As I type, I'm sitting in a v. steamy classroom while Year 7 (not my own class) are watching a film on The Nativity featuring a v.v. young Mary who looks about twelve.
I was shocked.
But I've just been assured by a learned member of the class that in fact, the film is 'historically accurate' because Mary actually was thirteen when Jesus was born.
What I really want to talk about is to tell you about an Art Exhibition that I'm in this evening in Sydney, opening at 7 pm. I know it's a bit far, particularly if you're from Outta Town, like Canberra or Berkeley or perhaps somewhere in Indiana, but I just thought that I'd let you knows it's on.
I don't know much about the show, except that it's organised by a friend of mine, Kim Holten & that my fellow exhibitors are also Women.
Over the past few weeks I've been busily painting these little paintings of Angst-Ridden Schoolgirls who of course bear little or no resemblance to the Happily-Well-Adjusted Ones I teach In Real Life.
Ever since I was a young child, I was obsessed with stories of English Schoolgirls who all merrily boarded the train together at the beginning of each term loaded with hockey sticks & Tuck Boxes full of fruit cake & Orange Fizz & Jellied Eel which they scoffed down on their way to some OldeyWorldey Boarding School with leaded paned windows & ivy growing up the walls.
These Independent Young Things never seemed to be particularly bothered by Interfering Parents & in fact the only adults that featured in these stories were: The Stern But Fair Headmistress,
the Mysterious French Teacher
amp; the Bullying Games Mistress who may be doing something unpleasant like smuggling on the side.
And perhaps the Kindly Matron who bathed their wounds when they were hit in the shins by Verity, The Resentful Prefect on the lacrosse field.
Oh, I longed to live a life like that!
In my World there were far too many Meddlesome Adults ruining everything - Fascistic Parents featuring an O'erbearing Mother who used to hit me over the back of the head if she caught me licking my knife during dinner. Hateful Nuns who hit us on the palms of our outstretched hands if we got a word wrong in the Daily Spelling Bee. Dyspeptic Nun music teachers who rapped us over the knuckles if we hit a wrong note. Not to mention the Mad Mother Superior who called me a 'Supine Spineless Jellyfish' just because I wouldn't dob on my friends. I was quite shocked when, after Superior Nun called me that, I ran to the dictionary to look up the word 'supine' to discover that it meant 'reclining'. I guess if you're a jellyfish you're always lying down.
The Schoolgirls in those stories were never bothered with such things.
Nay - they were far too busy planning Midnite Feasts in the Dormitory or hunting for ghosts or smugglers in the Medieval Ruins that were conveniently located next to the school.
Anyway,I like to think that the Schoolgirls in My Paintings are those Schoolgirls.
Sadly, they're just like Me.