Tag Archives: laughter

Wine and age

Image of three bottles of wine

Wine really does improve with age

They say wine improves with age.

It’s true! The older I get, the more I like it.


Seniors’ week slogan: live life – certainly beats the alternative

Older man relaxing by the sea reading a book

If it feels good, do it!

I’m not sure about you, but the New South Wales Seniors’ Week slogan, Live Life, seems a bit, well, obvious given the alternative. This might cross the mind of many of our senior citizens. And what does this mean, live life? Sure, perhaps it is meant as  juxtaposition to pretty standard stereotypes of older people – frail, immobile, disabled. But I’d like to see something a bit more radical. Something like ‘live differently’ suggesting more than just breathing. My slogan for seniors’ week would be ‘Stuff it, just do it’.

The reality is that many older people are saying exactly that. They’re fit, they’re fun and they love their lives. We have friends well over 80 who ski, drink very strong martinis after a day on the ski slopes, laugh long and loudly, and in the summer spend much of their time on the golf course. This is not the sorry stereotype, but it’s real.

Don’t underestimate the ability of anyone at any age to reinvent themselves.

New South Wales Seniors’ Week from 21 March to 28 March is the initiative of the Department of Aging. It’s been organised for the past 52 years and aims to give recognition to the elderly citizens of our community. Hang on, a senior is anyone over the age of 60. Oh shit!

Seven things that matter in life

Skiing is a passion for Bill and Susie. It's something they love doing together and they find time to ski every year.

Bill and Susie on a mountain somewhere in Canada

‘The difference between how people live and how they dream to live is a vast ocean’ – quote from the celebrated Australian TV series, SeaChange.

My Bill says,’There are only two things in life: love and fear. Choose love.’ (I think someone else said it before him!)

These are important messages that get lost in the fast pace of living in the 21st century. Some people don’t stop to think about what they are doing and why. My motto is ‘work to live not live to work’. It’s the reason Bill and I go to Canada each year to explore Canadian ski fields.

So how do we dare to live differently, boldly, with passion? I’m going with changes to the most important things in life – the way we respond to the people we love rather than changing ‘things’ in our lives. So here’s my list.

  1. Be kind to your loved ones. Think about how they feel rather than focusing on your own feelings. It’s not about how everyone else fits in with you (that’s what kids think).
  2. Have good thoughts about the people in your life. Look for the best in people and let them know. Sometimes the things that really piss us off just disappear.
  3. Don’t sweat the little stuff. Hey, don’t we all sometimes. But it just isn’t worth it. Anger is hurtful to ourselves and the people we love.
  4. Don’t shout – at anyone. Not the shop assistant who is ignoring you, not the person from your telco (oops), not your partner, not your kids. Speak calmly and say nice things. Even when someone is a bit rude, be calm and kind and you’ll find they become calm too.  If we shout, it gives the other person permission to continue being rude.
  5. Here’s another thing – give up meaningless stuff. Live simply, live calmly, love the people you care about and care about the planet we live on.
  6. On yes, and if you have a passion, follow it. If you have two, follow both.
  7. And keep laughing – and that vast ocean between how people live and how they dream to live will disappear.

A tribute to Don Lane

The Don Lane Memorial Service at South Sydney Junior Rugby League Club 5 November 2009

Once more the band plays for Don Lane

As all Australians know, Don Lane passed away recently at the age of 75. We were all sorry to hear the news. He seemed too young. On Thursday 5 November, a tribute was held at South Sydney Juniors League Club.  It was billed as a memorial service but it was so much more. The entertainment industry came out in force to honour his life and work. And the fans came in droves too.

I saw him perform only a few years ago and he looked fit, as lanky as ever, and healthy – no signs of Alzheimers then. Bill, my husband, worked with Don on many gigs as a bass guitarist in the band. The places were always packed and Don didn’t disappoint. What a consummate entertainer he was. Television, radio, cabaret: Don did it all and with style. As his son, PJ, said yesterday, ‘he transformed the entertainment industry in Australia’.

We Aussies gladly adopted Don when he made Australia his home in the ’70s and we loved him for it. Don Lane was ours – at least we Australians thought so. He entertained us, laughed with us, sang and danced his way into our hearts. We will remember him well.

The great refugee fiasco of 2009

The Insiders on ABC News Radio yesterday highlighted a couple of cartoonists who have commented on the latest refugee fiasco.

Two cartoonists have their say

From Nicholson in The Australian
The President of Indonesia talking on the telephone to Kevin Rudd, Australia’s Prime Minister: ‘I understand you hate to see boat people suffer’. Kevin: ‘Exactly, can you make sure they suffer out of sight.’

Not sure which cartoonist created this one. If you know, leave a comment so I can source it.
Chris Evans, Immigration Minister asks: ‘How’s the Indonesian Solution coming along?’ ‘Good’, is the repsonse, ‘except for the Indonesian and solution parts’.

Read more on the asylum seeker issue.

The stuff of life

I believe a lot of it [life] is all about pushing a rock up a hill and endlessly watching the fucking thing roll down again.

Hey, I laughed when I read that quote from Terry Gilliam of Monty Python fame. It’s somewhat black but hey, it resonates. Sometimes I think the rock is a bloody great bolder twice my size, at other times it’s a bit more managable. But if we think the rock won’t roll down out of control from time to time, we’re kidding ourselves.

Terry Gilliam also said in the same interview for the Sydney Morning Herald, October 24-25 2009, that ‘the only way we keep death away from us is to keep giggling’. ‘Death’, he said, ‘really hates laughter, it just has no sense of humour at all’. Same for that rock.