Real Life

Great sabbaticals

I took a year off from my 'normal life'

Sabbattical_TN

Evelyn Lewin Evelyn Lewin speaks to three women who donned their backpacks and came away transformed.

Meet Afghanistan's first female taxi driver

Sara Bahayi has had her taxi license for two years. The $10 to $20 she earns each day is enough to provide for her 15 relatives, including her ailing mother.

Sudarsan Raghavan 'If you don't feel shame, I feel shame for you,' a man told her when she went for her licence. She passed. He didn't.

Domestic violence

Our shelters for domestic violence victims are in crisis

Domestic violence support services are in crisis.

Louise Pascale Under-funded crisis shelters are doing the best with the little they have. But it's a daily struggle.

I accidentally fed my mum magic mushrooms for dinner

Jana Hocking with her mother.

Jana Hocking I have a confession to make. I fed my mother hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Unexpectedly expecting

Surprise pregnancies: When you're unexpectedly expecting

Researchers discovered that one in every 2455 births occurred where the mother was unaware she had been pregnant at all.

How do you adjust when suddenly, without warning, you’re someone’s mum or dad?

Can happily married parents be a burden?

To love and to cherish: Lionel Shriver's parents, Donald and Peggy, with their grandson Alan in 1993.

Author Lionel Shriver's parents have been besotted with each other for 61 years, inspiring her to hold out for her own happily ever after.

Intimate-partner violence

Starting a new relationships after intimate-partner violence

Helga and Don 65 have been in a defacto relationship for 31 years.

Danielle Binks Before she met my uncle, my aunt Helga was in an abusive relationship for 13 years and it took her another 31 to be comfortable with even the idea of marriage.

The death of Barbie has been greatly exaggerated

In spite of falling sales, the end is not yet in sight for the Barbie doll, created 56 years ago.

Leonid Bershidsky Barbie is not going down without a fight.

Hey jealousy

When being envious of your friends can be a good thing

Envy.

KASEY EDWARDS New research suggests that not all envy is dastardly; some of it might even make you a better person.

Real life

'Growing up, my mother was a chronic hoarder'

Sick, not slack: hoarding is now recognised as a mental-health disorder.

Erin O'Dwyer The psychological trauma from growing up in a hoarder's house.

Bad breakups

When your ex spreads toxic gossip

Barton Goldsmith After a breakup, it is not uncommon for past partners to do some trash talking about their exes...

Emily Ladau

I won't run your child over with my wheelchair

Writer Emily Ladau

Your children are watching you, mum and Dad. Who do you want them to be?

Breaking up with alcohol

I broke off a 20-year relationship in an hour

Bryony Gordon What it feels like to break up with alcohol -- and how.

2015 will be the year of no apologies about my skin

Writer Carly Findlay

Carly Findlay For years I’ve apologised about my skin interfering with others. And now I will stop.

What I learnt from throwing away my wedding ring

Rings

Lisa Pryor I threw away my wedding ring. Not the marriage, I should clarify. Just the band of scratched white gold that has been with me for the past nine years.One morning it was there. Then in the afternoon I reached for it absentmindedly and felt nothing.

We need a positive guide to grieving

No one would want you to compound your grief any further, least of all the person you’ve loved and lost.

CLEMENTINE FORD Our bodies and minds are much better equipped to deal with grief than we might imagine.

The most awful lie I've ever told is...

Economical with a lie: the author prefers to save her big lies for her fiction writing.

Years after she told it, Alexandra Cameron is still struck by the power of a fib.

Modern minimalists

Does having less make us happier?

SL_TN2

Libby Hakim talks to people who have culled their way to an incredible lightness of being.

Benjamin Law: It's time to stop the Speedo shaming

AFR. NEWS. BRISBANE. LABOR.
Ben Law at a cafe in Spring Hill Brisbane. Ben has written an essay for AFR about how youg people are disenchanted with the Labor party.
Picture by Paul Harris.
Monday 14 May 2012

BENJAMIN LAW God help me, I will defend the right of our PM to wear his whatever he wants while swimming.

Comments

Half-friendships

What your frenemies are doing to your health

DL woman

ALICE WILLIAMS Is it time to let go of that lingering half-friendship?

29 cats who are really enjoying Christmas

cats

Behold the 2014 Furry Friday collection of cats enjoying Christmas time.

Friends with exes

The truth about being friends with the ex-love of your life

Friends.

MIA TIMPANO "The final time we broke up, we promised to be 'best friends'. This was by far the worst and most damaging incarnation of our friendship."

Bromance was born: why do guys find it 'weird' to be enthusiastic about new friendships

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper shakes Tony Abbott's hand.

DOM KNIGHT Dom Knight thinks it's time for men to drop their guards and show some affection. Tony and Stephen are forging the path ahead.

Grief at Xmas

What to give to someone who's grieving this Christmas

In the first few weeks of shock post her death I foolishly thought I could control when or where the tears would hit.

Rachael Oakes-Ash You'll be surprised what a difference it makes.

Letters behind bars

I have a death row pen pal

Nicola Cameron and her pen pal Damon.

Nicola Cameron as told to Annabel Stafford Aussie Nicola Cameron has been writing to an American prisoner since 2006.

I pretended to be a male gamer to avoid harassment

Brittany, as told to Alice Williams "I never thought of it as being deceptive, because why should anyone care?"

LGBTI inequality

Facing the anniversary of my 20 hour marriage

Kylie Gwynne and Annette Cairnduff (author) on their wedding day last week.

Annette Cairnduff For the 31 LGBTI couples whose marriage was declared invalid last year, this week is an emotional one.

Comments 7

GTA 5

Why I petitioned to have Grand Theft Auto V removed from Target

Nicole* In GTA 5, I would have been the character who gets left by the sidewalk, bleeding and unconscious.

How to deal with everyone's end-of-year bragging

Pinch of salt: round-robin Christmas letters often bear only a passing resemblance to the truth.

Monica McInerney Monica McInerney makes a plea for tolerance when it comes to the annual family Christmas brag-a-thon.

Pekay's story

I met an Afghan girl sold into an abusive marriage at age 9

Girl_TN

Sudarsan Raghavan This month, I set out to find her.

Why you shouldn't ask people to delete their 'bad' photos of you

CLEM BASTOW Our ability to create our own image is challenged, however, when somebody else posts a photo of us that we don’t like.

Married with children

The disagreement that could break a marriage

<i></i>

Marina Kamenev Marina Kamenev yearns for another baby, but her husband is adamant that two is too many.

Real life

I work as a men's behavioural change practitioner

GayPanic_TN2

As told to Clementine Ford In honour of the global 16 Days of Activism and Daily Life's #shinealight campaign on men's violence against women, Daily Life recently spoke with family violence expert, Ada Conroy. As part of her work in addressing family violence and men's violence against women, Ada co-facilitates behavioural change groups with men perpetrating intimate partner violence. Here is part of her story, as told to Clementine Ford.

Space invaders

Why do men take up so much space on public transport?

<i></i>

NICOLE ELPHICK "Most of us are familiar with the ‘man spreaders’, guys who feel the need to sit legs akimbo so their fellow passengers are forced to shrink into themselves to make way for the overspill."

Comments 43

Meet the women who marry prisoners

Charles Manson, 80, and his 26-year-old fiancee, Star.

Daniel Genis Why do people hitch themselves to convicts?

I was the first Aboriginal woman to represent Australian netball

 Marcia Ella-Duncan

Marcia Ella-Duncan Olympic netball player Marcia Ella-Duncan recalls being called a ‘skinny, black kid’ on the field.

Benjamin Law: A love letter to local grocers

Author Benjamin Law poses for a portrait in his apartment in Brisbane. 3rd of December 2012. Photo: harrison saragossi

BENJAMIN LAW It's lovely seeing every sector of the community happily shopping together: students; families; gays; dogs; gay dogs.

Transitioning to a woman at the age of 72

My way: Robyn Thorne at home in Gundaroo.

Scott Hannaford "It's like a tornado that levels everything you've ever done, everything you ever were, and you've got to start again."

An all girl-school made me a better person

AllGirlSchool_TN

NATALIE REILLY In defense of the delicate ecosystem of single-sex classrooms.

Sexual violence

My friend dated my rapist

<i></i>

Anna C. Bloomberg [Trigger warning: discussion of sexual assault]

What should you keep when you lose a loved one?

Nicki Reed and her sister Libby.

Nicki Reed Grief is an adventure on the sad edge of a cliff and there’s no healing in denial.

Tech

How a boy with autism became best friends with Apple's personal assistant

Endlessly patient and predictably kind, Siri can make a great sidekick.

Judith Newman For a long time many of us wanted an imaginary friend, and now we have one. Only she’s not entirely imaginary.

Comments

Looking twice

What it feels like to always be stared at by strangers

woman

Paddy O'Reilly Paddy O'Reilly reflects on our very human reaction when confronted with physical difference.

Benjamin Law: What we talk about when we talk about genital slangs

Whisper

BENJAMIN LAW The next time your dinner-party conversation is lagging, throw this friendly ice-breaker into the mix.

Lisa Pryor: The adult ritual that no one dares to change

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 09:  Anna Hua wears a top by Mister Zimmi, shoes and blazer by Zara and carries a bag by Celine at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia Spring/Summer 2013/14 at Carriageworks on April 9, 2013 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Caroline McCredie/Getty Images)

Lisa Pryor It takes courage to make this switch.

Real life

I met my wife the day we married

TwoOfUs_TN

Stephen Lacey Now married for 33 years, a Hare Krishna couple share the secrets to their strong relationship.

Real life

I had 'locked in' syndrome: 'It was like being buried alive'

lockedin

Kate Allatt Stroke survivor Kate believes we should always assume a patient is conscious until we have absolutely proven otherwise.

Comments

Real life

Tackling the taboo: the novel that takes on child sex abuse

Woman_writing_TN

Jenny Valentish Fiction's surprising role in helping survivors of child sex abuse.

Learning curve

Learning curve

Cr: Stocksy

**No archiving

Girl reading a book in her bedroom.

Elana Benjamin With leaving exams looming, Elana Benjamin reflects on why there’s more to school than achieving a high final mark.

Office exercise

I spent a month on a treadmill desk

Desk_TN

Amanda Hooton And this is what happened.

'Women's intuition' is just a sneaky put-down

Woman

MIA TIMPANO Let's call it what it is: the term 'women's intuition' breeds a distrust for the female mind.

Comments 7

Zookeeper becomes surrogate father to world's cutest wallaby

Taronga Zoo education co-ordinator Matt Dea with rescued wallaby joey Alkira.

A Taronga Zoo staffer has become surrogate dad to a wallaby joey whose mother was killed by a car near Sydney.

Real life

I gave my eight year old medical cannabis and I don't regret it

girl

Nicole Cowles "Choosing Medical Cannabis was possibly the hardest decision I have ever made. But I don’t regret it."

On being different

What it's like growing up gay in rural Australia

Ivan

Ivan Hinton I grew up in a small country town and from a very early age I knew there was something different about me.

Comments 1

She had three jobs and a host of dreams - then she made one fatal mistake

Maria Fernandes, 32; Glen Carter; and his daughter, Hannah, in 2014.

Rachel Swarns She could have been the girl who poured you a cup of hot coffee, right before you rushed off to catch your afternoon train. Maybe you noticed her huddled over an empty table in the station, dozing in the lonesome hours between one shift and another.

Benjamin Law: thirty - the age where you are both old and young enough

Ben Law.

BENJAMIN LAW Throughout my 20s, I was basically immortal. My hair was thick and ropey like some Oriental Samson, I didn't need to exercise to stay lean and hangovers would slide off me like I was teflon.

Real life

The Afghan girls who live as boys

Mehran Rafaat (L), age 7, stands next to her 11 year old twin sisters, Benafsha (2R) and Behishta (R), outside their family home in Qala-e-Naw, Badghis Province, Afghanistan, on September 16, 2010. Mehran is the daughter of parliament member Azita Rafaat, and at the age of 5 Azita and her husband Euzattolla changed Mehran’s identity to male. Her former female name was Manush. Manush was the youngest of four daughters, and out societal pressure to have a boy in the family they changed Manush into Mehran. When Mehran reaches puberty she will likely resume the identity of a female so she can marry. Azita Rafaat also had a male identity when she was a child. Photo by Adam Ferguson

Jenny Nordberg In Afghanistan, the pressure to produce a son leads some families to disguise their daughters as boys.

Comments 2

1000+ Coffees

Would you get a coffee with every single one of your Facebook friends?

matt

NICOLE ELPHICK Matt Kulesza, a student from Melbourne, is adding some real-life familiarity to his faceless Facebook friends with his Tumblr project, 1000+ Coffees.

Comments 1

Mortal lessons

What the dying can teach us about death

Patricia Pearson, author of Opening Heaven's Door: What the Dying Tell Us About Where They're Going.

Patricia Pearson How do some people know when they will die? There are many things we know about dying and death that we choose to ignore.