Monday, 28 July 2014

Speaking in Public

This post will be a quick one, because I'm getting ready to go to Canberra, where I'll be delivering the third annual Emily's List Oration at the Shine Dome at 7pm this coming Friday, August 1.

I've written the speech and made other necessary arrangements.  The big question now is what to wear.  What an admission!  Having adapted myself to balmy Sydney weather for almost ten years, my wardrobe is bereft of woolly jumpers, and I've scoured the streets of Manly in vain looking for one.  The other consideration is how to scrub up.  A writer doesn't often appear in public, and this particular occasion is not a literary festival, where the casual garb of scribblers are almost de rigeur.  All I can say now is I'll do my best.  My predecessors have been Julia Gillard and Anne Summers, and they are, to a woman, hard acts to follow. 

And then there's the problem of my hair .... 

As for the speech, all I can say for now is that there is, among other things, a Mexican connection.  Hope those who can, will come.

On a more serious note, I have been truly traumatised by developments in Gaza.  Like everyone else, I'm praying for peace, and have been sharing posts on the situation, articles that I feel have contributed to my enlightenment on the conflict and its origins. 

I can't bear to look at the pictures.

I've lost track of the number of petitions I've signed, the gist of most being that the blockade must be lifted and the occupation ended before there's any hope of peace.  Unfortunately, this is exactly what the present Israeli government will never agree to. 

I also believe that the US must stop contributing to the horror by blocking censure of Israel in the UN and handing over 3 billion dollars annually to augment Israel's grossly inflated military power.   The bald fact is that there can be no peace without justice.  And by no stretch of anyone's imagination, outside of Netanyahu's and those of his supporters', inside Israel and without, is this a just war.


  1. On the question of what to wear - I recall Toni Morrison saying she was quite flummoxed by the question of suitable attire for accepting her Nobel Prize. From memory, I think she borrowed a 'little black dress' from a friend.

  2. Well, I did manage to scrub up for the occasion, but wasn't at all prepared for Canberra's cold! Even inside, I didn't seem to have layers enough - especially on the second day when I was attending the Labor Women's conference. I had an outfit for the conference dinner that night but the thought of leaving the venue and changing at the place I was staying was too daunting. I ended up attending in an Emily's List hoodie and my jeans. The good thing about aging is there comes a time when no one gives a fig what you look like and one's natural eccentricity can be embraced.

  3. Love that notion of getting to an age when "one's natural eccentricity can be embraced"! The LBD is always good - if you have one you can pull off! I have a Long Black Dress as I don't do heels and all that stuff you need with the Little dress. Sorry though to hear you were cold even inside. They weren't doing their jobs very well if they didn't have the place warm.

    And most of all I'm very sorry I didn't make it. My danged cough hung on and hung on for nearly two weeks despite trying to keep as quiet as possible. Still, it wasn't the flu and I could still read.

    Are you going to write up your talk here?

  4. Hope you've got rid of the cough, Madame Gums. It's been going round, I'm told. And much worse. The talk went well, surprisingly so - I was so scared that no one would turn up, convinced that no one had ever even heard of me. After all, it was so long ago. Almost another life. But much to my surprise the Shine Dome was respectably filled and I've had a lot of nice feedback since. (And I did manage to scrub up okay but was disappointed in my hair, which was recently cut and misbehaved.) You can read the text on a link on the Emily's List website and it's been published, slightly edited, in Inside Story. Enough said on that for a while. I've just posted another blog - 'Subverting the Linear Order' - on writing and painting for a break from feminism and politics. Don't know how you manage to get your splendid work out so frequently. Am full of awe and admiration.

  5. Yes, the cough is now 99% gone, thanks Sara - still a slight asthmatic wheeze occasionally. Don't be so modest. Of course people remember you! Anyhow, I will go look for that talk now you've given me a couple of sites to check. Hair - what a bane it is.

    And now I'll catch up on you most recent two posts. (I been doing a little contract job over the last two weeks, so haven't been keeping up so well.)

  6. Lovely to have your wise and resonating words on my words again, WG. Yes, hair. I for one am pretty conscious of it because I inherited my mother's frizz and as a consequence was very often subjected to her criticism about it and I still have her voice on the matter ricocheting through my head. Perhaps the topic for another post, if I dared! And here's to your full recovery from the cough - nasty stuff going around.

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