The Week Links: in which our blogger sees cousins!

I’ve been busy with family over the past couple of weeks–our Offspring have been on their school holidays (a two-week break) and also, my cousins, whom I’ve not seen for over a decade, came to visit. It was really great to see them, and meet their children (and introduce ours) and now our Offspring are sad because I told them that the cousins live on the other side of the country! Still, it was lovely to see them all getting along, and my cousins are as awesome as they ever were.

Now, on with the links!

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Things Can Only Get Better.

I received call a few months ago, asking if I’d mind participating in a survey. Since it was only going to take up seven minutes of my time, I thought, sure, why not?

The questions were mainly about consumer confidence. I was asked if I thought housing prices were higher than they had been this time last year. (I said no). I was asked if I thought they would go up in the future (I said yes). Then he asked me if our financial situation were better, worse or the same now, compared to the same time last year. I had to think. Our Offspring are getting older, and we’ve needed to pay for items we didn’t need before. I said that I thought we were slightly worse off, financially, than we had been. Finally, he asked me if I thought we would be better off at the same time next year. ‘Oh, better,’ I said, almost without thinking.

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The Week Links: in which our blogger does battle with ants.


I have managed to get rid of most of them but oh, how persistent they are. Now, I could understand their wanting to come into the kitchen, where all the food is, and they have indeed been in recently to get crumbs that our Offspring leave on and under the table, and then they leave when I clean up. But then the other night, the Handsome Sidekick and I were about to climb into bed when we discovered our bedroom — where no food is consumed! — was under attack. They had swarmed all over my bedside table and were even on the bed. After almost 45 minutes we got the last of them. Phew, it was a late night.

On that note, I’m off to double-check that all the surfaces in the kitchen are still clean and ant-free. Enjoy the links!

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A Class Act.

Discussions about class and writing come up from time to time, and evidently, now is one of those times. I’ve a passing interest in them, in the same way that I always have a passing interest in people talking about writing for a living, and what does and doesn’t impact upon it.

When it comes to class, though, I struggle a little.┬áPoverty lines are arbitrary and don’t take into account all sorts of ways in which one can be rich or poor, but let’s just say that if we’re basing class on income, then my family and I are definitely not middle class.

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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.’

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Of Art and Artists, Sins and Sinners.

For almost two years, there has been a police investigation called Operation Yewtree running in the United Kingdom. It began when there were allegations of sexual abuse by once-lauded radio DJ and television personality, Jimmy Savile, who died in 2011.

This wide-sweeping operation has investigated several well-known men who worked in the entertainment industry in Britain during the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Among them was Australian artist, musician and entertainer, Rolf Harris, who has lived in England since he was a young man, but was still considered by many to be one our more successful exports.

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