Happy New Year!

Well, hello, and welcome to my grapes!  This rainbow lorikeet came to say Happy New Year to us today, so I thought I’d pass on the greeting.

I seem to have lost all the photos I was going to post from the last couple of months, which saves me a lot of bother, and you, frankly, a lot of boredom. To be honest, I’m a bit glum about it as there were some exciting times that I would have loved to have shared.

I feel I’ve had the most exciting year of my life, although I could be wrong. At 71, my memory’s very selective and anyway I was born as a glass-overflowing optimist.

I’m Australian Too is selling marvellously, which is fabulous, mainly because it means its message must be whizzing around the country and perhaps giving people the courage to think more positively about immigration, foreigners generally, and refugees especially, although I don’t kid myself that books like that ever make a massive difference. But it’s my contribution and it was the best I could do.

Then there was the Possum Magic money thing, which was thrilling. To find those colourful two dollar coins by accident in any change I received was always mind-boggling. My butcher saves any that come through his tills, holds them for me, and just adds the cost of the coins to the bill. I wrote him a poem for Christmas and framed it. He cried.

I did a lot of work for Wayne Swan MP in his electorate, speaking to parents about reading to children prior to school, ditto for Mark Dreyfus MP in Melbourne, and had lunch in Adelaide with Sam Dastyari MP six days before his dramatic exit from politics. He was in Adelaide on committee work and wanted me to sign seven copies of I’m Australian Too. So: lots of insider political gossip has been had. As a political junkie, I’ve been in ecstasy. I also did two hectic book signings in the parliament house bookshop in Canberra during the Same Sex Marriage week, when Australia finally woke up to Rainbow Equality. I went to Question Time, which was very exciting as I was acknowledged publicly by the Speaker. And to top it all off I had lunch beforehand in the parliamentary dining room with Wayne and Mark and Amanda Rishworth MP., one of my daughter’s best friends who is now in the shadow cabinet with the early childhood and veterans portfolios. I saw all sorts of famous, lovely (and also some unpleasant) MPs in the dining room that day and stared like a tourist, which is what I was, I guess.

I have just been through my first Christmas with only one sister. Enough said. The rest of my darling, if tiny family, is alive and well, thank God.

Let’s hope next year is grand for all of us: an impossible dream, I know, but it’s better than despair, at any price.

Lots of end of year love,

Mem xxx