Tag: Love

Bitch please!?

Bitch please!?

A woman on women…

battle of the bitches!

My eight year old daughter came home recently and over dinner proceeded to tell me about her friend Maddie. She was telling me that she wasn’t sure if Maddie was being mean to her, or being a friend. Maddie had apparently been advising her that her dress-sense was not up to scratch and she wasn’t enough of a bitch to her friends. Maddie was informing her very passive aggressively that my daughter needed to be more of a ‘Mean Girl’ in order to be in the cool gang. My daughter, not yet old enough to know what bullying is, nor might I say what defines a True Bitch, was telling me that she didn’t feel comfortable with what her so-called friend Maddie had demanded of her and wasn’t sure if Maddie was being friend or foe. It was my job, over dinner to then explain that a Maddie was in fact a bitch and that this is the beginning of sadly being bullied by women throughout the rest of her life.

This conversation was timely due to the fact that even at my age, I too am experiencing bullying from women. Women who do not know how to be a lady and believe that if they get all up in your face, they will intimidate you and eventually win. Now let it be known… we do not accept being a victim in our house and thoroughly believe that fighting back [without weapons but with words and timing] is the ultimate revenge. Sometimes karma takes time, but in the end, karma is the ultimate bitch. We teach our kids to be clever and I am always harping onto my daughter about being strong and powerful, but most importantly, always being a lady.

My Nan’s taught me at a very young age the power of being a lady. Examples were thrust upon me and I was expected to live up to their expectations no matter what. It wasn’t until recently though that I realised myself that I was in fact, intimidating to women. I always try to come across approachable, kind and caring and I hate confrontation, so had no idea that other women saw me that way. I listen all the time to powerful songs written by successful women and there is no doubt that there is inspiration in them for me. And although I had taught my daughter the power of being a lady, didn’t realise that I had in fact reached the status of a lady in the eyes of others.

I work hard and I play hard in return. I firmly believe that as long as my kids are provided for and the mortgage is paid, why shouldn’t I deserve luxuries such as Louis Vuitton and Tiffany’s? I have my nails done every 3 weeks and I have a dedicated Spa Manager who ensures I’m waxed and primed, looking hot for my man and making me feel good in return. Taking care of myself and presenting a valuable looking product to the world is important to me – and so it should be!

But make no mistake. No woman taught me this. This came from my beautiful friends in the gay community. Yes people… I am a product of Queer eye for the Straight Girl! I am a self-professed fag hag and I make no apologies. Everything I know…. everything that is ladylike about me (and the ability to swear like a trooper) is all because of my beautiful male friends who happen to be inclined towards the beautiful male race. I understand by the way!

I have never had many female friends. However much I admired them, their friendship is something I have rarely mastered due to the fact that they can be such bitches. Even females who profess to be your best friend, can be bitching behind your back and creating grief for you. What’s with that?! At least my gay friends will say that shit to my face!!! Before I met my darling boyfriends, I was a hopeless case. My fashion sense and level of self-esteem was dreadful. But thanks to my friends sharing their experiences of prejudice and hatred, they taught me that loving myself is the most important thing. Surrounding yourself with people who love you regardless of anything, is ultimately helpful, and can indeed be life changing.

I can remember once being out with my best friend and a bunch of his friends. One of his other girlfriends was giving me grief about my hairstyle and fashion sense amongst other things. This was at a time I was going through a horrific divorce, had no money and probably did truthfully look like shit. Ben simply put his arm around me and said “That’s enough. Come darls, we don’t have to listen to this!”. I loved him before –  but from that moment, he was the greatest human being I had ever met. A few years ago now, I lost another great love, who was always ready to tell me how it was, but in a way that he knew I could handle. It was truth, but done right. I miss Colin each and every day and the world is a lessor place because he is gone from this world.

With so much hatred and war going on all around the world due to religion, misunderstanding or pure bigotry I cannot understand why women need to war against women!? Shouldn’t the female race after all we have been through stick together? We are all the same. We are the sum of each parts. Where is the solidarity and the feeling of sticking together? And why may I ask is it left to the minority group who simply want to spread the message of love?

On this the 40th anniversary of Mardi Gras in Sydney and the year that gay marriage is legalized in Australia, thank you with all my heart to the gay and lesbian people of the world. Thank you for fighting for what’s right. Thank you for teaching me that being a woman didn’t mean I had to be a bitch to survive. And most of all thank you for giving my daughter a reason to stand up and be exactly who she wants to be in this world.

To my greatest friends, those who are with me and those who now belong to the angels, please understand that my life is so much richer for knowing you and you have shaped the person I am today. A person who feels whole because of my love for you – and from you.

The Duchess Returns for 2017!

The Duchess Returns for 2017!

Mixed Tape Mantra

Dear all,

The Duchess has returned for a new year. But first to our followers, my sincerest apologies for not writing for so long. 2016 was a tough year and I have been left grounded. Sore and sorry, and feeling like I have been through an emotional washing machine. But I should not complain. It seems as though everyone I speak to has had a rough year as well.

Friends have farewelled loved ones – and not unfortunately for them, on a jet plane. Loved ones have turned on ones they love, leaving the rest of the family upside down with anguish and fear for their safety. Human beings, just like us, around the world have struggled with far greater worries than I will ever have.

So a little thing such as a mixed tape, seems like nothing more than a whim. Call me an 80’s girl, but a mixed tape can be the soundtrack to everything. It can define a mood, it can define a moment. It can make you feel free and remind you of moments lost to time forever.

That’s why, on the eve of one of the greatest people I have ever known leaving us for a journey of adventure and self-discovery, I found myself listening to the mixed tape that started it all and reminiscing on just how important some lyrics can be. Like the Whitlams said “A letter to you on a cassette, ‘cause we don’t write anymore”. No one writes anymore. Its all through text, snapchat – any kind of social media really. That’s why I am still sentimental about music. Its old fashioned. Its original.

You can still stick a CD into the car stereo (at least for a little while longer anyway) or hit play on a play-list and dance your way to anywhere. The road becomes your friend  – It becomes all about you and the road. The journey is the calling. The destination at that point doesn’t matter. The journey is the adventure.

As Paramore said, “I am going away for a while. I’ll be back, don’t try to follow me”. Sometimes you just hear the road calling. It’s a sound that only the true gypsy knows and when it calls you must answer and go where the road tells you to go.

But you must have a purpose. Rob Thomas once sang, “You can go, you can start all over again, you can try to find a way to make another day go by”. But why go? What drives you? Fair enough that some days you just need to get away. But from what? And for how long before you have to come home and face the reality that is inevitably waiting for you at the airport or in the driveway.

Like Missy Higgins said “I’m half me and half you and I hate us both”. This does not necessarily need to relate to two people – we all have many different sides. Ask yourself, what are you running from? I have been running most of my life, from one thing to another, and still have not found the answer to that question.

Gypsy’s are gypsy’s. No fixed address. Never getting attached to a single place. I have been a gypsy the majority of my adult life and always wondered what I would do when I grew up. Now I’m grown up and I still have absolutely no idea what I want to do with my life. Other than travelling the globe and writing about it, I have no real purpose. No training. No qualifications to get me anywhere of meaning. Just as Lior implies, all I have been doing is dancing. Dancing from one place to another not figuring anything out really.

But what John Butler said is true in ‘Better Than’ – “all you want is what you cant have”. But we have to continue to try right? So just like ‘Gillian’ by the Waifs we just keep on, keeping on. Going to work every day for the coin – making the money to just continue on, and hopefully one day get on a road (or a plane) for the unknown. For the adventure of a lifetime.

In a beautiful song written by Pete Murray he once said “I know I’ve been through black and white, I know I’ll put up a fierce fight, I know I lost my soul”. But like he also says, “I know there comes a time to believe in yourself”.

That’s why there comes a time when you must follow the sun. Xavier Rudd teaches us that. The sun will always shine eventually. Don’t sit and wallow – get up and “set your intentions, dream with care. Tomorrow is a new day for everyone”.

After all, Life is just a ride. If we don’t keep looking for hope of a better day; If we don’t keep giving room for love to find a way. Through this messy life I made for myself, heaven knows I need a little hope for a better day. Lenka taught me that and it has become somewhat of a mantra. Hell, KAM even has it tattooed on his body!

At the end of the day, after 365 days of 2016, the lesson I have learned is the same as it has been every other year. Get on the road. Get out there and experience all that life has to offer. Don’t sit and wait for life to come to you! Go get it! Grab life by the balls and make it happen. As the Cat Empire says “Its days like these that make us happy”.

Go find your sunshine. It makes us happy when skies are grey. So please…. Don’t wait. Don’t question whether it’s the right time. Don’t ask yourself if it’s the right thing to do. Just go. Find your sunshine. For the sunshine lives within us all. We just have to have the light to see it.

To one of my greatest friends – Erica, I love you. Get on the plane and don’t look back. Travel roads not yet run. Walk paths not yet discovered and sleep under skies full of stars. We will all be looking out for you. Send your happiness to the sky at night and wherever you are, we will find it. Say your prayers and we will hear them. For we are one. We are family. But this is not our journey. It can only be yours and know that we will be here welcoming you home with open arms when you finally return.

The road is calling. But home will always be here. Find yourself and then find your way home darling. We will be waiting.

Love, The Duchess xo

Hope, love & a whole lot of music!

Hope, love & a whole lot of music!

‘Booyah’ is more than a word – it is a way of life! 

But what does it mean to be Booyah? Our definition of this is: cool without pretence or judgement. Into each other without being show-ponies. Sophisticated without attitude. Relaxed, yet aware. Status without arrogance. Dripping in indulgence without splashing the cash. Living the high life but remembering where we came from.  

It was given to us like a gift at the place where Booyah is best defined – Hope Estate, in the NSW Hunter Valley. When it comes to Booyah only the best will do – and Hope Estate know just how to do it. 

There are a number of venues in the Hunter now offering big name acts in concert, and they all do it well. However ‘Hope’ seems to get the biggest and the best acts and if you are going to be dancing around in a muddy paddock after dark, then you MUST do it in style. ‘Style’ however does not mean a high pair of heels and a short dress – remember ladies, you will be in a paddock!  

Hope Estate offers a number of great packages in which to enjoy big headline acts on their epic-sized stage. But our favourite of all is the Cocktail Package. Ranging in price dependant on the artist, this package is 100% worth the cost with inclusions from plentiful food and wine, a great spot to watch the support act as the sun goes down and of course, a VIP seat within inches of the main act – no picnic blankets required.  

The lanyard issued as you breeze past the line at the main gate allows you to enjoy the night in a way most cannot, and you will find yourself feeling special everywhere you go. Then of course, you are escorted to your seat. At that point, although you realise you’re close, you really have no idea what you are in for.  

Sitting meters away from superstars such as Sir Elton John and Alicia Keys, the music engulfs you and you wonder

The Stage comes alive after dark!
The Stage comes alive after dark!

whether this is all real or just an amazing dream. Just like a good dream, I guarantee you definitely will not want it to end! As the sun goes down and the lights come up, do yourself a favour and look back. The sight is impossible to put into words, as there is a sea of people all dancing and singing to the same tune. We can’t help ourselves and even though it’s tight, we are dancing too, loving every moment of the experience. 

Taking a moment to head up the hill to the food and wine stalls also gives you a great chance to breath, take in the view and enjoy a nice glass of wine, away from the center of the action for a while. It is impressive as you see thousands of people enjoying the show just as much as you are. As Sir Elton sings Tiny Dancer, all the stars seem to align and twinkle in time with the music. This is not just Booyah – it’s magic. 

There is no doubt that doing a VIP package at Hope Estate is expensive. But if you want value for money, a little bit of luxury and a whole lot of Booyah, a ‘Hope’ VIP package is the only way to go. 

Hope Estate
2213 Broke Road,
Pokolbin NSW 2320
Ph: 02 4993 3555