David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

04 November 2015

Something for the Pun

Yesterday we featured this eye-catching newspaper portrait of retiring jockey Jim Cassidy with its caption about long odds and chance. We even included the cliche of the 'fairytale ending'.

Against the odds : as chance would have it, it was not Jim Cassidy who won yesterday's Melbourne Cup but a new outspoken hero of the track, jockey Michelle Payne of Ballarat on a horse trained in Ballarat, Prince of Penzance.

Immediately after the win, Michelle spoke strongly for the place of women in horse racing:
Speaking to Channel 7 after dismounting : "To think that Darren Weir has given me a go and it's such a chauvinistic sport, I know some of the owners were keen to kick me off, and John Richards and Darren stuck strongly with me, and I put in all the effort I could and galloped [Prince of Penzance] all I could because I thought he had what it takes to win the Melbourne Cup and I can't say how grateful I am to them. I want to say to everyone else, get stuffed, because women can do anything and we can beat the world."
And as part of her acceptance speech : “I would like to say that, you know, it’s a very male-dominated sport and people think we are not strong enough and all of the rest of it ... you know what? It’s not all about strength, there is so much more involved, getting the horse into a rhythm, getting the horse to try for you, it’s being patient and I’m so glad to win the Melbourne Cup and hopefully, it will help female jockeys from now on to get more of a go. Because, I believe that we sort of don’t get enough of a go and hopefully this will help.”
Michelle Payne's Melbourne Cup win should be a game-changer for women's sport
Isabelle Westbury / The Age
Feminism has a strong association with the track and big event racing carnivals. Most famously in 1913 when Emily Davison was killed at Epsom while attempting to attach a suffragette scarf to the King's horse.

The colours of the suffragette scarf were green white and purple, as seen in this Hammersmith suffragette banner, again with the sign of shod horses.

Seen  here too, the green white and purple of the Women's Social and Political Union, led by Emmeline Pankhurst. Deeds Not Words.

Flag of the WSPU (Women's Social and Political Union)
Collection : Parliament of the United Kingdom

Against the odds : to be the only female jockey in yesterday's Melbourne Cup, on a hundred-to-one longshot trained in country Victoria : what were the odds that Michelle Payne, having returned to the track after career threatening injuries, would go on to become the first female to win this famous race AND to do so wearing the colours of the suffragettes?! 

Melbourne Cup winner Michelle Payne on Prince of Penzance with her brother Stevie, the strapper.

Post Script
While trackside, we take this opportunity to also recommend last Saturday's ABC Radio National interview (click here) between Geraldine Doogue and Gerald Murnane who has just released his new book, Something for the pain: A memoir of the Turf.

And to complete this lap of the circuit, here's a photo portrait 
by Aaron Francis, of Gerald Murnane standing beside Frederick Woodhouse’s The Cup of 1862 at the NGV exhibition 'The Horse'.
click image to enlarge  
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...