Life without the Boring Bits
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'Written with heart and humour, (McCullough) takes us on a bumpy ride full of surprises, laughs, tears and the odd lecture. She shines as a bright unquenchable spark that poverty, familial cruelty and tragedy could not extinguish, A little ripper.' Woman's Day World-famous writer and national treasure Colleen McCullough has always resisted the idea of writing an autobiography. But her mind has a life of its own. Here, finally, is its portrait. Among the personal reminiscences and thought-provoking musings lie clues as to the shaping of this extraordinary mind: the confused, impulsive, thoughtlessly cruel mother; the miserly absentee father; the far-reaching effects bureaucrats can have on the lives of strangers; the riddle of Time ...If Colleen McCullough has any lesson to teach in Life Without the Boring Bits, it is that nothing above, below, or on the surface of the Earth can keep a good mind down, let alone break it.
which will make the pair of you tall enough to serve as a crutch for Otto if Marcello walks under the vacant leg. Hey-ho, and off we go!” An hour later the exhausted but self-ambulant Otto was in Her backyard, lying on a flat cushion that belonged to Her sun lounge, and wolfing down a tray of gravy beef a small raiding party had obtained from the supermarket. “Every Court,” said the Emperor to his subjects, “needs a true and proper religion, and a high priest to administer it. Otto the Tripod,
plays? It doesn’t bear thinking of! Our trouble — even the trouble of Mr. Lawrence and Mr. Smith — is that we have hindsight. We can see Shakespeare’s output for what it is, sheer genius. At the time? I imagine that Viscount St. Albans sniffed impatiently, and dismissed it as the prating maunderings of some actor. In his time, Francis Bacon was extremely important. COL ON THE WRITING OF HER BOOKS Geographical accident and an occupation far removed from the writing of fiction combined
interest rather than turn them off. Roman history has an undeserved reputation of dryness, boredom, long-winded speeches and too much law. By 1988 I’d done more than enough research to have learned that for every speech there was a battle, for every law a rebellion of some kind, and for every crisis in Rome there was a war. It was riveting stuff, and the men who peopled it were fascinating. No, said the Publisher when I had concluded, Harper & Row weren’t interested in publishing five novels
back, the oceans de-acidify, the atmosphere be what it should be. And a new species will arise out of the wreckage. A species, one hopes, less masculinely violent, more femininely gentle. A species less prone to be hoodwinked by those awful old men who lead world religions. A species that believes in education for every baby born, that regards every baby born as truly wanted — for the right reasons. ONE, POTATO, TWO, POTATO Good evening, ladies and gentlemen! This is your host, Goliath
the size of skewers; it was the splinters caught first, transmitted their purgatory to the iron of heartwood. Once the fire was going, the great cast-iron kettle was dragged across the plates until it was right above the flames striking like fiery cobras into the vestibule between the firebox and the stove’s surface. There it boiled quickly; breakfast was not breakfast without many cups of scalding, treacle-black tea, the bushman’s eternal pick-me-up. Our mother, Laurie, and our father, Jim,