Thursday, September 5, 2019

"Hiding" in plain sight?

Much fulminating in the New York tabloids about a very large "super yacht" parked- if you are at a certain angle- obscuring the Statute of Liberty.
The rather grand Hasna is owned by our very own 'Aussie Home Loans' king John Symond, he of the amazing modern mega-mansion (now sold) that peeks out over the bay at Sydney's ritzy Point Piper. Whispers has been to a couple of shindigs there and while it's a very impressive house we were rather disappointed with the very slow lift that takes you down a couple of floors.
# you can buy the Hasna for a cool $97M.

What has actually been missed by the  assembled US media is that John is married to one rather attractive Amber McDonald and the happy couple seem devoted to each other and have recently been traveling the world having the Lady Liberty dispatched to each destination while the pair travel by John's nice little private jet. A fortnight ago it was parked off Los Angeles.

The Symond mansion
Amber McDonald? Who she you ask (or our American readers do). Why she is the ex-wife of one Patrick Keating as seen here in our exclusive wedding photo when the pair were wed at Sydney's impressive St Mary's Cathedral. The pair separated in 2012 after 10 years of marriage and two children. It wasn't an acrimonious parting- they grew apart like couples so often do and have remained friends as some couples also often do.

 In fact the entire Keating family has remained on fairly good terms with Amber and Symond which includes one- Katherine Keating who was recently thrown into the public eye having been seen off by the father of her very close friends- one Prince Andrew from Jeffrey Epsteins' Manhattan mansion.
Is Katherine on the yacht? Well we aren't telling. You decide for yourself. The fact various Keating family members have holidayed on the Hasna is entirely co-incidental.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Katherine Keating in Manhattan Special

Dom Perignon & Ghislaine Maxwell Invite you to a cocktail reception Celebrating the launch of Ideapod

116 East 65th Street, NYC
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Photo above: Katherine Keating, The President Of Iceland- Olafur Ragnar GríMsson, Dorrit Moussaieff, Ghislaine Maxwell.

It takes the tabloid media awhile to catch up. Katherine Keating, daughter of former Prime Minister Paul Keating has been living in New York now for over 10 years.
Keating apparently visited the home of the late Jeffrey Epstein and managed to get photographed by a paparazzi being farewelled by Prince Andrew.
There is a problem with the reporting here though: Epstein's NY house is regarded as one of the cities more substantial residences and he may well have had numerous guests staying over the years. Keating has been photographed with and is apparently pals with Prince Andrew's daughters, hence, it's not too a leap of logic to suggest she was in fact visiting Andrew seeing that it was he who showed her to the door.

Such hyperventilating like this is a tad over the top when the  Daily Mail / MailOnline  say that she must "answer allegations" why she was there. Allegations? Is it really anyone's business why she visited someone?.
Anyway here is a photo roundup from uber New York social snapper Patrick McMullan who knows everyone who should be known in Manhattan and Los Angeles.

# McMullan was a guest at a Sydney exhibition many moons ago at which other guests included the late Min Keating (Paul Keating's mother and Katherine's Grandmother) and the late Lady Sonia McMahon. The three of them got on famously and dined together later.
All photographs; copyright: Patrick McMullan / PMc

Keating is regular seen at the smarter New York parties..with her younger sister Alexandra Keating

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Fashion moment

To the glorious Sydney Opera House for a preview of department store David Jones upcoming fashion season.
The northern hall of the Opera House really is quite sensational especially in the day time. Stunning views across the harbour to the Harbour Bridge and Luna Park ('Just For Fun').
And of course.. the fashions...what fun.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Report from Liverpool

Whisper's spy disguised as top selling author Lesley -Ann Jones brings us some fascinating photos from Liverpool in the UK and the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts on Graduation Day, at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, courtesy of  Sir Paul McCartney, Lead Patron of the fame school that was once his and George Harrison's grammar school, Liverpool Institute.
right: Lesley Ann Jones with Paul McCartney 
 Jones has authored a number of best selling biographies of rock stars like David Bowie and Marc Bolan and her recent tome Bohemian Rhapsody timed for the release of the recent film of the same name has been a runaway success. And there were some familiar faces receiving honorary degrees: Rowan Atkinson, ballet dancer Wayne Sleep, Stephen Fry and musician Mike Batt ( The Wombles). It doesn't get much better than that!.

and some of those Lesley-Ann Jones must reads:

Friday, July 26, 2019

So Much Fun !

An emotional Sarah Marschke is crowned Miss World Australia
I'm not sure there is anything like Queensland's Gold Coast. As a rather "downmarket" and fairly cheap holiday resort for Aussies in the 1960s it's rapidly grown to an international mega resort with pizazz and some rather strange developments over the decades. Surfer's Paradise Beach is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful on the planet. Sadly by 4pm it's overshadowed because of the huge apartment blocks that line the beachfront.
Many of Australia's more notorious "bikie gangs" have HQ-ed themselves there and once where there was one pub with a rather lively bear garden now night-clubs abound.
Nothing sums up Surfers Paradise more than Palazzo Versace, the uber glitzy resort where, well Versace style decor excels.
Mind you the Star Gold Casino gives it a run for their money.
But the Star doesn't play host to the participants the British mega TV hit show "I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here"and the hosts Ant and Holly Willoughby. (The actual filming takes place in a nearby Northern NSW rain forest property owned by feminist heroine Germaine Greer).
The Miss World quest just took place at Palazzo Versace so we must post photos of the glittering event.
The winner was 20-year-old beauty  Sarah Marschke, now: Miss World Australia 2019

The Star Casino
The 69th edition of the Miss World will be held on
 December 14, 2019 at the ExCeL London.

Sarah Marschke crowned Miss World Australia 2019

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Prime Minister News with Boris the Bore

Retiring British Prime Minister Theresa May was at a party last week discussing her plans after she leaves Number 10, Downing Street. Although May will stay on as an MP she was overheard saying she would love a really good holiday after her successor takes over. May confided she had always wanted to visit Uluru in the Northern Territory with the added bonus- it was about as far away from the halls of Westminster as she could get.
Theresa May's successor, former London Mayor and Foreign Minister Boris Johnston spent a gap year as a teaching assistant at Timbertop at Geelong Grammar School teaching maths. A group of old Geelong Grammar students were at Double Bay's Sheaf pub last week discussing old times when one ex-student brought up the memory of being taught by the next UK PM. Asked his impression of Johnson he responded : "I can't remember much about him- he was affable but boring and pretty forgettable". Ouch!.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Foodie News #3: Vale Margaret Fulton

 So sad to hear the passing of the great Margaret Fulton who for decades was Australia's most celebrated chef who sold millions of cookbooks during her career. 
Margaret, who emigrated from Scotland died at age of 94 today, which as they say, was a pretty good innings.
Read about Margaret's life at her
Wikipedia entry

Foodie News #2

Scot's born Jock Zonfrillo of Adelaide's famous fine-diner Orana Restaurant is bringing his skills to Sydney for a month from the 16th August and is accepting reservations now. Apparently bookings are flooding in for a mere $350 per head at the temporary Surry Hills' diner. But it's for a good cause with ten percent of the profits from the residency supporting Zonfrillo’s Orana Foundation, developed to foster the preservation of Indigenous food culture and create commercial opportunities for producers of Indigenous food products. And it includes a 22 course dinner. For bookings go to :

Foodie News..

The "Godfather" of Australian nouvelle cuisine Tony Bilson has been telling pals of his stint in New York as a guest chef working for US president Donald Trump for a month at his restaurant in the Trump Tower. The deal had been arranged by the Australian Trade Commissioner without Trump's knowledge. Apparently Trump questioned why he would need an Australian chef when he believed that his restaurant served up steaks the size of Texas which would surely be all any diner would want.

Trump: steaks the size of Texas

Trump's view quickly changed when he saw the caliber of guests Bilson attracted to the restaurant which was soon packed during Bilson's stay. Beginning with Rupert Murdoch who had been a regular at Bilson's Sydney restaurant and who spread the word. During Bilson's four week stay New York's top society figures booked tables and local food reviewers were raving. At the end of his four week stint Donald Trump offered Bilson a permanent residency at the Tower thrilled with the success. Just think, if Bilson had stayed he could have now been head chef at The White House.

Monday, July 8, 2019


George Washington commandeered the Airports in 1772 . reference: D.Trump
 The Fourth of July has come and gone but fortunately we discover new things all the time. US president Donald Trump has now informed us of a forgotten segment of the Revolutionary War and how, the great American patriot George Washington defeated King George's Royal Air Force in 1772.
Juanita Neilsen disappeared from Kings Cross in 1975
More importantly- it was on the 4th of July in 1975 that the Sydney campaigning journalist Juanita Neilsen disappeared after attending a Kings Cross nightclub in the afternoon to discuss advertising for her small local newspaper Now. Her body has never been found. Neislen was an heiress to the Mark Foy's department store fortune and published the newspaper  in Kings Cross. She opposed large scale development and managed to get building unions onside who banned work on the beautiful Victorian terrace houses that line Victoria Street in the Cross. They still stand today. Whispers has heard several theories on what happened to Neilsen. It's difficult to know the truth except to say such an outrage would never happen today.
You can read more about the case at her Wikipedia entry.
Victoria Street

Monday, June 24, 2019

Bianca channels the Duchess

Spotted this week at the Victoria & Albert Museum summer party was Bianca Jagger, one time wife of legendary aging rocker Sir Mick Jagger.
Guests commented on Bianca's rather remarkable new look that is reminiscent of the famous (or infamous) Margaret, The Duchess of Argyle as our pictures show. Whispers met the Duchess several times and once dined at her rather splendid home in Mayfair with the late Lady Edith Foxwell.

The daughter of a multi-millionaire businessman Margaret married the Ian Douglas Campbell the Duke of Argyle in 1951 but the marriage only lasted a few years after the Duke accused her of being unfaithful. The subsequent divorce case scandalized 1960's Britain when Polaroid photos of the Duchess were produced in court with her in flagrante delicto wearing nothing but her regular pearls. Rumours spread around town as the identity of her paramour - from cabinet minsters to the movie star Douglas Fairbanks Jr. She died in 1992 keeping her secret.
These days, Bianca Jagger serves as a Council of Europe goodwill ambassador.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Sale of The Century

Whispers is a regular at Sydney's more prominent auction houses. Its always fun and one can pick up interesting items at a budget price.
Our attention is drawn to an upcoming auction at the prestige Lawson's Auctioneers in inner Sydney Annandale. Lawsons regulatory host auctions of some of the state's more prominent households.
This week they have an online timed sale of all manner of goods from an establishment called Temple 22. We've tried to work just what this establishment was- some sort of clinic (there are lots of seemingly medical items for sale). Was it a sporting establishment- lots of assorted whips and restraints? To restrain what?. There are swings and hoists (for working under the car?) and leather features prominently.
Anyway we'll leave it to the dear reader to ponder further on this and they make like to peruse the catalogue here.
Our eye is drawn to the fabulous zebra print Chaise Lounge as featured above. You may find a whip more to your liking. Perhaps you fancy this rather interesting shower curtain.
Below: On sale- whips, paddles, masks and even a..Dunces Hat?


Saturday, May 25, 2019

Political update..

It looks like Anthony Albanese MP has the numbers to seize the Labor Party leadership after the election loss last Saturday.
Perhaps that's why, as our exclusive snap shows, he was celebrating today at Redfern Oval with Rabbitoh's coach Wayne Bennett on the right and Russell Crowe.