Happy St Patrick’s Day – Irish Dance and a Proper Shamrock

Here is some Irish dancing (minus todays’ bizarre fashions) for you for St Patrick’s Day. This is Reel Around the Sun from Riverdance in 1996, just after Michael Flatley left to choreograph sexist things like the “Strip Jig“.

In this video Michael – I danced at Trump’s inauguration because nobody else would – Flatley has been replaced by the fantastic, nine-time World Champion Colin Dunne (to Flatley’s one title!). He comes onstage at about 2:25. Just watch his feet…

Before everyone gets drunk (the pub we’re planning to go to starts celebrations at **8am**!!), I’d like to remind people this is a shamrock:

lighter green shamrock

The three leaves have symbolism connected to the Holy Trinity and Saint Patrick.

And this thing with four leaves so many think is a shamrock is, in fact, not:

four-leaf clover-2075860__340


Also, happy birthday to my uncle, whose middle name just happens to be Patrick. I wonder why that is!


Four Years

Some 60,000 Russian troops deployed in Crimea today – experts

Today is the fourth anniversary of Putin’s fake, rigged referendum and “official” annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea.

Since then the Crimean Tatars have suffered heavy persecution, torture, and murder, as have other Ukrainians. The Russians have begun pulling down historical Crimean palaces and buildings, and the peninsula has essentially been turned into a Russian military fortification.

No doubt the man will do something awful to commemorate the event in Russia – he loves dates and anniversaries…

‘Women are having different fantasies’: romantic fiction in the age of Trump

Women's_March_on_Washington_(32593123745) 21 January 2017 Trump Feminism


‘Women are having different fantasies’: romantic fiction in the age of Trump

This article was published in The Guardian on International Women’s Day last week, and even though it rehashed some things from recent articles (1 2) on the quickly evolving romance genre, it is definitely worth a read.

I like this part:

Rich heroes are big: a quick google throws up all sorts of novels about Greek tycoons and Italian billionaires. “It’s the fantasy that you’ll walk into a room and some guy will literally treat you like a princess … It was a clear trope – and then we elected a maybe-billionaire to president. And the way he treats women made that trope suddenly incredibly problematic.”

However, this part…?? The bolded bit is ridiculous; we’ve ALWAYS known it was a problematic series. (But: bonkbuster!)

EL James’s hugely successful bonkbuster Fifty Shades of Grey came out only six years ago, but its questionable gender politics have begun to niggle at some; the recent film adaptation of the third book, Fifty Shades Freed, was criticised for being out of step with current sentiment.

From the Shadows

The Australian War Memorial here in Canberra, (which is actually a big military museum, not just a “memorial”), currently has an exhibition about the Special Forces: From the Shadows. As Monday was a public holiday we thought we’d better go and see it before we forget and it closes!

When we arrived, the brand new Army recruits were on a visit from Kapooka, and lined up outside for a group photograph.

The first two images are from the Special Forces part. The third is from the Vietnam War section of the building (my father is a veteran, and there are exhibits dedicated specifically to where he lived in Vietnam, and to a major battle he fought).

The fourth photograph is the view down ANZAC Parade from the War Memorial entrance. You can’t see it, but at the end of the road is Lake Burley Griffin, and then Australian Parliament is in the background.

ANZAC Parade is the street where people honour Australia’s military, and where parades happen. Both sides of the street are lined with monuments to military events (e.g. the First and Second World Wars, Vietnam, and beyond).

Look at the spectacular blue sky! According to the national news, it was cloudy and raining in Canberra. Uh…

IMG_20180312_175846_799 From the Shadows Special Forces Exhibition Sonya Heaney Oksana 12th March 2018 Australian War Memorial Canberra Australian Army Australian Armed Forces

IMG_20180312_180202_131 Vietnam War Sonya Heaney Oksana 12th March 2018 Australian War Memorial Canberra Australian Army Australian Armed Forces

IMG_20180312_180445_236 Sonya Heaney Oksana 12th March 2018 Australian War Memorial Canberra Australian Army Australian Armed Forces ANZAC Parade Parliament House

Next Lisa Kleypas Book

There’s no cover yet, but the fifth book in Lisa Kleypas’ Ravenels series now has a blurb.

The book is about the daughter of the characters from The Devil in Winter.

Unfortunately, it isn’t due out until 2019!


Phoebe’s late husband Henry went to boarding school with West, who browbeat him and made his school years a misery. Now Henry is gone, and Phoebe is facing a new life as a widow with two very young sons. She’s about to move to the Clare estate in Sussex, but first she has to attend her brother’s wedding. And she’s dreading it—because her brother is marrying into the Ravenel family, and she’s just about to meet West, the man she’s loathed ever since childhood.

On this day: a Ballet Premiere



The romantic ballet La Sylphide premiered in Paris on the 12th of March, 1832. The ballet was created by Italian choreographer Filippo Taglioni as a showcase for his ballerina daughter Marie, the dancer generally credited with being the first to ever dance en pointe.

As the original production was lost, French choreographer Pierre Lacotte used old records and images to recreate a new production for the Paris Opera in the 1970s.

This promotional photograph by Francette Levieux is from the revival. It features Michaël Denard as James and Ghislaine Thesmar in the title role. Thesmar is the wife of Lacotte.