Friday, October 27, 2006

Top news

Princess Mary is up the duff again (well, what else is she going to do? Get a job?). I'm sure you'll all be fascinated to know that we went to the same high school. She was in grade ten when I was in grade seven, but I don't remember her and I am sure the amnesia is mutual. Still, I know she's most likely an avid reader of Eglantine's Cake so I'd like to wish her well. You know, it occurs to me that Mary was probably a pretty daggy name at Taroona High School circa 1987. But it's worked out well for her, it's quite a good name for a Danish princess. So that's foresight for you.

The Age's headline tells us Duran Duran have split, but rest assured, if you read the article (and I know you will) you will be reassured that it's only that Andy Taylor became unworkable (if you look at the picture you kind of get a glimpse at what they mean). I wasn't an enormous Duran Duran fan (my sister's wall was plastered with posters of John Taylor from Smash Hits magazine) but I did have many an afternoon of happy angst, listening to Hungry like a Wolf over and over again.

On a far more sombre note, I feel like I should say something about the DVD circulating Melbourne's western suburban high schools but to do so would be to imply that I understand the psychology of such acts and I'm afraid that in this case my usually overactive imagination fails me (or it's a place I choose not to send it). It does make me scared of the whole school experience. I don't know if Princess Mary's memories are rosier than mine (perhaps by contractual obligation) but my high school experience is not something I would wish on my daughters. I know Martin feels the same about his. But what are the options? Even if we could afford private school, I think we're all kidding ourselves if we assume exclusivity is a guarantee of warm happy memories and golden afternoons of happy learning and lovely skipping happy kids who are only kind to each other. And is it insane to want Frederique and Una's whole life to be a long golden afternoon? But it is what I want for them, I can't help it. I don't want to send them to the school of hard knocks. I don't think you need to be hit by a car in order to see it makes sense to take care crossing the road. All I want for them is to feel safe at school. I don't expect it to be full of constant joy. But I do expect it to be a relatively protected environment.

And then there are girls like Alexandra Adornetto, 14 years old with a two book deal under her belt. So you can find another, happier way of being 14, it would seem. I can't wait to read her novels and I wish her the best of luck.


  1. Anonymous11:03 AM

    I also wish her the best of luck. She sounds like a bright, lovely girl, who wasn't afraid to answer back to Red Symons, so that's a good start. But I fear being signed at that age might be more of a curse than a blessing. I hope she is strong enough and resilient enough to handle it and that it doesn't ruin writing for her... (I sound like the bad fairy at the christening, and I don't mean to -- I really do wish her well!)

    As for the DVD, my imagination fails too. And just as bad things can happen at private schools -- just more expensively disguised cruelty (god, I am full of doom today)

    -- Kate C

  2. Oh KAte, I've had a few bad fairy thoughts was the second book syndrome I worried about. But maybe being 14 will be a good antidote to the publishing world.

  3. Some of those boys were private school lads from the same school as Alex goes to!

    I love that Molly is growing and developing and finding her sense of self but I hate the teen peer pressure that is placed on her and the troubles we are having because of it. How do you try and be understanding and not blow your stack when your 13 year old tells you that she went out for a walk in the streets at 2.30am with her friends?????? Uggghhh. :-(

  4. Mary Donaldson stole one of my friends away from me in high school. She made Penny Trotter put her name and all her friends on her list of people she would like to be friends with. So she ended up in 7 Aqua or whatever it was instead of 7 tan with me. I will never forget!!!!

    I never did like Andy Taylor. Duran Duran should be on ads for an anti drug campaign. If they are not living proof of the damage Class A drugs can do to a person, I don't know what is!!!

  5. Anonymous10:32 PM

    I've been taken on the odd sightseeing tour of Taroona High by G, he went there too, but a decade before you and the would be princess. Needless to say he didn't have a happy school experience either. Neither did I, even though my parents stretched to send me to a private school. It didn't make any difference, it was still cruel and horrible in parts.

    This whole DVD thing just horrifies me. I think it says something very nasty about our culture that these boys could think that this was an OK thing to do. Not to mention all the people involved in reproducing the tape. It also makes me really sad to think that all the new ways of communicating, mobile, internet, accessible filmaking seem to turn into new ways of humiliating and/or excluding other children.

    Sometimes I contemplate moving to the country or homeschooling. But I'm not sure that would keep her safe and happy either. (apologies if I'm being a bit grim - toddler days?)

  6. Many of my family went to private schools (even tho I am a THS girl too) and the stories you hear!! Especially the boys, it seems they are encouraged to have a "holier than thou" attitude, if you went to THIS school then you are to sneer and spit on boys from THAT school. Here in Brisbane there are 2 major all boys schools that have a frighteningly (that a word?!?) violent vendetta against each other, and the teachers either turn a blind eye or activly encourage it. Scary and sick.

  7. Anonymous1:09 PM

    what's with Mary Donaldson? Tell us more. visit or and PM Cece or Hester.... we're all puzzling at how she has NO friends other than the execrable Amber Petty - who recently slagged off the Queen of Denmark over the wedding preparations!

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