Ten years ago in my blogland

Back from Redfern

07 Apr 2006

You might recall that I had a holter fitted for 24 hours a while back; I am just back from the Redfern doctor where I got the results: nothing too unusual for someone over sixty. An occasional double heart-beat, and a few other minor irregularities. I was amazed to learn my heart-rate over that day ran from minimum 47 per minute to maximum 120!

Lord Malcolm is back in hospital, but hopefully not for long.

I had a late breakfast at Di CazBar Cafe on the corner of Redfern Street and Chalmers Street, with a pleasant outlook of Redfern Park. I kind of like Redfern despite all the bad publicity. Di CazBar does a mean porridge.

Easter Sunday in Surry Hills

16 Apr 2006

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Just got a phone message from my brother Ian, who lives in Tasmania, from the above ship saying he was now off the town of Shellharbour, where our father was born, and expected to arrive in Sydney Harbour at 11am. So that’s where I am off to shortly.

Then at 1pm it’s off to St Vincent’s Hospital. Sirdan and I are having lunch with Lord Malcolm — I did see him yesterday — at a Thai restaurant near the hospital.

So no church for me today, but a special day nonetheless.

Later That Thai restaurant in Darlinghurst — Best Thai — was really excellent.

It’s still there in 2016.

Spare a thought for Fairy Meadow

20 Apr 2016

I spent most of the 1970s in and around Wollongong and taught some of that time at a school whose postal address was Fairy Meadow. I spent perhaps too much time at the Cabbage Tree Hotel, generally known as the Cabbage Patch, on Princes Highway Fairy Meadow. And there were some very butch men in there, I can tell you. I suspect young Peter (see the pic on the link) was not even born then: a shame really.

All this silliness is because Today Tonight trotted out a cliched piece on “political correctness gone mad” tonight, always a good filler between dodgy builders, diets, and consumer rip-offs. Apparently “Sea World on the Gold Coast has decided the name fairy penguins could cause offence to the gay community so now it is now calling them little penguins.”

Well how silly of them, that’s all I can say. I don’t think I have met any gay person, and I have met quite a few, who would lose any sleep over the existence of fairy penguins, so heaven knows what pills they have been dissolving in the water up on the Gold Coast.

There is a sinister twist, of course, as such routine mockery of “political correctness” masks the fact that so-called PC has really done a lot of good. To be aware that our choice of language could marginalise and hurt people is not such a bad thing, is it? On the other hand, there are those for whom PC seems to be the new tee-total, a puritan fetish. One can have an inclusive spirit, I suspect, without tying oneself in too many linguistic knots, and if the spirit is right I think the language will follow; unfortunately the converse may also be true, with habitual anti-PC revealing a malign spirit, or a thoughtless one at best.

Channel Seven goes on: “But not even Santa Claus can escape being in the political correctness firing line, remember when he got the sack from some child care centres worried about causing offence to non-Christians?” Funnily, Santa Claus, with all the commercialism around that image, causes offence to some Christians: I don’t think you will find him in the New Testament. Doesn’t worry me, though, nor does it worry most Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Communists or atheists of my acquaintance.

Go to Weasel Words for much more interesting language crimes — like “rendition” for example.

In the city seeing my brother off

25 Apr 2006

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It was a bit complicated getting to King Street Wharf as the city was still sealed off pretty much for Anzac Day. The bus deposited me near St James Church, not exactly close, but I got there in time after negotiating Martin Place which was full of people in kilts and/or playing bagpipes. Some Scottish regiment having a remembrance ceremony.

After seeing my brother off, I walked back to Circular Quay via the historic Argyle Cut (see pic) where you may still make out the occasional broad arrow left by the convict roadbuilders.

There will be some family pics to show you soon, I believe.

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