Opportunity: Sharni Layton. Photo: Brendan Esposito Ready: Sharni Layton is relishing the increased responsibility. Photo: Michele Mossop
“It’s such a great experience for me and it’s a role I haven’t had to do before.” Photo: Michele Mossop
Sharni Layton is ready to step from the shadows of Laura Geitz and Julie Corletto and stamp her on-court commitment and vocal dominance in the n Diamonds’ upcoming Test series against England.
The NSW Swifts goal keeper was named as acting vice-captain alongside West Coast Fever’s Caitlin Bassett, with Queensland Firebirds defender Clare McMeniman acting captain in the absence of usual leader Geitz (rested) and vice-captain Renae Ingles (injury).
“It’s such a great experience for me and it’s a role I haven’t had to do before. I’ve always been the inexperienced one around Laura and Julie and Bianca Chatfield,” Layton said. “For me, being on the more mature end, having that role in the leadership group is really about teaching the young ones that are coming away with us what it’s all about and consolidating what we need to do as Diamonds for the next four years.”
The 28-year-old had a stellar 2015, winning the Netball World Cup and the Constellation Cup with the Diamonds, alongside being named the 2015 ANZ Championship Player of the Year and MVP of the finals series, which ultimately saw her Swifts lose at the death to the Firebirds.
Her biggest challenge this year will come on January 21 when the Diamonds will look to avenge a 3-0 series whitewash against England in 2013, a series Layton missed due to a shoulder injury. Layton is bullish about the Swifts’ chances this year, echoing coach Lisa Alexander’s “top of our game” approach.
“We have been working super hard but I’m sure England have as well and there will be challenges. But, in saying that, we love challenges and I believe we can put out our best performances on court,” she said. “It’ll be interesting to see how everything will pan out but we’re definitely not going over there for a friendly.”
Layton’s unapologetic playing style, coupled with her booming vocal cords, have been the hallmark of her playing career and she is not about to change that when she helps lead the Diamonds out in the next few weeks. Describing her leadership style as action-based, Layton is already working on her perceived leadership weaknesses, stemmed from a work ethic so prominent that she has been ranked No.1 in defensive rebounds, deflections and intercepts in the ANZ Championship.
Alexander will play Layton in her favoured position at goal keeper and is looking forward to the impact she will bring on and off the court. “Her level of play really has not reached its ceiling that’s for certain in international netball. We’ve seen what she can do on the ANZ Championship court, what a fantastic competitor she is and how she can really ignite a whole stadium of spectators,” Alexander said.
“She really puts maximum effort into all of her training sessions and she works damn hard off the court. She’s a great example. She’s enthusiastic, positive and encouraging and people want to follow that and follow her. I think she just can’t wait for that opportunity. “
‘s 2016 tour of England (all times AEDT) Test 1 v England Thursday, January 21 Echo Arena, Liverpool 6.30am Test 2 v England Saturday, January 23 Copper Box Arena, London 6.30am Test 3 v England Monday, January 25 Copper Box Arena, London 5.30am
The measure of any awards show host is revealed in the opening volley. It’s a love affair with the audience which is won or lost in a moment. That’s why Billy Crystal, and the pairing of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, are remembered with reverence. And why Seth McFarlane doesn’t get asked back any more.
Ricky Gervais was returning to the Golden Globes this year after three winning turns as host, having set the bar impossibly high, and a three year absence during which the awards were hosted by the brilliant pairing of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
He recovered in the end, just, but for one perilous moment it nearly skidded off the rails.
Gervais’ first outings as host of film and television’s bridesmaid of awards shows were sharp, and took aim at Hollywood’s most exalted stars and most taboo subjects. This year, after much pre-hype, his opening monologue was filled with easy targets and crude humour which seemed to fall flat with the star-studded audience.
Early on in the show Gervais had posted on Facebook and Twitter “Can’t wait for people to start reporting that I offended some people at The Golden Globes. Of course I f—ing did.”
During the awards the 54-year-old British comedian took shots at NBC, the US network airing the Globes – “they have zero nominations … there is nothing in it for them tonight” – as well as the awards organising body, the eccentric and often-maligned Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
He poked fun at the HFPA’s decision to nominate The Martian as a comedy. “To be fair, The Martian was lot funnier than Pixels, but then so was Schindler’s List,” he said, adding – under his breath, when the joke fell flat – “it’s just a film.”
He also said: “The president of the HFPA just told me if I say anything offensive, or crass … he’s going to come out here personally and pull me off.” The joke took a moment to hit the audience. “Yes, that is the level [of the jokes],” Gervais added, “An old man pulling me off.”
Another easy target: former Olympian Bruce Jenner, now trans celebrity Caitlyn Jenner. “I’ve changed,” Gervais said, “Not as much as Bruce Jenner. She became a role model for trans people everywhere. She didn’t do a lot for women drivers.” (Jenner was involved in a car accident which resulted in a fatality.)
And another: the reputation of the HFPA as journalists whose vote can be swayed with gifts. “As if film companies would say away from the chance of winning a Golden Globe,” Gervais said, “Particularly if their film company has already paid for it.”
It made for an awkward handover to the organisation’s president, Lorenzo Soria, who writes for the Italian magazine L’Espresso, but it was Soria’s speech which brought a curious, and unexpected, dignity to an otherwise patchy opening.
“We can all use our influence to shine a spotlight on violence, injustice and intolerance,” Soria said, as the television cameras cut somewhat predictably to actor and activist Brad Pitt, “[and] in doing so we can make our world a more hopeful, and a better, place.”
In some respects Soria’s words were soft, but they offered a fascinating juxtaposition to the older, more serious Academy Awards where political statements and such issue-based spotlight-aiming has, at times, been frowned upon by organisers.
Overall, Gervais was sharp, though his kick-off was off-target and a little too crude for his audience, in the room, at home and even online. He clawed back some ground later in the show, fencing with n actor Mel Gibson who deserves a Golden Globe just for turning on the charm through gritted teeth.
In most respects the Golden Globes telecast was scripted down to the last detail, though the event – a sit-down-dinner as opposed to the more usual auditorium style – has a reputation for unpredictability and celebrity mischief, typically of the actress-caught-in-the-loo-as-their-name-is-announced variety.
And Gervais’ toilet humour proved persistent if not entirely persuasive, as he revealed the fate of the three Golden Globes he has, himself, won.
“One’s a doorstop, one I use to hit burglars with, and one I keep by the bed to … it doesn’t matter, it’s mine,” he said, adding: “To be clear, that was a joke about me shoving Golden Globes I have won up my ass.”
Western Sydney Wanderers may disagree, but Jarred Gillett was right to disallow them a goal against Melbourne City. The referee at the centre of Western Sydney’s contentious overruled goal carelessly allowed the Wanderers to quickly take a free kick before a Melbourne City defender could drop back into position. That defender, Patrick Kisnorbo, was only pulled out of position by Gillett for a lecture after a foul. The ever-aware Wanderers quickly pounced on that opportunity once Gillett incorrectly blew for play on, scoring via a player unmarked where Kisnorbo was previously standing.
Had it not been for an astute linesman, Gillett would not have been aware of this situation and would have allowed the goal to stand.
Brisbane too were let down by a linesman after being awarded a penalty against Wellington Phoenix, which was similarly overturned by a vigilant assistant who spotted the smallest of infringements by the attacking team. In a game where players of all ages are told to “play the whistle” it was cruel and seemingly unjust to order the Wanderers to retake it, but not as unfair as it would have been to allow that goal to stand.
2. Where there’s a will there’s a way
It was one of the most powerful moments of season – the split second after Ali Abbas scored in his first game after 13-month lay-off. He looked straight to the Sydney FC supporters, wanting to run towards them, but instead turned towards the coaching staff and jumped into the arms of the club physio and conditioning coach.
In early December 2014, doctors told Abbas his chances of playing again weren’t good after rupturing two ligaments in a horror tackle. Determined not to let that moment ruin his career, Abbas worked tirelessly to come back and made his impact minutes into his first professional game in more than a year.
3. Dollars over sense
Few games would have hurt more for the struggling Central Coast Mariners than their 3-3 draw with Melbourne Victory, and the question is, had they stayed in Gosford, instead of moving their home game to Geelong, would they have won? Central Coast was once a fortress for the side but, more eager to chase dollars than competition points, they moved that game to Geelong with a match fee understood to be attached. Naturally the crowd was mostly made up of Victory supporters who spurred their side on towards an unlikely comeback.
4. Jets in freefall
We’re now past the halfway stage of the most generous football competition in the world – where 60 per cent of teams make the finals – and Newcastle Jets don’t look like finishing in the top six for the sixth season in a row. Their 2-0 loss to Sydney FC made it seven weeks since they’ve scored and 11 weeks since they last won a match.
Worse still, the club looked bereft of confidence and simple marking and tracking would have prevented them from conceding. At the other end, the club looks rattled in the final third and although just four points from the finals zone, they don’t look close to bridging that gap.
5. World game v colonial game
It’s a battle that has been brewing for some time and will come to a head on Saturday night. No it’s not just Sydney FC against Western Sydney Wanderers but the world game against the colonial game. The A-League and Big Bash League cricket will further divide the city with two derby games and it is likely cricket will win the audience battle off the field.
Next year the A-League derbies appear set for ANZ Stadium, which could draw crowds in excess of 50,000 and if the FFA manages to seal a deal with a network, it will be broadcast nationally, truly challenging Big Bash cricket.
Critical: Mourad Boudjellal (centre) did not mince his words in his assessment of Quade Cooper and Ma’a Nonu. Photo: Getty Images Former Queensland Reds and Wallabies five-eighth Quade Cooper has felt the sting of outspoken Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal in the wake of his mixed early form in Europe.
The big-spending Frenchman has high standards and he expects his players and team to meet them.
But he’s not been happy with some of his latest high profile signings as Toulon struggle in fourth in the French Top 14 championship with seven wins and five losses. In their European Champions Cup pool they lie second to London Wasps.
Cooper has had a tough act to follow in the form of England legend Jonny Wilkinson in the red No 10 jersey.
Asked how the change was working, Boudjellal told Quinze Mondial: “It’s difficult to go from foie gras to pâté.”
That translated to having Wilkinson as the duck delicacy and Cooper as the standard fare.
“For now, Cooper is not what I was hoping for. But we have to also give him time.
“Right now if I say that I’m not happy with our stars, it’s only because we expect a lot. It’s true that in our imagination, we want them to fly across the pitch.
“We’ve been spoiled somewhat by [Tana] Umaga and then Wilkinson, so maybe we need to give them time…”
Earlier Boudjellal had been critical of his two New Zealand signings, All Blacks Ma’a Nonu and Tom Taylor.
He had labelled some of Nonu’s performances as the backline’s king-pin as “disappointing” but said he was “not worried” and that the All Blacks double World Cup winner was “a lost bet”.
He had told Le 10 Sport: “I can’t tell you that I don’t have concerns when I see the performances of Ma’a Nonu.”
Taylor didn’t escape his frank views either, clearly not giving his boss too much confidence with his goalkicking.
“I have the impression that Tom Taylor, an All Black, trembles each time he has a penalty attempt,” Boudjellal.
Kyron Dryden has been found guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend. Photo: Jonathan Carroll Kyron Dryden uploaded a video to Snapchat as he confronted his ex-girlfriend. Photo: Jonathan Carroll
Newcastle world champion boxer Kyron “The Hitman” Dryden has been found guilty of grabbing his ex-girlfriend by the throat, pushing her head into a mirror and slamming her onto the floor after he discovered her at another man’s house in September.
The 22-year-old Mayfield boxer, who won the International Boxing Organisation world youth (under-26) welterweight title in Newcastle in November, faced a hearing in Newcastle Local Court on Monday into allegations of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, common assault and entering a building with intent to commit an indictable offence.
The court was played a video, filmed by Dryden on the day of the assault and posted to Snapchat, a messaging app that records short videos or pictures that are then deleted from the recipient’s phone, the Newcastle Herald reports.
The video, entitled “ex-missus”, shows Dryden outside a man’s house in Mayfield where he says he has discovered “my missus is cheating on me”.
“She’s been lying to me the whole time,” Dryden says on the 10-second video clip.
“Here is her car in front of his house.”
The video clip then cuts to Dryden inside the house after he had found his ex-girlfriend.
She lies on the floor covering her face.
“Here’s my missus cheating on me in the bedroom,” the video continues.
Dryden gave evidence that he was headed to the gym when he spotted his former girlfriend’s car outside a friend’s house in Mayfield.
He called his twin brother, Darkon, and the victim’s brother before filming the Snapchat video.
Dryden told the court the victim’s brother didn’t believe his sister could be cheating on him and wanted proof.
Dryden said he went into the house to confirm his suspicions and denied ever touching his ex-girlfriend.
“I train every day, if I had taken hold of her throat there would be a lot more damage,” Dryden said.
The victim and the man at the house told the court Dryden and his brother barged their way into the home and when Dryden found the victim hiding behind the door he grabbed her by the throat, pushed her head into a mirror and “choke-slammed” her onto the floor, leaving her bruised and concussed.
Magistrate Alan Railton found Dryden guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, citing the injuries suffered to the victim and the discharge report from the Mater Hospital.
The charge of entering a building with intent to commit an indictable offence was dismissed and the back-up charge of common assault was withdrawn.
After he was found guilty, Dryden pleaded guilty to four counts of contravening an apprehended violence order, which related to contacting his ex-girlfriend in the months after the assault.
Power player: Chris Gayle of the Melbourne Renegades. Photo: Getty Images As it happened: Thunder v RenegadesChris Gayle in uncomfortable interview with Mel McLaughlinChris Gayle makes light of $10,000 fine on Instagram
In a match that dripped with drama, Chris Gayle again found himself in the bad books, a week after “Don’t Blush Baby-gate”, for refusing to take what appeared to be an easy single when he hammered the ball to long-on during Sydney Thunder’s loss to the Melbourne Renegades on Monday night.
Adding to the theatre after being slugged with a $10,000 fine for asking Channel 10 reporter Mel McLaughlin out during an interview, Gayle took strike with her watching from the boundary. One of his fiercest critics, Shane Watson – who said Gayle’s behaviour during the interview didn’t come as a surprise to those who know him – was bowling at him.
However, Gayle was savaged by the commentators for turning back his batting partner Tom Cooper, who was keen to take a run after the Renegades were set 174 for victory.
A week after Gayle was said to have taught young men how not to talk to women by asking McLaughlin out for a drink during a live interview before saying “don’t blush, baby”, he was all but accused of showing young cricketers how not to play in a format where one run can mean the difference between a win and loss during his 28 from 20 deliveries.
He was dismissed the next ball when Fawad Ahmed took a catch off Clint McKay and even Cooper seemed unimpressed when quizzed by Channel 10’s team for his reaction. “It wasn’t a good bit of cricket,” he said.
Usman Khawaja suggested it seemed “weird” before adding “the world boss does what the world boss does” and extolling the West Indian’s virtues as a batsman who can take a game away from the opposition – something he helped do in front of 18,602 people.
Opposing captain Michael Hussey took time out from his disappointment of losing a must-win match to defend his controversial opponent .
“I understood what he was trying to do, he was trying to take advantage of the power play,” said Hussey. “That’s what he’s there for, to take full advantage of the power play.
“He generally does it extremely well, he’d obviously lined up that bowler [McKay] and thought he could get him. Fortunately for us it went our way, but on another day he could hit the next two balls for sixes. That’s good tactics. I wouldn’t have a go at him for that, personally.”
Former n Test skipper Ricky Ponting criticised Gayle on the television coverage, saying: “This is the most unbelievable, ridiculous cricket I’ve ever seen.
“Sometimes in cricket and in life you get what you deserve, and he got what he deserved there.
“What sort of message does that send to the boys on the sideline?”
It was one of many dramatic twists in a game that started so well for the men in electric green.
Khawaja added another 62 runs to his incredible summer haul, while days after telling the national selectors he was no longer torturing himself about playing in the World Twenty20 Cup, Watson hit four big sixes in his inspired 62.
The Thunder set the Renegades what seemed a tough total. After watching the home team’s first 10 overs the statisticians scrambled for the record books, wondering if the Thunder could eclipse the benchmark 210 scored by the Renegades and Hobart Hurricanes in BBL03.
It was a sizzling start – Khawaja blasted 50 off 29 deliveries – but the ball and the pitch conspired against them, making it tough to maintain the pace when the ball became soft and the pitch played slower.
Khawaja, who has dominated every attack he’s faced this summer, managed only 12 runs off his last dozen deliveries. He seemed to lose his mojo when Watson dominated the strike, but few could complain. Batting at No.3 Watson seemed to give his team a winning edge.
Andre Rusell seemed hellbent on sealing the deal when he added 16 runs – 10 from a big six and a boundary – but there were concerns when he was struck by a sharp Rimmington delivery that crashed into his shoulder. He was in full swing, trying to belt the ball into orbit, and stepped on to his stumps.
While the injury forced Russell to rest after his opening two overs, he was called back into the attack to try and rescue the match after a masterful 91-run partnership between Cameron White and Dwayne Bravo.
Bravo’s whirlwind 47 runs off 24 balls took the game’s momentum from the Thunder and, testimony to the power of Bravo’s hitting, his bat flew to the other end of the pitch when he lost his grip.
After surviving an LBW appeal when he was on 10, White’s 61 from 46 provided the Renegades with the anchor, and the runs, needed to challenge the scoreboard and he was named man-of-the-match.
Russell kept the Thunder in the hunt by removing both men and when Tom Beaton was run out the Renegades needed four runs from seven balls.
The Thunder tried to rescue a game they should have sewn up but Peter Nevill delivered the KO blow by hitting a four to win the game.
“It’s no fun,” said Khawaja. “I’ll take the win over a good knock any day … we’ve just got to win, that’s all we can control.”
A replacement is yet to be found for Tony Nutt who has quit as NSW Liberal director. Photo: Jessica HromasWeeks after respected veteran Tony Nutt quit as NSW Liberal director to run the federal division, the party is preparing to settle on a replacement, with a cast of identities said to be in the running for the $350,000 a year job.
A push to install Premier Mike Baird’s director of strategy, Nigel Blunden, has failed after Mr Blunden knocked back the offer.
But the party has once again approached Scott Briggs, who it unsuccessfully tried to draft into the position in 2013 after then state director Mark Neeham quit to join strategy and lobbying firm Crosby Textor.
Mr Briggs – a former deputy state director and television executive with experience at the Nine Network and Fox Sports – is said to be Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s preferred candidate.
Mr Briggs was previously an advisor to Turnbull and Partners, the investment vehicle founded by the Prime Minister.
Other potential candidates include Chris Hall, chief-of-staff to trade minister Stuart Ayres and Jaymes Boland-Rudder, who was deputy chief of staff to former Premier Barry O’Farrell before leaving to join the National Rugby League.
Paul Ritchie – a staffer to former Prime Minister Tony Abbott – is also being discussed as is Bran Black, chief of staff to NSW environment minister Mark Speakman and a former general counsel for the state division.
Another name being mentioned is Simon Berger, the former director of government relations for Woolworths, who tendered his resignation after emceeing Alan Jones’ infamous “died of shame” speech about the former Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Also being considered is the option of poaching a director from another state branch.
Party insiders say a deadline of the end of February has been set to settle on a candidate as a federal election looms in the foreground for the coming year.
The search is being conducted by a select committee of the party’s state executive, which will be chaired by newly elected federal MP and NSW party president, Trent Zimmerman.
Mr Nutt, is also serving in a key role on that committee, as are representatives for the Premier and the Prime Minister.
The committee will report back to the full state executive with a suggested candidate for approval.
Liz Slakey with her children Luca Slakey 8 (left), Pippi Slakey 2 (2nd from right) and Declan Slakey 5 (right) in the backyard of their Haberfield home they are set to lose.A landmark review of the system whereby private property is forcibly acquired to make way for major infrastructure projects was handed to the NSW government two years ago, but the report is being kept secret.
The review by David Russell, SC, was commissioned in May 2012 by then finance minister Greg Pearce.
“It is well known that compulsory acquisition of private land and its impacts have been an ongoing area of stakeholder concern for many years,” Mr Pearce said at the time.
Mr Russell was due to report back by the end of 2012, but on Monday a spokesman for the NSW minister for finance, services and property, Dominic Perrottet, said it was not handed to the government until February 2014.
The spokesman said some of its recommendations have been introduced after being endorsed by cabinet the following August.
These were introducing a plain English explanation of the compulsory acquisition process and an improved meeting process between land owners and acquiring agencies.
Other recommendations – details of which the government will not disclose – were considered by an inter-departmental committee in 2014 and 2015.
“The government is yet to make a final decision on the inter-departmental committee’s comments,” he said.
“A decision around the report’s publication will be made once the Government has concluded its consideration of the report.”
It follows revelations that the government is resuming hundreds of millions of dollars worth of private property for infrastructure projects using a system it was warned three years ago is unfair to landowners.
A parliamentary committee chaired by Liberal MP Matt Kean issued the warning as part of a report calling for an overhaul of the compulsory acquisition and land valuation system in early 2013.
The committee recommended changing the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act to give landholders greater negotiating rights, more accountability from the acquiring agency and a more affordable appeal process.
But it has not implemented key recommendations of the report while forging ahead with forced resumption of homes for projects including the Westconnex, NorthConnex, Sydney Metro and the Sydney light rail.
Many landholders have complained they are being given compensation hundreds of thousand of dollars below market value, amid the recent Sydney property boom.
Labor’s roads spokeswoman Jodi McKay slammed the refusal to release the report as “a gross breach of trust” which “shows the clandestine levels to which this government will stoop in order to get things done”.
“Four years ago a government commissioned review examined why compulsory acquisition wasn’t working, yet this government has suppressed that report,” she said.
“Now we learn it has completely ignored a parliamentary committee recommending an overhaul of the acquisition system.”
“Meanwhile the government is pressing ahead with the largest forced acquisition program in the history of this state.”
Five members of an n family have been killed after their SUV crashed on Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh. Photo: http://yamunaexpresswayauthority Five members of an n family have been killed after their SUV crashed on Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh. Photo: yamunaexpresswayauthority上海龙凤论坛m
Five members of an n family, including two children, have died in a horrific accident on a freeway in India on Sunday.
Anamika Dutta, 45, her daughters Pipasa, 15, Neetika, 12, her son Tirvijai, 20, and her sister Sonia, 25, were killed when the wheel of their SUV burst as they were travelling along the Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh on their way to a picnic, according to local police.
The SUV was sent careening out of control into a safety barrier, then a road divider, flipping upside down and landing on the opposite side of the expressway.
Residents of a nearby village tried to help the family, but the two women and two girls died at the scene. Tirvijai was taken to Mathura Hospital where he died a short time later, police said.
Rupendra Dutta, Anamika’s husband and father of the three children, was also in the car and remains in hospital.
His father-in-law, N K Paliwal, and the driver of the SUV were also hospitalised and were being treated for injuries sustained in the crash.
Rupendra Dutta, originally from Delhi, runs a restaurant in Adelaide and was holidaying with his family in India at the time of the accident.
“He was on picnic to Agra with his wife, two daughters, son, sister-in-law and father-in-law, when the tragic incident took place”, a local told Indian news site NDTV.
Police spokesperson Narendar Singh told the Times of India that the accident took place around 3.30pm “due to a tyre burst”.
The Department of Foreign Affairs at Trade confirmed the deaths on Monday night, local time.
“[DFAT] is providing consular assistance in accordance with the Consular Services Charter to members of a family of ns who passed away following a traffic accident in Uttar Pradesh, India,” a spokeswoman said in a statement.
“Due to privacy obligations, we are unable to provide any further comment,” the spokeswoman said.
The bodies have been sent for post mortems.
Almost 2598 accidents and 38 deaths have occurred on the Yamuna Expressway between 9 August, 2012 and 30 September 2015, according to Indian government figures. */]]>
The freedom to improvise is one of the things Nigella Lawson loves about home cooking. Photo: Supplied The freedom to improvise is one of the things Nigella Lawson loves about home cooking. Photo: Supplied
She’s sold more than three million cookbooks worldwide and fronted a string of successful television cooking shows. But Nigella Lawson doesn’t claim to be a chef, much less a celebrity chef. She grew up in a food-mad family – the sort that sat around the table talking about what they ate yesterday, what they were eating now and what their next meal would be – but says it was the “disgusting” meals at boarding school that switched interest to obsession. Living in London gives Lawson access to a cosmopolitan array of ingredients, something reflected in her latest cookbook and accompanying television series, Simply Nigella, which scoop up inspiration from around the world.
My pantry: I have amassed such a lot of culinary clutter that it would be hard to itemise everything I keep in the pantry. But there is definitely always good bread, a hefty fudgy sourdough and some sesame-seeded flatbreads. I also always have unwaxed lemons, and a huge stash of nuts and seeds. I have a huge array of mustards: several pots of Colman’s English mustard (and tubes of it for when I’m travelling) as well as Dijon, wholegrain and tarragon mustards. I must have various chilli sauces, notably harissa and the Korean gochujang. I have a whole carb cupboard for pasta, rice and noodles, and although I keep all sorts of rice, the one I cannot live without is short grain brown rice. Good salt is essential, and by this I mean Maldon. Vegemite is a must and, on the sweet front, good dark chocolate, Nutella, chestnut puree, Lyle’s golden syrup, condensed milk (to make my no-churn ice-creams) and maple syrup. I have a real thing these days for RAW Health unfiltered apple cider vinegar, and I panic if I don’t have a good supply of Cretan Gold organic extra virgin olive oil, though I also need to have Farrington’s Mellow Yellow cold-pressed rapeseed oil, and a tub of unrefined coconut oil (and coconut butter) to hand. And I always have an absolute army of avocados!
My fridge: I always keep a couple of heads of cauliflower, which I spice with cumin, paprika and a pinch of cinnamon and roast with chickpeas; leggy broccoli, which I boil briefly and douse with soy and sprinkle with sesame seeds; kale and cavolo nero, which I boil and eat with my Cretan Liquid Gold extra virgin olive oil and Maldon salt, and perhaps a sprinkle of chilli flakes. I always have radishes, which I eat raw, as well as pickling them, roasting them, and adding them to be quickly poached in soup with ramen. Ginger is a must, as I eat an awful lot of it, as well as sweet potatoes, butternut pumpkin, beetroot, fennel (to be eaten raw in salads or braised in the oven), onions, garlic and banana shallots. The herbs I always keep in the fridge are flat-leaf parsley and coriander; thyme, rosemary and bay leaf grow in the garden.
I seem to keep a lot of milk in the house – full fat and semi-skimmed dairy milk as well as unsweetened almond and oat milks (great for matcha lattes and for making my oat pancakes). Haloumi and feta are always in my fridge, and occasionally comte and a really whiffy blue cheese. And I keep both salted and unsalted butters as well as double and clotted creams.
As for the freezer, I don’t have a very big one, but along with bread, I keep frozen broccoli florets, spinach, petits pois and edamame, filo pastry, berries, home-made ice-cream, and I always have a stash of cooked chickpeas and black beans and chicken stock, as well as many tubs and bags of leftovers.
I can’t honestly say I have a secret vice, but I can often be found crunching my way through a bag of blue corn chips. And I have a big box filled with all things liquorice.
Last night’s dinner
Last night’s dinner was one of my regular fallbacks: warm roast cauliflower and chickpea salad with parsley and pomegranate seeds.
I chain-drink tea (Typhoo non-stop, interspersed with the odd rooibos) and am a complete aquaholic – I get through at least three litres of Evian a day. I’ve got a huge drinks cupboard, but often use these liqueurs more for cooking with than drinking, and although I do keep vodka in the freezer (I am rather partial to Tito’s at the moment) it’s only on rare occasions I drink it – as a vodka martini, straight up with a twist, mixed in my Mason cocktail shaker.
A mezzaluna – that half-moon-shaped knife with a handle at either end, which I use for chopping herbs (as well as chocolate). A Freestanding Kitchen-Aid as well as a Kenwood stick blender (both in bright pink). Le Creuset enamelled cast-iron casseroles, as well as some cast-iron skillets and a Netherton slow-cooker, which comes with a removable cast-iron bowl so that you can start things off on the stove first. I also am very attached to my old Zojirushi rice cooker and I wouldn’t want to be without my Microplane fine grater.
I don’t need anything added to my kitchen to make me want to cook in it: it fills me with pleasure every time I’m in it (which is most of the time). But if there’s anything about that makes it a particularly inspiring place, it’s the light; the great uplifting luxury of light.
I have a collection of old, burnt wooden spoons from my mother and my sister Thomasina’s kitchens, both of whom died young.
Most unforgettable meal
All meals are unforgettable for me: I seem to remember everything I eat. But whenever I think of the perfect evening out, it’s of eating at Icebergs, at Bondi Beach, with the waves splashing savagely outside.
My chicken tray-bake with bitter orange and fennel – it was the first thing I cooked in my new kitchen, and I have cooked it more than anything else since. It makes any evening utterly effortless and fragrantly delicious.
A more recent addition to my pantry is matcha powder, which I use for cakes, ice-cream and matcha lattes. It is pretty costly, so having baked with it, I made sure to find many other ways of using up the packet, and now have to keep it in the house.
Eliza Chalmers, 8, of Wanniassa cooling off at Canberra Olympic Pool in Civic. Photo: Jeffrey ChanA heatwave of temperatures in the mid-to-high 30s was tipped to swelter the capital until Friday.
Tops of 38 degrees on Wednesday and 36 on Tuesday and Thursday were expected to follow Monday’s maximum of 35.
Overnight temperatures were likely to be 5 to 6 degrees above average, with a minimum of 21 degrees on Thursday.
But Canberrans will score quick relief from the hot spell, with a significant 15-degree drop set for Friday.
They may also see up to 40 millimetres of rain across Thursday and Friday, which is more than half Canberra’s average monthly rainfall.
Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Acacia Pepler said about one in four years has a string of days reaching 35 degrees or higher.
“There have been 20 heatwaves since Canberra Airport opened in 1939, of which 16 were in January,” she said.
“The longest spell was nine days of 35 plus, over 21-29 January, 1947.So this heatwave is significant, but not record-breaking.”
However, it is much hotter than last year’s “relatively cold and wet” January, which only had one day above 35 degrees.
This summer would have likely had five days above 35 degrees after this heatwave, while the average year has three days that hot.
The hottest January day on record for Canberra was 42 degrees on January 18, in 2013, and the hottest day for any month was 42.2 degrees on February 1, in 1968, Ms Pepler said.
While this week’s temperatures are well above January’s average daytime temperature of 28, the expected rainfall was also high.
Thursday and Friday could get more than the 35 millimetres that fell throughout December.
The cool change will see a top of 21 on Friday, 23 on Saturday and 27 on Sunday, with temperatures likely to stay in the high 20s for most of the following week.
The sudden drop in temperatures is caused by a deep low pressure trough followed by a cold front, Weatherzone meteorologist Kim Westcott said.
“We are going to see much cooler air moving behind this cold front,” she said.
“You’ll also notice that Friday will be showery, cloudy and a bit windy at times, too.”
But until the heat subsides, ACT Health advises Canberrans to keep hydrated, stay rested and eat fresh food.
People should limit non-essential strenuous activity, avoid alcohol and caffeine when dehydrated and take cool showers.
“Wear lightweight clothing and be sun-smart,” the website says. “Check on others including children, elderly, people with medical conditions and don’t forget your pets.
“Never leave anyone (particularly children or the elderly) in an unattended car. Temperatures inside a car can rise to 50 degrees within a few minutes, leading to serious illness or death.”
Children’s safety is said to be a priority for John Skene, who regularly photographs kids swimming during the summer.
He recently entered The Canberra Times’ summer photocomp with a picture of his six-year-old family friend Callan Dunstan enjoying a waterslide at a Christmas party.
“I’m well aware that little ones can get into trouble in six inches of water,” he said.
“I’m firstly conscious of safety, then it’s also about fun and catching the moment.”
To enter this season’s competition, send in a maximum of three photos with a summer theme to [email protected]上海龙凤论坛m.au as attached JPEG files at least 150 kilobytes and not more than one megabyte in size. Include your name, address, phone number, photo title, a description of the photo and the date it was taken.
Click or touch here for full terms and conditions. The competition ends 12.00am February 28
Low inflation in China is bad news for Asia Photo: David Rowe ‘We have no historic precedent to draw upon and asset pricing is moving in uncharted waters.’ Photo: Dorothy Woodgate
Deflation is the “most likely” scenario for most of the developed world, according to a gloomy note from Sydney-based Clime Asset Management, while Fidelity and HSBC have also echoed their concern about the spectre of falling prices.
Clime said the outlook for the world’s developed economies was one of lower growth and low inflation.
“We would therefore speculate that the most likely economic scenario for most of the developed world is deflation. A re-run of Japan’s decades of low growth but on a grander worldwide scale.”
Deflation is characterised by falling prices, as opposed to inflation, which is defined as rising prices. Economists consider deflation a threat because it increases the real value of debt and may aggravate recessions through a deflationary spiral.
Clime stated that the “inflexion point into this low growth era has been passed” and markets were realising that investment returns were going to be single-digit and consistent with low economic growth. The World Bank last week downgraded growth forecasts.
Clime said that “this economic period and the economic settings are unique in world economic history … we have no historic precedent to draw upon and asset pricing is moving in uncharted waters.”
Dominic Rossi, Fidelity’s Global CIO equities, also argued that deflation was likely – but unlike Clime, put the blame on emerging economies.
“Global equity markets are battling the third wave of deflation since 2008,” Mr Rossi told Fairfax Media.
“The epicentre now is not within the developed world nor the financial system but within the developing world and the global manufacturing sector, where capital allocation has been poor and where overcapacity is rife. A crisis in emerging currency markets has flagged these problems for 18 months.”
Mr Rossi said the catalyst for deflation was the Chinese yuan, falls in which will further deflate the demand for commodities and traded goods.
“Inflationary pressures will correspondingly remain tame to non-existent.”
Central banks in Europe and Japan would continue their “ultra-loose” monetary policies, while the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England faced the possibility of backtracking on their interest rate hiking cycles.
“Pressure…to raise interest rates will surely wane,” said Mr Rossi.
HSBC’s paper, “Feeling deflated still”, pointed out that China’s annual inflation result of 1.6 per cent, released on the weekend, was bad news for Asia.
“Sliding inflation poses a major headache for policy-makers in Asia,” said HSBC.
“First, it makes the already high level of debt harder to service, hurting demand. Second, it reduces the potency of any further monetary stimulus. Marginal rate cuts may still arrive in the coming months, including in Korea, China, Indonesia, , New Zealand and India. But they’ll not pack much punch.”
The paper cited HSBC’s chief China economist, Qu Hongbin, who argues that without “aggressive reflation” the drag on demand of falling inflation will only increase.
But monetary easing faced two constraints, the paper said.
“First, in many economies interest rates are already at such low levels that they leave little room for meaningful cuts (think Korea, Thailand, Taiwan). Second, with the Fed hiking and exchange rate volatility on the rise, overly aggressive easing could precipitate capital outflows, which would tighten, rather than ease, overall financial conditions.
“Conventional monetary policy is approaching its limits in much of Asia.”
That left fiscal policy.
“Government debt in much of the region (though not everywhere, such as in Japan, India, or Malaysia) appears low enough that pump priming remains an option. Qu Hongbin, for one, expects a meaningful fiscal boost in China this year. But elsewhere, with the exception of Japan, counter-cyclical fiscal policy is rarely a preferred tool, with the authorities generally pursuing a relatively conservative approach, often hemmed in by legal or self-imposed fiscal rules.”
Conservationist Phillip Fowler on his property near Blakney Creek, north-east of Yass. Photo: Graham Tidy A Southern Pygmy Perch. Photo: Luke Pearce
A little creek smothered in bulrushes harbours a rare native fish that is consuming much of Phillip Fowler’s time.
The conservationist became engrossed in Lang’s Creek about 12 years ago, while helping Landcare friends plant trees there. Mr Fowler brought Rockview, a 120-hectare property in 2008, which includes 1.2 kilometres of the creek’s head waters.
North-east of Yass, the spring-fed creek flows into Blakney Creek and the Lachlan River, and NSW Fisheries are trying to stock creeks in the area with the endangered pygmy perch, which were found more than a decade ago in small pools during the drought.
Fisheries researcher Luke Pearce says the nine-centimetre perch was once so common throughout the Murray catchment a 1970s fishing book recommended it as live bait for trout.
Now it is found in only three places in NSW, including Blakney Creek, where it is fast losing ground to noxious redfin. In 2007, pygmy perch were in a 25-kilometre section of the creek, in 2009 this was reduced to 15 kilometres, in 2013, 12 kilometres.
“It just astounds me that some people still believe the redfin is a native fish,” Mr Pearce said. He said the introduced predator had been found in a section of Lang’s Creek.
Further east on the Lachlan River, fat-lamb producer and Landcare stalwart Vince Heffernan says some landholders would not know or care whether fish were in their creeks.
“Those creeks are the last pockets of the vast Murray Darling Basin that are in exceptionally good condition. They have a huge number of aquatic plants in them. In one pond you might find 20 different species of aquatic plants, and that’s what gives cover to things like the southern pygmy perch,” he said.
Mr Heffernan says a new, merged Landcare group was prioritising the plight of the pygmy perch. In rare places it appeared, other species like turtles, crayfish and waterbirds not seen elsewhere were likely to be living as well.
“It is not about one fish, it is the health of an entire freshwater riparian ecosystem, really,” he said.
Mr Fowler believes the absence of trout, carp and redfin has allowed the perch to thrive in his section of Lang’s Creek, but is worried about redfin. The Commonwealth Department of Environment biodiversity fund allocated $24,000 to Mr Fowler in 2012 to protect and enhance his patch of the creek.
“If you leave the bush [un-grazed] it will re-revegetate itself,” Mr Fowler says. “It has been doing it for at least 100,000 years, and is much better than us re-vegetating.
“Same with the creek, if you take away the grazing animals and erosion, it will do it itself, and that is what is happening,” he said. Over time he hopes to cover the bare, eroded patches on the banks, which he reckons have so much acid their pH equivalent would be close to battery acid.
Cassinia and silver wattle are taking hold on the rock-hard banks. Bare gullies have been softened over recent years with dumps of hay to improve the soil.
Mr Fowler’s toughest battle is with blackberries, which he has burned and slashed. He will not use chemical spray. “This is 100 per cent organic landcare,” he says. Where blackberries have been cut back, pioneer trees like the wattle begin to grow.
“In the long run, the economic benefits will be exponential, just like the biodiversity benefits. We are having little or no creek erosion. For seven years we have been managing the land, the main threat is erosion, sedimentation and pollution,” Mr Fowler said.