The truth about quitting your job to travel the world

This is the fantasy: you quit your day job, whatever that is. You chuck in that reliable nine-to-five, you pack up your belongings, you say goodbye to your family and friends, you get on a plane, and you go. You travel.

And you never stop.

This is the dream. It’s travelling the world in perpetuity, wandering the globe without stopping, spending your life flitting from place to place, seeing the sights, meeting the people, drinking in the world around you. The logic goes that if you love to travel, then you’ll love to travel all of the time. Forever.

This is the fantasy that some people peddle. There’s a breed of traveller, usually overly smiley bloggers in my experience, who use this as their selling point: that they’re constantly travelling the world, and they’re being paid for it.

They place themselves under enticing headlines like, “How I sold everything I own to travel the world”, and encourage others to live the dream with them. Or at least live vicariously through them.

They don’t have a house any more. They don’t have a normal job. They don’t have any of the constraints of Western life. They just wander. Sounds amazing, right?

Well, not really.

This is a completely personal preference, but to me a life of constant travel sounds horrible. Just because you love doing something doesn’t mean you’re going to love doing it all the time.

I’ve got about four months in me. Five, tops. That is the limit to my nomadic global wandering. That’s the most time I want to spend living out of a backpack or suitcase, sleeping on floors and couches and bunks and hotel beds. That’s how much time I’ve got before I’ve had enough. This is what the bloggers and the dedicated wanderers will never tell you: a life of constant travel isn’t that much fun. It might sound freeing to give up all of your possessions and your house in favour of traipsing around the globe, but the reality doesn’t come close to matching up with the dream.

It’s a lonely existence, for starters. You’ll often be doing this stuff by yourself, because it’s rare to find someone else who’s willing to give everything up and go with you. So you’ll be doing this exploration solo – taking trains by yourself, riding buses by yourself, looking at monuments by yourself, eating at restaurants by yourself, drinking in bars by yourself.

You will meet people along the way. You’ll end up with thousands of Facebook friends. But these will be fleeting relationships, gone as soon as they’ve begun. And then you’re on your own again.

Travel is a constant battle, and it’s one that will be exciting at first. All of those haggles with taxi drivers, those hit-and-miss hotels, those struggles to book tickets, that wrangling with a foreign language – that will be invigorating to begin with. But it wears you down.

Just as living out of a suitcase wears you down. Just as never having a space to truly call your own wears you down. Just as the constant search for a washing machine, or the constant craving for home-cooked food wears you down.

I have about four or five months before all of this stuff starts to matter. For four or five months I’m completely happy to wander on my own, to battle with language and locals, to wear stinky clothes, to take chances on restaurants and make fleeting friendships in hostel dorms. After that, I’m done.

This is not the dream existence. It’s hard work. Travel is amazing, but it’s something that should be done in manageable chunks. You need a base. You need a tiny amount of stability. You need time to recharge and remind yourself that all of these things you’re doing are mind-boggling, and a privilege, and that they need to be appreciated in comparison to something else.

If there’s a dream to be lived, it would come closer to what a friend of mine calls “travelling without moving”. He likes to do his travel by moving to another country and living there for a while. You get the excitement of being in a foreign land, but with the comforts of a bedroom and a washing machine and a place to call home.

That, to me, sounds a lot more enjoyable than living the bloggers’ dream, travelling to a new place every week, giving up everything you know. Just because you love to travel, doesn’t mean you’ll love to travel all of the time.

So don’t envy those people spruiking their amazing lifestyle. Don’t covet a life of being paid just enough to get by while constantly travelling the world.

Those people don’t have everything. Most don’t even have a washing machine.

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See also: 12 signs that prove you’re a ‘real’ travellerSee also: Science proves travel is the secret to happiness

Going places: Travel news and deals

Cruise the Aegean Sea aboard the mega-yacht, MS Galileo. Photo: Supplied Cruise the Aegean Sea aboard the mega-yacht, MS Galileo. Photo: Supplied

Explore Laos and the Mekong with G Adventures.

Cruise the Aegean Sea aboard the mega-yacht, MS Galileo. Photo: Supplied

Cruise the Aegean Sea aboard the mega-yacht, MS Galileo. Photo: Supplied


A 14-day trip through Thailand and Laos is now 15 per cent off. It includes visits to the temples in Chiang Mai, night markets, sailing on the Mekong and spending the night in a Laotian village, 13 meals, 11 nights in hotels and one overnight train.

$1444 for the November 27 departure.   Phone 1300 180 969. See gadventures杭州龙凤论坛  IMPERIAL INDIA

There’s a 33 per cent reduction on the single supplement for Insight Vacations’ Luxury Gold 13-day Imperial Rajasthan Tour. It includes baggage handling throughout, hotel and restaurant tips, free Wi-Fi, transfers and lots of meals and sightseeing.

From $3525 a person for select departures until April 11, 2016. Phone 1300 301 672. See insightvacations杭州龙凤论坛m  ISLAND MALDIVES PACKAGE

This seven-night package includes a free upgrade from a Beach Villa to an Ocean Villa Sunrise at Loama Resort in the Maldives, return economy flights with Singapore Airlines from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, half board, Wi-Fi and return speedboat transfers.

From $4360 a person twin share if booked by October 31 for travel before December 12. Phone 1300 728 998. See siaholidays杭州龙凤论坛 SAVINGS

Beyond Travel is offering early-bird savings of up to $800 per cabin on 2016 departures of its eight-day Jewels of the Cyclades cruise aboard the mega-yacht, MS Galileo. Round trip from Athens, ports include Paros, Kythnos and Syros, Santorini and Mykonos. Two meals a day are included.

From $2510 a person twin share if  booked and paid for by February 25. Departures are April – October, 2016. Phone 1300 363 554. See beyondtravel杭州龙凤论坛m.auSCANDINAVIA FOR FAMILIES

50 Degrees North’s six-day Aurora Safari and Treehotel Christmas Special takes you to see the Aurora Borealis in the wilds of Swedish Lapland staying at the Treehotel and the Aurora Safari Camp. It includes a traditional Christmas Eve dinner. Now 10 per cent off at $5174 a person for the December 22 departure. See fiftydegreesnorth杭州龙凤论坛mEUROPEAN ADVENTURE

Planning a big family adventure in Europe in 2016? Creative Holidays’ early-bird airfares include a $100 land credit when booked with a minimum of four nights’ accommodation. Airfare offers include flying economy return with Singapore Airlines from $1569 for departures March 1 – September 30, 2016 when booked by November 9.

See creativeholildays杭州龙凤论坛m  CRUISE FRANCE

Save $400 on The Grand France, a 14-night Uniworld Connoisseur Collection trip including French cuisine experiences such as a visiting La Couronne restaurant.  Get all meals and unlimited beverages on board, Wi-Fi, transfers and TVG train between Paris and Lyon.

From $11,869 a person twin share until November 30 for departure on July 17, 2016. Phone 1800 044 066. See travel-associates杭州龙凤论坛   SINGAPORE TO SYDNEY

Take a $500 saving on a 19-day cruise from Singapore to Sydney. This package takes you to Singapore, Bali, Darwin, Cairns, Brisbane and Sydney on board Celebrity Cruises’ ship, Millennium.  It includes flight to Singapore and two nights in Singapore.

From $1999 a person twin share. Departs March 11. Valid for sale till October 31. Phone 1300 813 391. See ditravel杭州龙凤论坛m.auPORT STEPHENS HOTEL BARGAIN

Get two nights for the price of three at Shoal Bay Beachclub Apartments in the Port Stephens area of New South Wales . Under the spring offer, a two-bedroom Sea Spray apartment with sofa bed accommodating up to six people is priced from $169 a night.

Valid for stays till December 18. See portstephens杭州龙凤论坛.au  WORLD ON SALE

AccorHotels’ Global Super Sale is on from October 12, offering discounts of up to 40 per cent plus free breakfast for members of AccorHotels’ loyalty programs (Accor Plus and Le Club AccorHotels) and 30 per cent off plus free breakfast for non-members who book through the Accor website. The deal applies to more than 100 hotels and resorts around and more than 2800 hotels worldwide.

Book online October 12-16 for stays November 1, 2015 – April 30, 2016. See accorhotels杭州龙凤论坛m/supersale

Lake Macquarie mental health advocate and volunteer allegedly killed by daughter

The Redhead house where a woman, 73, was stabbed to death. Photo: Newcastle HeraldA woman, 73, allegedly killed by her daughter at Redhead, in Lake Macquarie, on Saturday was an advocate and volunteer for mental-health services in the Hunter.

Gail Parnell was found dead inside her home at The Sanctuary mobile-home park on Kalaroo Road about 6.30pm, reports the Newcastle Herald. She had suffered multiple stab wounds in an alleged frenzied attack by her daughter, Keren Parnell, 36.

Gail’s husband, John Parnell, suffered minor injuries, including scratches and bruises to both arms, police said. He was taken to John Hunter Hospital but later discharged.

Keren Parnell, of New Lambton, was arrested at the home and later charged with murder, using an offensive weapon with intent to commit an indictable offence and detaining a person with intent to obtain an advantage and cause actual bodily harm.

She did not leave the courthouse cells or apply for release in Newcastle Bail Court on Sunday morning.

Her legal-aid solicitor said Keren Parnell had “significant mental and physical health issues” and asked for her to  be seen by a nurse while in custody.

Her matter was adjourned to Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday.

Police have also applied for an apprehended violence order on behalf of Mr Parnell against his daughter. Both parents had been board members for the Association of the Relatives and Friends of the Mentally Ill (ARAFMI) Hunter.

The organisation  aims to provide  support services for the families and carers of people with a mental illness.

ARAFMI committee treasurer Garry Fowkes was deeply shocked to hear of Gail Parnell’s death. Mr Fowkes said she had been a board member for some years and had acted as a carer to two of her children and her husband after he had a stroke a few years ago.

“She was a beautiful, gentle, caring person,” Mr Fowkes said. “That’s the best way to sum her up.”

Saturday was World Mental Health Day and October is Mental Health Month in NSW.

Mr Fowkes said ARAFMI had been organising the annual mental health walk of pride for October 24 “to celebrate how far we’ve come with destigmatising mental illness”.

“For this sort of thing to happen to one of our members so close to that event is going to be heartbreaking,” he said.

It is believed Mr and Mrs Parnell moved to the Redhead mobile-home park from Swansea about five months ago. Residents of The Sanctuary park said it was generally Redhead’s most peaceful place. Popular with retirees, it is home only to permanent residents.

It is the sort of place where residents leave their doors unlocked to go for a walk. When a throng of ambulances burst through the park gates on Saturday afternoon, residents thought someone had suffered a heart attack.

Then word spread that a crime scene was being set up. “It was such a shock,” one resident said. “I feel so sorry for the family. It’s a very sad situation.”

The park encourages a social atmosphere, but the Parnells preferred to keep to themselves during the few months they lived there, neighbours said.

“If you walked past them they would say g’day and that’s about it,” one resident said.

The Newcastle Herald

Barnaby Joyce ‘certain’ he will get control of water as China dries out

Drought conditions are expanding as the El Nino impact on grows. Photo: Peter Rae Environment flows are necessary to maintain the health of the rivers, including the Macquarie Marshes in western NSW. Photo: Nick Moir

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce says he remains “absolutely certain” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will keep his promises to the Nationals, including transferring responsibility for water to them, amid reports of simmering tensions over the issue.

Mr Joyce told ABC Radio’s Fran Kelly on Monday that the agreements made by Mr Turnbull after he deposed Tony Abbott as leader last month “will be honoured”.

“This is absolutely crucial for how the Coalition works,” he said, adding he was also certain “water returns to Agriculture”.

The comments follow a report by News Corp on Monday that said the Nationals were worried Mr Joyce’s assistant minister Liberal senator Anne Ruston would get responsibility for water.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s department, meanwhile, retains control of the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office which manages water purchased by the government for the benefit of the environment, his office confirmed on Monday.

Water is looming as an increasingly contested area as the regions with unusually dry and hot conditions continued to expand, with irrigators keen to maintain allowances while environmental scientists say rivers must maintain their health.

Farmers are starting to feel the bite, with Rabobank on Monday saying the country’s wheat crop was threatened by the hot and dry conditions.

“We forecast production to reach 24 million to 25 million tonnes but if rains don’t arrive later this month, we will have to reduce the estimate further,” the bank said in its latest commodity review.

Dry times 

The Bureau of Meteorology last week released its updated drought and streamflow reports showing that rainfall deficiencies are expanding and the near-term outlook is for declining run-off reaching reservoirs for most of the country.

The reports came as much of southern broke early-season heat records at the start of October and the bureau lifted its forecasts for above-average warmth and below-average rainfall for the October to December period.

Record low rainfall has been recorded in parts of south-eastern South and adjacent parts of Victoria.

Almost half of Victoria is now enduring severe rainfall deficiencies, the bureau said, noting that much of eastern has been relatively dry over the past 36 months.

September was the equal third driest on record with about two-thirds less rainfall than usual. Those dry conditions combined with the three-month outlook mean 98 of 118 stream or river locations are likely to have lower-than-usual flows over the period, the bureau said.

Last month, the Senate passed the government’s plan to cap water buybacks in the Murray Darling Basin to 1500 billion litres, prompting criticism from scientists who warned the move did not take proper account of the long-term threat from climate change.

Separately, the n Conservation Foundation has welcomed an ABC report that Mr Joyce is willing to consider reinstating the Sustainable Rivers Audit. While open to the idea of the survey being reinstituted, no decision has been been made, Mr Joyce’s office said.

The audit, cancelled three years ago by state governments, had found all but two of the 23 river valleys in the Murray-Darling Basin were in a poor, very poor, or extremely poor state.

“Millions of ns depend on a healthy Murray-Darling for their lives and livelihoods, so closely tracking its long-term health is vitally important to a large number of people,” Jonathan La Nauze, ACF’s healthy ecosystems program manager, said.

“Putting the river and irrigation industries on a sustainable footing is a difficult journey, making reliable scientific evidence all the more important,” he said in a statement.

El Nino plus

While this year’s dry spell has been attributed to the widening impact from the El Nino in the Pacific, southern has experienced a longer term drying out, particularly for winter rains.

This shift was first detected in south-western Western but has now extended to the country’s south-eastern regions.

Storm tracks that typically bring winter rains have shifted southwards as circumpolar winds speed up.

Malcolm Turnbull urged to back partial repeal of Racial Discrimination Act as Senate stoush looms

Andrew Bolt has been a vocal proponent for changes to the Racial Discrimination Act. Photo: Justin McManus Family First senator Bob Day has proposed removing the words “insult” and “offend” from section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is facing pressure to reinstate the Coalition’s policy to repeal Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act after he previously backed a compromise bill up for debate in the Senate this week.

The so-called Day amendment would make it no longer an offence to offend or insult a person on the basis of their race.  It would remain unlawful to humiliate or intimidate a person or group of people based on their race or ethnicity.

Earlier this year and before he seized the prime ministership, Mr Turnbull told conservative News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt that he doubted such a change “would have any negative impact.”

The bill, put forward by Family First senator Bob Day, is listed for debate on Thursday morning.  It is co-sponsored by Liberal senators Dean Smith and Cory Bernardi and Liberal Democratic Party senator David Leyonhjelm.

Senator Bernardi backed Tony Abbott against Mr Turnbull in the September leadership tussle but was a strong critic of the former prime minister for reneging on his promise to repeal Section 18c to appease the Muslim community.

He said on Monday the looming debate was an important test for the new Prime Minister.

“The current Prime Minister has previously said he supports these modest changes on 18c so this Thursday is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate actions speak louder than words,” Senator Bernardi told Fairfax Media.

“It should be brought to a vote and the Coalition should support this bill.

“This was our policy that was temporarily delayed but given the current Prime Minister’s commitment to these changes I see no reason to delay it any further.”

Up to half a dozen Coalition senators have previously vowed to vote in favour of the Day amendment even if it means crossing the floor. Senator Bernardi called on his colleagues to maintain the courage of their convictions.

“It will remain to be seen whether those who are now on the frontbench but previously committed to freedom of speech in supporting this bill will now have the courage of their convictions to do so,” Senator Bernardi said.

The Queensland Liberal National senator James McGrath is one of those understood to have now retreated from his position to cross the floor in favour of free speech because he is now in the ministry. Crossing the floor would mean giving up his frontbench position.

He took a strong stand on the issue when he entered the Parliament and declared in his July 2014 maiden speech that free speech “should never be restricted by government.”

“People will say hurtful and bigoted and stupid and dumb things. People will make racist and sexist and homophobic comments,” he said at the time.

“Those views are wrong, but the right to express them is not. If you believe in democracy, you cannot cleanse it of the views you disagree with.”

Senator McGrath backed Mr Turnbull in the leadership spill and was rewarded in the subsequent reshuffle by being made Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister.

Senator McGrath’s Queensland Nationals colleague in the Senate, Matt Canavan, confirmed to Fairfax Media on Monday that he would be crossing the floor in favour of the Day amendment, in the unlikely event it would come to a vote.

Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said Mr Turnbull needed to “pull his right-wing backbenchers into line.”

“Continued Liberal support for this divisive bill defies Malcolm Turnbull’s commitment to adopting more inclusive government rhetoric.”

“Community harmony is more important now than ever, and it is time for Malcolm Turnbull’s actions to match his words. He needs to pull his right-wing backbenchers into line.”

“Malcolm Turnbull should direct his senators to abandon their divisive bill and rule out any further attacks on the Racial Discrimination Act under his leadership of the Liberal Party.”

Follow Latika Bourke on Facebook

ACCC rejects taxi industry’s counter to Uber

Uber is a major threat to the established taxi industry. The taxi companies and Cabcharge had wanted to launch the iHail app as early as July. Photo: Angela Wylie

The competition watchdog plans to block Cabcharge and local taxi companies from teaming up to start a new smartphone taxi booking app as a rival to Uber because it would come at “too big a cost to competition”.

In a major blow to the established industry’s fight against Uber and other ride-sharing services, the n Competition and Competition and Consumer Commission said the iHail app would have a “significant impact on competition in the taxi industry, which could impact prices and quality of service”.

Cabcharge and its partners wanted to launch the iHail app in ‘s major metropolitan and regional centres as early as July. The iHail app was aimed at allowing passengers to book the closest available to them, regardless of which taxi network the driver belonged to.

While the app would make booking taxis easier for passengers, ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the regulator believed it would be at “too big a cost to competition”.

“The ACCC estimates that the initial iHail shareholders represent more than half of all taxis in , and a larger share in the metropolitan areas where the app would operate,” he said.

Apart from Cabcharge, the companies behind iHail include Silver Top Taxi Service, Black and White Cabs, Yellow Cabs and Suburban Taxis. Two American taxi companies and n mobile tracking and data company MTData are also partners.

Releasing the ACCC’s draft decision on Monday, Mr Sims said the iHail app would have a dominant market position right from its launch, not through competition but because of the larger fleet of taxis operated by its owners.

“Depending on the rate of take up of the iHail app amongst other taxi networks, it could potentially grow to include all taxi networks in any area,” he said.

The regulator was also concerned that a demand for passengers to pay for fares booked with iHail through the app would shut out opportunities for Cabcharge’s competitors. Under the plans for iHail, Cabcharge would process all the payments.

In July, the competition watchdog denied an application from the iHail partners to fast-track approval of their joint venture.

Comment was being sought from Cabcharge and the other shareholders in iHail to the ACCC’s latest decision.

Uber said it welcomed the n regulator’s interim decision to “put consumers first and reject the taxi industry’s latest attempt to shut out competition”.

Rugby World Cup 2015: France v Ireland

#RWC2015: France v Ireland | photos, video A French Rugby fan walks through the city on his way to the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between France and Ireland at Millennium Stadium on October 11, 2015 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Remi Tales of France is tackled by Devin Toner of Ireland during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between France and Ireland at Millennium Stadium on October 11, 2015 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Paul O’Connell of Ireland receives medical treatment during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between France and Ireland at Millennium Stadium on October 11, 2015 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

: Rob Kearney of Ireland scores their first try during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between France and Ireland at Millennium Stadium on October 11, 2015 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Remi Tales of France is tackled by Devin Toner of Ireland during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between France and Ireland at Millennium Stadium on October 11, 2015 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Thierry Dusautoir of France shakes hands wqith Dave Kearney of Ireland after the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between France and Ireland at Millennium Stadium on October 11, 2015 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Jamie Heaslip of Ireland celebrates on the final whistle during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between France and Ireland at Millennium Stadium on October 11, 2015 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Damien Chouly of France and Pascal Pape of France applaud the fans after the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between France and Ireland at Millennium Stadium on October 11, 2015 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images

Ireland captain Paul O’ Connell leads his team out before the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between France and Ireland at Millennium Stadium on October 11, 2015 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

A France fan looks on during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between France and Ireland at Millennium Stadium on October 11, 2015 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Ireland fans celebrate a try during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between France and Ireland at Millennium Stadium on October 11, 2015 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images

Ian Madigan of Ireland passes during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between France and Ireland at Millennium Stadium on October 11, 2015 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images

French fans before the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between France and Ireland at Millennium Stadium on October 11, 2015 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images

TweetFacebookSean O’Brien could be in trouble for this https://t杭州龙凤论坛/hZzjQ4taBq

— Rugby Banter Page (@RugbyBanterPag3) October 11, 2015

“I certainly hope not,” Schmidt said when asked if he thought O’Brienshouldmiss a game. “He was being held at the time and he swung. I don’t think he’s looking directly at the player. But it’s not for me to determine. I also think that it’s not a closed fist.

“I’d be hopeful but it’s not a decision for me.Hopefully it’s not a decision that impacts on us considering the dressing room at the moment with the amount of injuries we have we can ill afford to lose another player, particularly a player of Sean’s experience and standing in the group.”

Tuesday, October 13

Tough odds: Restoration .FREE TO AIR

Restoration , ABC, 8.30pm

The narrative here is a familiar one that spans observational documentaries from Grand Designs to Country House Rescue. A couple make a seemingly impetuous decision to buy/restore/build based on idealism and romance. Can they win the day in the face of apparently insurmountable odds? This is a particularly satisfying version of that story as the ever smiling and even-tempered Jen and Harold get to grips with a crumbling Georgian manor house in Wollongong.

How Safe Are My Drugs, SBS2, 8.30pm

Canadian DJ Brianna Price (aka B Traits) takes an extraordinary tour of the British ‘‘legal high’’ scene. Her non-judgmental approach and calm advocacy for harm minimisation makes this an unusually powerful documenary that is also, by turns, terrifying – especially for anyone with teenage kids. Price’s credibility gives her an amazing level of access to users, manufacturers and sellers, painting a chaotic picture of out-of-control risk-taking.

Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, Seven, 9.40pm 

Regular Ramsay watchers will be familiar with the show’s tried and tested recipe. Take one failing restaurant, combine with an owner/owners who can’t see the shortcomings of the business and add one celebrity chef, season liberally with foul-mouthed rage and serve garnished with snarky asides from staff eager to stick the knife into management. This episode follows the classic recipe almost to the letter. The subject is Barefoot Bob’s, a casual beachside eatery in Hull, Massachusetts. The business is owned by husband and wife team Mark and Lisa, who each have a very different concept of what it means to run a restaurant. Mark puts in 14-hour days, seven days a week, while Lisa likes to swan around doing as little as possible glued to her phone in a manner familiar to the parents of teenagers everywhere. The mystery ingredient this week is the addition of  Ramsay the Marriage Counsellor. Things aren’t going too well for Mark and Lisa and it’s up to Chef Ramsay to dispense relationship advice as well as his recipe for a killer clam chowder. Ramsay’s couples therapy essentially amounts to telling Lisa to get off her butt and do something around the place. Somewhere, a producer is working on Ramsay’s Marriage Nightmares. Nick Galvin


Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) Action Movies (pay TV), 8.30pm 

America’s inability to psychologically cope with defeat in Vietnam led to all manner of disturbing symptoms. One was a belief that victory was denied by political white-anters. Another was that thousands of American POWs were still being illegally held in Vietnam. By freeing them, America might magically turn defeat into a semblance of victory. Sylvester Stallone and James Cameron (Titanic) separately contributed the tissue-thin script about a one-man killing machine who returns to Nam and frees some POWs, despite yet more government white-anters of staggering callousness trying to undermine him. For their hero, they brought back Johnny Rambo (Stallone), who had waged war on anyone showing disrespect to returning vets in the less-seen but far-more-fascinating First Blood (directed by Ted Kotcheff). Having beefed up, let his hair go 1980s wild and tied a red ribbon as a scarf, Rambo goes deep undercover with resistance fighter Ca-Boa (Julia Nickson) and is again paternally overseen by Col. Samuel Trautman (Richard Crenna). A key issue is what  the politicians will do if Rambo succeeds.

Bedlam (1945) ABC, 2.20am (Wednesday) 

The 11 movies Ukrainian-born Val Lewton co-wrote and produced at RKO constitute the best set of B-movies ever made. They tend only to be screened in the early hours of the morning, but they deserve prime-time slots and fanfare. n film buff John Flaus has even declared the second of the films, Jacques Tourneur’s IWalked with a Zombie, the finest ever made. The last project Lewton masterminded at RKO, and in no ways the least, was Mark Robson’s Bedlam, set in London’s St. Mary’s of Bethlehem Asylum in 1761. After the murder of an acquaintance of Lord Mortimer (Billy Hughes), the asylum’s fawning apothecary general, Sims (Boris Karloff), produces his oily best to charm Mortimer with a theatrical evening that mocks the inmates. Mortimer’s spirited protege,  Nell Bowen (Anna Lee), rebels and faces a future of incarceration, torture and death. Bedlam is a classic shocker,  photographed by the greatest of all film noir cameramen, Nicholas Musuraca (who also shot John Farrow’s Where Danger Lives and Tourneur’s Out of the Past). It is a riveting exploration of how people grovel and lie to attain theirends.  B movies are often promoted by fans to a status they rarely deserve. That is not the case with Bedlam or the 10 other RKO gems from Val Lewton. He was a colossus.Scott Murray 

Wednesday, October 14

The Principal continues to thrill.FREE TO AIR

The Principal, SBS, 8.30pm

We really are making television equal to anything in the world. The thriller aspect of The Principal moves up a gear tonight, and the tension is superb. So is the character development. The murder would have been half as interesting if we hadn’t already been so invested in Tarek (the remarkable Rahel Romahn) and now, as suspicion falls first this way then that, we not only want to find out whodunit, but we’re hoping it’s not one of the many figures we’ve grown attached to. (If it turns out to be the deputy principal, on the other hand, that would be just fine.) Every detail is attended to here: the score is terrific, the framing is beautiful and the dialogue expertly captures the milieu in which it all takes place, including flashes of mordant wit. It’s the complete package.

Madam Secretary, Ten, 8.40pm

One of the most intriguing aspects of the opening episode  of season two of Madam Secretary is the light in which is cast. Either showrunner Barbara Hall doesn’t have as good a grasp of Pacific politics as she does of the local scene, or she’s being mischievous. Whatever the case, it’s hard to resist a little cultural-cringy thrill atour mention. Elsewhere, things leap back into gear at a cracking pace and, if some of the plot turns stretch credibility, the great charm and conviction Tea Leoni brings to the central role easily papers over any cracks. Although the churlish part of me wishes the writers hadn’t given her husband, Henry (Tim Daly), his own, obtrusive storyline, it could add considerable interest as the season progresses.

The Ex-PM, ABC, 9.05pm

Shaun Micallef’s special magic is his ability to deliver excoriating satire without being unkind. It’s a rare gift he shares with the inimitable John Clarke who, in a double-whammy of bone-dry fun, co-stars with Micallef in this new comedy. As thetitle suggests, Micallef stars as Andrew Dugdale, until recently the leader of our beautiful country and now at a loose end. Distraction arrives in the form of a ghostwriter, Ellen (Lucy Honigman), there to help him complete his memoir. Everything we love about Micallef is here in spades: silliness, slapstick and broad comedy, but also quick repartee and a perfect barrage of clever observations. If you don’t already love Micallef, this is unlikely to convert you, but for his legion of fans, it’s a treat.Melinda Houston


The Company You Keep, (2012) SBS, 9.35pm 

In England, the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Labour Party has given the press impetus to seek out from the past headline-grabbing quotes by Corbyn and his associates, such as praising IRA insurrection and violence, calling the collapse of Soviet communism “the end of humanity” and describing the death of Osama bin Laden as “a tragedy”. Of course, it is not just intemperate or Trotskyite opinions that can come back and haunt those with a political agenda; it can be anti-social acts and crimes. In Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep, for example, Jim Grant (Redford) is an Albany attorney, doing good works for the less fortunate, but with a secret: he is a former member of the Weather Underground, and wanted for a bank robbery and murder. He has been hiding under an assumed identity for decades. And when a young journalist (Shia LaBeouf) and his FBI girlfriend (Anna Kendrick) get the scent, the challenge for Jim is whether to sell out his former associates to help protect himself. The film works as well as it does because Redford is a star, an actor we have regularly seen as a moral force exposing the evils of the Nixon years in All the President’s Men and a secret FBI cabal in  Three Days of the Condor. We don’t want to believe his Jim Grant was responsible for anyone’s death, that his political acts were ever  less than pure. It makes for uncomfortable and tense  viewing. Where the film doesn’t work as well as perhaps it could is when it puts the interests of the thriller genre above the moral conundrums the plot offers up. Do we believe that people who have done and said horrible things in the past can change and become better people, or are those major errors good reason never to trust them again? We want to believe in Jim Grant, but should we?

The Seventh Victim, (1943) ABC, 1.55am (Thursday) 

One of the lesser-known but still major Val Lewton-produced RKO movies (see Bedlam, Tuesday) is The Seventh Victim, directed by Mark Robson. Mary Gibson (Kim Hunter) goes to New York to look for her missing sister, Jacqueline (Jean Brooks). Aided by Jacqueline’s husband (Hugh Beaumont), Mary discovers that her sister belonged to a satanic cult, but is on the run. Regarded as a precursor to Rosemary’s Baby but avoiding explicit shock effects and gore, this is a transcendent journey to the dark side of human endeavour. Scott Murray 

‘Cocks not glocks’: University of Texas students to protest gun laws with dildos

Student Jessica Jin created the Facebook event for the “Campus Dildo Carry”, which has more than 2000 attendees. Photo: Facebook”Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?” In the US, it’s probably a gun – but at the University of Texas in Austin, students who don’t like weapons are planning a protest that is truly below-the-belt.

From August next year, a new law will allow Texas students to carry concealed handguns in classrooms, dormitories and other college buildings, as long as they hold the appropriate gun licence. The measure, known as the “campus carry law”, was passed earlier this year.

By contrast, students who bring sex toys onto campus run the risk of being reprimanded for obscenity under the Texas Penal Code and the university’s rules.

So, on the first day of class next August, thousands of students will arm themselves with plastic penises to demonstrate their displeasure with the new laws.

“We are strapping gigantic swinging dildos to our backpacks in protest of campus carry,” wrote student Jessica Jin, who created the Facebook event “Campus DILDO Carry”.

“Just about as effective at protecting us from sociopathic shooters, but much safer for recreational play.”

On Monday the proposed protest spread rapidly around the internet, with more than 2000 people vowing to attend. The spirit of the event was succinctly captured in the hashtag #CocksNotGlocks, which became the subject of much discussion on Twitter.

It comes after another horrific fortnight in the US for gun violence; on Friday, one student was killed and another man was wounded in a shooting at Texas Southern University in Houston. The same day, a first year student at Northern Arizona University shot four people near a dormitory, killing one.

That followed the murder of nine people at a community college in Oregon on October 1, a massacre that once again prompted an outpouring of national grief led by President Barack Obama. It was his 15th response to a mass shooting since taking office in 2009, CNN reported.

The campus carry law in Texas will allow students to carry concealed handguns inside buildings, including in the classroom. The final version of the law allowed private colleges to opt out and gave universities the right to declare certain zones as “gun-free”.

Republican parliamentarians who proposed the bill said it was necessary for people’s protection, the Texas Tribune reported in May.

“Time has come for us to protect the men and women of Texas who are carrying concealed on our campuses,” said Allen Fletcher, a member of the state’s House of Representatives.

Brian Birdwell, a Republican state senator, said it was a matter of constitutional rights. “I am duty-bound to protect Second Amendment rights parallel to private property rights,” he said.

The University of Texas at Austin was the site of one of the worst campus shootings in US history. In 1966, former US Marine Charles Joseph Whitman killed 14 people and wounded 30 others while shooting from a tower on the campus. He also murdered his wife and mother earlier in the day.

Last week, a professor at the same university announced he would withdraw from the college due to the looming campus carry law, and instead spend a semester teaching at the University of Sydney.

In a letter to the university’s president, economics professor emeritus Daniel S. Hamermesh said he felt the law would endanger his safety on campus.

“With a huge group of students, my perception is that the risk that a disgruntled student might bring a gun into the classroom and start shooting at me has been substantially enhanced by the concealed-carry law,” he wrote. “Out of self-protection I have chosen to spend part of next Fall [autumn] at the University of Sydney, where, among other things, this risk seems lower.”

Data from the Pew Research Centre shows that over the past 15 years, a growing number of Americans believe it is more important to “protect the right of Americans to own guns” than to “control gun ownership”.

At the turn of the century, 66 per cent thought it was more important to control ownership. That has fallen to 50 per cent, while the number of Americans advocating the importance of gun rights rose to 47 per cent from 29 per cent.

The vast majority (about 80 per cent) of both Republican- and Democrat-aligned voters favour expanded background checks to prevent people with a mental illness or other red flags from obtaining guns. the texas legislature was absolutely not prepared for this kind of opposition to campus carry #cocksnotglockspic.twitter杭州龙凤论坛m/0TOvdEV28v— adam hamze (@adamhamz) October 10, 2015Finally a cause that we, the pacifist kinksters, can rally around! #CocksNotGlocks— Dorian Steele (@dorian_steele) October 11, 2015

I’m glad my terrorist son, Abdul Hakim, is ‘burning in hell’: mother Sally Evans

A still of My Son the Jihadi … Thomas Evans as a young boy in High Wycombe, Britain. He changed his name to Abdul Hakim when he became radicalised in his twenties. Photo: YouTube Thomas Evans, 25, died fighting for the terrorist group al-Shabaab during a gun battle with Kenyan troops in June. Photo: My Son the Jihadi

The mother of a British man who converted to Islam and died fighting for the terrorist group al-Shabaab has said he is “burning in hell” for his crimes.

Thomas Evans, 25, was killed during a gun battle with Kenyan troops in June. The former Manchester United fan from High Wycombe, became radicalised in Britain and changed his name to Abdul Hakim before travelling to east Africa in 2011.

A Channel 4 documentary, My Son the Jihadi, found witnesses who claim a man fitting Evans’ description led attacks on Kenyan villages, singling out Christians and cutting their throats.

His mother, Sally Evans, said she would forever miss the boy she brought up but that she was glad the man he became was dead and “burning in hell”. She learnt he had been killed after a picture of his body was circulated on social media.

“Imagine discovering the death of your child on Twitter and being both devastated and relieved,” Mrs Evans said.

“Devastated because the child you brought into this world was killed after being brainwashed into pursuing a murderous cause, but relieved because the death of your child meant he could no longer harm innocent people.”

Mrs Evans, 57, a former teaching assistant, remembers her son as a little boy full of “cute mischief” who made mud pies in the back garden and won a WH Smith drawing competition aged 10 with a Harry Potter illustration.

He spoke of wanting to become an electrical engineer with the Royal Marines so he could serve his country.

She believes he became radicalised after splitting from his girlfriend and forming a friendship with a group of Muslim men at his gym. He changed his name, grew a beard and lost his engineering apprenticeship after repeatedly expressing extremist views at work.

In 2011 he went to Egypt, telling his mother he was going to study Arabic, but the following year he phoned to say he was in Somalia and had joined al-Shabaab.

On Christmas Eve 2012, he announced he had married a girl of 13 or 14. In subsequent calls, Evans praised the terrorist attack on the Westgate mall in Nairobi, and told his mother he was preparing for “martyrdom”.

He was killed four months ago during a raid on a Kenyan military base.

The documentary is to appear on October 22.

Telegraph, London

Rugby World Cup 2015: Ireland flanker Sean O’Brien punches French lock Pascal Pape in the stomach

In hot water: Ireland’s Sean O’Brien looks for options against France. Photo: Alastair Grant Ireland’s Sean O’Brien punches French lock Pascal Pape. Photo: Screengrab

Off the ball: Sean O’Brien punches Pascal Pape. Photo: Screen grab: ITV

Punch: Sean O’Brien lashes out. Photo: Screen grab: ITV

Click here for full coverage of the 2015 Rugby World CupThe lowdown: Rugby World Cup 2015

Ireland’s 24-9 World Cup win over France has been marred by a punch from flanker Sean O’Brien on Pascal Pape in the first minute of the match and might see him miss their quarter-final against Argentina.

O’Brien lost his cool and took objection to Pape holding onto his jersey. It prompted the Irishman to land a powerful punch into the Frenchman’s stomach which knocked him to the ground.

Medical staff attended to Pape, who appeared in real discomfort after the hit.

The incident will likely catch the attention of match officials and might result in O’Brien missing his side’s important clash with Argentina.

Pape is no stranger to controversy when it comes to playing Ireland. He was banned for 10 weeks earlier this year for kneeing Jamie Heaslip in the back and fracturing his vertebrae during a Six Nations game.

O’Brien’s availability for the next game is not the only concern for Ireland as Jonathan Sexton and Paul O’Connell were both injured during the win over France at Millennium Stadium.  Sean O’Brien could be in trouble for this https://t杭州龙凤论坛/hZzjQ4taBq— Rugby Banter Page (@RugbyBanterPag3) October 11, 2015

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt said post-game he could not afford to lose his flanker and man of the match.

“I certainly hope not,” Schmidt said when asked if he thought O’Brien should miss a game. “He was being held at the time and he swung. I don’t think he’s looking directly at the player. But it’s not for me to determine. I also think that it’s not a closed fist. I’d be hopeful but it’s not a decision for me. Hopefully it’s not a decision that impacts on us considering the dressing room at the moment with the amount of injuries we have we can ill afford to lose another player, particularly a player of Sean’s experience and standing in the group.”

I have devised a drink called the Sean O’Brien. Sangria and Guinness. A dirty Irish punch which will make your guts feel terrible. #FRAvIRE — Dai Lama (@WelshDalaiLama) October 11, 2015

Derryn Hinch forms the anti-paedophile Justice Party and announces bid to become a Senator

Media personality Derryn Hinch has confirmed he will run for the Senate.Exclusive: Hinch’s bid to become a federal Senator

Derryn Hinch has formed his own political party, the Justice Party, and the broadcaster has confirmed he will stand for election to the Senate.

When Fairfax Media revealed his secret political ambitions last week, the so-called Human Headline said he was “seriously considering” a tilt for Parliament.

But four days later, Mr Hinch has a Justice Party website in place and has published a YouTube launch video and media releases.

The veteran broadcaster and journalist, convicted three times and jailed twice for contempt of court and breaching suppression orders, said the Justice Party would fight for victims of the judicial system.

Mr Hinch, who will try to win a federal Senate seat from Victoria, said the party would stand candidates in all states and territories.

“We will fight for a national public register of convicted sex offenders … but we’re not just a one-issue party,” he said.

“The Justice Party will stand for equality and justice for all. We believe our courts should show the same compassion and understanding for victims that they seem to show for the criminals.

“We’ll campaign for parole reform and bail reform. The Lindt cafe siege should never have happened. Jill Meagher’s killer should not have been walking the streets. We believe our courts should treat domestic violence as a crime and there must be equal rights, including same-sex marriage and equal pay for women and animal justice.”

Mr Hinch said the ‘jail to justice walk’, which culminated in him presenting a petition of 130,000 signatures to Victorian Parliament calling for a national public register of convicted paedophiles, was key to the formation of the Justice Party.

Mr Hinch is a longtime advocate for unmasking sexual predators in the community and has gone to jail for defying the courts over the issue.In 2011, he was sentenced to five months’ home detention after defying a court order to name two serial child sex offenders at a Name Them and Shame Them rally in 2008. He spent 12 days in jail in 1987 for naming a paedophile priest.

The unrivalled legal protection of Parliamentary privilege would allow a future senator Hinch to pursue a campaign to bring sex offenders to public attention.

The broadcaster, 71, who was given 12 months to live by doctors in 2010 before a life-saving liver transplant, would be seeking a six-year term in the Senate by which time he would be at least 78.

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