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Pondering: MARRIAGE

In China, almost 10,000 marriages end in divorce per day. Good golly. In Australia, almost every third marriage ends in divorce. This to me, indicates that to make marriage work, you need 1) to put some effort in and 2) a generous serve of luck.

Ten years ago today, on the 10th of April 2004, I myself entered the institution of marriage. I feel both lucky and proud to be able to say I am VERY happy to remain married for the decades to come. Here’s why I think mine’s working:

1) I found myself a goodie. Thank goodness, when I was 28 and capable of all sorts of stupidity (unlike the me of today, clearly), I somehow had the sense to say yes to his proposal (in a room of the Sydney Intercontinental, I was ironing. He had planned it for the night before over dinner but I ruined it by getting carried away by all the luxury and getting pissed).

2) We put in the hard yards. And there’s no doubt, elements of sharing pretty much everything with someone are going to be very bloody hard, sometimes impossible. But when it does get impossible you have to learn the art of compromise. And it’s life long learning, you never graduate. Every act of compromise will teach you new things about yourself and new ways to be kind or generous or strong or patient. How not to be a pain in the arse or selfish or get all ‘woe is me’. I’m still learning these last few – he already had them down pat I think when he was born which is wonderful but slightly unfortunate because that makes me the baddie in most areas of conflict.

3) We laugh. Mostly about farts. You just have to laugh.

And here’s a bonus tip – when you kiss, which should be a minimum of once a day, kiss for at least four long seconds. It means that for at least four long seconds you are focused on each other and not the crumbs on the floor or the kid with the stuck zip or other daily irritants. And because science tells us that kissing transfers testosterone from the male’s mouth to the female’s, which is absorbed through the woman’s mucus membranes and sets of the horny vibes. And every married couple needs horny vibes – spark, attraction, spice, lust, concupiscence, passion, desire, randiness, hanky-panky-no-wanky etc etc. Kissing, a pretty strange act on the face of it, has it’s roots (hee hee) in good old (ancient in fact) basic reproductive instincts. Hooray for the kiss. Here’s one, ten years ago today:

 

IMG_5157

Photo by Susan Lloyd-Webb

 

Happy 10th Husband Richard. Here’s to a pole dancing bride and beer in long necks – two classy additions to our wedding (thanks for the reminder G).

Here’s a classy poem (with wonky metre) to match:

 

If I were a dandelion, you’d be my wind.

If I were the highlands, you would be my fling.

If I were security, you’d be my brawn.

If you were a sprinkler, I would be your lawn.

I could probably live without you,

But I’d be a boat without a crew.

Or some shine without a shoe.

It would be boring,

I would be snoring,

Like a book without a story,

Sort of defective, ineffective

A thesis with no objective,

I’d be at an arse end,

And I’d have no best friend,

A nut with no screw,

If I didn’t have you.

xx

 

 

 

Look Back on: GENOCIDE IN RWANDA (Again)

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I know I’ve been a bit quiet (lazy) on the brain progress front lately but I have been very busy exercising my painting muscles and perfecting the art of undercoating weatherboards. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking (crikey speaking of thinking, wrap your brain around that double negative). House painting lends itself to thinking. This week, I am thinking about Rwanda. It is 20 years this week since the 100 day genocide in Rwanda and I think it deserves a jolly good revisit. Here we go…

In the space of 100 days – between April and June 1994 – an estimated 800,000 Rwandans were killed, for the most part in cold blood (incidentally, “in cold blood” is a phrase that indicates a lack of involvement or reason – detached behaviour, performed with cool deliberation).

Where the bloody hell’s Rwanda? The Republic of Rwanda is a country in central and Eastern Africa. It has a current population of 11.4 million.rwanda-map

Where did the trouble begin?  The genocide was the culmination of a long history of ethnic tension in the central African Republic of Rwanda. There are two main ethnic groups in Rwanda, the majority Hutus and and the minority Tutsis. 600 years ago the Tutsis moved south from Ethiopia and successfully invaded the Hutus in Rwanda. The two groups came to live harmoniously as one – inhabitating the same regions, speaking the same language and living the same traditions under a Tutsi king. Then the country was colonised by Belgium in 1916 and the Belgians considered the Tutsis the superior group (they looked more European). So the Tutsis enjoyed better education and employment that the Hutus. Resentment grew and by 1959 the Hutus began a series of violent riots in which up to 20,000 Tutsis were killed and many more fled to neighbouring Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda.

Why didn’t the Belgians just butt out? They did – eventually. In 1962, after pretty much starting the troubles, they got the hell out of the hot kitchen and granted Rwanda independence. The Tutsi monarchy was dissolved and the two groups fought to fill the power vacuum. The Hutus gained majority while the Tutsis became a refugee diaspora (or scattering of people from an ancestral homeland). Fighting and rioting flared on and off in the following decades and the Tutsis became the scapegoats in every crisis.

What is the Rwandan Patriotic Front? (RPF) In camps surrounding Rwanda, the Tutsi diaspora became increasingly organised (and cross), forming the RPF in 1985. A formidable military force, the RPF (supported by some moderate Hutus) invaded Rwanda in 1990, demanding a return as citizens and an end to discrimination. Meantime, the Hutu President, Juvenal Habyarimana was facing economic crisis and wavering popularity among the Hutus. He used the RPF threat as a means to bring dissident Hutus back to his side.

Campaign of Hate  Habyarimana generated a campaign of fear and hate, based on the assertion that the Tutsi rebels intended to enslave the Hutus and must be resisted at all costs. Media outlets were mobilised and anti-Tutsi propaganda circulated. Hutu groups rallied together to face the RPF, tensions and violence escalated. The Government openly discussed plans to rid the nation of all Tutsis, arms were acquired (reportedly from UK company Mil-Tec Corporation) and high ranking officials trained militia in preparation for ethnic cleansing.

Habyarimana Dies In April 1994, President Habyarimana was killed when his plane was shot down by unknown perpetrators. In (Rwandan capital) Kigali, the presidential guard immediately prepared for revenge. Opposition leaders were killed, the slaughter of Tutsis and moderate, pro-peace Hutus began.

Genocide Within hours, militia were deployed throughout the country to carry out the wave of killings. Before long, unofficial militant groups and Hutu citizens joined the violent campaign, encouraged by the Government and their anti-Tutsi radio propaganda. Money or food was offered as incentives for murder. In some cases, Hutus were told they could appropriate the land of the Tutsis they killed and in other cases, Hutus were forced to kill their Tutsi friends.

Oh, so heartbreaking

International Response A few weeks into the violence, the UN attempted to negotiate a ceasefire on numerous occasions without success, and after the death of 10 UN soldiers, they withdrew altogether, leaving the conflict to play out without them. They have since been widely criticised for their pallid response.

So Who Won? The RPF (Tutsis), under the thirty-something Paul Kagame as leader, renewed their invasion and by July had captured Kigali and declared a ceasefire as the Government collapsed. Around 2 million Hutus fled to Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) and thousands died as disease swept through the camps.

Aftermath What was left behind was, in short, a complete disaster zone, a wasteland. I can hardly bear the details but here they are (in estimates): 250,000 women widowed, 100,000 children separated from their families, 300,000 children killed. 300 children, some less than 10 years old, had been accused of murder. Most surviving children thought they had no future. In Kigali the population had fallen from 300,000 to 50,000 and half of these were displaced. Food and water were scarce. Schools and hospitals were destroyed and basic drug and health supplies had been looted. The new government ministries had no staff, no offices, no equipment, no vehicles and no money in the coffers. Outside the capital, whole families were dead, livestock killed and crops left to decay. Everywhere lay the rotting corpses of the killed.

What Happened Next? On 19th July, a multi ethnic Government was formed. Pasteur Bizimungu, a Hutu, was made President while RPF members were assigned to most cabinet positions. Paul Kagame, the RPF leader, was granted vice-presidency. UN troops and aid workers arrived in Rwanda to help restore basic services.

All refugees were promised a safe return to Rwanda. As they began their return in 1996 and killers, victims and survivors are living uncomfortably side-by-side, the long-awaited genocide trials began, with UN assistance, to bring the countless murderers to justice. Paul Kagame was elected as President in 2003 in the new process of parliamentary election. Another element of the aftermath includes the birth of between 2000 and 5000 babies as a result of “war rape”.

So what happened to the people who committed atrocities? Around 120,000 suspects were rounded up and put in overcrowded prisons, some held there, without trial, for years. 22 people were publicly executed for murder, until the abolishment of the death penalty in 2007. In 2003, prisoners who were very young, old, sick or fully confessed to their crimes were released. They spent three months in education camps (to learn the tragic course of history, the need for national unity and the physical, practical expectations of one who had committed murder) before returning home. For those who truly repented – and they were many among those who were sorry for the misfortune it had brought upon themselves – those who were truly sorry, knew that they needed to say sorry to the survivors left behind. As one killer said (from the Rwandan Stories website), ““I don’t know if my repentance will be accepted, if I will be spared. But regret is like death: you must bring it back home to your hill.” (Nb – Rwanda is known as “the land of a thousand hills”).

Recovery by gacaca Here, I quote the pages of the beautifully written Rwandan Stories:

“In 1998 the government started looking at the possibility of re-introducing Rwanda’s traditional community justice process called gacaca. The word refers to the small grassy area where villagers would traditionally get together to solve disputes. It was a controversial idea. Was it wise to hand over the responsibility to the community? What would the rest of the world think? Would it emphasise punishment or reconciliation? President Kagame, who was Vice President at the time, said, “I wan’t convinced that gacaca was the best approach. I still don’t think gacaca gives us all we need… but it gives us most things… I wanted something stronger than gacaca. The survivors were calling for strong justice. After all, they had been through genocide. Was gacaca going to be enough for them? …eventually I was persuaded that gacaca would help us deal with the massive number of genocide suspects who were in prison.”  “

After two years of training, development and public education, the gacaca process was put into action and later evolved into a full blown court system using methods of transitional justice designed to promote healing and progression. The system classified crimes and assigned appropriate punishment. Citizen judges were appointed from within communities. It was completed in 2010 and while it has obvious shortcomings, and attracted widespread criticism, the process has had much success while adhering to a simple philosophy:

“Rather than rebuilding a society which had already broken apart – even before the genocide – the new government was determined to build something new. One people, one country, open to all Rwandans regardless of ethnic identity. These were values which had never been experienced by any Rwandans in living memory, but built on shared ideas about the past.” - Rwandan Stories

Paul Kagame

Why is Paul Kagame being criticised? Well it seems there are plenty of people hollering about President Kagame being a dictator of the dick-tator kind. Why? Because allegedly:

  • His Government and army has seen to executions outside the course of justice , as well as incidents of deaths in custody, torture and random arrests based on insufficient evidence
  • He censors the media beyond belief and deals ruthlessly with anyone who shows signs of dissent. Journalists are placed under surveillance, threatened, harassed and/or arrested.
  • He is exceptionally media savvy and has manipulated the public to believe he is a caring and wise leader who has revived the country post tragedy
  • He ensures there is no freedom of religion in Rwanda
  • Along with the Ugandan government, he invaded the north and east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, killing thousands of civilians. He declared war against anti-Tutsi policies and claimed he was fighting for historical Rwandan territories when actually he was honing in on Congolese mineral resources.
  • He suppresses, under threat of arrest, opposition members and parties.
Further conflicting reports of the new, shiny, happy Rwanda can be found here.
Paul Kagame himself insists that most of these allegations are a part of Hutu-extremist propaganda.
The protests planned for CHOGM are to be carried out by members of Australia’s Rwandan Community who are supported by the Rwandan National Congress, the country’s strongest opposition political organisation.

What is Rwanda like today?

“What these people have achieved in the short time since the genocide is unbelievable… this is a terrific country.” Paul Schonherr, Ambassador of the Netherlands.

They can dance again

Rwanda Tourism’s current catchphrase is, “Discover a New African Dawn”. It is growing as a travel destination and tourism is now an important and fast growing economic contributor. Kigali has city tours, Gorilla Trekking in the mountains is a ‘must do’, traditional music and dance is celebrated and demonstrated, basketry and ceramics are displayed.

The economy is mainly dependent on subsistence farming and has recovered since the genocide, with Gross Domestic Product near on quadrupling since 1994.

The population is young – 97.5% are under 65.

Today’s Rwandan news includes reports of HIV rates falling, the upcoming Rwandan Film Festival, athletes in training for London 2012, carbon markets and clean energy ramp-ups, additional Governmental staff and the birth of rare gorilla twins.

April the 7th is Genocide Memorial Day and every year marks the beginning of an official National Week of Mourning.

Forgiveness

Alice and Emmanuel

Alice and Emmanuel

Last weekend The Weekend Australian published an incredible story of forgiveness in Rwanda, a positive symbol of the reconciliation process. Alice Mukarurinda, a Tutsi woman, was brutally beaten and left for dead by Hutu man Emmanuel Ndayisaba. When she woke from consciousness, she found that her hand had been hacked off by a machete. Her baby daughter and 9 year old niece lay dead nearby. Today, Alice and Emmanuel live and work side by side. They are friends. Emmanuel confessed to his murders, served time in prison and now works to build houses for genocide refugees. Alice says that not to forgive is too heavy a burden. Wowsers.

A Thought for the Twa The original inhabitants of Rwanda are the Twa, or Batwa. They are descendent of the ‘pygmy’ people of Central Africa. They consider themselves the forgotten people of Africa. In Rwanda there are an estimated 33,000 Twa, none of whom own land. They work mostly as potters or porters, but their services and goods are required less and less. They are “displaced” and often live in grass huts. Up to 10,000 Batwa died in the genocide while another 8 to 10,000 fled. Their number are still said to be depleting.

Batwa Children

WTF Friday (Round 2)

Just a quick what the fuck Friday today, which would make it a quickie what the fuck.

Off we go…

WTF is with those real estate signs that say, “Selling”? What’s wrong with good old “For Sale”? Are they trying to get the buyer to be all, “Hurry up honey, make a decision, it’s selling” ?

Come onnnnn, hurry up, I'm selling I'm selling.

Come onnnnn, hurry up, I’m selling I’m selling.

 

And then there’s this – is it just me or is this inappropriate, actually disturbing?

IMG_5104

This is on the back of one of my husband’s dairy farming magazines. Which copywriter chose to use the word “hot” in relation to dairy cows with their udders and rumps on proud display? One with a disturbing sense of humour and/or serious issues I would think. And while we’re on that picture, who says fluffed up tail ends make cows more, well attractive? Do those cows even know their images are being used so gratuitously? I think not.

And while we’re on female bits, here’s what I noticed in the chemist the other day: Good old feminine itching cream (Doctor doctor my feminine is itchy) is no longer called Vagisil but Validosil.

VagisilValidosil

Evidently “vag” is not attractive (while fluffy tail ends on cows are) and we the weaker sex need to know we (and our bits) are valid, even if they are itchy. Well sorry marketers but I don’t have a valid, I have a VAGINA, sometimes called a VAG and every day I see at least 3 (small, human but GIANT to be pushing from a vagina) reasons why it is valid thank you very much.

Anyway, that’s it from me, have a lovely weekend.

 

KNIGHTS, DAMES AND WOODEN BOATS

Everyone’s on about the announcement by our esteemed Prime Minister that his office will be resurrecting the honouring of pre-eminient Australians as Knights (sirs) and Dames. These awards were abolished almost 30 years ago by the Hawke Government and have sent cries of ‘out-dated, republican, archaic and arcane’ across all platforms of media – traditional and social. I am possibly going to make myself terribly unpopular but I can’t help wondering what all the fuss is about. I’m not an Abbott lover by any stretch (eek, that would mean delving beneath the budgie smugglers and yes that fashion faux pas deserves regular coverage – pun unintended) but I think bringing back ye olde Sirs and Dames is a bloody good news story.

Every year, 4 people will received the honour of being called Sir or Dame for the rest of their eminent days. Already two have been announced – our outgoing Govenor General (Dame) Quentin Bryce and out incoming Govenor General (Sir) Peter Cosgrove. I think it’s safe to say most Australians would agree that both these fine personages deserve the highest recognition. (Previously the highest honour has been the AC or Companion to the Order of Australia.)

And it’s not just a title. What comes with the announcements of such awards is a ripple effect of conversation about that person, what great things they have done, how they did them and what motivates them etc etc. This in turn inspires others to work hard for causes, for others, for the greater good. It affords celebrity to those who truly deserve celebrity, not people who shake their bottoms for cameras or spend their inherited fortunes on keeping puppy farms and distorted image makers in business. That kind of celebrity spawns all kinds of truly disturbing imitation, ambitions and priorities.

Our living Dames and Knights include teachers, researchers, military heroes, artists, business people, industrialists, leaders, lawmakers, wine makers and a former head of the esteemed Country Women’s Association. Maybe they don’t need the recognition, maybe a well-read, educated and in-touch portion of the population already recognise the good eggs, but I’m telling you, there is a cross-generational demographic twerking, pedicuring and gossiping their lives away who need a the Good Ones shoved in their faces. If a bit of a knighting ceremony does that then great.

 

DAME Quentin Bryce (portrait by Ralph Heimans). Lawyer, women's rights advocate, human rights advocate, pretty amazing woman really.

DAME Quentin Bryce (portrait by Ralph Heimans). Lawyer, women’s rights advocate, human rights advocate, pretty amazing woman really.

It’s all the stuff of goodness and good news. And gawd knows we need more of that.

What we should be doing is getting on with ridiculing our government over what really is offensive and outdated, such as:

1)      We all have a right to be bigoted and 2) We should unlock Tasmanian wilderness and log it because wouldn’t it be lovely to all have one of those lovely wooden boats of yesteryear.

Neither of these recent, archaic, arcane and out of date observations by the Attorney General and the Prime Minister respectively float my boat. No one has the right to display hatred and intolerance toward others, particularly ethnic or racial groups (which is how bigotry is defined) and seriously, there is nothing remotely romantic about the Tasmanian forest industry – it’s all woodchips and export dude.

And in a cheap effort to get a roomful of forestry experts onside, he made the frankly dangerous claim that “the environment is meant for man and not just the other way around”. Now, that’s an outdated attitude for you, and one that does deserve serious critical discussion, send ups and ridicule.

If you’re going for outdated Mr Abbott, why not go ancient? Our indigenous people knew a thing or two about land ‘husbandry’ (or lack thereof); you’d do well to ask them. Or just go and read The Lorax by Dr Zeus – think of it as an idiot’s guide to the environment.

All I want is a little wooden boat, a little wooden boat and all your votes.

All I want is a little wooden boat, a little wooden boat and all your votes.

Happy Happy Day

This afternoon when I met my children at the bus stop, my daughter said, “I loved today Mum”.

“That’s great,” I said, “Why was today so good?”

“Because I grew a pumpkin and I picked it and here it is and it’s for you.” And with that she presented me with a sort of heirloom looking vegetable of a dark green hue. I’m pretty sure it’s a squash of some sort but didn’t like to say. I thanked her profusely. I can’t eat pumpkin, it is very high in histamine and give me hives, so I’ll be glad if it is a squash. I will bake it and serve it up to my family with glee.

What a special pumpkin-squash.

What a special pumpkin-squash.

“And Mum guess what?” Says my son in hurried excitement, “We’re allowed to take our trucks on a track the whole way around school. Just us – my friends and me. Can’t wait.” His eyes danced.

Later, my smaller daughter, while making a felt picture said, “Look at my picture, it makes me happy.” I looked at her picture and it made me happy too. There is nothing nicer than your children telling you they are happy and today I hit the happiness trifecta without even trying. Most days I pick them up and they bicker over car seats, whinge about the contents of their lunchboxes and tell me how many bumps they received in the play ground. Today was a refreshing, happy diversion.

The Felt Happy Picture

The Felt Happy Picture

All very fitting because as it turns out, today is the second International Day of Happiness, the catchphrase of which is, “If you want to be happy, be!” – Leo Tolstoy. I’m not sure I agree with that as there are certain chemical imbalances which prevent some people feeling real happiness no matter how hard they try, but I certainly agree with the sentiment.

Happiness Day is really pointed at happiness in the workplace and promoting the wellbeing of employees and Happiness At Work, but we should never pass up an excuse to just reflect on the all our reasons to feel happy; like pumpkins and felt pictures and trucks etc.

Here’s what makes me happy:

  • Those proper, hurty belly laughs, they make me happy for days.
  • A really good film.
  • A really good book.
  • Being productive, useful, getting stuff done.
  • A clean house.
  • A day the beach with my family.
  • Swimming in the ocean.
  • Gardening.
  • My fella telling me I’m a bit of orright.
  • Ice cream.
  • Hours and hours of alone time with my writing and the radio.
  • A really good song.
  • Clean sheets.
  • Bed when you’re really, really dog-eared tired.
  • Offspring on the Telly.
  • Eddy Perfect.
  • Sleepovers with my friends.
  • Making people laugh.
  • Kevin Bloody Wilson.
  • My children laughing together (in a good way, not a naughty or fake way, those do not a happy me maketh)

I’ll stop now. There are more but it’s probably as boring as hearing all about someone’s dream. Think about the things that make you happy though, then pursue them. I’m about to get me a bowl of ice cream, oh yes sireee.

But please note, amongst all the saccharin gush, it’s ok not to feel happy ALL of the time. I used to live in North Bondi where there was a healthy burger bar – you know the ones, all chickpea, haloumi and whiffy armpits. The burgers were awesome but the staff were just SOOOOO happy all of the time that I started to feel uncomfortable. My flat mate declared the place a danger zone on account of all the mania – sure to turn into some kind of nasty explosion one day. It was all organic and natural but those levels of happiness seemed anything but.

Oh but here’s another thing that made today happy: My son (the truck lover), finally got that an ‘e’ on the end of a word turns a short ‘i’ into a long ‘I’. This after endless repetition, spelling drills, reading eggs lessons and me having to deep breathe my way through frustration bordering on, “Oh for fuck’s sake” or something equally useful. He was rewarded with four ‘smarties for a smarty’ and I was rewarded with a big, happy smile.

And another happy coincidence – today is also Close the Literacy Gap Day, which is directed at raising literacy levels among Indigenous children in Australia. 70% of year 9 indigenous students are not meeting National standards for reading and writing. I’ve pledged my support, and here’s my suggestion: ABC Readings Eggs, which I am lucky enough to be able to afford, which helped my son today and has helped all my children from kinder, is supported by our National Broadcaster. Surely this means the Government has some level of control over the program. Surely it could be offered to indigenous communities for free? Or are the resources better spent on getting the children to school in the first place?

I’d happily give up ice cream if it meant our indigenous population had higher levels of well being.

Happy Close the Literacy Gap day, happy Happiness Day.

What makes you happy? Think about it while you listen to Dame Vera Lynn. It’s her birthday today. Happy Day Dame Vera, your music makes me happy.

happy

MH 370

So a big jet plane carrying 239 vanishes without a trace. 12 days later, nothing but vague reports, rumour and speculation. Just now I hear that satellites have spotted what may be related debris in the Southern Indian Ocean.

Of course people are going to speculate and theorise. Of course the media are going to grab every little lead and run with it for the sake of their front page and bottom line.

Maybe those two bits of debris are the beginning of the end of the mystery. But frankly, while we’re on front bottoms, the handling of this disaster by the media in general – and the subsequent chinese whispery talk by the public on social media, at water coolers or over the back fence has been a complete cock-up.

“Missing passports – must be a high-jack”, “there’s an oil slick”, “there’s a bit of wreckage”, “possible life raft sighted”, “turned to Lankawai” blah blah blah. I know it’s the media’s job to report but crikey imagine if it was your father on that plane, your toddler, your lover. When hope is pushed and pulled between fullness and lessness so violently, what would you do with yourself? How would you cope?

Everyone loves a good mystery, I get it. My thoughts are all the time drifting to that plane and the what ifs and the families’ suspended grief. And maybe people are making bold statements in order to be the one who got it right, but I do wish people would shut up.

I heard a powerful radio interview yesterday with Yvonne Pembroke, whose husband disappeared with a light plane and 4 others in 1981 – still considered Australia’s biggest aircraft mystery. Yvonne was 30 years old and 7 weeks pregnant with their child. She said that she clung desperately to any iota of information, including the prediction – despite her logical mind – of a clairvoyant who told her that two men had survived but would die if not found within 48 hours. When 48 hours passed she plunged again into despair.

This is where the hundreds of loved ones of the passengers aboard the missing Malaysian Airlines plane find themselves now – in limbo. They are all different of course and will cope in different ways, but they need people around them to hear them, to listen to them and keep their feet on the ground. They will need to learn to be alone with their thoughts. They don’t need speculation and rumour – there would be enough of that happening within. Trauma counselors working with these families say that some are too afraid to close their eyes. So they need some decent sleep.

So shut up everyone, hold your breath – or save it for prayers or vibes of strength or messages of goodwill or whatever your thing might be. Let the search carry on and reach its own conclusions. Hope that there will be conclusions based on solid evidence.

If this  mystery is never solved, the families will need to prepare for where their imaginations may take them. As time moved on, Yvonne found herself looking for her husband Phillip in crowds, fantasizing that he would return and at night dreaming that he had.

She found new relationships difficult because of the sliver of chance that Philip would return.

Maybe there are beliefs in God or afterlife or fate that will help these families through this in different ways to Yvonne. I hope they all can gain higher strength from somewhere.

Maybe – just maybe – there will be survivors. But if not, perhaps there is hope in how Yvonne’s story ends:  In a beautiful and tragic way, with a glimmer of a happy ending. Yvonne feels that she became closer to Philip after his death, that through talking about him to her growing son (whom she named Phillip) and thinking of him constantly for so long, she got to know him and his family in a way she never would have had he never gone down with that plane.

I hope there is some answers in this latest debris development, but most of all I wish for happy endings for all those touched by the disappearance of MH 370.

India-Malaysia-Plane

WTF??

Today, for no particular reason, is What The Fuck Friday.

Here’s the first WTF:

bearskin

If I wasn’t wearing a beaver on my head and a gold braid smiley face, this gun would make me look so tough.

I mean WTF? I am pretty sure there is some historical trickster who designed these for a laugh. They appear neither functional or comfortable or even handsome; just very, very silly. The hats are called Bearskins, for the simple reason that each hat is made at vast expense from a whole Canadian bear pelt (the ones that are culled for over population reasons).

They were originally worn by grenadier soldiers (soldiers with grenades) and now have a ceremonial function (I can see why – “But I can’t see where I’m throwing the grenade!”). The Queen’s Guard (the ones that Christopher Robin and other members of the public can see changing at Buckingham Palace) are the best known suckers Bearskin wearers.

Sometimes tradition has a lot to answer for.

Here’s another traditional WTF: 

Judges-mark-start-of-lega-007

Please don’t judge me.

And a WTF food fad:

We’ve all had a bit of a WTF moment over the whole food foam fad – if you haven’t heard of it, think mustard foam with your meat instead of normal mustard. Personally the foam thing reminds me of those foamy yellow vomits our dog has done a couple of times. I’d sooner eat a snotty old oyster before I go the foam. Well how ’bout oysters and foam?

No this isn't a rabid oyster, it's an oyster served with cucumber foam.

No this isn’t a rabid oyster, it’s an oyster served with cucumber foam. Eeeeeek!

And Another Food related WTF:

Serving suggestions – anyone else think they’re a little condescending?

Hey how about you serve your chicken soup, wait for it, in a bowl! Genius.

Hey how about you serve your chicken soup, wait for it, in a bowl! Genius.

Instead of serving your icing on a cake or something, we suggest you just serve it up on a knife.

Instead of serving your icing on a cake or something, we suggest you just serve it up on a knife.

I'm going to serve my sour cream and chili crackers with a bowl of sour cream, some sweet chili sauce and oh what the heck, a bunch of chilies. Anyone for a chili?

I’m going to serve my sour cream and chili crackers with a bowl of sour cream, some sweet chili sauce and oh what the heck, a bunch of chilies. Anyone for a chili?

And a final, more general, WTeffingF

Meet the pair (not a couple, in fact they allegedly hate each other) who had a shit load of plastic surgery and “bodymods” to look like Ken and Barbie:

ken and barbie

Barbie you know I can’t bend at the elbows.

Maybe it’s freaky Friday. Whatever, it’s Friday, and that means YAY! Have a lovely weekend. x

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