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Dog Hijacks Weekend Coffee Time!

Greetings Coffee, tea and water drinkers… both human and canine!

It’s Rowena’s dog, Bilbo. I’ve hijacked Mum’s blog to join in at the Weekend Coffee Share.

So, what would you like to drink? It’s stinking hot here so you’ll definitely need a drink.

If you’re interested, I might even be able to pilfer some Vegemite toast but no guarantees I won’t accidentally eat it in transit. Despite my best intentions, I’m still a dog!

As much a try to be sociable, I’d better leave you to your caffeinated drinks and I’ll stick to water.

Although I’m getting older and slowing down, a Border Collie on caffeine wouldn’t be appreciated. Not that I’ve ever tried the stuff. The humans find my exuberant persistence irritating at the best of times. So, fuel that with even a drop of caffeine and I’ll be spending a week “OUTSIDE!!!!!” Worse still, I might even find myself sent off to the Home for Naughty Dogs at the top of the hill. I’m such a good dog, that they’ve never even mentioned such a thing. However, I’ve heard about this despicable place via local telegraph poles.

So, how has your week been? Hope it’s been good!

I’m sorry if I’m a bit flustered and not all that attentive. Usually, like most dogs, I’m an incredible listener  but I’m under incredible stress and my brain’s running faster than my paws.

While Mum’s stuck in yet another cycle of painting-avoidance, I’ve hijacked the blog as I desperately need your help.

Mister has gone missing and I suspect he’s been captured and most likely eaten by killer Drop Bears. I’ve issued a  Media Release but I’d really appreciate your help. No one around here’s done anything to try and find him. They’ve just cleared out his room and painted over any trace of him at all.

That leaves me, the Lone Dog Crusader, to find him and as usual, carry the weight of the world on my shoulders.

While I’m up for the job, who in their right mind would want to be Atlas lugging the world around on their shoulders? Take it from me. It’s mighty heavy and I’m not as young as I used to be. These bones are starting to creak.

DSC_9124

Last Seen.

I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to be locked up in a backyard with all my superior herding and sniffing abilities and not be able to search. We Border Collies might have been bred for chasing sheep but there’s not a lot of difference between sheep and humans…especially the kids. They’re always wandering around in all sorts of wrong directions, instead of doing what they’re supposed to.

Of course, I’d be in strife if I ever gave them a nip at the back of the heel but sometimes I’ve come close. What’s good enough for sheep, is good enough for them!

Anyway, Lady (my canine companion) and I have been trying to work out what happened to Mister.

Lady reckons it all goes back to the fireworks and tells me she was right to be concerned. Concerned? Lady was about to combust or have a heart attack, she was that worried. However, now that Mister is missing, I’m thinking those fireworks were actually Drop Bears fighting in the trees, preparing to launch their attack.

Dropbear

The Drop Bear

What concerns me most, however, is Mum and Dad’s complete lack of concern about Mister’s whereabouts. If I’d ever been allowed to have puppies and become a dad myself (instead of having that cruelest cut of all!), I’d never lose track of MY pups. No! Of course, not!!!! I’d be watching them 24/7 and giving them a quick nip on the ankle if they ever dared to wonder off. None of this laissez-faire human parenting!

That’s if you can call total neglect “parenting” but what would I know? I’m just a dog.

Mum’s been writing and doing “research” for her precious “Book Project”. At least, that’s what SHE says. I’m no fool. She’s actually just been reading old letters, thinking about the good old days and revisiting Paris on her laptop.

Some Mother she is!

DSC_9253

Miss helping to paint Mister’s room.

Sure, she’s also done a bit of painting but that was only under duress. As soon as Dad and Miss returned last night, she passed over the the roller and brush in a flash and was sitting back on the couch.

DSC_9240.JPG

Found this photo of Mister on the laptop. Knew he was in trouble but didn’t know Drop Bears kept their victims hostage. C’mon!  Why aren’t Mum and Dad trying to save him?

I can’t help wondering whether they even love their own son. If he was my son, I’d be jumping fences and scouring the streets, even patrolling the beach looking for scent. I wouldn’t stop looking until he was found.

However, as it stands, dogs are strictly prohibited from jumping fences.

That’s why I need your help.

Please help me find Mister.

DSC_9232

See! Drop Bears! I’m not imagining anything!

I have one last clue, which only came to light yesterday.

Dad and Miss had been out for the day but when they came home, I could smell Mister. While this was great news, suggesting that the Drop Bears haven’t got him after all, it still doesn’t account for his whereabouts. AND… if they did find Mister, why didn’t they bring him home? How could they leave him behind?

I have gone over and over this, trying to make sense of their madness but I can’t.

Wouldn’t you agree this is irresponsible at best? I don’t even have the vocabulary to express the worst.

Of course, this leaves it up to me to be the hero and find Mister when I could be munching on a choice juicy bone simply being a regular backyard dog, instead needing to become a canine hero.

So, despite appearances to the contrary, it’s not an easy being a dog. You probably think I’m a real misery guts feeling sorry for myself. However, how would you feel? They only ever seem to give me  one piece of the entire puzzle. Yet, expect me to find all the scattered, missing pieces and even come up with the solution!  Usually, I nut things out eventually. However, even for a dog as smart as me, this is a big ask. All the cogs have to be very well greased and they’re just lucky I’m something of a hidden genius.

However, having the best brain in the world isn’t going to help find Mister if I’m locked up in the backyard.

That’s why I need your help! As you can see, I’ve posted his photo. Have you seen Mister? If so, could you please bring him home.

I don’t believe he’s been micro-chipped. Again, the humans’ parenting skills are appalling! They microchip their pets but NOT their kids. Don’t they want to find them? It seems they’re much more interested in keeping track of their pets, than their very own flesh and blood. Trust me! If I’d been allowed to have pups, all of them would’ve been micro-chipped.  No questions asked!

On top of the Mister’s disappearance, there have been other mysteries this week.

Miss disappeared the day after Mister but as she’s now home, I won’t trouble you with that drama.

That is, except to say that it would’ve been very quiet around here if it hadn’t been for the endless pounding of the rain.

Of course, Lady kept  telling me that the sky was falling. After the whole fireworks debacle, I was about to book her in for therapy. However, as even Mum was looking rattled, I gave Lady the benefit of the doubt.

It was during all this rain that I overheard talk of Mister camping out in the rain. For parents who hadn’t bothered trying to find their very own son, they’d suddenly become very concerned. Indeed, they were having all sorts of discussions about wet clothes, washing, taking dry clothes, tents washing away and mud.  I couldn’t understand any of these concerns. After all,they weren’t even trying to find him.

I’ve since concluded that humans must be related to the Sloth! Walking on two legs must really wear them out. They can barely find enough energy to throw my ball let alone chase it. I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised that they can’t be bothered looking for Mister. Obviously, I expect too much!

Anyway, eventually, the rain cleared. Miss returned and we went for a run along the beach. The latest heavy rain and winds have caused further  erosion and about 20 more trees have been uprooted and are lying on the beach. We were all pretty sad about that as we’d hoped the beach was recovering from the last storm. Mum said that if the trees were whales, their plight would’ve made international headlines but as they’re only trees, it probably won’t even make the local paper. That’s terrible but, at least, we cared!

Before I head off, I should probably mention New Year’s Resolutions.

You might have read that Mum wrote Lady and I each a letter outlining our list of New Year’s Resolutions:

Bilbo’s Letter

Lady’s Letter

Although it was our understanding that you’re supposed to write your own resolutions, we gave them a read.  We might feign illiteracy but we’re actually pretty good readers. Moreover, as you can appreciate from this effort, I’m quite a writer as well.

However, that’s our little secret. Although Mum suspects Lady can read, I’ve slipped well and truly under the radar. As you might appreciate, revealing our superior intellect would only result in more jobs and all sorts of expectations. We just want to be pets.

Anyway, while our New Year’s resolutions made for entertaining reading, we agree that it’s a bit rich for Mum to be giving us advice when she can’t even keep track of her own son. Moreover, now that he’s on the cusp of becoming a teenager, it’s only going to get worse. I can definitely see she’ll be needing my assistance big time!

So, since she put so much time and effort into putting together resolutions for US, we thought we’d do HER a favour. We wrote Mum her own list:

  1. Keep better track of your kids. If they run off, a quick nip on the ankles will tell them who’s boss. When they get lost, find them!
  2. Go to bed earlier. You’ve ended up in some kind of timeless wonderland during the school holidays. You’re going to be a zombie if you stay up all night with those 6.30AM starts when school goes back.
  3. More walking.
  4. Diet. If it’s good enough for us, it’s good enough for you.
  5. Renovate Kennel.
  6. Buy more dog bones.
  7. Feed dogs sausages.
  8. Finish the Book Project.

We gave her the same list last year and she ignored it but we thought it might just be worth another shot.

By the way, I’ve been working so hard that it’s now sunset.

sunset

A Front Yard Sunset Viewed Through the Norfolk Pine.

Thank you so much for coming round for coffee and now that we’ve had a chat, how about throwing my ball?

Bilbo with ball

I’ll get you fit in no time for the New Year!

I’ve heard you listed “lose weight” and “Get Fit” in your New Year’s resolutions, even if you didn’t write them down.

I’ve lost 14 kilos in the last year so chasing the ball isn’t so crazy after all!

After you’ve thrown the ball a bit, then, you can start searching for Mister!

This has been part of the Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Diana at Part Time Monster and please check us out at the Linky

Thanks so much for listening! Much affection,

Bilbo xxoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia’s “200th Birthday” Revisited.

“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten”.

– Rudyard Kipling

Last week, Australians celebrated, lamented or slept through Australia Day which marks the arrival of the British First Fleet at Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) On the 26th  January,  1788. Governor Arthur Phillip raised the Union Jack claiming British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia, which was then known as New Holland.  There was no treaty with the Aboriginal people, as there had been with the Maori in New Zealand and you will still hear Australians talk about how Captain Cook discovered Australia in 1770, even though Australia was never actually “lost”.

The Australian Women's Weekly, January, 1988.

The Australian Women’s Weekly, January, 1988.

 

 

If you have read my last post, you’ll know that I recently came across a vintage copy of The Australian Women’s Weekly from January, 1988. This was their “Bicentennial Souvenir: Special Collector’s Edition”, to celebrate Australia’s “200th Birthday”. It included a couple of pages of birthday wishes from around the world:

“Australia is the closest thing to Texas you can get…the women are beautiful, the men are tough and it has got great beer! Happy 200th, Australia.”

-Larry Hagman, who played J.R. Ewing in the hit series: Dallas[1].

“Although by birth I am English, I feel Australian and think of myself as Australian. Australia took me in, nurtured me and sent me out into the world with a sense of belonging   and a great outlook on life. Happy birthday, Australia.”

– Olivia Newton-John[2].

However, while I was reading the magazine, it struck me that there was no mention of Aboriginal people at all. That bothered me enough to put my detective’s hat on and to start digging.

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
George Orwell

The First Fleet Reenactment, 1988.

The First Fleet Reenactment, 1988.

Rewinding back to January 26, 1988…I was a young, 18 year old who had just finished school and was still reveling from celebrating “Schoolies Week” at Surfers Paradise on Queensland’s Gold Coast. This involved lying by the pool or on the beach by day and hitting the nightclubs by night and to be perfectly honest, I was probably more concerned about the state of my tan and of course, friends, relationships, fun.

Enjoying the party atmosphere on Australia Day, 26th January, 1988 , my boyfriend and I were jammed under the Sydney Harbour Bridge along with hundreds and thousands of other sardines on a characteristically hot summer’s day, spellbound as the Tall Ships in the First Fleet Reenactment sailed majestically through Sydney Harbour. I still remember battling to try to photograph the Tall Ships through the crowd with my humble Kodak camera, which was so old that you had to shove a film cartridge in the back. There was a woman standing right in front of me wearing the largest, brightest sunflower-yellow hat I’d ever seen. Indeed, the brim was so wide, that you could land a helicopter on it no worries. I passed the camera to my boyfriend, who being 6ft 4″ almost towered up into the clouds. With that camera, none of our photos were “good” but at least when he took he photos, you could pick the Tall Ships out over the hat.

That was my Australia Day.

Badge Protesting against celebrating Australia's Bicentenary.

Badge Protesting against celebrating Australia’s Bicentenary.

Meanwhile, there was a protest movement of upwards of 40,000 Indigenous Australians and sympathisers marching through Sydney. For them, Australia Day was Invasion Day and 1988 would be a year of mourning. This was the largest march in Sydney since the Vietnam moratorium. The march ended at Hyde Park where several prominent Aboriginal leaders and activists spoke, among them activist Gary Foley; ‘Let’s hope Bob Hawke and his Government gets this message loud and clear from all these people here today. It’s so magnificent to see black and white Australians together in harmony! This is what Australia could and should be like.’

Aboriginal protests on Sydney Harbour, Australia Day, 1988

Aboriginal protests on Sydney Harbour, Australia Day, 1988

While I can be a bit oblivious, I find it hard to believe that I missed a march of that magnitude and it’s only now, some 24 years later, that I’ve been enlightened.

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree. ”
― Michael Crichton

That said, I’m still fairly ignorant. It’s simply impossible to pick up all the nuances on this flying visit and understand what happened. There are others who have done the research and also lived through the times, who can give a much better account than I. As I said, this is just a fleeting visit sparked by a magazine I’d bought at the op shop and my relationships with my extended Aboriginal family.

Bicentennial celebrations exposed differing views both about our history, our future and our identity as a nation. While it was only 24 years ago, I’d like to think we were in a different place back then when where racist jokes were the norm and most Australians really couldn’t understand what the fuss was all about. Why couldn’t the Aboriginal people just join the rest of us under The Bridge and enjoy a piece of birthday cake and enjoy the “celebration of a nation”?   What was their problem and why didn’t somebody lock all those radicals up? Indeed, a disproportionate number of Indigenous people were already in gaol and there was mounting anger about black deaths in custody.

I am not an Aboriginal activist, historian or anybody who really has an understanding of the rights and wrongs involved but I am a person who has a disability and has experienced discrimination enough to know that even the well-intentioned who at least try to get into my wobbilly feet, don’t necessarily know what it’s like to walk in my shoes. Therefore, I don’t pretend to know what it is to be an Indigenous person in Australia…then or now.

However, I do care.

As much as I believe in equality for all and respecting all peoples, it is particularly harsh when someone comes into your country and treats you like shit. Takes away your land, your children and gives immigrants preferential treatment and won’t even give you the vote. Moreover, once some of these things were finally acknowledged, it wasn’t until February 2008 that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd finally managed to say “Sorry”…some 20 years after the Bicentenary!

I am also in an interesting position because my uncle is Aboriginal and because of him, my children identified themselves as being Aboriginal. No matter how much I seemed to explain to them about genetics and pointed out that we were related to my aunt, they still believed they were Aboriginal until quite recently. The penny finally dropped when, after a long discussion with our daughter, she finally asked rather sadly: “Not even a drop?” “No,” I replied. “Not even a drop”. They wish they were Aboriginal and are very proud of Australia’s Indigenous people, culture and history. We don’t see a lot of my aunt and uncle so I believe this connection has been strengthened by their school. Our school says: “Welcome to Country” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welcome_to_Country_and_Acknowledgement_of_Country) at assemblies and events and the children learn Aboriginal arts and culture in way that goes way beyond anything we ever did at school. They have local elders come into the school and talk to the kids as well. About 10% of kids at our school “identify” as being Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and we have an Aboriginal Liaison Officer on staff. We are very proud of our school’s passion and commitment.

It has been interesting seeing how buying a vintage magazine at the op shop has opened my eyes to so many things and made me see the Australian Bicentenary in a completely different light. That said, I have been conscious for some time that celebrating Australia Day on 26th January is not showing sensitivity or compassion towards our Indigenous people who were displaced and so often subjected to horrific crimes of abuse throughout history. This is our national shame and we shouldn’t just bury that under the carpet and pretend that nothing ever happened. We can’t. To be honest, it continues today.

I don’t know what, if anything, I can do about it personally other than write about it, which does seem a bit lame but we each have our role in the body, in our community and as I have said before, I always hope the pen is mightier than the sword. That through writing we can highlight prejudice and injustice and also love and embrace all peoples.

In this, I join with Dr Martin Luther King (Jnr) and say “I have a dream”. I haven’t quite worked out all the details yet but have joined at least 1000 other people who will be writing about compassion on 20th February, 2015…the UN International Day of Social Justice: 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. I encourage you to also participate. You can check out the details here:

https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/bloggers-unite-for-a-better-world-1000-voices-speak-for-compassion/

We need to keep working on the foundations laid by trail blazers like Dr Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela and see love, compassion and equality triumph!

xx Rowena

PS I have compiled a series of quotes relating to the Bicentenary, which is coming up next.

[1] The Australian Women’s Weekly, January 1988, pg 7.

[2] The Australian Women’s Weekly, January 1988, pg 7.

[3] The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995) Saturday 7 March 1987 p 9

[4] Woroni (Canberra, ACT : 1950 – 2007) Monday 7 March 1988 p 19 Article

[5] The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995) Wednesday 1 June 1988 p 30

[6] The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995) Saturday 25 January 1986 p 3

[7] http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm

Time Traveling Through A Vintage 80s Magazine…

Everyone has a secret. Well, mine isn’t exactly a secret. I just haven’t got around to sharing  my passion for history and almost anything retro. This hasn’t been a conscious omission. I’ve simply been writing about other stuff. Besides, it’s a bit like stating the obvious.

You see, when you visit our place, there’s a Morris Minor parked out the front. There are rows of antique bone china tea cups which have broken out of the display cabinet and have started to wander. Old, black & white family photos peer through ornately carved, antique wooden frames and my computer is perched on top of an old oak desk with a gorgeous wood grain finish.

Being the eternal good Samaritan, I’m forever salvaging the past from our local charity or “op” shops as we call them. Indeed, you could say that I’m quite the “archaeologist” or even that I’m “kind to the homeless”. While I do have dogged persistence, most of my “finds” are beyond coincidence and were clearly: “serendipity” or “meant to be”. I had to take them home!!

Anyway, while my greatest archaeological weaknesses is vintage tea cups closely followed by illustrated books and cookbooks, another love of mine is collecting old magazines, which is quite odd in a way because I rarely buy contemporary magazines at all. My most cherished magazines are copies of the Australian Women’s Weekly dating back to the 1950s, which I picked up from an antique shop in the Queensland country town of Marburg, where my mother spent some years as a child. I love really getting into how people lived in “the olden days”.

Australia Day Wishes 1988.

Australia Day Wishes 1988.

Recently, I came across a new find for my collection. It was  an Australian Women’s Weekly dating back to January 1988. That’s now 24 years ago. While it is not as old as my other editions, it was the “Bicentennial Souvenir: Special Collector’s Edition”, which celebrated Australia’s “200th Birthday”. The Bicentenary was a very special time in Australia’s history when we really thought about our identity as a nation and there were all sorts of special events as well as much sorrow.

Personally, 1988 was also a very special year. You see, I’d left school at the end of 1987 and you could say life began in March 1988, when I walked through the gates of Sydney University and discovered a social whirl like none other. Aside from having my heart broken by my high school sweetheart, 1988 was a jolly good year!

While the magazine has much to say about the bicentenary, I’ll get to that after further research. I’m sure you can appreciate that any national celebration of that magnitude was “complex”. Meanwhile, I just want to bask in the light of the glorious 80s and soak up the social, fashion and technological changes and let the good times roll back.

Charles & Di: the greatest modern tragedy.

Charles & Di: a great modern tragedy.

With a touch of schadenfreude, I opened up my Women’s Weekly to find the usual suspects, Diana and Charles, who were guests of honour for the Bicentenary. The headline read: “What will Australia see this time…Diana: Royal Charmer or Spoilt Princess?” After finding this little gem, I would probably advise royal reporter Ingrid Seward to stick to journalism as she makes a lousy clairvoyant: “If the fairytale royal romance were going to crack apart, overheated in the furnace of public scrutiny, it would be now. But it hasn’t. And it won’t.”

This, of course, is one of the disadvantages of getting published. Your words really are set in stone and can indeed come back to haunt you.

Not unsurprisingly,fashion was hot.

Lady Sonia McMahon 1988

Style Icon Lady Sonia McMahon 1988

I came across an interesting feature called “Women of Style”, where they interviewed Australian style icons about their views on Australian fashion. Not unsurprisingly, Lady Sonia McMahon, wife of former Australian Prime Minister Sir Billy McMahon and mother of actor Julian McMahon, was interviewed.

Lady Mc Mahon had climbed to fashion royalty in 1971  when, as the wife of Australian Prime Minster Sir Billy McMahon,  she wore “that dress” to a reception held by US President Richard Nixon at the White House. The daring dress was split both sides to the armpits though held together by rhinestones about two centimetres apart from the waist up. While the dress appears quite revealing, it was actually lined with a pantyhose-type, flesh-coloured fabric.

Sonia McMahon in THAT dress at the White House.

Sonia McMahon in THAT dress at the White House.

Apparently, Lady McMahon was too impressed with how Australian women were dressing in the 80s. “She (Lady McMahon) used to think Australian women were among the best dressed in the world. But then came the jeans revolution and women relaxed- something Lady McMahon does not approve of. Smart clothes, she says, make a smart woman. Neatness and attention to detail, which some women are born with, but Lady McMahon says can be learnt, are paramount to style”. (I can’t help wondering what Lady McMahon would think of the current girl’s fashion…denim short shorts…)

Dame Edna Everage wearing a signature piece of Australiana

While Dame Edna Everage wearing a signature piece of Australiana

Meanwhile, not one to be outdone in the fashion stakes, Dame Edna Everage also featured in fashion pages in: What Dame Edna is Wearing Overseas. If you haven’t encountered Dame Edna before, she has a certain je ne sais quoi, which completely defies any kind of interpretation. As my daughter said when I introduced her to Dame Edna tonight: “What kind of person is she?”

Only Dame Edna could manage to incorporate the Auistralian flag and a 3D version of the Sydney Opera House into a frock.

Only Dame Edna could manage to incorporate the Auistralian flag and a 3D version of the Sydney Opera House into a frock.

In contrast to Lady McMahon’s classic elegance,  Dame Edna is wearing a garish canary yellow outfit with two koalas up a gum tree. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she’s also pictured wearing a blue dress with the Australian flag sequined on the bodice. But wait!!! It gets worse. I just noticed that the white starchy collar is actually the Sydney Opera House. Yikes!!! Hasn’t she ever heard that less is more? Oh my goodness!! I can feel some kind of severe anaphylactic reaction setting in. Oh! I mean… there’s the pink hair, purple hair and I’m not even going to discuss the glasses…Oh my goodness. There just aren’t enough superlatives to do Dame Edna any kind of justice whatsoever!!  She just has to be the most truly cringe-worthy, “national symbol” EVER!!!!!

The big question I have is this: Who allowed Dame Edna to leave the country dressed like that and why on earth did a magazine like the Australian Women’s Weekly publish the evidence?

Quite frankly, someone should have grabbed Dame Edna by the horns and told her in no uncertain terms: “Go to your room. You’re not leaving the house looking like that!!!” I know fashion was a bit out there in the 80’s but I’m flabbergasted.

Indeed, when it comes to managing Dame Edna stronger measures would have been required. The fact that she ended up overseas dressed like that and representing our country makes her fashion choices a matter of national security.  She was destroying our National Credibility Rating (NCR). What with those crazy outfits, the pink and purple hair and all her “hello possums” and parading around as Australian royalty, she was a national embarrassment.

I understand that customs usually stop undesirables from entering into a country but couldn’t they have done something to stop her from getting out??? Anything!!!

Of course, there are the fashion police. If ever there was a case demanding their expert attention, this was it. They should have locked her up and thrown away the key! absolutely!! Sentenced her to life imprisonment rather than let her flaunt her peculiar fashions overseas and in The Weekly.

Yet, as much as Dame Edna has that incredible cringe factor, for some strange reason, we still love her even though we want to hit her with the nearest fly swat!!!

Gee, I hope Dame Edna never gets hold of Lady McMahon’s “dress” from the Powerhouse Museum. Seeing the epitome of kitsch dressed as the epitome of style would be the outrage to end all outrages…especially as I doubt Dame Edna has ever shaved her legs!!

Moving on from fashion, I also found an interview with then 60 Minutes journalist Jana Wendt. Among other topics, she was responding to a magazine article which appeared two weeks after the birth of her son, Daniel. The article had implied that Jana was “afraid of motherhood” and was fearful that motherhood would make her less effective as a journalist. She had not been consulted for this article and explained: “I can’t believe that any responsible journalist, who supposedly values the qualities of motherhood, would come out and try to undermine a working woman’s life by saying that, just because she’s had a child, she’s somehow going to be different, or unprofessional, or, all of a sudden, softer in her interviewing technique. The prejudice that women often lay at the feet of men- well, I think some women should examine themselves for that prejudice because it’s clearly there.”…

“Your priorities do change when you have a child. Not your personal priorities but the fact that your lifestyle has to accommodate another person.You have somehow to work out how you’re going to make that person happy and contented so, yes, it did- or is- taking a lot of thought and I’ve no intention of stopping work at all. My work is very important to me and it makes me a complete person. I don’t think I’d be very successful at just sitting at home,” Jana said.

I personally have mixed views about Jana’s comments. I wholeheartedly support her desire to combine motherhood and career but her assertion that full time parents are just “sitting down” is poorly informed. They’d be lucky enough to sit down long enough to get through a cup of tea uninterrupted.

Another point of interest was a joint photography feature between the Australian Women’s Weekly and Fuji Film: How to Take Perfect Photos…Every Time!

Of course, this was written before digital photography when cameras used film and you couldn’t see how your photo had turned out until you’d had them processed. That’s right. There was a door on the back of your camera for putting in the film and not a screen. You also had to choose the right speed of film and you couldn’t switch easily between colour and black and white either. Photography was a lot more conscious than it is now. You really did need to try to set your shot up well and get it right before you took it, rather than checking as you go. This feature also suggested that if you were traveling and wanted to remember characteristic sound effects, you could take along a small cassette recorder. Now, that really starts to date the magazine.I’d imagine that if we could travel backwards in time and tell them we’re taking selfies on our mobile phones, they’d tell us: “You’re dreaming.”

I also came across this photo of a computer 1988 style:

Computers 1980s style...a terminal connected to a mainframe.

Computers 1980s style…a terminal connected to a mainframe.

However, as much as things have changed since January, 1988, some things have also stayed the same.

Thank goodness for Sao biscuits!!

Thank goodness some things never change!!

Thank goodness some things never change!!

I don’t know if I really miss the 80’s but wouldn’t it be great to be 18 again for just one day!!

Yes, I’d have a lot to say to my 18 year old self!! What about you?

xx Rowena

Sources:

The Australian Women’s Weekly, January, 1988.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/a-love-beyond-understanding/story-e6frg6z6-1111114526775

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/celebrity/sonia-mcmahon-elegance-loyalty-and-that-dress-20100403-rkcv.html