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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

'The Thatcher' - new hairdo creating waves

A peculiar tribute has emerged following the death of former British PM Margaret Thatcher... people are asking for her hairstyle.

Yes, that coiffed-high Maggie hairdo is big biz in the UK right now.

One hairdresser in Chelsea said he had been inundated by requests for ‘The Thatcher’, as the style has become known.

Celebrity stylist Maximiliano Centini says his salon has been inundated with demands for the style... and he's booked out!

"I have not known anything like this for many years,’ said Maximiliano.

"We have now done the style for over 100 women, it is a surge. I experienced something similar when the Jennifer  Aniston style became popular but that surge built slowly - this has come completely out of the blue," Maximiliano told dailymail.co.uk

To read more, click here.

Would you ask for a 'Thatcher'?

Or maybe this version?

Holly Hill interview - 'Velvet Pouch': "Negotiated fidelity is simply sexual risk management."

Holly Hill - the author of controversial new book 'The Velvet Pouch' - sat down for an exclusive interview with Josie's Juice. [Click on the link for your chance to win a copy of the book].

The Austalian writer did NOT mince words - in fact, if you're prudish, stop reading right here. Here's Holly:

Tell me more about the term ‘negotiated fidelity’, and expand on why you recently retracted the statement, saying it emasculated men and made women feel insecure?

Negotiated fidelity is simply sexual risk management. The research is unanimous - men and women are hardwired to be promiscuous with over 60% of marriages involving cheating and 90% of divorcees citing cheating as the main reason. By discussing and red-flagging possible areas for sexual misconduct, couples can safeguard their own unique boundaries and prevent relationships ending prematurely.

This negotiation arises from loyalty and fidelity, it is too late if it comes after infidelity and cheating – hence the term ‘negotiated fidelity’ is proactive and timely, whereas ‘negotiated infidelity’ is reactive and too late.

“Love and relationships are all about wishful thinking and no science. If we don’t change the recipe, the end result will continue to have even chances of failure.” Should even the most secure of married couples be concerned about this statement?

No matter how secure and long lasting a couple is, they still battle boredom, repetition and taking each other for granted. As I point out in my first book, Sugarbabe: “The average erect penis is about 15cm long - let’s be generous and call it 20. And a normal fuck is about 100 thrusts. That means the average root is 2 metres long! And if you fuck the same penis three times a week that’s 6 metres. Multiply that by roughly 50 weeks per year and you’ve got a whopping 300 metres! So if you’ve been faithful for 20 years, it means your wife or girlfriend has had over 6km of the same cock. You wouldn’t want to travel up and down the same stretch of road over and over again – why on earth would you want to do the same thing with a penis?”

Fifty percent of our relationships continue to fail and yet relationship counselors keep on telling us to ‘cure’ problems with date nights, empowerment and candles. You can’t install the software until you fix the hardware!! That means recognising human physiology including hormones, sexuality and a genetic predisposition to cheat and using this knowledge to find soul mates and have lifelong relationships.

You say, “I’m all about helping couples grow old together.” I researched and wrote a story on a high class brothel and all the call girls there said the same thing. Can you see a parallel with your notion and that of the services of a brothel – that is, sex should not be confined solely to a married couple, and adventurous sex should be obtained outside a marriage, even if one half of the couple is not aware of that arrangement?

Every couple needs to determine their own unique boundaries to risk manage their relationship. Sex workers are a great outlet for people who aren’t getting enough sex, whose partners are often sick or absent or who like kink that their partner isn’t interested in. Oxytocin (the cuddle hormone) and attachments are the enemy. There are still a lot of unethical people out there who would prefer to steal a partner than share a partner. That means ensuring sex outside the primary relationship should be once-off or opportunistic encounters. Better still – do them together – most couples are HOT for each other when they see their partner with other people. Renting a sex worker will merely scratch an itch – risking an affair might stab whole families. Un-negotiated sex will ALWAYS be cheating and sexual betrayal.

Can negotiated fidelity ever really, truly work. Is it not inevitable that one half of the couple will always go behind the others’ back and seek sex solo?

If a couple actively risk manage each other’s sexual inclinations and one half of that couple STILL goes out and sexually betrays their partner, that person is not worth having. Loyalty is everything.

Supporting studies:
A study by the University of Washington suggests as many as 60% of marriages involve cheating and that in the last two decades, the number of unfaithful wives under 30 has increased by 20% and unfaithful husbands under 30 increased by 45%.

In 1962, two thirds of American households thought a man should be the major breadwinner. By 1994 two thirds of Americans had rejected this notion. But the trend is reversing - by 2007, only 16 percent of stay-at-home mothers wanted to work full time.

A study by the University of Washington suggests as many as 60% of marriages involve cheating and that in the last two decades, the number of unfaithful wives under 30 has increased by 20% and unfaithful husbands under 30 increased by 45%. The 2009 Australian Sex Census found 47% of men and 44% of women had been unfaithful and less than a quarter leave their primary partner for the person they have the fling with The Men's Rights Agency claim up to 30% of men in Australia are living with a child their mistakenly believe is their biological offspring.

And so, what do you make of Holly's views on fidelity, infidelity, marriage, and sex? Feel free to comment like mad on this controversial topic.

'The Velvet Pouch' is available in hard copy and e-book from April 1, 2013.

Barack Obama’s speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner (VIDEO)

Wondering why the hell Obama is sporting this hairdo? His wife's 'bangs' [or fringe, if you're an Aussie]?

It's from this video right here. Watch:

To read more, click here.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Chelsea Handler on 'The Conversation': "I am a bitch. I'm not going to put up with anybody's bullshit. I'm just not."

The groundbreaking US talk show is back for a second season. And yes, it will be shown on Australian TV on the pay-TV network Foxtel, on the Style channel [date TBC].

The first interview subject for this season is the inimitable Chelsea Handler, interviewed by the show's host, Amanda de Cadenet. [I am a huge Chelsea fan and have met her both times she filmed shows in Oz].

The interview style on this show is candid and personal conversation and conducted on a couch by Amanda. It's must-watch TV. I am hooked on this series.

Watch the clip from the Chelsea ep, where she talks about being a 'bitch' ["I am a bitch. I'm not going to put up with anybody's bullshit. I'm just not"], not wanting to have children, and her fave sex position [the trademark Amanda de Cadanet question]:

My next fave quote by Chelsea, from this interview is this one: "So many women are so competitive and so jealous and they don't realise that there's a space for everybody."

'The Conversation' season two will be screened only on Style. (Style is available on Foxtel on Channel 122).

Fairfield Feast Food Blogger's Tour, 2013

Being invited to be a part of the 'Fairfield Feast' food blogger's tour was fantastic.

I was invited by influential food blogger Thang Ngo [from the fabulous 'Noodlies' food blog] and Fairfield Council to join a handful of select bloggers to join the 4-5 hour walking and eating tour [that's my fave kinda walking... when you're en route to eating. And more eating]. 
It encompassed six restaurants, across seven different ethnicities. And it was all brilliant.

It was exciting stuff... and not because the area was new to me. No, this fabulous suburb is in my DNA.

I was born at Fairfield hospital [for older locals, it was at the old Fairfield hospital, along the Horsley Drive] and I lived in the area until I married. I stayed in the Fairfield precinct when I married my Bankstown boy. Yes, it's all as Westie as it comes. And I am incredibly proud of that.

I am also proud of stats like this about Fairfield:

The population of Fairfield is approximately 190,000. The Fairfield Local Government Area covers an area of 104 sq kilometres, and 133 nationalities are represented. Yes, 133 different nationalities.

Over 70 languages are spoken in the Fairfield region, and it houses the oldest 'surviving' railway station, built in 1856.

Some of the people Fairfield City Council has recognised through "Faces of Fairfield" totems erected throughout the Fairfield CBD are Harry Kewell (from Smithfield), and Gough Whitlam, Jon English (from Cabramatta).

Then there's TV commentator and ex-footballer Peter Sterling and Channel Nine's 'Today' show sports presenter Tim Gilbert who were also Fairfield Patrician Brothers boys. And other people of note who hail from Fairfield include Socceroos player Mark Bosnich, Australian tennis player Jelena Dokic, actor Les Hill, actor Tony Hoang, and members of 'Australia's Got Talent' 2010 winners Justice Crew.

And so, joining the other fabulous food bloggers was... a proud moment. Throughout the day, I peppered my convo with "this was the street I walked every day to go to school", or "I remember seeing this venue back in the [gulp] 1970s, and it was vastly different."

And now, I am going to call it: Fairfield is one of the most underrated eating hotspots in Sydney.

Yep. I said it.

While surrounding precincts have enjoyed an image revival, Fairfield has floundered somewhat.

Cabramatta has enjoyed the past several years basking in the glory of its new Asian roots, and has managed to shake its not-so-favourable pedigree. Today, the suburb is synonymous with Vietnamese food. Image overhaul: done.

Canley Vale, in more recent times, has become a new foodie hub for Laos and Thai fare. The main drag - Canley Vale Road - is always packed now, and the food is fantastic.

Parramatta, in the past decade or so, has had a huge surge of seriously good food haunts join the mix. Now, on any given night, the precinct is bursting at the seams with hungry patrons

And so, Fairfield. It's now your turn, baby. Except, you know... you're not an infant. You've been around for eons. But you're an unpolished diamond. Your turn now. Show them what you've got.

The stories behind the people who live here warm your heart: they are colourful, emotional, and full of heartache and hope. And the stories behind almost each and every food vendor in this colourful city are intriguing; they tell tales of fleeing homelands, and seeking a better life in a country that welcomed them. Sometimes wholeheartedly, sometimes with great struggles.

Here are the exceptional places we visited during the 'Fairfield Feast' food bloggers' tour.

Paula Continental Cakes
I vividly recall when the influx of South Americans poured into Fairfield. My school was filled with Chileans, Argentinians, Uruguayans, Colombians, Ecuadorians, and the like. They came, they stayed... they conquered cakes! They're still facilitating our gorging on the sweet stuff. This place has been here in for 15+. Think dulce de leche heaven, empanada yumminess [they won an award for the best empanadas for a comp held... in Chile!], and a service so lovely and welcoming, you'd make this your new local coffee and cake weekend haunt in a heartbeat [blogger Thang has!].

Address: 9 Barbara Street, Fairfield
Phone: 9726 2379

Arab Afghan Bakery
Howwww many times have I driven past this place over the years? Countless. And how many times have I seen the lights on and ovens operational at any hour of the day or night? Lost count. This is a place where good - no, awesomely good - Afghan and Arabic bread is born. Habib and his team work tirelessly to service the Fairfield district, and well beyond [Sydney CBD and the rest]. And what they produce are big, fat slabs of warm bread heaven. Plain and sweet versions [have the latter with a strong coffee in the AM] are seriously cheap as chips, but vastly healthier than the humble spud [bread prices start at... 80 cents, what?]. Come at the right time and watch the bread masters work that elastic dough into a frenzy before popping it into a very hot tanur oven. Moments later, and hey presto! Tasty carb heaven. And in news just confirmed by the lovely owner Habib, that the brand will be stocked in all IGA supermarkets throughout the state of NSW, Australia. Wow!

Address: 2/13 Nelson Street, Fairfield
Phone: 9728 1832
Web: http://afghanbread.com.au/

I have walked past - and walked into - this place countless times when en route to or from catching a train at Fairfield station. But all I do is pick up some authentic 'Filo' groceries. Eating there - gorging on cooked Filo meals - that's a whole other story. A story that starts with "oooh!" and ends with "yum!" Dishes range from just-right spicy to mild, with chicken and noodles and beef the main stars, and a fish dish I must go back and order again. It was just TOO good - moist, flavoursome, more-ish. Staff are super-friendly and welcoming - it kinda feels like you're in a friend's kitchen. And prices are cheap as chips.

Address: 13/52- 68 The Crescent, Fairfield 
Phone: 9727 3146

Al Diaffah Al-Iraqi Restaurant
Address: 13 The Crescent, Fairfield
Phone: 02 9755 0870

I have been coming to this restaurant for years. I'd pass it each day on my way home from my work commute, and it has always been known as the place to get good, homemade-style Iraqi food - at a very inexpensive price. The fare is served up quick and the portions are plentiful. When I had my first date night post-kids, the husband and I dined here. We knew we'd be in and out super-quick and we'd get a good feed. We were right! The dips - baba ganoush and hummus - are my personal highlight, but you may welll fall in love with the homestyle casserole-style meat and veg dishes. It's all good, and worth the visit.

Frank's Lebanese
Address: 16 Smart Street, Fairfield
Phone: 9724 3000

This Fairfield favourite has been a staple for good, wholesome, down-home style Lebanese for eons. And it's easy to see why it's still successful after all these years: the food is fuss-free and absolutely delicious. I have had Lebanese-style charcoal chicken many a time (largely because my closest friend married a Lebanese man and we have dined on this countless times), and I do consider myself to be somewhat of a dip-connoisseur

The falafel is the BEST I HAVE EVER TASTED. I had to write that in caps, because it really is the most insanely good felafel I have had in my life. And the size of them... huge! The garlic dip is sublime... all killer, no filler (the owner explained that it is pure garlic, no potato as some places like to add). It has a true garlic zing and is utterly addictive. They also make a goat's cheese dish which is sublime. Tangy and delicious and more-ish. And then the chicken... as melt-in-mouth delicious as you'd expect. The entire menu is worth coming back for. Again and again.

Green Peppercorn

Address: 1 Hamilton Road, Fairfield
Phone: 02 9724 7842
Web: http://www.greenpeppercorn.com.au/

This place. Wow. There are not enough superlatives to describe the experience at Green Peppercorn. Suffice to say, you've either heard about this new venue, or are about to. Opened for less than a year, the Lao and Thai restaurant is as much noteworthy for its impressive, truly world-class menu as it is steeped in history.

In this instance, I don't need to consult the history books: I lived on this very street most of my life and have seen the transformation over the past, gulp, four decades.

Yes, I vividly recall it in its many incarnations as The Fairfield Hotel. Always a favoured watering hole for locals, it underwent a HUGE transformation in 2012. Under the helm of new owner Tona Inthavong, front of house manager Sarah (Tona's wife), and Tona's sister and head chef Ketmany, the place was gutted and experienced the most extreme of makeovers - the venue may still be the recognisable relic it always has been on the outside, but inside... it's a whole other beast. Think: birdcage lights hanging from the ceiling, gold Thai statues peering from each window... even a real-size, imported tuk-tuk (Thai taxi) parked next to the impressive bar with equally impressive cocktail list.

During the demo for the Fairfield food bloggers in their private dining room (yes! You can hire it out for weddings, parties, anything), we are given a demo by brother and sister on how they make the Thai som tum (Thai-style papaya salad), and soon we are also feasting on and we feast on all their signature dishes including Lao sausages (Tona's dad makes them daily, and Tona tells me thet invested in a swanky, modern sausage-maker... nope, Dad wants the old-school version, and these sausages are sublime), and the marinated dried beef jerky, the ridiculously-delicious larb diep (raw beef and tripe salad... seriously, try it). The Green Peppercon signature desserts are... something else. The fried ice cream: it's as good as you've heard. The pandan is so good, as is the black sesame 
crème brûlée. It was all washed down with Queen's Pitch Vineyard wines, a tour sponsor (the separate dessert bar closes at 12.30am every Friday and Saturday... yes! Heaven for dessert devotees).

Because of its huge popularity, expect delays when you come to dine on a Friday or Saturday night, and they don't take bookings. Patrons are known to linger in the bar area while waiting for a table. And trust me... it is utterly worth the wait.

And so, Fairfield!

If you live there or in the vicinity: explore it! Revisit it. Fall in love again, and become reacquainted with the suburb you may have neglected for fancier addresses and brighter lights.

If you don't live close, get in the car [gosh, it's not that far! It's 30kms from the Sydney city CBD to Fairfield, which on a good day, is 40 minutes tops, door to door], hop on a train, or get in cab if you're a few 'burbs away, and just drink it all in. It's culture-rich, and filled to the brim with stories of incredible people who have struggles you and I could never imagine. Enjoy the food they have lovingly prepared for you, tell you friends, and share the love about the place with is undoubtedly Sydney's hidden food jewel.

Gwyneth Paltrow, Ellen, and People mag title: "I'm 40 and I have two kids, and it's kinda rad."

This is what Gwyneth Paltrow said when Ellen asked her what it felt like to be the newly 'crowned' People magazine 'World's Most Beautiful Woman' for 2013:

"You know what, I'm 40 and I have two kids, and it's kinda rad."

Watch the entire, funny clip here [it includes strippers...]:

What do you think of Gwyneth as this year's choice for the title?

Here are more clips from the Ellen ep:

Ricky Martin on gay marriage: "Not about faith, it's not about religion, it's about human rights."

There has been something that has irked me for weeks.

While watching 'The Voice.'

No, it's not the 'cliffhanger' ad breaks. Or the fact that for weeks the judges wore the same clothes.


It has been the very vocal support social media pals give one of the show's judges Ricky Martin... while being against gay marriage, something the passionate singer and TV judge holds very dear to his heart.

Ricky is father to his twin boys, who he parents alongside partner Carlos Gonzales Abella.

An interview with Ricky in news.com.au yesterday by journalist Holly Byrnes produced the best quote I have read on the whole gay marriage debate:

He said the legal recognition was "not about faith, it's not about religion, it's about human rights. It's about me having the opportunity to look my sons in the eye and say 'this is my husband and this is our family.' It's about self esteem, it's about dignity, it's about respect".

You can read the entire article here.

For me, this quote says all there is to say about gay marriage. And this coming from me; someone who still goes to church, will still have my children receive all their sacraments [Holy Communion, Confirmation], and would like to believe there is still plenty of good in the Catholic Church.

Supporting gay marriage is about completely accepting your fellow human being in a way that Christians say they stand for.

And you can't say you love Ricky without loving all of who he is and what he believes in; what he wants most in the world.

It's okay, friends. We can agree to disagree. I still love and respect you. But know that what Ricky says in the above statement is something that resonates with me, and I hope in some way it resonates with you, too.

Please feel free to comment below.

Friday, 26 April 2013

'Ryan Seacrest With The Kardashians: E! News Presents' - Foxtel

If you're over the Kardashians, look away. Stop reading this post.

But if they still fascinate you, you'll drink this in: Ryan Seacrest sits down with the family he essentially propelled into fame by giving them their own reality show, in a tell-all interview with the clan.

In fact, it has been six short years since the Kardashians invited cameras into their home and became a reality sensation. And on the cover of seemingly every women's and pop culture magazine the world over.

Now, for the first time, executive producer and close friend Ryan Seacrest sits down with the stars he 'discovered' for a no-holds-barred special to revisit some of the series’ most controversial moments, and get low-down on their lives now.

The TV special - to be shown on Australian TV on Foxtel - promises to be filled with candid conversations and family revelations and fun family moments in this one hour special called 'Ryan Seacrest With The Kardashians: E! News Presents', which premieres on Friday, April 26 at 8:30pm AEST only on E!

In a dinner party setting hosted by Ryan, Kris, Bruce, Kim, Kourtney and Scott, Khloé, Rob, Kendall, and Kylie tell what they really think of one another (oooh, just how deep will they go, though?). Later, Ryan sits down for private one-on-one conversations that aim to delve deeper.

In the special, Kim speaks frankly about her pregnancy, and what boyfriend Kanye West really thinks of the show. Khloé shares her own thoughts on Kim’s pregnancy and how it has affected her desire to be a mother. Kourtney discusses her feelings on marrying Scott, and their relationship over the years. Rob addresses his recent, much publicised weight gain and how difficult that has been for him; while the youngest of the Kardashian/Jenner family, Kendall and Kylie discuss their budding modelling careers, dating, their famous friends and how the show affected their childhood.

And the there's Kris and husband Bruce: they talk about their parenting beliefs, as well as what it's like to witness their children going through major life changes on camera, and how they deal with the constant media attention and scrutiny.

Whatever your level of interest in the 'klan;, this TV special will make for interesting viewing.
'Ryan Seacrest With The Kardashians: E! News Presents' premieres Friday, April 26 at 8:30pm AEST only on E!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

"I cannot say, and I will not say that he is dead. He is just away." - Kasey Drayton's tribute to her father

I read - through tears - this beautiful tribute [below] left by my friend Kasey Drayton for her recently deceased father. It was to be his 75th birthday last week, and it was a poignant, sad time.

Kasey posted it online, with this beautiful photo of her father and her daughter.

"I cannot say, and I will not say
That he is dead. He is just away.
With a cheery smile, and a wave of the hand,
He has wandered into an unknown land
And left us dreaming how very fair
Its needs must be, since he lingers there.
And you - oh you, who the wildest yearn
From the old-time steps and the glad return,
Think of him faring on, as dear
In the love of there as the love of here.
Think of him still as the same. I say,
He is not dead - he is just away."

Share this beautiful poem if you think it will help someone today.

It spoke to me; I lost my father 27 years ago and while the pain has subsided somewhat, in the moments I remember him [daily], reading this lifts my spirits.

"I want to be in a relationship." - The admission that changed this woman's life

Sometimes, we're so focused on creating a life and a career that we declare ourselves "too busy" to be in a relationship.

And that's totally cool. If that's genuinely how you feel.

Being true to your inner self by being alone and content is the greatest service you can do to 'you.'

And then, sometimes, in a moment of clarity, you have to admit to yourself that the jig is up. That while what you felt was true at that time, now you feel altogether different about the whole solo thing.

It's a vulnerable moment - and I have been there when I was in between relationships, single, and not loving it - and it means you are suddenly calling yourself to action. Now that you have admitted to yourself that you don't like being alone, and want to be in a relationship, you have to actually do something about it - like have yourself be open and willing to be with someone else.

I think it's a scary but delicious feeling, because suddenly, you're surrendering yourself to the universe.

And so, when I read my friend Hannah Hempenstall's piece on wanting to be in a relationship, I was moved and applauded the honesty in her writing, and I knew many of my friends and Josie's Juice readers would also like to read her thoughts on it.

Hannah is a writer, healer, and trained massage therapist. She writes an exceptional and very personal blog here. Follow it!

Here is Hannah, and here is her post below:


This morning as I prepared for a meeting with my business mentor Colin, I diligently went through the things I'd said I would have done since our last meeting. Send out flyers for Reiki workshops… tick… add Google ads to my blog… tick… commence writing my book… tick.

Oh yes, there were ticks all over the place. Little Miss Perfect had an answer for everything. Anything that I hadn't completed I had a very good reason for, and all the boxes were lined up for a pat on the back.

However, despite all the good news, I wasn't feeling it.

When I arrived at the meeting Colin asked me how I felt. "Like shit," I replied. "Time of the month." Looking back, I can see now how that was a big red flag that had nothing to do with my period. It was an excuse. You know, those things that we tell ourselves to justify not doing something because we don't feel great? "Oh, I'm on deadline I'm always frazzled for a week…" or "I'm short on cash till pay day, can we meet next Friday instead…" or "I don't feel well, can we postpone our catch up till another time."

I really didn't feel like being there. I knew the tick boxes were in place but I didn't even want to talk about them. My throat was restricted and my eyes were welling with tears. Not really what you'd expect considering I'd achieved pretty much everything I'd set out to do six weeks earlier.

So what was really going on?

I guess for me, the journey to becoming a millionaire blogger goes beyond earning money and following a set of business rules. Somewhere deeper inside I want personal breakthroughs that have less to do with business and more to do with Life. The further I travel down this path, the more I realise that if I can tap into whatever is blocking my personal growth, my business dreams will simply follow. For me, work and life are one and the same.

So, back to the meeting… Colin relayed that the very fact I didn't want to be at the meeting meant it was the perfect place for me at that moment. He said that if every cell in my body was resisting something then it indicated that I was on the verge of a breakthrough. I had been feeling like crap for a few weeks so I was desperate for a breakthrough that would get me back to my happy place. But I was even more desperate to hide the very thing that would get me there.

Turns out that was Vulnerability.

I hadn't even been seated for five minutes and this was no longer about business. This was going to be a D&M that could see me smash through to a whole new level, but in order to get there, I was required to be vulnerable in front of someone I wanted to appear to be highly capable in front of. (As I unconsciously want to do with everyone.)

Inside, I wanted to bolt.

Yup, I had Silver saddled up and I was ready to gallop off with "Sorry, Colin, can we do this another time," on the tip of my tongue. Fortunately, I could sense that sitting through this meeting would lead me to an oasis that I couldn't reach on my own. I explained to Colin that I was fed up with having limited cashflow. However, things had just turned a corner as I had recently secured two great new contracts. The work was good and I would be paid well, but for now I was emotional and didn't feel like talking about it.

"What do you want to talk about then?" nudged Colin.

I was at a loss for words because I really didn't feel like talking about anything. I just wanted to go home and curl up into a ball and cry. So, I did all of that – except the going home bit.

Every cell in my body was resisting the tears but they wanted to come and come they did. Had Moses been anywhere nearby he could have waved his staff and sent a thousand Israelites through the middle. The floodgates were open and there was only one thing to do: I had to sit there and drink in the fact that I'm not always capable and that I don't always have my sh*t together.

As my face screwed up and the tears came, Colin didn't seem to mind. "Hmm," said my inner voice. "What's going on here then? You're exposing the part of yourself you never let anyone see and yet you are still alive and the person opposite you is still there."


As my inner Self began to realise that being vulnerable didn't mean I would die or that my business mentor would run a mile, laughing at my inability to cope, I listened in to my heart and asked what was going on. In a very clear voice, it relayed to me that what it would like more than anything right now was a hug.

I pondered that for a moment while Colin and I sat awkwardly in silence. In a few seconds I realised that the awkward silence wasn't awkward at all. In fact, I felt completely safe to sit there and cry. And, I felt completely OK that we hadn't even mentioned work, and that instead, I had basically sat down at what had been planned as a mentoring session and started sobbing.

A tiny seed inside of me whooped with glee. The other part of me (that was still crying) plucked up the courage to ask Colin if I could have a hug. At first he didn't hear me (he probably couldn't understand what I was saying through all the sniffling). So I asked again.

"Can I please have a hug."

In less than a second, Colin was there, allowing me to be vulnerable in the open air, at a cafe – in broad daylight! OMG! My inner voice – that would have brayed at being such a wreck in public – was knocked into a coma while the part of me that had been seeking a breakthrough, was simultaneously set free.

Deep within me I recognised that this was something I had never done before. I have never publicly allowed myself to do what I did today, which was:

a) Cry in public without running to the bathroom to hide
b) Ask someone I don't know very well for a hug
c) Not care that people could see me crying and looking ugly
d) Be happy that I had allowed myself to publicly lose my sh*t
e) Feel OK about returning to that cafe without having to think about wearing a wig to disguise myself (Oh look, she's the one who cried…)

This really was a breakthrough. And it had nothing to do with me ticking boxes on a business plan.

Once I managed to compose myself, Colin and I sat back down and he very lovingly asked me were I was now at. After bumbling and fluffing a little, I told him that it had been a really long time since I'd had a hug. More tears ensued.

Having gone into vulnerability mode and realising it was safe, I felt ready to admit what I had concluded from our meeting. "You know what Colin," I said. "What I have come to realise is that through the process of starting up a set of business streams I firmly believe that I have the skills, the drive and the ambition to make a success of whatever I choose to do. But what I now understand is that what I would really like, is to have someone to share those experiences with."


"I want to be in a relationship."

And there it was – The Truth. The words I had been holding under water were suddenly set free and with them came another river of tears.

The very thing I had been resisting had forced its way to the surface and broken the banks. The emotion I had felt coming to the meeting was nothing to do with my menstrual cycle. My hormonal spin had simply been the trigger for something I'd been holding in for years. Probably since my last long-term relationship which ended more than three years ago.

Finally, I had allowed myself to admit that I am lonely. I finally recognised that I love what I do and I have the courage and tenacity to make my business a success, but deeper than that is a primal desire to share my life with someone on an intimate level. To have someone hold my hand through the hard times and give me a hug when I feel sad. And, equally, to have someone to high five the happy times with. With someone by my side, the hard times might not feel so hard and the good times might seem even better. Wow, that's definitely what I want and yet I hadn't been able to admit that even to myself!

For so long I've been coping with everything on my own, but now, thanks to setting up three new business streams and following the processes in Jacqueline Harrison's book How To Create A Business From Nothing, I seemingly have a much more intimate and emotional desire to fulfill.

For me, the business of setting up in business has not only led me to financial breakthroughs and new business behaviours, but ultimately it has helped me realise that life, be it brimming with gold, or as black as coal, means nothing if we don't have someone to share it with.

And so with that, I now set myself free to find love. I now give myself permission to be vulnerable on an intimate level with a kind and loving man who is looking for someone to share his life with. How I'll find or attract that man is anyone's guess. And until that happens I'll continue trucking along and ticking boxes.

But secretly, I now know that setting up in business isn't necessarily about business at all. Because deeper than my desire to succeed or be wealthy lies a far greater desire to Love and be Loved.

Just as The Beatles sang all those years ago, turns out: Love is all you need.