This week I have been listening to:
The Eleventh An ABC podcast about the events leading up to the dismissal of Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, by the Governor General, Jim Kerr, in 1975. I was only young when it happened so only have a fuzzy understanding of the circumstances that led up to this momentous event in Australian politics. This podcast is helping to add context to Gough’s famous statement on the steps of Old Parliament House.
You can see in this video, he doesn’t look like someone who has just lost their job. He was described as having a “beautiful arrogance” and you can see that here. The podcast is providing a snapshot view of 1970s Australia – with politics “even whiter and blokier than it is now”; with sexism and racism passing unquestioned in politics and the media.
This week I have been reading
The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall by Mary Elise Sarotte. This book highlights how the communist political culture built on secrecy and lack of trust actually contributed to the opening of the Berlin Wall. The people who followed orders without questioning, people who were more concerned about covering their own backs or furthering their career, the unwillingness of subordinates to question or to ask for more information out of fear or seeming to not support the party… the paranoia that the system built into itself led to its own destruction. I loved this line “The vote counting would degenerate into a chaotic affair, since the central committee had little practice with voting not fully fixed in advance.”
This week I have discovered
Nairn’s coconut and chia oat biscuits.
They must lace these with crack cocaine or something because they are so delicious. I ate eight of them without even noticing. I have since put them under lock and key at the back of the cupboard. Although I still know they are there…
This week I have been surprised by
New Trains There are new trains on my commute. Instead of the backward/forwards seating on the old carriages, these carriages have the seating along the sides of the train, which makes it easier to fit more people in. But also – no more having to push past the knees of people who choose to sit on the aisle to get into that seat by the window.
This week I am celebrating
Passing 20,000 words in my book The characters are starting to seem physically real to me. I even dreamt about meeting two of them at a party (which is key to the plot, incidentally). My aim for the rest of this month is to get words down every day to reach 40,000 by the end of March, which gets me over the mental ‘half way’ line and will be cause for a little happy dance. Or perhaps an extended kitchen disco session?
This week I have been ignoring
Dirt My house really needs a clean. I have been ignoring it for a few weeks now. But even on a dirty grey day with not a hint of sun and the windows shut tight against the lashing rain, I can still see the dust lurking in the corners. So damn. I’m going to have to clean this weekend.