inbox and environment news: Issue 571
February 12 - 18 2023: Issue 571
Stop PEP11 & Protect Our Coast Bill 2023 To Be Tabled In Federal Parliament This Week By Warringah MP - Will Be Seconded By Mackellar MP
Mackellar MP Dr. Sophie Scamps has stated she will be seconding Warringah MP Zali Steggall's Stop PEP11 and Protect Our Coast Bill 2023 on Monday February 13th when Parliament returns.
''The Northern Beaches is united on this - we will never accept drilling for oil and gas off our beaches!'' Dr. Scamps has stated
''Zali's Bill will rule out any consideration of an application to drill for oil and gas off our coast and protect our oceans and our coastline for good.
It's time for the Albanese Government to do what the Morrison Government couldn't, and that's kill off PEP-11 for good and start investing in the future - clean, cheap and reliable renewables backed by storage technology.''
More in: Agreement To End PEP-11 Litigation Revives Applicants' Licence Extension Process - Issue 570
Plastic Boardwalk Through Manly Warringah War Memorial Park: 'We Can Do Better!' States Save Manly Dam Bushland Group
WE CAN DO BETTER !!
Pittwater: Urban Wallabies
Report Fox Sightings
Avalon Dunes Bushcare Returns Sunday March 5th
Next will be on March 5, meeting at 8.30 in the parking area off Tasman Rd south.
We work until 11.30 but any time you can spare is wonderful.
We always find interesting insects and other wildlife. We can see the progress happening as we work in this corner of the 4.5ha dunes.
Call in to say hello or phone 0420 817 574 if you can't see us there.
New helpers very welcome, and there's always something yummy for morning tea.
Our bushcare area is within the red lines. We can work in the shade in summer, or in sun in winter. Barrenjoey High school is to the north.
Morning tea with good company and cake.
The egg case or ootheca of a Praying Mantis. Each ootheca contains a number of eggs, up to 200 with some species. Mantis eggs can take anywhere from 40 days to around five months to hatch. On hatching, the baby mantises are about as big as a large ant. The tiny holes on this one suggest the eggs have hatched.
This Leaf Beetle in the genus Paropsisterna. It has been feeding on Eucalypt or Acacia foliage. It is one of Australia's many beetles. The total species number is estimated to be in the range of 80,000 to 100,000.
A long-legged Dancing Fly pauses on a leaf of Snake Vine.
Ocean Street Narrabeen Bridge Works
Juvenile Rainbow Lorikeet Pair
Black Swans On DY Lagoon
Collins Beach Clean Up
Prune Viburnum Hedge Agapanthus Flowers To Prevent Spread Into Bush Reserves
PNHA: January 11, 2023
Now is the time to prune the berries off the Viburnum hedge and dehead those old Agapanthus flowers. Put these prunings into your green waste bin. Both are now weeds of bushland as their seeds travel.
Photos: Pittwater Natural Heritage Association (PNHA)
New Marine Wildlife Rescue Group Launched On The Central Coast
A new wildlife group was launched on the Central Coast on Saturday, December 10.
Marine Wildlife Rescue Central Coast (MWRCC) had its official launch at The Entrance Boat Shed at 10am.
The group comprises current and former members of ASTR, ORRCA, Sea Shepherd, Greenpeace, WIRES and Wildlife ARC, as well as vets, academics, and people from all walks of life.
Well known marine wildlife advocate and activist Cathy Gilmore is spearheading the organisation.
“We believe that it is time the Central Coast looked after its own marine wildlife, and not be under the control or directed by groups that aren’t based locally,” Gilmore said.
“We have the local knowledge and are set up to respond and help injured animals more quickly.
“This also means that donations and money fundraised will go directly into helping our local marine creatures, and not get tied up elsewhere in the state.”
The organisation plans to have rehabilitation facilities and rescue kits placed in strategic locations around the region.
MWRCC will also be in touch with Indigenous groups to learn the traditional importance of the local marine environment and its inhabitants.
“We want to work with these groups and share knowledge between us,” Gilmore said.
“This is an opportunity to help save and protect our local marine wildlife, so if you have passion and commitment, then you are more than welcome to join us.”
Marine Wildlife Rescue Central Coast has a Facebook page where you may contact members. Visit: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100076317431064
Watch Out - Shorebirds About
Possums In Your Roof?: Do The Right Thing
Aviaries + Possum Release Sites Needed
Bushcare In Pittwater
Where we work Which day What time
Angophora Reserve 3rd Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Avalon Dunes 1st Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Avalon Golf Course 2nd Wednesday 3 - 5:30pm
Careel Creek 4th Saturday 8:30 - 11:30am
Toongari Reserve 3rd Saturday 9 - 12noon (8 - 11am in summer)
Bangalley Headland 2nd Sunday 9 to 12noon
Winnererremy Bay 4th Sunday 9 to 12noon
North Bilgola Beach 3rd Monday 9 - 12noon
Algona Reserve 1st Saturday 9 - 12noon
Plateau Park 1st Friday 8:30 - 11:30am
Browns Bay Reserve 1st Tuesday 9 - 12noon
McCarrs Creek Reserve Contact Bushcare Officer To be confirmed
Old Wharf Reserve 3rd Saturday 8 - 11am
Kundibah Reserve 4th Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Mona Vale Beach Basin 1st Saturday 8 - 11am
Mona Vale Dunes 2nd Saturday +3rd Thursday 8:30 - 11:30am
Bungan Beach 4th Sunday 9 - 12noon
Crescent Reserve 3rd Sunday 9 - 12noon
North Newport Beach 4th Saturday 8:30 - 11:30am
Porter Reserve 2nd Saturday 8 - 11am
Irrawong Reserve 2nd Saturday 2 - 5pm
North Palm Beach Dunes 3rd Saturday 9 - 12noon
Catherine Park 2nd Sunday 10 - 12:30pm
Elizabeth Park 1st Saturday 9 - 12noon
Pathilda Reserve 3rd Saturday 9 - 12noon
Warriewood Wetlands 1st Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Norma Park 1st Friday 9 - 12noon
Coopers Point, Elvina Bay 2nd Sunday 10 - 1pm
Rocky Point, Elvina Bay 1st Monday 9 - 12noon
Friends Of Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment Activities
Gardens And Environment Groups And Organisations In Pittwater
Plastic Debris In The Arctic Comes From All Around The World
How Waste-Eating Bacteria Digest Complex Carbons: New Information Could Lead To Bacteria-Based Platforms That Recycle Plastic And Plant Waste
Pittwater Reserves: Histories + Notes + Pictorial Walks
A History Of The Campaign For Preservation Of The Warriewood Escarpment by David Palmer OAM and Angus Gordon OAM
A Walk Around The Cromer Side Of Narrabeen Lake by Joe Mills
America Bay Track Walk - photos by Joe Mills
An Aquatic June: North Narrabeen - Turimetta - Collaroy photos by Joe Mills
Angophora Reserve Angophora Reserve Flowers Grand Old Tree Of Angophora Reserve Falls Back To The Earth - History page
Annie Wyatt Reserve - A Pictorial
Avalon's Village Green: Avalon Park Becomes Dunbar Park - Some History + Toongari Reserve and Catalpa Reserve
Bairne Walking Track Ku-Ring-Gai Chase NP by Kevin Murray
Bangalley Headland Bangalley Mid Winter
Banksias of Pittwater
Barrenjoey Boathouse In Governor Phillip Park Part Of Our Community For 75 Years: Photos From The Collection Of Russell Walton, Son Of Victor Walton
Barrenjoey Headland: Spring flowers
Barrenjoey Headland after fire
Botham Beach by Barbara Davies
Bungan Beach Bush Care
Careel Bay Saltmarsh plants
Careel Bay Birds
Careel Bay Clean Up day
Careel Bay Playing Fields History and Current
Careel Creek - If you rebuild it they will come
Centre trail in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
Chiltern Track- Ingleside by Marita Macrae
Clareville/Long Beach Reserve + some History
Coastal Stability Series: Cabbage Tree Bay To Barrenjoey To Observation Point by John Illingsworth, Pittwater Pathways, and Dr. Peter Mitchell OAM
Cowan Track by Kevin Murray
Curl Curl To Freshwater Walk: October 2021 by Kevin Murray and Joe Mills
Currawong and Palm Beach Views - Winter 2018
Currawong-Mackerel-The Basin A Stroll In Early November 2021 - photos by Selena Griffith
Currawong State Park Currawong Beach + Currawong Creek
Deep Creek To Warriewood Walk photos by Joe Mills
Drone Gives A New View On Coastal Stability; Bungan: Bungan Headland To Newport Beach + Bilgola: North Newport Beach To Avalon + Bangalley: Avalon Headland To Palm Beach
Duck Holes: McCarrs Creek by Joe Mills
Dunbar Park - Some History + Toongari Reserve and Catalpa Reserve
Dundundra Falls Reserve: August 2020 photos by Selena Griffith - Listed in 1935
Elsie Track, Scotland Island
Elvina Track in Late Winter 2019 by Penny Gleen
Elvina Bay Walking Track: Spring 2020 photos by Joe Mills
Elvina Bay-Lovett Bay Loop Spring 2020 by Kevin Murray and Joe Mills
Fern Creek - Ingleside Escarpment To Warriewood Walk + Some History photos by Joe Mills
Iluka Park, Woorak Park, Pittwater Park, Sand Point Reserve, Snapperman Beach Reserve - Palm Beach: Some History
Ingleside Wildflowers August 2013
Irrawong - Ingleside Escarpment Trail Walk Spring 2020 photos by Joe Mills
Irrawong - Mullet Creek Restoration
Katandra Bushland Sanctuary - Ingleside
Lucinda Park, Palm Beach: Some History + 2022 Pictures
McCarr's Creek to Church Point to Bayview Waterfront Path
Mona Vale Beach - A Stroll Along, Spring 2021 by Kevin Murray
Mona Vale Headland, Basin and Beach Restoration
Mount Murray Anderson Walking Track by Kevin Murray and Joe Mills
Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment: Past Notes Present Photos by Margaret Woods
Narrabeen Lagoon State Park
Narrabeen Lagoon State Park Expansion
Narrabeen Rockshelf Aquatic Reserve
Nerang Track, Terrey Hills by Bea Pierce
Newport Bushlink - the Crown of the Hill Linked Reserves
Newport Community Garden - Woolcott Reserve
Newport to Bilgola Bushlink 'From The Crown To The Sea' Paths: Founded In 1956 - A Tip and Quarry Becomes Green Space For People and Wildlife
Pittwater Reserves: The Green Ways; Bungan Beach and Bungan Head Reserves: A Headland Garden
Pittwater Reserves, The Green Ways: Clareville Wharf and Taylor's Point Jetty
Pittwater Reserves: The Green Ways; Hordern, Wilshire Parks, McKay Reserve: From Beach to Estuary
Pittwater Reserves - The Green Ways: Mona Vale's Village Greens a Map of the Historic Crown Lands Ethos Realised in The Village, Kitchener and Beeby Parks
Pittwater Reserves: The Green Ways Bilgola Beach - The Cabbage Tree Gardens and Camping Grounds - Includes Bilgola - The Story Of A Politician, A Pilot and An Epicure by Tony Dawson and Anne Spencer
Pittwater spring: waterbirds return to Wetlands
Pittwater's Lone Rangers - 120 Years of Ku-Ring-Gai Chase and the Men of Flowers Inspired by Eccleston Du Faur
Pittwater's Parallel Estuary - The Cowan 'Creek
Resolute Track at West Head by Kevin Murray
Resolute Track Stroll by Joe Mills
Riddle Reserve, Bayview
Salvation Loop Trail, Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park- Spring 2020 - by Selena Griffith
Seagull Pair At Turimetta Beach: Spring Is In The Air!
Stapleton Park Reserve In Spring 2020: An Urban Ark Of Plants Found Nowhere Else
Stony Range Regional Botanical Garden: Some History On How A Reserve Became An Australian Plant Park
The Chiltern Track
The Resolute Beach Loop Track At West Head In Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park by Kevin Murray
Topham Track Ku-Ring-Gai Chase NP, August 2022 by Joe Mills and Kevin Murray
Towlers Bay Walking Track by Joe Mills
Trafalgar Square, Newport: A 'Commons' Park Dedicated By Private Landholders - The Green Heart Of This Community
Tranquil Turimetta Beach, April 2022 by Joe Mills
Turimetta Beach Reserve by Joe Mills, Bea Pierce and Lesley
Turimetta Beach Reserve: Old & New Images (by Kevin Murray) + Some History
Warriewood Wetlands and Irrawong Reserve
Whale Beach Ocean Reserve: 'The Strand' - Some History On Another Great Protected Pittwater Reserve
Wilshire Park Palm Beach: Some History + Photos From May 2022
Winji Jimmi - Water Maze
New Shorebirds WingThing For Youngsters Available To Download
A Shorebirds WingThing educational brochure for kids (A5) helps children learn about shorebirds, their life and journey. The 2021 revised brochure version was published in February 2021 and is available now. You can download a file copy here.
If you would like a free print copy of this brochure, please send a self-addressed envelope with A$1.10 postage (or larger if you would like it unfolded) affixed to: BirdLife Australia, Shorebird WingThing Request, 2-05Shorebird WingThing/60 Leicester St, Carlton VIC 3053.
Shorebird Identification Booklet
The Migratory Shorebird Program has just released the third edition of its hugely popular Shorebird Identification Booklet. The team has thoroughly revised and updated this pocket-sized companion for all shorebird counters and interested birders, with lots of useful information on our most common shorebirds, key identification features, sighting distribution maps and short articles on some of BirdLife’s shorebird activities.
The booklet can be downloaded here in PDF file format: http://www.birdlife.org.au/documents/Shorebird_ID_Booklet_V3.pdf
Paper copies can be ordered as well, see http://www.birdlife.org.au/projects/shorebirds-2020/counter-resources for details.
Download BirdLife Australia's children’s education kit to help them learn more about our wading birdlife
Shorebirds are a group of wading birds that can be found feeding on swamps, tidal mudflats, estuaries, beaches and open country. For many people, shorebirds are just those brown birds feeding a long way out on the mud but they are actually a remarkably diverse collection of birds including stilts, sandpipers, snipe, curlews, godwits, plovers and oystercatchers. Each species is superbly adapted to suit its preferred habitat. The Red-necked Stint is as small as a sparrow, with relatively short legs and bill that it pecks food from the surface of the mud with, whereas the Eastern Curlew is over two feet long with a exceptionally long legs and a massively curved beak that it thrusts deep down into the mud to pull out crabs, worms and other creatures hidden below the surface.
Some shorebirds are fairly drab in plumage, especially when they are visiting Australia in their non-breeding season, but when they migrate to their Arctic nesting grounds, they develop a vibrant flush of bright colours to attract a mate. We have 37 types of shorebirds that annually migrate to Australia on some of the most lengthy and arduous journeys in the animal kingdom, but there are also 18 shorebirds that call Australia home all year round.
What all our shorebirds have in common—be they large or small, seasoned traveller or homebody, brightly coloured or in muted tones—is that each species needs adequate safe areas where they can successfully feed and breed.
The National Shorebird Monitoring Program is managed and supported by BirdLife Australia.
This project is supported by Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority and Hunter Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program. Funding from Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and Port Phillip Bay Fund is acknowledged.
The National Shorebird Monitoring Program is made possible with the help of over 1,600 volunteers working in coastal and inland habitats all over Australia.
The National Shorebird Monitoring program (started as the Shorebirds 2020 project initiated to re-invigorate monitoring around Australia) is raising awareness of how incredible shorebirds are, and actively engaging the community to participate in gathering information needed to conserve shorebirds.
In the short term, the destruction of tidal ecosystems will need to be stopped, and our program is designed to strengthen the case for protecting these important habitats.
In the long term, there will be a need to mitigate against the likely effects of climate change on a species that travels across the entire range of latitudes where impacts are likely.
The identification and protection of critical areas for shorebirds will need to continue in order to guard against the potential threats associated with habitats in close proximity to nearly half the human population.
Here in Australia, the place where these birds grow up and spend most of their lives, continued monitoring is necessary to inform the best management practice to maintain shorebird populations.
BirdLife Australia believe that we can help secure a brighter future for these remarkable birds by educating stakeholders, gathering information on how and why shorebird populations are changing, and working to grow the community of people who care about shorebirds.
To find out more visit: http://www.birdlife.org.au/projects/shorebirds-2020/shorebirds-2020-program
Aussie Bread Tags Collection Points
All Adults Now Eligible For A 2023 COVID-19 Booster Dose
Friday essay: love in the time of incontinence – why young people don’t have the monopoly on love, or even sexCarol Lefevre, University of Adelaide
A friend with a close relative in a residential aged care home reports – in a tone of scandalised surprise – on romantic entanglements among the elderly.
In one case, a man and woman have become so inseparable that staff have been forced to move his bed into her room so the two can sleep side by side. When the woman’s son made an unexpected visit, he was distressed to find his mother in her nightdress in the arms of a stranger, though eventually he had to accept it was what she wanted.
The concept of the elderly, with their age-altered bodies, demonstrating an appetite for intimacy, especially in an institutionalised setting, appears widely regarded as funny at best – and at worst, disgusting. But should we be surprised if in this difficult, final phase of their lives, elderly people yearn for human contact?
Love Is Short, Forgetting Is Long
As another friend, an experienced nurse, points out, the rooms of aged care residents are routinely lined with framed family photographs, what she calls “the people with the big hats and the scrolls”. But where, my friend demands, are these people in the lives of the lonely residents? Why do they never visit?
She describes how in her childhood in Ireland, any house you’d go to would have an old man or woman in it being cared for by the family; though she admits this may no longer be the case, since so many women have found work outside the home.
For Australians in aged care, living among strangers, removed from all that was once familiar – including the ordinary luxuries of an outing to a local cafe, or to watch the sun set over the sea – it is surely natural that they should turn to those nearest them for comfort. As the poet Pablo Neruda says: “Love is so short, forgetting is so long.”
Each February, the Day of Love rolls around, with its buckets of poor, forced roses outside florists’ shops, its gaudy greetings cards, and supermarkets crammed with chocolate. Young people, of course, are mad for all the hullabaloo, with Valentine’s Day themed parties, and singing telegrams delivered in the lunch breaks in high schools. But if those young people imagine they have a monopoly on love – or even on sex – the truth appears otherwise; in real life and in books.
Romance In Residential Care
For a moving narrative of love at the end of days, read Alice Munro’s The Bear Came Over the Mountain, from her book Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage (filmed as Away From Her; director Sarah Polley was Oscar nominated for her screenplay adaptation of Munro’s story).
The story documents both romantic attachment in residential care, and the lengths a spouse might go to for love. Grant and Fiona have been married for almost 50 years when she starts leaving sticky notes on their kitchen drawers: Cutlery, Dishtowels, Knives. Grant is shaken by the realisation that it is not where things are kept that Fiona is struggling with, but what they are.
As Fiona’s memory loss accelerates, she moves voluntarily to Meadowlake, a nursing home where she and Grant have previously visited a neighbour. The home’s rules forbid visitors during the first month; Grant is told this is to help Fiona settle in. But when the month is up his wife does not recognise him, and at each visit he finds her sitting close beside her new friend, Aubrey.
Grant’s eventual acceptance of Fiona’s and Aubrey’s relationship, his efforts, after Aubrey’s wife takes him home, to have him returned to Meadowlake, is where the real love lies in this story. It is not the stuff of cellophane-wrapped roses and chocolate hearts, but the devotion that has accreted over the course of a long marriage. In Grant’s case devotion may be tinged with guilt, for in the past he has been a philanderer, though he never wanted to risk losing his wife. Now that he has lost her, he throws his effort into securing the only thing that appears to make her happy.
At the end of Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer prize-winning Olive Kitteridge, Olive seeks out the widowed Jack Kennison. She puts her hand on his chest and feels the thump of his heart “and her body – old, big, sagging – felt straight-out desire for his”. Olive is saddened to remember she had not loved her husband Henry in this way for a long time before he died.
What young people didn’t know, she thought, lying down beside this man, his hand on her shoulder, her arm; oh, what young people did not know. They did not know that lumpy, aged, and wrinkled bodies were as needy as their own young, firm ones, that love was not to be tossed away carelessly.
Privacy, Consent And Family Resistance
Intimate relationships have been associated with lower levels of stress and depression, with higher levels of oxytocin, a feel-good hormone, and a general lift in physical and mental wellbeing, even taking into account cognitive or physical impairment.
Intimacy, of course, does not necessarily mean sex; it can be expressed through touch, such as hugging, cuddling, or hand-holding. But in an Australian aged care setting, this may not be as straightforward as it seems in fiction. For one thing, there is a discouraging lack of privacy, including a scarcity of shared rooms, rooms with double beds and lockable doors. Then, if a resident’s husband or wife is still living in the wider community, a new attachment might stir family resistance.
A recent survey of almost 3,000 Australian residential aged-care facilities conducted by researchers at La Trobe University’s Australian Centre for Evidence Based Aged Care found that only half of facilities surveyed had written policies on sexuality, and only one third had policies on sexual behaviour.
Dementia raises the question of a capacity to properly consent. Legislation is clear concerning a resident’s will and medical and financial matters. But when it comes to people’s sexual decisions, it is left to staff to negotiate a balance between the rights of individuals and the facility’s duty of care to a group of people who are particularly vulnerable to unwanted attentions, or even sexual assault.
It must be acknowledged that in Australia an estimated 50 sexual assaults occur every week in residential aged care, and that the elderly also experience such assaults in their own homes; victims are invariably female. Police and care providers can be unwilling to take action, believing that dementia makes the victim’s evidence unreliable – and, mistakenly, that people with dementia will not remember, nor be traumatised.
The Ready to Listen project, launched in 2021 by the Older Persons Advocacy Network, aims to address the rights of people in aged care to be heard, to be believed, and (following open disclosure of assault) to have their cases followed up by police. It is also concerned with establishing a charter of sexual rights for older people, including their right to a consenting, romantic relationship, and clarifying the all-important question of consent.
But the possibility of non-consensual contact exacerbates the difficulty of forming genuine attachments, and family disapproval may be enough to cause staff to intervene. Even without this, the lack of guidance, or the ageist prejudices of staff members, may mean intimate friendships within an aged care setting will be firmly discouraged.
Children, especially adult children, can complicate mature love, and are often unscrupulous in thwarting it. Because aside from what they perceive as age-appropriate behaviour, late-life attachments can, of course, have consequences for an offspring’s anticipated inheritance.
‘You’re Not Even Ashamed’
In Kent Haruf’s Our Souls at Night, Addie Moore and Louis Waters, neighbours for years, both live alone; their houses empty of family, their evenings solitary. Then Addie visits Louis with the astonishing proposal that he sleep over with her at night: for the company, for the quiet conversations after lights out. Louis agrees, and they fall into a companionable routine. The town soon notices this new intimacy, but at 70, Addie does not care what anyone thinks, and nor does Louis.
Alerted by a friend to her father’s behaviour, Louis’s daughter Holly tells him, “It just seems embarrassing”. But Addie’s son Gene is incensed. “Because he’s after your money too, isn’t he?” he says. “If you married him he’d get half of everything wouldn’t he? I couldn’t stop him.”
Addie’s six-year-old grandson Jamie is sent to stay with her when Gene separates from his wife. Frightened at night, Jamie ends up sleeping in Addie’s bed, making her arrangement with Louis impossible. But gradually the three of them bond, and when Louis gives Jamie a dog, Bonny, Bonny is allowed to sleep on Jamie’s bed. When the three of them go camping, they share the same tent.
Gene comes and takes Jamie and Bonny away, and afterwards Addie and Louis decide they will do what the town believes they’ve been doing all along.
Addie says, “This old body. I’m an old woman now.” Louis says, “Well, old woman Moore. You’ve won me completely. You’re just right. You’re how you’re supposed to look.”
When their lovemaking is not a success, Louis says, “I’ve got the old man’s complaint.” Addie says, “It’s just the first time. We have all the time ahead of us […] Let’s try again another night.” But Addie’s son returns. “I want this to stop,” he says. “You’re not even ashamed of yourselves.”
Gene bans Addie from speaking on the phone to her grandson. When she does get through to Jamie, he tells her that if he talks to her “they’ll take Bonny away”. Addie must have contact with the boy; she cannot afford to wait until Jamie is 16. She tells Louis they must remain separate.
When Addie falls in the street, Gene has her transferred from the town of Holt, where she and Louis live, to Denver. Louis goes to the hospital, where Gene tells him, “You’re not wanted here.”
When Addie is discharged, she will move into assisted living in another town. Gene’s disgust, while partly motivated by financial need, is also an expression of a common distaste for age-altered bodies. To Gene, this is all the justification he needs to use his small son as a weapon.
Love After ‘50 Years Of Being Parched’
Addie Moore is not the first elderly woman to discover that the last great love of her life is settled on a grandchild. The unconditional love can flow both ways, to their mutual joy, if it is not pinched out by parents with a loveless attitude towards the older generation. In her surrealist novel The Hearing Trumpet, Leonora Carrington delivers this dehumanising impulse with devastating economy as a woman speaks to her husband about his aged mother, Marian.
“Remember, Galahad,” added Muriel, “those old people do not have feelings like you or I. She would be so much happier in an institution.” Unfortunately for Marian, her adult grandson is not the loving kind. “She ought to be dead,” Robert said. “At that age people are better off dead.”
Even when offspring are not primarily focused on their inheritance, a lifetime’s accumulation of feelings and resentments can be in play. In Anything is Possible, also by Elizabeth Strout, the story Mississippi Mary tells of a 78-year-old woman living in Italy, married to a man so much younger than her that at first the locals assumed she was his mother.
When her youngest daughter visits, Mary thinks she will not understand “what it had been like to be so famished. Almost fifty years of being parched”. At their 50th wedding anniversary party her husband had not asked her to dance. Later, when Mary was 69, her daughters had given her a trip to Italy as a birthday gift, and it was there that she had wandered off and become lost, and was found by Paolo.
She fell in love. She did. He’d been married for twenty years, it had seemed like fifty to him, and now he was alone – they were both parched.
Mary’s first husband had been in a long-term affair. Their daughter Angelina judges it “pathetic […] painful, of course, but pathetic”. Her father “really was a mean snake of a man” Angelina admits, but then the selfishness of the hurt child kicks in:
Why couldn’t her mother see what she had done by leaving? Why couldn’t she see it? There could be only one reason: that her mother was, behind her daffiness, a little bit dumb; she lacked imagination.
Angelina accuses her mother of having taken from her the ability to care for her in her old age, and to be with her when she dies. Mary is a little stricken by this, because she suspects death is not far away. But “she did not dread her death […] she was almost ready for it, not really but getting there”. Mary admits that
Always, there was that grasping for a few more years, Mary had seen this with many people, and she did not feel it – or she did, but she did not. No. She felt tired out, she felt almost ready, and she could not tell her child this.
Sexy Old Women
In her essay, Sexy Old Women, Krissy Kneen has just finished writing a novel that would go on to be shortlisted for the Stella Prize, An Uncertain Grace, in which the main character, Liv, reaches 130 years of age and is still very much a sexual being. Kneen writes:
The older I get the more I see that the signifiers of sex are inextricably linked to youth. We say young, sexy bodies. We say sexy young things. We do not say sexy old woman.
In the work of writers such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Philip Roth, Yasunari Kawabata, Michel Houellebecq, Peter Carey, and Vladimir Nabokov, Kneen easily finds literary examples of sexual old men. But it is harder to find a model for a sexual older woman, and in the few examples she does find – In Praise of the Stepmother, by Mario Vargas Llosa, and The Graduate by Charles Webb (the basis for the 1967 film starring Dustin Hoffman) – the women are portrayed as “dangerous, manipulating, clever enough to cause a man’s downfall”.
Kneen recalls watching the screening of a documentary, Nitrate Kisses, in which a sex scene involving two very old women draws a shocked response from the young audience. Describing the scene as “caring and quite frankly, beautiful” Kneen, though at the time still young herself, hopes that as an old woman she will still be “equally sexually bold”.
Septuagenarian American novelist and poet May Sarton famously developed the optimistic concept of “ripening towards death in a fruitful way”. But ripeness as it relates to the elderly, especially elderly women, can be a fraught topic. Some pro-ageing advocates insist that an essential element of a woman ageing well is glamour, but glamour is a construct; in our times it is often measured by the subject’s perceived sexual appeal, as demonstrated by the clichéd poses and facial expressions of those modelling “glamour” in magazines, or on screens.
The pro-ageing movement on Instagram is divided between older women who still lay claim to the glamorous props of their youth – skin-baring garments, high heels, extravagant quantities of makeup – and those who are evolving towards a kind of beauty that does not rely on overt sexuality, but focuses instead on being comfortable in one’s own skin. Neither approach is right or wrong, but of the two ways of going forward, the “less is more” philosophy of the natural agers somehow seems more universally doable.
The roots of the word “glamour” can be traced to the Scottish word gramarye, meaning “magic, enchantment, spell”, including the lovely phrase “to cast the glamour”. Gramarye may be from an Ancient Greek word for the weight unit of ingredients used in magic potions. Or it is an alteration of the English word “grammar”, in its medieval sense of “scholarship” and especially “occult learning”?
In John Jamieson’s 1825 Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language, glamer, glamour, is
the supposed influence of a charm on the eye, causing it to see objects differently from what they really are. Hence to “cast glamer o’er one, to cause deception of sight”.
This definition draws glamour closer to the Old Norse words glámr, “moon”, or “name of a ghost”, and glámsýni, “illusion” – which makes of glamour a deception, a beauty trick.
Jamieson’s dictionary contains many old words that women might use to describe themselves in ways that stand outside the conventions formed around youthful beauty.
For those of us anticipating our own extreme old age, when we will be more frooch (“frail, brittle”) than now, let us hope we shall still be able to summon the odd moment of gleit (“to glitter”), and that our eyes, our hair, will be touched at times with their old glister (“lustre”).
And looking back over the fiction I’ve drawn on for this essay, I see the writers were both forsy (“powerful”) and formois (“beautiful”).
The Right To Relationships
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety was announced by the Morrison government in 2018, following a string of disturbing incidents – including South Australia’s Oakden Aged Care scandal, where the facility was closed after evidence came to light of neglect and abuse. Among the findings of the Royal Commission were that “sub-standard care and abuse pervades the Australian aged care system”. In its final report, it pronounced this “a source of national shame”.
Reforms suggested by the Royal Commission in any overhaul of Australia’s aged care system include the right of autonomy, the right to the presumption of legal capacity, and in particular the right of elders in residential aged care to make decisions about their care and the quality of their lives, and the right to social participation.
The recommendations state that older people should be supported to exercise choice about their own lives and make decisions to the fullest extent possible, including being able to take risks and be involved in the planning and delivery of their care. They also state that older people are entitled to receive support that acknowledges the aged care setting is their home, and enables them to live in security, safety and comfort, with their privacy respected.
For those of us who are not yet quite ready to access these late-life services, let us hope the Albanese government follows through on the Royal Commission’s recommendations, which state that people should be treated as individuals. And that the relationships older people have with significant others in their lives should be acknowledged, respected, and fostered.
Express Yourself 2023
NSW Sports High Schools Partner With Australian Olympic Committee
- Rugby Union
- Water Polo
Surfing Is Sydney's Favourite Summer Pastime: Manly In 1959
Made by the National Film Board 1959. Directed by Jack S Allan. A typical 1950s weekend at Manly Beach, swimming, surfing, sun baking and life savers.
Council Seeks Community Members For LGBTQIA+ Working Group
Northern Composure Band Competition 2023
Due to the pandemic, Council have had the 20th anniversary on hold but pleased to say that the competition is open and running again.
Northern Composure is the largest and longest-running youth band competition in the area and offers musicians local exposure as well as invaluable stage experience. Bands compete in heats, semi finals and the grand final for a total prize pool of over $15,000.
Over the past 20 years we have had many success stories and now is your chance to join bands such as:
- Ocean Alley
- Lime Cordiale
- Dear Seattle
- What So Not
- The Rions
- Winston Surfshirt
And even a Triple J announcer plus a wide range of industry professionals
About the Competition
In 2023, the comp looks a little different.
All bands are invited to enter our heats which will be exclusively run online and voted on by your peers and community by registering below and uploading a video of one song of your choice. (if you are doing a cover, please make sure to credit the original band) We are counting on you to spread the word and get your friends, family, teachers voting for you!
The top 8-12 bands will move on through to our live semi finals with a winner from each moving on to the grand final held during National Youth Week. Not only that but we have raised the age range from 19 to 21 for all those musicians who may have missed out over the past two years.
- Voting open for heats: Mon 13 Feb – Sun 26 Feb
- Band Briefing: Mon 6 March, Dee Why PCYC
- Semi 1: Sat 18 March Mona Vale Memorial Hall
- Semi 2: Sat 25 March, YOYOs, Frenchs Forest
- Grand Final: Fri 28 April, Dee Why PCYC
For more information contact Youth Development at email@example.com or call 8495 5104
Stay in the loop and follow Northern Composure Unplugged on KALOF Facebook.
School Leavers Support
- Download or explore the SLIK here to help guide Your Career.
- School Leavers Information Kit (PDF 5.2MB).
- School Leavers Information Kit (DOCX 0.9MB).
- The SLIK has also been translated into additional languages.
- Download our information booklets if you are rural, regional and remote, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, or living with disability.
- Support for Regional, Rural and Remote School Leavers (PDF 2MB).
- Support for Regional, Rural and Remote School Leavers (DOCX 0.9MB).
- Support for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander School Leavers (PDF 2MB).
- Support for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander School Leavers (DOCX 1.1MB).
- Support for School Leavers with Disability (PDF 2MB).
- Support for School Leavers with Disability (DOCX 0.9MB).
- Download the Parents and Guardian’s Guide for School Leavers, which summarises the resources and information available to help you explore all the education, training, and work options available to your young person.
School Leavers Information Service
- navigate the School Leavers Information Kit (SLIK),
- access and use the Your Career website and tools; and
- find relevant support services if needed.
Word Of The Week: Consternation
1. amazement or dismay that hinders or throws into confusion. 2. amazement combined with terror.
The first known use of consternation was in 1604. From French or Latin; French, from Latin consternation-, consternatio, from consternare to throw into confusion, from com- + -sternare, probably from sternere to spread, strike down, from Latin consternationem (nominative consternatio) "confusion, dismay," noun of state from past-participle stem of consternare "overcome, confuse, dismay, perplex, terrify, alarm," which is probably related to consternere "throw down, prostrate," from assimilated form of com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + sternere "to spread out, lay down, stretch out"
verb: consternate; 3rd person present: consternates; past tense: consternated; past participle: consternated; gerund or present participle: consternating - to fill (someone) with anxiety.
A slightly 'confused' but more likely 'random mix' for your listening pleasure this week:
Murray Valley Encephalitis Virus Detections Widespread Across Inland NSW
- wearing light, loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts, long pants and covered footwear and socks, especially around dusk and dawn
- applying repellent to all areas of exposed skin, using repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus
- re-applying repellent regularly, particularly after swimming, being sure to always apply sunscreen first and then apply repellent
- covering openings such as windows and doors with insect screens and checking there are no gaps in them
- removing items that might collect water (such as old tyres, empty pots) outside your house where mosquitoes can breed
- improving drainage on your property so that water does not become stagnant
- using insecticide sprays, vapour dispensing units and mosquito coils to repel mosquitos (mosquito coils should only be used outside).
Three Or More Concussions Linked With Worse Brain Function In Later Life
Remapping The Superhighways Travelled By The First Australians Reveals A 10,000-Year Journey Through The Continent
Antarctica's Ocean Brightens Clouds: Gases From Phytoplankton In The Ocean Help Form Dense Clouds That Reflect Sunlight
Celebrating The Sporting Heroes Who Have Stamped Their Place In Our National Story
Disclaimer: These articles are not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Pittwater Online News or its staff.