For the first time I saw my life not as a one-night stand but a continuum, where I owed the generation that followed protection and respect.
One constant in history is that the softer and more self-indulgent a society becomes, the closer it moves to collapse or conquest.
Travel bequeaths many unexpected gifts, but the knowledge we don’t live in fear in this country is something we take for granted.
The thing I have learnt about death… is it is the fundamental boundary that constrains humanity because it makes us appreciate life: its brevity and its sweetness. Death is the bottle that holds the wine of life and it is through the prism of mortality that we gaze at our existence. We know death is there, all around us, waiting, and that is why the wine is so dazzling, because it cannot last forever.
In four years of mostly minority government, we’ve not once seen Gillard lose her cool despite parliamentary pressures and compromises that would have turned John Howard into Groucho Marx and made Tony’s Abbott’s head explode.
Make all the jokes you want about Gillard’s red hair, but she’s anything but flammable. She’s cooler than the other side of the pillow, which we might have the grace to admit in 10 or 20 years’ time.
Well the circumstances certainly cleared the smoke from my cocky cockpit over the past 12 months and, as I’ve come to terms with the reality of being a single father, it also dawned on me that this enigmatic woman of my dreams had already arrived. The ‘epiphany’ was that she’s not a woman at all but a little girl: my daughter. Here, finally, is the person I can love wildly, unconditionally and forever. It will never go away. My daughter will never walk out or hang up on me (I hope), and I know with a certitude akin to breathing that I will never do so to her.
There are few lonelier sounds than the echoes of an empty house previously filled with the voice of a child, but it’s one fathers confront in the vase majority of separations and divorces.
Whether she sees the week or month out, I’m pretty sure Julia Gillard isn’t a bitch, witch, she-devil or any of the other pejoratives cast her way in her remarkable career.
And let’s not kid ourselves it’s not remarkable being the first female leader of your country. That’s history. Lock it in, Eddie. Julia Gillard will be mentioned in Aussie classrooms for the next two centuries.
Gillard has both manifested and magnified the ambitions of more Australian girls under the age of 16 than every female athlete, actress, model, scientist, journalist and cartoon super hero combined.