My father Jack Spackman grew up in abject poverty, a widow’s son, in the tiny town of Grenfell, way out past the Blue Mountains in rural New South Wales, Australia. He was the second of four boys born to Charles Spackman – known to all as Jim – and Doris Fogarty.
Jim died in 1937, just months after the birth of their youngest son Bob. The eldest, Alf, was four years old. Doris and her sons survived through the kindness of relatives but the extent of the debt was mostly hidden from the family history Jack told, coming up in oblique ways that were never truly explained or understood by your young Girl Reporter.
For example, Jack loathed lamb – couldn’t stomach the smell of it cooking and wouldn’t have it in the house. To this day, it’s a meat I associate with restaurants and other people’s tables, not my own. Continue reading
Around 2000 people turned out for Brisbane’s Gay Pride march on Saturday, 17 September 2016. Among them was my daughter Lady Severine Sinful, who took to the stage as MC in the main tent at the end of the day’s proceedings in New Farm Park and, no doubt, told a few stories about me.
I believe she does that, which is one of the reasons I tend not to attend. That, and her filthy songs. I like a bit of salt with my entertainment, don’t get me wrong, but it can get uncomfortable when the dish is your daughter. It’s a mum thing.
So I was watching from afar as the Lady and friends beamed pictures and commentary back to me throughout the day of the march and the fair which followed. All the shiny happy people celebrating their love and their support for each other.
Now, there’s a story she likes to tell her audiences, about the time she came out to her mum. I thought I’d share it from my perspective, as a small contribution to the many words which have already been written about marriage equality and why our LGBTQI citizens should just have it already.
Bargirls and journalists have a lot in common. They are basically lazy, but work very hard for short periods of time – Arthur Hacker.
The numbers of foreign journalists in Hong Kong ebbed and flowed to the tides of the war in Vietnam so it’s fitting, and not entirely uncoincidental, that the Hong Kong Press Club was opened in Wanchai in December 1973, just months after the rock n roll war finally ended.
Its arrival sits right in the middle, between the end of old Wanchai, made famous as The World of Suzie Wong, and the new one, with its smart office blocks and trendy bars.
During the war of course Hong Kong was awash with young Boy and Girl Reporters who came from all corners of the world hoping to make their names as war correspondents. Many stayed and took jobs on local newspapers and magazines, both during and after the war. Continue reading