That Old Black Magic

My Dad used to take his teeth out and scare my sister and I by singing this song in the dark when we were growing up. I loved it and my sister hated it. Today would have been my Dad’s 86th birthday. Love you Dad.


My darling mother turns 85 today. My mum taught me how to sing. I grew up listening to her sing along to Peggy Lee and Rosemary Clooney. Happy birthday Barbie


The Divorced Lady’s Companion to Living in Italy

I just read a funny book and I think you should buy it. It’s Eat, Pray, Love without the whinging for smart women who’ve had a life or children or both, and are looking for an escape route. This is the fabulous first paragraph:

An old friend of mine named Jean fell through a tear in her marriage and landed on her feet. Jean met a solicitor from Milan on a singles trekking tour in Peru and packed her bags one autumn. She sold the house with its clutch of hydrangeas. Her adolescent children learnt Italian with ease. It was reported that at forty-four, Jean gave the Milanese man a chubby male love-child.

The author takes her heroine Marilyn on a journey through Italy after Marilyn discovers her husband is leaving her for a younger work colleague. Marilyn cuts loose, having fun away from her husband and children and re-discovering what Marilyn wants.

Definitely a witty book to read in bed!

Lungo Vive Uomini Italiani!

Catherine McNamara is originally from Sydney. You can read more about the author here:

You must be tough and ruthless

Four of my favourite comedians performing a moving ode to life on the road. If you don’t like trucking, tough luck

Computer says

My 10 Commandments of computers – (C) Lou Pollard 2012

1. Thou shalt back up

2. If thou dost not back up thou shalt mortgage thy house to pay a young geek for data recovery when your work is due

3. Thou shalt not take Steve Jobs name in vain

4. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors more expensive technology

5. Cherish your iPad and honour your laptop. Your forefathers worked on a machine the size of your car

6. Deliver us from the Mac store Genius bar the day a new iPhone goes on sale

7. Lead us not into the temptation of cut price PCs

8. The geeks shall inherit the earth

9. Thou shalt back up

10. Thou shalt not click on dodgy links

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Ne me quitte pas

Aujourd’hui, c’est jour de la Bastille. Jacques Brel is my favourite French singer


We want your blood

“The hand that gives, gathers.”
Mei-Lai , a lovely lady whom I met via the internet, lost her beautiful baby girl, Minty (Araminta) two years ago on July 11th – one day after her 1st birthday – to a rare form of infant cancer. During Minty’s terrible battle with her disease in her tragically short life, an army of people provided great care and Minty endured many blood transfusions. In Mei-Lai’s own words, “Minty received countless blood and platelet transfusions throughout her 366 days; sometimes multiple times a week; and though her treatment did not cure her, any hope of survival was absolutely dependent on a constant supply of safe blood and platelets, which we were fortunate enough to tap into.”
To honour her memory this year, Mei-Lai is asking friends across the globe to donate blood in the week which would have been Minty’s 3rd birthday on July 10. Mei-Lai has established a Facebook Page for the blood drive here:
If you feel inclined to donate blood in honour of this little girl and for all the children across the globe whose lives depend on it, please do so wherever you may be, and send pictures of yourself donating to Mei-Lai for her to post. She is posting a running tally of blood donation and a map showing where blood has been donated around the world.
If you live in Australia, visit the Red Cross Blood Donation Centres in your capital city. Click on the link to see if you are eligible:
If you live in LA, you can go to UCLA’s Blood Platelet Center in Westwood Village. All the info is here:
Please direct any images you take of your donating to Mei-Lai at
This is something I would LOVE to do, especially considering I work with dying kids who are dependent on blood products. But I’m not allowed to be a blood donor. I lived in the UK in the late 80s (which makes me a mad cow), I’ve had multiple transfusions myself, and my body doesn’t absorb iron well. I’d make a great vampire, always needing a top up. So I am promoting the cause, including a drive to see how many of my Australian friends I can get to donate blood. I recently worked in the transplant ward at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and there are 11 children there waiting for transplants. These are the kids that are being kept alive by blood. I also wish more people would donate organs. We must not give up hope, some childhood cancers that had a 30-40% survival rate in 1980 now have a 70-80% survival rate (I was talking to a researcher at Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick about this early in 2012).
Mei Lai sounds wonderful. I’m always in awe of people who have been through tragedy and not only survived but have an incredible will to help others.

Please give blood for Minty, what a beautiful way to honour her memory

Sydney Roller Derby girls rock

Last Saturday night I went to watch the reigning champions Beauty School Knockouts sweat it out against the Screaming Assault Sirens. The Beauties in pink and black won by 100 points and my friends and I had a fantastic night. The T-shirts on sale are fabulous and you’ll love the theatre, the sweat and the cheerleaders. I’m off to buy me some rollerskates.

She who laughs lasts

Having a giggle is good for us. Babies laugh up to 300 times per day, adults about 20. Laughter affects our immune system, lowers cortisol levels in our body and helps us connect with other people who have a twinkle in their eye.