Even 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’.
Apart 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?
Well dear readers, round five of the chemo-hormone inhibitor combo went by in August with the blink of an eye, or as long as it takes to overthrow an Australian Prime Minister. Hang on a minute, that’s not right. Chemo rounds take 21 days and the PM swap out took less than a week! Just after that unseemly political fracas I saw a funny comment on Twitter, claiming that Australian neurosurgeons have ceased asking patient’s emerging from surgery ‘Who is the Prime Minister?’ It appears this question is no longer a reliable indicator that the patient’s brain is functioning normally. Continue Reading
In 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