Monday, May 12, 2008

Bad news week...

You could say it's been a suck of a week where bad news about friends is concerned... one friend diagnosed 7 years ago with cancer - she's had a mammoth fight - admitted to hospital for emergency radiation treatment... then admitted to the hospice... waiting to see if she can get palliative care are home... only 52 years old... another family friend diagnosed with an extremely aggressive cancer... told it's only a matter of weeks... the tears have been flowing!!!!


I came across this poem on a site called Susan Weed's Wise Woman forum, and thought I'd share it...


When I am a Breast Cancer survivor I will wear pink.
I will wear pink for my mother-in-law who received no treatment because the doctors thought she was too old to receive treatment, and
who looked lovely in pink.

I will wear pink for my friends who lost their health, their hair and their youth in their struggle to fight breast cancer.

I will wear pink for the non-survivors who seem more comfortable with this watered down color of the blood lost while fighting this terrible illness. Maybe the white of their optimism mixes with it.

I will wear pink to soften the lines and the hardness that has come in my face.

I will wear pink to remind me that Spring always comes and flowers bloom and I have time to change and bloom again myself.

I will wear pink when my chest aches where my breast is missing and my heart aches for missing friends and I will remember the miracle of my survival.

I will wear pink when I stand in for my deceased friends at their children's wedding and I will remember their beauty at their own wedding.

I will wear pink when I visit the graves of those whose bodies gave out before their spirit was ready.

I will wear pink when I race for the cure and speak against dollars wasted on the useless testing on animals whose bodies are so different from humans that they are poisoned by medicine that helps humans and cured by medicine that is poison to cancer survivors.

I will wear pink when I listen to the names of those who have lost the fight with cancer and celebrate with those of us who still survive.

When I am a breast cancer survivor I will wear pink.

and another one:


you can't help but think about mortality and weep for the sisters that are losing their battle!!!

And looking around YouTube I found this song, Standing all the way pink ribbon original by Rachael Chatoor - for all the sisters.......

Monday, May 5, 2008

1960 - a time of transition

1960... it was the end of one era, the beginning of another. I was 5 years old, I'd just started school, my world was about to expand dramatically, and television was having an impact on society - there was a whole other world out there... it was wondrous...

It was the start of the "Golden Era of Television". We were influenced greatly by America and programmes were a 'mixed bag' - from the 'perfect', cutesy, American families the likes of Father Knows Best, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and Leave it to Beaver, the zaniness of Lucille Ball and Phyllis Diller to the larrikan Aussie humour of Graham Kennedy and Bert Newton... they were worlds apart - but we were eager for entertainment and we lapped it all up hungrily.

In January 1960 the "logies" were in their second year and people couldn't wait to vote for their favourite shows. Here's some of the winners (ironic that the awards were yet to be televised!!!)

Most Popular Personality: Graham Kennedy


Program Of The Year: 77 Sunset Strip
(I would start to enjoy this as I moved towards my teens and that unchartered territory called sexuality!!!)


6 o’clock rock with Johnny O’Keefe and Bandstand with Brian Henderson were the popular music shows, and people couldn't get enough...

Photobucket Photobucket

But I was only 5 at the time, so here are just a few of the shows that I loved...

Circus Boy - I loved all the antics of the circus animals - and I had a crush on Corky (later we'd know him as Mickey Dolenz from The Monkees - yep, an even bigger crush then!!!)...

Mr. Squiggle - I was amazed at what could be drawn with Mr. Squiggle's pencil nose... I could have watched him all day!!!

Lassie - what more can I say... you needed a 'hankie' to watch the movies, and you dreamt about having a loyal mate like Lassie and going on many an adventure!!!!

Adventures of Rin-tin-tin - of course, American 'westerns' were really big - Gunsmoke, Sugarfoot, Rawhide - the list goes on... so "Rin-tin-tin" was going to be a big hit - another incredible dog... I loved "Rinny"...

and my favourite birthday present... my Annie Oakley outfit!!!!


This is only similar to the outfit I had (very patriotic American hey)... mine was green with yellow 'trim' (obviously made for the Australian market!!) - sorry, there's no photo of me wearing it... cameras and film weren't something you always had on hand in those days - well, not if you were working class anyway!!!!

Of course, news was popular - we got to see what was happening in the world- there was so much happening politically - but I wasn't old enough to understand the changes that were taking place just yet... I was just enjoying being a child - and who wouldn't... me mum was the head cashier at Luna Park and the Palais Theatre... the things I got to do and see - it was a wonderful time - it was a great life for a child!!!!


but my world was expanding and the best was yet to come...
it was the beginning of the 60s - there was change in the air - and I was starting to learn and grow... this decade was going to hold rich and fertile learning experiences for all...

to be continued.....

Friday, May 2, 2008

motherhood doesn't define us...

I came across a couple of photos of me mum in the 1950s so I thought I’d share them… they seemed appropriate after my 50s post…


I was reading a friend’s blog recently, and she has an extremely poignant post on mother’s day and motherhood which prompted me to include my thoughts on the topic.

When I was growing up the prevailing attitude was that young women wouldn’t be in the workforce for long… it was expected they would get married young and have children (always plural!!) – so no need for a career – (the post-war years added more pressure on women with their POPULATE OR PERISH paranoia!!!)
"Denied economic independence, unable to control their fertility adequately, and always aware of the reprobation which awaits the rebel, none but a handful of Australian women has had the opportunity to do any more than submit to living out their lives as dutiful wives and bountiful mothers; and having no alternatives and wanting some share of human happiness, they have accepted and enjoyed this as best they could." Anne Summers, "Damned whores and gods police"

Women were encouraged to believe that motherhood defined them as women… hey, sounds like now!!!! – we still hear those questions from all quarters – for young women - “when are you having children”, for older women it’s “how many children do you have”… that assumption – you’re female, so you must have offspring - so frustrating having to explain yourself all the time… as though it’s ‘freakish’!!!!

No matter what you do, whatever your reasons for not having children – there’s still an attitude that “you can’t possibly be a whole woman without children… you’re not complete…” - guess I don’t need to tell you I disagree!!!!

Whether by choice, because of fertility problems, or due to loss, the ‘sisters’ I know without children are extremely fulfilled individuals – beautiful, amazing, whole women!!! When will the blinkered perceptions change – when will women be accepted for themselves, without the ‘extension’ of partner or child – that will always only be for some!!!

And let’s face it – there has to be a limit to human habitation and the consequent pressure put on ‘the mother’… ‘she’s’ not faring well with the population now, the damage and destruction that’s been caused already!!!!

“Mother’s day” appears to be about making money rather than celebrating women as mother’s – seems to me it’s one big advertising and profit-making free-for-all.

And really, shouldn’t women be respected all year round??? Crimes and atrocities are committed against women every day of the year – I’d love to be able to celebrate the end of violence against women!!!! But alas……