian female gold medallist. That is Shelley Watts.

Nor has there been any Australian with the substantial career Watts now has ahead of her, with world championships and an Olympic Games on her agenda. Having taken up the sport in 2010, just as it was made legal and professional in Australia, the 26-year-old criminal law student has dominated the lightweight division in Glasgow, although her final, against India’s Laishram Devi, was rugged enough for Watts to describe it as a ‘war’.

Watts’s style may best be described in contrast to the bout before hers. In the women’s flyweight final, England’s Nicola Adams’s spunk and bluff took her a fair way towards a contentious split decision over Northern Ireland’s Michaela Walsh. ‘I was cheated,’ Walsh later tweeted.

Adams, the sport’s inaugural Olympic gold medallist at London in 2012 and a world number one with an iconic career already behind her, inhabits that celebrated crossover space between ringcraft and stagecraft. But if Adams has something of the Apollo Creed of women’s boxing about her, Shelley Watts is the Shelley Watts and none other.

There is little adornment or salesmanship; her boxing is nuggety and streamlined, as she bunches herself into a ball of efficiency that is ever on the advance. Her balance and speed suggest that she would be good at any number of sports, which indeed she was until a knee reconstruction curtailed her soccer and touch football days and sent her into a Lismore boxing gym four years ago.

There is plenty of personality in Watts’s boxing, but it’s not for show. Only after winning does she let loose her genuine happiness and kiss the camera. In the first round of her gold medal bout against Devi, she was consistently beaten to the punch.

She regrouped with coach Don Abnett and stuck to her plan, which was to wear Devi out with high-intensity combat. “The coaches knew she was going to tire eventually,” Watts said. “The fast pace was going to take its toll, and I knew I would have plenty in the tank.”

The second and third rounds were frenetic, Watts engaging the taller and more experienced Devi with rapid-fire exchanges and landing some heavy blows with her right hand. Her hair came loose from its moorings and her ponytail flew as her straight right kept pummelling Devi.

By the fourth, both fighters were clearly tired, though Watts said she still had energy to spare. By that stage she didn’t need it, as Devi was spent. “It was a great fight, it was a war,” Watts said. “Not a lot of tactics, just a lot of punches thrown, but sometimes you’ve just got to brawl it.”

Her wonderful tournament at an end, Watts was looking forward to having a plate of ribs and then getting home to reunite with her friends in Australia and her family on New South Wales’ north coast. For some, the sight of women boxing is as unseemly as women’s swimming appeared a hundred years ago in Kellerman’s time and women’s surfing fifty years ago in O’Donnell’s. Times change in big historic moments, and one has Shelley Watts’s kisser all over it.

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

GALLERY: Feels like home … more than just a spectacular view

Posted on 17/05/2019 by

GALLERY: Feels like home … more than just a spectacular view MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: CONTRIBUTED
Nanjing Night Net

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: MEGAN FOSTER

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: MEGAN FOSTER

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: MEGAN FOSTER

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: MEGAN FOSTER

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: MEGAN FOSTER

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: MEGAN FOSTER

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: MEGAN FOSTER

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: MEGAN FOSTER

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: MEGAN FOSTER

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: MEGAN FOSTER

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: MEGAN FOSTER

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: CONRIBUTED

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: MEGAN FOSTER

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: MEGAN FOSTER

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: MEGAN FOSTER

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: MEGAN FOSTER

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: MEGAN FOSTER

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: MEGAN FOSTER

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: MEGAN FOSTER

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: MEGAN FOSTER

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: MEGAN FOSTER

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: MEGAN FOSTER

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: MEGAN FOSTER

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: MEGAN FOSTER

MORE THAN JUST A GREAT VIEW: This home north west of Orange was built in 2008. Photo: MEGAN FOSTER

TweetFacebookLAST WEEK: EFFORTLESS STYLE IN WINDERA ESTATE

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

The eggs-traordinary life of Scrambles the chicken: Photos

Posted on 16/04/2019 by

The eggs-traordinary life of Scrambles the chicken: Photos Life started out in the usual way.
Nanjing Night Net

Life started out in the usual way.

But it wasn’t long until life stomped me down – literally (Look closely, that’s me with the beak.)

Then Mum rescued me and life was a bed of roses….sort of.

And I met my best pal, Wuzi.

And I pretty much ruled the roost.

There were parties.

Happy birthday Nan!

Trips to the beach.

Even a visit to the snow.

I got my first pad.

And I laid my first egg!

Of course I had to take control of the remote – none of those sick cooking shows – how can you DO that to an egg?

Enough to leave you plum tuckered out.

But it hasn’t been all corn and skittles. We all have bad hair days.

And this was just ridiculous.

Christmas was a bit of a worry.

And then there was that brush with the law.

Oh the shame!

No, I’m not coming out.

But it’s all good. I’ve gone straight now and have a real job – laying the eggs for a 4.5 star hotel. I won’t be ruffling any more feathers but I won’t be going cheep either!

TweetFacebookScrambles had a tough start to life, squashed flat on the nest floor. Butshe’s a plucky little chicken and she’s had an incredible life.Follow the adventures of Scrambles by clicking or swiping through above.

Every kid needs a slide.

Smashing out a text on the iphone.

Source: Bay Post

Wesley’s sheepish return home

Posted on 16/04/2019 by

Pet sheep Wesley is welcomed home by Gerogery’s Jessica and Alamdar Dastani and his mate Brutus. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYNWESLEY the sheep has been returned to a Gerogery couple after he was stolen last month but his mate the peacock is still missing.
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Alamdar and Jessica Dastani found the sheep dumped on the side of the road covered in blood and dirt near their property on Monday.

They knew it was their animal when Wesley responded when called by name.

“He’s extremely obedient and follows you better than a dog,” Mr Dastani said.

The sheep was also missing patches of wool.

“It was horrible seeing him like that but we are really happy to have him back,” Mr Dastani said.

The sheep and peacock were taken together but Mr Dastani said they still had no leads on the bird’s whereabouts.

“I think whoever stole it must be targeting peacocks,” he said.

Mr Dastani was worried the peacock would never return.

“If it is locked up for about two months it gets used to the place and when it is released it will never leave,” he said.

“Whoever has dropped the sheep off, hopefully they will do the same with the peacock.”

Mr Dastani urged people to raise the alarm if they noticed anybody with a peacock.

“Coming into spring they are quite noisy,” he said.

Source: Border Mail

Commonwealth Games: Shelley Watts strikes goldPHOTOS

Posted on 16/04/2019 by

Commonwealth Games: Shelley Watts strikes gold | PHOTOS Golden girl: Shelley Watts. Pic: Getty Images
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old medalist Shelley Watts (2ndL) of Australia poses with silver Laishram Devi (L) of India and bronze medalists Alanna Audley-Murphy of Northern Ireland and Maria Machongua of Mozambique during the medal ceremony for the Women’s Light (57 – 60kg). Pic: Getty Images

Golden girl: Shelley Watts. Pic: Getty Images

Golden girl: Shelley Watts. Pic: Getty Images

Golden girl: Shelley Watts. Pic: Getty Images

Golden girl: Shelley Watts. Pic: Getty Images

Shelley Watts of Australia celebrates winning the gold medal against Laishram Devi of India. Pic: Getty Images

The gold medal bout – Shelley Watts against Laishram Devi of India. Pic: Getty Images

Shelley Watts of Australia celebrates winning the gold medal against Laishram Devi of India. Pic: Getty Images

Shelley Watts of Australia celebrates winning the gold medal against Laishram Devi of India. Pic: Getty Images

The gold medal bout – Shelley Watts against Laishram Devi of India. Pic: Getty Images

The gold medal bout – Shelley Watts against Laishram Devi of India. Pic: Getty Images

Shelley Watts of Australia celebrates winning the gold medal against Laishram Devi of India. Pic: Getty Images

TweetFacebookMORE READING, MORE PHOTOSPhotos:Shelley Watts makes the gold medal boutThe latest:Day 10 – how it happened for the AussiesPhotos:From the trackThere have been Australian female boxers of note, but there will never be another first Australian female gold medallist. That is Shelley Watts.

Nor has there been any Australian with the substantial career Watts now has ahead of her, with world championships and an Olympic Games on her agenda. Having taken up the sport in 2010, just as it was made legal and professional in Australia, the 26-year-old criminal law student has dominated the lightweight division in Glasgow, although her final, against India’s Laishram Devi, was rugged enough for Watts to describe it as a ‘war’.

Watts’s style may best be described in contrast to the bout before hers. In the women’s flyweight final, England’s Nicola Adams’s spunk and bluff took her a fair way towards a contentious split decision over Northern Ireland’s Michaela Walsh. ‘I was cheated,’ Walsh later tweeted.

Adams, the sport’s inaugural Olympic gold medallist at London in 2012 and a world number one with an iconic career already behind her, inhabits that celebrated crossover space between ringcraft and stagecraft. But if Adams has something of the Apollo Creed of women’s boxing about her, Shelley Watts is the Shelley Watts and none other.

There is little adornment or salesmanship; her boxing is nuggety and streamlined, as she bunches herself into a ball of efficiency that is ever on the advance. Her balance and speed suggest that she would be good at any number of sports, which indeed she was until a knee reconstruction curtailed her soccer and touch football days and sent her into a Lismore boxing gym four years ago.

There is plenty of personality in Watts’s boxing, but it’s not for show. Only after winning does she let loose her genuine happiness and kiss the camera. In the first round of her gold medal bout against Devi, she was consistently beaten to the punch.

She regrouped with coach Don Abnett and stuck to her plan, which was to wear Devi out with high-intensity combat. “The coaches knew she was going to tire eventually,” Watts said. “The fast pace was going to take its toll, and I knew I would have plenty in the tank.”

The second and third rounds were frenetic, Watts engaging the taller and more experienced Devi with rapid-fire exchanges and landing some heavy blows with her right hand. Her hair came loose from its moorings and her ponytail flew as her straight right kept pummelling Devi.

By the fourth, both fighters were clearly tired, though Watts said she still had energy to spare. By that stage she didn’t need it, as Devi was spent. “It was a great fight, it was a war,” Watts said. “Not a lot of tactics, just a lot of punches thrown, but sometimes you’ve just got to brawl it.”

Her wonderful tournament at an end, Watts was looking forward to having a plate of ribs and then getting home to reunite with her friends in Australia and her family on New South Wales’ north coast. For some, the sight of women boxing is as unseemly as women’s swimming appeared a hundred years ago in Kellerman’s time and women’s surfing fifty years ago in O’Donnell’s. Times change in big historic moments, and one has Shelley Watts’s kisser all over it.

[email protected] wins our 1st ever #CommwealthGames women’s boxing medal.. & it’s GOLD! Hope you can make another 1st at #Rio2016#RoadtoRio

— AUS Olympic Team (@AUSOlympicTeam) August 2, 2014This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Matthew Mitcham rethinks retirement plans and eyes Rio Olympic Games

Posted on 16/04/2019 by

In the end, the 10 metre platform showdown between Matthew Mitcham and Tom Daley was all a bit of a no-contest. It was, as Mitcham had actually predicted himself: Daley was on form and looked a class above the rest of the field, while Mitcham performance was off and the challenge of the 2008 Olympic champion quickly faded as he finished almost 100 points behind the England superstar.
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However, despite the disappointing result Mitcham, who had come into the Commonwealth Games believing he would most likely retire after the competition, has been encouraged enough by his overall performances, to continue his career to the 2016 Olympics, possibly specialising in synchronised events. Mitcham and Domonic Bedggood won the synchronised 10 metre platform gold medal on Friday night, while he won the silver with Grant Nel in the synchronised three metre springboard.

“I was pretty convinced that this was going to be the end of it for me but after how well Dom and I did in synchro, my coach Chava (Sobrino) was like ‘don’t be too hasty with this, maybe we can work something out with Diving Australia’.

“(There) may be the possibility of being a synchro specialist just to reduce my load because my body can’t take the load that I’ve been putting it through for the last 11 years or so and also I  guess to give me more time to my career outside of sport.”

Daley, the London Olympic bronze medallist was superb on Saturday night accumulating 516 points, which included dives of 94.50, 93.50 and 102.60. He did have a shaky second dive where he scored 64.80,  but even then Malaysia’s Ooi Tze Liang, the three metre springboard champion, was the nearest competitor with 433.70 points. Canada’s Vincent Riendeau (429.25) won the bronze. Mitcham was out of the contest after his first two dives when he was ranked ninth in the 11-diver field.

“He (Daley) was just diving out of his skin and that was the type of quality that I’m more used to seeing from him,” Mitcham said. “The fact that he’s still got that one weak dive but can still score over 500 points is a real testament to how well he’s diving and if he fixed up that one dive he’s got the potential to be the best in the world.”

Mitcham, who has struggled with a series of injuries since 2010, said while he performed below par, he could not be disappointed his overall results, having won a gold medal and two silvers.

“It was really just not a good competition for me … but if I don’t really feel like wallowing in my own pity for very long I just look into my training bag and go ‘look at all that hardware’,” Mitcham said.

“I’ve achieved everything that I really wanted to achieve from this Commonwealth Games and then some so I’m really, really happy.”

Mitcham, who will be performing a cabaret show at festivals in Darwin and Adelaide in coming months, said he was keen to concentrate on his post-diving career.

“I’ve got lots of stuff and I can’t keep putting my life on hold so Chava and I and Diving Australia are going to have a chat and see how we can make this work,” he said.

“I don’t know if it’s going to happen, if it’s going to work but it really would be a shame to let such a great partnership go to waste only two years out from Rio.”

“I totally want a career in the entertainment industry, not just stage but television and radio, so if I can develop that career ideally I would love to develop it simultaneously while doing a bit more diving.

“But if I’ve got a wonderful job opportunity that’s going to take the priority.”

Sobrino, who is also an Australian team coach, said it was important to keep Mitcham in the sport because his partnership with Bedggood in the synchronised 10 metre platform would be a “really good chance for a medal in Rio”.

“With all his problems and all that he’s been a difficult one and then suddenly a few months ago things started getting a little bit better, he hasn’t reached his potential again but he’s started enjoying the sport,” Sobrino said.

“Looking at the prospects of Rio and looking at him and the way he’s progressed in the last month it would be a good idea just to hold it (retirement) back. I want him to have a long break and (let his elbow) get better and keep training hard in the gym away from the pool and think about it.”

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

Melbourne shivers through coldest morning of year

Posted on 16/04/2019 by

Melbourne has recorded its coldest morning in 16 years.
Nanjing Night Net

The Bureau of Meteorology recorded a chilly 2.4 degrees at 6am before the mercury plummeted further to 1.4 at 7.33am.

Senior forecaster Richard Carlyon said the last time Melbourne was this cold was in June 1998, which also recorded a low of 1.4 degrees.

But despite the frosty start to Sunday, the overnight temperature had not set any records, he said.

Mr Carlyon said the coldest temperatures recorded in Melbourne were set in the 1800s, when the city was “surrounded by paddocks and had no buildings to trap the heat in”.

The lowest overnight temperature in Melbourne’s history was recorded on July 21, 1869, where the mercury dropped to a freezing -2.8 degrees.

“We haven’t seen a negative in Melbourne city since 1984, which was the last sub-zero morning in Melbourne,” he said.

Temperatures at Essendon Airport plummeted to -1.7 this morning, and Viewbank residents shivered through 1.2 degrees.

State-wide, Ballarat hovered at -4.6 about 2.40am, and Bendigo recorded -4 overnight.

The coldest areas in Victoria were Omeo in the state’s north-east, which saw the mercury plummet to -7.6, and Mount Hotham, where the lowest temperature was -8.7.

Despite the well-below-freezing conditions, no snow fell overnight, Mr Carlyon said.

“These were good snow-making conditions in the Alps, but because we had no rainfall, there was no precipitation,” he said.

The frosty start continues this weekend’s wintry chill, which has seen hail in the city and substantial snowfall elsewhere.

Temperatures on Friday night hovered around five degrees after what was recorded as the coldest August day in almost six years, with the most widespread snowfall in over 25 years.

Mr Carlyon said Melburnians will face another cold morning on Monday.

“We will probably have another cold morning tomorrow, where light winds and clear skies will bring similar temperatures to this morning,” he said.

He said it was not unusual to get frost at this time of the year, and the bureau had released a frost warning for the state on Monday.

Sunday’s early chill in Melbourne will be followed by a predicted sunny day with a maximum of 14 degrees.

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

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