Lefkara linen lace tablecloth, very well used, washed and bleached by me (fine quality fibre utilisation) ) and created by my Greek Cypriot granny, she has utilised the typical geometric and lacy patterning of Cypriots. The edges are like a crocheted yarn that has been button hole stitched to an awesome degree of delicacy (tatting methinks) it is time consuming. Lefkara lace work is now recognised by UN as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
I responded about identities in an article in ABC Life Style, a discussion on how people felt being asked “where you are from”. Some minded, some did not. I do not mind. My name is unusual, Noni Ruth Daniels it has lent me many problems if you know your drama history.
Where are you from? is a common greeting in Indonesia, a nation of artisans, artists, technology and merchants who frequently move around. Where are you going? the other greeting poses big questions. Are the replies: I am going to my family's funeral, I am going to build a life, I am going to a wedding, I am going for a walk? It is often for a walk though the question is there so the asker can see if you need assistance as to direction, providing you a commercial or otherwise service eg are you headed shopping? The question is a good one to ask yourself. My Dad sponsored an Indonesian man and his family to come out and gave him a respectable position. No good sponsoring a person and making them clean the floors of the local pizzeria though there is always cleaning to be done so someone must just it needs to lend opportunities for advancement or skills same the unemployed.
My father RIP was Greek born in Cyprus a politically divided island under Colonial British rule when he left for Oz. Cyprus is a neighbour to Lebanon and in a strategic part of the world sadly for Cypriots. Aphrodite was born as a fully formed woman in foam off the coast of Cyprus, she is the goddess of erotic and sexual love. The entities were portrayed in various colours Greeks painted their statues and Greeks did not have a refugee policy. Cyprus was a major cross roads in antiquity. It is bare except Troodos Mts as it lost most trees to copper mining for the Roman Empire. Other nations lost their forests to building ships (Italy) and farming, now desert we repeat the same mistakes then start from scratch again. When Cyprus was a British Colony the people were united in their hatred of the British even though by then they had adopted some colonial habits. Nowadays I have British amigos. My grandfather was chief of police and 6 ft tall I did not inherit that. Dad would have been raised with colonial and European customs they had servants in the house my grandmother embroidered the most beautiful tablecloth I still own it, the design is geometric rather than the florals of UK and France.
My mother RIP Scottish via NZ Irish and UK 🇬🇧 made me a fighter of rights cannot help it I was brought up to be honest and humane to others kind to the environment and kind to animals. My Mum's Dad, she was named Ruth Alice Heighway did that make her ruthless as we joked sorry, was a mineralogist and managed the now closed alum mine in Buledelah. There is a plaque there as well history at the local museum. Her mother was known as best cook in the district and won all the cake cooking comps she used a wooden spoon and one of those awesome wood stoves in a separate building for the cooking, they had people from the town over regularly for tennis. I think the original baker's family still operates and they have the best oysters there, for yabbies you need to go further. Mum was born at home a twin they did not get on
Dad was an early environmentalist, a scientist at CSIRO, an engineer, an artist and factory owner, head honcho Spring Manufacturers Association and he understood and could read Ancient Greek, spoke English, Greek, French and German with an accent. He studied alongside Arthur Boyd in Melbourne, Dad said he could outdraw him any day his style more conservative, landscapes. He was a part of the Mosman group living in a huge old mansion many summers ago he showed me the building.
Mum was a conventional housewife saying it might be nice doing office work though she was too eccentric to my thinking she would have had no hope of fitting in at all. She put together extremely fiddly parts for AWA during WW2 it took skill and later helped Dad make springs at home when he started his own business I think I can still picture the hand operated small machine. She was so old fashioned she even ironed Dad's underwear and made my bed till I left home that one is shocking on my part I just did not think about it at the time.
The government here has gradually supported less and less any small to medium manufacturing at all and has zero interest in invention, Precision Springs had a lab. Dad's factory was fair with good conditions the work looked amazingly boring for the machine operators they had music and a canteen that made a loss.
Though atypical of my approach or his Dad painted me a fantastic portrait of (freaky/creaky when older) Tiki the family Pekinese dog for a school fete and said that will sell and it did. I was alternate at school and rebellious, not a good thing in a very plain country. Mum had little time for authority as well and loved the bush in particular boronia she would sneakily pick huge bunches. She loved the district around Tea Gardens it is awesome and still relatively virgin there are numerous wild orchids up in the mountain its only small.
I had two sisters Julie Annette RIP, an antique dealer and vintage nightie dyer and seller and Christine Alice, a mother and fabo card counter in home games as well matchstick covered boxes, RIP, I think we got on OK till around teens then things became tense, just the usual total screaming fights about clothes, who was the favourite and boyfriends. We used to say to each other before needing to do anything mainstream "do I look normal, lol" "or how do I look 👀 as we loved looking cool so unsure if we actually aimed normal at all! The monopoly games were soo tense and ended in full on battles with someone walking out
Dad always asked us to vote on his newly tailored suits and fabulous silk ties with matching handkerchief various shirts as we became older and men began to have more choices in fashion. Oddly Mum never asked us though she had a beautiful wardrobe of clothes tailored for her by a Swiss woman who advertised as a couturier maybe through the fabric store where we all shopped. Later she wore big jewellery, no kidding, diamonds and emeralds nothing plain at all. She said when she was in I think LA her and her friend hopped onto a bus they thought would take them to Target and they realised the area was poorer as many were black on board the bus yet they were super friendly, years ago. Anyhow they apparently arrived were disappointed then back to the hotel, maybe age protected them who knows just I have noticed the same as a stranger in all kinds of places it might be the media that makes things sound worse for strangers and it can be. Dad liked stopping at Beirut on the way to Cyprus it was the Paris of the Middle East and famed for its gold market. He travelled solo then I think he had little choice due to war and more.
Still none of us could figure the discrimination we all faced throughout our lives, to me it is still a mystery and had a bad impact in particular on my late sisters. I have a loud awful speaking voice maybe I should just have elocution lessons?
Our spirits were free and we cared about issues. We had intelligence so that put people on El destructo. Chrissy was quite brown, was that an issue or just a good tan? Mum would always say Chrissy could have been a model which made me depressed about me! Then she would say we were all beautiful.
Dad fought in WW2 for 5 years for Australia on the front lines and returned a humanitarian. During WW2 Dad saved for Mum's engagement ring by selling calculations on how to fire the canons. He used to sit up to 3 in the morning drawing springs. He believed in freedom which is not a belief held Local only on paper. Australia is unkind to invention and free spirits and finds it difficult to even recognise them. The more a person is marginalised the more unusual they become the result will rarely be mainstream then you become inventive more so though that again puts one on the fringes.
Fortunately Dad made enough money to keep us all safe and probably never imagined there would be a time when we had nothing so I lacked the necessary survival armour for better or worse, I mean I was independent from when I left home and I did not think to seek a comfortable husband at the time not saying it’s right or wrong I am not brilliant on life partner choices nor were my sisters 👯 actually totally hopeless.
My younger sister looked sort of Egyptian if you look at old tomb paintings, she was boy crazy and my older sister like Elizabeth Taylor, everybody said that. Someone said one I looked like Judy Garland but truly I cannot see that, the other was Patti Smith I think that is closer.
It’s quite ordinary here with numerous terrified by an unjust system. I have studied, managed another business or two and now own Holy Kitsch! I aim to do a doctorate though that is already proving to be full of obstacles as usual why am I surprised?
A bully culture has been encouraged in Australia partly through the media, it is embedded. Talking only about sports and curing illnesses causes people to forget about freedom, life choices and a full life where a system might possibly be run with justice, breadth and culture beyond populism and Colonialism and mediocrity.