Monday, September 6, 2010


I found a faster route to Melbourne University today. Two short tram trips to Kew Junction and then the No. 207 bus that runs down Studley Park Road and Johnston Street. It was at least half an hour faster than taking the Burke Road Tram to Camberwell Junction, then the No. 75 tram to Flinders Street and then a tram up to Melbourne Uni. Sorry ~ so much detail and minutia, but really, moving to a new place means having to adjust your life considerably, especially if you are dependant upon public transport. It rained off and on most of the day and I didn't take an umbrella, because I didn't want to carry it.
It was nice and comfy having a coffee at Tiamos in Carlton, but I felt distant and disconnected to it, like it was so much of my past and I'm trying to leave much of that behind. It was cold and all I really wanted to do was get home after tutoring and it already feels like home here, so comfortable and warm. I've decided that when Spring has really made its mark and the days are consistently warmer I'll paint or draw whilst sitting on my balcony. I imagine that those Camellia's growing in the garden will make their way into the subject matter since they are so pervasive.
I had occasion today whilst discussing terror and the word terrorism (such a loaded term) in a tute session, to recall some of the events that impressed upon my life and altered my world view. Indeed, I'm sure that many people no longer perceived the world as a safe place to live. The first was when I saw moving images of the mushroom cloud caused by the explosion of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima and images of inmates in Nazi death camps during WW2. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 and constant televised images for over a decade of the Vietnam War. The massacre by terrorists at the Munich Olympic Games in 1972. The destruction of Darwin by Cyclone Tracey in 1974. The Granville train disaster in 1977. The Sydney Hilton bombing by terrorists in 1978 ~ the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings. John Lennon's murder in 1980. The attempted assassination of Pope Paul II in 1981. The Ash Wednesday fires in 1983 and Black Saturday fires last year. Unforgettable images in 1984 of starving children in Ethiopia and the consequential Feed the World tour. Julian Knight's massacre of seven people in Hoddle Street in 1987. The horrors of the Gulf War in 1990 and a decade later, images of the 9/11/2001 attack on the World Trade Centre. The Port Arthur shooting massacre in 1996. Princess Diana and Mother Teresa's deaths in 1997.
Every event affects people in different ways. My son was born in 1977 and I was extremely distressed with the news that the US space laboratory Skylab I ~ all 77.5 tons of it, was expected to fall back to earth and was anticipated to fall somewhere in Australia. I was worried that it would crash down on our house ~a little dramatic and paranoid I suppose, but I'd been brought up by a grandmother who continually told stories about the war and I adopted her fear about terror coming from the sky. However, most of my fear was fueled by media speculation about where the space debris would fall. When it tumbled back to earth on the 11 July, 1979, most of the pieces were scattered near Perth, Western Australia. The drama over, we could all breathe again.
Channel 9 is screening 911 State of Emergency on Tuesday night. It maintains 9/11 is the single event that changed the world. I'll watch, but I'm not convinced that it changed our world view anymore than many other events that have impacted on so many lives.

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