Oscar de la Renta the doyen of American fashion, whose career began in the 1950s in Franco’s Spain, sprawled across the better living rooms of Paris and New York, and who was the last survivor of that generation of bold, all-seeing tastemakers, died on Monday at his home in Kent, Conn. He was 82.
Gough Whitlam, Australia’s 21st Prime Minister passed away this morning, aged 98.
He was a giant of Australian politics and, in my opinion, with the exception of very, very few have there been any others who have even come close to this great man.
Although he only lead Australia for three years, his party launched massive reform, both economically and culturally. Controversially, he began the reform into Aboriginal land rights; began universal healthcare in Australia with the Medicare system; normalised diplomatic ties with one of our closest trading partners, China; gave all Australians the right to a free university education; and ended conscription of young men in Australia, also withdrawing our forces from Vietnam.
Today is a sad day for me as one of my first, distinct memories as a three-year-old was of a group of my parents friends listening to the radio on the evening that Gough was dismissed by the governor-general, John Kerr on November 11, 1975. My father, a teacher, was probably pretty radical in his time – as were the group of friends my parents had – and each and every one of them was in tears, angry and I remember a lot of anger and disbelief.
It is a memory that now, as a forty-two year old, has stayed with me incredibly clearly throughout the years and began my passion with politics, international relations and social justice for all Australians.
This morning opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the Labor Party had “lost a giant” and “the nation has lost a legend”.
“Like no other prime minister before or since, Gough Whitlam redefined our country and in doing so he changed the lives of a generation. His vision, his ambition offered Australia a new sense of what it might be,” Mr Shorten said. “Our country is different because of him. By any test, the country is different and by any test the country was different significantly and better.
“He reimagined Australia as a modern nation where equality of opportunity belonged to all. There will be millions of Australians who feel his loss and will mourn his passing in the days to come.”
Mr Whitlam did inspire a generation of young people to get into politics; to make changes that would have seemed impossible to their parents; to get out there and change things they felt were unfair. He inspired me. He inspired my parents. He inspired many Australian songwriters, others currently and previously in public office and other notable Australians.
So, to quote a song, by ‘The Whitlams’ I say,
“Here’s to you, Edward Gough Whitlam.”
And may the nation always remember you as a giant. A humble man who changed our nation. Australian politics has become a much less brave and inspiring place once you left.
Love Mrs Jones x
The 16th of October has been designated Steve Jobs Day, and I for one, am happy to celebrate the man who changed our lives through the simplicity of the Mac, strived for perfection in the simplicity of design at Apple Inc. and in all truth was an amazingly driven, inspiring and brilliant man.
Although my household runs on PC’s; this is something you can take up with Mr. Jones directly through spruegrey.com. We have a number of iPads, iPods and we both own iPhones – so, regardless of whether you’re a PC or a Mac person (or one of those who will argue until you’re last breath about whether the simplicity of design vs. ability to geek out and upgrade your machine is better) Steve Jobs did indeed change the world in which we live and I thank him for that.
Today was a strange day because I had to go to my grandfathers house and grab some of the things I wanted to keep before his house is sold. You see, he went into a nursing home a few months ago and it’s now time to sell his place. Grandma died a few years back and there was still a bit of her stuff there too.
It was a really weird feeling walking around his home, the home where he and Grandma had lived for over 20 years. It still smells the same and looks just as it did when he was there, but he wasn’t and he’s not going to live there again, so practicalities must take over and that’s why I was there.
It struck me, as I looked at his qualifications on the walls of his study, at his guitar in the corner, at the family photographs on every surface; that at the end of your life there is only a handful of ‘stuff’ to show that you were actually here. And unless you’re in people’s hearts and minds, there really isn’t much left at all…
And it got me thinking that life is incredibly short.
So brief and you’d better make the most of it. You’d really better be you, truly and honestly you and not live somebody else’s life because all that will be left will be a handful of stuff that really wasn’t you anyhow.
So friends, I ask you to do this for me. Take stock. Just do a quick little inventory now. No matter how sucky, low long, how frustrating or how generally crappy your day has been today, please, just take a few minutes to think about this and do something for me now. First.
Take three slow, deep breaths. Take a look around you. Are you happy? Are you comfortable in your life. Happy with the person you show to the world? Are you being you?
The awesome, loving, kind, wonderful you.
Or are you unhappy. Are you feeling that life is sucking the fun and kindness out of you?
Take a moment. Take a moment to remember who you used to be when you were at your happiest. Perhaps it was only this morning before you made the lunches, the beds, did three loads of washing, made dinner, listened to the complaints, the whinging, put everyone to bed and it’s just now you’re finding a few minutes for a cuppa or a glass of wine. Then you can relax. Relax and find you. The happy person, the person who isn’t overwhelmed with life and it’s demands.
Perhaps it was a few years back, when you were happy. Maybe life has been crushing you slowly. Bills. Work. Negative people. Unhappy people. Mean, nasty people.
Perhaps you can’t even remember how long ago that it was when you were truly happy. Perhaps you’ve been eating too much. Maybe you just can’t find the energy to go for that run or walk you keep promising yourself you’ll find time for. Perhaps you’ve been controlling everything around you to try and find something you can grab onto.
Maybe you’re living with somebody who makes you feel small. Feel afraid. Feel worthless. Maybe you’re trying to escape, but you can’t because it’s all too overwhelming. Or you’re afraid for your life.
Well friends, today is it.
Honestly, today is the day.
There really mightn’t be another and do you really want all that you are, all that you’ve been to just be a pile of stuff that people will remember you by?
Think back to the feeling you used to get as a kid.
Remember how it felt to walk barefoot on the grass.
How it felt to have no responsibilities except for playing with friends and laughing. Having fun. Being you. That awesome, wonderful, gorgeous, happy, kind, loving you.
The you at your ‘you-est’.
Well the time has come to remember that kid.
Remember who you were and who you wanted to be; and who you actually still are inside and who you WILL show the world that you are again.
Stop the madness.
Get off the wheel.
Stop playing games and get real.
Stop the worrying. Stop the excuses. Now…
Make a change. A little one. A big one. Anything. Just do something to find that perfect person you feel is in the shadows and be that kid again.
Don’t waste another day letting others control you.
No longer will you let others control your destiny or make you feel that you can’t be you.
Do me a favour and just be you.
You’re good enough.
In fact you’re probably much more awesome than you’ve ever realised!
And whenever you start to forget who you are, remember walking barefoot in the grass; the smell, the cool feeling between your toes and how light and free you were. That kid is still there.
Be that person.
Be awesome and be you.
Love to you all
Mrs Jones x
Sadly, it does appear that media reports are confirming the death of the beautiful Lauren Bacall at age 89
If correct, it appears that she died on Tuesday at her home. Bacall was best known for her roles in ‘The Mirror Has Two Faces’, ‘Designing Women’ and ‘To Have and to Have’.
She was also known for her marriage to Humphrey Bogart, which lasted 11 years until his death in 1957.
Click here to go to her bio and all the info you could need on IMDb.