Bruce Howat's blog

Melbourne Writers Festival - Philippe Sands

Life is a privilege many take for granted.  Experiences shape, inspire,  emotionally move and motivate and this was what happened when we attended the Alan Missen Oration delivered by Philippe Sands, Professor of Law, QC, author and intellectual, at the Melbourne Writers Festival.


Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words and images can kill me

Recently a long-time friend contacted me and tentatively shared a piece of her daughter’s writing.  The writing is beautiful, elegant, sophisticated and moving.  It is the daughter’s struggle, battle, inner turmoil with being anorexic.  She described how bullying when overweight affected her.  I will not share any more of her story as I hope at some stage to share it on The Story Mint site – the reason for sharing is so the debate about words, images and their impact on others can open up a sensitive subject for discussion.


I don't get grammar

I don’t get grammar.


At school, my least favourite subject was English.  I loved reading and writing poetry and did well until I changed schools.  Then, they started to teach us grammar and talked about verbs, adjectives, nouns, pronouns, adverbs, etc.  I learnt a noun is a naming word, a verb a doing word, an adjective is a describing word, and so on.  When asked to look at a piece of writing I just saw words.


As the body ages

Television helped me identify two significant health problems.


Disenfranchised Fathers

I recently watched a video clip on Facebook, about a father and the pain he suffered with limited access to his children after his marriage breakup.  Marriage break ups cause more emotional pain than a death, because I still see my ex-spouse for years to come.  The video, as one would expect, attracted large volumes of comments.   Aspects of the comments caught my attention and made me ponder.


Firstly, the number of female commentators who were surprised to hear so many males describe in detail the pain that traumatised them after the break up.


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