Home' LOTL : May 2010 Contents 12 Lesbians On The Loose Magazine • lotl.com
Lifestyle Opinion / Profile / Travel / Food / Stars
Vanessa Barr reveals all on the Valentine
Charlton Cat Centre...
"When I was a kid I had a little grey poodle called Tuppy.
I adored her. I used to clip her hair badly, take her for long
walks in the countryside and secretly let her sleep under
my bedcovers when my mum wasn't looking," says
Vanessa Barr, veterinarian, associate professor, registered
feline medicine specialist and Head of Small Animal
Medicine at Sydney Uni.
But it wasn't the love of Tuppy that spurred Barr to a
career in vet science -- rather a TV show on the ABC...
"When I was 11 I watched All Creatures Great and Small
and I was instantly hooked. This was a series about the
life of a country vet in Yorkshire, James Herriot. He had
great compassion for animals, empathy for his clients and
told lots of funny anecdotes about his life as a vet. I bought
all the books and adopted a terrible Yorkshire accent for
a while. After I did work experience at the local vets I
thought yep, this is for me."
As a kid, Tuppy was her life, but these days the dog loving
Barr spends much of her time with cats thanks to her
specialty in feline medicine and her job at the Valentine
Charlton Cat Centre (VCCC). The VCCC is a cat hospital
at Sydney University's Faculty of Veterinary Science. It's
located on Parramatta Road Camperdown and it's just for
cats. "It opened in 2004 after a very special cat owner,
Ms Valentine Charlton, left her estate in a bequest to The
University of Sydney," explains Barr. "The VCCC has been
purpose built as a state-of-the-art cat hospital and is
staffed by highly quali ed specialists. It has ve consulting
rooms, a feline intensive care ward, a treatment room
and an oncology ward. It also has a radioiodine ward for
treating hyperthyroidism - a debilitating but common and
curable disease of older cats."
The VCCC is part the University Veterinary Teaching
Hospital and as such has state-of-the-art facilities. "The
VCCC aims to provide the best quality health care to cats,"
offers Vanessa. "The feline medicine referral service is run
by me, a registered specialist in feline medicine and one
other cat specialist, Associate Professor Julia Beatty. If
your cat is sick, for example with heart disease, diabetes
or cancer, you can be referred to us from your regular
"We are one of the only centres in the world to train new
feline specialists. Our philosophy when it comes to animal
care is to alleviate pain and suffering, to give owners
accurate information about the prognosis of the medical
problem that their cat has and to provide state-of-the-art
The VCCC is at 65 Parramatta Rd, Camperdown.
Associate Professor Vanessa Barr (left) with Lotus and
Associate Professor Julia Beatty with Jasper.
The way Australia drinks wine is changing.
No longer the inaccessible and stu y culture it
once was, pioneers in the industry are pulling
back the cellar doors to everyone who wants to have a
look -- and a taste. Jump on board.
Angela Brown and Lynette Rae are among those
taking wine back to the people. Combining a mu-
tual love of entertaining, the couple have established
Wine Odyssey, a wine bar, shop, and restaurant in
e Rocks, a treasured and iconic neighbourhood in
Angela says, "We met and fell in love and be-
came half the Brady bunch." It has been ten years
together and the couple have three children. Over
the years they built a house together and then sold
the house to follow their dreams and start their
wine bar. " e children have taken over running
the house," they joke, and say that keeping both
their household and the business running is a fam-
ily a air.
A sense of family and comfort is at the centre
of Wine Odyssey. Angela and Lynette set up shop
in a heritage building that dates back to the late
1800s, and one truly feels like you've come to visit
a friend's home.
"People come and sit and read here all day with
a glass of wine," Lynette says. " ey feel really com-
fortable here. We like to think of it as a little sanc-
tuary." During our visit people were talking and
laughing while sipping on glasses of wine while a
few groups ate in the restaurant. It was like being
at a party where you're just yet to meet your new
favourite person. " e word is 'warmth'," Angela
says. "It's sensual thing. We think food and wine
ere's nothing sexier than a clever mind, and
Wine Odyssey is there to teach. Lynette says they
wanted a "wine bar for grown-ups." A wine bar
for grown-ups it is. With a tasting theatre, aroma
room, classes, and corporate functions, there isn't
one part of wine knowledge and appreciation that
Lynette and Angela have missed. However, they
keep it simple and avoid anything that could alien-
ate people insecure of their wine con dence.
Showcasing only Australian wine, Wine Od-
yssey is the perfect place to sample more than 55
wines by the glass or nd that special bottle. An-
gela and Lynette have given special attention to
small, boutique wineries that get lost in the mess of
large chains. Lynette says, " ese wine makers are
passionate. It's a work of art."
Not only is the wine a work of art, the cuisine
is made with just as much care. e team at Wine
Odyssey source free range, cruelty-free, organic or
biodynamic products whenever possible, further-
ing their commitment to sustainability.
Lynette and Angela say they don't want to come
across as "wine wankers" and feel as though they
are on a continuous journey with wine themselves.
ey've simply asked to turn your wine infatuation
into a full-blown love a air. Join them.
Wine Odyssey is located at The Rocks.
A Wine Odyssey
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