I have to wonder if we’re seriously missing a really important point in regards to this new era we’re in where communication and technology are supposedly giving us so much more knowledge than we’ve ever had access to before. But are we forgetting that a lot of the most valuable pearls of wisdom, fascinating stories are often sitting right in front of us or pottering around next door.
If we had one face to face conversation with someone we cared about, a grand parent, an ageing aunt or uncle or simply a senior citizen sitting on the bus, instead of posting a tweet or updating our status we might learn something useful to ourselves.
If we made a commitment to ask the odd question about the life, past and present of these people rather than trawling internet news feeds to see what hundreds of strangers are doing at that particular second, might we be absorbing information worth passing on to others? Something that helps to join a few of life’s dots?
In the sunshine on a perfect day in Marino, I decided to do just that, with my oldest mate; and I mean that in the birth certificate sense, with my Nan. I’ll call this exercise, The Thoughts Of Nan Witcomb.
GREATEST PREMIER OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA AND WHY?
The man who really got South Australia up and running was Sir Thomas Playford.
THE MOST RECENT THING IN THE NEWS THAT’S GOT YOUR BLOOD BOILING WAS? Oh there’s so many things…the fact they’re putting people who have been in jail in trust homes yet some people who have been waiting for years don’t get them.
WHAT DO YOU FEAR MOST AT YOUR AGE NOW? Getting ill. Becoming someone who can’t look after themselves. I therefore live a very healthy life (she laughs with a cigarette and drink in hand). I do believe seriously though, all in moderation.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SUCCESS OF APPLE? What? Of Apple? (she cracks up) I know what you mean but the only apples I know about are the ones that fall off my trees and the birds get them.
AND THE IPHONE 4? (Note, I had explained the night before how I could Google information via my phone) I didn’t know what the little magic box that you were consulting all the time, I didn’t know was an iphone. I have never seen anything like it in my entire life.
SOME INTERSTATE TWIT TOLD A TOURING MUSICIAN RECENTLY TO EXPECT ADELAIDE TO BE BORING…. YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT? The interstate twit was probably a boring person themselves.
IF YOU KNEW THE DATE YOU WERE GOING TO DIE, WHAT WOULD YOU GET DONE BEFORE THAT? To get all my television interviews, plays, poems, photos etc all gathered together to be passed on to next generations.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THRASH METAL MUSIC? Who?
(played audio grab from Our Last Enemy) Turn it off!!!
WHAT WORLD NEWS EVENT DO YOU REMEMBER MOST VIVIDLY?
The end of World War 2.
DO YOU THINK ‘WOMEN CAN HAVE IT ALL’? I think they can as long as they do everything in moderation. If they try to be top of their jobs, they won’t be top of their families.
YOU’VE NEVER BEEN MARRIED, REGRET OR THINK ‘THANK GOD’? I think thank god…
IF MOBILE PHONES WERE AROUND WHEN YOU WERE IN YOUR 20’S, DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD HAVE EVER DUMPED SOMEONE VIA A TEXT? No, I definitely wouldn’t have. It’s cruel.
SOME WOMEN ARE LEAVING IT VERY LATE TO HAVE CHILDREN, WHAT ARE THOUGHTS ON THIS? I think it’s a mistake because the women will be going through menopause when their children are teenagers, so they’ll all be a bit crazy at that time.
WHAT WAS THE BEST DECADE TO BE ALIVE IN AUSTRALIA? They were all pretty good really. Probably for me the ‘50’s. It was the last of the innocent age.
My questions could go on forever, but the idea is that her answers and others like her will do the same, if just take some time.