Calamity Jane and High Fives.

My eldest daughter works with children. Not as a childcare worker or educator, but rather as one of those courageous folk who save kiddies in harms way; those born in crack dens, who don’t get a decent meal for a month, and those who suffer all sorts of unthinkable atrocities. She is so busy rescuing that she does not have her own little ones, unless you include Bentley, my beautiful Grand Furbaby.

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Little People love my daughter and she is Godmother and “Aunty” to several. This child of mine, deemed an old soul at birth, and one who reversed our mother-daughter roles when still in her late teens, has recently validated my worth as a parent.

How, you may ask?

When asked for sage parenting advice by friends, such as a good DVD to keep the young ones interested and content, does my daughter recommend Transformers, The Wiggles, or anything slightly superhero related?

No. Josie is slowly introducing the 1953 movie, Calamity Jane, a light hearted western musical starring Doris Day and Howard Keel, to a whole new generation. One lounge room at a time.

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Way to go, girl !

From IMDB:
In the lonely Deadwood, Dakota, territory, sharpshooter Calamity Jane (Doris Day) falls for cavalry Lt. Danny Gilmartin (Philip Carey) when she is forced to rescue him from the Indians. Recognizing that the women-starved townsmen long for a “real” woman, Calamity journeys to Chicago to bring back famous singer Adelaid Adams, but mistakenly brings her maid Katie instead. Heartbroken when Danny falls for Katie, Calamity all but ignores her jovial friend Wild Bill Hickok (Howard Keel).

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Doris Day is just beautiful, whether dressed in animal skins or in flouncy petticoats, and this is a joyful little flick full of fun. It requires no intellectual dissection – hanging the brain at the door along with the hat is compulsory.

Imagine, a movie that can hold the attention of our most vulnerable and impressionable, without a Hemsworth in sight.

Now that’s a win for Mother, I would say. High Fives all around please.

UPDATE : My other daughter tells me that Calamity Jane, the stage production, is coming to theatres in the ACT.
Now that’s worth some thought.We won’t tell Jo as she is inclined to break into song with “The Black Hills Dakota”.Aq

Australian Author Challenge: The Sister’s Song By Louise Allen.

Louise Allan is a debut author from Western Australia. This manuscript was awarded a Varuna residential fellowship in 2014 and shortlisted for the City of Fremantle-TAG Hungerford Award. Louise grew up in Tasmania but has since moved to Perth.She is a former doctor and has a passion for music.

This book begins strongly with the death of Ida and Nora’s father in a fictional, rural township in Tasmania in the 1920’s. Their mother has a nervous breakdown and is institutionalised, and the young sisters move in with their elderly grandmother in town.

The girls have been close all their young lives though the grandmother is particularly encouraging of Nora’s musical talents and encourages her to follow her dream of a career as a vocalist. This helps to widen the gap between the sisters, as does their mother’s eccentric behaviour, and Ida ends up working as a nanny, and their lives become quite separate.

The sisters are reunited when Nora loses her scholarship, and she finds herself resentful and isolated, living in a shack in the wilds of Tasmania with her timber cutter husband and children.

Ida lives a simple life with a good man, though is unable to have a family of her own. She doesn’t understand how Nora can be so miserably unhappy when she appears to have it all.

Stretching across sixty plus years, this novel covers the dreams and very real lives of sisters, close in age, but very different in character. Music is the thread that retains the family bond across the generations.

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The opening chapters of this novel resonated with me as I identified with the loss of a parent at a young age, and having a younger sister who was definately Nora to my Ida.

It was also obvious that the author had a good feel for life in early Tasmania and she portrayed this extremely well. Her descriptions were great without being over wordy – loved this!

The second half of the novel drifted a little for me, and I guess the themes of sisterly ties and motherhood – the pros and cons – became a little too “girlie” for me. Purely a personal issue.

A good read which would make a good movie: you would just have to insert a couple of car chases and some sort of alien, and Bobs your Uncle.