The Pollard definitive guide to enjoying 2020:
Pat puppies and kiss kittens
Don’t vote for morons
Eat, drink and be merry
Don’t buy ‘beauty’ products
Stay off the internet
Help a refugee family
Stop buying plastic crap
Thank firies, ambos and nurses
Check your emotional baggage
Get fresh on the dance floor
Support the Uluru Statement
Be kind, even to dickheads
Don’t use the words onboarding, textural or disruptor
Buy the Big Issue
Sing every day
Bring home the facon (don’t harm piggies)
Love your friends
Swim in the ocean
I am officially an old bag. Today I turn 50 and I’m trying hard not to whinge. For it is a privilege to be 50. My friends who died of breast cancer in their 40s would love to be where I am. And so would the kids who were robbed of their mothers.
The beautiful sick kids I’ve met at the hospitals I work in who left way too soon didn’t get to be adults at all. And the families and friends of my darlings Veljko, Mark and Anthony who died in their 20s would love to know them in their 50s. Those guys would have aged like fine wine if they’d had the chance.
I don’t feel that different, but I look in the mirror and I see age creeping up on me. I was born on a Monday, “Monday’s child is fair of face,” but my face looks like it needs more sleep. And my knees creak from all the stilt walking, gymnastics and dancing drunk in stupid high heels over the past 35 years. I can still have fun with my kids, my best friends, the families I meet through my work and I share great love with a beautiful heart. But there are things I’m worried that I haven’t done yet. Maybe I won’t get to live in New York or drive across Africa. Maybe I won’t be brave enough to sail across the world. Maybe crazy life goals are in the past. Maybe I won’t sing with Kermit or be the next teen superstar.
I share my birthday with fabulous people like Twiggy, Jeremy Irons, Frances Farmer, Mama Cass, Daniel Lanois, Nile Rodgers, Jimmy Fallon and Alison Sweeney from Days of Our Lives, darling. Today is also International Talk Like a Pirate day.
At 50 I’ve realised that the cocker spaniels I’ve had in my life may be the only dogs I own in this lifetime as I can’t afford to buy a house.
But 50 brings great rewards. I can sing, dance, laugh and love, I have fabulous kids, and I’ve given up people who drain me of precious energy. I have no time for those who don’t contribute to improving our world. So hit the high seas for some hijinks you swashbuckling scoundrels. I’ll be wearing my new earrings that cost a bucaneer. 50 is swell.
Thank you for your music, you truly are a wonder.
Thank you for the joy you gave the world with your singing and dancing Shirley Temple Black. I remember performing in a tutu in my front garden as a four year old; I’d watched one of your movies and I wanted to be you.
Shirley was rare, a child star who turned into a high achieving adult. Shirley Temple Black started raising funds for the US National Multiple Sclerosis Society; a disease that afflicted her brother. By the early 1960s, she was co-founder of the International Federation of Multiple Sclerosis Societies. In the years that followed, she became engaged in politics and served as the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia.
She also became one of the first prominent women to speak publicly about her fight against breast cancer. After she had a mastectomy in 1972, she held a press conference in her hospital room and urged women discovering breast lumps to seek medical attention and not “sit home and be afraid.” Due to her openness around her experience, the New York Times stated that, “she is widely credited with helping to make it acceptable to talk about breast cancer.”
Today the ladies of the Shirley Clubs around the world will remember her with a smile.
“As long as we have Shirley Temple, we’ll be all right.”