The hijacking of mateship, last refuge of blokey scoundrels

It’s ironic isn’t it? The two men traipsing around our sunburnt country this week, patting firefighters on the back and extolling the virtues of Australian mateship, are perhaps the least likely of all men to enjoy the company of real ”mates”.

At a hectic time of the year, think of slowing down

There are 16 movements of your foot each time you take a small step: lifting, swinging, placing, feeling, pressing, and so on. If you paid full attention to each of these movements, it might take half an hour to walk a few paces. You won’t get far. But you will experience slowness.

America’s first woman Speaker makes a Nancy boy of Bush

Nancy who? It seems I’m not the only one who’d never heard of Nancy Pelosi until this week’s mid-term Congressional elections. Despite just becoming the most powerful elected woman in United States history, a CBS newspoll found 55 per cent of Americans don’t know enough about Pelosi to form any opinion of her.

Buying babies? I call it a gift to children in need

There is a home I know that’s close to my heart. It is built on love and full of laughter. In that home live a mum, a dad, their six-year-old son, Max, and a cat called Stripy-dot- com. The mum and dad are both child-care workers with a passion for preschool education. Their home is a favourite place for gatherings, and fills with the noise of children – siblings, cousins, playmates. Every room rings out – except one. It’s kept quiet and tidy, ready and waiting for China Girl.

A country out of step on gender balance in Parliament

The evening security guard at Old Parliament House thought he had me pegged: a Floriade tragic attempting a rose bushel heist from the House of Reps Garden. I’m innocent. But I understand his concern. It was pitch black, dead of night and I was pacing up and down The Centenary of Women’s Suffrage Commemorative Walk, just inside the Members Gate.

Spare us the blokeish conga line of the misogynist Latham

To suggest the former leader of the Labor party Mark Latham hates women is perhaps too simplistic and a little too blunt: although I suspect it’s true. But let’s face it, one needs to keep the dialogue simple and blunt when talking about Latham, otherwise you’ll lose him.

Sorry, Pete, there’s much more behind baby boom than you think

Have you ever noticed how the Treasurer, Peter Costello, tries to suppress a little smirk when he has sex on his mind? To be fair, it may not be the lacy, bodice-ripping, kind of lust he’s thinking about. It’s perhaps something a little more prosaic. Nevertheless, it seems to make him happy.