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Showing posts from October, 2012

Friends…or not?

It has been an interesting week.  I had a trip back to Canberra, the national capital of Australia, where I finished my high schooling, and to where I returned after a year in Washington DC at our Embassy, to work for six years in the personal offices of two Australian Prime Ministers.
As a woman in her early twenties they were days filled with wonder…about the people I met and worked with, the machinations of government at a time when Australia was going through major political changes and about the love affairs I had  and people I enjoyed as I matured over those six years.
I read a great quote the other day before I left for Canberra which captured the essence of what I think friendship is all about…it talked about friends being the people with whom you can pick up up the telephone and talk as if months, or even years have not passed...
I have friends around the world with whom I rarely meet, but we communicate, much more easily these days with Skype, email and Facebook than we did…

Chivalry…Manners Maketh Confusion…

I gave an interview yesterday regarding the place of “chivalry” in modern society…whether it is a dead concept, and how a “gentleman” should respond when his polite behaviour is met with derision by a woman.
But what is chivalry?  In his study of Chivalry,The Broad-Stone of Honour,Kenelm Henry Digbyoffered the following definition: 'Chivalry is only a name for that general spirit or state of mind which disposes men to heroic actions, and keeps them conversant with all that is beautiful and sublime in the intellectual and moral world.'
The Oxford dictionary defines chivalry as: courteous behaviour, especially that of a man towards women:he still retained a sense of chivalry towards women.

While 50 years ago it was normal for a man to pay his date’s way, hold the door open for a woman and pull her chair out at a restaurant, today’s etiquette is not so simple.  As I was quoted in the article in The West Australian: “I get phone calls about this all the time.  A man once told me that…

Tom Yum Goong…Thai food and manners….

I had never visited Thailand before my recent trip to the island of Phuket with a girlfriend. Because of Western Australia’s proximity to Bali, Indonesia, I have had the opportunity to visit there many times and will continue to as the three hour long flight makes it very accessible.  Phuket is a six hour flight with a transit stop in Singapore.  Hardly a “long haul” flight, but that bit further for a short vacation.
There were many European tourists in the area of Cape Panwa where we stayed.  I so enjoyed hearing German, French and Italian spoken over the breakfast buffet, during the snorkling tours and in the local, tiny restaurants.  Australians were the majority tourist group, even in the remote peninsular which is Cape Panwa.  I had heard about the town of Patong where there are many bars and restaurants, the “lady boy” concerts;  the opportunity to see live porn shows, and the sleazy patrons of some of the many side alley bars.  It’s not my scene and so Louisa and I avoided the…