Sunday, September 25, 2011


There are many things I should be doing - I'm not even going to list them because it's too scary - but instead, while I'm waiting for the last load of washing to finish, I'm sitting here eating mulberries. They are so good. Not quite sweet as those I remember from my childhood though. We lived on an unusually large block where we kept chickens and to give them shade there was a mulberry tree. My parents planted it after much pleading from me because we needed, at least in my opinion, a mulberry tree. Quite apart from the berries we had a large number of silkworms to feed. My parents, bless them, indulged me and both I and the hens, which loved any berries that fell and I guess the silkworms - were all happy. My brothers and I used to climb the tree and pick vast quantities of the luscious fruit - and eat as many as we picked. Any that weren't eaten fresh Mum converted into tarts, pies and jam. Yum!

Monday, September 19, 2011

I Wasn't Going To Do This.

Really! But it's International Talk Like a Pirate Day. So ahoy there, me hearties, and ye'll be glad you did. Get ye along to the official web site here. Don't miss the videos at the beginning. Those folk'll show you how to have a good time. Arr.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Some Thoughts On Death

No I'm not dying although over the last two years far too many people dear to me, both young and old, have died. For some reason, following the most recent funeral, I remembered having read this by Sara Douglass, an Australian fantasy author who is suffering from advanced ovarian cancer.
What she says about the expectations the healthy have of the chronically ill or dying was powerful stuff, something I think we all should read and take note of.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

At Home With Julia

For me this so-called sit com on ABC television is just wrong. It's nothing to do with politics and nothing to do with humour. I'd be just as offended if it was Tony Abbott and his wife and for the same reason. Family members and partners of politicians (or any other person in the public eye for that matter) should be entitled to have their privacy respected and to be treated with respect. They are not public figures except by connection so they should not be the butt of misguided jokes. I was already uneasy when I saw the promos but it only got worse. The targeting of the Prime Minister's partner is not political satire. It is insulting and disrespectful.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Ageism in Writing and Film

Having a wander through my blog roll - which is enormous and why I don't get to look at each blog as often as I would like - I came across this on Ellen Datlow's LJ where she has something to say about the way older women are depicted in books and film.

As a woman of mature years myself I am continually amazed at the depiction of women over fifty as somehow on the road to decrepitude while men are apparently ruggedly attractive. It's particularly noticeable in movies and on television where we actually see pairings of the young and beautiful woman with the ageing man. Men, it seems in the world of film, grow more attractive and women - well, in most of these productions, once over fifty, they either morph into The Mother (even today she seems to spend much of her life cooking), The Cougar - what a ridiculous term that is - who is in desperate and inappropriate search of her lost youth or The Dotty but Loveable Fool while in books they often just vanish.

I can't remember ever seeing a steamy love scene involving a sixty or seventy something woman with anyone, let alone with a twenty something man and we see far too many of them, in my opinion, between an older man and a much younger woman (young enough to be his granddaughter in some cases). These are the scenes where the camera focusses lovingly on the youthful beauty while the man is barely visible because, let's face it, his body, just a like a woman's of the same age, is no longer what it was. This, of course, doesn't prevent the man acting as the hero or the romantic lead and nor should it. Movies are fantasy after all but it would be nice if they didn't ignore a very large part of the population. Women don't disappear as they age in real life. Why do they in books and film?

The truth is that while women age so do men. Neither looks like their youthful self and, with maturity, their interests have changed as much as their appearance has. This doesn't mean either is nothing more than a collection of sagging wrinkles, shuffling towards death. In fact most of the women I know in their sixties and seventies are full of life and enjoying new interests as are the men but they are accorded respect while women are not.

Let's be realistic here. Ageing is a progression we all go through and to relegate women to obscurity or to depict them as worn out seekers after a lost youth while pretending the same does not apply to men is highly insulting.

Monday, September 05, 2011

I Hate Spring!

That's it. I will return if I can ever breathe again - and, because I like to believe justice will prevail, those people who thought it was a good idea to plant wattles EVERYWHERE will eventually get their just rewards.