Jesse Hankin will take the Act for Peace Ration Challenge

Jesse Hankin, of Mayfield West, will live like a refugee this week.

She’ll be eating the same rations as a refugee – a meagre amount of rice, beans, lentils, fish, oil and flour.

It’s part of the Act for Peace Ration Challenge. The aim is to raise awareness about issues affecting refugees.

“We’re a bit desensitised to all this horrible stuff going on,” said Jesse, whose dog Gus will help her through the challenge.

(Gus will give moral support. He’ll be sticking to his normal tucker!)

“I thought I’d do something a little bit deeper, even though it’s only a glimpse of what they would experience.”

She can only imagine what refugees go through.

“You really don’t know until you physically or mentally feel something first-hand,” she said.

Plus, she felt like she needed to do something to get some perspective on life.

It won’t be easy. Jesse runs a business, providing stretch therapy to clients. So she needs to keep her energy levels up.

“It’s a pretty small ration pack and I think what I’ll struggle with most is the lack of variety,” she said.

“Being a personal trainer, I know the lack of variety is also a reflection of a lack of nutrition.

“My energy is going to be depleted during the week, so I’m going to have to cut out some of my own fitness training and only focus on the classes that I’m running.”

Jesse said she doesn’t normally eat beans and lentils because they make her feel sick.

“But this is what refugees have to eat. What I hope to achieve by taking the challenge is to give those around me an easy and practical way to show their support.

“People have the opportunity to make a contribution to an important cause, even if they’re not ready to take on the challenge themselves.

“The Syrian refugee issue is very important and a challenge like this really helps to spark people’s interest and get a conversation going.”

Overflowing Handbags

The overflowing handbag is one of society's big problems.

The overflowing handbag is one of society's big problems.

From refugees to overflowing handbags. Quite the contrast, that.

Nevertheless, we feel for women who always have to carry around a handbag. Especially handbags that are full to the brim or overflowing.

That’s a lot of stuff to carry around.

A  Pilot Pen Australia survey of almost 1500 women has shown this to be a big problem.

It found that Aussie women spend 81 days in a lifetime searching for things in their handbag.

Only 4 per cent of women said they knew where to find everything in their bag.  

About half of those surveyed described their bag as cluttered.

A third admitted their bag was disorganised and 14 per cent conceded their bag was chaotic.

A handbag designer suggested the problem was that many handbags don’t have enough pockets and places for everyday items.

No prizes for guessing that this particular designer believes it has the solution to this problem.

Now there are several theories on why women’s handbags become cluttered.

One female colleague suggested part of the problem was men giving their girlfriends and wives stuff to mind.

We’re not sure if that’s true. But we shouldn’t be sexist. After all, this is the era of the metrosexual and the manbag. However, we have no evidence to suggest that overflowing manbags have become a widespread problem.

But we have seen men’s wallets overflowing with cash, credit cards, loyalty cards, receipts, notes and other paraphernalia.

We believe in a strict four-card policy. None of those loyalty cards for us, thanks very much.

Newcastle Nicknames

The Newcastle Echo Facebook page has been running a survey about the “correct spelling for the shortened version of Newcastle”.

Options included Newy, Newie, Newey, Newcs, Nooee. They also added the option: “It will always be Newcastle to me”. 

Newy was the clear winner.