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5 things you should NEVER be guilty of asking your manager

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Let’s face it. No matter how confident we may seem, our throats suddenly seem to dry up in front of our bosses. If we have something to say about the work culture, the extra work pressure etc. most of us can’t communicate clearly with the superiors at work. A feeling of guilt always creeps in, no matter what. But, you’re probably wondering why should you even feel guilty about it? Well, truth be told, workplaces have created an environment that almost forces all employees to succumb to the immense work pressure to be maintained at all times. Due to this, many countries’ workforce experiences severe burnouts issues and this does affect the overall productivity of the region. COVID-19 has severely impacted the work culture and has forced people to stress and work extra at their jobs. Surveys suggest that only a small population of managers think about their employees’ wellbeing. Now it’s time for all managers to pay special attention, especially about each of their mental health. For your understanding, we have listed the five things you should never be guilty about.


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So many gay relationships start in fiery love – in my middle 60s is something else possible? | Leading questions | Life and style

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As a gay man in his middle 60s I have begun to wonder if being alone will be my lot. I have two dogs and a cat, I am not well-off but I survive OK at present and still work.

Without children or close family nearby, I crave a relationship with mutual love, care and respect. So many gay (and no doubt other) relationships start in fiery love and/or sexual encounters, something I seem to be past. Is it possible to find someone attractive and caring and compatible at this age I wonder?

Eleanor says: I had a professor who said that our relationship to the people we love is like our relationship to art; we keep coming back to it as long as it will give or teach us something new. I remember all the bells in my brain chiming at once when he said that. It’s why I like Keeping Up With the Kardashians but I love Monet; I’m done with an episode once I watch it, but when I return to a painting I’ve already seen thousands of times, there’s always something more I haven’t seen.

This is, I think, the difference between a “fiery love and sexual encounter” and a genuinely sustaining adult connection. Fiery affairs burn bright, are easily extinguished, and are basically interchangeable, one for another. They are the Kardashians of love.

But you might well be the Monet. We are taught to be so afraid of age – a billion-dollar industry would collapse if tomorrow we all woke up and thought “I don’t care about looking young”. But your age is what gives you more to share, more to teach, more to give to a partner every time they come back.

You have a life fully lived, a complete sense of self, the wisdom that comes from having navigated your own sexuality for decades. If love lives in the inexhaustible newness of other people, then you have more to make you loveable now than you did when you were 30.

You should try to be the kind of person you would like to meet. I know that’s platitudinous and annoying to hear, but go out, do things, meet people. We can get hooked on being alone, so that the outside world feels like a burden and new people feel like an imposition. Don’t curl into the slippers and the sofa every night, however narcotic it is to sink into the comfort of well-worn solitude. We need to be uncomfortable now and then to keep changing, and we need to keep changing to stay engaging to others.

When you meet people, be careful not to lead with your sense of being alone. People can smell it, and it turns them away. You have a complete life and a whole sense of self; invite people to share that joy instead of hoping too visibly they’ll patch the part that doesn’t feel complete. We have to be nourishing and complex for others if we want to have nourishing and complex relationships.

And don’t relate to your age as a strike against you. Be nervous and self-conscious of it and people will think there is something to be self-conscious of. Be vibrant and unapologetic and they will agree that there is nothing to apologise for.

It’s natural to feel pale by comparison in a world of shiny young things. But shiny exhausts its appeal very quickly. Don’t worry about being shiny. Be the Monet.

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  • Do you have a conflict, crossroads or dilemma you need help with? Eleanor Gordon-Smith will help you think through life’s puzzles, big and small.

  • If you would like advice from Eleanor, send your dilemma to [email protected] (please don’t send attachments). Submissions are subject to our terms and conditions.


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Three commonsense dinner-party dishes from Colin Fassnidge | Australian food and drink

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Cabbage and fennel slaw

Serves 6-8

Crunch and texture. Texture and crunch … A good slaw is a fantastic and simple way to give yourself a vegetable boost. You can pair a slaw with pretty much anything. In this recipe I’ve included fennel and silverbeet for a twist on the classic cabbage slaw.

Cabbage and fennel slaw
Cabbage and fennel slaw. Photograph: Alan Benson/Plum

6 silverbeet leaves, finely chopped
200g red cabbage, finely sliced
2 red onions
, finely sliced
1 fennel bulb
, trimmed and finely sliced from top to bottom
1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley
, leaves and stalks roughly chopped
300g whole-egg mayonnaise
, plus extra if needed
juice of 1 lemon
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Combine the silverbeet, cabbage, onion, fennel and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Stir through the mayonnaise, adding a little more if you prefer a wetter consistency.

Transfer the slaw to a serving bowl. Add the lemon juice, season well with salt and pepper and drizzle over a little olive oil.

Memories of vinegar chips

Serves 6-8

Our kids love these roast potatoes and they’re often top of the list of dishes they ask me to make. The vinegar is a play on chips and malt vinegar – a trend Australia has been missing out on for years. I strongly encourage you to try it!

Salt and vinegar roast potatoes
Salt and vinegar roast potatoes. Photograph: Alan Benson/Plum

8 to 10 desiree potatoes, peeled and quartered
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil
, for roasting
1 garlic bulb
, unpeeled, cloves smashed using the side of a knife
1 bunch of thyme
1 bunch of rosemary
100g salted butter
, roughly chopped

For the vinegar
300ml white wine vinegar
1 bunch of rosemary
, leaves picked and chopped
1 tbsp caster sugar

To make the rosemary vinegar, combine the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200C (fan-forced).

Place the potato in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and season with salt. Slowly bring to the boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes, until the potato is just starting to break up. Drain the potato in a colander and allow to steam dry for about 10 minutes.

While the potato is cooling, pour enough vegetable oil into a roasting tin to cover the base and place it in the oven to heat up. Once the potato is dry, tip it into the roasting tin (be careful as the hot oil will splatter) and spread out in a single layer.

Roast for 10 minutes, until the base of each potato is golden brown and crisp. Turn the potato over and add the smashed garlic cloves, herbs and butter. Roast for a further 15 minutes, turning the potato frequently to crisp each side, then remove the tin from the oven and strain away any fat. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon the rosemary vinegar into the bottom of a serving dish, then gently place the roast potatoes on top and serve.

Roast rib-eye and yorkshire puds

Serves 4

This is a classic that never fails to impress. The trick to getting perfectly risen and crisp yorkies is to get the oil sizzling hot first and avoid opening the oven door during cooking. The yorkshire puddings can be frozen once cooked and cooled. They will keep for up to three months. Simply reheat them from frozen in a low oven.

Roast rib-eye
Roast rib-eye. Photograph: Alan Benson/Plum

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 x 4kg rack rib-eye of beef
2 onions
, halved
2 garlic bulbs
, unpeeled, halved horizontally
4 carrots
4 desiree potatoes
, quartered
1 bunch of rosemary
1 bunch of thyme
100ml vegetable oil
Grated horseradish root, to serve
(optional)

For the yorkshire puddings
vegetable oil, for cooking
4 eggs
200ml full-cream milk
40g plain flour
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 220C (fan-forced).

Heavily season the outside of the beef (this will ensure a beautiful crust once it is roasted).

To sear the beef you can either use a large heavy-based flameproof casserole dish or a barbecue flat plate. Heat either the dish over high hea, then add the beef and sear on all sides for 10-15 minutes, until well browned.

Place the onion, garlic, carrot and potato in a large roasting tin and lightly season, then position the herbs on top. Drizzle over the vegetable oil. Sit the seared beef on the herbs and roast in the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 160C (fan-forced) and cook for 1 1/2 hours or until the core temperature of the beef is 57C on a kitchen thermometer. Remove the beef from the oven and allow to rest, covered, for at least 20 minutes.

Increase the oven temperature to 220C (fan-forced).

Meanwhile, to make the yorkshire puddings, pour enough vegetable oil to half-fill six holes of a large muffin tin, then place in the oven to heat up.

Whisk the eggs, milk and 1 1/2 tablespoons of water in a large bowl, then rain in the flour and whisk vigorously to beat out the lumps. Season and set aside for 15 minutes, then pour the batter into a jug.

Carefully remove the muffin tin from the oven and evenly pour the batter into the oiled muffin holes. Return to the oven and cook, undisturbed, for 20 minutes, until risen and golden.

Squeeze the garlic halves into the roasting tin and stir to mix through the vegetables.

Slice the beef, grate some horseradish over the top, if desired, and serve with the vegetables and yorkshire puddings.

  • This is an edited extract from The Commonsense Cook by Colin Fassnidge, Published by Plum, RRP $39.99, photography by Alan Benson


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Water: Brides-To-be pay attention! Here is how you can glow like a goddess on your D-day

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As the lockdown took place, everything went for a toss. Suddenly, everything came to a standstill. Just like every other activity, wedding too, got affected. All the to-be brides who had plans of making their D-day the most memorable one, went down the drain. But slowly and steadily things are getting back to normal. Though it is still mandatory to maintain precautions, but things are getting better. Due to the lockdown most weddings are pushed to next year, though this delay can bum you out a little, but guess what, this gives you more time to indulge in pre-bridal skin care routine. Dr. Simal Soin, AAYNA Clinic, has some basic pre-bridal beauty which will help you getting the beautiful bridal glow during your wedding.

According to Simal, deep cleaning your sin at least once a week is important. This will keep acne and all sorts of skin issues away. “Make sure to deep clean with a hydrating and gentle face wash. Apart from that, once a week, you can indulge in the masks or scrubs according to your skin types,” says Simal.

Apart from using beauty products, sleeping for 8 hours will also help you enhancing your face. “Clock 8-10 hours of sound sleep every night to leave your skin looking fresh. Good sleep helps in stabilising your nervous system and reduce stress,” says Simal

Another important ingredient that Simal highly recommend is water. Water keeps your system clean and toxin-free. “Drink plenty of water and other healthy fluids like watermelon juice and coconut water to your diet for flawless skin. Herbal teas are great ways to reduce anxiety and makes you feel relaxed,” says Simal

Eating right is particularly important too. What you consume in your day to day life reflects on your face, so a good diet is mandatory. “A balanced, nutritious diet devoid of junk food can go a long way in giving you glowing skin,” says Simal.

She also suggests brides-to-be, to get a hydra-facial done before the D-day. “In less than 40 minutes, the active serums used in this unisex treatment cleanses and removes dead skin, unclogs pores, extracts hidden impurities and hydrates at the deepest level to reveal the healthiest layer of your skin. Sign up for youthful and wedding-ready skin in a jiffy with this treatment,” shares Simal.


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