The Hermitage

This photograph seems to encapsulate how I feel right now. It was taken (by the wondrous Sylvia Linsteadt who came to visit! but more of that another time) in the early autumn sun as I strode across September-coloured Dartmoor with my baby boy on my back. This has been the most treasured and difficult of all the years of my life so far. I have had to learn to be a mother whilst we totally reconfigure our life. Building our Hedgespoken home and travelling theatre has taken all the energy we could muster and then it has kept on taking. And I continue to be stretched in more than three dimensions by the challenges and alchemys and incandescent joys of motherhood. Nevertheless I seem to keep

Source: The Hermitage

Sydney Eye: Mostly Man O’Peace

Above: Image by Charles Bayliss (1881)(sourced from Blue Mountains Local Studies Centre)Below: Image by Julie Storry (May 2016)We refer to this pier, and these steps as “Man O’War Steps”. Although originally constructed during the governorship of Lachlan Macquarie (1810-1821), he only named the little enclosed beach as Port Lachlan, after his son. The current name stuck from about the 1860s. Even so, the name has lasted longer than the original jetty.

Source: Sydney Eye: Mostly Man O’Peace

Shining a light on Forgotten Australians | Coffs Coast Advocate

A SURVIVOR of institutional care, who then spent years living off the grid in the NSW bush, has completed a PhD highlighting the experiences of the Forgotten Australians.Gregory Smith, a lecturer at SCU, has spent four years conducting an in-depth look at the experiences of 21 people who grew up in care – of whom he is one.Gregory’s own story echoes many, and it is one he is only recently learning to share.He was born in Tamworth in 1955 and surrendered by his parents to a Catholic orphanage at the age of 10.”I’m a product of domestic violence, alcoholism, dysfunctionalism in an era when it wasn’t acceptable, but at the same time it was tolerated – there wasn’t a lot done,” he said.”When I was 10, I was told I was going to Armidale to visit an aunty and then I found myself being unloaded at an orphanage.”In line with the times, children weren’t informed of the decisions that affected them.”

Source: Shining a light on Forgotten Australians | Coffs Coast Advocate

Life as a hermit – Conversations with Richard Fidler – ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Nights were spent sleeping with ticks, leeches and snakes, but mornings could bring cloud-filled gorges and symphonies of birdsong. Academic Gregory Smith tells Richard Fidler about the 10 years he spent living in a forest, trying to purge his demons.My wellbeing wasn’t my primary concern. The longer I stayed in the forest, the more unhealthy I became.GREGORY SMITH, SCU ACADEMICAfter decades of life on the margins, Gregory Smith walked himself into the wider world.

Source: Life as a hermit – Conversations with Richard Fidler – ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

10 Writing Tips From Stephen King | Mental Floss

Have you ever felt so truly inspired to write a novel—and then had no idea what to write about? Have you ever felt the crippling doubt that comes along with pouring your heart out on paper? Well, have no fear! Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft features a bounty of inspiring quotes for channeling your inner author and battling self-dou

Source: 10 Writing Tips From Stephen King | Mental Floss

Extreme Bagpiping Situations, From Antarctica to the Beaches of D-Day | Atlas Obscura

n early November, NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren performed a stirring bagpipe rendition of Amazing Grace while floating aboard the International Space Station.In doing so, Lindgren became the first person to play bagpipes in space. But he is far from the first to play the instrument in an inhospitable environment, under trying circumstances. For the ultimate examples of extreme bagpiping, we turn to the stories of two Scottish musicians from the last century: Gilbert Kerr and Bill Millin.

Source: Extreme Bagpiping Situations, From Antarctica to the Beaches of D-Day | Atlas Obscura

20 Things Only ADHD (Highly Creative) People Would Understand | Go For Health

There’s no argument anymore. Neuroscience confirms that highly creative people think and act differently than the average person. Their brains are literally hardwired in a unique way. But that gift can often strain relationships. I’ve seen it firsthand while working with New York Times bestselling authors and Grammy-winning musicians.If you love a highly creative person, you probably experience moments when it seems like they live in a completely different world than you. Truth is, they do. But trying to change them isn’t nearly as effective as trying to understand them.

Source: 20 Things Only ADHD (Highly Creative) People Would Understand | Go For Health

22 of the Most Insightful Quotes from Carl Jung

For the last 20 years or so, I have actively studied psychology. Not because I do it for a living, or have any aspirations to – but because the brain fascinates me. Psychology transcends gender, race, age, and culture. One name that always comes up in my casual conversations about psychology is Carl Jung, and it surprises me how few people know who he is. Sure, everyone knows Freud, Skinner, Maslow, and even Pavlov – but in my opinion, Jung has taught me more about why I feel the way I do, especially towards other people. If you’ve never heard of Jung, I highly recommend checking out his work on the unconscious mind, and his theories about social interactions. Here are some of the most insightful quotes from a man that gave so much of his mind to modern psychology.“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transforme

Source: 22 of the Most Insightful Quotes from Carl Jung

Dreams are real, say scientists

Dreams are real, say scientists15/05/2013 at 6:24 pmThis may look like a bizarre dream, but it actually happened, say scientists.A group of scientists at Boston’s Harvard Medical School say they’ve made the stunning discovery that dreams are not, as once thought, a series of abstract sensations, images and sounds that occur during sleep, but rather demonstrably real events that take place in an alternate universe that can only be accessed during certain stages of unconsciousness.In a study published yesterday, the scientists detailed how they monitored a number of participants during various stages of sleep, and gave them complex tasks, such as bringing objects from the dream world back to the ‘real’ world.

Source: Dreams are real, say scientists

You Can’t Do It: 9 Delightfully Uninspiring Author Quotes

Who was the genius who decided World Kindness Day and National Chicken Soup for the Soul Day needed to converge with National Novel Writing Month? This glut of good vibes threatens to overwhelm an otherwise delightfully gloomy autumn, crowding out exactly the kind of misery and self-doubt one needs for cultivating more substantial inspiration.I Want ItAs an antidote to all this cheerleading, we refer you to some of the most biting, self-deprecating pessimists who ever managed (somehow) to keep putting pen to paper. Consider how much more incisive your prose would be if, every time you sat down at the keyboard, it triggered a recording of Fran Lebowitz advising: “Your life story would not make a good book. Don’t even try.”

Source: You Can’t Do It: 9 Delightfully Uninspiring Author Quotes


RADICAL RUMINATIONSThis Page publishes ‘diary’ style individualised entries by Rowan Cahill and Terry Irving on matters relating to the theory, practice, and living, of radical history, and radical scholarship. Each entry is dated, and attributed to its respective author. Neither author necessarily agrees with, nor necessarily endorses, the views expressed by his fellow ruminant.++++++HISTORY MANI have before me a copy of the latest book by John Tognolini, A History Man’s Past & Other People’s Stories: A Shared Memoir, Part One: Other People’s Wars (2015). This is not a  brief title, and had the book come via a mainstream publisher and gone through the hands of a marketing person, rather than  the ebook self-publishing manner in which John publishes (this is his fourth book), it would no doubt have had a less cumbersome title, maybe just A History Man’s Past. But John does not operate this way, and if I was asked to name a favourite Australian radical/commentator/author, I would probably bypass the famous and the well-known and nominate ‘John Tognolini’. I’ll return to the ‘why’ of this later. John TognoliniFirst, A History Man’s Past. The ‘history man’ of the title is John. He has a passion for history from a leftist perspective. Employment-wise and professionally, he is a secondary school history teacher in rural NSW (Australia). This book is a collection of his writings, and interviews he has conducted, on the theme of war and militarisation, exploring why it is that Australia has been at war for much of its time as a nation as the junior partner of either Britain or the United States. As the reader soon learns, war is part of the Tognolini’s family. Four of his uncles went to World War 1, the youngest, his namesake ‘John/Jack’, on the Western Front aged sixteen or seventeen, a boy-soldier who lied about his age to enlist. Gallipoli veteran Andrew Tognolini died shortly after the war.


Police Officer Keeps Job After Abusing Aboriginal Man

Earlier this week, we published a blog about a police officer who was suspended on full pay but kept his job after being found guilty of stalking and harassing a woman.Sadly, it appears that some police officers feel that they can get away with harassing and abusing people.In the latest case of police misconduct, a South Australian officer has received a ‘slap on the wrist’ after racially abusing and threatening an Aboriginal man.

Source: Police Officer Keeps Job After Abusing Aboriginal Man

Jan Hawkins Author |

Touring is now a way of life for The Man and myself and it is a life that we have come to love. We travel the ribbon of tar, often venturing off the track and down along the dusty reaches of Country, finding those hidden places and discovering over and again the secrets of this beautiful and challenging country. You can follow our journey here, but as we have been journeying for a number of years now and back beyond that, it is an ongoing and growing thing. I have compiled our experiences, while we have travelled throughout 18 months, into a travelogue of time and journeys. These are listed on Oldies at Large for simple reference. These experiences also make up a tome that will be freely available for download at for a short period, this celebrating the anniversary of our retirement. Discovering Australia and Her Lore is the tale in the beginning of our journey into retirement and our travels. It will be available for free for a few days only in the beginning of Nov 2015. Continue reading →

Source: Jan Hawkins Author |

A Completely Selfish Post. Please Read – Sage Lewis – Akron Activist | Akron Auctioneer | Akron Marketer

This is a really selfish post. So forgive me ahead of time. But I’m going gloat a bit here. I can’t help myself. About 6 years ago, during a hellish part of the Great Recession, Rocky and I bought 15 Broad Street in Akron.This was probably the most terrifying business move we’ve ever made.But now I count it as one of the best business moves we’ve ever made.It is a magical building. I can’t believe we own it. It’s super beautiful and has a super amazing story.

Source: A Completely Selfish Post. Please Read – Sage Lewis – Akron Activist | Akron Auctioneer | Akron Marketer

Everything Doesn’t Happen For A Reason — Tim Lawrence

Everything Doesn’t Happen For A ReasonOCTOBER 20, 2015I emerge from this conversation dumbfounded. I’ve seen this a million times before, but it still gets me every time. I’m listening to a man tell a story. A woman he knows was in a devastating car accident; her life shattered in an instant. She now lives in a state of near-permanent pain; a paraplegic; many of her hopes stolen.He tells of how she had been a mess before the accident, but that the tragedy had engendered positive changes in her life. That she was, as a result of this devastation, living a wonderful life.And then he utters the words. The words that are responsible for nothing less than emotional, spiritual and psychological violence:Everything happens for a reason. That this was something that had to happen in order for her to grow.That’s the kind of bullshit that destroys lives. And it is categorically untrue.

Source: Everything Doesn’t Happen For A Reason — Tim Lawrence

Razer: Sam de Brito the dissident | Daily Review: film, stage and music reviews, interviews and more

RAZER: SAM DE BRITO THE DISSIDENTBY HELEN RAZERTwo weeks ago, the writer Sam de Brito died suddenly at 46 and he left behind a family, a community and obituaries of a word count to rival his own life’s work. Two weeks ago, it seemed improper and pointless to write an account of a man to whom tributes were flowing. Today, though, it seems worthwhile to add some thoughts about this difficult, reasonably significant bastard. His memorial is done and those who loved him have begun the difficult work of naturalising their grief and so it doesn’t seem wrong, and, in fact, feels slightly right to offer memory from another standpoint.I’ll tell you why it feels right in a moment.First, I need to recount the peculiar way I happened to know Sam, and thereby begin to tolerate his project as an annoying, shit-stirring writer. We were by no means close and I had about as much time for his blokey, beachside heroics as he did for my world of wretched shade. He was pure Bondi who lived hard in the sun and spent big. I am a thrifty suburbanite who looks to the Melbourne sky only to see if her cabbages need water. Sam was flash and friendly whereas I am slow and cold. But, we were connected by circumstance and so began to speak every few weeks by phone.

Source: Razer: Sam de Brito the dissident | Daily Review: film, stage and music reviews, interviews and more

The Doubting Life | The Jesuit Post

Praying that night after a rough day in class I remembered a man named Joseph. Joseph’s a late 40-something who stood in front of an audience of about 30 people to share stories of his life. He recounted friends and strangers he’d met, the joys of being in particular places with certain people, and he regularly referred to the bar he frequented. As he spoke I recognized similarities in his life compared to my own. Even the seemingly insignificant occurrences of his daily activities were analogous. Like his uneasiness with visiting the doctor. And his curiosity about the purpose of outdated magazines in the waiting room. Then Joseph revealed one thing I could not identify with: he’d tested positive for HIV. And he wasn’t sure how to handle the news.

Source: The Doubting Life | The Jesuit Post