wonderlanded: (euphoric syd)
I wonder why all my epiphanies take a really, really shallow form?

I have just had the best haircut of my life. The whole experience was good. The head massage was good, the shampoo smelled lovely, the pretty smelly stuff she used in my hair smells of vanilla and other nice things, she suggested products but didn't push them, she listened and showed me all kinds of tips and tricks, they gave me a glass of champagne and to top it all of the cut is AWESOME.

Now I just have to seriously juggle my finances, because I NEED to buy a GHD ceramic hair straightener. Seriously, that little thing is just awesome. I have thick, coarse, curly hair and right now? My hair is Gwyneth Paltrow's, ONLY PRETTIER.

They're expensive, yes. But they curl, so I can leave my two curling irons behind. And I won't need to invest in an amazingly powerful UK hair dryer like I was going to do, because the mid-range ones just don't cut it with my hair.

So, epiphany. Best hair of life. Champagne. Lip gloss at secret squirrel 20% off. And it was my absolute favourite lip gloss, too, the Aveda Aramanth one, which looks gorgeous and feels lovely and smells of berries.

And do you know what? The haircut wasn't even that expensive.
wonderlanded: (bacall)
For any lovely friends who aren't BoingBoing enthusiasts (and if you're not, why aren't you?), they just linked to a really interesting New York Times editorial on the concept of intelligent design.

As usual with the NYT, you'll need to register.

I am appropriating the "Nature is clearly an avid abortionist" line for use in my own arguments with fundamentalists on the subject of abortion.


Feb. 20th, 2005 01:04 pm
wonderlanded: (Syd on Phone)
So here's the thing with AIM. I love chatting to people, but there are two problems:

1. I have no idea who half the people on my buddy list actually are, if you understand my meaning. I added you a while ago, but I have no idea what your AIM idea correlates to in terms of your LJ / Chicklit / Actual name. And therefore I cannot contact you, because I don't know who you are.

2. I'm actually rather shy about initiating AIM contact even when I do know who you are.

I'm almost always up for a chat; if I'm busy or at work I'll tell you so. My AIM username is primulamary -- big surprise, my soft spot for poor maligned little Prim is getting softer and softer.
wonderlanded: (bacall)
All this palaver over Charles and Camilla and what will happen when/if he becomes king has achieved one thing.

I have the barbershop Scrubs version of Charles in Charge stuck in my head again.
wonderlanded: (Mary smiling)
I can't think of a group of people better qualified to help me with my current project.

I know a young girl, aptly named Alice. Her parents and mine are great friends; I used to babysit her when she was a tiny, I coached her debating team the first year she ever debated, and she's always been a part of my life.

She's a gorgeous, eager, effervescent, brilliant, strangely knowing and old-fashioned girl. I absolutely adore her.

I've introduced her to many books over the years -- the Seven Little Australians books, which I think she loves as much as I do, and Ballet Shoes and more school-stories than her parents care to remember.

She's fourteen now, which as many of you probably remember is a tricky time to be a reader, caught in some odd limbo of not knowing what to read first, or what to read next, with a bewildering galaxy of books stretching ahead into the future, and so you plunge headfirst into Tolstoy and become utterly discouraged and confused and think yourself the stupidest girl in the world.

I think the troubling business of being a reader in a world full of books must be weighing heavily on her mind, because her parents have just paid me the enormous and marvellous compliment of asking me to put together a list of books I think she ought to read, particularly as I won't be here to press books upon her in person.

I have quite a decent list on its way, but I know I'm forgetting things, or that there are wonderful books that saved you in your adolescence that haven't crossed my path.

Will you help?
wonderlanded: (Syd Vaughn Mad World)
I just got this email from my mum:

"I thought that too - that you could just work the whole 12 months and then leave - anyway by then you might be indepensible to someone and get a different visa - like the ones they get for people here who then get to stay for years. I'm sure it will all work out fine and their loss will be our gain (or France or Ireland's - both sound good). When one door closes another usually opens - especially if people are like you and willing to work hard. I wouldn't worry if I were you - these things have a way of resolving themselves (easy for me to say I know - pity I don't practice what I preach)."

She is just amazing, isn't she?

Of course, I am all teary now.
wonderlanded: (Cecilia in field)
On or around this day 60 years ago, three women were led to the execution ground at Ravensbrück concentration camp, where each of them was shot in the back of the neck and immediately cremated. Their names were Denise Bloch, Lilian Rolfe, and Violette Szabo.

They were, all three, young women. Denise was 29, Lilian was 30, and Violette just 23. They had spent many months in the hands of their tormentors. They had endured imprisonment, starvation, and torture in some of the most infamous places in Nazi Europe before being sent to Ravensbrück and, ultimately, to their deaths as the Nazis tried to obliterate any who might speak out against them.

Their fates were not unique, but their mission was unusual. They were among the thirty-nine women of the French Section of the Special Operations Executive sent to France during the war to fulfil Churchill’s order to “set Europe ablaze”. Of those thirty-nine, fourteen did not return.

Just after D-Day, Andrée Borrel, Diana Rowden, Vera Leigh and Sonia Olschanesky were given phenol injections at Natzweiler concentration camp and then cremated. It is known that at Andrée, at least, went into the furnaces alive.

On the eleventh of September, 1944, Noor Inayat Khan, Yolande Beekman, Madeleine Damerment and Eliane Plewman walked together to the execution grounds at Dachau. They knelt down and held hands as they were executed.

Muriel Byck was fatally injured during a raid on an ammunition dump at Michenon. She died a fortnight after the raid, on 23 May, 1944.

Cecily Lefort was imprisoned in Fresnes for six months, and then spent a year in Ravensbrück. In January 1945, she was transferred to the nearby Jugendlager and gassed.

Yvonne Rudellat spent over a year in Fresnes prison before being transferred to Ravensbrück in April 1944. She was later transferred to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where she contracted typhus and died on or around 23 April, 1945.

The women of SOE were shining examples of courage, determination, and integrity, who helped to pave the way for women in active combat throughout Britain and the world.

Those among them, like Odette Hallowes, who did come home, have tried to teach us not to hate; that to do so is only to perpetuate hatred and intolerance. Odette believed, and for the rest of her life tried to tell others, that repressive regimes like Nazi Germany can only exist when a society supports hatred and bigotry.

She said: "I am a very ordinary woman to whom a chance was given to see human beings at their best and at their worst. I knew kindness as well as cruelty, understanding as well as brutality. I completely believe in the potential nobility of the human spirit."

To the memories of the fourteen who represent so many more. They exemplify all the women who came before us who literally gave their lives rather than live under oppression and tyranny, and who fought for their right to do so on the same terms as men.

Their shoulders held the skies suspended. We owe each one of them a great debt.
wonderlanded: (Cecilia in field)

I remember: it happened yesterday, or eternities ago. A young Jewish boy discovered the Kingdom of Night. I remember his bewilderment, I remember his anguish. It all happened so fast. The ghetto. The deportation. The sealed cattle car. The fiery altar upon which the history of our people and the future of mankind were meant to be sacrificed.

I remember he asked his father: “Can this be true? This is the twentieth century, not the Middle Ages. Who would allow such crimes to be committed? How could the world remain silent?”

And now the boy is turning to me. “Tell me,” he asks, “what have you done with my future, what have you done with your life?” And I tell him that I have tried. That I have tried to keep memory alive, that I have tried to fight those who would forget. Because if we forget, we are guilty, we are accomplices.

And then I explain to him how naïve we were, that the world did know and remained silent. And that is why I swore never to be silent whenever wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe
Elie Wiesel, on accepting his Nobel Peace Prize

Today, people around the world mourn the six million and the five million who were victims of the Nazi terror: the six million Jews and the five million Rom Gypsies; gays and lesbians; priests, pastors, and nuns; Jehovah’s Witnesses; disabled people; and men and women of principle and courage from every occupied nation who were killed in the name of an idea.

We have failed them again and again: in Bosnia, in the Soviet Union, in Rwanda, in Iraq, in Cambodia, in the Sudan, in Liberia, in far too many countries where mass slaughter in the name of ideology or nationhood has been allowed happen while the world failed to do anything to stop it.

The twentieth century cannot but be remembered for its bloody legacy of genocide and slaughter.

We must all work every nerve to prevent the twenty-first being doomed to a similar fate. We haven't started well.
wonderlanded: (Default)
From tomorrow, ABC News is ditching the familiar, marvellous Majestic Fanfare as its theme music and adopting something "entirely new and very different."

What are they thinking? The ABC News theme ought to be sacrosanct. Pure idiocy.

But hurrah! for Australian of the Year Dr Fiona Wood. And thank Christ they didn't choose another actor or sportsperson. Fiona Wood is really absolutely amazing, and well deserving of the honour.
wonderlanded: (bacall)
If you needed to buy a hatbox without buying a hat, where would you do so?
wonderlanded: (Toby hates everyone)
I hate moving.

That is all.

Only no, it isn't. I hate every facet of moving. I particularly hate the bit I'm up to now, where the flat is mostly empty but looks like a cross between a bomb site and every student digs ever imagined, only with fewer milk crates.

Possessions currently remaining in flat:
Washing machine
Small suitcase

The sofa and the washing machine were supposed to go tonight, but there is a great big fucking thunderstorm and I have a marked objection to my sofa getting drenched. So tomorrow will be even longer.

Cleaning left to be done: Lots. We've had a few intensive days of getting individual marks off walls ripping the crap out of the garden and cleaning tiles and what-not, but cleaning a flat is one of those jobs that just never ever gets finished. There's always something else.
wonderlanded: (Default)
Oh, lord. Eventually, they have to hit a wall, right?


Jan. 14th, 2005 06:43 pm
wonderlanded: (euphoric syd)
My passport arrived home today, with my entry clearance safely pasted inside. It's very pretty with a silver hologrammy thing.

There is a small chance that I am terribly excited about the fact that I am now, incontrovertably, moving to the UK. Now all I need to obsess over is money and a job. I don't know what I shall do with my spare time.

I'm going to hand in my resignation on Monday; I'm already planning a letter. I want it to be a good one, because it's been an awesome job and I've loved it to bits.

Now all we have to do is to get [livejournal.com profile] majea's immigration status sorted out.

Londoners (and Thereaboutsians): I shall be arriving at 2.30pm on Thursday, 31 March. I am free for a few pints any time after that.
wonderlanded: (Cecilia in field)
Right. I've been meaning to do my holiday film reviews forever now, so I'll do them now while I remember. They're all terrifically spoileriffic. You have been warned.

Finding Neverland )

Lemony Snicket )

The Incredibles )

The Phantom of the Opera )
wonderlanded: (Syd sings)
Damn. The fireworks and televised celebrations finished with Peter Brocklehurst singing Nessun Dorma. That's gonna linger.
wonderlanded: (mission buffy)
Australia, with our meagre population of 20 million, is stepping up. The Australian Government has increased our aid contribution to $60 million. The States and Territories have each made large contributions of their own, as have major cities. The City of Melbourne has pledged half a million dollars as well as having collection points at Federation Square tonight; the Sydney Lord Mayor has launched a tsunami relief appeal Here in Brisbane, reports are that people are being incredibly generous at the Red Cross collection points, and the Brisbane City Council is donating $100,000.

So many individuals are reaching out.

The man at a Gold Coast nursing home who had been keeping some money "under his mattress for a rainy day." He said he didn't think he had too many rainy days left, so he donated the full $10,000 to the relief efforts.

The Sydney woman who has, almost single-handed, organised a cargo plane and filled it with supplies donated by Northern Beaches pharmacies.

The call centre workers who, on some of the lowest salaries in Australia, have volunteered to give up a full day's pay to give to the aid efforts, raising more than $60,000. One of the workers, a softly-spoken man with a family, has donated his next fortnight's pay, saying that it isn't terribly much, and his family has nothing that they can't put off for a fortnight.

The cricket Tests are being put on hold for a fundraising cricket match in Melbourne, which aims to raise $2 million for the affected nations. Charity concerts are being organised around the nation.

This is our region, and these are our neighbours. I get the feeling that in Australia, there is more appreciation of not just the cost to tourists, but to the local people in Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the Maldives, and the other affected nations.

And I think that we're realising it's an opportunity to mend some fences and build some bridges, both literally and metaphorically. There have been too many tensions in our region over the past three or four years; it is heartening to see that as we reach out to people in Indonesia and beyond, we are being greeted as friends.

So maybe, just maybe, we can enter the New Year with a glimmer of hope.

Happy New Year.
wonderlanded: (loving pen and cricket)
Welcome to Naomi Rosalind! And congratulations to all four of your parents, too. You're frightfully lucky to have them, a fact of which you will be regularly reminded as you grow up.

And well done on being so pretty and healthy! See, you're talented already!
wonderlanded: (dawn scream)
I'm really glad that Australian tourists are coming home safely from South Asia, and props to Virgin Blue and Qantas for putting on free planes to help Australians get home. But I just saw on the news a group of Australians who have just arrived home who made me almost ashamed to be an Australian.

I know they've had a horrible experience. I know that they're in shock and they're irrational and upset and they're not thinking properly about what they're saying in front of the cameras shoved in their faces at the airport.

But for fuck's sake. Do they honestly think the government -- any government -- should be making it a priority to try to reduce the amount of time they spent queueing at the airport and make it easier for Australians to get same-day flights home? Ignore the fact that they're alive, which is more than some of our compatriots are, and much more than more than 60,000 people in South Asia are. Ignore the fact that they have homes and families to come back to, jobs that are waiting for them, and the government will foot the fucking bill for any expenses or hardship incurred as a result of the tragedy.

But yes. Certainly. The government should have focussed on getting you home hassle-free first, and then focused its efforts on people who are starving and threatened by cholera, malaria and myriad other disease, who have no homes and no livelihoods and in many cases no families, who are burying friends and strangers in mass graves.

I'm not the world's biggest fan of the Australian government, but they do seem to be stepping up here. Australia has pledged nearly as much cash to the relief effort as the US, and the Foreign Minister has promised that our contribution will increase. Australian troops are already on the ground in Sumatra, India and Sri Lanka.

So: Shut up, Australian tourists with no sense of proportion. Shut up, Colin Powell. And go Jan Egeland, because you are entirely right. We were more charitable as nations when we were poorer, and I don't know why the fuck we're so stingy now either, except that as we get richer we get more and more selfish.
Page generated Sep. 20th, 2017 09:20 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios