Slumdog Millionaire (or not)

On Tuesday I went and saw Slumdog Millionaire with John. David, Tom, Martin, John and I had dinner at our place and then we were all going to see a film together. Martin piked and as usual we wanted to see different things. Two fillms “The Wrestler” and “Slumdog Millionaire” were on at the same time so Tom and David went to the Wrestler and we went to Slumdog. I think I might try and do that more often. Too often I see films I don’t want to for the sake of togetherness and you hardly talk anyway.

I loved Slumdog Millionaire. They managed to show much of the tragedy of living in a slum in India without totally destroying me. I was able to cry and laugh and I loved the characters, the story and the shots of India.

However my experience of it was slightly tarnished yeasterday when I read in the SMH that the children in the film, who come from the slums themselves were not paid a sufficient salary. Rubina Ali the little girl was paid $1060 and Azharuddin Ismail, the boy was paid $3600. The director claims there is also a trust fund but the parents don’t know anything about and they are still living in the slums. I am conscious that these things are complicated and that there are consequences of young children going from extreme poverty to wealth in a day however, depite that I think it is wrong to take advantage of them and patronising to not pay what one would pay someone who had not come from the slums. It is wrong that while the film and thus its British director and his team make millions while these children live in the tragic conditions that film was exposing. They were particuarly exposing people who find children on the streets and teach them to be beggars and then make themselves rich on the money the children earn. As far as I am concerned what the directors of this film are doing is nearly as bad.

Survival Day

Yesterday I attended Yabun 2009. Yabun is held on Australia Day, or what most people there were calling Survival Day, to celebrate Indigenous cultures. I think the name Survival Day is a great name and it was a wonderful, wonderful day. After spending the previous evening reading some disgustingly racist comments by people on Facebook it was probably the only way I would have been able to get into Australia Day at all. And it all came as a complete suprise to me. I love days that you are not expecting much of but turn out to be great. Only problem is that you don’t think to tell anyone else about it.

Back to Yabun, it was held at Victoria Park, just down the road from us. It opened up with some traditional dancing and smoking and of course a recognition of the Gadigal people on whose land we were gathered. Then Martin and I went off to hear a panel discuss indigenous singing/songwriting. This panel included none other than Kev Carmody. It was very interesting and there were only about 30 people there so intimate too. What I mainly got out of it was how most of them just wanted to be recognised as artists in their genre ie conutry or acoustic or rap rather than as indigenous. Many of them wanted to write about political issues and thought that important but they also wanted to be able to write about love or nature without feeling like it was unnecessary.

After that we sat on the grass and listened to some different artists play and had some lunch. I ate Turkish food to celebrate Australia’s multiculturalism (and because I really like it). We listened to some people reflect on the apology and where to from here and then more music, Kev included.

After the festival we went to the Frenchs to celebrate Jo’s birthday and farewell her. That was a bit sad for me, very sad actually but it was a great to spend the night with her and some other lovelies. We had a BBQ which I suppose was fitting.

So yay for Survival Day.


It seems awhile ago now but I have been wanting to write a list of the people who stayed with us over the Christmas and New Year period as there was lots and I would like to remember. It was very exhausting but lots and lots of fun too and all the people who stayed are pretty wonderful. Anyway here is the list:

23 Dec – Leila
24 Dec – Leila, Gem, Mum, Drew
25 Dec – Leila, Gem
26 Dec – Leila, Gem
27 Dec – Leila, Gem Jo, Victor
28 Dec – Leila, Mum, Keith
29 Dec – Leila
30 Dec – Leila, Gem, Dean
31 Dec – Leila, Gem, Dean, Daniel
01 Jan – Leila, Gem, Dean, Daniel
02 Jan – I stayed in the Blue Mountains.
03 Jan – Leila, Gem, Dean
04 Jan – Leila, Gem, Dean
05 Jan – Leila, Gem, Jem
06 Jan – Leila, Gem, Dad
07 Jan – Gem, Dad
08 Jan – Gem, Dad, Dave
09 Jan – Gem, Dave, Jess
10 Jan – Gem, Dave, Naomi, Karen
11 Jan – Gem, Dave, Naomi, Karen

Holiday of fun

I love Nord’s Wharf! Quite amazing given that until about September last year when we just happened to stumble across it, I hadn’t even heard of it. But didn’t that turn out to be a blessing. It seems that I am not the only one who hasn’t heard of it. Despite it being January school holidays and simply amazing weather almost all week we had the place virtually to ourselves. In fact there was one beach we went to that we had totally to ourselves (apart from two fisherman and surfer). And it was such a beautiful beach, crystal clear water and surrounded by bush.

The place we were staying in was pretty posh. Slightly posher than I thought it would be and probably more so than I would normally go for but it was nice to have a bit of luxury in my life. The views of the lake were stunning, I enjoyed many an afternoon just lazing around the balcony, and I managed to take advantaged of the massive bath as well. The pool table and the plasma TV was also taken advantage of. Probably more that I would have necessarily chosen but I am glad others enjoyed it.

My general day consisted of waking up to the magpies warbling and the light coming in through the curtains. Martin and I would spend some time hanging out in our room, it was massive and had lake views so it was a very pleasant place to hang out. Then I would do some exercise usually pilates (but did run twice) after which I would have a leisurely breakfast. After some sitting around and chatting or reading we would finally get going to the beach and spend the afternoon there. We would usually be getting home for lunch around 3 or 3.30pm which was probably a bit late but not to worry. After lunch there would be more sitting around and reading or playing a game then I would wander down to the lake for a paddle and a swim as the sun began to go down. It would then be time for some nibbles and dinner and then more chatting or games or movies. While not every day looked exactly like that most were pretty close.

Doing all that surrounded by some of the most wonderful people in the world was simply perfection.

She’s a Mil

In the last 12 months I have blogged on average 7 times per month. With 10 posts in October being the highest and 5 posts in March and June being the lowest. That’s pretty good for me I reckon. Next year I might aim to make it an average of 8. Probably wouldn’t want to blog too much more but a little more. I like my blog.

The year that was…

So here’s my little summmary of 2008. As usual I am getting in a little late on my reflections but that’s just me:

Worked at Compeer.
Wasn’t at uni
Got kicked out of our house in Enmore
Moved to Glebe. Martin and I lived on own for the first time
Kevin Rudd said Sorry to Indigenous Australians
Got my wisdom teeth out
Was a nominator for St John’s
Celebrated our three year anniversary with a week on the South Coast
Minded Hannah for two weeks while the Frenchs were in Guatamala
Turned 26
Alexis stayed with us for a month
World Youth Day
Attended TEAR Conference
Bought a Mac
Visited Gem in Melbourne for the first time
Went to Alice Springs and on a desert journey
Decided to move to Alice Springs
Started Pilates
Saw Michael Franti in Wollongong
Barack Obama was elected as president of the US
Finished reading the whole Bible
Jo and Victor came to Australia

As with the last couple of years, now that I have finished that list I realise it doesn’t truly represent what 2008 was for me. Certainly it covers some of the important things but doesn’t fully capture what they meant for me. But it totally misses all the little things, the not so significant things that really make up a year. That’s okay, it’s a list and it’s not supposed to do that really.

Back at Work

Day two of being back at work after 15 days off on holiday. I am actually quite enjoying it, I think after 15 days of holidays it is nice to be productive again in a work kind of way. There have been some pleasant tasks to do and as for the hard ones well knowing I am about to have another 10 days off for the holiday of fun means nothing seems that overwhelming at all. I feel completely and totally indulgent.

The last week of my holidays was as good as the first I will continue from where I was up to:
Tuesday: Had a day at home alone as planned, well apart from Leila. I had a swim, did some pilates and some cleaning but mainly just sat around reading.
Wednesday: New Years Eve we hung around in teh morning and Gem and I went for a run. Then we headed over to Cremorne Point. We took the Ferry which was nice. Then we had to wait like 9 hours for the fireworks. It was so hot and not a lot of shade so I got a bit sick unfortunately and spent the night trying to sleep but the fireworks were pretty and Jo and Victor got engaged so I felt like it was worth being there.
Thursday: New Years Day. Hung around home again with Gem, Leila, Daniel, Dean, Ryan and Martin. We drunk lots of tea, had a BBQ and then saw Frost/Nixon which was a really very good movie.
Friday: Leila, Gem and I went to the Blue mountains. It was a bit of a frustrating day waiting for public transport but we evertually got to the three sisters and did a bit of a walk around there. We stayed at our friend’s Michael and Alexis house who are great and have a great house. He is an adult educator too and I really enjoy chatting with him about it. It was a freezing night believe it or not. We had the heater going and everything.
Saturday: Again in the Blue Mountains where we did another walk. It was better, less touristy and along a river with waterfalls. Although me reading the map is always a disaster so there was a bit of a detour. We had a few more public transport issues (when trains only tun every hour it is not good) but all in all a pleasant day.
Sunday: Went out to see another minister, not our man for those who are intersted. In the afternoon hung out with Hayley and Gem at the pool and then went to Newtown for coffee with Helen in a book shop. Very cool.
Monday: Last day before returning to work so just did some at home stuff Nice.

So a great holiday and lots and lots of people around which has been fun although made me realise that even extovert me has some limits.