Monday, August 25, 2014

Picture of the day

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Imagine This

Confessions of a Qantas flight attendant

Confessions of a Qantas flight attendant

by Hannah Stephenson

He’s served Katy Perry, Russell Brand, Lily Allen and other high-flying celebs at 35,000ft. Now Owen Beddall tells all about his time as a flight attendant in a new book. Hannah Stephenson reports

EVER wondered how to get upgraded on a flight, what the cabin crew do in the galley, or how the rich and famous pass their time in first class?
Ex-Qantas flight attendant, Owen Beddall, knows: he has served Katy Perry and Russell Brand, Cate Blanchett and Lily Allen, among other high-profile names.
Beddall has travelled 40 countries on six continents and partied his way around major cities, staying in top-class hotels.
“I chose to be in first class to be with the best of the best,” says Australian Beddall.
“If you are going to do a job, you may as well be at the top end.
“I was a little nervous around celebrities, but I thought my job was always to make them feel comfortable.
“It’s a dichotomy with celebrities: a lot of them are quite insular, but to be around the calibre of celebrities I’ve been around has been amazing.”
Most famous faces were well-behaved, but the crew was apprehensive when Oasis brothers, Liam and Noel Gallagher, who’d been banned by other airlines for bad behaviour, were on the flight list.
They were seated in business class, but the female flight attendants from that section kept Beddall informed. He claims:
“She whispered that one of the Gallagher brothers had offered the attendants £1,000 apiece to turn a blind eye while he smoked a joint in the toilet. What should she do?
“I was all for it. ‘Get the money up front’, I suggested. ‘Let him smoke the joint — it will set the smoke alarms off, and then maybe they’ll go to sleep and leave you alone’.’
But the transaction didn’t take place, according to Beddall, and they all fell asleep soon afterwards.
The celebrity who most stands out for him is Lily Allen, whom he’d never heard of when she was a passenger on his flight, in 2006, even though she had a number one hit in the UK at the time.
“She exuded ‘celebrity’ from 100 seats away.
“She was in business class, I was in first, but I invited her up to the first-class galley for a drink and a gossip.
“What a delight! Lily and I kept in touch,” he says.
Beddall reveals all in his new book, Confessions Of A Qantas Flight Attendant, charting the ups and downs of his 12-year high-flying career. It includes having to restrain passengers, being bitten by a snake in Bangkok, and being caught up in a terrorist attack in Mumbai.
Celebrities who travel first class don’t tend to be more demanding than other passengers, he says.
“They are travelling all the time and it’s work for them.
“It’s usually the people who are getting upgraded who want to flex their corporate muscle, or show how important they are, who are the painful ones.
“Those who travel a lot offer minimal fuss and have a routine,” he says.
“The newbies, or the upgrades, want to try everything.
“They will guzzle through the wines and the food and they will want an extra amenity kit or extra pyjamas.
“They want to experience it all.”
So, how do you get a free upgrade?
“Board last. Upgrades have to happen on the aircraft — unless they are being done through airline points — at the discretion of the crew, which is why you always need to engage your flight attendant.”
Those who try to share their upgraded seat with their travelling companion are likely to be given short shrift.
“Individuals would sit up and have the service and then go to ‘talk to their friend’ and swap seats,” Beddall says.
“The friend would then settle in and want to start a full service, too.
“Obviously, there wasn’t enough food for this to go on, and so when people wanted to swap seats to let their friend ‘rest’, we would say ‘You must decide who is sitting in here, once and for all. You can’t swap back’.”
Alcohol can be a big problem, he says.
“For every drink on the ground, it’s like three in the air. On top of that, people are taking sleeping tablets, with the invention of flat beds.
“When you put the combination together, it can be difficult.”
Passengers aren’t the only ones who take pills to help them through the journey.
Cabin crew are also regular visitors to the pharmacists, says Beddall, stocking up on uppers, downers, anything that will kill the jet lag and help them sleep.
“It was something I learned about very early on in the game,” he says.
“Jet lag is such a painful thing.”
And what about the mile-high club? It exists, he says.
“Pilots have jumped into bed with first-class passengers in the front of the plane, but it usually happens in economy.
“Don’t ask me how they do it in economy.
“They usually end up in the toilet, although I have seen the blanket go up and down a few times.
“But it was harder to get away with it in economy, because the toilets were smaller and there were more people lining up to use them legitimately,” he says.
The mile-high club was not something he wanted to join.
“The more you did the job, the worse the passengers looked.
“For me, personally, after a long flight, the last thing I wanted was to shag anyone.
“My idea of a happy ending was a long Radox bath, a mud mask, blinds down and a sleeping pill.”
He was often too busy dealing with the super-rich passengers, who ordered anything from macrobiotic meals to Dom Perignon, insisted on observing Ramadan practices, or wanted their hands exfoliated, there and then.
“It can be outrageous sometimes,” he says.
“The airline ran around after Kim Kardashian, after she had announced her divorce in Australia in 2011.
They ordered more Dom Perignon, and other specialities.
And when she boarded the plane she wanted two bottles of water during the whole flight.
“Sometimes, the corporate side doesn’t match up with the reality of what the flight attendant is actually dealing with.”
Last year, Beddall left the airline after breaking his spine in a fall during a training exercise.
He’s now based in Sydney and pursuing a writing and broadcasting career.
He doesn’t miss the long-haul flights and politics of the job, he says.
“I don’t miss a day of it, and during the flights I’ve done recently {Beddall’s on a whistle-stop international tour to promote the book} and waking up jet-lagged and feeling sick.
“I wonder how I ever did the job full-time,” he says. 

Confessions Of A Qantas Flight Attendant, by Owen Beddall with Libby Harkness

The secret to looking good at 30,000 feet

The secret to looking good at 30,000 feet

By Kelly O'Brien

Have you ever wondered how Cabin Crew keep themselves looking so immaculate? So fresh, so put together... ready for anything?
I don't know about you, but I certainly have. Which is why I went to watch a beauty demonstration at the Emirates Red Hat Selfie day.
I'm surely not the first person to roll out of bed at 5am for an early morning flight, showing up at the airport tired and dishevelled, makeupless and barely dressed... and I probably won't be the last.
So how exactly do the Cabin Crew do it? With constantly changing schedules and long haul flights to contend with, how do they always manage to look so pristine?
It's all down to a detailed beauty regime, according to expert Sibille B. Juen, who flew in from Dubai last week to share some trade secrets. 

All Cabin Crew at Emirates receive special training on how to maintain 'the look' during long flights. This starts with skin care products and ends with a very specific makeup routine:
- Use foundation that's as close to the natural skin colour as possible
- Don't use lip gloss over lipstick as as the colour wears off quicker
- Be careful of bronzer as it can make skin appear tired, especially in aircraft lighting
- Try to stay away from waterproof mascara as it dries out the lashes when used over long periods or for long hours at a time
- Do not draw lip pencil outside the lip line
- Use eye-liner on the top lid to make eyes appear bigger and brighter
- Use a concealer with light reflectors to combat dark circles
- Drink as much water as possible on board to maintain energy levels and keep a healthy glow
Good advice all round, 30,000 feet or not! Though Sibille stresses this regime for Cabin Crew, she doesn't advise customers to do the same.
Here are Sibille's top tips for how you can look fresh on a flight:
- Avoid heavy make-up
- If you can't do without make-up entirely, try a light concealer or tinted moisturiser
- Regularly reapply lip balm during the flight, and use body lotion every so often if you can
- Before landing, freshen up with cleanser, moisturiser and eye gel
- Drink water throughout the flight
Apart from these readily devoured nuggets of information, I was also privileged to learn a few high-flying secrets.
Did you know, for example, that Cabin Crew have extended rest periods on long haul flights during which they remove all their make-up, apply a vitamin c mask, and then reapply?
They also secretly reapply their powder, blusher and lipstick during a flight, very discreetly of course!
Personally, I was amazed to learn how much preparation the Cabin Crew go through and how many rules they follow with regards to their uniform, hair and make-up. Even their hats have to be worn a certain way... which, I might add, I was lucky enough to find out first hand! But at the end of the day, all that effort really is worth it. When it works, it works. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

10 Signs you are a Wanderluster ❤

10 Signs you are a Wanderluster

1. You value experiences not things

2. Your first question is “where are you from?” not “how are you?”

3. You’ve mastered the art of beating jetlag

4. You know currency conversions without looking them up

5. You can say “hello” and “thank you” in multiple languages

6. You answer ‘where did you get that from?’ with a country instead of a brand name

7. You plan trips months in advance and google everything imaginable

8. You have a countdown calendar until your next adventure

9. You start to hallucinate and see world maps in your food

10. You start most of your stories with “When I was in…”

Friday, August 1, 2014

August Horoscope 2014


Written by Penny Thornton

The Month Ahead for Aries

 Life without love, sun and fun is hard work, but in August all such things are possible. Well maybe constant sunshine is a pipe dream, but you should have proof positive that you are loved and there is more than one happy occasion on the menu. Babies and the younger generation could be another reason that August is one of the best periods of 2014. However, as the month draws to a close a financial problem could loom. It may be that you have had a little too much fun and breached the budget, but it is also possible that a source of income comes to an abrupt end or that some other financial arrangement falls through. So, make sure you have reserves to carry you over the following few weeks. This latter part of August is also not a time to take chances with your career or fail to deliver a promise.

The Month Ahead for Taurus

 Family, domestic and property matters take up much of August. There could be family get-togethers, extra time spent with relatives or you may be improving your home, even in the process of a property sale and purchase. And with Jupiter newly arrived in Leo, this is just the beginning of a year of growth on the home front. With this in mind, consider events around the time of the full moon (10th) as a launch-pad to a new and improved part of your life. In many ways mid-August is tough, whether you are carrying far too many responsibilities or people are making decisions that you do not like, and for a few Taureans a relationship or friendship is on its way out. However, not everyone is equipped to be part of this new chapter of your life, so be very philosophical about who comes and goes. It’s all part of a bigger picture.

The Month Ahead for Gemini

 If you haven’t planned to travel in August, a last-moment holiday could be on the agenda or there could be unexpected reasons for a journey. Travel should always be a happy prospect for the gypsy within all Geminis, not simply because it feeds your restless spirit but it opens your eyes to new possibilities. And with Saturn’s input mid-month, a road could have run out. This would be the right time to make a decision about a job, and if you have been feeling trapped or denied full expression of your talents a courageous leap in the dark could be the very thing. Certainly, there is a greater purpose behind the events of mid-August, and the more prepared you are to let go and move on, the easier the transition will be to a better tomorrow.

The Month Ahead for Cancer

 Taking risks is rarely a Cancerian habit, but you may have no choice other than to go in a new and uncertain direction this August. This may, of course, turn out to be quite literal in that you will be visiting an unfamiliar place and being exposed to some very different flavours and customs, but the more likely meaning is that a situation is no longer sustainable in its present form – change is essential. There could also be some unexpected romantic developments, whether a casual affair suddenly becomes far more serious or someone lights your fire marking the beginning of a beautiful relationship. There are no guarantees in love, so although you do not want to throw yourself body and soul into a dangerous liaison, you shouldn’t reject someone’s advances because you have been hurt before. Live a little... 

The Month Ahead for Leo

 With both Venus and Jupiter in your sign, how good does it get? A positive attitude isn’t always enough to get the results you desire, but with these two planets on board you have a real chance of achieving a major objective. Enjoy being the centre of attention, and if someone appears to be unimpressed with your charms, redouble your efforts. The weekends of the 2nd and 16th are times to push the boat out and show what a star you are. Around the 9th, however, you will need to tread a little more carefully. A full moon heightens emotions, which is fine if you’re happy, but if a problem arises it will tend to feel far worse than it is. A relationship matter could be settled once and for all at this time, and there is more than a hint of destiny about events. Hard work and hard choices are part of the astrological package late in the month – nothing you cannot handle, though.

The Month Ahead for Virgo

 You may be the workaholic of the zodiac but even you must realize you need a rest, and August is the time to retreat from the rat race and replenish your energies and spirits. Aside from taking a holiday break, there could be other benefits to getting away from it all. Sometimes the more you battle with a problem the less you can see it for what it is; by gaining distance and perspective you’ll find a solution and a situation may just work itself out without your input. Even a romance could benefit from some space, and you should not be overly alarmed by the prospect of a brief absence from a loved one. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and a breathing space can work wonder for a relationship in distress. The week of the 25th is a bit of an eye-opener: rely on the facts and figures, not word of mouth.

The Month Ahead for Libra

 Collaborations and creative endeavours are in the astro-spotlight. You could be enjoying time with friends or putting together a business project – maybe both - and this is the ideal month to reignite old friendships and form new alliances. You could even get the magic back in a relationship that has seen better days: enjoying shared activities and standing united against a common foe can do more than any amount of couples’ therapy! Mars in the area of finances is both a blessing and a curse: yes, you can make money and do some great deals but, oh, can you spend it too. A reckoning of some description is likely on or near the 25th, so well before that time make sure you have the resources to overcome a cash-flow crisis or a change of heart regarding a business or property matter. 

The Month Ahead for Scorpio

 If lack of motivation has been an issue during recent weeks, welcome to some energy and drive courtesy of planet Mars. Much of August could find you enjoying sports or physical activities, and in the event of any type of competition, the opposition better watch out. You’re not just a contender but a winner. However, with all this extra va va voom you run the risk of getting into arguments and creating unnecessary rifts. You may even find yourself a little more accident prone than usual. Thus, especially on or near the 23rd, take your time, aim to compromise and if someone makes a move that seriously offends, avoid retaliating. What you set in motion in late August will have lasting consequences. Remember: a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips!

The Month Ahead for Sagittarius

 Sagittarians are the travellers of the zodiac, so you should be thrilled at the prospect of making a journey in August. Journeys, of course, can be taken in all sorts of ways so while you may be jetting off to distant places it could be discussions about your future that have the effect of expanding your life horizons. For some Sagittarians a romance will start in a foreign location or a relationship be reborn, and in general progress can be made by mixing business, pleasure and far-away destinations. It is, however, not the month to play fast and loose with your health and well-being: pay attention to small distress signals and do not push yourself beyond your physical and emotional limits. If, towards the end of the month, doubts are raised over the viability of an enterprise or association, keep your options open: there may be nothing to the rumours.

The Month Ahead for Capricorn

 Time spent reworking finances will not be wasted. Talking to people who have a say in your financial affairs and putting together new monetary strategies will set you on a firm course, and although you may prefer not to go cap in hand to anyone, August is the month to negotiate for all you’re worth. It could also be a very heart-warming month: Venus will be gracing the area of relating, rekindling love and helping new relationships get off the ground; and if you’re looking for the perfect day to make a romantic move, choose the 16th. On or near the 25th you could receive an answer to a question: whether or not you like it entirely depends, but at least you will know where you stand, and plans can be made thereafter. 

The Month Ahead for Aquarius

 This could be the most important month in the Aquarian calendar. The only full moon in your sign this year takes place on the 10th, so the end and beginning of chapters is writ large. A relationship could be the focus for all the excitement, although for some this period is about recognizing when a love affair or a professional commitment has done its time. Certainly, decisions reached around the 10th have an aura of finality about them, whether you feel elated about sealing a deal or disappointed that things could not have turned out better. Venus heads into the relationship zone on the 12th with the intention of mending a broken heart and re-booting your faith in romance, and the weekend of the 16th is all about love triumphing over adversity. However, coming down to earth with a bump is never fun, so be prepared for a reality check on and around the 25th. 

The Month Ahead for Pisces

 This August flowing with the current rather than against it means focusing your energies on work and painstakingly putting in the building blocks of new projects and relationships. Trying to make changes at a later date will prove difficult. Be honest about the problems and open about your feelings. You have a real chance of making a success of your career during the next few months, so while you do not need to forgo all pleasure and relaxation, you may not get another chance for a very long time to display your talents and prove to others you have what it takes. So, focus-focus. Romance and work are also linked, whether an attraction is sparked in the work place or you need to work hard on getting a relationship to come together. Indeed, the harder you work toward a goal the sweeter it is when you eventually achieve it.