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Uta’s October Diary continued

20 Oct

Over the weekend Peter and I talked and talked about two different movies that we saw a few days ago. The first movie was DAS WEISSE BAND (The White Ribbon). This one we watched online. The other movie was BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP. Both movies were very thought provoking. After we saw BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP on Saturday morning at the GALA Cinema in Warrawong we had lunch – (not just desert!) – in this Cafe which used to be a book shop previously.

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DAS WEISSE BAND is set in a village in northern Germany before World War One. To me the way religion was regarded in this village looked very much like fundamentalism. Normal village life suffered because of this. Built up frustrations among adults as well as children resulted in evil deeds. Significantly nobody wanted the culprits to be found. Really strange behaviour! The Authority of the baron, the doctor, the pastor was accepted as a God given by the farmers and village workers. Nobody ever questioned the authority of these people.

The village teacher and the 17 year old nanny of the baron’s children were from the city, meaning they were outsiders and being treated as such. The midwife, who acted as housekeeper to the widowed doctor, suffered terrible abuse from him. The baroness was an altogether different person. She spent most of her time living in great style in Italy with her two children and a lot of servants, having a great time there. Once she returned to the baron’s manor with all her servants. This is when she employed the 17 year old nanny. However the baroness did not stay for very long. She asked the baron for a divorce for she had met someone in Italy and wanted to go back to Italy.

The pastor made his two eldest pubescent children wear a white band to remind them that they had to stay pure. The boy’s hands were tied to the bed at night so he would not be able to touch himself! All the poor families in the village (including the pastor) had too many children and were constantly in fear they would not be able to feed that many children.

Then World War One started.

See more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_White_Ribbon

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Before_I_Go_to_Sleep_(film)

Before I go to sleep: “This psychological thriller is based on the worldwide best-selling novel about a woman who wakes up every day remembering nothing – the result of a traumatic accident in her past – until one day, new terrifying truths emerge that force her to question everyone around her…”

As I said we watched this movie in the GALA Cinema. So many things in the plot we did not quite understand at first. I read up a bit now about it, also about the plot in the novel. In the movie the woman, Christine, speaks every day onto a camera as opposed to keeping a journal as in the novel. Christine is played by Nicole Kidman . Mark Strong plays Dr. Nash. Colin Firth plays Ben Lucas, the husband of Christine. Anne-Marie Duff plays Claire, a good friend of Christine’s. Can Christine trust her? She admits to having had a brief affair with Ben and that she then stayed away from Ben and his son for she did not want to upset her friend Christine.

Christine decides to trust Claire. She also wants to trust, Ben, her husband. Then it becomes doubtful that she can trust him. There were some scenes when Christine had reason not to completely trust Dr Nash. In the end she is very confused and does not know whom to trust.

Presumably, Christine was for a number of years in hospital after her traumatic accident. When the movie starts, she was at home with her husband Ben, but maybe only for about the last four months or so. Living with Christine becomes quite frustrating for Ben for every morning Christine has forgotten everything that went on the day before. After sleeping she does not know that Ben is her husband.

Dr. Nash gets in touch with her. He rings her every morning telling her where she has hidden her camera. Christine meets Dr. Nash but is not allowed to tell her husband about it. It is a suspense drama all right.

And how the story ends is really mind boggling. There are a lot of contradictory things that Ben tells Christine. What sort of accident has she actually been in and what or who caused it? I ask the question, why has this horrific “accident” not been conclusively investigated? Who is telling the truth? If Christine’s son is alive (according to Claire), why is she being told by her husband that he is dead?

Both movies had to do with human relationships and they raise for me the question why act people in a certain way? I tend to contemplate about what influences play a part in their lives? The photography, directing and acting in both movies was outstanding.

UTA’S DIARY

19 Oct

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I copied the following from this website:   http://www.illawarrafolkfestival.com.au/lola-wrights-keg-night  and  http://bushmusicclub.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/lolas-keg-night-story-of-lola-wright.html

“Lola Wright’s Keg Night” is a musical memoir adapted by PP Cranney & Christina Mimmocchi from the autobiography of Lola Wright. It’s a new verbatim play with music based on the passionate life and times of former Illawarra resident, Lola Wright – teacher, activist, performer, wife, mother, lover. For over forty years, from the 1940s to the 1980s, Lola contributed to the Illawarra’s vibrant social history. Whether teaching nursery rhymes to primary students, establishing the South Coast’s first bush band, playing piano at local dances, singing The Red Flag at miners’ strikes, or leading a sing-along of The Internationale at one of her infamous Oak Flats Keg Nights, Lola’s passion for music, and social justice, left its mark on all who knew her. This is her story in her own words and the music that she loved – an entertaining, audience-participation reading-in-progress performed by Vashti Hughes, Laura Bishop and others.

With thanks to the Alistair Hulett Memorial Fund, the NSW Teachers’ Federation, the National Library of Australia, the Bush Music Club, the Illawarra Folk Club and Merrigong Theatre.

Lola’s keg night? Well, Lola was famous for her parties, where the keg was not broached until sufficient songs were sung! And no one could say they didn’t know the songs as the words were projected onto a screen. After all, she was a teacher.”

 

Mrs. Wright (Lola Wright)  was principal of Oak Flats Primary School in the 1960s. This is how our children know and remember her. She is 88 now and lives in Morundah, a small town in the South West of NSW with 22 dwellings, a pub and an Opera Centre. (See: http://www.morundahopera.com.au/contacts.html) In April 2013 we stayed in Fig Tree Motel in Narrandera for one night. It’s a pity we did not know then that Mrs. Wright lives in Morundah very close to Narrandera! http://auntyuta.com/2013/04/page/3/

Christina Mimmocchi, the producer of Lola’s Keg Night, says that she had the pleasure of delving into the National Library of Australia’s oral history and folklore archive to seek out old songs . . . . Christina listened to all fourteen hours of Lola’s interviews and recordings for the NLA. So everything in the play has been either said by Lola in her National Library interviews or has been written by her in her unpublished autobiography. http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/22720011?selectedversion=NBD24494996

  • Folkloric recording.
  • Lola Wright was born in Childers, Queensland. She recalls her childhood years frequently moving around the country because of her father’s work as a sleeper cutter &​ bushman; graduating from Armidale Teacher’s College, N.S.W, rising to the position of School Principal for Oaks Flats.; settling in the Illawarra, N.S.W. &​ becoming involved with the Communist and Union movement; the local communist party branch’s involvement in local folklore; working conditions for women in the 1950s; her actions as a feminist fighting for equal pay in the education system. She recalls forming &​ running the South Coast Bush Band in the mid-1950s after a visist from the original Bushwhackers to Wollongong; life during mining strikes.

 

Our family was very interested to see Lola’s Keg Night.  Caroline booked tickets online for six of us  for Saturday night, 11th of October 2014,  at the Merrigong Studio in Wollongong.

http://bushmusicclub.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/lolas-keg-night-story-of-lola-wright.html

The above website shows pictures from the Merrigong Studio. There were individual small tables for the theater goers. There were candles and pictures on each table. Matthew organised the pushing together of some tables for our family group: There were Monika and Mark, Caroline and Matthew as well as Peter and myself. All of us had a terrific evening. In time I warmed up enough to join in the singing of some of the bushsongs. The texts were always displayed on the screen above the stage. Our group took to drinking beer. During intermission I felt that I’d rather have some hot tea to drink.  Matthew soon arrived with a lovely wooden tray with an old fashioned tea-pot on it plus a beautiful cup and a creamer and sugar. I enjoyed this tea very much.

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Weekend Diary

5 Oct

Saturday, 4th of October 2014

Peter is busily turning all our clocks one hour ahead right now. This means, we lose one hour during the night and from tomorrow on we are going to be on daylight saving (summer) time already!

It is 9 pm now. With the clock going on daylight saving during the night I tell myself it is really like 10 o’clock. I might soon get ready for bed and do a bit of reading in my kindle before I go to sleep.
I am about to start the fifth chapter in “1984”. Reading Orwell’s book a second time I find quite a challenge. I did read this book once before, as long ago as the 1960s. At the time 1984 seemed a long time away. I think I kind of could not believe that changes in society could become as extreme as what Orwell predicted. But of course we started to make plenty of jokes about it all the time when some changes seemed to become slightly Orwellian.
It seems to me changes are getting now actually more and more Orwellian. If for instance people do not blindly believe everything the government tells them and voice their opinion about it, people fear this may result in some kind of surveillance. And people realise how electronic surveillance is possible and more and more being made use of without people’s knowledge even. Just reading on the internet certain blogs that criticise the government could perhaps have consequences. This is what people think.
Anyhow, one gets the feeling some governments do not welcome a proper debate on issues that are controversial. More and more governments wants to hide things from their population. I think it is hard to trust a government that becomes very, very secretive; never wanting to tell people the truth. WAR IS PEACE. This is Orwellian!

Sunday, 5th of October 2014

Notes from Chapter Five of Orwell’s 1984

“Freedom is Slavery”

Orthodoxy means not thinking – not needing to think.
Orthodoxy is unconsciousness

thought-criminals and saboteurs

DUCKSPEAK, to quack like a duck
Applied to an opponent, it is abuse,
applied to someone you agree with, it is praise.

Syme. There was something that he lacked: Discretion, aloofness, a sort of saving stupidity. He said things that would have been better unsaid, he read too many books . . . .

About a quarter of one’s salary had to be earmarked for voluntary subscriptions, which were so numerous that it was difficult to keep track of them. For Hate Week the house-by-house fund. . . . .

Thought Police – to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offence. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: FACECRIME, it was called.

Sunday, 5th of October 2014

Notes from Orwell’s 1984, Chapter 6

Winston was writing in his diary about a woman with a young face painted very thick. The whiteness of it, like a mask, and the bright red lips appealed to him.

But then he could not go on writing. “He wanted to do any violent or noisy or painful thing that might black out the memory that was tormenting him.” . . . .
“For days at a time he was capable of forgetting that he had ever been married. They had only been together for about fifteen months. The party did not permit divorce, but it encouraged separation in cases where there were no children.
. . . .Very early in their married life he had decided – that she had without exception the most stupid, vulgar, empty mind that he had ever encountered. She had not a thought in her head that was not a slogan, and there was no imbecility, absolutely none that she was not capable of swallowing if the Party handed it out to her.”
So some three years ago Winston found himself in a kitchen of one of the poorer quarters with the white painted woman who was a prostitute. He is aching to write about it, to confess. He remembers, “what he had suddenly seen in the lamplight was that the woman was OLD. The paint was plastered so thick on her face that it looked as though it might crack like a cardboard mask. There were streaks of white in her hair; but the truly dreadful detail was that her mouth had fallen a little open, revealing nothing except a cavernous blackness. She had no teeth at all.
He wrote hurriedly, in scrabbling handwriting:
‘When I saw her in the light she was quite an old woman, fifty years at least. But I went ahead and did it just the same.’
He pressed his fingers against his eyelids again. He had written it down at last, but it made no difference. The therapy had not worked. The urge to shout filthy words at the top of his voice was as strong as ever.”

UTA’S DIARY

2 Oct

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Today is Thursday, the second of October 2014. The weeks and months seem to pass in a flash. Is it already one week since Peter drove Aileen and me to the centre for the heart move exercises? I can’t believe it. Where has the week gone to? Aileen is one of my neighbours. Last week she came along with me for the first time to see whether these heart move exercises were suitable for her. It turned out that she liked the class very much. So today she wants to come along with me again.

On Friday last week we had our games afternoon at Irene’s place. Erika is back now from her holidays and she invited us to come tomorrow to her place for our games afternoon. Last Saturday, the 27th of September, our beautiful new great-grandson Alexander was born. We spent a wonderful afternoon with him on Sunday. His parents had gone to the hospital just before midnight on Friday. It took less than one hour before little Alex was born. About twelve hours later the parents went already back home with their little bundle of joy.

Peter drove me on Sunday to church for the 9,30 Mass. That Sunday turned out to be quite a warm day already. Then on Monday and Tuesday the temperatures went up to a bit over 30 Degrees Celsius. Peter and I had dental appointments for Tuesday at the Sydney Holistic Dental Centre. We caught the train from Dapto as we always do when we go to the Dental Centre. I had taken an extra cardigan along for the train and Peter had taken a warm jumper along. We knew the air-conditioning on the trains is often turned up much too high on a summery day. And so it was. On our two hour train ride we both were cooled down a lot with the air-conditioning blowing very, very cold air all around us.

We had appointments with one of the Dental Centre’s Dental Hygienists. Our appointments had been made months ago. On Tuesday Peter had had a bad night because he had developed a very bad toothache. Even a lot of painkillers did not make him feel much better. The pain had already started on Monday. He felt like there was an infection in the tooth. It may have resulted in some kind of poisoning wandering around in his head for he could feel it was affecting his brain! But he decided to wait till Tuesday when we had dental appointments anyway. He was lucky, he did get the right kind of treatment by a friendly young dentist at the centre. He killed the nerve of the tooth. It turned out that the infection was a root infection. He drained the infected area, which made Peter feel much better immediately. The dentist said he could have given Peter antibiotics. But these would not have been a guarantee for a cure.

Peter felt totally all right the following day after having had a good sleep. When the Dental Centre rang in the afternoon to ask whether he was feeling okay, he could assure them that he was fine. He said the dentist did a good job. I think this made them happy. But in about four weeks Peter has another appointment to see the dentist who usually treats him. It was only a few days ago when Peter said he is not going to make any more appointments with the Dental Centre for he wants to save the money for another trip to Berlin. Peter likes to make jokes about it, saying now the dentist can go overseas instead!

The Dental Hygienist asked me how I was feeling. I said considering I just turned 80 I do feel all right. I am glad I can still move around, but I said that I did not like this very cold air-conditioning on the train to Sydney.

Pictures from a Week after my Birthday

1 Oct

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A week after my birthday Joan, one of my neighbours, called and gave me this beautiful large rose out of her garden.

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On Monday, 29th of September, Peter and I went to the Dapto Leagues Club. As a member I had received birthday vouchers for free cake and coffee. I chose a rather large piece of cake with a profiterole. It was delicious. There was plenty for both Peter and myself.

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After we finished our coffee and cake we went to another room where we had noticed – surprise, surprise! – on a big screen was shown the Berlin Marathon that had taken place on the previous day and where a Kenyan had been running a world record. There was still one hour’s running left to show on the screen. We decided we would sit down and watch it.

These lovely pots of tea were served to us.

These lovely pots of tea were served to us.

I gave Peter my camera. So he took quite a few pictures from the screen. Most of these turned out all right.

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Baby Alexander

30 Sep

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Lucas gets acquainted with his little Brother.

Lucas gets acquainted with his little Brother.

Sunday, the 28th of September

28 Sep

Yesterday, on the 27th of September 2014, Baby Alexander Robert, a brother for two year old Lucas, was born in Wollongong Hospital. Ryan and Ebony made it to the hospital barely an hour before little Alex was born. Twelve hours later they were already on their way back home, where the first family visits soon arrived.

Today, on Sunday, Caroline came from Sydney to see the new baby. Peter and I picked her up from Dapto Station. Caroline arrived on a rail bus. There were no trains today because of track work. Towards 3 o’clock in the afternoon Peter, Caroline and I could see  the new baby for the first time. He is such a sweetie! The baby had been born soon after midnight on Saturday. So this afternoon he would have been going towards forty hours, that means he is still less than two days old! It was great that Ebony was allowed to go home already.

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Grandmother Monika, Great-Grandparents Uta and Peter with Baby Alex

Grandmother Monika, Great-Grandparents Uta and Peter with Baby Alex

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Lucas has a look at the cheese-cake.

Lucas has a look at the cheese-cake.

Soon there were cups of coffee and cheese-cake for everyone.

Soon there were cups of coffee and cheese-cake for everyone.

In the morning I had been going to church. I noticed some beautiful yellow roses and took some pictures of them after Mass.

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It was a lovely, balmy sunny morning. In the afternoon the temperature reached 28 Degrees Celsius. We felt that this was a bit like a summer day already. I have not been to the swimming pool for a while. If we have some more weather like we had today, I might have the courage to go for a swim some time soon. So far we had either clouds and a bit of rain or very strong winds. But maybe the next few days are going to be very pleasant. I hope so! :-)

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