Placeholder Content Image

Three-time Olympian rushed to hospital

<p>Three-time Olympian Vicki Roycroft is in intensive care after suffering a suspected heart attack at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. </p> <p>It has been reported that the 70-year-old equestrian was preparing to participate in an equestrian show jumping competition when she suffered a heart attack and was rushed to Concord Hospital.</p> <p>Vicki’s sister shared an update in the wake of the terrifying incident, informing Vicki’s friends and fans that she had endured a “large tear in her aorta” and according to eyewitnesses had not been breathing for 10 minutes. While she had been stabilised at that stage, she was also in the midst of an 8 hour bypass surgery with doctors who were “amazed with her fitness”, and it would be roughly 3-4 days until they knew exactly how much damage the former Olympian was facing.</p> <p>The medical episode was confirmed by a spokesperson from the Easter Show, who told the <em>Sydney Morning Herald </em>that “the on-site St John Ambulance team attended to her immediately, with treatment also provided by NSW Ambulance paramedics.</p> <p>“The thoughts of the entire Royal Agricultural Society of NSW and horse community at the show are with Vicki and her loved ones at this time.”</p> <p>As news continued to break, support flowed in across Vicki’s social media account, with many also wishing the athlete a happy birthday, who had turned 70 while in hospital. </p> <p>Alongside the well wishes came a further update from Vicki’s partner Neil Trickett, who shared with everyone that their beloved Vicki had had “a brief moment of semi-consciousness” and was “holding her own”. </p> <p>He also reported “she did not squeeze a medical staff member's hand when asked, but maybe was lapsing back into unconsciousness. At this stage she will continue with heavy sedation until possibly tomorrow afternoon/evening, when a decision will be made on whether to allow her to begin to fully wake-up.”</p> <p>Neil added that a full assessment would take place over the coming days to determine any potential neurological deficits Vicki may be facing, but that “Vicki's will and determination, not to mention the incredible medical professionals in whose care she remains, are what will get her through the next few days. That she survived due to a clot that was plugging the tear in her aorta is indeed miraculous.</p> <p>“She is going to be utterly blown away by the good will that is spreading around the country - and around the world - when she wakes up.”</p> <p>And for those worried about the future of Vicki’s career and passion for it, he had an optimistic answer, explaining “if that [the support] was all it took to get her back to full strength, she'd be riding tomorrow. It may take a little longer, but she WILL be back on the horse.”</p> <p><em>Images: Getty, Shutterstock</em></p>


Placeholder Content Image

The awkward moment Barnaby Joyce made a joke about his unborn child

<p>Barnaby Joyce has been laying low since he was booted to the backbench in February, but the one-time Deputy Prime Minister was up to his old tricks in an interview on ABC’s 7.30 program last night, making an awkward joke about his unborn child.</p> <p>While the interview was focussed on the Liddle power station, and the prospect of keeping it open even if it falls under foreign ownership, host Leigh Sales decided to end it by asking Joyce the questions that is still on everyone’s lips.</p> <p><iframe src=";show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe></p> <p>“Quickly, before you go, it was reported your baby was due in April. Has he arrived yet?” Sales asked.</p> <p>Mr Joyce appeared to look under his desk and off the camera, as though he was looking for the child.</p> <p>“No,” he replied, grinning.</p> <p>The attempt at humour saw a mixed response, with some Aussies branding it off colour.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">.<a href="">@leighsales</a> asks Barnaby Joyce if his baby has arrived. He looks under the table and replies 'no' <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#auspol</a></p> — Bevan Shields (@BevanShields) <a href="">April 4, 2018</a></blockquote> <p>What do you think? Funny joke? Or is it a bit on the nose?</p>


Placeholder Content Image

We tried home exchange and loved it!

<p><em><strong>Vicki Jacks and her husband first tried a home exchange a few years ago and they haven’t looked back! Here, Vicki shares the secret to making a home exchange program work for retirees looking to travel the world.</strong></em></p> <p>Well before I retired I came across an article about home exchange while sitting in the waiting room for a routine mammogram. I was immediately taken with the idea, so I ripped it out and took it home to show my husband.</p> <p>Fast-forward a few years and by this time we’d both retired and relocated from Perth to Melbourne.     We decided that our motto would be to travel and do as much as we could while we were fairly young and able. We’d both worked all our adult lives and now was the time to have some adventures. </p> <p>Realistically we didn’t have the money to travel to far-flung places and so the home exchange idea was revisited.</p> <p>We briefly researched various websites and decided on one that seemed like it had been going for many years and had large numbers of listings in various parts of the world. We paid our subscription for a year, entered photos and a full description of our home and our area and sat back to see what would happen. We didn’t have to wait long!</p> <p>Very soon we began to get offers for exchanges and plans began to evolve. Our first exchange was to a lovely little terrace house in Edinburgh for the month of December. All our (adult) kids were elsewhere that Christmas so it was a perfect chance to try something different and the exchange person was happy for my sister and brother in law from Western Australia to join us.</p> <p>It was great fun to experience Edinburgh at Christmas and especially New Year, to explore all the museums and galleries, to drive out to nearby places (a car was included in the exchange) and to be able to head home to our warm and cosy house each night.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img width="480" height="640" src="" alt="In Text One (1)"/></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Our ‘London home’.</em></p> <p>Since then we’ve spent two wonderful weeks in Ballinskelligs on the Ring of Kerry (again our exchanges were happy for friends to join us) where we explored this magical part of Ireland, did a fair amount of walking and spent many hours at the local music festival and of course, the pubs. Following this we had three weeks in a lovely home in Essex where we explored the fascinating muddy, “smuggler” coastline, quaint villages, historical Colchester and Chelmsford and we were able to easily commute from the local train station into London for shows and concerts. </p> <p>The following year, we returned to “our” Edinburgh house for two incredible weeks of the Edinburgh Festival when we attended four performances a day every day! This was truly a bucket list item!</p> <p>We’ve spent two glorious late autumn weeks in Noosa. While our friends and family in Melbourne were rugging up, we were swimming every day and enjoying our four-bedroom home with pool. This exchange also welcomed us having friends come to stay and a car to explore further afield. </p> <p>In 2017 we completed four exchanges – a three week exchange to a four bedroom, three bathroom home in London (we never did get to the end of our “Museums and galleries list”), a 2.5 week exchange to a great funky 19th floor apartment in the middle of Berlin, a week in a large ranch style home in Phoenix, Arizona and a two week stay in a lovely eclectic home in wonderful Boulder, Colorado where were able to use the exchangees car to explore the surrounding mountains and where we woke up one morning to find it had snowed. </p> <p>One aspect of our home exchange site is “hospitality exchange” and we’ve tried that in Galloway, Scotland. Our hosts are now our good friends and we catch up with them every year when they come to Melbourne to visit family.</p> <p>There are some ‘cons’ to this type of travel. You have to like organizing! Organising the actual exchange takes time – sending requests, answering emails promptly, researching if this is actually somewhere you want to visit and so on. Once you have the exchange you have to be prepared to organize your own holiday, this would not suit everyone. We research the area in advance quite a bit to find guided walking tours and search out museums, galleries and concerts. We’ve booked tickets (Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony, West End Theatre etc) well in advance but we’ve also had great luck with ‘last minute” tickets as we’re not restricted to one particular night.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img width="480" height="640" src="" alt="In Text Two (3)"/></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Sampling some of Berlin’s local delicacies.</em></p> <p>We agree to simultaneous and non-simultaneous exchanges and this works well in our favour as we can be flexible. We’ve found that most offers from the UK and Europe are for our summer and we don’t want to experience too many winters, so the flexibility works well. We’ve found it challenging to arrange USA and Canadian exchanges as Australia seems so far away to many people, even if they have listed “anywhere, anytime”!</p> <p>We have not experienced any negative aspects at all in the 5 or so years we have been involved in home exchanges.  We have always returned to a perfectly cleaned and wonderfully tidy home.  Our next trips are to Washington DC, a village between Bath and Bristol and Kilkenny in Ireland. </p> <p>When you’re only paying the airfare and no hotel costs – what’s not to like?</p> <p>Have you tried home exchange? What was your experience like? Do you have any tips to share? Let us know in the comments below.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Vicki Jacks</em></p>

Travel Tips

Our Partners