Happy Birthday Anna Mae

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

Ingrid Poulson

This time last year Ingrid Poulson and I were speaking on the same stage. I was asked to speak (about Clown Doctors and using humour to relieve stress) at ‘Radiance’ as part of the Woodford Folk Festival in December 2010-January 2011. She spoke after me and told her story. Part of me didn’t want to hear her as I still can’t get my head around what she has been through and survived. But as she spoke I realised she was an incredible woman and the lessons she learnt needed to be shared. Ingrid Poulson wants the parents of Australia to cherish their children. “Hold your babies tight. Love them just a little more. They deserve it,” she was quoted as saying after her children died.

Later I realised that her tent was next to mine in the camping area and I met her. I’d been having an argument with my teenager but my angry mood dissolved after about a minute in her presence. She is a radiant, amazing human being (she must have been just pregnant at the time). She now has a baby boy with her new husband. Ingrid Poulson is living proof that we can learn resilience and recover from even the most horrific life events. I find her strength inspiring.