Trip to a Remote Village in China

By Sumiitra Yiohan Sooriaarratchi

Wuyuan is a magical, mystical village nestled in a valley of Jianxi Province.

We arrived at Wuyuan in high spirits and were eager to explore this idyllic place. Most of us were visibly shaken by the bumpy bus ride. However, everyone was ready for the adventure. At first sight, Wuyuan is a sleepy little village but as you dig deeper you uncover a vibrant village full of activity and smiling faces. On a personal level it was a treat for the senses and the soul: the bright green of the rice fields, the gentle stream undulating its way through the village, the willow trees hanging gracefully above the water and the mighty stone bridges. What could be more delightful?

Every street is lined with quaint shops selling everything from tea, trinkets, lucky charms and jewellery to hats, musical instruments, artistic nude photographs (more on that later) and Chinese “Kama Sutra” carvings! What an unbelievable mix of the best things in life!! Wuyuan is also filled with interesting architecture, antique shops stuffed to capacity and former residences of famous kung-fu masters.

Just as all this was unfolding before my eyes; Tom, Alex and Sherylinstarted sampling the local rice wine (60% alcohol) also known as “Chinese Water” – Crazy forest people. The perfect way to get high! Meanwhile, crazy girls Zita (Ms Shanghai who loves strippers and snakes), Jean (Ms Hong Kong/Super fierce Ping Pong Player) and Tom helped me to choose the best green tea at the local store. Besides shopping for souvenirs we were also able to appreciate the beauty of the simple life that the villagers enjoy. Jill would even mention later on that her most remarkable personal moment was the sight of a mother and child sitting together in Wuyuan. It reminded her of the special things in life that we all take for granted. Good one Jill. Cheers!!

A few hours later we were treated to a fabulous lunch of local delicacies. It is interesting to note that all the ingredients in our meal were sourced from the gardens and farms around the village. The Organic Extravaganza was simply delicious and perfect in every way. This is a good example of simple organic living that is both sustainable and self-sufficient. The people of Wuyuan are lucky to have a healthy coexistence with their environment. Click, click, click. Photos galore. Angie, Ruby, May, Lavender and Ricky were busy taking photos of Dr Pei a.k.a Jackie Chan; who had just put on his farmers hat and sun glasses – born to be in show business!!

There was just a bit more drama before we left thanks to my wise purchase of the wonderful nude photography. The whole team simply couldn’t believe it and were literally laughing their guts out! However, Dr Pei supported my choice by saying, “Its art!” I agree with Dr Pei!!! Ha ha ha!!! I will never forget this awesome village. By the way I have to add that on a subsequent visit to China the Kama Sutra carvings were almost confiscated by the immigration authorities at Hangzhou airport. I had to explain to the officer that it was a gift for a friend and that the piece of art was actually from China!!!

With our Wuyuan adventure complete the next destination was the country side of Gu Tian Shan where we had a fantastic dinner at a farmer’s house. This was my introduction to “Chinese water” courtesy of Dr Pei. Free flow of alcohol and good food inevitably led to renditions of love songs from one BFF (Best Friends Forever) to another (Tom and Sumi –that’s me. a.k.a Stripper/Mr Hemp). Songs about flying, Alex-I believe I can fly, and Chinese songs from Ruby!! Jill and Dr Pei even performed numerous magic tricks! The star of the night was Dr. ‘Jackie Chan’ who somehow managed to turn a piece of cloth into a rabbit….or maybe I was so drunk on “Chinese Water” that I imagined the whole thing! Wow what a night!!!
This day-out came to represent our entire stay at the CRCC. It was serious work, followed by fun and even more extreme, crazy fun. That’s how all things should be. An experience I will never forget.

Before concluding I would like to leave you with a quote from one of my favorite bloggers – The Moneyless Man, Mark Boyle –because I felt that I was living up to his advice on my trip.


“Some people tiptoe through life so carefully, so as to be sure of arriving safely at death. Life is the most incredible adventure. Don’t be afraid of it. Take risks. Step outside your comfort zone. Feel the four seasons on your skin. And stand up for what you believe in, it’s precious. Be the change.”

Peace and Love to my Forest Friends I will never forget you….you will always have a special place in my heart!! Together we are an unstoppable force of positive change! Cheers! You Rock!!!


* This trip was part of an HSBC Climate Partnership training program at the CRCC – China Regional Climate

Center in Gu Tian Shan – together with EarthWatch.

Photos courtesy Zita Y Chen


Fun to Try – Iranian Ashpaz Bashi

By Sunari Sooriaaratchi


This little Iranian restaurant has the benefit of two hefty neighbours – South City Plaza visible from the trunk road; and CIMB Bank, the more immediate neighbour. Armed with precisely these two facts, Leaf’s Gournome went incognito and found the restaurant with relative ease, in what could be called the Middle Eastern quarter of KL.

Having been greeted by the burly Iranian proprietor and his trusty Burmese waiter/translator, we got right down to the business of ordering. As I perused the menu, the burly Iranian recommended the Kashk Bademjan, a starter of Eggplant, onion and curd. This foreign combination struck me as interesting, and the recommendation did well as it was the highlight of my meal, with its Mediterranean flavour. It had a slightly cheese like taste.

It was well complemented by the Iranian bread and it worked up an
appetite for the other dishes, which included Ghorme Sabzi (a lamb stew),
Saffron Chicken, Fava Bean Rice,Koobideh Kebab (lamb) and more
Iranian Bread. Sadly though, these dishes were served all at once, and
so they were not all warm when I got around to savouring them. It would
have been preferred if they had been kept warm in the kitchen and served in succession.

The rice portions are copious, and the Fava Bean Rice was
a particularly flavoursome, herbaceous rice. The lamb stew was
quite delectable, although the portion should have had more meat
in it. It was served with a tricoloured mountain of rice. The Kebab did not disappoint, was of a good size and interestingly tasted a bit like gourmet meatballs or omelette with much onion. The Saffron Chicken received the least points though, owing to the fact that we found it too reminiscent of an Indian curry minus the chilli.


These dishes serve as a fine example of the wonder of cuisines such as the Iranian, which are influence seemingly in equal proportion by East and West, due to their strategic geographical location. You can taste the flavour of the Mediterranean, Moghul Zest and Silk Route Spices all in one meal.

The only thing lacking on the Menu was dessert. The restaurant would do well to include it. There was also no meat other than lamb and chicken although there were fish and vegetarian dishes. The service could have been better, though, in providing us more cutlery for serving these
dishes. You can eat here and eat well, with a friend, for a reasonable RM50-60.

In terms of ambience Ashpaz Bashi is relaxed with an air of a fine dining restaurant, overlooking the golf course at the Mines, with comfortable furniture indoors and air conditioning. They certainly haven’t stinted on the washrooms; they are a delight to visit, if ever there was a restaurant loo worth describing as such. The place gets happening at night until the wee hours.

A Conversation with Battle Napkin

   By Vincent Poturica

After a recent show at Big V’s Saloon in St. Paul, MN – Battle Napkin (http://www.myspace.com/battlenapkin) plays a 45-minute set, six long songs, “Snakes on a Plane,” “Fushitsusha,” “Sensational Crime,” “Martian March,” “Napkin Violence,” “Solutions.” Jason’s guitar veers away from Ollie’s drum beat and Lindsey’s bass line. A man with hair hanging to his nipples dances a jig. A stuffed grey lion watches from above a wooden liquor cabinet. Customers sitting at bar stools or tables stand, walk towards the corner stage to hear the music better. Jason, crouching, now on his knees, shakes his guitar at an amplifier. What do you call the sounds he makes? – I spoke with Battle Napkin’s songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist Jason Hallen. He cooked a canelli bean and spinach pasta as we talked in the kitchen of his Northfield, MN apartment. His ginger-colored kitten Flannery Lynn ran in circles around my feet.


Jason:  It’s a Rachel Ray recipe.  This dish.

Vincent:  Right on.  You’re cooking a lot these days, right?

J:  Yeah, when I first moved in here (September 2010), I was cooking a lot.  I don’t think I ate out more than 3 times that month.   Now I eat out for awhile, not really well.  Then I cook.  I feel guilty and bad about blowing money and eating crap.  It’s healthier and more cost effective and I get more meals at once.  It also throws off your schedule.

V:  Yeah, cooking’s prudent.  So, how’d you describe Battle Napkin’s music?

J:  I guess I would describe it – I usually call it rock.  Maybe art rock.  I don’t know.  It’s definitely the kind of music where we don’t really set out to do anything.  We just try to write songs that appeal to our sensibilities, to the things we like.  Sometimes it comes out like rock.  Sometimes it comes out like jazz.  Or really heavy metal.  Or surf.  Or noise. To me rock means indie rock, maybe, and art rock and stuff from the 70s.

V:  Huh, can you describe the origin or the “how-it-all-began” with Battle Napkin?

J:  It started out with Ollie [Moltaji, Battle Napkin’s drummer] and I.  We went to high school and college together. At Carleton, we started Rag P and Ollie, which was heavily performance based at first and then it became increasingly musical.  Then we met and wanted a punk singer and you called us up or Marissa introduced us.  Then it turned into an actual band.  Torn Anus/Torn Angst/Rainbow Magical.  The downfall of that band/bands was that none of those incarnations was ever very disciplined.

V:  Nope.

J:  So I was never able to go anywhere or be anything.  I did some solo noise shows.  But I never had the discipline.  I was also in a band with Matt Weir, a weirdo noise/punk rock band – me playing guitar and synthesizer and him playing guitar and keyboard.  We reached a level of noise that I was proud of.  We made a recording in 2008 that I still appreciate.  Spelling Made Easy was our first name.

V:  A great name.

J:  David Diarrhea . . .

V:  Whaaa?

J:  Anyways, me and Matt Weir started calling ourselves Osama Bin Ladies as well as Mother Over Shoulder (a reference to M.O.S., online chatting slang).  A proud moment was when the band Negativland (complimented that name, thought it was awesome). Again, a lot of potential with glimpses that never was realized. Then I started practicing guitar seriously, becoming more disciplined.  So I was trying to write more.  The first Battle Napkin show was in March or April of 2009.  So I’d been practicing guitar for a year before playing anything live, developing more skills and technique.  That first show Ollie and I performed with Sara Nienaber (of Gospel Gossip – Ollie is also a member of Gospel Gossip).

Battle Napkin emerged because Ollie and I always wanted to play music together.

V:  Right on.  So what about the Battle Napkin name?

J:  Ollie came up with that because he always keeps a running list on his iPhone of band names which are usually pretty terrible, but we both liked Battle Napkin.

V:  So it doesn’t mean anything?

J:  As far as I know, nothing.  What I always liked about the name was just the juxtaposition of two uncommon things – battle being this aggressive term, and napkin, the embodiment of the wimpiest thing.  The first time I heard it I think I laughed really hard.  People think it sounds like the name of a woman’s sanitary pad or a handkerchief to cover a wound, something really literal, physical.  But to me it’s always just been this really funny combination of words.  I never jump to trying to picture something specific.

V:  You’ve mentioned to me before that humor plays a part in what you do?  Can you elaborate?

J:  Right around this time Dinner for Schmucks came out…“You don’t have to raise your hands, but how many people feel like you’re having dinner with Schmucks right now?”  And people were laughing and raising their hands.  I was basically copying Neil Hamburger. So the next show we did, I even practiced and recorded the humor act.  And no one was digging it.  So I felt really shaken.  But I went back and listened to a recording of the show, the music sounded really good.  And that taught me a lesson in suspending judgment.  I think comedy needs come naturally and be real and spontaneous.

V:  So, how many shows have you played now with Battle Napkin?

J:  I would estimate at maybe 20.

V:  What about your influences as a musician, as a guitarist?

J:  Keiji Hiano and his band Fushitsusha, Joe Morris, the avant-garde jazz guitarist. It doesn’t even make sense to call him a jazz musician, but what’s he’s doing is avant-garde.  It sounds academic when you say that, like you’re trying to advance a form, but I don’t mean that in terms of Morris.  I think he’s trying to get in touch with a beauty that he feels.  I think those are the big influences in how I want to play.  Eric Dolphy, the saxophonist and reed player does stuff that’s really inspiring to me musically. Talking Heads and This Heat. A lot of bands from the 70s.  Any band that plays guitars and makes really nice arrangements with guitar soloing. If people know Television, they can hear it in Battle Napkin.  If they don’t know Television, they compare us to the Grateful Dead. Because the Grateful Dead are all about beautiful, warm-toned, jammy but good-structured, not lazy music.  I’m definitely not offended if anyone tells us we sound like the Grateful Dead or Phish.  Because they haven’t heard Television.

V:  What does music do for you?  What do you want it to do for other people?

J:  I really like music that’s beautiful.  And I like stuff that’s dynamic and rhythmical, and so, I mean, that’s the stuff I go for.  Stuff that fills me with a real sense of beauty.  Music that uplifts you.  And it can be a sad song and uplift you.  Whenever you have people being real and helping you to see something really real.  Like Flannery O’Connor, you see some sad things, some flawed things, but connecting someone with that human condition is powerful in itself.  And that’s what I hope to do with music.  Really – my real goal with music is to write something and to play it and it to come out decently.  I want it to be good in my eyes.  So I’m not really – I don’t really approach it in the sense of, “I want the audience to feel this way, or I want to evoke this sentiment,” I want it to be a song that I think is a passable.  I think I’ll add those beans now.

In the Spot Light



Tunku Shazuddin bin Tunku Sallehuddin seems to have done it all – he’s been a ‘poet’, a ‘pirate’, a ‘pauper’, a ‘pawn’ and a prince, much like the lyrics of the song That’s Life, which seems as to have been written just for him…”Each time I find myself flat on my face, I pick myself up and get back in the race…” is one line from the song which particularly resonates with his view of life.

Fondly known as either ‘Ku Shah’, or just ‘Shah’ to his staff, ‘Tunku Shah’, as he is also known, always wanted to build things, “…ever since I held my first lego piece in my hand”, he says. It’s a dream he has more than accomplished with the design and construction of high end restaurants, cafes, palaces and Tun Dr. Mahatir’s own niche bakery numbering among the achievements of the team headed by him; feats most would only dare dream of.

It seems among life’s many teachings, one that resonates with him is that one must “always have something to fall back on.” This probably explains the prudence behind his multiple, simultaneously operating ventures, all headed by him and fronted by his various teams. The rest of it can probably be put down to his boundless love of life and his esoteric tastes, many of which manifest in his businesses.


It’s hard to believe that he’s a day out of college when you look at him, but since Tunku Shah had his tertiary education in Advertising, Design and Marketing in the United States, he has been active in many areas, from work as a waiter, valet (imagine having your car parked by a prince – only in fairy tales you’d think!), and library assistant to business ventures with Petronas overseas, and running his own businesses in the hospitality, design and wellbeing industries. Many are the lessons learnt from experience – as he puts it   “you    learn more outside the classroom than in it”.

One of the people who is most influential on his life’s work is Dato’ Johan Ariff, at whose design firm he found his first work as a designer on his return to Malaysia after seven years in the United States. In an interesting manifestation of fate, it is incidentally the place where he met his future business partner, Rozaidi Mohamed, who is Head Creative at Rethink Sdn. Bhd., Tunku Shah’s own design firm, today.  All in all, wisdom beyond his years, great taste, and a disarming humility about him, make Tunku Shah a force to be reckoned with, on a self-assigned mission to “rid the world of visual clutter”.

Odd Bods

   By Sharmini Jayawardena

Sex is a great stress buster and an immune system booster it is said. So, a good sex drive is a way to healthier living. A good circulatory system is a must for good sex and vice-versa. Feel good hormones, endorphins; that are secreted during sex aid in the assurance of a healthy life. These same hormones are secreted in exercise and meditation.

(Regular sex is good for your health. 15 health benefits of having regular sex).


Ancient therapies and remedies mentioned in folklore of ancient tribes can enhance the sexual urge and prowess in women and men alike. The belief is that energy is responsible for libido.

In the ‘magic realism’ of the Chia seed we find this an absolute truism. Knowledge of the Chia seed dates back to pre-Columbian times, and was so valued that it was given as an annual tribute by the people to the rulers. Known as the running food, its use as a high energy endurance food has been recorded as far back as the ancient Aztecs. The Aztec warriors subsisted on the chia seed during the conquests. The Indians of the south west would eat as little as a teaspoon full when going on a forced march. Indians running from the Colorado River to the California coast to trade turquoise for seashells would only bring chia seed for their nourishment. This known anti-oxidant, high in calcium, iron, fibre, and omega 3, among others, is worth a try.

According to Mr F E Chong (below), Nutritionist, Chia has received GRAS status from the US FDA. www.nature-care.org

Chia can be obtained in Malaysia from Nature Care Health Management- H/P: 60122067618


Sunflower seed and pumpkin seed alike help boost the libido.

Sunflower seed helps your circulatory system function. This in turn increases the blood flow to the genitals.

Its high level of tryptophan effectively increases your brain’s production of serotonin (a neurotransmitter). Serotonin reduces tension which creates a relaxing effect, enhancing the desire for sexual activity.

Heavily laden with zinc which boosts the libido as well as boosts the immune system, sunflower seed is also rich in other minerals, which distribute oxygen to muscles, enhancing your sex drive.

Pumpkin seed too contains zinc, which is important in testosterone production for men and helps to sustain desire in women. Word on the street is that a diet rich in pumpkin seeds will increase potency, drive and fertility.


At this Chinese Traditional Medicine shop, Tuck Heng Ginseng Hall, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, we hunted down what efficacious compound would increase the libido. Pleasantly greeted with warm cups of Chrysanthemum tea, by two cool guys and the amiable Madame Tan, three herbs, Ginseng, Gingko and Horny Goats Weed came up in our conversation.

Ginseng, derives from the Chinese term renshen, literally meaning “man root”, and refers to the root’s characteristic forked shape, resembling the legs of a man. Both American and Asian forms of Ginseng enhance libido and copulation especially in men.

Madame Tan advised us to take sliced Ginseng made together with chicken in a soup. “Only that and you can add some Goji berry to it”.

Ginkgo was reported to have a positive effect on all four phases of the sexual response cycle- desire, excitement (lubrication), orgasm and resolution (afterglow).

Horny Goats Weed; this provocative name refers to a variety of plant species whose first recorded use in China dates back to 200 BC. The story is that it was discovered after a goatherd had observed his goats were acting horny after eating the particular weed.  Its leaves and stems contain a variety of polysaccharides responsible for the plant’s androgenic activity. In men it reputedly promotes sperm production and sexual desire, and improves some cases of impotency. In women, it has primarily been used for fatigue and postmenopausal hypertension.


Transcending the Physical

By Sunari Sooriaaratchi

When you are faced with Wabi Sabi, you know it. It is beautiful. It is relaxed. It is peace. You know it because you not only see it but you feel it.

Stemming from Japan, Wabi Sabi is called the essence of the aesthetic of that ancient, bewitching land. To create Wabi Sabi within the space you inhabit, or in other aspects of your life is to appreciate the beauty in the imperfect. The idea is a manifestation of Buddhist notions of impermanence, with defining features of asymmetry, simplicity, austerity, modesty as well as an intimacy in the appreciation of natural materials and processes.

It is the polar opposite of Classical Greek ideals, yet occupies a similar position in the Japanese tradition of aesthetics. While the Greeks soughtperfection, the Wabi Sabi deliberately seeks imperfection, in the belief that to do so is to be one with nature.

In an era of gen-‘Y’-ers dependant on technology for quality of life, and wrapped up in a consumerist whirlwind, Wabi Sabi has the potential to emancipate multitudes from intellectual imprisonment, stereotypical existence and all manner of rat-race derived ills.  We just have to realise that no matter what façade we try to create, or what persona we try to exhibit, underneath it all,“Be yourself is all that you can do…” To truly be you and be happy with yourself is to be truly “Wabi”.

The expression of Wabi Sabi thinking in the architecture, objects and design choices in the physical world of those who practice it, has caused some to refer to it as a ‘style’.  While it is true that Wabi Sabi is distinct in the quiet statements it makes heard, and therefore recognisable, it is definitely more than just a style to be espoused as it comes from deeper     thoughts.

In the material sense, things which embrace the Wabi Sabi aesthetic are items like a much loved scarf, preserved with care, yet gently worn in places by the hands of time; the hand-painted or hand-hewn imperfections as opposed to mass produced ‘perfection’;  earthy, natural surfaces and tones. It is in appreciating a chip in the china, in being in no rush to make things ‘perfect’, Wabi Sabi is the beauty in peeling paint and aged wood.

In a nutshell, what Wabi Sabi shows us is that beauty is within us and all around us, in everything.

We have only to see it, not shun it, and be at peace with ever transient life itself.

This and That


By Sharmini Jayawardena

Wait a second, writers are supposed to pour out with an outpouring of words at the push of a pen…they say – are you kidding me, I’m already having writer’s block…






Talking about writers and writings (in English), noticed that most things begin and end with male sexuality/dominance/aggression.

the pen-is what you write with, for a start

a magazine is a holder of ammunition

a bulletin comes from bullet

dictate has the sound “dick” in it

so does the Dictionary

a word is a word with or without a sword in it

(writers do cut and chop with the finesse of that of a scalpel)

and I guess that’s why they say the pen-is mightier than the sword!

Unfinished Business

NATURE CALLS                                           By Sharmini Jayawardena

Monogamous marriages as we know them today didn’t really exist as the norm in the past. By monogamous I mean a marriage of one wife to one husband at a time. By the past I mean up until a few hundred years ago, when the conquerors of what were then known as the new frontiers, went and saw and meted out their laws and filled their coffers. All in the name of control, control and more control. A bunch of control freaks!

Civil administration coupled with “patriarchal religious authoritarianism” and the gun, drove social and economic living patterns of countless peoples in times of colonization. The inherent rights and spirit of people were snatched away from their very bosoms. Almost overnight, they were forced into organized life styles, away from that of naturally evolved ways of life. What was founded on principles of custom was now to be bound by legal contracts.

Looking back, marital customs among the Inuits for example, as among other indigenous communities were not strictly monogamous: many Inuit relationships were implicitly or explicitly sexual. Open marriages, polygamy, divorce and remarriage were known. Even so, in almost all societies, access to women has being institutionalized in some way so as “to moderate the intense competition” as seen in Comanche society, where polygyny was the accepted norm.

The story according to Christianity goes somewhat like this- when the world was first created, Adam and Eve, the first two humans, were made aware of their nakedness by none other than Satan who appeared as a serpent (!), whereupon they reached out for a fig leaf to cover themselves! They were found guilty of having committed “eternal sin”.

Evidently, in some societies, monogamous marriages came into existence for the purpose of granting property rights when hunter gatherers evolved into social tribes and started cultivation; for the assurance as to paternity of children and the protection of blood lines. The oldest law on marriage dating back to Mesopotamia, {Hammurabi’s Code (8)} simply says: “If a man takes a woman to wife, but has no intercourse with her, this woman is no wife to him”. Interesting!

Men and women have long since struggled to liberate themselves, to assert their independence from an institutionlised existence, too innumerable to state here. The recent story, on Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs seems piquant. In today’s context, it seems that


statutory laws placed on personal relationships merely pre-determine the need to break them. A tussle of natural inclination vs. social dogma has arisen. The lifestyles of our ancestors have sadly become inconceivable or totally alien to us.

Speaking of which, in places like Thailand and Burma, polygyny was frequently practiced. In Sri Lanka polyandry was practiced (although not widespread) until recent times. In Tibet both polyandry and polygene were common. Tibet is home to the largest most flourishing polyandrous community in the world. Polyandry (especially fraternal polyandry) is also common among Buddhists in Bhutan, Ladakh and other parts of the Indian subcontinent and in parts of China. Marriage is not a sacrament in Buddhism.

Polygamy was practiced in many sections of Hindu society in ancient times. The Hindu god, Lord Krishna, the 8th incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu had 16,108 wives and several other mistresses at his kingdom in Dwarka.

Multiple partners are recognised in Judaism, Islam and Mormonism as well as by Martin Luther.

While monogamy encourages abuse and child marriage, it also gives way to serial partnerships, are for the most part biased toward heterosexual partnerships and notably antagonistic of multiple relationships, of same sex relationships and others.

Same sex partnerships prevailed in the Fujian province of China through the Ming dynasty period, amongst women and men. Stories surrounding Sappho of Lesbos are evidence that same sex relationships existed in Classical Greece.

In Modern times, 250 million people (or 4% of the world population) currently live in areas that recognize same-sex marriage.

Currently, aiming to redress the imbalance between heterosexual and homosexual partnership rights, straight couples signed up for civil partnerships. On 9th November, 2010, in Islington, North London, four straight couples applied for civil partnerships while four same-sex couples applied for marriages. Civil partnerships are common today in France. (www.equallove.org.uk/)

Writer and philosopher Mark Vernon, author of The meaning of Friendship, argues that “when you get into an institution you buy into a whole history, like it or not, and with marriage it’s been shaped by the fact that it’s usually been between a man and a woman.”

“The idea that by having a civil partnership rather than a marriage you can circumvent that is self-deluding. I would have thought that you’d be better off reshaping the institution from within”, he says.




Hey All,

Here are uninhibited, unbridled, unabashed expressions of thought, to excite your senses; opening up new vistas for you. Move beyond words, step outside the lens, shift to an unknown decibel maybe, discover taste buds anew, feel the reality of being tactile.

As the leaf catches the rays of the Sun and produces food in the process of photosynthesis,we bring you countless thoughts to rekindle your need to breathe.

These are new spaces to hang out in, to live out raw and traverse the untrodden.

LEAF is for persons of all persuasions to experience and share in an atmosphere of ultimate explosure.

The Blogazine will be out with the latest in shifting paradigms on burning topics in Unfinished Business; This and That with ramblings on some goofy aspect or other that floats around; and in Odd Bods, something health-wise.

Our very own Gournome crawls to restaurants for delish experiences!

Wanderlust takes us on adventures capturing the exciting simplicity and the hauntingly unknown.

You can bask in the strange ambience of ArtSpace.

In the Spotlight, covers chats with interesting people wherever we can find them.

Going on to Sport, where we’ll take in this subject in our own special way.

A Story, The Poet, by Vincent Poturica, takes you through a psychiatric facility and beyond…


We’d love to know how we’re doing, Email/Facebook your thoughts


Sharmini Jayawardena