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Alan Wearne

In the early seventies, the rock band Skyhooks asked ‘Whatever happened to the revolution?’ They answered themselves in the next line: ‘We all got stoned and it drifted away.’

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‘If you can’t say something nice,’ my mother always said, ‘don’t say anything at all.’ (I pinch this opening gambit, shamelessly, from Kate Grenville’s Self-Portrait in the last ABR, and hope she does not mind; imitation is the sincerest form etc.) Apropos of parental expectations regarding niceness-or-silence, however, I am reminded of a remark of Elizabeth Jolley’s: ‘I think my mother wanted a princess, and she got me instead.’

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