A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf

I told you in the course of this paper that Shakespeare had a sister; but do not look for her in Sir Sidney Lee’s life of the poet. She died young — alas, she never wrote a word. She lies buried where the omnibuses now stop, opposite the Elephant and Castle. Now my belief is that this poet who never wrote a word and was buried at the cross-roads still lives. She lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not here to-night, for they are washing up the dishes and putting the children to bed. But she lives; for great poets do not die; they are continuing presences; they need only the opportunity to walk among us in the flesh. This opportunity, as I think, it is now coming within your power to give her. For my belief is that if we live another century or so — I am talking of the common life which is the real life and not of the little separate lives which we live as individuals — and have five hundred a year each of us and rooms of our own; if we have the habit of freedom and the courage to write exactly what we think; if we escape a little from the common sitting-room and see human beings not always in their relation to each other but in relation to reality; and the sky. Too, and the trees or whatever it may be in themselves; if we look past Milton’s bogy, for no human being should shut out the view; if we face the fact, for it is a fact, that there is no arm to cling to, but that we go alone and that our relation is to the world of reality and not only to the world of men and women, then the opportunity will come and the dead poet who was Shakespeare’s sister will put on the body which she has so often laid down. Drawing her life from the lives of the unknown who were her forerunners, as her brother did before her, she will be born. As for her coming without that preparation, without that effort on our part, without that determination that when she is born again she shall find it possible to live and write her poetry, that we cannot expect, for that would he impossible. But I maintain that she would come if we worked for her, and that so to work, even in poverty and obscurity, is worthwhile.

June 26 birthdays



June 23 birthdays

Bob Fosse and Frances McDormand


June 21 birthdays


Sartre’s best-known work, Huis-clos (No Exit), contains the famous line “L’enfer, c’est les autres,” usually translated as “Hell is other people.” 

Song recovery therapy

This song helped me recover from a destructive relationship that nearly killed me.

Famous Marriages in History: June 11

Heather Mills and Paul McCartney – 2002

June 10 birthdays


Prince Philip: the patron saint and world record holder of the worst cases of foot in mouth disease – multiple outbreaks.

news.com.au has compiled a list of his greatest foot in mouth moments.

1. “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them through the test?”
To a driving instructor in Scotland.

2. “If you stay here much longer, you’ll all be slitty-eyed.”
To a group of British students in China in 1986.

3. “Do you still throw spears at each other?”
To indigenous leader William Brin during a visit to the Aboriginal Cultural Park in Queensland, 2002.

4. “You look like you’re ready for bed!”
To the President of Nigeria, who was wearing traditional robes.

5. “If it has four legs and is not a chair, has wings and is not an aeroplane, or swims and is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it.”
To a World Wildlife Fund meeting in 1986.

6. “You managed not to get eaten then?”
To a British student trekking in Papua New Guinea in 1998.

7. “Aren’t most of you descended from pirates?”
To an inhabitant of the Cayman Islands.

8. “You are a woman, aren’t you?”
To a Kenyan woman in 1984 after she gave him a present

9. “Do you know they’re now producing eating dogs for the anorexics?”
To a blind, wheelchair-bound woman who was with her guide dog.

10. “It looks as though it was put in by an Indian.”
Prince’s verdict on a fuse box he noticed during a tour of a Scottish factory in 1999

June 8 birthdays

BONNIE TYLER (nee Gaynor Hopkins) and JOAN RIVERS

Ah, the wisdom of Bonnie: “Once upon a time I was falling in love, now I’m only falling apart,” I’m hearing you Bonnie.

Check out the hair and the clothes in this clip, ah the glory days of the 80s….

June 7 birthdays


The Cure Reflections gig – May 31 2011

As I walked up the steps of the Sydney Opera House on my way to see The Cure on Tuesday night I said to my friend,

“As long as they play 10.15 on a Saturday Night I’ll be happy.”

The Opera House was buzzing. The Vivid Festival website had announced that The Cure would play their first three albums. I looked around and realised most of the crowd around me were teenagers when those records first came out. We sat down, barely able to contain our excitement. We had tickets; many of our mates hadn’t been able to get them.

The house went dark. As soon as I heard the opening bars to the first song, 10.15 on a Saturday Night it happened:

I’m sitting on the kitchen bench in my best friend’s house on a Saturday night, drinking wine we’d stolen from her parents’ fridge. I am 14 years old and Robert Smith understands my angst.

And I’m crying for yesterday

And the tap drips

Drip drip drip drip drip drip drip…

The albums played in order had us captivated. Then the band played the non-album singles and B-sides we loved. I’d forgotten some of the words to their songs but not the way I felt when I heard them for the first time. Like every other generation of teenagers before and after us, we thought that only our friends and our heroes understood our pain.

When Robert Smith sang F-I-R-E-I-N-C-A-I-R-O-O, I remembered the girl I used to be; one minute all hormonal torment, troubled and bereft over a 15 year old spotty boy and the next laughing hysterically with my girlfriends.

Even Robert Smith couldn’t help but smile. He was wearing a lovely skirt over his pants. I gave up that look when I had children. I gave up a lot of things when I had children.

For three hours I wasn’t a 40 something single mother, I was a 14 year old with all the hopes and dreams and despair that my future life held. With 2000 other people I shouted out the chorus of Killing An Arab. Then my friend turned to me.

“Interesting choice of song. The day the Cure ticket sales were announced, Barack Obama revealed that the US had executed Osama Bin Laden,” he said.

The band came out again and Robert Smith announced:

“And then after Hanging Garden something strange happened…this happened,” and the band broke into ‘Let’s Go to Bed’, ‘The Walk’ and ‘Love Cats’. The crowd went nuts. We screamed, we danced, we went wild. Then Robert finished with,

“See you next time for The Top’.”

We were a devoted audience, we sang our way through the encores. We left feeling like we hadn’t in years. Before the years of child rearing, tax paying and getting to work on time reality struck we had our music.

After the gig I drank vodka with my old friend. We talked of parenting in broken families and teenagers still getting used to living in two homes, playing each parent off against the other to get out of doing homework.

I would tell you

That I loved you

If I thought that you would stay

But I know that it’s no use

That you’ve already

Gone away

The next day I turned on the car radio and heard a 20 something radio commentator joke,

“How did the 40 and 50 year olds cope last night with seeing The Cure and actually hearing the words to the songs for the first time straight?”

Who says we were straight? Just because it was a school night doesn’t mean we were straight. We weren’t straight the first time we heard them either.

Back then we would

Burn like fire, burn like fire in Cairo…Then the heat disappears and the mirage fades away…

My daughter turned 14 last week.