Saturday 1 September Orvietto has been wonderful. But we must keep moving. The Abbizia di San Biagio is in the countryside just outside the walls of Montepulcian. Outside it has a simple stone exterior with a terrace above the area where the altar will be inside. It is one of the most beautiful Romanesque churches … More Italy – Montepulciano and Montalcino
I read an article called “Sylvia’s Story” in the Sunday Star Times April 17, 2011. It was about the thousands of women, war brides, who sailed to New Zealand after World War two to join their husbands who were New Zealand servicemen. It got me thinking that something extraordinary happened in New Zealand in the … More “War Brides”
I have finally found a door into a world of social commentary through art. Most modern and contemporary art leaves me feeling somewhat puzzled, wondering what point the artist was making, if any. I “get” that renaissance art as a visualisation of nature, religion and history; I “get” that Impressionism is a record of what … More “Social Commentary and Art”
Strange how when you take a look at an issue it suddenly seems to pop up elsewhere. Just a few days after I wrote “Labels are for jars not people” I read that architect Russel Walden has described me and my neighbours as “middle- class conformist rednecks” (Oh, Futuna Your Weekend March 12 2011) because … More “Labelled – I Am A “Middle Class Conformist Redneck””
The use of labels to describe someone has irked me for some time. I would variously describe myself as womanly, paraplaegic, mother, christian, feminist, humanist, able … the list has changed over the years and I expect will change again. Some labels seem to be mutually exclusive. Priorities change. Meanings change over time. Perceptions change. … More “Labels Are For Jars, Not People”
Who was Maud Blacklidge? Sadly, only the women in my family may remember her. Like many others who risked their families’ and societies disapproval and wrath, Maud was one of many suffragettes in England who are now forgotten, but whose efforts began the fight for women’s right to vote. She is my mother’s mother. I … More “Who was Maud Blacklidge?”
Every now and then my daughter sends me something that she has read or heard that she thinks I’ll appreciate. I love this quote she sent me last week. I love it for several reasons: Reason#1 It’s a very powerful image, expressed succinctly and beautifully. Hmmm … diamonds … beautiful, light defracting gems that … More “A Diamond Is Merely A Lump Of Coal That Did Well Under The Pressure”
Not a month goes by that people don’t stop me in the street and ask to pray for me, lay hands on me, ask God’s help to heal me. I feel as awkward and uncomfortable about it now as I did many years ago. However, I think I’ve finally worked out why I feel this … More Why do some people stop me and ask to pray for me, or lay hands on me?