Keep a civil tongue in your head

shutterstock_1291748551Even though corporal punishment wasn’t considered politically incorrect or even vaguely inappropriate when my sisters and I were growing up, our parents rarely used this method of discipline.  Unsurprisingly for a journalist, my father’s preferred form of reprimand was always language. As a teenager, when I argued with either parent Dad metred out sharp turns of phrase like, ‘Always wrong but never in doubt,’ or the classic King Lear line, ‘How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child’. But it’s his rebuke for answering back or being disrespectful, as teenagers are wont to be, that is stamped on my very being all these years later: ‘Keep a civil tongue in your head’.

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Any spiritual port in a storm

20190201 - Any spiritual port in a stormApart from the humidity and uber-crowded beaches, there’s another reason I know when summer’s come to Sydney – the water lilies that blossom in our courtyard pond. Because gardening in general, and tending a pond in particular, are not my strong suits, each year in the winter months when the lilies recede I harbour a small fear that they’ve actually gone away for good. And each year when summer comes, their gentle yet joyous re-emergence pokes fun at my spectacular lack of trust. They also remind me of an art tour of Rajasthan I took with my sister Janet, a month before this Big Breast Adventure began. Bet you’re wondering why, or maybe not, but you know I’m going to tell you anyway right?

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Giving in

20181221 - Giving in 2 - shutterstock_26633275I believe Winston Churchill first said the words, ‘Never, never, never give up’, but today’s zeitgeist is so saturated with this sentiment one could easily think it was Lorna Jane or Bear Grylls who came up with the idea! The past few months have certainly heightened my appreciation of this strong message of persistence and resilience. Lately though, I’ve been feeling it’s too warlike and perhaps a tad egotistical, to be of continuing use in my current circumstances.Continue Reading

Real or not real?

20180722 - Real or not real - shutterstock_507022525In Suzanne Collins’ Mockingjay the last book in The Hunger Games trilogy there’s a beautiful scene between Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, the traumatised District 12 tributes and star-crossed lovers. While they’ve both endured the unspeakable inside and outside of the barbaric Hunger Games arena, Peeta was captured by the evil regime of President Snow and tortured with mind-altering drugs. To put it mildly, his grip on reality is completely shot and he frequently needs Katniss to confirm what real and what’s not.

‘You love me.  Real or not real?’ Peeta asks, and Katniss responds, ‘Real.’

Well folks, the search is on for my inner Katniss as we progress through a fourth round of home-based chemo-hormone inhibitor therapy. Continue Reading