Tag Archives | relationships

Comparing ourselves to others

WE never seem happy with our achievements because we compare ourselves up never down to others.


I WAS complaining to someone the other day that I wasn’t happy with my creative achievements. Despite a lifetime of being a journalist with a body of work accumulated over 30 years that could sink a ship, I have always lamented the novels I never wrote and, more recently, the films I didn’t make.

It’s the yearning of the creative soul. Which is why I’m attempting to make amends by going back to university to learn skills that will allow me to make the films and documentaries I wish I’d written and made long ago. Having said that, the same longing keeps coming back. It’s hard watching young people, with their lives ahead and all the potential in the world, having the opportunity to embark on the journey I’m making later in life. It’s also hard to be taught about one’s peers around the world who are the leading lights in the creative spheres you want to enter. Continue Reading →



Are there really failed marriages and relationships or do we just change?

I met an interesting man while travelling in Africa. We stayed at his hotel on a remote island in Mozambique. It had been his dream to run a resort. His great passion is the sea. Before he built his hotel he did many jobs in different industries but would always retreat to the ocean in the evenings and on weekends, fishing for endless hours, scuba diving, and snorkelling.

One night over drinks he talked to me about his “failed” marriage. He said he was still grieving the loss of his wife and regular contact with the children. But he told me something that surprised me. “The problem was that she hated the sea. She wouldn’t even walk on a beach. She hated sand … We always fought about it.”

Strangely on the same trip I met a woman whose passion was surfing. Similarly, she had spent many years with a bookish intellectual who couldn’t understand her need to get up every morning and drive to the surf; accusing her of not loving him enough to stay in bed. Continue Reading →


And how are you today?

Mindless phrases like “And how are you today?…” are driving me nuts. Or the new horror “Yeah/ No…”

It’s one of the banes of my life – mindless social phrases. I’ve been on the phone for ages waiting for a call-centre stranger to pick up. I want to cut to the chase: to find out why my phone bill is $200 over my normal plan repayments. To simply say. “Hello, my name is Ruth Ostrow. I need to make an inquiry about my phone bill.”

But that’s not how interactions go nowadays. They go like this. Call-centre operator answers and says in a sing-song voice: “Hello, and how are you today?” Pause. I’m then required to say: “Fine thank you.” She replies “That’s good.” Pause. Then I must say in a sincere voice: “And how are you today?” “Fine thanks.” “That’s good.”

That’s 12 seconds of my life I’ll never get back again. If you multiply this increasingly popular, inane interaction by the amount of times every non-thinking stranger does the “blah blah” in every shop, phone conversation, restaurant it soon adds up to at least 10 times a day – or two minutes – which is an hour a month taken up with blind stupidity. By the end of a year that’s 12 hours of wasted life. Continue Reading →


Holiday Clues not Blues

Three things you’ll really want to know about this holiday period like how to save your relationship.

Hi readers,

I’m back! Here are the three column blogs I wrote during the break on how to avoid holiday blues.

31s December
How to avoid becoming an +++hole. this time of year

It’s that time of year where we all like to make New Year resolutions and atone for crimes big and small we’ve committed during the year. Well, at least I do. It’s a ritual I do each year instead of driving around to bad parties, caught in traffic and feeling unsatisfied. I sit down with those closest to me and write a list of all the things of significance that happened during the year; all the things I’m grateful for; and all the things I want to change. Continue Reading →


Call Centre Blues

Call Centres are driving us all crazy

I WAS dealing with a call centre recently, trying to get something I had organised to be cancelled. The process was exhausting. Every time I called I had to stay on the line for at least a half hour because of the pre-Christmas backup.

And each time I called for a progress report I had to tell the story all over again to operators who pretended they were from the institution I was dealing with but quickly revealed their ignorance about some of the simplest questions I was asking.

“I’ll just ask my supervisor,” they would say while I waited another 15 minutes. Most were from overseas call centres and had no idea about the local situation I kept referring to. This is so common nowadays that most of us are used to it.

No longer do we have a bank manager, or insurance broker, or favourite customer service person at major companies – we’re put through to impersonal voices far, far away and can’t even ask for the same person for a follow-up. Continue Reading →


Friendships have a use-by date

Cuba seriesHow it is that some relationships stand the test of time and others just don’t?

I RAN into an old friend the other day. It was a chance meeting. I consider this woman one of my true soul mates; someone I’ve shared so much with during the early days of my career. We have a similar sense of irony and humour, and see life through the same eyes.

We lost touch. The last time I had dinner with her was maybe two years ago. And yet the moment we sat down there was the same familiarity and comfort as if no years had gone by at all. We did the “OMG, what have you been doing?” thing for a while, and then reverted straight to the observations, laughter and social commentary that marked our friendship. I knew we would be friends to our death. Continue Reading →


Better than Sex



I WASN’T surprised by a recent hotel industry survey that showed couples who go away are more likely to watch television than have sex.

Around 80 per cent of Australian hotel guests responded that they preferred to turn on the TV or an in-house movie instead of their partner, the online survey revealed.

It seems to me that most people in long-term relationships are more driven by a need to escape the mundane, and become part of a murder mystery or medical crisis, than have a shag.

And most people I interviewed  had 1 to 3 things they’d rather be doing than having sex with their partners. I casually asked a few people who’ve been together five years or longer. Here are some of the answers:

“Eat chocolate mousse; watch House; sleep; anything; eat a home-cooked lasagne; play with the dog; watch internet porn; watch a great film; read Vanity Fair; be skiing; watch soccer; go to a great dance party; be online; have sex but with someone else.”

What are the things you find better than sex?  Or how do you keep it hot & spicy?

Go to “comments” button above


Read full story in today’s   The Australian