From Jacqueline at Home, a Happy 101 award.
From James at Garvin Weasel, a Kreativ Blogger award.
Thank you all. In the interests of playing fair here is a little grab bag of things that make me happy\sad\inspire me\that may be vaguely interesting or that you might not already know. No kittens or puppies or flowers will appear in this post, even though these things all make me feel reasonably happy.
Like many others, I too have discovered the magical thrill of making my own cushion covers and thereby defeating wily over-priced cushion purveyors world wide.
(cushion made with Pakistani textile remnant)
Does this man not have the most interesting, slightly ruthless yet elegantly dishevelled face? A man of Churchillan determination and persistence, born in London in 1822, the son of a victualler, he emigrated to Australia in 1852, set up a grocer shop in Prahran, 9 years later was a member of Parliament, first for East Melbourne, then Collingwood, then Geelong. He was premier of Victoria three times between 1875 and 1881.
A newspaper owner, protectionist and staunch adversary of the Legislative Assembly, at that time controlled by Victoria's land owning squatters (who owned most of Victoria's land), his actions as premier gave rise to class conflict, with massive torchlit processions. Some saw Berry as a radical, who sought to do away with legislative protections. Others as a man of the people who sought to defy the Assembly which 'robs the people of the gold in the soil'.
I mention him first because he is one of Victoria's leading early liberal lights and one of my favourite politicians and second because he is my great-great-great-great-great grandfather. Of course in the manner of families (mine is secretive - although aren't they all?) I only found this out about two weeks ago.
(Disclaimer: it is possible that half of Melbourne can claim Sir Graham as an ancestor. He had 20 children. No mean feat. But of course even more impressive for his two wives).
3. Invitations from a lost era
Well maybe not lost in the sense that WW1 destroyed the Edwardian era. But 1988 sure seems a long time ago.
I am an unsentimental nostalgist. Or should that be a disorganised hoarder? Actually I am so organised that we have a section in our filing cabinet for Lego instructions for every Lego item we own.
I have also kept every single invitation, postcard, letter, thank-you letter, birthday card, travel brochure, ticket, receipt, program, love letter, doomed first novel attempt I have ever created or received.
And these go back a long way:
I have three degrees, one in Fine Arts, a Bachelor of Laws and a Master of Laws.
My favourite judge ever is the incomparable Lord Denning, Master of the Rolls, Judge of the High Court and Privy Council in Britain, who died in 1999 at the age of 100. I am not alone in this of course. Every law student finds his judgements an oasis in the desert of verbosity so often seen in case law.
A man of succinctness and razor sharp intellect, he was a reformist lawyer who had no difficulty seeing right from wrong and worked hard to ensure the law remained relevant.
How can you not love someone who commenced a judgement thus:
''It happened on April 19, 1964. It was bluebell time in Kent'. (Hinz v Berry (1970) 2 QB 40)
During his time as a judge he made many significant changes to the common law including creating the right to recover for negligent misstatement, the principle that the state should have to prove that a war veteren's injury was not caused by service (previously the injured person had the burden of proving the cause), the right of a deserted wife to remain in the family home and many more.
This could be said to sum up his approach to change and reform in the law:
'What is the argument on the other side? Only this, that no case has been found in which it has been done before. That argument does not appeal to me in the least. If we never do anything which has not been done before, we shall never get anywhere. The law will stand whilst the rest of the world goes on, and that will be bad for both' (Packer v Packer  2 AER 127)