|3 May 2017 - horse training on a beach - the horses are in the distance.|
|Washed-up seaweed - 3 May 2017|
|The horse comes across the bend and the straight.|
|Mid-distance shot of the horse|
|Close up shot of the horse and its rider.|
|"Back here, horse!"|
|3 May 2017 - the end of the session as far as I know it|
This Friday [26 September 2019] I learnt that Jacques Chirac - the Mayor of Paris from 1977-95 and President of the Fifth Republic of France 1995-2007 - had died.
Chirac of course was a pioneer in so many things from local to national to global affairs. He loved his local fair with all the animals and produce. So many reactions - so many comments from everyone from Melenchon [the far-left gentleman who was in the 2017 election] to Le Pen [Marechal - she of the Front National/National Front which is very far-right and sadly popular in Bouches-du-Rhone and other southern French departements].
Macron said that Chirac represented a certain ideal of France.
I remember in particular the cohabitations of 1986 and of 1997 - the first one between Chirac and Mitterrand and the other between Jospin and Chirac. A cohabitation is when you bring different parties together in the French government.
And those moments in 2011 when it became very clear Chirac's memory was fading and failing. His years as the Mayor of Paris - and the corruption in which he may or may not have participated - were catching up with him.
How he adopted a Vietnamese woman and fostered her along with his two daughters - one of whom was not in the public eye because of body image and self-harm reasons.
On Friday too, I was writing to Science-based medicine and showing off the YouTube playlist I made about grossophobie/fat-shaming/fatphobia/fatmisia. I had made it in late July to begin with and slowly added to it since.
Our body acceptance pioneers are such important and under-rated people.
Eighteen years ago there was a big discussion of a socioeducational nature about The rising tide of mediocrity in education. This mentioned the pioneer mentality which is characteristic of so many settler societies - the USA; Canada; Australia; France; Spain; Portugal; the Netherlands; Great Britain and much of South and Central America. China and Central/West Asia also and East Asia.
How do you think and feel like a pioneer? How do you react against it and learn to live with circumstances and with others who are completely different from you?
In the early 1800s a convict called William Buckley did just this.
He lived in Western Victoria just before the gold rush and for thirty-two years he lived among Indigenous Australians from 1803-35.
Of course according to the penal colony's laws he was on the lam and law enforcement were searching for him.
Most of the time he outsmarted; outlasted; outplayed them as far as he could - and these Indigenous Australians protected him and taught him many of their ways - language; culture; country and the wisdom which comes with country.
As Rebecca has said in her pioneer quote [The limitless journey of hope and change] - how very Barack Obama by the way! [2008-2016] - pioneering is about being in a new environment and changing it and its people for the better.
In modern times - November 2015 to be exact - Ballarat jockey and trainer Michelle Payne did just that.
Many people will remember her ride in the longest race on Flemington Racecourse - and the Prince of Penzance.
She says in Ride like a girl : "I found my Prince".
Her Dad Paddy says: "Hold on to him. How many legs has he got"?
And they hug together while he is in hospital for his heart condition.
All the Paynes are around.
Some fourteen years before MJ Payne has her right frontal lobe effectively smashed as well as some head bones and she works through her rehabilitation.
The three fingers the nurse is holding up look like pink shapes - like when I am trying to read a sign from a certain distance and with certain movements or trying to read scoreboards - and she is asked questions like how to spell her name.
[Different kinds of memory: declarative; procedural; experiential/episodic; factual].
She and Paddy go through the different Melbourne Cup winners over time; especially Let's Elope from 1991 who was a very formative experience for the six-year-old [she was born in 1985; her closest brother Stephen was born a year before - we will soon learn more of him and see how he got into his dream job of strapping].
There is a scene in her school where her eldest brother races.
"Paddy came last", says Stephen.
And he does this for quite a few members of the family.
There is a great scene near the beginning where it's like we're invited to the Christmas party of the ten Paynes plus Paddy the father and the two youngest ones hide under the table and eat the pudding. We see Stevie and Shelly with the spoon. Very quiet and unnoticed they are.
One of the elder sisters lets her tongue slip. There is a very good book about the Payne family which was written by a horseracing journalist.
Many years later - we are in the 2000s here - D. Weir is in Warnamabool which is on the west coast of Victoria - and at the wedding of Cathy and McEvoy [who may have won two of the last Melbourne Cups] Michelle is trying to lose three kilograms to get ready for Sandown [south-east Melbourne].
MJ Payne does a lot of work as an apprentice.
We learn some of her and her father and brother's pioneering ways - for example; look and feel the hardest ground and use it; read the weather and see if the ground is wet or dry; walk around the track before you actually ride on it.
We also see lots of church scenes [the Paynes are Irish Catholic - and that Diocese of Ballarat has been under catastrophic strains and conditions; especially since the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Sexual Abuse] - some moving ones include the nuns at the totaliser/betting space and they put $148.50 on Prince of Penzance.
There is a wonderful book by one Steele Rudd [who was actually a Hoey] called On our selection which is about Dad and Dave and the farm and the other characters. It reminded me a lot of a Rodney Hall trilogy - Wandina trilogy - especially the third book which is told from the perspective of a wife who is breaking out. The first book is about a family who has been experimented on.
Also I have been reading The fortunes of Richard Mahony which I had not read since 2005 - Ultima Thule was really great and I am starting to speculate about Cuffy who is the son/grandson of Richard Mahony - and his twin siblings the Dumplings. One Dumpling dies. And Richard Mahony himself dies - but not before several chapters of agony for the family.
Mahony himself is quite the traveller and pioneer - he goes through lots of Europe like Italy and Germany and England and Ireland.
Parliament in the United Kingdom has had to be called again as of a few days ago. There have been so many insults; especially to Jo Cox and her memory. And Jeremy Corbyn - no, not one of the Jeremiad mentioned in the response - has really stuck his needles in the knitting.
In the Travelling section this Sunday there were some great articles about Invercargill [why not Bert Monroe and the World's Fastest Indian?]; Carbondale - where Gary; Tom; Alex; Courtney Bender of "The ordinary life of an extraordinary girl" lived from 1993-2013 when Alex went to study in Cinnicinati and work in Marin County - doing some Winter Olympiad in South Korea on the way - in the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado and 10 great film places including Grantchester and the first one mentioned was in the "real" Downtown Abbey.
And, yes, there was an opportunity for a cruise! With Lech Walesa as one of the speakers!
How important it is to get in touch with leaders and leadership past; present and emerging.
And be the leaders - or as Jewel Kilcher said in her album Spirit some 20 years ago - You are the difference. Be the difference.