Archive for January, 2012

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Sport and Me

30 January 2012

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the words “sport” and “me” in the same sentence.  We just don’t mix.

I sometimes wonder if I’m the only person in Australia (apart from my husband) who has absolutely no interest in sport – zilch, zero, nil.  Cricket, football, tennis, whatever . . . it all leaves me cold.  I’m living in the wrong country probably as Australians in general are absolutely sport-obsessed. 

This year is going to be a bad year for me (and others like me . . . PLEASE tell me there are others like me).  We’ve already had the Australian Open Tennis championships on our TVs day and night, oodles of cricket matches, cycling ad infinitum.  But the best bit starts in the Northern Hemisphere summer – Wimbledon followed by the Olympic Games.  AND I’ll be in London during Wimbledon though return before the Games.

Now of course I don’t have to watch sport on television but I do like to watch the evening news, all but the last five minutes or so when the sports news starts and David and I fight to get to the remote control.    But during major tournaments the results are included in the ‘proper’ news, the ABC believing that the most important thing that’s happened in the world today is that Joe Bloggs (presuming he’s Australian) won a Gold Medal/broke a world record. 

May I point out to those who don’t know me that I’m not fat.  I wasn’t bullied at school.  I hated games lessons.  BUT funnily enough there were some games I was quite good at.  So my hatred doesn’t stem from an inability  to participate in any sports, just a lack of interest in doing so.  I was the Junior Cross Country champion one year,   I got a first in an inter-school swimming competition and on one very sad occasion I was actually picked to play for the school hockey team (sad for me that is – I didn’t want to play hockey during school hours so I most certainly didn’t want to give up my Saturday mornings to play.)  I was good at gymnastics because I was an acrobat.  I swam a lot with my father and sister, and until about 10 years ago, I enjoyed rollerskating.  So I’m not a complete couch-potato.  But because I can ride a bike, it doesn’t mean I want to watch anybody else ride a bike.

As I’ve got dual citizenship, I’ve been asked on a number of occasions “That must be awkward.  Which cricket team do you support?”  The truthful answer is that I don’t give a damn about either of them.  Why should I?  I’ve never played cricket, have no interest in watching cricket so if I cared about which team won, that would just indicate some sort of mindless tribal allegiance.  

I think I’m going to be reading a lot of books/watching a lot of films/doing a lot of knitting this year. 

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“I’m Not A Feminist ….. But” Part 2

25 January 2012

Five years ago I wrote a post on the subject of feminism and the reluctance shown by so many women to admit they are.  I’m going to be cheeky and reproduce it below (well, that’s one way of filling up my blog with little effort.)

“I’m not a feminist . . . but”.  Am I the only person who gets really enraged by this statement, which I hear or read so often?  It’s usually followed by “Why should I do all the housework/women should have equal opportunities at work/childcare is not just the prerogative of the mother/there should be more women in Parliament etc etc”.

When did “feminist” become a dirty word, or did it never become a respectable one and I didn’t notice?  Why are intelligent, well-educated women so loath to admit that they’re feminists?  Are they confusing it with being feminine? 

Some Suffragettes died fighting for women’s rights and they at least got us the vote and the right to own property.  By the 1960’s we hadn’t moved much further down the track but a huge vocal movement gave us all legal and employment rights that even the Suffragettes wouldn’t have dreamt of.  The situation hasn’t just changed beyond recognition in my lifetime, but in my ADULT lifetime (and I’m not THAT old).  I was refused the first two jobs I applied for because they “wouldn’t consider employing a woman” and these weren’t even jobs that I would imagine anyone would now consider to be in any way “manly” (computers and market research) – I wasn’t trying to become a miner or deep-sea diver. 

So please, next time you’re thinking of uttering those words – “I’m not a feminist, but…..”  DON’T, unless of course you really do believe that women should hold an inferior status to men.   

For the rest of you, I’ve got news for you, sisters:  YOU ARE. 

In one of the weekend papers, there’s a wonderful quote from Rebecca West, the English author:

“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is.  I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat”

Love it!

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The Curse Of The Easter Show

22 January 2012

David Reidy first asked me to do the review of the Easter Show for Sticks and String in 2009.  Half an hour before the recording, a tooth fell out.  Not sure David knows that but it did make my speech a bit slurry.

However, he asked me back in 2010 and all seemed to go without a glitch.  EXCEPT that at the time the shows were transmitted a couple of weeks later, I was tucked up in bed in hospital with a fractured neck of femur.

The 2011 Show came around and I was really looking forward to doing the review again.  There were a lot of new categories in the knitting section, I knew a number of people who’d entered and I thought that the two of us would be able to do more “oo-ing and aah-ing” than groaning that year. We were even promised better displays.  BUT my mother became very ill in England and I had to fly over there.  She died a week later. 

Anyway he’s decided to give me another go, and I’ve decided to laugh in the face of The Curse.    

I know that there’ll be at least one entry I can drool over but that’s because I’m entering something myself.  Whether anyone else likes it remains to be seen.  I’ll put up pictures after the Show (if I finish it on time and I deem it fit to enter – about a third of the way through at the moment).  What about you, David?  Entering anything?  You’ve got another week to submit the entry form.

I’ve had comments from S & S listeners around the world and even met a couple of people in other countries who’ve recognised my voice.  Wonderful invention this internet thingamajig, isn’t it? 

   

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No Balls; All Sleaze

21 January 2012

Over the years I’ve come across many MPs whose politics I don’t necessarily agree with but for whom I can have respect.

Tony Abbott doesn’t rank among their number.

He’s back on his “Stop the boats” high horse this week and has really outshone himself.

Firstly, in a radio interview he JOKED that the Costa Concordia was one boat that was stopped.  Yes, with 11 confirmed dead and 25 missing to date.  Good one, Tony.

Then he says that if he becomes Prime Minister after the next election he will order the Navy to turn back the boats.  I’ve covered this subject before.  We SHOULD NOT demand that our sailors break every bit of maritime etiquette and practice by towing small boats out to sea.  I hope they’d have the courage to disobey those orders, court martial or no court martial.  They have to live with the consequences of their actions while Tony I would imagine sleeps well in his bed at night.

Though frankly I don’t think it would ever come to that.  Surely when the people smugglers hear that’s what will happen, they’ll just scuttle their boats as soon as they see the coast guards.  And what will Tony tell the Navy to do then?  Leave the asylum seekers in the sea?

This man is a real sleazeball.

 

 

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First Off The Needles 2012

19 January 2012

I have so much knitting on the go at the moment – I just can’t stop casting on! 

But first off the needles this year was a Baby Surprise Jacket (the amended version knitted in stocking stitch) with crocheted sleeve and neck edging and (vaguely) matching hat.  The baby (a girl) is due in May so this should fit her next (Sydney) winter

 Becs Baby

And the second is a baby bib – knitted in Bendigo cotton (dyed and gifted to me by Jenny) in an evening.  Difficult to see in the picture but it has the outline of a bear on it. 

Bib 1

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The Power of the Internet

16 January 2012

Had a lovely conversation the other day about the little boy of a friend. 

He’s 6 and raised the usual question with his father – “Where do babies come from?”

His father went through the “Mummy’s tummy” routine and as that seemed to satisfy the child for the moment, father said he’s explain more later.

Fast forward 6 months.  Child at dining table says (I believe verbatim) “Excuse me. You don’t have to tell me about babies.  I looked it up on the internet”.

 . 

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Ain’t She Good?

14 January 2012

My great-niece (Judith’s granddaughter) is currently doing a stint of work experience for a newspaper in the UK.  This is one of her pieces (bear in mind that January = winter in the Northern Hemisphere). 

And today is her 19th birthday.  So Happy Birthday, Georgie.