Monday, December 02, 2013

Not So Still Life: Country & Sea of Matraville

Annie (known as Nancy) Newell Patrick was born in Waverton on June 16, 1924, the daughter of Scottish migrants William and Mary Patrick. William had come to work on construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge but he died when Nancy was eight and she and her three siblings, Marie, William jnr and Ian, were brought up by Mary during the Depression.
The family moved to Matraville and Botany Bay. "It was a mixture of country and sea," Nancy said in a later interview. "It was a child's paradise. There was a beach where children could go to swim, with no fear of drowning. You would see the cows being driven home in the afternoon and vegetable gardens were widespread. It was a treat to take our vegetables from the Chinamen."  

Nancy's older sister Marie got a job at Australian Paper Mills at Matraville and Nancy began working there aged 14, sorting paper for recycling into cardboard. She also took up her first issue. One of Nancy's work companions said workers were not allowed to take toilet breaks in work time. Nancy thought this was wrong, and she told her fellow employees during their break that they should take off their underpants and wash them in the hand basin. She then took the wet garments and hung them on a line at the bottom of the stairs leading to the boss's office. Nancy Hillier relentless rebel with many causes

Arthur C. Clarke
“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.”
― Arthur C. Clarke

“I've never been lonely. I've been in a room -- I've felt suicidal. I've been depressed. I've felt awful -- awful beyond all -- but I never felt that one other person could enter that room and cure what was bothering me...or that any number of people could enter that room. In other words, loneliness is something I've never been bothered with because I've always had this terrible itch for solitude. It's being at a party, or at a stadium full of people cheering for something, that I might feel loneliness. I'll quote Ibsen, "The strongest men are the most alone." I've never thought, "Well, some beautiful blonde will come in here and give me a ****,***, and I'll feel good." No, that won't help. You know the typical crowd, "Wow, it's Friday night, what are you going to do? Just sit there?" Well, yeah. Because there's nothing out there. It's stupidity. Stupid people mingling with stupid people. Let them stupidify themselves. I've never been bothered with the need to rush out into the night. I hid in bars, because I didn't want to hide in factories. That's all. Sorry for all the millions, but I've never been lonely. I like myself. I'm the best form of entertainment I have. Let's drink more wine!”
― Charles Bukowski

A period of loneliness in his life inspired Uberto Pasolini’s poignant drama Still Life. Let's quote Ibsen, "The strongest men are the most alone"   A period of loneliness inspired Still Life