On the western edge of the South Pacific, it's 12 hours to Christmas Eve and the
the city and suburban shopping centres will be crammed full of people doing last
minute shopping and trying to avoid Brisbane's Christmas holiday heat in the shop's
The humid air outside my home office window is deafeningly full
of the calls of summer's cicadas whose songs' volume seems to match the temperatue.
At the moment the nights never cool enough to silence all of them, but night time
cicadas are rather pleasant.
I am trying to drown the din of the cicadas with one
of a set of Josephine Baker CDs I bought myself Christmas before last.
was a gorgeous African American who fled America's intense racial discrimination
of the first decades of the last century to perform in front of audiences of all
races in France which had for centuries been more tolerant of racial differences.
France embraced her and she became one of France's most popular performers and singers,
almost always recording in French.
I believe that it was after WW2 that she dedicated
herself to caring for orphans of different nationalities and eventually spent all
her savings on her enormous multi-racial family.
I suspect that she died destitute,
but left a wonderful legacy of recordings of tender and haunting French love songs
together with exuberant hip-swinging Carmen Miranda style congas and rhumbas.
I can't listen to her music without being reminded that she was a wonderful exemplar
of courage, generousity and kindness.
My hope is that all the posters I have come
to know over the last six months have a happy and safe holiday - whether it is hot
or cold - and that in 2002 they become the recipients and source of random
acts of sensless kindness.
I am now going to wake up my very big grey and white
cat Monty, sleeping on the TV, to see if he would like to share some cold water melon
- or cool water sandwich.