author: Gillian Bouras

  • RELIGION

    The light in John Henry Newman's darkness

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 15 November 2019
    6 Comments

    Dad is out watering the garden, but all the front windows are open, so he can hear the piano and his wife and two daughters singing. He often hums along to our repertoire, which is a mixture of Anglo-Celtic songs, Australian numbers — and, memorably, 'Lead, Kindly Light', written by the recently canonised St John Henry Newman.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Nazi fable's modern resonance

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 22 October 2019
    8 Comments

    A major part of Martin's so-called patriotism is anti-Semitism, and Martin soon uses the well-worn trope in which the prejudiced person makes an exception of an individual. After declaring that the Jewish race is 'a sore spot', Martin tells Max he has loved him not because of his race but in spite of it.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Conscientious capitalists

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 24 September 2019
    6 Comments

    Raised by Politically Pink Parents, I was in my youth rather wary and suspicious of capitalism and capitalists. Eventually I realised that the only thing wrong with money is that not everyone has enough of it. We hear too much about arch-capitalists like the Trumps and the Koch brothers.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Swearing? Won't have a bar of it

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 02 September 2019
    8 Comments

    Those were the days when children could expect to have their mouths washed out with soap and water if they uttered certain words. Fast forward quite a few years: once I got the hang of Greek swear words and realised my children were using them, I rejected the idea of soap and water, but began a system of fines.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The saga of zany Granny's memory box

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 31 July 2019
    6 Comments

    While this saga was going on, I read an alarming piece about the transient nature of the digital world. Mobile phones get stolen and photos not backed up are irrevocably lost; flash drives and their capacities do not last forever. 'Print out' was the author's advice. Who would have thought?

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Fool Britannia: On bad mannered Brexiteers

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 08 July 2019
    31 Comments

    As a celebratory anthem, Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy', was played, the Brexit MEPs, all 29 of them, turned their backs, thus insulting the Parliament, the young and talented musicians, and Beethoven himself. They clearly did not realise they were demeaning themselves by acting in this fashion.

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  • RELIGION

    Reflections of a church tourist

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 05 June 2019
    16 Comments

    Architecture is not my strong suit, but I admire the beauty of walls and ceilings, the decorations, and the idiosyncrasies such as little sculptures invisible to congregations and visitors, but made in faith that God could see them. The history, the thought of generations of worshippers, the numerous associations: these are other things that fascinate.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Beware the election campaign hobgoblins

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 11 April 2019
    7 Comments

    The American writer H. L. Mencken said the aim of politics is 'to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary'. Over the years there have been many hobgoblins of varying sizes and shapes, and this election campaign promsies to be no different.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Coming and going in Greece and Australia

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 28 March 2019
    9 Comments

    That leaden weight in my chest is back. My self-diagnosis is heartache, and once upon a time I thought I'd get to the stage at which this heaviness would leave me for good, but I know now that this is never going to happen, at least not as long as I am engaged in my back-and-forth movements between Greece and Australia.

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  • RELIGION

    Prayers of connection and disconnection

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 06 March 2019
    12 Comments

    I've recently been reading about people who disconnect in radical ways, or else manage a balancing act between connection with society and disconnection. The recently deceased Sister Wendy Beckett was one such. So too is Brother Harold Palmer who, like Sister Wendy, began his seclusion in a caravan.

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  • RELIGION

    Epiphany defeats hobgoblin evil

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 16 January 2019
    8 Comments

    One reason for the importance of Epiphany in Eastern Orthodoxy is the belief that Christmas is a period during which the world is threatened by various wicked spirits, most particularly the kallikantzaroi, the spirits of the dead: at this time they emerge from Hades (via a cave not too far from where I live) and roam the Earth.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A Christmas carol for a divided world

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 21 December 2018
    2 Comments

    In this season, I usually re-read A Christmas Carol, that timeless tour de force of the Dickensian imagination. The second spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Present, takes Scrooge to the shops, where the former restores good humour to squabbling delivery boys. For, they said, it was a shame to quarrel on Christmas Day.

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