Author: Jessamy Owen

I can't be your Facebook friend. i just can't

Time to Cull Celebrity Campaigners

One of life’s most basic lessons is never to assume. Check your facts. And never, ever assume you can win your audience with arrogant self-importance. Hillary’s leftwing press failed dismally in this regard. And so did she. What both parties assumed was that everyone believed their spin. That eloquent words shape a nation’s attitudes. That Hillary’s fraternizing with Hollywood was lauded. And Hollywood was even more misguided. The ordinary people clearly didn’t care when singer Katy Perry stood up and in a spectacularly condescending manner, dictated who people should vote for. What must have come as a crushing shock is that she just wasn’t that important. What Katy did … or said, just didn’t cut it. Similarly, people did not care when Beyonce and Jay-Z ran a free concert (which, incidentally, they only half-managed to fill) and Hillary embraced them with gushing rhetoric. The sexist, racist trash that emanated from Jay-Z’s mouth should have been enough to turn off the most avid Hillary supporter but that aside, again, why do these celebrities in their opulent …

Bedside Tale

I advertised my ‘entire bedroom’ for sale on Gumtree. It now resides 15 kilometres away in another suburb with a delighted new owner. By ‘entire bedroom’ I mean queen sized bed frame, bedside tables and table lamps. My husband was slightly puzzled when I began moving everything out of our bedroom but agreed that the bed had to go. The jarring creaking from the dodgy frame was grating his nerves too. We never loved it enough to fix. After the delivery, he was uncomplaining that he had to sleep on the floor that night. Or that the entire contents of his bedside drawers were now unceremoniously dumped into a basket on his side of the mattress. He’d done it all before. Our first bed was one of those parental hand me downs. That finally went to the tip after moving countries and living way past its sell by date. The second was a brand new ensemble that saw us through 14 years and three children until it started to bulge in all the wrong places …

Middle-Aged Dread

IN MY MOTHER’S ERA, middle-aged mothers were content to be middle-aged mothers. They wore comfortable clothing and would not have dreamed of trying to fit into their teenage daughter’s jeans or befriending her friends on Facebook. There were a couple of ‘glamour pusses’ in the small town in which I grew up – perhaps the local boutique or beauty parlour owner – but on the whole, they were all of similar elk. I don’t remember anyone being particularly reed slim unless born that way, and I don’t recall anyone power walking with weights or hiring a personal trainer to work on their ‘abs’. There were no gym junkies because there were no gyms and a weekly game of tennis was the sociable ‘exercise’ of choice. The more adventurous souls took up yoga when the fad hit town and I recall my nicely rounded mum proudly showing us how she could stand on her head. They settled into middle age with an accepting sigh and laughed off a couple of gained kilos or a midriff that …

The Menace in Tennis

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA―The Australian Tennis Open is finally over and after weeks of serious television overload, this tennis tragic will not be going near the box for a while―well, at least not until the French Open. Together with the rest of Australia and the world, I’ve enjoyed every minute of this Grand Slam competition. However, one aspect of play has left a niggling bad taste―the sanctioned on court antics of certain players. Call me old fashioned, but smashing a racket on court and hurling expletives isn’t behaviour that should be applauded. Firstly, my practical mother side is thinking: That’s one expensive racket―perhaps it could have been donated to some poor up and coming player or even better, auctioned off for charity. And then, there’s the confused realization that not everyone seems to find this behaviour shocking. The tantrum player in question is one of Australia’s up-and-coming tennis stars, Nick Kyrgios. He’s a really likeable guy off-court but someone needs to tell him it’s not right to smash rackets and use vile swear words when things go …

Ten Resolution Revolutions

FEELING DAUNTED about making New Year resolutions? Well, here are some suggestions … DO NOT … compare yourself to others. A big no-no. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and as much as we’d all like more talents, not everyone can be a neurosurgeon. Embrace what you have and quit worrying about what you don’t have DO NOT … tell everyone about your resolutions. This sets you up for failure and there’s a danger that bossy britches may decide to make some more on your behalf DO NOT … give up chocolate. Again, setting yourself up for failure. Life’s surely too short DO NOT … clean out your wardrobe. Something in there is bound to have a fashion rebound DO NOT… assume your spouse is a mind reader. Christmas should have taught you that you need to verbalise your wish list throughout the year. Even better, write it down and stick it on the bathroom mirror DO NOT … repeat last year’s resolutions. How depressing DO NOT … wear old, faded undies/knickers that are well past their use-by date. Again, life’s too …

Paradise found at Amber Valley

Where else in the world, I think as I observe seven warthog, blesbuck, impala and zebra grazing contentedly on the banks of someone’s lawn. I am in Amber Valley, one of a series of retirement complexes situated in lush former farmland overlooking the Umgeni Valley, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. At least 700 homes make up the estate which features a heated swimming pool, an adjacent 25m pool, tennis courts, a bowling green, club house and frail care centre. The centre bears no resemblance to the standard grey laminate/hospital fare associated with retirement. Instead, it is graciously decorated with colonial comfort – florals, comfortable wide wicker chairs – the walls adorned with botanical prints and tasteful African scenes. As retirement estates goes, it is paradise found. The club house overlooks a dam fed by a freshwater stream – otters often cavort as if to give a show to the oldies looking on. Egyptian geese are raising goslings – a troublesome task when legavaan keep stealing their young. The old boys have been watching and there is now …

Founder of mosaicHUB inspires entrepreneurs

MARY-ALICE BRADY is CEO and Founder of mosaicHub, a dynamic business community connecting entrepreneurs with the pieces necessary to create great businesses.  She was recently elected by The Boston Business Journal as one of 2012’s class of 40 under 40 honorees. She spoke with JournoNews. JN: What inspired you to start mosaicHUB? M-AB: My inspiration came from several sources and gradually built over years of practicing law. While at a law firm and then at a financial services company I saw many smart, driven people slowly lose their passion and become complacent. I am not saying everyone loses their motivation as a corporate employee but there are many people sitting behind desks miserable because they don’t like what they are doing and don’t see any other options. They think they are too old or have too many responsibilities to do something different or they just don’t know where to start. I then spent several years at a venture capital firm working with early stage entrepreneurs. I saw their excitement and vision, but also saw many wasting time on things …