(Flickr- photo by Eva Rinaldi photography, 2012)
it doesn’t seem such an anomaly
that someone who portrayed loyal servant, John Brown,
should receive a ‘gong’ from a much later crown.
Abel Tasman, Ancient Evenings, Beatles, Billy Connolly, Bjork, Blarney, Chris Ofili, Cloaca Professional, Damien HIrst, David Austin, David Walsh, Disneyland, Eden rose, Emerson, Evandale, Gilbert & George, Glenorchy, Golden Gay ice lolly, Hemingway, Hobart, Imagine, James Kelman, Jeffrey Archer, Jimmy Reid, John Brown's Shipyard, John Lennon, Keir Hardie, Lady Luck, Lenin, Leonidas, Matthew Barney, Michael Connor, MONA, muck brass, Norman Mailer, Pierre de Ronsard rose, Quadrant, taboos, tassie, Tours, W S Burroughs, Whitman, Wim Delvoye
Well, I have to admit those Tassies are nothing short of enterprising.
One has heard of carrying coals to Newcastle, but some of these guys
are trying to sell loads of sheep poo in plastic bags for five dollars-
and largely failing, from what I could discern from the car window.
I didn’t unwind it to check.
We passed a somnolent vendor who had parked his pick-up filled
to the gunnels with the stuff at the roadside and had hung out a
handwritten sign advertising his wares, in the open sun. Not too
many takers, but full marks for bright, or something that rhymes
with that adjective, optimism.
For something a little more fragrant-and I don’t mean Jeffrey Archer’s
wife, Mary, do visit the Old Municipal Building in Evandale. At least it
was open to customers, unlike nearly every other establishment on
the tourist trail, at the height of the season. The garden outside the
cafe is resplendent with, and perfumed by, cascading Pierre de
Ronsard roses, whose beauty I last witnessed in the original Abbey
Gardens near Tours, where the poet once composed, and perhaps
composted this Eden variety. Mind you, it was probably before
David Austin perfected the floral breed.
When I saw the pick-up was just as laden on our return journey,
I thought its owner could do worse than making a donation of his
unsold goods to the aforementioned garden. I’m sure the
Romanticae would be appreciative and would bloom even more
In the heat I was tempted to partake of a Golden Gay ice lolly,
but I was unsure of making a politically incorrect request. Not
that the descendants of Abel Tasman have particular scruples in
respect of language use. Even the term Tassie apparently refers
to female genitalia.
David Walsh, the evil -??- genius behind MONA, in Hobart (Museum
of Old and New Art) does not mince his words. He is quite capable
of challenging the untouchables in the art world, such as Damien
The first fact about Damien Hirst is that he is the richest artist who
The second fact is that he doesn’t deserve to be.
Walsh is not backward about coming forward and has
broken all sorts of taboos, even decorating the walls of
his amazing temple to Art with a line of plaster- well-
Described as presiding over a subversive adult Disneyland,
Walsh exhibits a keen interest in all things excremental,
so, maybe the vendor chappie could pitch up and station
his pick-up in the parking space irreverently marked: God.
He might be able to shift a few tons, justifying it as a multi-
sensory installation. After all, the medium has been popular
with Gilbert & George, Chris Ofili and the like. It might sit –
oops, nearly made a typo- well with the Cloaca Professional
by Wim Delvoye, which literally turns food to faeces before
your twitching nostrils. I don’t think the fact that the artist
is Belgian has any bearing down on it.
I think most people prefer the other similarly-hued national
Michael Connor of Quadrant commented:
MONA is the art of the exhausted, of a decaying civilisation.
However, I found the building aesthetically stimulating and
Walsh’s statements self-ironic. Or were they?
He has made remarks such as:
I suspect that our marketing is probably better than our
Now I am the bloody institution. Now I’m the arbiter of good
taste. The thing I abhor.
For someone who grew up in the allegedly working class
suburb of Glenorchy, and who beat the casinos at their own
game, Walsh has dug something back into his Tasman soil,
producing a tourist magnet, so I say, Good on you, mate!
If one doesn’t like anything in the museum, there is an
opportunity to vote on the exhibits by expressing approval
or dislike, via an Ipod.
What will Walsh do with the feedback?
W: Take the popular stuff out.
The main exhibition which The Husband and I took in was
Matthew Barney’s River of Fundament, which had connections
to a Norman Mailer novel.
Apparently zombie actors had roamed around Barney’s studio
in New York, which was fitted out like Mailer’s former Brooklyn
home. The undead spoke dialogue from Mailer, Hemingway,
Whitman, Emerson and WS Burroughs. There were speeches
on rot, decay, defecation, putrefaction and fermentisation.
No wonder Bjork, his erstwhile partner, has voted with her elfin
Barney referred to descriptions from Ancient Evenings, on waste,
city sewage systems, sanitation and re-cycling plants.
If this is art, then his name would be better represented as
Blarney, some would say.
I wish I had Lady Luck on my side and patronage by the bucket-load
and then I could produce River of Tenements, representing the Clyde
in a frozen stream, with pop-up talking heads rising out of its silted
depths, mouthing philosophical patter by holograms of Billy Connolly,
Keir Hardie, Jimmy Reid and James Kelman, amid abandoned shopping
trolleys. Mangled cranes would form the entrance arch
I would gild the gates of the old John Brown’s Shipyard, re-named with
a consonantal substitution and would have a video on a loop, recalling
the epic moment in the Seventies, when an encouraging bouquet of
roses arrived at the usurping workers’ entrance, bearing a card from
one of the Beatles and his Japanese companion-in-politics.
They’re from Lenin?! cried an incredulous wee would-be Communist.
Ah thought he wis deid!
Spin the wheel one more time, David, cast the die and pull the
pokie lever one more time, baby, and find me the dosh and I’ll
be right over deluging you with my creative juices. But first I
have to find a supplier for formaldehyde. Maybe Damien has
some left over?
And finally a dedication to the successful gambler
who is King of the Tasmanian art world:
Baa baa black sheep
have you any poo?
Yes, sir; yes, sir,
I have a bag or two.
Two for the gardener,
who’ll mix it with leaf mould
and one for that mad alchemist
who’ll turn it to gold.
Alan Bennet, Barramundi, Barry Manilow, Billy Connolly, Blairgowrie, Blue-Eye, Brave, Carsten Holler, Castilian Spanish, Chai Latte, cone bra, Creole, David Shrigley, Eleftherios, Federation Square, Flinders lane, Frozen, Great Ocean Road, gum tree, heist, Ice, John Paul Gaultier, kanga bangas, koala, kookaburra, lingusitic convergence, McClelland Sculpture Park, Melbourne, Melchisedek, Mornington Peninsula, Mountain Goat Steam Ale, NGV International, no worries!, Panagia Kamariani, Pele Tower, Philip Larkin, Pidgin, possums, Poundland, Rab C Nesbitt, Red Claw, Red Hill Greek Orthodox monastery, rhinopithecus strykerl, sans soucis, shotgun wedding, snub nosed monkey, Sorrento, Talking Heads, The Island Bird by Neto, www.chrispattas.com, Yabby Lake, You'll Never Walk Alone
Dear Posse, or should that be ‘possums’?
You have probably all wondered why Candia has gone off radar,
but I haven’t got time to correspond with you individually. So,
maybe you can make do with reading the communal postcard I
sent to my dear girlfriends in Suttonford, who are probably even
now sharing its contents in Costamuchamoulah‘s must-seen
cafe, as they sip their Chai Lattes– an inferior blend to the original
which I have just imbibed in Flinders Lane, Melbourne.
You see, the price of an air mail stamp to Pomland- not to be
confused with Poundland- is almost as much as an additional glass
of Yabby Lake fizz for moi and, on this once- in-a-lifetime walkabout,
I am not about to downgrade to the Red Claw ‘drinkable’ variety.
So, G’day, mates! I’ve already been down The Great Ocean Road;
seen my first koala in the wild- thankfully unaccompanied by Putin,
One Direction, or Obama- gawped at a joey peeping out of a row of
vines and consumed my first Blue-Eye and Barramundi. The latter
sounds like Barry Manilow, but is infinitely more subtle. As far as I
know, it doesn’t attempt to sing. I do seem to remember Big
Mouth Billy, the singing sea bass, so maybe one could form a
It’s so good to relax and the upgrade to Business Class from
Singapore was a down-payment of future bliss. It took a few
moments before I realised that I was watching ‘Brave‘ in Castilian
Spanish on the back of the seat in front, but my personally
appointed steward soon tuned me in to the appropriate lingo.
Better than a remote in the control of The Husband and a tad
more obliging. It’s good to be treated better than Dame Edna
I see Billy Connolly is coming to Melbourne shortly. The Scots’
community should comprehend his repartee, but no doubt his
Antipodean spouse has taught him a little linguistic convergence,
so the audience should probably work out that he is not speaking
some kind of Pidgin, or Creole. Anyway, hybridisation and cross-
fertilisation seem to be the name of the game over here. One minute
you are in Sorrento and the next you are driving through Blairgowrie.
Talk about fusion!
The Husband grew some roots in Federation Square as he
downed a Mountain Goat Steam Ale, while riveting his gaze
on the big screen’s events at the MCG and demolishing some
While Gus, Virginia, Diana, Murgatroyd, Dru and Nigel are
snowed in at the pele tower in The Borders, The Husband
and I are experiencing four seasons in one day down in The
Mornington Peninsula. The chattering classes of Suttonford
have been silenced by the maniacal laughter of a kookaburra,
who stereotypically does sit in an old gum tree, as well as
crapping all over the garden fence every morning. But, sans
soucis! Even the mynahs’ cackles are shriller than some South
of England socialites.
I know I said that I only sent one postcard, but that isn’t
I did send Juniper a card of Jean Paul Gaultier’s teddy bear,
which he has cherished since the age of three and which sports
his prototype cone bra.
She would have loved the holographic talking heads on his models
in The NGV. So would Alan Bennet! Maybe I should have sent him a
postcard too, but he’s probably a friend of the designer and gets a
Even church-going is a lot more exciting here. I don’t think Philip
Larkin would have been as lugubrious if he had removed his cycle
clips and gone into the Red Hill Greek Orthodox Monastery of Panagia
The priest told me that his Christian name- ‘Eleftherios‘ means ‘Liberty’
and he certainly takes a few. I mean, back in Suttonford, the staid
congregation are startled out of their professed sobriety by the
ringing of a ship’s bell; the crashing of the organ and a cacophany of
bells in the Easter Saturday service in Wintoncester Cathedral. But
Father Tatsis is much more melodramatic. Look up http://www.chrispattas.
com and you can see a Youtube clip of the sacerdotal gesture of
celebration to the pronouncement: He is Risen! Brings a whole new
angle to the phrase ‘shotgun wedding‘!It is a pity that the latter day
Melchisedek didn’t wield his weapon at the teenage thugs who raided
the icon’s golden votive jewellery collection and who made off with a
heist worth $100,000. Failing that, he could have maybe stowed the
stuff in a safe. Unfortunately there is Ice in Paradise and I don’t mean
anything as innocent as the latest Frozen movie.
The liberating thing about Oz seems to be that you can act like a big
kid and you are actually encouraged to do so. Case in point: The
Husband climbing into the art installation The Island Bird by Ernesto
Neto at The NGV International.
He got tangled up in what appeared to be an unravelled string shopping
bag, or a coloured version of Rab C Nesbitt’s vest. I was more attracted
by Carsten Holler’s golden, mirrored carousel and managed to restrain myself
from breaking into You’ll Never Walk Alone, though, if I had, it would have been
regarded as a valid interactional response. Like Oz itself, even the artwork
invites us to stand on our heads and re-imagine the world, reconsidering our
place within it.
So, whether it is wallpapering a gallery with anarchic David Shrigley
observations, or sculpting a Sneezing Snub Nosed Monkey -Rhinopithecus
strykerl (McClelland Sculpture Park), the infectious Aussie irreverent take
on life affects even its Un-Orthodox priests and makes one feel that,
indeed, there are No Worries!
Carrie dropped in on her mother-in-law, the gin-swigging nonagenarian,
So, what is my son up to at the moment?
Your son, Gyles?
Is that his name? Ah, yes, him.
He’s filling out some tax forms. He said he feels like a reeve.
Reeves used to have to do the accounts before Michaelmas Day
and, if there was a shortfall, they had to make it up from their own
I expect no one wanted that job, pronounced the sharp old lady.
I didn’t want this job, muttered Magda.
Candia sent you some sloes, for your boutique gin, said Carrie,
handing a bag to Magda, Ginevra’s Eastern European carer, along
with a pot of Michaelmas daisies.
How you do? said Magda.
I think we’ve met, Magda, Carrie replied, puzzled. She thought the
girl’s English had improved recently, but..
No. How you make?
Ah- thirds. One third gin, one third sugar, one third sloes.
You’re supposed to wait until the first frost before you pick them,
Oh, I didn’t know that, Carrie sighed.
Weel, ye ken noo, as the Scots Worthy famously said. Sit ye doon,
commanded the old curmudgeon, patting the sofa beside her.
Carrie connected with something hard and cold which had been secreted
under a cushion.
Candia and I were discussing folklore to do with St Michael, Carrie began
as a conversational opener. I used to think that he was the patron saint of
underwear, as his label was on the back of my vest and South Sea Island
cotton knickers when I was at school.
Ach no. He’s the Head of Cosmic Intelligence, stated Ginevra. A kind of
angelic James Bond. The Real One. Sean Connolly.
Sean Connery; Billy Connolly.
Aye, well don’t get me started on him. He needed a good haircut.
I bet you don’t know some of the Scottish versions of the folktales, Ginevra
cackled, like an old spaewife. Your grandmother- Jean Waddell, as she was
before she married into the Pomodoro family, could reel all the old tales off,
nae bother, as she used to say. God rest her soul!
She shifted the tartan blanket over her knees and tried to conceal the
aluminium hip flask under it.
Is that a new tartan? Carrie asked.
Trust you to notice. Magda got it for me on that Internet thing. It’s ‘Made in
China’ actually. It’s the same tartan as that fishy guy, Alex Salmon, ordered
at the taxpayers’ expense when he forgot his trews, or breeks, as your granny
would have called them, for some function over there. He had them made
Like his policies, Carrie thought, but did not continue the metaphor, rich
though the ore of satire might have been.
Magda came in with a wee cuppa, as she had learned to call refreshments
other than the alcoholic ones.
Your grandmother was a dab hand at making the struan, Ginevra continued,
her eyes searching for shortbread.
Struan- what was that? Carrie was intrigued.
It was a cake which had to be ground in a quern-
Quern? asked Magda.
I’ll tell you later-in three equal parts-of bere, oats and rye. The eldest
daughter had to make it and woe betide her if it broke in the baking.
Quite a responsibility then? sympathised Carrie.
More than in yon Bake-Off rubbish, said Ginevra. This could be Life and
Changing the subject and getting back to reeves, directed Carrie, did you watch
How does that link to reeves?
Well, I was thinking of financial wizards and wondered if you liked Deborah
Not as much as Robbie, her partner, Ginevra pronounced. I suppose he’s like
St Michael. He’s taming the old Dragon!
And yet again, Carrie was impressed at the old biddy’s mental acuity.
Have you seen my winter fuel allowance? Ginevra asked.
She means this, said Magda, holding the hip flask out of reach.
It isn’t winter yet, said Carrie firmly.
But the nights are drawing in, protested Ginevra.
I’d better be off, Carrie said decidedly. I’m meeting Candia in
Costamuchamoulah, for a coffee quite soon.
Cheerio! Ginevra trilled, quite happy as Magda had handed over the flask.
I’ll tell you all about fallaid next time.
I can’t wait, replied Carrie, exiting right, but thankfully not pursued by a
A Red Red Rose, Andy Stewart, Billy Connolly, Brassica, Burns' songs, Dambusters, Donald Where's Your Troosers?, Ginevra, Glasgow, haggis hurling, Highland games, Hogmanay, Maggie Smith, Quartet, Rigoletto, Tom Courtenay, White Heather Club
You bag the seats and I’ll get the order! volunteered Brassie. Carrie,
Clammie and I miraculously found a table in a corner of
Costamuchamoulah café and pushed the previous occupants’
detritus to one side.
What was that about a bag? asked Clammie.
Oh, nothing. She was just referring to securing the seating. Just
before we came in she said she had noticed a poster in the window of
the beauty shop, offering 20% off to old bags. She must have had it
on her mind, you know, subliminally.
Was the notice serious? There is definitely a target market here,
commented Carrie, cheering up a little.
Oh, I think we are all practising for the day when we can achieve the
discount! But no, when I looked at the notice more closely, it
referred to an actual company called The Old Bag Company and
Raquel in Beauty and the Beast must stock their products, I
There you go, said Brassie, placing the little table number on the
cleared surface. She sat down opposite Carrie and then jumped up.
She had sat on a jumbo crayon left over from the toddler art club
that monopolised the tables in the afternoon.
Right, I said. We are all ears. What happened?
Carrie sniffed a little and began:
I appreciate you guys’ support. Well, as we all suspected, Grandma
Jean’s broken hip was really curtains for her.
(We knew that Jean Pomodoro had suffered a bad fracture on
Hogmanay in her nursing home in Glasgow on Hogmanay.)
They have been brilliant, actually. The staff always encourage the
residents to put on a mini White Heather Show, with those who are
able doing little turns.
And the others having funny turns, joked Clammie. I glared at her.
Well, they like to see in the New Year and it is all good fun. Of
course, they vet the acts so that dirty old men don’t get too raucous
over renditions of Andy Stewart’s Donald Where’s your Troosers?
Anyway, Jean loved singing. She used to perform duets with
Gianbattista- Grandpa- and they blended so well. She had just
finished A Red, Red Rose and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.
Amazing for 91. Although a little unsteady, she had stood
throughout and was about to be led back to her wing armchair, when
a naughty old boy who looked like Billy Connolly, apparently, said he
would follow on with another Burns’ song: Eight Inch Will Please a
Lady. Jean was so shocked that she fell over.
I’m not surprised, Clammie said.
I don’t get it, said Brassie.
Carrie explained: She was shocked at the impropriety.
Clammie blurted out, I’m not surprised.
No, explained Carrie, she was offended by the fact that he had got his
facts wrong. It’s nine inches.
What is? asked Brassica, still none the wiser.
I decided to protect her innocence. It’s the maximum permitted
length of the missile in a haggis hurling competition at The Highland
I still don’t get it.
Never mind, I whispered.
Clammie butted in: Hey, that’s a bit surreal. I saw Quartet last night
and Maggie Smith has a poorly hip and she has to lean on Tom
Courtenay for support in the piece from Rigoletto that they all sing
together in the nursing home for ageing divas.
Yes, said Brassie, but she didn’t have the problem of falling over did
No, and I wouldn’t call it a problem if I had to lean on Tom Courtenay
either, quipped Clammie.
What is wrong with her? Clammie, I mean. She isn’t usually so
insensitive. We are supposed to be empathising with Carrie’s sad
So, when is the funeral? I asked.
Not till next Friday. They’re putting her on ice so the Italian relatives
have time to organise themselves.
Maybe I don’t have to worry about sensitivity then.. On Ice?! She
sounds like a bottle of Bolly! Speaking of which, how is Ginevra going
to cope when she hears of the demise of one of her closest friends?
It’s the end of an era!
Ginevra: I wonder if they do 20% off for Old Bags at the cremmy?
Ginevra: Allegedly, there was once a huge ‘Glasgow Mafia’ funeral at the crematorium
and the organist was busking it as they all filed in. He looked over his shoulder at the
coffin, to estimate how long he would have to keep playing and there was a huge floral
wreath with what he thought said: Biggles marked out in red roses. So, thinking the
deceased must have enjoyed aviation as a hobby, he..
Carrie: Didn’t! Did he launch into The Dambusters?
Ginevra giggled: You got it. Jean told me. She was in the congregation. She was in
C: So, why was it so funny?
G: Because what it really said was : Big Les!
And she laughed so hard that Carrie thought she was going to fall off her perch
and that would make it a double funeral. (An economy that Grandma Jean would
have approved of – coming from Glasgow!)
Antarctica, Argentina, Billy Connolly, Blairgowrie, Border Terrier, Buckingham Palace, Buenos Aires, Canongate, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, coffee, fritillaria, gardens, Holy Fools, honey, Jenny Geddes, Kate Winslet, Lion Rampant, manukah, Mount of Olives, Neil Oliver, Perth, piper, post office, Prince Philip, Princess Alice of Greece, Robert Falcon Scott, Saltire, Scotland, Suttonford, Waterworlds, William Speirs Bruce
Stickily oppressive. No rain, but grey and the first signs of hay fever appear. Probably the effects of mould spores from rotting vegetation.
Visited my friend’s professionally landscaped garden which was established at the start of the summer. Yellowing box edging is probably dying from early drought, excessive waterlogging later on, or simply from the peeing habits of a new Border Terrier.
Our garden is suffering from mordant animals which gnaw every bulb that one plants. Altruistic bird feeders may encourage rodents. Seventy six snakes head fritillaria that I bought from The Telegraph failed to materialise, so I won’t be able to recreate the floral watercolours of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, not that I have the skills, anyway, but that is not the point.
Went to Costamuchamullah for a very skinny latte and noticed honey for sale from Perth. It reminded me of a joke told by Billy Connolly – but he might have pinched it from Chick Murray – about how he had stayed at a B&B in the Highlands and the proprietor had served him a breakfast tray with an individual pot of heather honey on it. He had remarked, I see you keep a bee.
It took me a moment to work out that it was probably Australian honey. Is it Manukah? I wondered.
When I returned home, I simply had to check the facts on Wikipedia. Oh yes, you do find it in Perth, Oz, and it is produced by apis mellifera and, to be called manukah, it has to have a 70% pollen count from tea tree Leptospermium scoparium.
The disappointing part was that it also said that: “alongside other antibacterial products, [it} does not reduce the risk of infections following treatment for ingrown toenails.”
So, probably not a best-selling product for Aquanibble then. Might be fun to say to one of the four optimistically termed assistants in Costamuchamullah, I’ll have a pot of your honey. Oh, by the way, only if it reduces the risk of infection from my ingrown toenails.
They would probably just ignore me in the way that they usually do when they are too busy wiping a perfectly clean surface while a serpentine queue builds up and spirals out of the door into the street. Perhaps I will have to stop wearing my invisibility cloak- you know, the one that envelops females after the age of fifty.
Apparently there are honey outlets in Perth, Scotland too: Heather Hills Farm and Scarletts in Blairgowrie produce masses, in spite of the predatory nature of a single honey buzzard that seems to have been circling since 2010.
Scientists have confirmed that there are planets out in the far beyond called Waterworlds, but they are not huge theme parks. In fact they are composed of hot ice.
Ice was a theme this evening with a Neil Oliver repeat of his journey to the Weddell Sea and South Atlantic. After he had left The Falkland Islands, it took him four days until he reached the first icebergs.
I thought he might stand, lashed to the prow of the boat, and let his hair flow behind him, but he sensibly stayed in the cabin. I don’t think he would fancy Kate Winslet, but I haven’t asked him. Maybe a nautical Jenny Geddes might be more up his Canongate. Anyway, he very commendably seemed resistant to seasickness. You wouldn’t want his macho Celtic image to be undermined by a shot of him leaning over the side, or taking Quells.
Of course, the whole point of the expotition seems to have been to draw attention to the Scot, William Speirs Bruce, who had discovered many firsts, rather than that Sassenach Scott, who might have had the correct name, but wasn’t related, at least by surname, to Robert the. Scott had an interesting middle name, though – Falcon. Another Pointless question to which I shouldn’t know the answer.
Anyway, Bruce had filmed penguin colonies and measured ice and been a thorough scientific Scot – self-conscious flick of the hair. He hadn’t been as shocked as Levick, a scientist on Scott’s team who witnessed the sexually delinquent behaviour of the Adelies.
I’m sure Neil just loved the opportunity to transmit old photos of a piper in full Highland regalia, playing the bagpipes, surrounded by Saltires and Lions Rampant on huge ice floes.
The irony is that if Bruce hadn’t been so stereotypically parsimonious, then he might have bought his fuel nearer to the South Atlantic base, instead of trying to save a bawbee by sailing up the coast to Buenos Aires, where he took on board some Argentinian scientists and cut-price provisions. The Argies set up a post office with a franking machine and this influences territorial rights to this day.
Meanwhile Scott and even his stoker were awarded polar medals and Bruce didn’t even get a packet of Fox’s Glacier Mints.
Explorer Bruce went to his ice hoose
To get his poor husky a bone,
But when he got there
The cupboard was bare.
He found a wee note
Saying, “Taken your boat
And your seal blubber lamps,
But have left you some stamps.
We don’t want to seem mean
But our franking machine
Proves this land is for Argies,
So no argy-bargies.
And we’ll claim the minerals, Bruce.”
The other brilliant programme was about Princess Alice of Greece. She served as a nurse in the Balkan wars, but when her faith became too difficult for the rest of the family they had her detained and irradiated by early experimental psychiatrists and psychologists.
When she was released she protected a Jewish family in her own apartment and used her deafness to advantage in deflecting soldiers’ questions.
I loved the image of her being re-united with her son and roaming the corridors of Buckingham Palace in her nun’s habits, smoking Woodbines. She only owned three dressing gowns at the end of her life, but had used her jewels and other assets to help the poor. She is buried on the Mount of Olives. If this be madness, then she is in the tradition of The Holy Fools and it makes me question who is sane and who is mad. Prince Philip should be incredibly proud of her, as he very likely is.
© Candia Dixon Stuart and Candiacomesclean.wordpress.com, 2012