Sunday, December 28, 2008

an interlude from pain...

Went through me mum's photos the other day... and came up with some great black and white images (some not so good) that I scanned it - very therapeutic (for a while) - so decided to make a montage - I've only used black & white (or sepia toned) ones... and ones that included a grandparent at the very least... I threatened you with these photos, so enjoy... but if you'd rather check out the slideshow (with captions), you can view it here!!!

As for me... loneliness, emptiness, heartache... I'm in that place at the moment... so here's a poem...

The Silent Tear © by Kayla Minor

It comes at night when no one is watching
It comes so soft, that it barely has a feeling
When it comes, your heart is at ease
And the only thing that is on your mind, is
Now the agony can finally leave

As you gaze into the emptiness that fills the air
A Droplet tends to fall
While your memory races back to the time
When you thought you had it all

You try to hold in what is deeply within your soul
But the burning is so intense; that you just
Can't help but to let it go

During the night a stain is made
And at the same time all your pain is able to fade
The only true feeling that you feel, is the wetness of
A drop that is left by a single tear.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

2008 - a really shit year...

Farewell Aunty Al....

another sad time... me Aunty Al died last Thursday - the funeral was yesterday... (and if you're wondering what the cake's doing on her 'remembrance' card, she was renowned for her 'sweets' passion!!!)

So, last night was a really weepy night...

did I mention Brann and I split up as well? - so I guess some of the tears were for a relationship ended... no point assigning blame - I'm too worn out with grief... we just couldn't give each other what we needed from each other... what timing though...

so I'm going to go and cry my eyes out (again) - and toast lost friends... and wonder how me and the 'gang' can afford to stay in this house... at least until the end of the lease... ooooh, $1700 per month rent will mean a very frugal existence indeed...

fuck, there's still a few days left of 2008 - what else can it throw at me??? roll on 2009 - but then, there's me mum and her illness... and me old girl Allie has to get through summer yet - maybe just roll on 2010!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

strange, this mother/daughter relationship...

"we've never really been a demonstrative family" me mum said today as she handed me an envelope, "and I'm not very good at saying how I feel" - so it was touching when I read the card she gave me...

seems that our relationship is changing - we get on a lot better now... all the powers of attorney (medical and general) have been sorted... we're talking about what she really wants at the end... she can still get around sort of... she gets so very tired so very easily... and she's a lot more feeble now... that's a shock - for her as well!!! - but she's still wanting to be so very independent - that's my mum for you!!!

we had a good talk and laugh looking through some photos today... she's going to go through all her photos and write what she remembers on each of them (none of us have ever really been good at 'organising' that sort of stuff - Judy's photos are just shoved into a box!!!!)

so many memories in that box though - from me great-grandmother (Nanny Great!!) who ran away from New Zealand with a catholic priest!!! - to me great-grandfather who was gay - he and my great-grandmother (Nanny Bev) did what was expected of them (at a time when the only accepted relationships were heterosexual) - they had kids... me nan had the mandatory family and could 'hold her head high' as a "fulfilled woman" - but she didn't have to have the man around all the time... Grandfather, having married and 'bred', could live his life (he was an 'artiste' - very bohemian!!!) and spend his time with his actual life partner, Les.

Ooh, there are soooo many stories - Grandfather was actually my step-great-grandfather, my grandfather was my nan's second husband (in a time when divorce wasn't easy!!!) - she threw the first husband out - he was apparently a no-hoping womanizer!!!!

Maybe some of the pictures I get from me mum will inspire me to write about some of these people in depth...

anyway I'm off for eleven days straight starting from this saturday - so I can see myself blogging a bit more then...

Monday, December 8, 2008

I had the house all to myself (with the 'gang' of course) all day and night on Saturday - so it was a very lazy day... well, Sunday was pretty lazy too!!!! I got a lot of 'reading' done...

My friend 'Lil left a comment on my last post which I have to quote from...

"as bibliophiles we know the power of the book as an object that can travel so far and hold so many stories in its very 'skin'."

it's quite interesting 'Lil mentioned "People of the Book" by Geraldine Brooks...

I just happen to be listening to it at the moment too... it's 'inspired' by a true story... the journey of a rare illuminated manuscript - the Sarajevo Haggadah... it's also about Hanna, a rare-book conservator - her passion and dedication... we follow the Haggadah from the 15th century through to 1996 where Hanna gets the chance to restore the artefact... and why tell you more - it's worth reading!!

and in between listening to this, I also finished reading "Dewey : The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World" - I think you might be able to work out what this one's about... it is a really touching story - and beware, tissues are a must when you get to the end of it... beautiful and sad... it's not just about Dewey though, it's also about the people who became his family, and their lives as well... go on, you know you want to read it!!!!

I also managed to watch "The brave one" with Jodie Foster... I quite 'enjoyed' it... sometimes you just need to watch a 'vigilante' film - although the outcome was very unlikely - but definitely desirable!!!! Of course, Jodie Foster was brilliant - or is that just my bias???

And on that note, I'm going to bed and starting another book - "Cups with no handles" - another Summer Read recommendation.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

food for the mind....

“A well-composed book is a magic carpet on which we are wafted to a world that we cannot enter in any other way” ... Caroline Gordon.

and I think "The Zookeeper's War" by Steven Conte takes us to that world.

It's 1943, wartime Berlin. Vera (an Australian and the central character), zookeeper and wife of Axel Frey, the director of the Berlin Zoo, are trying to keep the animals alive and maintain a semblence of 'normal' daily life as the conditions become harsher and more heartbreaking.

The story moves in and out of the main characters' lives and that's where we learn what enticed Vera to travel to Berlin when all were gearing up for war.

People's fear and dawning awareness that no-one was really safe no matter who they supported was starting to take it's toll. Constant vigilance was a necessity - informers were everywhere - it didn't take much to get you 'noticed' by the gestapo - even Vera's Australian accent was bringing her more and more under suspicion as an enemy alien. It was a desperate fight for survival - rape, death, destruction, bombs falling all around them, rationing, the heartbreak of the animals dying from starvation, disease, bomb damage... and amidst all this her passionate but dangerous affair with Martin, an Ostarbeiter.

It's moving, it's sad, it's brutal - a poignant picture of ordinary people during an extraordinary time trying to maintain a vestige of hope when all around is in decline.

But most of all, it was 'un-put-downable' - not bad for a first novel!!!

It's one of the recommended books on the State Library's Summer Reading List, and this year the criteria is that they're either set in Victoria or written by Victorian authors.

The Reading Victoria blog is worth having a look at too - it's being posted to by all the authors on the list over the next few weeks...

Friday, November 28, 2008

yet more illness and sadness...

one of my mother's oldest, dearest and closest friends - Alison (aka aunty Al) is ill and receiving palliative care at home... she's part of my extended family - if it wasn't for her and me mum I wouldn't be here now, having contracted pneumonia when I was born... the hospital sent me home to die... I couldn't be laid down so 'aunty Al' and me mum took rotating shifts for a number of weeks to keep me upright and alive (and we're talking keeping me upright 24 hours a day!!!)

She's had a long battle with many illnesses - I saw her in hospital earlier this year but she's never really been well for years... I spoke to her the other day and she just didn't seem to be with it at all... my heart goes out to Jenny (her daughter and my childhood friend)...

this is Jen, with me dad at me brother's wedding way back in the early 70's...unfortunately I don't have a picture of aunty Al so will have to check me mum's stockpile of photos...

we've drifted apart over the years, different lifestyles, living in different areas, but that doesn't mean we haven't kept up with what's happening in each others lives - and we're always there when needed - we're 'family' (and family to me doesn't mean blood - the nurturing environment makes the family - blood ties really mean very little in the scheme of things - just because you're related by blood doesn't mean you automatically like someone - most of the closest people to me aren't related by blood, but are more important to me because they've been there for always, regardless of my 'follies'!!!)

unfortunately my partner doesn't understand that - his comment to me the other day when I told him it's not looking good for Aunty Al - he feels sorry for her but what the fuck is my problem? why the fuck am I so upset... it's not like we're close... blah, blah, blah... so much support!!!! but then he doesn't even bother to ask how my mother is (and of course aunty Al's illness is really going to impact on her)...

then there was the 'bombshell' he dropped the other morning when I was leaving for work... he's 'going away' for 6 months and he'll be RENTING OUT HIS ROOM...

going away - fine, still paying his share of the rent - fine, but renting out his room (what, they wouldn't be using the kitchen, bathroom, etc. etc.) - not fine... I was shaking and distressed by the time I got to work... thanks Sailor Lil for your shoulder to cry on (literally) and the cuddle you gave me when I really needed one... a friend indeed!!!!

thought we had a commitment when we moved in here... we signed the lease for 12 months... regardless of anything we were committed for that time at least because neither of us could afford to be left in the lurch - that was spoken about before we signed the lease... and accommodation's hard to come by when you have animals, 3 actually - 2 dogs and a cat - hence this house - animals were welcome... apparently commitment means nothing... the animals mean nothing...

guess if it comes to it we'll just have to live really frugally, me and the 'kids' - the house isn't exactly cheap - nearly $1700 per month... then there's all the other bills - but no stranger will be moving in here!!!

just what I need - more crap, more stress!!!!

feeling slightly betrayed... and very depressed...

okay, while I'm being a tad sad, here's some music I listen to when I'm down - no, I won't 'burden' you with Barnsie - here's the Badloves... enjoy...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

timely reminders....

It's sad that there's yet another 'ribbon' day coming up - WHITE RIBBON DAY - November 25th (Tuesday) - International Day for the Elimination of VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN...

"White Ribbon Day - History

White Ribbon Day was created by a handful of Canadian men in 1991 on the second anniversary of one man's massacre of fourteen women in Montreal. They began the White Ribbon Campaign to urge men to speak out against violence against women...." to read more go to the White Ribbon Foundation of Australia.

shameful isn't it that violence is still so brutally perpetrated against women in all countries under all political and religious systems...

and coming up to that major commercial time of year the Age had a very timely article on it's front page...

"Backyard puppy factories just waiting for the next bitch on heat

Carmel Egan
November 23, 2008

Belinda Russo, an animal management officer at Lort Smith Animal Hospital, holds three puppies she says were dumped by backyard breeders.

SHE is a dog with no name who lives in a bric-a-brac jumble by her master's back door. Her owner appears surprised when asked her name and seems to pluck "Suzy" from the air. A small, grey-and-white crossbreed with matted hair, she doesn't respond to Suzy. She snarls and squabbles with her litter of hungry pups over a bowl of dog pellets..." read more here.

I wrote about this cruelty 12 months ago now - nothing ever changes - my babe Allie was a brood bitch in a puppy factory and almost died at the age of 4 - you can read her story by clicking her picture and read more about puppy factories here..

and so many people think of animals as the perfect xmas gift without thinking beyond the gift giving time... let's not forget - COMPANION ANIMALS ARE FOR LIFE, NOT JUST FOR XMAS!!!!


and on that note - it's just a quick post today - it's only a short weekend for me as I'm working tomorrow (normally my day off!!! - but I do get a day off in lieu) - I'm going to an all day seminar (so at least I'm not dealing with the public!!) at the museum called Collections and the Web with a big emphasis on Web 2.0 stuff... I'm really looking forward to it - but now I'm going to check the yummy Greek style baked vegies in tomato sauce I've got bubbling away in the oven and smelling wonderful... so it's ciao for now.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Public service sucks bigtime!!!!

well, makes you sick at the very least!!!! They're a sharing lot, the public - especially when it comes to their insidious little bugs!!! I've been 'laid low' for the last three days with a horrible gastric bug... I won't go into that though, suffice to say I felt like fucking crap!!! I guess there's a bit of stress happening too... me mum's just been 'officially' diagnosed in the later stage of chronic kidney disease - that's after 12 months of being ill since her not-very-successful, debilitating keyhole gall bladder surgery - part of the problem with her kidneys now!!! oooh, think there's a bit of anger there as well - we're talking about power of medical attorney stuff at the moment... she doesn't want dialysis at her age - guess I'm the one she trusts to enforce her decision if she can't - but I'll think about that tomorrow....

I received a postcard yesterday - you really have to wonder about the postal services... it was from my friend Steph who was travelling in Italia way back in june and july... dated 15/7/08!!! You have to wonder where it's been all that time - did it go on its own journey around the world?? was it sat in some mail house somewhere?? or was it just in a neighbours house waiting for them to re-direct it??

Anyway thought I'd share it - I was a tad taken aback at receiving something with the leader of that misogynistic, anti-gay, roman catholic church adorning it (and they're big on adornment!!!) - then realised it's coming up to that dreaded 'can't get away from christmas carols' time of year so thought advertising maybe - until I read it and realised who it was from...

(I found 2 different meanings for grande testa - big head or mighty loaf... both seem apt!!!)

and, on that note, I'm going to make the most of being out of bed, feeling better and seeing the lovely sunshine out there I think it's time to enjoy the garden - it's looking good - especially after the rain we've had - that's a wonderful sight and sound... we might not hear it too much more!!! It has been a pretty productive little patch this year - lots of spinach, parsley, coriander, onions, lettuce, carrots - there's something about being able to walk out the back and pick enough food if not for a meal, at least part of one... the tomatoes and beans are taking off, beetroot and zucchini have just been planted, the herbs are looking good - the grapefruit and peach tree are looking wonderful - can't wait to see what sort of peaches - everything just looks alive!!!!!

Here's a bit of a collage of parts of the backyard at the moment... if you look hard, you can just make out 'thereheis' in the bottle brush -you get a picture of Loudle (aka Louis and lots of other names) because he just happened to be in the yard at the time - of course there's no just sitting on the ground for a poodle!!!! and the old girl, well she was inside under the bed - that's another thing - she's doing a lot more lying around, sleeping... she's gettin' old.... a picture of her next time!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

a lazy weekend... but oh so enjoyable!!!!

I'm glad to say no 'trick-or-treaters' came to my door on Friday night - I didn't have to disappoint any kiddies... but what a tragedy in America - a 12 year old boy shot and killed... it's such a frightening place... yet an interesting time politically - an historic time?? we'll know tomorrow...

on that note - 4 days off - in a row!!! I've done nothing, or done a lot this weekend... depends on your interpretation...

finished reading one book...

As darkness falls, by a new Australian author - Bronwyn Parry - she describes it as romantic suspense - I'd call it psychological suspense with a bit of erotica and romance thrown in... there's abduction, a hurt woman (emotionally, mentally and physically), a hurt man (emotionally, physically and mentally), a serial killer (of course!!!) a lot of time together, and a dog named Finn... I enjoyed the story and the depiction of the Aussie bush!!!

started reading another one...

Damaged goods, the third book in June Hampson's Daisy Lane series, set in England in the 1960s during the Kray Brothers 'reign' - you get the picture of the type of people and time it's based - killings, pay-backs, violence - I enjoy her writing too - it's written in real sorta like cockney like way a speakin' luv... so it mightn't be 'everyone's cuppa tea luv'... but I'm comfortable with it.

oooohhh, certainly has been a slack loooong weekend... all of the domestic stuff that had to be done got done (it's amazing what you can make yourself believe doesn't need doing!!!!)

Did a lot of dvd watching the last couple of days too - watched some Torchwood, some Weeds, and some old (Basil Rathbone) Sherlock Holmes - it's been sooooo slack - grouse, because it's going to be a busy weekend next week...

of course, I've smoked a lot of dope, eaten a lot of munchies, drunk a lot of tea and coffee - and enjoyed every minute of it!!!!

I think my body and my mind have needed this time off... there should be more of it - I am oh so getting past working all the time - I've been in the workforce since 1970!!! even to be able to cut down by one day a week would be so good!!!!

dream on woman!!!! it's back to the real world tomorrow!!!!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

a christian corruption of a Celtic belief?

Halloween was a topic for conversation at work today... not something we really celebrate here in Australia... with good reason!!!!

"Samhain became the Halloween we are familiar with when Christian missionaries attempted to change the religious practices of the Celtic people. In the early centuries of the first millennium A.D., before missionaries such as St. Patrick and St. Columcille converted them to Christianity, the Celts practiced an elaborate religion through their priestly caste, the Druids, who were priests, poets, scientists and scholars all at once. As religious leaders, ritual specialists, and bearers of learning, the Druids were not unlike the very missionaries and monks who were to Christianize their people and brand them evil devil worshippers.

As a result of their efforts to wipe out "pagan" holidays, such as Samhain, the Christians succeeded in effecting major transformations in it. In 601 A.D. Pope Gregory the First issued a now famous edict to his missionaries concerning the native beliefs and customs of the peoples he hoped to convert. Rather than try to obliterate native peoples' customs and beliefs, the pope instructed his missionaries to use them: if a group of people worshipped a tree, rather than cut it down, he advised them to consecrate it to Christ and allow its continued worship.

In terms of spreading Christianity, this was a brilliant concept and it became a basic approach used in Catholic missionary work. Church holy days were purposely set to coincide with native holy days. Christmas, for instance, was assigned the arbitrary date of December 25th because it corresponded with the mid-winter celebration of many peoples. Likewise, St. John's Day was set on the summer solstice..."
read the article here

and not only is it a christian corruption, it's an american commercialization of a christian corruption!!!!

"The imagery surrounding Halloween is largely an amalgamation of the Halloween season itself, nearly a century of work from American filmmakers and graphic artists, and a rather commercialized take on the dark and mysterious. Halloween imagery tends to involve death, magic, or mythical monsters. Traditional characters include... witches, owls, crows, vultures, pumpkin-men, black cats, spiders...

Particularly in America, symbolism is inspired by classic horror films, which contain fictional figures like Frankenstein's monster and The Mummy. Elements of the autumn season, such as pumpkins and scarecrows, are also prevalent. Homes are often decorated with these types of symbols around Halloween..." Wikipedia

I hate this graphic depiction of wise women (aka witches)...

the old decrepit hag,

or the mysterious woman

(I have to put this in here - from an earlier post - THE WITCH / WISE WOMAN

“Women have always been healers. They were the unlicensed doctors and anatomists of western history. They were abortionists, nurses and counselors. They were pharmacists, cultivating healing herbs and exchanging the secrets of their uses. They were mid-wives, traveling from home to home and village to village. For centuries women were doctors without degrees, barred from books and lectures, learning from each other, and passing on experience from neighbour to neighbour and mother to daughter. They were called “wise women” by the people, witches or charlatans but the authorities.” .. Witches, midwives & nurses: a history of women healers

they were ALL of these - healers, midwives - oooooh, dare I say doctors - AND sensual beings, sexual beings - they were WOMEN / WOMYN / WOMIN!!!!!

Unfortunately this was the reality of the 'witch-hunts' - women slaughtered!!!!

This is Bridget Bishop's hanging - check out some shit about her... she was a strong woman, and oooooh, apparently sensual and sexual - a no-no in a patriarchal misogynistic world!!!!!

today she'd be called slut, whore, (another older post - the politics of language).....

or read about Eunice "Goody" Cole - the "Witch Of Hampton" ....
.... i'm a tad bewildered by the acceptance of this crap and the depiction and acceptance of women as ugly, evil - those fucking frightening creatures - witches, (midwives and nurses) -- the slaughter of our sisters - and sympathetic brothers... guess I'm sick of patriarchal shit, american garbage... if you 'play' along with it, you never change it, you just accept it!!!!

.... I'm pretty sure I'll be coming back to this post soon....

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Does jargon do your head in like it does mine? Ever felt like this?

I've been doing some research this morning (ooooh, it's afternoon already!!!! where did the time go???) - been trying to get my head around virtual private networks (very exciting hey!!!).

I came across this graphic... made me laugh (and I certainly needed a laugh after the geek-speak I've been wading through!!!)

And a laugh was good before I tackled researching dialysis because it appears that when my mother had keyhole surgery to remove her gall bladder 12 months ago apparently her "kidney function was affected" - sounds like another way of saying they fucked up!!! Far out - she's 79 going on 80 - she's at the "having to be informed about it" stage - functioning isn't quite bad enough for 'action' yet - but they're getting her thinking about it just in case... hence a lot of 'surfing' to find out more information and what, if any, alternatives exist.

at the moment it's all just tooooo much.... I'm going to have a few bongs...


(now this would make an interesting storytime!!!)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

a (very) quick snapshot of my 1963

Check this out...

I look like a fucking child bride - obviously a christian form of barbaric, ritualistic (paedophilic?!) sacrifice (being given over to christ - to be submissive and subservient??) I would have been 7 going on 8 years old here, and having had no choice in being christened a catholic, it appears I also had no choice in making my 'first communion' - huh, the brainwashing didn't succeed as I got older though!!!!

the religious landscape was changing - vatican ii was bringing (supposed) radical change within the church, it's hierarchy, and women's place within the church structure was becoming less regimented - now they were going to be able to get out of their cloisters and into the world - some were going to cope, some weren't - even their 'habit' was going to change -

From this... to this... to this...

(and then of course they were able to throw off the 'shackles' of the habit and wear 'civilian' clothes). Now that could be freaky to some who had spent most of their lives totally covered from head to toe (not unlike the Arabic hijab, or the Iranian / Pakistani chador and all the other variations in between, hey??!) - they hadn't had to make 'life' decisions since entering the convents and their days (and very loooong days they were spent in menial labour - cooking, cleaning, tending the sick, teaching - you know how it goes - same old same old where women were concerned!!!) were totally structured, and some hadn't had to deal with the outside world in decades!!!

If you've never seen the ABC mini-series "Brides of christ" it's well worth watching... it's a 'glimpse' of what it was like going to a catholic girls school in the 60s & early 70s - it's just like I remember - although some of the nuns could be a lot more violent!!!! Some of them loved their corporal punishment!!! (and let's not forget the christian brothers and priests here - or their paediphilia and child abuse that finally came out into the open - sorry, is still being 'uncovered'!!!)

It's not surprising that kids growing up in this era were the ones who walked away from the catholic church in droves in the 70s...

a nun tending the 'medicinal crop'???

I couldn't resist this because it (graphically) flowed perfectly from catholicism into another 1963 'happening' - the "Hunter Valley cannabis infestation" - ha, it took the New South Wales government 9 years to eradicate it.

"The cause of the infestation has never been positively identified. One theory suggests that the cause was the sluicing of waste products from chicken farms in the area which were using imported chicken feed containing a small proportion of cannabis seed which was then washed into the Hunter River and its tributaries. Another theory suggests that some seed was deliberately planted by United States military personnel who were stationed at the Singleton Australian army base."

Of course women were still fighting for their own identity, and 1963 was a perfect climate for Betty Friedan's "The Feminine Mystique" - in which she offers a critique of Freud's penis envy theory - to be published.

"The book became a bestseller, which some people suggest was the impetus for the second wave of feminism, and significantly spurred the women's movement".

1963 also saw John Kennedy (JFK to most) announce that America's commitment to Vietnam would be scaled down with the immediate withdrawal of 1,000 advisers. He was assassinated a week later - funny 'bout that - apparently it wasn't time to lessen involvement , but to ramp it up!! Australia had sent 30 army instructors in 1962 to assist in training the South Vietnamese Army but with Lyndon Johnston 'inheriting' the presidency, and calling on the allied nations to become more involved, the war was about to escalate - American involvement in the Vietnam War went from 16,000 American soldiers in 1963 to 550,000 in early 1968 - which of course led to mass demonstrations, the save our sons movement and an expanding consciousness of the horror of war - left-wing politics was on the rise - but that's in 1964 and 1965 so we'll get to that next time.

Unfortunately, this was also the year my parents split up - I went to live with me mum and me 11 year old brother went to live with me dad - with every weekend at me dad's for me, and Tuesday's with us for me brother.

What changes lay in store??? My life was changing dramatically.... whether I wanted it to or not!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008


it's no longer a crime to procure or provide an abortion!!!!! It's been a long time coming, and it's still not free - but at least it's been taken out of the Crimes Act!!!

BUT, it should always have been MY CHOICE because

now, all we have to do is make marijuana legal;

make being a carnivore illegal - by the way, October is VEGETARIAN AWARENESS MONTH - treat animals with respect and compassion;

bring about the downfall of patriarchy and capitalism (oooh - almost happening now!!!)

then my world (and everyone else's) will be a little bit happier to live in!!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

History DOES repeat...

here we are, 2008, and still no free, safe, legal abortion on demand... we've got an Abortion Law Reform Bill going to the Upper House today - and already there are government members trying to water it down!!!

Far out, way back in the 60s the fight was raging - backyard abortions were rife and women were dying... it was in 1967 that Bertram Wainer took up the battle against police corruption for protecting backyard abortionists and fought for the reproductive rights of women along with his partner Jo Wainer - eventually setting up the Fertility Control Clinic.

"Before 1969 and the Menhennit ruling abortion was completely illegal. It was conducted clandestinely. There were twelve doctors who provided reasonably safe, reasonably competent abortions, but at a very high price. You found them through an underground network - taxi drivers, pubs, mates (it was the usually the responsibility of the man involved to find the abortion provider and to pay for the abortion. The woman just risked her body, her life and her dignity).

In addition to that there were non-medically trained abortion providers, the most famous of whom was a butcher by trade who operated on kitchen tables around Footscray. Of course, not being a doctor he didn't have access to anaesthetics so he used to stuff a rag in the woman's mouth to stop her screaming and disturbing the neighbours.

If the providers got into trouble, they couldn't call an ambulance and have the woman admitted to hospital because they would have gone to jail for fifteen years or longer, whether a doctor or not. Women died. We will never know how many as they all had body disposal systems - dump them in Port Phillip Bay, bury them in Sherbrooke forest, arrange with the local undertaker to bury two bodies in one coffin.

It was a very dangerous and totally humiliating experience. It didn't stop women from having abortions, but it was very, very bad and a lot of women died. There was a whole ward at the Royal Women's Hospital devoted to women who were there as a result of damage from abortion - they had a thirty bed ward dedicated to it. 

There was a special room set aside for women who were dying. Septacaemia and gangrene were the major risks in the pre-antibiotic era."

Friday, October 3, 2008

It comes around so fast these days...

but, in case you didn't know... October is internationally known as Breast Cancer Month.

Check out these organisations if you want to learn more or read some very moving stories... or plan or join an event (just click on the pictures).

and if you haven't listened to this before... she has a wonderful voice - [Standing all the way] pink ribbon original Rachael Chatoor...


Monday, September 29, 2008

More of livin' in the 60's....

There was an article in the Age "Sunday Life" magazine yesterday about Luna Park - icon of my childhood (and many others, still!!!)

Me mum was the 'head cashier' at both Luna Park and the Palais Theatre in the 60s - it was grouse... a wonderful place and time for a child to be growing up...

One of the stories my mother told us (and still does, she's 79 after all!) was when the Rolling Stones appeared at the Palais in 1965.  She was asked by some fans to get them to autograph some pictures and hard-saved for record albums (yep, vinyl it was way back then!!!) - so she took the 'stuff' and left it with them - unfortunately they did have the reputation as 'bad boys' - and they proved it to her... everything she'd taken to them for signing was destroyed - records, pictures, whatever she gave them!!!! She then had to apologise to all the fans that "trusted" her with their valuable possessions!!! And of course my mother hasn't forgiven them to this day!!!! "Dirty, rotten little bastards" is still her term for the Rolling Stones!!!!

So many memories of the 60s - so much happening - and sorry my posts are non-sequential - I'm jumping around all over the place - I've yet to even mention Australia's first foray into Vietnam in 1962 - guess we know what the next post will be about!!!!

By the way, I'm trying out a new browser - Google Chrome - check it out - I love it's 'intuitive-ness' (is that even a word??) - looks like it might be bye-bye IE and Firefox for me... I'm loving it!!!! 

Monday, September 22, 2008

some good news (finally), and some bad news...

On the good news side:

I got an email from some friends the other evening - they've been trying to get pregnant for so very long... it's been hard, physically, emotionally and mentally - and finally they're going to be parents!!!!! Way to go Amanda and Chris!!!! The picture opposite is their ultrasound of "flipper" - their term not mine!! - I did get a laugh out of that though!!!!

Have a Baby Cocktail Mocktail for me (recipe instructions: 1 part Pineapple juice, 1 part Cream, mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker / stirrer and pour into an unusually shaped glass. Add Crushed Ice and decorations!)

being the 'connoisseur' of cocktails that one of them is, she might need this... "Margarita Mama - Mocktails for Moms-To-Be" - at least she can 'daydream'!!!! because now comes the readjustment... the changing of lifestyle... the excitement!!! (ohhhhh, but please don't ever lose the 'art' of conversation!!!! it can happen!!!) - and the responsibility... who could be bothered (oops, that's just a 53 year old talking - thinking about having a child around now!!! really, I don't have enough energy for me and what goes on in my life...) I am extremely happy for them though - and they're going to need that stamina!!! they're lovely people, and they'll be great parents... so much life experience, so much wisdom - oh, I should say they're 20-odd years younger than me hence so much enthusiasm and physical ability!!!!

And the bad news is:

I go back to work tomorrow - yuk!!!! I can't believe my two weeks off went so quickly... it was a really good break... just winding down... a nice few days away (me, Allie & Louie) - life's been pretty good since we've been back... unfortunately the burning question now is "why can't I win some money so I can be a woman of leisure permanently"??!!! Oh well, them's the breaks I guess... trouble with being working class... oooh, but what does work have in store for me????

and just for the hell of it (and because it's from the 60s):

I was going through some photos the other day and came across this one... me (the tallest - must have been the oldest too - I'm just not taller than others!!!!) and family friends. It's 1962 and I'm 7 years old - don't you just love the pom-poms on the top!!!! and that hairstyle - actually, it's not much different than how I wear my hear now at 53!!!! (a better style cut though now!!!) things really do go full circle!!!!

but now, because it's my last day off, I'm going to have some bongs and a lazy afternoon - well, lazy after doing all the 'domestics' that I've been slack with lately... and I'll be back with more soon...