The Sibyls’ Salon

Sibylesque Sibyls Salon mayThanks to Sibyls Eva, Celia, Viv G., Cinzia, Viv S., Ann, Donna, Elizabeth and Margot, who came along to our MAY SALON and Celia for the Sibyl Cake.

This time we learned:

  1. We can have fun rewriting literary classics. Perhaps, today, Lady Chatterley would skip the flowers and sport a pubic hair style to match her lover’s hipster beard. If the cats took over George’ Orwell’s Animal farm, the mice and the dogs would be deemed expendible from a comfy couch somewhere. And if 007 was Jane, Jane Bond, one gadget she might invent for personal use only is a James Bondroid with attachments. 
  2.  The powerful impact of stories from each of our lives.

Sibylesque Salon cake3. In times of grief, letter writing gives shape and form to thoughts and feelings that can help others understand.

We also raised some funds for Sue’s Global Community work in Nepal, which is in even more need of our help right now.

Sibyl Doris & Sibyl Kerry.

The Sibyls’ Salon

Sibyl Cake Salon FEB 2015

Thanks to all our Sibyls who came along to our FEB SALON and Celia for the Sibyl Cake. As the Salons evolve we will invite public participation.

Sibyl Kerry and Sibyl Doris

Following our honest and lively discussions in a safe, non-judgement and non-competitive forum here are a few things we learned this time.

1. Food is a language for women. We communicate through food. Some do. The rest of us dial-a-pizza

2. A strong character can step out of the cover of a novel to teach you about life. If, however, your interest in the character involves shagging them on a cold and windy Scottish moor, you may not learn much.

3. You do not get to write your own eulogy, but if you start early … you never know.

We also raised some modest funds for Sue’s Global Community work in Nepal.


Hey Grandma, try this … build your grandchild’s imagination!

by Penny Cook

Sibylesque bob Newhart quote laughterWho could have ever have predicted that when recycle bins were installed in homes and offices all over Australia, the future creativity of the nation would be under threat! Don’t get me wrong. Recycling is the right thing to do for the planet and, I can tell there has been a huge change in social behavior because early childhood settings all over the country are suffering from a lack of cereal boxes, toilet rolls, milk cartons (remember them), egg cartons, corks and the like!! All of which are ‘gold’ to the imaginations of our youngest innovators.

Sibylesque iPod kidA natural part of how children learn is to make sense of the world they’re experiencing by re presenting their thinking. That’s why they pretend to be someone they’re not (dramatic play), use bananas as telephones and understand that 3 cereal boxes and 2 toilet rolls is really a robot. Without ready access to a range of discarded but potentially fabulous resources, children will miss out on opportunities to be creators and innovators.

What used to go to preschools and schools as ‘junk’ and was transformed into amazing creations, now ends up in recycle centres to be turned into toilet paper, envelopes and tyres. Early years settings are crying out for recycled goods. I have seen teachers guiltily deconstruct a mermaid that didn’t go home with its owner, to recycle the recycling!! Without the ‘junk’ the alternative is pressure to purchase pre packaged expensive bags of coloured sticks, straws, feathers and sequins or alternatively, pre packaged expensive natural materials. Either way children need to and will be creative.

In northern Italy, the city of Reggio Emilia, well known internationally for their early childhood centres, has developed Remida, a centre for organizing and displaying discarded materials to be used as creative resources. Schools can go there and stock up on all kinds of interesting recycled materials, which then get translated into the most amazing creations. There is an endless supply because businesses and industries work in partnership with the city and recognize the importance of the creative process in learning. I’m wondering, is it possible to use face book and social media to influence another change in social behavior –putting in a ‘create and innovate’ step before the recycle depot.

Sibylesque Creative StationOnce at kindy, a child had a plaster cast on his leg. At the same time there was a young boy who didn’t speak. This boy went to the never ending supply of ‘junk’ material, found two milk cartons, cut the bottoms out, opened out the tops and then placed a carton on each leg. That ‘spoke’ to me. It told me this boy wanted to know what it felt like to walk with plaster on his legs. I’d say I was seeing empathy- wanting to understand from another’s point of view. If there wasn’t access to the recycling, I might never have known that about the boy who didn’t speak.

So…tip out the recycling, re badge it as ‘the creative station’, throw in scissors, tape and a glue stick and watch what the kids do!! Or, bundle it up and take it (washed and sorted) to the local early childhood centre or school. The children of Australia will be extremely createful!!

Also check out: how a child’s creativity and imagination helps them deal with anxieties and phobias.


Penny CookPenny Cook has been an early childhood educator for over 30 years. She loves to travel  – anywhere. Penny is a mother and ‘Nan Pen’, who is continuously fascinated and amazed by her two young grandchildren.  She has always wanted to live in  a tree house by the beach …’s never too late!!

Photo source: Popsugar, Familysponge


Hey! Older women take off the Invisibility Cloak

by Kerry Cue

Navy Roman Border

Navy quote 1When I am an old woman I shall wear purple

Navy quote 2

With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me

………….Jenny Joseph, Warning, Poem, 1961

Navy Sibyl signature

Navy Roman Border

Do dull clothes make you dull?

Red Hat Society

Red Hat Society

Jenny Joseph’s poem has gained something of a cult following. Today there are Red Hat Societies that encourage members to go out in public wearing purple dresses and red hats. They have a lot of fun and raise money for charity – insert applause here – and, of course, the Red Hat ladies don’t go unnoticed in public.

Such societies, however, rather defeat the idea of the older woman as a respected individual by turning her into a red hat, purple dress-wearing stereotype. Jenny Joseph aptly expressed her unique eccentricities in her poem, but why turn yourself into a Jenny Joseph clone?

There is, however, a more insidious problem concerning fashion for older women.

In her book FASHION AND AGE: Dress, the body and later life, (Review: Cheryl Buckley, Times Higher Education, 19 SEP 2014) Julia Twigg insists that as women age they become estranged to fashion and begin to wear “rectangles and squares” in sombre colours with little ornamentation, instead of choosing clothes that fashionably drape and shape our older selves.

Sibylline fashion classicIt is the curse of the ‘chunky ¾ length pants and polo fleece tops’, the uniform worn by older women on bus trips! This garb is the real world equivalent to Harry Potter’s Invisibility Cloak.

Fashion is fun but it’s not for everyone. Moreover, older women can wear what they bloody well like. They’ve earned this right. But fashion also serves a purpose. Dowdy or dull outfits scream ‘I’ve given up’. If you are not interested in yourself, who else will be?

Yes! You do get more respect if you dress smartly in public. You needn’t stop there. Some older women don amazingly zany outfits and they are, indeed, an inspiration for all ages. Here they are, women from the Advanced Style Blog. Ari Seth Cohen wanders the streets of New York taking pictures of fashionable women in the 60s, 70s and 80s. And they look fabulous, darling!

Beatrix Ost Fashion Diva

Beatrix Ost Fashion Diva

Fab Fashionista

Fab Fashionista





Fashionistas Photos: Red Hat Society Sowystitch and Advanced Style Blog.