The Diary
Rachel Glucina looks at the top events and newsmakers of the day.

The Diary: Kylie ditching the heels for a life in gumboots

Supermodel scouring Waikato in hunt for dairy and stud farms.

Kylie Bax has her eye on farms. Photo / Getty Images
Kylie Bax has her eye on farms. Photo / Getty Images

Move over James Cameron, supermodel Kylie Bax has her eye on New Zealand's dairy farming industry. She told The Diary she relocated to Cambridge six weeks ago and is in the market to invest in two new farms - a stud and a dairy farm.

"My husband [Spiros Poros] and I are looking at buying a dairy farm and a stud farm. They are very different, I know. But we know what we want, and we've looked at a few different farms so far."

Thames-born Bax, who made a career on international modelling runways, has maintained a keen interest in racehorses. She owned a stud farm in Kentucky, and bred and raced horses with her parents, Graham and Helen-Gaye, who own Blandford Lodge in Matamata. Bax was a shareholder before selling her share to philanthropist Sir Owen Glenn about four years ago.

Asked her thoughts on Glenn's withdrawal of his application to be a White Ribbon ambassador yesterday, Bax was quick to dissociate herself.

"I've had nothing to do with Owen. He bought my share but his connection is to my parents. I really don't know him."

Bax and her family - three daughters Lito, Dione and Danae - are happy to be back in Cambridge. "It's where I grew up." She says she will "definitely be hands-on in the stud farm", but will leave the dairy farm to experts.

Given up sleeping out
Broadcaster and multi-millionaire Marc Ellis has been the face of the Lifewise Big Sleepout since its inception four years ago but is taking a break from the homelessness cause this year, a spokeswoman for the charity event said.

She said Ellis last year participated in the sleeping-rough fundraiser after attending the Prime Minister's Olympic gala dinner black-tie event, which was on the same night.

Meanwhile, Marc's More FM co-star Hayley Holt is giving her liver a break and participating in the Dry July fundraiser. Holt has sworn off booze for 30 days. It follows an on-air incident last month in which she appeared affected by alcohol and was pulled off the airwaves by bosses. Holt apologised and fans took to Facebook and Twitter to show their support for the popular star. Maybe they can whip their wallets out, too. Holt has so far raised $140 for the cause ... and counting.

Water for the Preachers Daft backstage requests - known as "riders" - from music stars are legendary. Cristal champagne and bendy straws for Mariah Carey; Van Halen's M&Ms, minus the brown ones; white bread and Dom Perignon for Axl Rose; fried chicken, Guinness and condoms for Busta Rhymes; and a tub of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter for Billy Idol.

However, Welsh rockers The Manic Street Preachers ditched the diva behaviour backstage at their X Factor performance on Monday afternoon (it was pre-recorded). Their rider request was positively modest. "They only requested three types of water: still, sparkling and vitamin water," said a rep for the show.

Perhaps they're so secure in their status as 90s icons they don't need to be pompous. Or they're willing to forgo the affected rock star demands to climb back up the music food chain and charts. Their show last night was not a sell-out. The band gave away freebies to the X Factor cast and crew.

Key to relaxation
Trelise Cooper used it. Now Australian former Prime Minister Julia Gillard could be visiting. The deposed Aussie PM has been offered the keys to the Keys' beachfront paradise on Success Court. John and Bronagh have extended an invitation to Jules and her partner, Tim Mathieson, to Camp Omaha for some private R'n'R away from the preying cobber press. Okay, it's not exactly Camp David. Or even Chequers. But in an effort for stronger transtasman relations in these fiscally-stringent times, the Minister of Tourism may have hit upon a diplomatically lucrative alternative: home stays. Or is that political home-strays?

Right boots, wrong city
"Come home from promo and this Maoris stealing my gears" [sic] tweeted Zac Guildford about his neighbour and Crusader teammate Israel Dagg, highlighting a level of cultural cringe not seen since Stan Walker's online embrace of "hori" English. However, detractors were more concerned about Dagg's sartorial violations and lapse in fashionable footwear judgment, prompting the All Black star to retort: "UGGS are key in Christchurch!" Fashion-plate Dan Carter would disagree.

Role reversal
It's fair to say Mayor Len Brown is still wrapped in the warm self-accolade glow that is the City Rail Link triumph. He bleated about it in the opening paragraph of an address he gave on Monday, which had decidedly little to do with the billboard he was tasked with launching. But self-pats and praise are to be expected, perhaps.

However, less likely was seeing Brown's political nemesis, Councillor Cameron Brewer, dispatched to Auckland's Pasifika community on Friday to hand out the inaugural Best Mayor of Auckland Awards.

How ironic that Brown - an enthusiastic fan of singing waiatas - was hobnobbing with Tories at SkyCity, while true-blue Brewer was in a lei giving mayoral awards and Pacific greetings in Manukau. Is it any wonder, then, that Island minister the Rev Uesifili UNasa is challenging for Auckland's top job?

40 years of Gina's
It's an Auckland institution, and Gina's Italian Kitchen celebrated its 40th anniversary on Sunday in suitable family fashion. The restaurant opened in 1973, so the party was 70s themed with flared jeans and Saturday Night Fever on the turntable. Former footballers Wynton Rufer and Kevin Fallon were among the names who came to pay homage to the legendary Symonds St restaurant and the guest of honour - original proprietor Gina Luckfiel. Also joining the party were former Manu Samoa rugby player Mark Birtwistle, TV commentator Clint Brown and telly exec Carol Hirschfeld.

Selfies rule
Is it a mirror? Is it a phone? Showing a level of self-appreciation that Mayor Len Brown would admire, X Factor judge Stan Walker was busted taking a selfie during a break in rehearsals on Monday.

Seeby Woodhouse, also a fan of the vanity self-portrait, played pictorial tourist at the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade.

"1.5 million people in one place is mayhem," he tweeted, making sure to get himself in among the horde.

- NZ Herald

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