Monday, October 30, 2006

paeonia just begged to be taken

blurring the lines

If the ‘hearts and minds’ of Australian children were to be nurtured with a State funded $90 million windfall, how do you think it could best be spent?

I think of the kids in remote communities turning to solvent abuse, early parenthood and self-defeatism. I see this weird dichotomy of over protected, wealthier kids being wrapped in cottonwool and over indulged, while others have massive self esteem issues. I think of teachers in public schools with larger than desirable class sizes, so some of the quieter but more challenged kids slip through the gaps.

I would fund a program to foster healthy esteem for self and others. I would create awareness that each individual is a member of a diverse community – locally, nationally and internationally, in which there is a place for everyone. I would like each child to leave school with emotional and educational resources to see them through their lives.

Instead, our Prime Minister, in all his “wisdom” and with the blessing of the opposition, has given this precious money to pastoral care. In a move to further knock down the boundaries between church and state, all schools (private and public) have the opportunity to be given $20,000 to select a chaplain from ONE faith, to play a spiritual guidance role in their institution. That’s right – put a priest/minister/rabbi/mufti on the payroll of your State school. To do what? I don’t know. It is implied that the money is not to be split to have a variety of faiths represented. Instead of diversity, this is a move to encourage division within a school community. The PM, on TV promoting his new scheme, also said clearly that the choice had to be “appropriate” and that the government could veto a schools choice.

I’m guessing wicca or deep ecology is not going to get a look in.

How would you spend this money?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Pixie's coming to town

I'm up at the crack of dawn - cos my friend Pixie is winging her way into Melbourne as I write.

She's an intelligent, crafty kind of woman who's only got til Sunday to have some fun in this city before she gets back on the big bird on Sunday. This isn't her first time here, so she doesn't need to do anything overtly touristy - but my ideas list looks kind of like this...

Craft council in Flinders Lane
Fed Square - ACMI, Ian Potter...
See if there's anything happening in the Speigeltent
Shop, shop, shop
Eat eat eat
Drink drink drink (city, brunswick st...)

Anything of interest going on at the festival or otherwise that you think such a visitor would be interested in?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

in case you ever wanted to know

I really must decimate my filing cabinets more often. How then would I have ever known how to wear a sari and other such stored knowledge from Life Before The Internet?

Now if anyone has any ideas what to do with Too Good To Ever Wear silk saris. The most beautiful blue and a prized wedding sari of the finest purple shot with gold. A gift from a long gone but significant ex, who had warned me not to chop them up because he'd paid dearly for them but...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

well, it made me laugh

Still got that ol' fatigue when it comes to all things politically worthy. Sorry. Even glancing at the news headlines makes me weep buckets for the whales, Hicks,'s still all to much.

So, I found Odd Tood hope he makes your day too. (Not entirely work safe, but hell, you don't have to worry about that if you are laid off like Todd)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

ephemera - Sunday 29 July, 1917, England

As a once budding historian, I have a habit of coming back from my trips home with the odd bit of family history in my suitcase, especially photos. I came across this postcard recently, ferreted away in my filing cabinet - a card from my grandfather to his father, while convalescing in England during WWI.

As a child I always thought this grandparent was killed in the war, as I must have been taken to his grave as a tiny tot and it had military affiliations. It wasn’t til an adult, that I realised he was just wounded, came home to marry and have a family, run a business and then get knocked down by a bus on his way back from a day at the races.

But back to the war. It’s amazing how little is said on the card. Not a whisper of how he is, what his wounds are (I guess by this point he was having one of those long lost convalescences which have gone by the way in this busy age) or any such thing pertaining to the time. No, he writes to say he’s amazed that his own father has made it to the grand age of 50 and that if he took a few salt pills and did some exercise (walk with William’s sister Ruth), maybe he’d have a few good years left in him yet.

Almost 90 years later our world is still at war.

Monday, October 16, 2006

calling all swingers

Caroline Woolard: designer of a bag that becomes a swing on the subway.

I sure could have done with that on the dreary South Eastern commute earlier in the year!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

...these are a few of my favourite things

Yes, I know I am a stereotype of a woman of a certain age. But I think they are gorgeous (and when I go out I don't need to get a babysitter).

travel, make new friends...and kill them

The government has a new travel plan for school leavers.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

more snippets from the journey

My blog persona and Real Life collided at a very early hour this morning on a phone interview with a Californian radio station, talking about food that I don’t eat, of which I was meant to be some kind of authority.

…just waiting to see how much weirder the day will get.

Monday, October 09, 2006

...pass it on

The highlight of last week:

The much awaited new issue of Dumbo Feather arrived in my mailbox. Yes, real mail. A thickly bound magazine that not only reads, but feels like no other. The illustrious Kate - founder, editor and chief dogsbody of the publication, had the lurgy a few months ago and the edition didn’t go out. As a newish subscriber, it felt like a long time between reads.

They did a survey of readers (of which I didn’t participate) but one of the questions is about how people read it. I flip through, look at the over all layout and mentally prioritise the articles I want to read. Sometimes it can take me months to dip in and out of all them.

But the absolute pleasure, tucked inside the wrapping, was a free roll-your-own beeswax candle. It was such a simple, childlike treat to make it. The smell of the honeyed aroma released from the warmth of my hands as I rolled, made my heart sing.

I’ve got to say – Dumbo Feathers stimulates more than the eyes. Even if you don’t get the free candle, dive into it anyway!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

the journey so far

The not-boyfriend noted with dismay that my rate of posting has slowed down at Other Rants Central. Despite my protestations about all the blogging I was doing elsewhere, he replied “but I’m not interested in food, I want politics”.

Ah that impasse we all come to.

What to do when you get slow traffic on one site but maybe a couple of hundred hits a day elsewhere? You start writing to where the audience is. I’m getting fan mail for the Food Nazi. More comments. Ego stroking.

It’s hard to write in a vacuum, with little feedback.

Essentially I do care more about politics than filling my tummy. But there is no bounce in the sounding board at the moment. I hate to admit it, but I’m reading the papers less. I feel such horror for what is going on in the world that I have begun to close my eyes to it a little more and take refuge in the comforting senses. I’m ranting less and reading more memoirs of food writers.

Sad isn’t it.

Is this the ‘compassion fatigue’ we all hear of? I still give to my selected charities each year, but don’t open the newsletters from them anymore. I can’t think of the last rally I have been on (but if I am in Melbourne on November 18th I will be at the Carnival Against Capitalism, and I hope you will be too). I still listen to the mind achingly intelligent guests on Late Night Live, though tend to snooze off before the program finishes.

But maybe I am quieter because although I’ve had Julia Cameron’s “The Artists Way” and “The Right to Write” beside my bed for years, I’ve actually been reading them. I’ve found the ritual of the ‘morning pages’ as addictive as coffee, in fact the two go together very well. For the past few months I have been on a delicious journey. I have been reconnecting with myself and that extra energy that irritation, anger and political frustration usually consume has been reserved for the purpose of internal exploration. So at times I feel as though I’m on some foreign continent with no compass, let alone an internet connection.

Except when I get hungry and step back into the kitchen!

Health, Philosophy, Politics and Other Rants is a place for me to vent my passions. At the moments, the ‘health’ – a positive replenishing of my mental, physical and spiritual well and “philosophy’- making sense of how I see the world, are a little stronger than the ‘political’. I’m pouring out a lot of words, just not as publicly as before.

If you wish, keep checking in (thank goodness for bloglines) and see where the journey takes me. After all, it’s only for so long that the Idiot Shrub and his Sheriff can continue to act like asses without me reacting.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

be afraid

Our honourable Prime Minister has named his three "towering figures" of the 20th century.

Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II.

I wonder where Hitler would feature in his top 5? After all, he had similar feelings about communists Mr Howard.
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