Eight years ago today I gave birth to a nutty little monkey. My youngest daughter is going to be a stunt woman, a truck and a punk when she grows up. She shouts and makes me laugh and I couldn’t imagine a peaceful life without her. Happy birthday Miss Zen
Tina Turner was born today in 1939. She is one of my heroes. When I was a teenager I read Tina Turner’s memoir I, Tina and I was inspired by her strength and resilience. Now I have recovered from my own abusive relationship with the help of a domestic violence counsellor, I realise how strong Tina Turner must have been to withstand regular abuse, be a mother and go on stage acting like nothing had happened for years. She is a role model for women everywhere.
I have learned from reading about Tina’s beatings at the hands of Ike that I must sing my own song, which is part Sinead O’Connor, part Miss Piggy and part Karen Carpenter on crack. Happy Birthday Tina, I love your voice and your spirit
This is how I will remember Bryce Courtenay. His book about his son Damon is heartbreaking.
It’s only fear under another name
Earlier this year I went to the Middle East to stilt walk at a fair in front of the Bahraini royal family. As one does in one’s day job. So I had to work while I was there but for me it was a single mother escape with endless joy from the minute I sat down on the plane. I love planes. Someone gives you food regularly, you watch endless TV and films, read pointless magazine articles, someone refills your drink and cleans up your spills and you don’t have to make anyone dinner. What is not to love? When we arrived in Bahrain we had drivers to help with our bags and take us to and from the hotel. I can handle hotels, I really can. Having a slave clean the bathroom and make your bed every day was divine. This single mother was loving it. One day after work I had a massage, then sat in the jacuzzi for two hours. Because I could. Someone else was washing my sheets. Free from housework and childcare, I could shop, eat too much food, look at tourist sites and sleep in. When I returned to my darling friends who had looked after my children while I was away, I realised that even though I loved my Middle East adventure, from the camels to the swarthy men, it didn’t really matter where I went, because every slave mother needs to misbehave at least once a year.
Steve Irwin was a modern day Noah. The man was as mad as a cut snake but he was also a conservationist who cared about animals and wanted to change the way humans treat the natural world. I remember the day he died so clearly. Phillipe Cousteau Junior, the grandson of Jacques Cousteau said of Steve Irwin,
“I think why Steve was so excited about it that we were looking at these animals that people think of as, you know, dangerous and deadly monsters, and they’re not. They all have an important place in the environment and in the world. And that was what his whole message was about.”
Thanks Steve, you are gone but not forgotten. Your work and your legacy live on.
A great post
I’ve seen a few comedians pull off this seemingly impossible task from time to time. Louis CK has managed it (is there anything he can’t do?). Glenn Wool did it earlier this year at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and he was one of my favourite acts.
However, the vast majority of the time, comedians who attempt humour around this particular topic get it horribly, horribly wrong.
This is the poster for a now-cancelled event that was due to take place at Station 59. And yes, you’re reading it right: it was going to be called There’s Nothing Funny About Rape: A Comedy Debate, and it was going to feature an all-dude lineup.
Social media existed, people pointed out how FUCKING OFFENSIVE THIS IS, and the event was cancelled.
Enter one of the aspiring comedians who was going to be on the bill: Alan Driscoll.
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In winter I spent a week at Varuna, the Writers’ House in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. My fellow comedy authors Nicky Smith, Cameron White, Evin Donohoe and the very cheeky monkey Tim Ferguson and I had a great time workshopping ideas for scripts, stand up comedy, YA novels and a sitcom, laughing, eating great dinners and drinking red wine (just a little bit on our cereal in the mornings). At Varuna I realised how my writing is almost as important to me as my children. My dream is to get my books published. I’m getting closer by the minute. I left Varuna inspired to continue my life of comedy, writing and clowning.
Whenever I think I’m not going to make it through the day or that life is just too hard, this song comes on the car radio
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,
And weep afresh love’s long since cancelled woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanished sight:
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o’er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restor’d and sorrows end.