28. On July 28, 2009, at 5.35 pm, I discovered that he wasn't my biological father. Linda and Herbie had adopted me - on October 11, 1943 - three months after I was bo
30. That was about the time that my birth-mother, Gwendoline Bertram, died of cervical cancer. She was a victim of the narrow sexual attitudes of the 1940s.
7. My mum washed my mouth out with soap and water when I was 11 or 12 because I called one of our boarders a ‘poofter’. I didn’t know what the word meant – I thought ‘poofter’ was a word you used to refer to people you didn’t like much. I learned TWO things from that experience: a. Velvet soap doesn’t taste very good. B. If you’re going to use ‘bad’ words, do them where your mum can’t hear.
32. I wonder, now, whether maybe I was right. Our two boarders shared a small bungalow; there was about 6o cm between their beds ... Makes you wonder . And, of course, why shouldn't they be. They had every right to be whatever they chose. The problem was with the attitude behind the prohibition of the word 'poofter', not with the choice people might make to be homosexual.
33. These days, five and six year olds use the word... God, I'm getting old.
36. All three attended State schools; all three completed University degrees. All three have had their fair share of struggle and pain, love and bliss, in their lives.
12. My daughters, Jordan and Tanner, are 13 and 8 respectively, and are both at primary school.
40. During October, 2011, I wrote around 27 songs - for my Year 12 class: one song per student.
19. I’m currently going through an obsessive phase with Suduko. I spend one hour each weekend trying to work them out.
20. Karin, who I’ve lived with since 1986, used to call me ‘Baggy Monster’. She is remarkable tolerant of my obsessions. Sometimes, we have a conversation that I never tire of; it goes like this:
HER Do you know what I really like about you?
HER Absolutely fucking nothing!!!
21. Three years ago embarked on a new career – or rather, revisited an old career – I’m teaching English at Warrandyte High School, and thus far, I’m really enjoying it.
His name was Nigal. After he married Lily GENTLE, he was ever after called Tiger.
22. I recently embarked on another new venture, too, in a partnership with two other creative people: Sarah Cowan – singer, writer, songwriter, editor, and most importantly, friend; and Jerry Speiser – drummer & muso, music producer, arranger, physicist, business consultant, manager – and most importantly: friend. We’ve formed a partnership called JS Baz Music; its mission is to develop creative music projects.
Our music performance group is JS Baz. And our first recordings, GUANTANAMO BAY and GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS can be viewed on YouTube. Just google “jsbazmusic” + “Guantanamo” . Our collection of children’s songs – The Music Cubby – was published in 2011.
23. I have been obsessed for several years now by the notion of the MOMENT. The idea that the past is a construction that we have made, and is ‘illusory’ in the sense that it is constantly changing. Put another way, our sense that our lives have continuity is an illusion. (A bit like movies. A movie is made up of a whole series of ‘Frames’ that pass through the projector at the rate of 16 per second – or something like that. It the film stops rolling, we simply see a STILL.) Our experience is like that: a series of STILLs – a series of MOMENTS. The past is gone; the future is indeterminate. We could – all of us – cease to be at any moment.
And each MOMENT is like a grain of sand, passing through the ‘narrow neck’ of an hour glass. That ‘narrow neck’ is the PRESENT MOMENT – it is our NOW, and it is all that we truly have.
48. And I let time go by so slow. And I let every moment last. And I thought about years - how they pass so slow, how they're gone so fast.
24. Each MOMENT – each grain of sand – is like a multi faceted crystal – or like a disco ball composed of millions of tiny mirrors. And the more we look into any given moment, the more we find it contains. It’s like William Blake’s image … ‘to see the world in a grain of sand/ and eternity in an hour.’
25. I have a detailed plan, a blueprint, for living the rest of my life. My plan is to try to be present in each passing moment – to the extent that that is possible. That means being as aware as I can be of each moment as it occurs, rather than daydreaming or scheming. In the end, being HERE, NOW is all we have.
That’s why to me alcohol and drugs are so destructive – they are escapes from the here and now; they drug our minds into a state of anaesthetic non-presence.
26. BONUS INFORMATION
When I wear a suit and tie, Tanner says – each and every time: “Daddy - you look handsome!’