Raised by Violence.

I read in the news this week that Dominic Ongwen, a commander in the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army, was at a pre-trial court appearance in the Hague. He faces crimes against humanity, including murder and enslavement. That he is there at all is significant, since he is the first member of the LRA to face trial. However, his presence in a courtroom also raises some questions about how such a trial might go ahead.

Ongwen was abducted in the 1980s by the Lord’s Resistance Army, and became one of Africa’s many child-soldiers. These children are taken from villages from a young age, brainwashed and often introduced to drugs and violence. By the time they are adults, they have already spent many years witnessing and often perpetrating violent crime. So, at what point can they be held responsible for the kinds of acts they commit, when so many of them have also experienced the same abuse?

Continue reading


A Typical Toddle.

These titles are getting to be a bit of a stretch, aren’t they? Haha.

It’s been a hot week for us here in Western Australia. Apparently the north of the state missed out on their hottest day since records began by just 0.2 of a degree. I’m sure the people living there felt the difference! Even here on the south coast it was warmer than usual. I wonder what it will be like in five or ten years, when we’ve completely changed our approach to global warming and are all on renewable, sustainable energy? (Well, I can dream, can’t I?)

Hope your Sunday is an interesting one – I’m off to have a cup of tea and a piece of banana-berry-bread with the Handsome Sidekick!

Continue reading

She Sells Sanctuary.

A friend of mine recently decided to leave conventional churches behind and begin her own worship at home, with her children. She described her first liturgy as being such a wonderful, fulfilling experience, and it got me thinking about the differences of institutions versus private gatherings, in particular with regards to religion and homeschooling. And that got me thinking about cults.

Now, of course, I don’t think my friend is about to start a cult. Here’s where I should probably go through my thought process in greater detail!

Continue reading

The Frequent Footslog.

Well. I have never in my life used the word ‘footslog’ and probably am unlikely to do so again. I mean, finding links once a week is hardly a slog, really.

Anyway. We’ve got two weeks left of summer holidays and suddenly we seem to be running out of time to do everything. It always seems like that at the beginning of a long break, doesn’t it? You imagine all these things you’ll do, and then time gets away from you. But I think the children are looking forward to going back to school, and I am too – in the nicest possible way, of course! It’s exciting to start a new school year. Before then, though, we’ve friends to see and icey poles to eat and long summer afternoons to enjoy.

Have an excellent Sunday, everyone!

Continue reading

Are You Sitting Comfortably? Then I’ll Begin…

Aeon magazine posted the link to this story on my Twitter feed earlier in the week, and I copied it with the idea that it could be interesting to put in the links roundup on Sunday. However, as I was reading other news articles, I realised that it tied in so well to something else I had seen about the massacre of villagers in Nigeria by Boko Haram.

Continue reading

A Sometime Saunter.

We have an extra child in our house this morning – it’s First Offspring’s first time hosting a sleepover and his friend arrived last night to stay. They had a great time, playing Minecraft and being nerdy about Pokemon. Ah, childhood! Now I just have enough time to post these links before I take her home. Hope you’re all having a good start to the New Year!

Continue reading

Because I Said So.

Last night, I had the dubious honour of managing to make all my Offspring cry at the same time.

This happens very rarely, I have to admit. My emotions at the time were:

–  sadness, because it’s never pleasant to listen to children cry
–   annoyance, because of the mess I was having to clean up
–  hilarity, because Second Offspring was crying and calling through the door, “BUT WE    LOVE YOU!”

I had given them their tea – satay chicken with peas and carrots, with rice. They were all settling down to eat, and so I brought them all a drink of water, and then left the room.

Continue reading

Instant Beauty.

The other night I drove to get a takeaway meal to share with the Handsome Sidekick for our tea, and the national radio station was replaying the opening address to the 2014 Sydney Writers’ Festival. The speaker was Andrew Solomon, and even though I only listened to about twenty minutes’ worth, the parts I heard had me moved to both tears and laughter. As I got out at home and reluctantly turned off the radio, I thought to myself, ‘What a simply brilliant speech.’

Continue reading