Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Up in smoke

There has been a lot around lately about smoking and the proposed new Labor plan to introduce plain packets to deter people from buying them.

I am not a smoker and I really have to question the effectiveness of such a plan. Would someone who has smoked for 30 years give up just because their smokes come in a plain packet?
With several Coalition MPs backing Labor’s move, which the government says will cut smoking rates and improve public health, there have now been calls for the government to go further and ban donations from tobacco companies to parties.
In the Courier Mail, WA Liberal senator Chris Back was quoted as saying he didn’t believe plain packaging would cut smoking rates.

"If the product is so bad that companies can't use their own brand to actually sell it then the government ought to ... say, should it be legal in the first place?'" he said.
Federal health minister Nicola Roxon admits that although the move to remove advertising on cigarette packages may not reduce smoking rates, that it would bring about a change in how the tobacco companies operated.
Have you all seen the recent $61 million campaign based around lung cancer and smoker’s cough on television and billboards? I saw an ad on the back of a taxi, with a man coughing up blood and the slogan saying The cost of his cigarettes isn’t the only thing he will cough up. Clever words from a PR standpoint but I am not sure of the overall impact… 
We have all seen those graphic ads on TV where they cut the chest of a smoker open to reveal blackened lungs and clogged arteries… I think that it’s unnecessary for people to have to see this kind of thing. I don’t condone smoking and I am aware of the health risks, but you can’t force people to quit by implementing shock and awe tactics.
People know smoking is bad for them and still decide to smoke; I don’t believe that a new multi-million dollar campaign or selling blank cigarette packs is going to change that.
I feel like this will be a never-ending battle until smoking is eventually made illegal, which seems unlikely to happen.
Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of preventable death and disease in Australia. It kills 15,000 people and costs taxpayers $31.5 billion a year.

Currently, 16 per cent of Australians are smokers. That equates to 3,618,888 Australians.

Back to my Origin

As my favourite Queensland skipper walks into his last Origin series before his pending retirement, I can’t help but feel a little nostalgic.

I have grown up watching the Broncos play and my family are huge NRL fans – so much so that I was put into a Brisbane jersey before I was even old enough to make decisions about what team I should cheer for.

I loved seeing ‘Wolly Woolis’ on tv – he was my favourite back when I was about three years old. I still love Wally, but since growing up and becoming more educated about the sport of rugby league, it has been all about Lockyer.

Joining Wally in the ranks of my favourite sports people who include Roger Federer, Steve Moneghetti, Cathy Freeman, Kieren Perkins and Stephen Gerrard, is NRL God, Darren Lockyer.

I know there is so much surrounding the series at the moment, but I am just praying that the Maroons can win this series for their main man; it would be such a fitting tribute to someone who has given so much of himself to the game.

As key players step down, I find myself thinking how they could ever be replaced? How does another step into the shoes of someone who has made history and become part of the framework of the game for so many years?

Despite all this, I hope Queensland puts the emotion aside and channels it into smart ball play, quick feet and sure hands. And it would be helpful that if tonight the refs were completely objective (if it’s not too much to ask?!) Finally, I ask those of you lucky enough to going tonight to drink up the atmosphere that will surely be tingling with anticipation for our beloved Lockyer.

So it is only appropriate that I finish this short post with a huge ….


Monday, May 16, 2011

Cheers to the years

I thought I’d do a blog today, this being the last day I will be 25-years-old.

Tomorrow I am turning one year older and tilting even more closer to 30. The thing with age is, for me, I am relishing growing older. I figure that I have so many things to look forward to and things I am yet to experience – I am not fazed by these numbers going up and up each year.

I am also one of those people who live by the rule that age is just a number. Just because I will turn 26 tomorrow doesn’t necessarily mean I must act 26 – I mean birthdays give you unbridled freedom to act as silly as you like don’t they?

And I would say I still feel as though I’m in my early 20s, say around 22. And I’ve been told by people I don’t look my age (thanks!) but much younger… but that may also be thanks to my wonderful dermatologist.

Well this weekend, I intend to celebrate, rather than commiserate my turning 26. I am having a joint get-together with my little brother and a bunch of our friends and family. My little bro will be turning 22 five days after me.  

So to all those who cringe turning older, I say embrace it – it only comes once a year and it’s a great excuse to let your hair down. If it makes you feel better, just knock a few candles off your cake and let that represent how young you feel.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Congrats to Wills & Kate

I am not ashamed to admit that I come from a family that is totally Royal Family gaga (on my mum’s side). So with the recent nuptials between Kate Middleton and Prince William it is safe to say that we were in a bit of a royal haze of excitement.

There is just something about a wedding – the emotion, the beautiful outfits, the music… I just can’t get enough. So needless to say I was glued to about three channels simultaneously last Friday night to watch my teenage crush say ‘I do’ to his commoner bride, now the Duchess of Cambridge.

When I was a teenager, around the ages of about 13 to 16, I thought Prince William was the bees knees. His floppy hair and boyish charm, not to mention his devilish grin that was obviously given to him from his genetically blessed mother, Princess Diana.

I was a bit emotional watching him and Harry walking into the Abbey and thinking about what these brothers have been through for men of such a young age.

I couldn’t help remembering the last time I watched a ceremony happen at the Abbey, which was Diana’s funeral. I clearly remember little Harry and William sombrely following their mother’s casket into the church. I think mum and I watched the telly all day that day and just cried. It was so emotional and devastating to think that these young men had lost their mother so young and in such horrific circumstances.

I think that Diana would have been extremely proud of William on his wedding day – from what I have heard/read he and Kate really did things their way and I think the ceremony was more a reflection of their mutual love for one another and less about the pomp and formalities reflected in previous royal weddings. He has taken so many cues from his mother – it’s more about being a good person than about being someone you think others want you to be.

I especially loved the part when he drove Kate away from the palace in his father’s blue Aston Martin convertible with balloons and streamers flowing behind them! They looked just like any other giddy couple on their wedding day.

I am so happy for them and I think they will certainly break the mould when it comes to royal couples and indeed future leaders of our Commonwealth.

The Met Gala 2011 fashions

I am loving the pics coming through of the arrivals on the red carpet at the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty Costume Institute Gala in New York City yesterday. I thought I'd share a few of my favourite and not-so-favourite looks...

Loving Miranda Kerr’s dress – I am a sucker for ballerina-esq fashion

I also really liked Blake Lively’s one-shoulder Chanel Couture creation

Diane Kruger's look is on cue with her Jason Wu old-Hollywood inspired creation

Kate Hudson looked radiant with her burgeoning belly and golden gown

I am a huge fan of Gwyneth Paltrow and loved this shimmery Stella McCartney column dress

Not loving Madonna’s frumpy look, also in Stella McCartney

Trying to be different, but missing the mark the usually fashion forward Leighton Meester looks more bondage babe than beautiful

Although I love Marchesa, Fergie looks awful in this bridal-freakshow outfit (and the over the top botox doesn’t help her look).