Author: Gillian Bouras

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The imperfect mother

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 08 May 2013
    5 Comments

    My mother came to stay for a week after my eldest was born. She cooked, cleaned, showed me how to manage the basic baby-care routines. I felt utterly desolated when the time came for her to leave. 'Do not worry. You are perfectly capable of looking after this baby,' she said. I didn't believe her. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Greece's brush with linguicide

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 17 April 2013
    8 Comments

    The label 'crazy script' really infuriated me. The article suggested the Irish were all the better for having parted with their own 'crazy' Gaelic script in the 20th century. But an attack on a culture's language is an efficacious way of destroying the culture itself, and scrapping an alphabet seemed to me to be the thin edge of the wedge.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Agnostic prayers for an infirm infant

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 13 March 2013
    15 Comments

    Orestes was found to have a malformed oesophagus and, at the age of only 19 hours, underwent a two and a half hour operation. I'm what Patrick White might call a 'lapsed egotist agnostic pantheist occultist existentialist would-be though failed Christian Australian'. But if I have ever prayed, I prayed that night.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The lost art of posting a letter

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 20 February 2013
    10 Comments

    She was about to post some letters in the box near her house when a car drew up: a man leaned out and asked if he could watch, as he'd never seen anyone post a letter before. 'How many?' he asked. When she said, 'Six,' he drove away, shaking his head.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Winter of Greece's discontent

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 16 January 2013
    6 Comments

    I have always felt safe in Athens, but recently, while travelling in a crowded train, I was jostled by several large young men. When I alighted, feeling more than a little shaken, I discovered that my wallet was missing from my bag. There have long been beggars in Greece, but now there are many more, and of a new type.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Best of 2012: Greek peasant's faithful fatalism

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 09 January 2013
    4 Comments

    Maria was born into poverty and did not have much luck in escaping it. Yet she was an unchallenged believer, who would say regularly, Oti thelei o Theos: Whatever God wants. This, while I would huff and puff and mutter that God helps those who help themselves. But part of me envied Maria her certainties. Wednesday 28 March 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Painful lost years for unmarried mothers

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 06 November 2012
    23 Comments

    The phrase 'enforced adoption' conjures up visions of babies being wrenched from a wailing mother’s arms, or babies being spirited away in the dead of night. Of course it wasn’t like that: girls signed the requisite consent forms. But the idea of force is there, because the notion of choice rarely was.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A day in the life of a nun

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 03 October 2012
    6 Comments

    The convent has a history of catastrophe at the hands of invaders like the Franks and the Turks, not to mention the earthquake of 1986 and fires of 2007. There are now only two nuns in buildings designed to hold 100. One announces that she would rather someone plunged a dagger in her heart than be forced to leave.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    After Greece's party ended

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 15 August 2012
    3 Comments

    Things were speeding up. Greece entered the European Community, banks were throwing money at every Tom, Dick and Spiro, credit cards seemed a form of modern magic. The party is over now, and the ones who have survived in the best shape are the older villagers who never expected a party and so did not join in the spree.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A temporary halt to Grexit and Drachmageddon

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 20 June 2012
    6 Comments

    Greeks expect the positive outcome of last weekend's election to be weak and short-lived. Austerity has brought predictable unemployment, homelessness, and a rising suicide rate. The elderly are reminded of the fear and the helplessness that accompanied the hideous years of the Civil War and the dictatorship of the Colonels.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The Queen's 60 years of good behaviour

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 30 May 2012
    16 Comments

    I went to the breakfast table, where my father was reading The Sun. I was just old enough to read, and knew a screaming headline when I saw one. THE KING IS DEAD. Sixteen months later Queen Elizabeth II was crowned. I told my mother I'd like to be the Queen. 'No, you wouldn't,' she declared.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The grand champion of mothers

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 23 May 2012
    7 Comments

    When I became a mother for the first time, my mother was there for her baby, not for mine. It had been a difficult birth. 'Heavens,' said Mum, 'You look just as you did after a hard day at school.' 'Oh, Mum,' I said, 'I'm so worried about him.' Mum laughed her head off. 'You're stuck with that feeling now.' How right she was.

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