After Retirement a New Career

by Dimity Reed

Roman border 2

purple quote 1Imagination creates reality.purple quote 2

……………………..Richard Wagner, Composer1813 – 1883.

Roman border 2

Having spent around 40 really terrific years as an architect and having rarely thought about age, my 70th birthday appeared just as a marvellous urban renewal project which had involved me for four years finished. So there were a few free moments there to contemplate how I might entertain myself, and possibly others, for what could be another 20 years.

Then, one evening, after a slightly boozy dinner, a musicologist friend asked if we wanted to go to a lecture he was giving the following day on how we humans turn sound into music. That invitation became a new life, and not just for me. We went and were so mesmerised by his ideas and presentation that I rang our youngest filmmaker son (there are a few in the family), Sam, and suggested he attend the next talk.
 He did and afterwards asked our mate, Heath Lees, if he were interested in doing a television series on music and how we hear it. He was.

Picture 3

They talked for a while and agreed to talk more. Then Sam asked if I were interested in producing the series. I replied (with a rare meekness) that I knew nothing about film production. “Ah”, said Sam, “You’d be very good at it.” I don’t know about you, but in my parental experience flattery is quite unusual, so I immediately said ‘Yes’. And in early 2012 became a virgin film producer.

Screen Grab from Wagner's Ring - A Tale Told in Music

Screen Grab from Wagner’s Ring
– A Tale Told in Music

Heath wrote a script, we hired the Salon at the Melbourne Recital Centre, put a great crew together and shot a 16 minute teaser in a week. Sam edited it and I took it to a producer in Sydney for advice. The advice was good but unexpected, “Wagner’s 4 opera Ring cycle is on in Melbourne in 2013 and Heath Lees is a world expert on Wagner. He’s a brilliant communicator so put More To Music aside and do something on The Ring.”

A screen grab from Wagner's Ring - A Tale Told in Music

A screen grab from Wagner’s Ring –
A Tale Told in Music

Heath, Sam and I took the advice and started work on four films, one on each of the Ring operas in September 2012. The scripts were written, money raised, brilliant crew again employed, wondrous singers involved and a month shooting in Europe happened. The films were completed and ready for sale in September 2013 (Available online here).

Dimity Reed, Film Editor

Dimity Reed, Film Editor

None of it was easy but it was glorious fun and the films are magical. Working with very talented people is one of life’s joys and everyone involved in Wagner’s Ring: A Tale Told in Music was hugely talented, hard-working, generous and fun.

So now we’re back where we stated, working on More To Music. And this, I think, is what the politicians call moving forward.

………………………………………………………………………

Dimity Reed, Architecture Ambassador , 2008

Dimity Reed, Architecture Ambassador , 2008

Dimity Reed’s CV includes architect, author, Professor of Urban Design at RMIT University, Board Member and Councillor of the City of St Kilda, but at 70 years of age she found a new career as Managing Director of Mad Woman Productions. Her book, Tangled Destinies – the National Museum of Australia, was published in 2002.

 

HOME

There’s work to be done

by Sue Lees

Roman border green

dark green quote 1

 For everywhere we look, there is work to be done.dark green quote 2

………………Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address January 2009

Sibylesque Signature green

Roman border green

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Calling all Sibyls

Fellow Sibyls ‘gird your loins’. We haven’t finished yet!

In April 2008 I travelled with my husband, Andrew, to Nepal, to trek and briefly work at Shree Durga School. There I met Prashuram and other inspiring local teachers. Twenty months later I returned to Nepal as a presenter for a teaching conference, where I re-engaged with the teachers from Shree

Preshuram Shreshta

Preshuram Shreshta

Durga and had the great fortune to meet one of the true heroes of the world, Mahabir Pun, a former Nepalese teacher who has worked out how to connect remote areas of Nepal to the Internet. For more information see Nepal Wireless.

Prashuram and the teachers from Shree asked me to share their dream of helping Shree Durga Higher Secondary School get the Internet, to help digitise their world.

Shree Durga students

Shree Durga students

Together we spoke to Mahabir and ascertained that a connection was feasible. I returned to Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar and asked for support. The best Year 7 ever raised the money and on June 2010 both schools spoke and waved to each other across the digital sea.

Since then 8 other remote Nepalese schools have currently reaped the benefits of this initiative with connections to the internet, connections to an ’in house’ learning site for the schools, access to computers and teacher training. All this has been done by the small scale fundraising efforts of Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar students and private individuals who have hosted afternoon teas, asked for donations, washed cars, made cakes…

Teaching computers to Shree Durga teachers, September 2011

Teaching computers to Shree Durga teachers, September 2011

This morning (9/4/14) I opened Facebook (which I am still learning to use!! ) to see Prashuram the subject of a magazine interview about our work. Wow!!!!

“Wow!!” and “Help!!” Two more schools have formally requested an Internet connection. I need to raise $2000 and as I have just retired I must develop new sources and ideas for financing the connections.

Donations can be sent to Nepal Wireless

Sue Lees, Venice, 2014

Sue Lees, Venice, 2014

Sue Lees, 56, is a retired teacher and apprentice Sibyl. Despite traveling from Australia to work as a volunteer in a Nepalese school, she says she is quiet and quite insignificant!

…………………………………………………………………………………………

HOME

At my age, doctor, John Glen was an astronaut!

by Kerry Cue

Roman border dark red

dark red quote 1 The United States contains more people aged 65 and older than the total population of Canada.dark red quote 2

…………………………….The Demographics of Aging Report

Sibylesque Signature dark redRoman border dark red

 

….

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

At your age, what do you expect?


When consulting with your doctor about some illness or injury, you may hear the words, “Well, at your age, what do you expect?” In other words, your illness is ‘your age’. You may want to respond, “At my age, Doctor, John Glen was an astronaut”. John Glen went into space at 77 years of age! Unfortunately, your health provider would more than likely mumble [under their breath], “You’re no John Glen”.

Pelvic Floor Exercises on Beach Now imagine you are a 70-year -old American with a painful knee. What does it actually mean if your doctor glibly comments ‘Well, at your age, what do you expect?’ According to the statisticians there are 18 million Americans in your 65 – 74-year-old age group. As there are 18 million Americans ‘your age’ does that mean they are all limping about the place because of painful knees? The flaw in this logic is simple. You cannot make assumptions about the health of one person from group statistics. When the sample size is 18 million, such assumptions become a joke.

If your doctor thinks YOUR AGE is the disease, he or she might miss a more specific diagnosis. How do you respond to this type of comment by a medical practitioner? One 70-year-old had the answer. In her book, [published over 30 years ago!], ‘Mirror, Mirror, The Terror of Not Being Young’, author, Elissa Melamed, tells the story of a 70-year-old who visited her doctor with a painful right knee. “You’re 70 years old, what do you expect?” he insisted. “My left knee is 70 too”, she replied, “and it’s fine”.

Kerry Cue is a humourist, journalist, mathematician, and author. You can find more of her writing at her blog. Her latest book is a crime novel, Target 91, Penmore Press, Tucson, AZ (2019)

HOME

 

Thanks for the Mammaries

In my MAIDENFORM BRA ……

Slide09

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

LIFE MAGAZINE, 1959

 

HOME

I’m not senile … if I burn the house down it will be on purpose!

Roman border dark red

dark red quote 1

                                                     

I’m not senile… If I burn the house down it will be on purpose.dark red quote 2

…………………………………..Margaret Attwood, The Blind Assassin

Sibylesque Signature dark redRoman border dark red …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Age makes weary, but words condemn.

senior hippies wrinkleOld age creeps up on us all, but we can stay lively all our lives. Old Age, however, has had a long history of bad press. As a consequence, it is very easy to develop a ‘geriatric’ mindset and start using geriatric language. This is how it works. One day, without realising it, you say ‘I had a fall’ rather than ‘I fell over’, ‘I had a funny turn’ instead of ‘I felt dizzy’ and ‘My mind is going’ or ‘I can’t remember a thing’ in stead of ‘I forgot’.

This is important. Research shows that immersing yourself in ‘debilitating’ language slows you  down. Scientists have actually measured the walking pace of subjects. Young and old. The reverse is also true. Using ‘energetic’ language will speed you up.

What more can I say? Go wild. It’ll do you some good.

Reference: How to Age, Anne Karpf,  The School of Life (2014), p48

HOME

Celebrity Shock Photo!

Roman border green

dark green quote 1One day I woke up and there was a 70 year old woman in my bed.dark green quote 2

Gloria, Steinem, Feminist. (How to Age, Anne Karpt, The School of Life (2014))

Sibylesque Signature green

Roman border green

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Ever had a bad photo? Could be worse.

This one could melt your eyeballs!

Celebrities are pegged in our memories at the age when they were at the peak of their celebrityhood. This is just how the brain works. We remember famous folk when we loved or hated them the most.

As a result we are often shocked when we see how much a celebrity has aged. ‘OMG. They’re ancient.’ In reality, they have aged as much as we have. Take Shirley Temple, for instance. She was always 8 years old. This woman who pretended to be Shirley Temple Black with a diplomatic career was an intruder. Shirley Temple was 8 years old. In fact, she had to have her 8th birthday two years in a row as the studio thought turning 9 was bad for publicity.

So we are often shocked at how quickly celebrities have aged simply because we haven’t noticed them doing it. And we rather enjoy it too. Here is a recent pic of Goldie Hawn (b. 1945). It is an absolute dog of photograph. She doesn’t look nearly as, um, hideous as this, but this happens to be a screen grab used by Huffington Post linking to a video. Yeah! WE all have bad photos. Cue the violins. This is a doozy.

Huffington Post Screen Grab 24 Jan 2014

Huffington Post
Screen Grab 24 Jan 2014

 

HOME

Eileen

by Kerry Cue

Eileen and Tom Meehan Married 1922

Eileen and Tom Meehan Married 1922

This is a photo of my grandparent’s wedding in 1922. The Australian  Model T Ford or Tin Lizzie (below) was produced in the 1920s. My grandmother, Eileen, is at the wheel. The boy (obscured) in the photo is my father. My grandparents owned a small wheat farm at Lalbert in the Mallee, Victoria [my father was born nearby at – wait for it – Tittybong].

It was a harsh life. My grandfather, Tom, cleared the land by hand. There was no power, just tank water and kerosene lanterns and 4 kids. The car is important because my grandmother, Eileen, mother of 4 at the time, broke both her wrists crank starting it and her sister, Maggie, reset her sister’s wrists on the kitchen table.

My grandmother broke both her wrists crack starting this car

My grandmother broke her wrists crank starting this car

The fires came in the 1930s, burnt the crop and the banks foreclosed as often happened in the Great Depression. My Auntie Dot can remember someone from the bank turning up and not only taking the car, but the bridles off the horses!!!

Life was harsh on the land in the Australia of the depression

Life was harsh on the land in Australia in the depression

The local community passed around a hat to pay the train fare for the family to Melbourne. My father, 13 at the time, watched his siblings on the beach at St Kilda, Melbourne, as his parents went in search of lodgings. So terrified were the children of losing their boots, they buried them in the sand to paddle in the water. My grandparents lived in Gurner St, St Kilda for the rest of their lives. As a child, I thought my grandma was stern, but today I see her as tough. A survivor. She died in 1978.

Kerry Cue is a humourist, journalist, mathematician, and author. You can find more of her writing at her blog. Her latest book is a crime novel, Target 91, Penmore Press, Tucson, AZ (2019)

HOME

Thanks for the Mammaries

In my MAIDENFORM BRA ……

Slide15

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

MAIDENFORM BRA LADIES’ HOME JOURNAL 03/01/1954

 

HOME

Don’t call me ‘Grandma’

by Kerry Cue

Roman border 2


 purple quote 1   “The reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy.”purple quote 2

……………………… Sam Levenson, American Humourist, 1911-1980

Sibylesque Signature purple

Roman border 2

 

…………………………………………………………………………………

Baby Boomers Find the ‘Grandma’ Tag Doesn’t Fit

Baby Boomers, apparently, are terrified of being labelled ‘old’. We’re in denial and we refuse to be called grandma. Susan Sarandon (b. 1946), for instance, wants to be called ‘Honey’.

Susan Sarandon B&W

This is not a straightforward issue. Firstly, today a kid can have 4 grandmas, 2 biological grannies and 2 step-grandmamas. Who gets the naming rights? Often, it is first in, first served. So the first-time-grandma may be  competing with an established  grandma-of-3. To avoid the granny wars, she has to find another name.

If both grandmothers opt for the same ‘nanna’ tag, the kid will soon sort you out. I know a little tyke who called his nannas ‘Chippie Nanna’ and ‘Chocie Nanna’. Obviously, they specialised in crisps and chocolate.

May Procession c 1950s Communigate UK

May Procession c 1950s  UK


Secondly, women of my generation have fought to be recognised as individuals. Otherwise, our entire identity is dished out as  stereotypes: girlfriend, fiancee, wife, mother, grandmother…. Are we expected to revert to a generic brand name in our senior years?

Some will be happy with this option but some won’t. I’m one and I’m not even a grandmother. Our grandmothers, much like my grandma and nanna, were stern, hat-wearing, church-going matrons (see left), who often tut-tutted at, well, every fun thing that happened at family gatherings. I don’t care about being a grandmother, but the name would feel like a millstone around my aging-neck.

What are the options?

Nan: My friend Nan says she’s just growing into her own name!!

Mimi: Kim, called Kimmie by the family, said ‘Let the child decide’. He started calling  her ‘Mimi’. She loves it.

Lola: Surprisingly, ‘lola’ is grandma in Filipino (Tagalog). ‘Lolo’ is grandpa. My nephew married the gorgeous, Regina, who is Filipino. His mum gets called ‘Lola Liz’. Now that sounds like a grandma, who is having a damn good time!

Any other suggestions?

Kerry Cue is a humourist, journalist, mathematician and author. You can find more of her writing at her blog. Her latest book is a crime novel, Target 91, Penmore Press, Tucson, AZ (2019)

Once Sex Ed was for -what? – rabbits!

Roman border dark red

dark red quote 1

                                                     

Human reproduction is essentially the same as the rabbit…..dark red quote 2

Year 9 Text, Pursuit of Science, Lugg & Rowney, CHESHIRE (1965)

Sibylesque Signature dark redRoman border dark red

.

….

 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Yes! You should know about the birds and the bees ………………and, um, rabbits

Sex education was excruciatingly vague for most of us. Here is the total sum of information I received from Kyneton High School in rural Australia  in 1965. I turned 13 that year. That was it. Yes! We stormed  into the world armed with the knowledge of the sex lives of rabbits.

But, at least, we knew multiple births were rare.

Year 9 Science Reproduction

HOME