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I read with great delight the article on Saturday from Possum Nana about her wonderful childhood memories of a caring and loving mother and how her fondest recollections were of this saintly Florence Nightingale figure sweeping in and out of her life and how she has memories of this idyllic angel. 

Well, let me tell you, that. as a child and adult, I share those memories. But with one big difference. Redhead was and is a fierce woman. A giant of a woman ( dispite her diminutive stature without high heels ) and how mothers can be both the Florence Nightingale and the Queen Bodicea all rolled into one. My Mum Redhead is just such a woman. 

You do NOT cross Redhead!

She is looking forward to her 90th birthday, which, God willing, she will celebrate without too much aplomb and fanfare - perhaps a doughnut or two - and I will, as I have done all my life, do as I am told and she will boss me around and tell me that everything she does is for my own good.

Which, by and large, it is. Even if she is a bit heavy handed at times. 

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I can be pretty lazy at times: dishes can wait and if I don't get dressed until later in the morning, who cares? No one comes to visit anyway and I do have a permanent ban on uninvited visitors anyway. 

I once considered making front door mats that said " F##k off " instead of the obligatory " Welcome " but couldn't find a manufacturer prepared to take on my order. Yet Redhead has an open doors policy to her home. Unless, of course, you are " not her cup of tea. "

Redhead is one of the most giving and kindhearted people I know. Unless you are " not her cup of tea,. " 

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As I child, my Mum was on the PTA. ( The Parents and Teachers Association ) at my local country primary school. I never really knew or cared what happened at those meetings, only that she was probably dishing out orders and " putting her foot down " and ensuring that we received the best education that was within the means of the teachers to deliver.

Oh, no. You never cross Redhead also known as the Queen Bodicea of our area. Many years later, I had the privilege of meeting my old headmaster ( who himself was coming up 90 ) and, as we stood in Redhead's kitchen he remarked " your mother sorted out the PTA. No one could stand up to her because they knew that what she said was right. "

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Queen Bodicea known as the fiery redhead

Mum organised something quite extraordinary back in those days: a school clothing bank. We lived in a poor area, Parents were encouraged to donate clothing from underwear to raincoats and shoes to the school clothing bank.. I remember seeing girls wearing my discarded underpants or cardigans or boys wearing my brother's unneeded shoes or shorts. 

Redhead was fierce, but she was fair. 

 

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Once, decades later, I was travelling with her to Emerald in the Central Highlands of Queensland, Australia. We were en route to see my daughter and I stopped to refuel at a petrol station in Biloela. It just happened to be attached to a caravan park. I went in to pay for the fuel, and little Miss Redhead had disappeared. I assumed that she had gone to the restrooms. But no. She was in the caravan park, having an argy bargy (argument ) with a very large, hairy, tattooed male of angry disposition about a tethered dog's water bowl being empty.

I raced up and tried to calm things down. The hairy man was about to give Redhead a smack on the nose and Redhead was ready to give one back in return. 

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The tattooed man looked into her eyes and realised that he was looking into the eyes of his mother and he backed down with a gentle and very calmy delivered ( not! ) oh just f#k off and I'll put some water into the dog's bowl. Mum strutted back ( without high heels ) and said " You know what? He had an ugly face. "
I never said a word. She had said it all. Plus, I would never dare to cross Queen Bodicea.

Redhead was never like everyone else's mother. She never was, is not, and never will be. And I am glad of it.

In later life, I got very ill and it was at that time that Redhead entered her " pillow puffing, linen changing "  Florence Nightingale phase. But it was all done with a no-nonsense, no fuss, no bother approach and I did revel in the comfort of the love that she expressed and showed me in the dark times.

Over the years, Redhead has bashed car windows in because a dog was in a locked car in the height of summer. A child being beaten was promptly dealt with by a bossy britches old lady who DARED to stand up to the thug and say " hit me. Or are you too scared to hit an old woman? " 

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She has run into a field and rescued a sheep trapped in a swamp and dragged it out. She has told neighbours off for being cruel to their animals. 

Redhead is the first on the frontline when it comes to righting wrong and yelling, defiantly " It isn't fair! "

IT ISN'T FAIR.

What greater warcry in the world can we have than that?

IT ISN'T FAIR.

Never before have we seen so much unfairness as we are experiencing today. 

I read with great sadness the post from Florence Linney that she is so broken-hearted by this rolling lockdown, mental, physical and emotional abuse. I then Redhead's response.
Two of our older ladies placed in a locked down of everything that they have held precious all of their lives. Their right to say that something is fair or not fair.

Their instinctive need to nurture, care and protect.

When our mothers and fathers have their rights overturned and their obligation and duty to nurture, care and protect are stripped like acid and paint stripper on an old door frame I have to ask this question.

What right does a government have to take from parents and give to bureaucracy? 

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What right does a government have to tell Redhead that animal abuse is OK if the abuse is done for religious reasons?

Redhead is still the same gutsy woman she has always been and, as the anniversary of the passing of her husband of 65 years fast approaches, I believe that my Dad would say " You go girl. You keep fighting for what is fair. "

Because gutsy men need gutsy women and gutsy kids are borne from gutsy parents.

When fair is gone, we are left with tyranny. 

And I suspect that the carnival is over and the fair will become an empty paddock of lost dreams in a sea of propaganda.

A place of memories and long forgotten hope for a better future,

Are we watching an old movie? Or a portent of the future? 

 

 

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