Some photos from Amsterdam – Anne Frank and the Homomonument

July 4, 2009

A few weeks ago Paul and I spent a week in Amsterdam. Below are some photos from Anne Frank House and the Homomonument.
The front of Anne Frank House, Amsterdam
Above, the front of Anne Frank House. This housed a business with Anne Frank and her family hiding out in the annex at the back. Below, a nearby statue of Anne Frank.
A statue of Anne Frank, Amsterdam
Homomonument, Amsterdam
The sign above says: “Homomonument Commemorates all women and men ever oppressed and persecuted because of their homosexuality.
Supports the International Lesbian and Gay Movement in their struggle against contempt, discrimination and oppression.
Demonstrates that we are not alone.
Calls for permanent vigilance.

Past, present and future are represented by the 3 triangles on this square. Designed by Karin Daan, 1987.”
Homomonument, Amsterdam
Homomonument, Amsterdam
Homomonument, Amsterdam
You can read more about why they have this monument here.


Some recent books

March 25, 2009

I recently read and really enjoyed the graphic memoir Fun Home by Alison Bechdel (of comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For fame). Subtitled A Family Tragicomic, Fun Home covers Bechdels childhood growing up in a funeral home, her coming out to her family as a lesbian at the age of 19, leading to the revelation of her father’s closeted life as a married gay man and his death shortly after. Bechdel looks back over her childhood and adolescence, coloured by her new knowledge of her father’s sexuality and his death at 44 which she believes was suicide. One of the things I loved about this book was the many literary references. Both her parents were interested in the arts and reading, especially her father, and the book is littered with classics and what their stories may have meant to her father, her mother and their lives.
The cover of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
I want to read more London-based and London-themed books while living here: Lights Out for the Territory by Iain Sinclair, Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd and Mother London by Michael Moorcock. I wonder if I should read a Charles Dickens novel or two while I’m at it. Has anyone got any recommendations? Yesterday I took a bus to Greenford library to borrow Lights Out for the Territory. The book is full of tales of wandering around London. I’m excited about reading it. When I left the library and went to Greenford tube station I was quite excited to find they have wooden escalators!
Wooden escalator, Greenford Underground Station, London
Wooden escalator, Greenford Underground Station, London
Greenford Underground Station, London
I had never heard of them until reading about the tragic fire at King’s Cross Underground Station in 1987 that killed a number of people and one of the changes made afterward was to replace all the wooden escalators with metal ones! I had never seen any until yesterday. Greenford tube is not underground so I guess they get to keep their wooden escalators!

I wanted to read A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe, set in 1665 when the plague swept through London (and written in the 1720s). But after starting it, I think this may end up like Robinson Crusoe – I got less than halfway through and stopped because it was really long-winded and boring. Oh well.


London Literature Festival

August 12, 2008

I just realised that I didn’t blog about the London Literature Festival.
Read the rest of this entry »


Book Clubs

July 21, 2008

A week ago, Paul and I hosted our second bookclub. This month’s book was Spud by the South African John van der Ruit. It was a funny, very easy-to-read book set in an elite boys boarding school in South Africa in 1990 – the year that Nelson Mandela was let out of jail and that apartheid was ended. It wasn’t very political or deep but it made me laugh a lot and I even cried. Next month we’re reading Y: the Last Man, a comic set on Earth where all the male humans and mammals have died except for one man (and his male pet monkey). I have read the first two volumes and wasn’t that impressed – it was interesting but I got the feeling that the writers thought they were being feminist but I wasn’t all that convinced that they knew what they were doing.
Read the rest of this entry »


London Pride 2008

July 6, 2008

Helen and Jess: still excited after the parade has finished.
Yesterday Paul and I went into town for London Pride. We met up with Jess and Helen (above) who were very excited about it! Below are some of the photos I took but there are more on Flickr. Paul took photos too which you can see on his Flickr page (including one of the newly elected mayor of London, Boris Johnson, leading the parade.
Unions at London Pride 2008.
Marching Unions. ‘Unite, the Union, Campaigning against homophobic bullying and harassment’.
Unions at London Pride 2008.
Unison Union members.
Unions at London Pride 2008.
More unionists.
Unions at London Pride 2008.
Unite Union. Campainging for Equality with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members.
Read the rest of this entry »


I Love Queer Anarchist Punks

May 4, 2007

[photopress:qap.jpg,full,pp_image]
Needlework, 2007.
Read the rest of this entry »


Brighton Pride

August 31, 2006

I forgot to post that after getting my photo taken a couple of times at Brighton Queer Pride, one of the photos made it onto the Real Brighton website (they take photos at lots of queer events in Brighton). The photo is (left to right) me, Beth and Beth’s boyf, Grant. They were really lovely people.


August 15, 2006

What a busy couple of weeks I’ve had. I have found a new house in Ealing which is on the Western side of London (public transport zone 3!) and will be sleeping there from tonight. It’s quite exciting to have our own room after two months. We’ll be living in a 3-bedroom flat with two other women in a rather large, lovely-looking old house (it has 6 flats altogether). There is a park, and lots of shops close by and hopefully I won’t feel too far away from things after living in Islington (which is inner North in London).

I spent a bit of time going around estate agents looking at flats because Paul and I were thinking of getting our own place – a one- or two-bedroom flat – but they charge so many exhorbitant, nonrefundable fees. They charge you money to “draw up” the lease. Now, surely they just have a form they can fill in! I think it’s a total rort! So after realising we really couldn’t afford to do that we decided to find a share house. It’s close to Paul’s work so let’s just hope that I get a job soon.

Last Friday, I had a job interview with an organisation that would have been really cool to work for. Unfortunately they gave the job to someone with more experience. I was one of only three people interviewed and they gave the recruitment agency good feedback about me.

A couple of weekends ago I went to Brighton for (Queer) Pride which was fun. There was a parade with lots of floats and heaps of people obviously had come to town for the weekend. I told Paul I wanted to go without him and he took it quite well. It was good to get away and meet some new people (since being here for two months, Paul and I have spent nearly all our time together).

Lately I’ve been having an Alan Moore bonanza reading three of his books/graphic novels/comics/whatever you want to call them. I am halfway through the Watchman which he did with Dave Gibbons and have really had to persevere with it. It is about retired superheroes (well, people who used to dress up in costumes and fight crime). I’m not sure if I’ll finish it because it just isn’t doing much for me. I have also read V for Vendetta which he did with David Lloyd and I really liked it but had already seen the film so new the general gist of what was happening. I think I’d recommend reading the book first (although I did really like the film. I saw it on the Imax screen in Brisbane and it looked hella cool). Now I’m currently reading From Hell which he did with Eddie Campbell and it’s about Jack the Ripper. It’s so great to be reading books set in London while I’m here (From Hell and V for Vendetta are both set in London) especially as I now actually know where all these streets and places are – well, most of them. I liked the film From Hell (Johnny Depp was in it) but was adamantly told by an Alan Moore fan that the films From Hell and V for Vendetta were shit compared to the books! I think I’m about a third of the way through From Hell and am enjoying its gritty, black-and-white depictions of Victorian London as it explores the theory that Jack the Ripper was actually the Royal family’s surgeon/doctor. It’s quite interesting.Will report more when I’ve finished it.

[photopress:watchmen.jpg,full,pp_image]

[photopress:fromhell.jpg,full,pp_image]

[photopress:v4vendet.jpg,full,pp_image]

That’s about all for now. Have to go call an agency back and tell them I went them to put me forward for a job they’ve emailed me about and then I’m taking more stuff over to my new house! Yay!

Carmen


An essay (by me) on new laws in Queensland

November 9, 2002

[photopress:queer.jpg,full,pp_image]
On November 29 2002, the Queensland State Labor Government passed some amendments to the Discrimination Act 1991. These amendments included prohibiting discrimination on the basis of family responsibilities, prohibiting discrimination against women who are breastfeeding, introducing sexuality vilification laws and inserting a new uniform definition of ‘spouse’ in all Queensland legislation which incorporates de facto partners, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. So what these amendments have done is give same sex couples the same legal rights as de facto and married heterosexual couples in many instances where they were formerly excluded.
Read the rest of this entry »