I don't understand the question

Automated Sexism from Qantas

My boyfriend and I have decided to take a little trip away together in the future. Today we booked the flights online -- and when I say 'we', I mean I. I booked the flights in my name as the main traveller, using my existing Frequent Flyer account and pre-filled details from the many times I have previously booked with Qantas. Of course, I had to put in my boyfriend's name as the other traveller, but I paid with my credit card, using my name. I entered my email address to receive the receipt (my email also being a variant of my name).

When I received the email with the eticket? It was addressed, 'Dear Mr Boyfriend's Name'.

...

I don't even know where to begin.
Shaun Micallef, *shifty*

(no subject)

I can't help it, but I kind of love election time. Despite the false promises, terrible advertising, and endless sniping between both politicians and voters, I love how every news, current affairs or light entertainment TV show gets election fever. I like election night, even though I've never been happy with the result. I was in England during the last election, so I missed all the fun, although I did do a postal vote so I still got to exercise my democratic right. I LOVE to vote.

Nonetheless, it's all been a bit depressing lately. Neither of the two big parties has a policy worth the name, the 'big issue' is inexplicably asylum seekers for about the fifth election running, and one party is unified to the point of being ludicrous while the other is full of the clatter of loose cannons. I fear the Chaser boys may be right (warning: the following video repeatedly uses the word 'fucked'. A lot.):

sleeping after the feast

(no subject)

I'm back from England, by the way. Through the magic of crossing timezones I left England last... Thursday, really? Wow. And arrived back in Australia on Saturday. And haven't yet conquered jetlag. I've just been in a daze, unable to really cope with the weather, the sudden responsibility of feeding myself, and the resumption of anything approaching normal life. The only thing I do like is my own bed and my own pillow. Seriously, I've been asleep for about twenty of the last twenty-four hours (and it's currently 4pm). I know that last time it took me about a week to recover but this is beginning to get ridiculous. This morning I was up early, awake, showered and dressed to begin my day, and then I felt a little sleepy so I thought I might have a quick doze and now here I am. Where is my resolve, people? Where is my iron will? And will I ever be normal again?!
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three springs i lay in the orchard grass

By the way

I feel I must not appear to be ungrateful about how fully my weather expectations have been subverted. While my first weekend in London was cold and grey, Oxford has been beautiful and warm ever since. I am loving it. It is exactly the change I wanted from the horrid Sydney winter. I think I might be cold-blooded. I even got sunburnt yesterday.*

*YES, I was wearing sunscreen.
dreaming in the south

(no subject)

It is so difficult to be away from Australia right now. It's all happening: a female PM, a World Cup knockout so we can stop pretending that we care about soccer, and Masterchef is down to the top seven. Not that England is without its assets: a place in the next round of the World Cup, lovely warm weather, and Minstrels sweeties.

I've finished my work in Oxford, so I've got another couple of weeks of leisure before more business. I celebrated by going back to London for the day yesterday, to see the lovely templa_otmena, and squishypeanut, and in-between: Legally Blonde: The Musical. Ohmigod, how much fun is that show? I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. By chance, I was there on the day that there was a small Q&A after the show, and the BBC filmed a number afterwards, so my enthusiastic grinning face might well turn up on TV sometime. Like the film, the musical is clever and witty and glamourous, but has real heart. I don't care how many people want to sneer at women having fun together, it will never not be enjoyable to me.

It is, of course, a little strange to be back in England, nearly two years after I left it. I was visiting Oxford this time two years ago, and it's funny the things I remember, and the things I don't. The city doesn't quite fit together the way that I remember. So far, it's all been like that, really. I remember a lot, but not so much that differences throw me, just enough that I'm never sure if I actually like what I'm eating or looking at, or whether I'm just feeling nostalgia for the last time I ate it or saw it.



My personal situation also means I'm a bit more unhappy about being away, and about travelling alone right now, when several friends in Australia are suffering alone, and I can't quite be there for them via email and MSN, the way I'd really like to be. But I have to keep reminding myself: this is England, the mother country, my adopted home, and the place I hated to leave. I am SO lucky to be back, and in these circumstances.

Those circumstances include a nasty cold that won't go. I'm sure my hostel roommates are enjoying my extra-strength snoring, but they're giving back as good as they get.
The goddess Cate

Exciting Times

I was in England when Kevin Rudd was elected Prime Minister of Australia, and by the looks of things I will be in England when the Labor caucus votes him out. I adore Julia Gillard but question whether she can bring enough unity to the party in time for the election that must happen within the next six months. It would be an inauspicious start for Australia's first female Prime Minister, to come to power at such a shaky time.
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three springs i lay in the orchard grass

(no subject)

It has been a cold winter in Sydney so far, or at least, cold by this Queensland girl's standards. When it comes down to it, I would much rather prefer to be too hot rather than too cold. I have been making lots of jokes about how England's summer weather will be about the same as here, or perhaps just a few degrees warmer, but now that I actually come to check the weather at my destinations it turns out that the minimums are a few degrees colder. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO COPE??

I do realise that I have lived through an English summer before, but I am starting to think that I have a selective memory for weather. For example, I don't remember my winter in Yorkshire being so cold, even when it snowed. I don't remember Sydney's winter last year being as bad as it is now. And this all complicates my packing severely, since I'll need to make sure I have plenty of warm clothes.
isn't it, random

(no subject)

So now I'm having anxiety dreams about my upcoming UK trip. Notes to self:

1. The Heathrow Express does not involve boats;
2. There is no Tube station called Epic;
3. You are not, in fact, leaving next week, and thus you will not have to keep flying back to teach classes.
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born to be wilde II

Damn you, Bosie

Have been watching Wilde and being sad and introspective, although not as sad as I was after watching The Hours last week. I own far too many depressing films about writers.

For us there is only one season, the season of sorrow. The very sun and moon seem taken from us. Outside, the day may be blue and gold, but the light that creeps down through the thickly-muffled glass of the small iron-barred window beneath which one sits is grey and niggard. It is always twilight in one’s cell, as it is always twilight in one’s heart. And in the sphere of thought, no less than in the sphere of time, motion is no more. The thing that you personally have long ago forgotten, or can easily forget, is happening to me now, and will happen to me again to-morrow.

[...]

I must say to myself that I ruined myself, and that nobody great or small can be ruined except by his own hand. I am quite ready to say so. I am trying to say so, though they may not think it at the present moment. This pitiless indictment I bring without pity against myself. Terrible as was what the world did to me, what I did to myself was far more terrible still.

-- De Profundis, Oscar Wilde


It is so easy and so tempting to blame Bosie for it all. In Joe Cinque's Consolation Helen Garner writes how her "girl-hackles" were instantly raised at the sight of Anu Singh, Joe Cinque's girlfriend and murderer. My girl-hackles jump at the sight of Bosie Douglas.



There is something so sulky about his mouth, in every photograph. He seems a spoiled child, a petulant child, although in all likelihood also an abused child. He does not come across well in most accounts, but really, he does not come across well in life. What can you say about a man who declared he regretted meeting Oscar Wilde, but wrote two books about his life with Wilde as well as an autobiography, and then sued anyone who mentioned him in the same sentence as Wilde? "I wish everyone would stop talking about me and Oscar," you can imagine Bosie sighing, as he puts the finishing touches on Oscar Wilde and Myself. I should mention that I have not read Bosie's books, although I should quite like to. I do wonder what it is that he wanted everyone so badly to stop talking about that he had to write about it at length.

However, I can say this for Bosie: Oscar Wilde loved him. It's kind of crazy and strange and bizarre, even, to think that Oscar truly had it in him to love this selfish man who did nothing but hurt him, but it's really very human, in the end, isn't it? We don't always love the people who are best for us. And what I find saddest, and most human, and most loving, is that Oscar went back to Bosie in the end. He did not blame him entirely for his own suffering, although he would not have been wrong to do so. He did not wish Bosie to suffer as he did; he did not blame Bosie as I would like to. He went back to him, as lovers do.

It was not a happy ending, such as lovers have. I always think of 1984, and Winston and Julia, and how after torture, "You don’t feel the same towards the other person any longer." I don't understand how Oscar could have felt the same towards Bosie, and perhaps he didn't. Perhaps that's why they separated again. There is plenty we might say about Bosie, but I think the worst we can say of Oscar Wilde is that he loved not wisely but too well.
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