Brisbane, QLD

Sunday, March 8, 2015

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY "Make it Happen" (2015 theme)

I know we usually think of women on this day, who have made a significant contribution to their community or the world. However, I think of the women who mean the most to me: My late mother and my two daughters. Like most women they have made a small contribution to society.

My mum, Florrie was the daughter of a mine manager and the second youngest of 8 siblings. When she finished school in Yorkshire at Thorn's House, she went to London to study nursing in 1930. She made friends with a girl called Charlie. They had lots of fun together and often went on country walks. My mum was very fashion conscious and wore up to date clothes all her life. (I never got those genes, unfortunately). In those days it was frowned upon for women to wear slacks/pants. It was thought vulgar.

"Following the war, in the 1920s, women exposed their arms and legs, flattened their chests, bobbed their hair to look boyish, and got the vote; but pants remained taboo, except in the realm of sports.
When diva film star Marlene Dietrich appeared in slacks with flared bottoms in her United States debut film Morocco in 1930, she signalled the emergence of women's pants from sportswear to high fashion. Wearing them both in films and private life, she popularized the pants look."
 (from the internet)

Mum saw Marlene in the movies and decided to wear pants but there were none in the shops. So she and Charlie bought mens pants and wore them on one of their walks. Naturally, it caused a stir, as this had been thought a vulgar thing to do. However, a newspaper photographer thought it would make a good story. So he photographed them and the caption was:
 "First Women to Wear Pants in London."
Charlie in front and my mum behind crossing a bridge.

So in her way she helped pave the way for it to be acceptable for women to wear pants. "She made it Happen"

My eldest daughter, Carol-Ann is an interior designer and has designed the inside of many commercial buildings around the world. One of her most exciting jobs was to design the Google offices in London, Dublin and Munich. She also enjoyed doing the BBC Worldwide in London and the ASB Bank in New Zealand. Many people are enjoying comfortable workspaces thanks to her. She "Made it Happen"

My youngest daughter, Sonya is a production manager for theatre. She has also worked in different countries. She enjoyed working at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Sydney Opera House and now at University of California Theatre department. She has helped people enjoy theatre and taught students how to produce shows. Sonya also juggles being a good mum with her career. Not easy! She "Made it Happen"
Sonya left and Carol-Ann right
I am proud of the women in my family just like I am proud of all the women in the world who are achievers and "Make it Happen" and to those who are continuing to strive for equality.


  1. Hello Diane, Happy Women's Day to you! And thanks to you for bringing these lovely women into the world.. You should be very proud of your daughters.. They are awesome! Great post, enjoy your new week ahead!

  2. Nice post, I like the way your mother and her friend stepped out in the trousers. You can't even imagine anymore that we couldn't wear pants. Most women wear them now.

  3. My mom and my dad's sister are the women most loved and that made the most change in my life. I miss both of them. my best Friend Madeline got me through a hard time in my life and my cousin Andrea was always there for me in our childhood.. wearing pants was not ok in the South USA until the mid 70's...

  4. What a great photo of your mum, a brave girl! The photo made me think of all the incarnation of women's pants from then to now. What would those naysayers of then think of the women and girls going about in leggings today! International Womens Day isn't a holiday in the US and no one talks about it. Maybe we should!
    Wonderful contributions by your beautiful daughters, and never forget your own influence in their lives.

    1. It isn't a holiday here either but it is celebrated in many different ways.

  5. Diane it is veri interesting definitely. You have amazing and successful daughters. Congrats.

  6. Hi Diane, Happy Women's Day to you! I applaud your mum and Charlie for being so daring! And your daughters certainly "Made it Happen". What an accolade for Carol-Anne to design/decorate - among others - the Google and BBC offices. And as a lover of the arts, I put my hands together for Sonja who teaches people to enjoy them! You were a great woman to raise two such beautiful and go-getter girls. Have a good day. Jo

  7. So lovely to read of your tributes to those important women in your life. Well done to them all. What a great legacy your Mum and her friend left for us... being able to wear slacks/pants is so comfortable, sensible and cosy in the cool weather.
    You "Made it Happen" too Diane. All those wonderful adventures you had growing up... your 'get up and go' if you will, would have been such inspiration for your dear daughters as they grew and chose their paths in life.
    Happy Women's Day to all of you :D)

  8. loved the photo and story of your mother and her friend. that took some guts, i'm certain. continued success and joy to your daughters.

  9. And for those who stay at home, raise children, do domestic work and maybe struggle at times, well done too. You must be quite proud of your daughters, and rightly so.

  10. Nowadays women don't think twice about wearing pants, I can't imagine not being able to wear them, also don't think I would like to live in a time were women are expected to wear a girdle. I feel my mother is an amazing women who has lived an ordinary life as well

  11. What a great post, Diane.... Obviously your mother set a great example for you and you obviously set a good example for your beautiful daughters. I know how proud you must be of both of them...

    My sweet mother never worked outside of the home ---but after raising her family, she got very involved with community happenings and did some great leadership type work in our church and also in the community. She was a wonderful woman--whom I miss terribly all of the time.


  12. Your Mum was quite the trend setting and a pretty good one at that.
    I can see where your "genes" came from - I think it is a case of "GoodonyaMum".
    Seems now the World has many Female PM's and Presidents, it will be interesting to
    see if the US follows suit - I think Hillary would be a good one, and there are plenty of
    other competent females in both parties there who would do equally as good a job as the

  13. I think that's wonderful your mum took the bull by the horns are wore mens trousers.
    Your daughters and you have made a difference....It's a holiday down here today.

  14. Fortunately by the time I was a teenager we all wore trousers mostly Jeans ! During my working career I had to wear dresses and suits, but once retired I am only wearing trousers no dresses or skirts anymore ! You certainly can be proud about the 3 women in your life. My mother was a housewife and followed her husband like a little doggy. Her sister married an American and after some business school studies she became manager of the First National City bank in Madison/Wisc. And my grandma was the chief cook in a castle and directed all cooks in the kitchen. That was in the early 20th. I can be proud of both of them !

  15. Wonderful tribute to the women in your life. But you really must include yourself for as your mother nspired you, so have you been an inspiration to your daughters. Brilliant photos!

  16. And don't forget YOU! You and your girls follow your Mum's footsteps and that is super cool. You should be proud of them and of yourself!

  17. Thank goodness for your Mum, I live in trousers so I am so happy she made it acceptable :-)) We went to friends yesterday and ended up playing canasta. Men against the women, we won every game so it was definitely woman's day here!!

    Love the photo of your daughter's and rightly so you should be proud of them. Take care t'other Diane

  18. Your Mum looked terrific in those pants!!!!! What a wonderful memory and keepsake.

    Bravo for International Women's Day.....we've come a long way baby....but still need to continue to articulate those basic principles....and celebrate!



  19. What a great bunch of ladies the four of you make. I come from a long line of steady workers not a lot of flair but a lot of happy toil.

  20. Remarkable pants story! I wonder what my daughter would make of a no trousers rule!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  21. Your mom was forward thinking, that's for sure. How brave of her to buck the then current trend in fashion. And your daughters sound amazing too! You have a great family!

  22. Proud indeed! Your mom certainly had spunk and courage; two very admirable character traits. They look fabulous in their pants! How wonderful for your daughters to also be contributing to society in such creative ways. I hope this blog and post will remain available for future generations. Amazing.

  23. Very nice picture, go for it.


  24. It's hard to believe that it was once a shock to see women in pants. Congratulations to your daughters and women everywhere who are strong, talented, and making it happen!

  25. Happy belated Women's Day. It needs to be 365 days a year :)

  26. And you too are such a great role model! A lovely post.

  27. in a game show, a contestant was asked which country gave women the vote first. She thought it was Australia.

  28. You certainly are right to be proud of these wonderful (and very interesting!) women from your family! Wow! I am very impressed!