Coach Francis’ holy advice: too many ‘i’s in Mario

THE WRAP
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Aussies Ahmed and ready to prevent whitewash … Barba bound for home … Hird charged but doesn’t jump … Toomua pips Quade … Farah stays but Benji gets shirty … Neill big in Japan.

TEAM SPIRIT

Much like the well-known football song, Mario Balotelli went to Rome to see the Pope, and this is what he was told: ”There is no place for individualism; everything should be about the team.” The striker went public with his desire to meet the head of the Catholic Church before Italy’s friendly against Argentina but instead of being blessed, he found himself on the end of a football-related spray from the pontiff. The Argentinian-born Pope is a football tragic and used his introduction to the two squads to pass on his technical advice. Though, when it came to Balotelli, he didn’t hold back on the player’s ego and attitude. ”You, dear players, are very popular,” he said to him and the squad. ”People follow your example, off the pitch as well as on. You have a social responsibility. Otherwise something is missing from the match, even if you win. There is no place for individualism; everything should be about the team.”

POLLIE WITH A HOOK

After watching the debate last Sunday it was clear that neither prime ministerial candidate packed a punch but that won’t be the case in the next Ukrainian election. World heavyweight champion Vitali Kitschko announced that he will run as a candidate for Ukraine’s third biggest party. The 42-year-old is keen to fight crime and corruption and believes his skills in the ring qualify him to lead his government. ”I think for boxing, I use exactly the same skills,” he said. ”Trust myself, discipline and organisation and build a team, it’s a teamwork.” Well, it beats repetitive three-word phrases.

MAIDEN BOWLS ‘EM OVER

A 20-year-old female cricket player showed that she can more than match it with the men as she became the first woman to play first-team cricket in England and took four wickets in her debut. Chloe Wallwork bowled out four batsmen in just 11 overs for her local club Walshaw in the Bolton Association. She said the men were embarrassed that they were sent walking by a woman on debut and some even played more defensively to ensure they weren’t the next casualties. ”When I’m bowling against them they either try to slog me or block me because they don’t want to get out to a girl,” she said.

IF YOU’RE NOT WATCHING SPORT YOU SHOULD BE LISTENING TO …

Drop Out. East Village. As close to pop perfection as you can get. Jangling guitar genius released in 1993 and it still sets the gold standard.

@EarsMcEvoy

IT’S NOT A MONKEY RIDING A GREYHOUND BUT YOU’LL LIKE IT …

Havard Rugland, a footballer from regional Norway, made the leap to the NFL after a sensational highlight reel of his kicking of the pigskin went viral. Rugland was obsessed with gridiron and might be playing for the Detroit Lions in the coming season after he kicked field goals from 40m and then from 50m in a preseason match. Though, it’s no wonder the Lions and New York Jets were interested in converting Rugland after he displayed his talent on YouTube, performing tricks that need to be seen to be believed. Search for Kickalicious on YouTube.

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Puissance De Lune has class to eclipse rivals

Great expectations: Cup hope Puissance De Lune with Mitch Freedman. Photo: Aaron SawallThe essence behind the prospects of Puissance De Lune in Saturday’s $220,000 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400 metres) at Caulfield is class requires speed.
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Puissance De Lune is the early Melbourne Cup favourite and the Lawrence, once the Liston Stakes, has not been a happy foundation ground for old-time two-milers; none has completed the double and few even started in it.

But the former French stayer, energised to new heights since arriving at Darren Weir’s yard, is being mentioned for the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley, hardly a race for one-paced stayers. Puissance De Lune has brilliance, as yet untapped under 1600m. Still, circumstances can play a role.

Look at Bayrir, a group 1 winner in the US and cups contender, which resumed at Rosehill recently and was downed by Coup Ay Tee. ”Undoubtedly a superior beast but simply outsprinted,” The Sun-Herald’s Tony Brassel wrote.

Alas, bookmakers don’t seem keen to gamble against Puissance De Lune – at reasonable odds, anyway – although six out of the 11 in the Racenet poll of leading betting houses made him their lay.

”Can’t believe the bookies have him so short,” Betfair’s Daniel Bevan said, but added exchange punters had laid him around $3, which is hardly a savage difference.

”Well backed in the Melbourne Cup,” Michael Sullivan (Sportingbet) said. ”With that in mind, I can’t see them busting a gut to win first-up.”

”First up over 1400m in what is likely to be a slowly run race suggests he will be settling at the back from barrier nine,” Alan Eskander (Betstar) said.

But will the sprint lack tempo? Ajeeb, trained by Mick Price, is a leader and will be watched by rivals. ”Hopefully we can catch them with their pants down,” Price said.

Second Effort, last year’s winner, and Launay should get the run of the race with Under the Sun, victim of poor navigation at Rosehill last start, likely to pour on early pressure.

They have superior fitness, but the quality to handle Puissance De Lune? Sure, his only real sprint was over 1600m, a dead-heat in the Blamey, but he came out of it with bone chips, subsequently removed.

No doubt bookmakers are capitalising on his boom, established over longer journeys, with such a short price but should it stop you from backing him?

Verdict: Puissance De Lune ($2.35).FORM RUNNER

Coup Ay Tee, a member of the Chris Waller team, is hardly taking on a Bayrir in the Spring Preview (second) at Rosehill in which the stablemate menace again rears its ugly head. Waller has four opposing Coup Ay Tee, which has Nash Rawiller in the saddle. Jason Collett handled him with dash and daring to score last start but he goes on to Studio for the trainer. With the exception of Havana Rey, pace is a query but Coup Ay Tee showed he can be effective off a dawdle when downing Bayrir, also prepared by Waller. Havana Rey may need another race to be prime but still looks the hardest for Waller to beat.

Verdict: Coup Ay Tee ($2.50).BACKMARKER

The highly promising Catkins and Velrosso are the Waller conundrum in the fifth. Scratched from the corresponding Caulfield meeting, Catkins is weighted to advantage with Yusuke Ichikawa’s three-kilo claim. Resuming, she can be handy to the lead, while Velrosso gets back. Catkins has the quality edge; Velrosso, fitness, winning form and Jim Cassidy. ”Slots into a perfect spot from an inside draw,” Glenn Munsie (TAB) said about Catkins. ”Undefeated first-up and trialled OK recently.” Waller has Altius, an eye-catcher first-up, with Rawiller atop, against them.

Verdict: Velrosso ($2.60).SLIPPER POINTER

Class against condition is again the query concerning Sidestep and Windjammer in the San Domenico. Regarding Sidestep, trainer Peter Snowden said: ”He had three runs in three weeks and for a two-year-old so early in his preparation it tells you he’s above average.” Sidestep is having his first start since his second in the Golden Slipper at Rosehill in April, while Windjammer, looking short of his best, scored first-up at Rosehill on August 3. But Hugh Bowman sacked Windjammer for Cluster, a maiden, which has done wonders for Windjammer’s price.

Verdict: Sidestep ($3).

PLAY THE EXOTICS

Rosehill parlay:  Race 1 — (8) Happy Clapper, Race 4 — (1) Burbero, Race 5 — (8) Velrosso, Race 8 — (2) Travolta.Quadrella: Race 5 — (2) Catkins, (8) Velrosso, Race 6 — (1) Sidestep, (7) Windjammer, Race 7 — (2) Total Attraction, (11) Fast And Sexy, Race 8 — (2) Travolta, (5) Less Is More, (8) Marden.Caulfield parlay:  Race 1 — (8) Text’n Hurley, Race 3 — (2) Sea Galleon, Race4 — (2) Fast ’N’ Rocking, Race 6 — (4) Puissance De Lune.Quadrella:  Race 5 — (1) Scandiva, (8) Spirit Of Heaven, Race 6 — (4) Puissance De Lune, Race 7 — (4) That’s The One, (5) Serene Star, (7) Amah Rock, Race 8 — (5) You’re So Good, (11) A Time For Julia.

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Dazzling Jewel gives Kavanagh a headache he is happy to have

High expectations: Trainer Mark Kavanagh with champion racehorse Atlantic Jewel. Photo: Paul RovereUnbeaten Atlantic Jewel is making Mark Kavanagh’s job harder with every seemingly effortless gallop.
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”I like to underpromise and overdeliver,” Kavanagh said. ”That is getting a bit hard with her now.”

Atlantic Jewel is a five-year-old mare which has been restricted to only seven runs because of injury caused by her freakish power.

The daughter of Fastnet Rock showed she had lost nothing in her 16-month lay-off when she led and ran 46.10 seconds for an 800-metre jump-out at Flemington on Friday.

She got home her final 400m in 21.68s, usually a time that would have clockers checking their watches, but with her it is just expected.

Kavanagh and his stable jockey Michael Rodd know the pressure will only build from here.

”If she gets beaten it won’t be her fault, so I have to be doing everything right,” Rodd said. ”She is a lot more mature and she is fantastic.

”She has never led in a trial and she did it on her ear. I gave her a little squeeze and she did it within herself.” About the slick time, Rodd added: ”I gave away being shocked by her a long time ago. She has the biggest stride of any horse I have ridden and it all seems so easy.”

Kavanagh will make a decision on a start in the next week or so. Atlantic Jewel could attempt to add another group 1 to her triumphs in the Thousand Guineas and All Aged Stakes – her most recent race-day appearance – in the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield in a fortnight’s time. The easier option is to wait for the Let’s Elope Stakes on her home track of Flemington on September 7, however, that could compromise her program for later in the spring.

”She is showing she might be forward enough for the Memsie and that opens up the options for her,” Kavanagh said.

”She has been out for 16 months but we have had her back in work for six months and we want to get this right, so we will have a look at her next week before doing anything.

”Running in the Memsie would allow her to go to [Moonee] Valley and get an extra run [in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes over 1600m on September 14] before the Underwood [a week later].”

The main goal for Atlantic Jewel is the Cox Plate on October 26.

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GALLERY: Hughes in for the fight of his life

Mark HughesMARK Hughes punched above his weight throughout a nine-year National Rugby League career for the Newcastle Knights.
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That career included two premierships, 161 first-grade games, and three State of Origin appearances for NSW.

That determination and drive has steeled the ‘‘Kid from Kurri Kurri’’, now a 36-year-old father of three, for the fight of his life.

Hughes had an ‘‘avocado-size’’ malignant brain tumour removed two weeks ago and will begin radiotherapy on Monday.

Amid mounting speculation among the Hunter sporting community, and with the staunch support of his wife Kirralee and their children Zac, 9, Dane, 6, and Bonnie, 2, Hughes chose to speak to the Newcastle Herald to set the record straight about his state of health.

‘‘I have got cancer, so I’ve got to start treatment next week to deal with that. There’s some tough times ahead, but I’ve always had to work hard for whatever I’ve got,’’ Hughes said.

‘‘There’s still some hard work to be done, and the prospects are good, but there’s a bit of water to go under the bridge yet.

‘‘Lots of people go through cancer and come out the other end, so I’m not the first person to go through this, and I’m going to tackle it with everything I’ve got and I’m sure I’ll come out the other side.’’

Hughes, who runs his own cleaning company, explained he experienced several days of intense headaches about two months ago.

‘‘I’ve never been one to get headaches, so I went and saw my doctor and he sent me off for a head scan as a precaution,’’ he said.

‘‘That showed something in my brain, but the specialist wasn’t exactly sure at that stage. It was like an avocado-sized darker colour in there,’’ he said.

Follow-up scans three weeks ago confirmed a tumour, which was removed during a four-hour surgical procedure at John Hunter Hospital on August 2.

‘‘I tried to be as positive as possible, and the indications were that it was in a good position and they could get it out pretty well,’’ he said.

‘‘I went in on the Thursday and I ended up getting done about 5 o’clock on the Friday.

‘‘That was the night that the Knights played the Broncos, because my first memory when I woke up was one of the nurses telling me the Knights were getting beat 18-10, and I vaguely remember thinking that’s not going to help my recovery.’’

(The Knights went on to draw 18-18 in extra time).

Hughes could not speak highly enough about his surgeon Dr John Christie, neurologist and Conjoint Professor Chris Levi, long-time Knights medical officer and friend Dr Neil Halpin, and the hospital nursing staff for helping him through his ordeal.

‘‘They’ve all been amazing,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s easy to drive past John Hunter Hospital and not realise what goes on behind those walls. At 5 o’clock on a Friday afternoon, most people are going home or going to the pub or going to the football, and I had my surgeon and his team going in to do surgery on me for the next four hours.

‘‘You put it into perspective, and there were 16,000 or so people watching the Knights and the Broncos that night, and with all due respects to the players, the real heroes are the people that are saving lives. It’s amazing what these guys do, day in and day out. They’re wonderful.’’

For the next few days, Hughes felt better than he thought he would, except for some double-vision and hallucination issues.

‘‘When I was closing my eyes, I was seeing these cartoon figures and 3D illusions, which was pretty weird,’’ he recalled.

‘‘I was talking to Kirralee and it looked like a big clump of her hair floated away into the next room in front of my eyes, but that’s quickly improved.’’

He left hospital late last week and has been overwhelmed by the level of support he has received from his family, friends and former team-mates including Danny Buderus, Andrew Johns, Ben Kennedy and brothers Matt and Kurt Gidley.

‘‘The support I’ve had from my wife, Kirralee, both our families, the Kurri community, all my mates out there, the staff and parents from Holy Family Primary School at Merewether, they’ve all been outstanding,’’ he said.

‘‘Joey’s made five trips up from Sydney to see me, BK and his family have been bringing food around, and everyone’s really rallied around us.

‘‘I always knew with football, probably the best thing about it was the mateship, and that’s been confirmed through all of this, with the people who’ve called and texted to find out how I’m going … The support I’ve had and am still getting has been phenomenal.

‘‘Neil Halpin has known me since I was 20, so it hasn’t surprised me how good he’s been through all this, but he told me and Kirralee that his phone’s on 24 hours a day and I can ring him any time of the day or night – and I know he meant it.’’

Dr Halpin spoke to the Herald with Hughes’s permission, and at his request, to explain the prognosis.

‘‘The situation is that Mark had a posterior cerebral tumour, which was picked up after he was having headaches and some vague funny turns about a month or two ago,’’ Dr Halpin said.

‘‘Initially it was unclear whether it was a tumour, and there was some suggestion it was a stroke, and the rumour got out that he’d had a stroke, but I think it was always going to be a tumour, and he had surgery done two weeks ago.

‘‘He had world-class treatment at John Hunter Hospital. They were magnificent, and he was up and about the following day, after hours and hours of brain surgery.

‘‘He has had histology done, and it’s not a benign tumour, and the grading is not entirely clear yet because we don’t have the final results of the histology and hormone tests on it, but he will be starting radiotherapy on Monday morning.’’

Dr Halpin said the slightly built Hughes, who former team-mates described as ‘‘skinnier than a minute to six, with the shoulders of a brown snake’’, was showing the same courage and character that he demonstrated during his career.

‘‘I think Mark is one of the loveliest guys who ever played for this club,’’ Dr Halpin said.

‘‘He’s a gentle, wonderful person, and he is having the fight of his life, there’s no doubt about that. I think he’s one of the most loved people in the Newcastle community, and in many ways he was such an unlikely footballer – certainly not the stereotype of your average footballer.

‘‘Let me make the point that he’s shown extraordinary bravery through this. His attitude has been so positive – get in there and get it done – which is truly remarkable.

‘‘He’s such an inspiration to everyone else, and he’s been a tower of strength to his wife and his family. You can’t admire the guy enough.’’

From the moment he knew what he was dealing with, Hughes said he was determined to tackle it with a positive attitude.

‘‘It definitely doesn’t scare me to really take this thing on,’’ Hughes said.

‘‘You look at my footy career, I would never have thought I’d have played 160-odd games for the Knights, won two premierships and played for NSW.

‘‘I did all these things that I had to work really hard for during my footy career, and I think some of those traits and skills that I learnt in footy I’m going to be using vigorously over the next couple of months.

‘‘It’s in a good spot, and things are looking good. There’s certainly going to be some hard work ahead and some tough times, but I will get on top of it.

‘‘It’s going to be something I’ll have to monitor for rest of my life.

‘‘I’ve got three kids and a beautiful wife and they’re my motivation to make sure I look after them and get myself fit and get on top of it,’’ he said.

Former Newcastle Knights and NSW State of Origin player Mark Hughes, who has begun radiotherapy after surgery to remove a brain tumour.

Former Newcastle Knights and NSW State of Origin player Mark Hughes, who has begun radiotherapy after surgery to remove a brain tumour.

Former Newcastle Knights and NSW State of Origin player Mark Hughes, who has begun radiotherapy after surgery to remove a brain tumour.

Former Newcastle Knights and NSW State of Origin player Mark Hughes, who has begun radiotherapy after surgery to remove a brain tumour.

Former Newcastle Knights and NSW State of Origin player Mark Hughes, who has begun radiotherapy after surgery to remove a brain tumour.

Former Newcastle Knights and NSW State of Origin player Mark Hughes, who has begun radiotherapy after surgery to remove a brain tumour.

Former Newcastle Knights and NSW State of Origin player Mark Hughes, who has begun radiotherapy after surgery to remove a brain tumour.

Former Newcastle Knights and NSW State of Origin player Mark Hughes, who has begun radiotherapy after surgery to remove a brain tumour.

Former Newcastle Knights and NSW State of Origin player Mark Hughes, who has begun radiotherapy after surgery to remove a brain tumour.

Former Newcastle Knights and NSW State of Origin player Mark Hughes, who has begun radiotherapy after surgery to remove a brain tumour.

Former Newcastle Knights and NSW State of Origin player Mark Hughes, who has begun radiotherapy after surgery to remove a brain tumour.

Former Newcastle Knights and NSW State of Origin player Mark Hughes, who has begun radiotherapy after surgery to remove a brain tumour.

Former Newcastle Knights and NSW State of Origin player Mark Hughes, who has begun radiotherapy after surgery to remove a brain tumour.

Former Newcastle Knights and NSW State of Origin player Mark Hughes, who has begun radiotherapy after surgery to remove a brain tumour.

Former Newcastle Knights and NSW State of Origin player Mark Hughes, who has begun radiotherapy after surgery to remove a brain tumour.

Martin turns down Richmond

Hands up for more? …. Richmond young gun Dustin Martin. Photo: Sebastian CostanzoDustin Martin has rejected Richmond’s most recent contract offer, demanding a “fair” deal be done otherwise he will consider his options.
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It’s understood that the Martin camp and the Tigers have a difference of opinion in terms of where the emerging midfielder sits in the pecking order of playing talent at the club, and the flow-on impact of what this has on him financially.

Martin is estimated to be on $450,000 this season, and is understood to be keen to push this to between $600,000 and $650,000. It’s believed the Tigers have looked to the middle ground, offering about $500,000. The length of any deal is not in question.

On the eve of the club’s first finals appearance in 12 years, Martin’s preference is still to remain a Tiger. But after he rejected the Tigers’ latest offer on Wednesday, those close to the goalkicking onballer insist it must be a ”fair” deal and there are up to four clubs interested in trading for the 22-year-old.

Richmond’s general manager of football, Dan Richardson, formerly one of the most astute player agents, said discussions were on-going. “We are still in discussions. We are confident he will be there next year,” he said on Friday.

Earlier, Tigers coach Damien Hardwick said he believed a deal was “pretty close” with Martin.

“Dustin is obviously a fantastic player, an important player in his fourth year,” Hardwick said. “[He] just seems to get better every year so we think that deal will get done in the not too distant future.”

Martin’s manager Ralph Carr, a former Carlton director who played hardball in contract negotiations between Travis Cloke and Collingwood last season, is on holidays and was unavailable for comment.

The Tigers have little room to move as they face a salary-cap squeeze, having recently re-signed several players, including Trent Cotchin, Jack Riewoldt, Alex Rance, Dylan Grimes, Sean Grigg and Daniel Jackson.

Emerging midfielder Reece Conca, 21, has also yet to agree to terms on a new contract. Hardwick said he also believed Conca would re-sign with the club “in the not too distant future”.

Martin has enjoyed an excellent season, and close observers believe he would sit in the top five in the club’s best and fairest. Despite the conjecture about his contract, he has remained focused and is happy and well liked at Punt Road.

Cotchin, Chris Newman, Brett Deledio and development coach Mark Williams have worked closely with the sometimes wayward Martin to help him deal with the disciplines expected of a professional athlete.

However, Cotchin has made it clear this year that financial sacrifice is required if the building Tigers are to enjoy sustainable success.

“Every player in the AFL would love to be paid as much as they possibly can, but the reality is there’s a cap there for that reason. If you want to be part of successful clubs, then sometimes there’s a little bit of sacrifice that needs to be made,” he said.

“We’re all about spending time together, building something and enjoying the whole ride together.”

Riewoldt signed a three-year extension last month, rejecting a massive offer from Fremantle, while Cotchin, Grimes, Grigg, Rance and Jackson will remain at least until the end of 2015.

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Caloundra: Shearwater Resort

Shearwater Resort in Caloundra.The basics
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Shearwater Resort

79 Edmund St, Caloundra QLD 4551

P: (07) 5491 5355

E: [email protected]南京夜网.au

W: shearwaterresort南京夜网.au

Cost: The base rate is $150 per night.

Located directly across the road from Caloundra’s King Beach, this 4.5 star resort has 62 studio rooms and self contained apartments.The Room

Every room at Shearwater Resort has an uninterrupted ocean view, complete with a fair-sized balcony. The room is large for a one-bedroom apartment, giving it the feel that you could stay for an extended period and not trip over each other’s feet.

The bedroom is closed off from the living area by shutters, adding to the resort feel, and the attached bathroom has a spa, double sink and a hidden washer/dryer.

The kitchen and lounge area is at least as large as the bedroom with a comfy couch to relax on and watch Foxtel or a rented DVD from the lobby after a day spent swimming.  The kitchen is where the room shines as a self-contained apartment rather than a resort room. There is everything needed to cook (or drink) up a storm with more appliances that your average Gen Y house with stove top, microwave, electric frypan, dishwasher, wine and beer glasses and of course the all-important corkscrew.

The family-friendly resort also has a games room filled with retro ‘pinnies’, sauna and heated pool and spa.The food

Caloundra offers a variety of options for diners including fish and chips from the Italian food-cum-fish and chippery to the fine dining options down the road at Bulcock Beach.

If you are feeling particularly lazy, the resort has two restaurants downstairs, a great option for breakfast with both offering their own versions of a big brekky under $10. Couple it with a massive mug of the “Sunshine Coast’s best coffee” and the Naked Turtle breakfast will set you up until lunchtime.

For a casual option you can’t go past the Caloundra Surfclub or for traditional pub fair head up to Kings Beach Tavern.  A word of warning though, King Beach Tavern also has a music venue attached and on the night we were there a death metal band was playing.  Makes for great people watching accompanied by not-so-soothing drums and bass pulsing through the restaurant.

Bulock Beach, a 15-minute walk away offers up a number of dining options including Alfies Moo Char and Grill – owned by Alfie Langer no less, the absolute waterfront Sandbar Cafe and Kiosk and Thai with a view Wung Nam Thai Water Palace.The activities

Caloundra is the gateway to the rest of the Sunshine Coast but has plenty to offer without straying too far from home base. The jewel in the crown is Kings Beach, literally across the road and while the waterpark isn’t exactly Wet ‘n’ Wild, it is great for families with small children with water jet fountains and a saltwater pool with shaded area – and even better, its free.

Pelican Waters Golf Club provides the opportunity to channel your inner Tiger Woods (or John Daly).  Feeling lucky?  The Sunshine Coast Turf Club has regular race meets throughout the year on Sundays and some Friday nights.The weekend

It takes little more than an hour to reach Caloundra from Brisbane, and once there, you can leave the car in the resort garage with the beach, water park and restaurants all within strolling distance.

Despite the short distance from Brisbane, Caloundra maintains the traditional feel of a beach holiday destination from the 80s.  Grab a pot at the surfclub, walk along the esplanade and get an icecream from the corner shop before sitting back on your balcony to watch the world go by.

Kings Beach is great for families with its free waterpark with fountains and pool, bike tracks and patrolled beach, the perfect spot for a weekend, or week, away from the big smoke.

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Weekend planner

PICK OF THE WEEK
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The Maitland Aroma Coffee, Chocolate and Fine Food Festival returns to Heritage Mall this weekend for two days of coffee and chocolate demonstrations, coffee roasters, fine food stalls, wine tasting and live entertainment. Entry to the festival is free, however some events are ticketed. From 10am daily.

SAVE THE DATE

Britain’s leading young chamber ensemble, the Elias String Quartet, performs at the Harold Lobb Concert Hall at the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music on Thursday at 7.30pm. Tickets from $30 through Ticketek.

EVENTS

Out in Space Saturday. Learn how to find constellations and use the Southern Cross to navigate at night. 1.15pm, 2.15pm and 3.15pm. Newcastle Museum, Honeysuckle.

Back to the Future Sunday. The popular science fiction film starring Michael J Fox is back for a one-off Science Week special. Science show from 1pm, film at 1.45pm. Tickets $10. Tower Cinemas, Newcastle.

Our Town Model Show Saturday and Sunday. A scale model exhibition featuring award-winning model cars, boats, aircraft, trains, military vehicles, figurines and war gaming. From 9am daily. Entry $10 adults/$5 children. Newcastle Jockey Club, Broadmeadow.

Anchorage Wedding Open Day Saturday. Explore the romantic waterfront location at the venue’s wedding day preview. 11am to 2pm. Anchorage Port Stephens.

Children’s Book Week – Story Time Saturday. Readings of books shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia awards, as well as favourites (for children ages 2+). 10.30am to 11.30am. MacLean’s Booksellers, Hamilton.

Newcastle & Hunter Valley Cat Club Show Saturday. Talk to the breeders and see a wide variety of cats and kittens on show. 9.30am to 3pm. Lambton High School, Lambton.

Sizzling Strings Sunday. Performers include Newcastle Suzuki Strings and A Suite of Cellos from the new Newcastle Youth Orchestra. Morning tea from 10.30am, concert at 11am. Tickets $12 adults/$10 concession/$5 children. Adamstown Uniting Church.

Stitches and Craft Show Saturday and Sunday. From paper craft, home decor and patterns to craft classes and seminars. 10am to 4.30pm. Entry $15 adults/$13 concession/$7 children. Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Broadmeadow.

University of Newcastle Book Fair Saturday. Thousands of books and collectables up for grabs (final day). 10am to 5pm. The Great Hall, University of Newcastle, Callaghan.

Canoeing On Ironbark Creek Sunday. Explore the canoe trail at the Wetlands site. 9.30am. Costs $30 adults/$20 children. Bookings 49516466. Hunter Wetlands Centre, Shortland.

Organ Recital Sunday. Featuring recitalist Pastór de Lasala from Sacred Heart Church Mosman, Mosman Uniting Church and St Joseph’s, Neutral Bay. 2.30pm. Costs $20 adults/$15 concession. St James Anglican Church, Morpeth.

East Maitland Heritage Walk Sunday. Take a guided walk through Victoria Street and finish with afternoon tea at a stately home in King Street. 2pm. Costs $20. Bookings essential 49344314. Meet at Friends of Grossmann House, corner Brunswick and Lawes Streets, East Maitland.

Lake Macquarie Family History Group Saturday. Visitors and new members welcome with experienced family history researches available to assist. 10am to 4pm. Marmong Point Community Hall.

MARKETS

All Saints Anglican Church Market Saturday. China, glassware, clothes, toys, plants, books, records, sausage sizzle and morning tea. 8am to noon. Church Street, Belmont.

Maitland Harvest Markets Saturday. Farm-fresh produce, handmade products, live music, coffee, plants and flowers. 8am to 1pm. Maitland Showground.

Adamstown Markets Sunday. Produce, gifts, crafts and more, 7am to noon. Corner of Glebe and Brunker roads, Adamstown.

Newcastle City Farmers Market Sunday. Fresh produce, gourmet food, plants and more, 8am to 1pm. Speers Point Park, Speers Point.

Hamilton Clock Tower Markets Saturday. More than 30 variety stalls, food, coffee and live music. 8am to 2pm. James St Plaza, Hamilton.

Sacred Tree Markets Sunday. Entertainment, fresh produce, artisan baker, massage, healers, designer clothes and food from around the globe. 9am to 2pm. New England Highway, Branxton.

Raymond Terrace Markets and Psychic Fair Saturday. Psychic readings, massage, Reiki, alternative therapies, food stalls, fruit and vege, plants and more. 9am to 2pm. Riverside Park, Raymond Terrace.

THEATRE

Go Back For Murder DAPA Saturday at 2pm and 7.30pm, Sunday at 2pm. 49623270. DAPA Theatre, Hamilton.

Charlotte’s Web Saturday. Young People’s Theatre. 2pm and 7pm. 49614895. Young People’s Theatre, Hamilton.

1984 Saturday. Hunter Region Drama School. 8pm. 40238738. Hamilton Public School.

Ruben Guthrie Saturday. Stooged Theatre. 2pm and 8pm. 49291977. Civic Playhouse, Newcastle.

The Yeomen of The Guard Saturday and Sunday. Opera Hunter. 2pm. 49431672. Lake Macquarie Performing Arts Centre, Warners Bay.

When The Rain Stops Falling Saturday and Sunday. Newcastle Theatre Company. Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm. 49524958. NTC Theatre, Lambton.

SPORT

NRL Sunday. Newcastle Knights v Melbourne Storm. 3pm. Hunter Stadium, Broadmeadow.

ENVIRONMENT

E-Waste Drop Off Saturday. Residents of the Port Stephens government areas can drop off computers, TVs and electronic waste for recycling. Proof of residence required. 8am to noon. Waste Transfer Station, Lemon Tree Passage.

2013 Hunter Valley Electric Vehicle Festival Prize Sunday. Check out Australia’s largest electric bike grand prix, where teams design and build an electric bike to compete in a one-hour endurance race. 8am to 4pm (first race at 11am). Newcastle Kart Racing Club, Cameron Park.

ART

Art Systems Wickham Lake Edge: Richard Morris, Aaron Bellette. Until August 25. 40 Annie Street, Wickham.

Back to Back Galleries Grounded: Elizabeth Epstein, Barbara Greentree, Ron Pinkerton, Clare Tilyard, David McBride. Until tomorrow. 57 Bull Street, Cooks Hill.

Cessnock Regional Art Gallery The Touring Blake Prize. Until September 29. 16 Vincent Street, Cessnock.

Forsight Gallery Ceramics: Paul Marosszeky. Glass and Silver: Lee Daniel. Until tomorrow. 33 Union Street, Cooks Hill.

Greenway Gallery Chinese Whispers: Group show. Until tomorrow. Swan Street, Morpeth.

Inner City Winemakers Nick Warfield. Until August 28. 28Church Street, Wickham.

John Hunter Hospital Arts for Health Emerging Images: Debbie Andrew, Robyn Selem, Clare Weeks. Coastline: Gwendolin Lewis. Land and Sea: Mel Young. John Hunter Hospital.

Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery In-Habit, Project Another Country: Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan. Settled: Works from the Collection. Both Until September 8. First Street, Booragul.

Lovett Gallery Now and Then: Photographic Exhibition. Newcastle Library, Until October 6. Laman Street, Cooks Hill. (Saturdays until 2pm)

Maitland Regional Art Gallery Op Shop: Twelve Opportunity Shop artists. Until October 6. 230 High Street, Maitland.

Nanshe Territories: Mal Cannon. Until August 24. 148b Beaumont Street, Hamilton.

Newcastle Art Gallery To the Edge: Abstracting Art in Australia. Until October 20. Laman Street, Newcastle.

Newcastle Art Space Wind: ASHRI and Newcastle Printmakers (last day). 246 Parry Street, Hamilton East.

Studio 48 Shared Visions: Group show. Until tomorrow. 48 Mackie Ave, New Lambton.

Timeless Textiles Enclothed in Ecology: Gina Mastrio. Until September 15. 7 Beaumont Street, Islington.

University Gallery People and Place: Coal and Community. Until August 24. University Drive, Callaghan campus.

Watt Space Student Gallery At the Bauhaus: Alan Duncan. Sketchbooks of Rome: Group show. Good Night Sleep: Amy Hamilton. Continuum: Jasmine Hanlon. Until September 1. Corner King and Auckland streets, Newcastle.

MUSIC

5 Sawyers Saturday, DJ Matt Meler. Sunday, DJ Tone.

Adamstown Club Saturday, The Big Bang. Sunday, Wobbly Boot with Rita Azzopardi.

Bar Petite Saturday, Beth Gleeson. Sunday, Phonic Duo.

Belmont 16 Footers Saturday, Snape Brothers. Sunday, Backbeat Duo.

The Brewery Saturday, Moose Preservation. Sunday, Flying Mare.

Cambridge Hotel Saturday, Dirty Youth, Lovechild.

Delany Hotel Saturday, Rubicon.

Exchange Hotel Saturday, Kotadama.

Great Northern Hotel Saturday, Strangers With Candy.

Grand Junction Hotel Saturday, Ngariki, Brooke Harvey, Dashville Progress Society, Yellow Feather Dogs. Sunday, Shaun Kirk.

Hamilton Station Hotel Saturday, Live It Up Karaoke (front bar), S Is For Spaceship, Crash Tragic, Shorelines, Emecia (back bar). Sunday, Eye On You (front bar).

Harrigan’s Pokolbin Saturday, GenX.

Kent Hotel Saturday, Overload. Sunday, Dai Pritchard Blues Band.

King Street Hotel Saturday, J-Trick, Nukewood. Sunday, Any Given Sunday.

Lambton Park Hotel Saturday, Ash Mountain.

The Landing Bar & Kitchen Saturday, Timmy Coffey. Sunday, Skoob, Surian.

Lass O’Gowrie Saturday, The Delta Lions, The Shadow League, Leadfinger, Summer Policy, Lincoln Le Fevre. Sunday, The Buzzard Mix.

Lizotte’s Newcastle Saturday, Joe Camilleri and The Black Sorrows, Alex Gibson. Sunday, Shane Nicholson, Ashleigh Dallas.

Murray’s Brewery Sunday, Brien McVernon.

Nelson Bay Diggers Saturday, Dr. Zoom Duo. Sunday, Santana Magic, Marriah, Mustard Mit, Paul Robert Burton.

Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club Sunday, The Toot Ensemble Jazz Band.

Pippis At The Point Saturday, Little Black Book. Sunday, James Chatburn.

Terrace Bar Saturday, Andrew Tuttle, Collector, L.A. County Morgue (5pm, early start), Bloods, The Fabergettes (8.30pm). Saturday Got Soul DJs (downstairs).

Warners At The Bay Saturday, Incognito.

Wests Leagues Club New Lambton Piano Lounge: Saturday, Warren Hunter. Marble Bar: Saturday, Twinsanity.

Wickham Park Hotel Saturday, The Years, Good Corn Liquor. Sunday, Jungle Kings, Angie.

MOVIES

Red Obsession (PG) Russell Crowe narrates this wine documentary, a study of how Shanghai’s obsession with luxury items has affected some of the most illustrious vineyards in France. (Tower Cinemas Newcastle)

The Princess and The Frog (G) In New Orleans lives a beautiful girl named Tiana, who meets a frog prince who desperately wants to be human again. A fateful kiss leads them both on a hilarious adventure through the mystical bayous of Louisiana.

We’re The Millers (MA15+) A small-time pot dealer (Jason Sudeikis) with a big debt recruits a stripper (Jennifer Aniston), and two teens to be part of his fake family for a drug shipment.

Before Midnight (MA15+) We meet Jesse and Celine nine years on in Greece. Almost two decades have passed since their first meeting on that train bound for Vienna.

Behind The Candelabra (M) Michael Douglas stars as Liberace. (Tower Cinemas Newcastle)

Despicable Me 2 (PG) Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to deal with a new super-criminal.

Dino Time (G) Three curious kids accidentally trip an egg-shaped time machine into operation and find themselves back 65 million years in the middle of a nest of dinosaur eggs.

The Great Gatsby (M) A Midwesterner now living on Long Island finds himself fascinated by the mysterious past and lavish lifestyle of his neighbour. (Lake Cinema)

Greetings From Tim Buckley (M) Follows the story of the days leading up to Jeff Buckley’s eminent 1991 performance at his father’s tribute concert in St. Ann’s Church. (Avoca)

Happiness Never Comes Alone (M) Sacha and Charlotte have nothing in common but are made for one another. (Lake Cinema)

In The House (MA15+) Best Film winner at the 2012 San Sebastian International Film Festival.

McLean’s Money (M) A wealthy tycoon pretends that he is dying to see how his children react. (Tower Cinemas Newcastle)

Monsters University (G) Explores the origin story of Mike and Sulley, the two stars of Monsters, Inc.

Much Ado About Nothing (M) A modern retelling of Shakespeare’s classic comedy about two pairs of lovers with different takes on romance and a way with words.

Now You See Me (M) An FBI agent and an Interpol detective track a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money.

Pain & Gain (MA15+) Action comedy starring Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie.

The Bling Ring (MA15+) Comedy-drama based on the true story of a group of fame-obsessed teenagers who robbed the homes of Hollywood celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton.

The Conjuring (MA15+) Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorised by a dark presence in their farmhouse.

The Heat (MA15+) Sandra Bullock stars as an uptight FBI agent who’s teamed with Melissa McCarthy’s brash Boston cop to bring down a drug lord.

The Letter Writer (PG) Maggy Fuller, a rebellious and troubled teenager, receives an old-fashioned letter in the mail from an unknown source. (Glendale)

This Is The End (MA15+) Apocalyptic comedy starring Seth Rogen, Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride and James Franco.

The Wolverine (M) Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) faces a host of unexpected and deadly opponents in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed.

The World’s End (MA15+) Simon Pegg and Nick Frost try to get the old gang back together to finish an epic hometown pub crawl.

FLICK OF THE WEEK

ELYSIUM (MA15+)

Matt Damon stars as Max, an ordinary guy living in 2154 who desperately needs to get to Elysium, a man-made space station where only the very wealthy live. The rest live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth, which is rife with crime and poverty. Backed into a corner, Max takes on a dangerous mission that might bring equality to the two worlds.

FREEBIE OF THE WEEK

Robert Redford directs and stars in The Company You Keep, an engaging story based on the lives of former Weather Underground activists, alongside Shia LaBeouf, Susan Sarandon and Nick Nolte. The Company You Keep is available on DVD, Blu-Ray and digital download from August 21. Weekender has five DVD copies to give away, thanks to Madman. To enter, send the word ‘‘Company’’ to [email protected] theherald南京夜网.au or text the word ‘‘Company’’ to 0427369610, including your name, address and phone number. Entries close Wednesday at 9am. The winners of the Jason Byrne tickets are Anne Stevenson of Stockton and Graham Stanton of Wangi.

DON’T FORGET

Morpeth’s Weird and Wonderful Novelty Teapot Exhibition & Tea Cosy Challenge is back for another year from Thursday at Morpeth Gallery with 3847 teapot designs, until September 1.

Email weekend music, event and market listings to [email protected]南京夜网.au

Old George and Dragon chef Gavin Forman ahead of the Maitland Aroma Festival this weekend. Picture: Peter Stoop

VIDEO: Tenor of optimism

Please enable Javascript to watch this videoBRIAN Kennedy has sung for as long as he can remember.
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‘‘I was one of those really annoying little kids who used to hum and sing along with everything,’’ Kennedy recalls to Weekender from his home in Dublin.

‘‘I couldn’t stop humming and people would tell me to shut up [laughs]. I was very, very, very young when I discovered music.’’

When he reached puberty, Kennedy’s voice changed and he realised that his big tenor voice could take him places.

Now 46, Kennedy is regarded as one of Ireland’s favourite vocalists.

In 2010 he picked up a Lifetime Achievement award at the Ireland Music Awards, which honoured a 20-year music career that began after he left his family’s council house on the notorious Falls Road in Belfast to make a better life for himself.

As one of six children, Kennedy grew up at the height of The Troubles during which he witnessed people killed in the street as the Catholics and Protestants waged war against each other.

It was music that encouraged him to chase his dreams.

Not long after celebrating his 18th birthday, Kennedy traded Belfast for the bright lights of London where he started from the bottom as a pub singer and busking in the London Underground.

His break came after he met manager Simon Fuller – best known for creating the Spice Girls – who landed Kennedy a recording contract.

With two albums under his belt, Kennedy had begun building a name for himself when Van Morrison invited him to perform vocals in his band, touring the world and sharing the stage with Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan.

‘‘Working alongside someone of that stature, I learnt to take risks – and not to be afraid to take risks – and to just keep doing my own thing.’’

He was the first to record the much-covered ballad You Lift Me Up – made famous by US singer Josh Groban – and has represented Ireland at Eurovision.

Since releasing his debut album in 1990, Kennedy has produced 11 solo albums including his latest, Voice.

On the album (which entered the Irish charts at No.3), Kennedy addresses Ireland’s struggle with recession on the uplifting track, Best Days.

He says he wanted to write a song from a positive perspective.

‘‘It really is my reaction to the recession, to difficult times, all those things,’’ Kennedy says.

‘‘It’s a song that looks forward to the future and says our best days are yet to come, don’t give up, I know things are tough at the moment.

‘‘I just thought it was strange that, artistically, I wasn’t hearing a reaction to the recession. When I turn on the radio I’m just hearing songs that aren’t really about that, so I just wanted a song of mine to address it in a really positive, fun, uplifting way and that’s how Best Days was born.’’

The singer – who tours Australia next month for the first time since 2010 – says he can only get better with age as a singer.

‘‘Men’s voices change a lot as they get older – especially if you look after it and so on – so I should actually be peaking.

‘‘I’m in my 40s now and that’s when the male tenor voice really reaches its peak.’’

Brian Kennedy performs at Lizotte’s Newcastle on September 10. Bookings online at lizottes南京夜网.au.

Brian Kennedy discovered music when he was very young.

VIDEO: Sisters on track

Please enable Javascript to watch this videoSTONEFIELD spent four years jamming in a shed on the family’s hobby farm in rural Victoria before winning Triple J’s Unearthed High contest in 2010.
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The win scored the band national airplay with the single Through The Clover, which led to the release of two EPs and an introduction to the world of life on the road. The four-piece toured the nation numerous times over, supporting the likes of Cold Chisel, Foo Fighters and even scored a spot on the bill at Glastonbury festival in the UK.

Now, on the eve of releasing their debut self-titled album in October, Stonefield are once again back in the shed where it all began as they prepare to rehearse for a national tour which kicks off in Newcastle next week.

‘‘I’m at my parents’ house where all my sisters live to do a bit of rehearsing for our tour – back to the shed,’’ lead singer/drummer Amy Findlay says with a laugh as she speaks to Weekender.

‘‘It’s really good because we can just make as much noise as we like and it doesn’t bother anyone, so it’s a good space to practise.

‘‘There’s not really any neighbours to disturb but apparently when the wind is blowing, we’ve had people that we know from the town say ‘On this particular day when the wind was blowing toward us we could hear you practising’ which is crazy because it’s kilometres away.

‘‘It’s probably a sign that we have it up too loud [laughs].’’

The shed is located on the 14-hectare property in the small town of Darraweit Guim, owned by Findlay’s parents. They encouraged Amy – who swaps between singing up front and behind the drum kit when they play live – her sisters Holly (bass), Hannah (guitar) and Sarah (keys) to start playing music together in 2006.

Growing up on a diet of Led Zeppelin, The Doors and Jimi Hendrix, the sisters formed a band (then named Iotah) which picked up slots supporting the likes of Children Collide, The Spazzys and Tex Perkins.

They won a swag of youth awards along the way until landing their big break in 2010 after taking out Triple J’s Unearthed High contest.

Findlay says the looming album release is a ‘‘dream come true’’ for the sisters, who flew producer Ian Davenport out from Britain to record the album at Melbourne’s Sing Sing Studios.

‘‘We’ve been waiting for this moment forever,’’ Findlay, 23, says.

‘‘We’re really proud of what we’ve done and we had so much fun in the process that we’re really looking forward to showing it to everybody.’’

The band chose Davenport for his production on albums by one of their favourite bands, English alt-rock group Band of Skulls.

‘‘We love production on their first two albums and we love that sound because I think it’s such a nice mix of that old school thing but also sounds a little bit modern, so I think that’s what we really wanted to do with our album.

‘‘Musically he completely understood us and the direction we wanted to take and also as people we just connected really well.’’

The first single lifted from the album, Put Your Curse On Me, is a heavy rock track which features the vocals of the Melbourne Mass Gospel Choir.

‘‘That was a pretty amazing thing for us. We’ve always wanted to work with a gospel choir – we just love the sound of so many voices coming together,’’ Findlay says.

The album arrives after the girls took a year-long break from touring to concentrate on writing songs without the distractions that come with being out on the road.

Findlay says it allowed them to mature not only as musicians but people too.

‘‘Our whole journey has been a bit of a whirlwind,’’ she says.

‘‘So much happened for us as soon as we were Unearthed by Triple J – it kind of went a bit crazy.

‘‘I feel like we grew up a lot both as people and musically. It was good to just have time to focus on the songs and have that time to dedicate.’’

It’s not all rock’n’roll, though.

Holly, who at 15 is the youngest of the group, and 19-year-old Sarah are still yet to finish high school so must juggle distance education with their band commitments.

Findlay says that as the eldest of the group she tends to take on the mother role [‘‘I’m a bit of a control freak to be honest,’’ she laughs], but being in a band with her siblings is a blessing.

‘‘We’re really close and we’re friends as well as sisters,’’ she says.

‘‘It definitely has its challenges at times, but I think mostly it’s a really good thing to be so close with people that you’re in a band with.’’

Stonefield perform at The Small Ballroom, Islington on August 23. Tickets online at oztix南京夜网.au

Stonefield are proud of their latest album and ready for a national tour.

THAT’S LIFE: Unblocking cowardice valve

I’VE been reading a book by documentary maker Polly Morland called Society of Timid Souls: or How to be Brave.
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It’s a lively tome well worth a browse, particularly if you’re a gutless wonder.

Despite filming many terrible things in many scary places, Polly felt she was not that courageous.

So the essential question of her book is: Can we learn to be brave?

Or are most of us doomed to be wimps who hide behind their fingers every time a scary moment comes up at the movies.

And I’m not just talking Jaws here.

Think National Velvet.

Jaws sent me over the edge actually, inflicting psychological wounds much deeper than anything physical suffered at the mouth of what was apparently the fakest looking rubber shark in the history of prosthetic sharks.

Seemed real enough to me, but that’s fear for you, of fear itself. I remember I went for a surf after seeing that flick, primarily to try to unblock the cowardice valve. Or block it as the case may be.

And would you believe it, there was a shark alarm. I remember squirting adrenaline. Not as pleasant as some snow boarders would have us believe.

At first I’d thought it was a cruel joke. A cliche. Impossible. And yet, there were the people on the beach waving. And there was I, the only person left in the water, floating on my surfboard like a harp seal above a pilchard school with the water going “lap, lap’’. Always the “lap lap” when things get sharky.

They say it’s the shark you never see that’s gonna eat you, which is ironic given how hard you start looking for sharks in these situations. Like the sight of a dorsal fin might be somehow reassuring. Amazing, too, how many you start seeing as paranoia peaks among the peaks. ‘‘Lap lap.’’

Another thing they say is you shouldn’t panic, as it sends out the signal you’re a wounded fish burger.

God they say a lot of things.

I was walking on water the last 30metres to shore. Hardly dignified, but who cared. I was ALIVE!! The only fear once on dry land was that people might recognise it wasn’t just sea water running down my leg.

I’m sure we all have our Room 101s and I’d love to hear them.

It is into this headspace that Morland’s book engages the mind.

The phrase “timid souls’’ Morland explains is attributed to Theodore Roosevelt who in 1910 lauded “the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; … who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place will never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat”.

Such words have gone on to inspire generations of triathletes, and horrified the makers of video games.

Translated into Strine, it means “Get off ya arse and have a go.”

The phrase was picked up by a group of stage-frightened Manhattan musos in 1942 who gathered weekly to conquer their performance yips, thus becoming the original ‘‘Society’’ of timid souls.

Morland moves forward with the concept, interviewing an eclectic range of would-be wimps – soldiers, bull-fighters, mothers in labour etc – to explore the physical and philosophical nature of bravery.

Along the way she poses questions like, is it really being brave in combat to run into a minefield to rescue a wounded mate.

A lot of soldiers say no: it’s what they train for and anticipate. Anti-heroic almost. Something that comes from practice.

A famous Spanish matador told Morland he felt no fear in the ring but dreaded worse fates outside it, ‘‘like sleeping alone’’.

A brave thing to say, I thought, to an obviously fiercely intelligent woman as it was one hell of a sleazy line.

Scientists have traced the fear response to the amygdala in the brain and noted that if you get a lesion there, you can become immune to the signals of fear, and hence feel no fear.

But is that being brave?

Yes it helps if you’re fronting ICAC, but true courage, Morland argues, involves anticipating fear, experiencing fear, and overcoming it.

That only comes if you’re Eddie Obeid.

Morland examines the idea that fear is an enhancer of life, and its absence symptomatic of death?

Certainly that didn’t resonate that day in the surf with the shark, although it got me contemplating the symptoms of death all right. Particularly that of being torn to pieces.

While reading this book I spoke to a woman who survived a horrendous airflight over a volcano in Indonesia in 1982 when her plane lost all engine power and was gliding to certain obliteration.

The woman noted at the time that people reacted differently.

Some put on rain coats, thinking if they were going to ditch in the water, they’d better try to stay dry. Her response was to put on woollen socks.

Courage, it seemed, didn’t really need to be informed by logic. Just an all-pervading need to keep your tootsies warm.

Perhaps that in the end sums up bravery, something that makes no sense – you just hope you can bring it when the time requires.