Julia Gillard is one of the most cool, fascinating, smart people I know.
I met her four times. The first time I walked up to her like a smiling loon. She was SO pretty. She smelt nice like Oprah. Her skin dewy and flawless, she was charming and calm with everybody around her, all waiting for their piece of flesh.
At first I didn't know what to make of all those staged "meetings" at the time, and was incredibly wary. But very quickly I realised that all of the shit sandwiches she was made to eat every single day just weren't FAIR. Honestly, the things she had to just put up with during her tenure as PM were bordering on criminal. The vile sexual taunts, the incredible bias of the press, intense hounding by the Opposition. I decided to meet her whenever I got the chance and give her a good wrap. Because she was shaping up to be a BRILLIANT leader of this country and deserved support.
I saw her on the news the other night, and she was speaking freely! It was awesome. Losing leadership must be double-edged for her, hurting like hell but the freedom it brings must feel exhilarating. A lot of people are waiting to see What Julia Does Next. Whatever it is will be amazing. I can't wait to read her memoir.
The car ride down the mountain on the day I interviewed her at Kirribilli House was fraught with panic because I kept re-jigging my questions. I phoned my gorgeous and knowledgable friend Kim who talked me off the ledge. Every question I asked in the interview, Julia answered so well. SO many people said to me they wished she spoke like that all the time. The very big shame was, she was yet to reach her peak as a Prime Minister. She's truly excellent on the world stage.
There was a dinner at Rooty Hill with some bloggers ..... the intensity of the media interest was ridiculous. (And I notice there was no confected outrage when Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott went there together right before the election.)
When Julia is talking to a bunch of people and gets asked a heap of questions, she says her mind needs to "re-calibrate" to each one. SMART. She's so smart. She told me to not read any online gossip or criticism, because "Why would you do that to yourself? Keep doing your thing." So I did. We sat next to each other during dinner and she noticed my tattoos and just said, "But why?"
I said, "Because it hurts SO GOOD Julia!" (She didn't understand.)
The times I spent with her were quite surreal, mostly because of the person I used to be in the past; the things I used to do. And here I was breaking bread with the PM. (Sometimes I feel like I've tricked everybody I know because if you knew me then, you may not want to know me now.)
I was mocked so much because I have red hair and glasses the same as her, people thought I was some kind of fawning sycophant. Um, no arseholes I've been this way my whole adult life. Steve Price got me on his radio show and then tricked me into talking about Tony Abbott when his producer promised it would be about something else entirely. More fool me. I sounded like a blathering IDIOT in that interview because I was one. (I've still blocked Steve Price on twitter. That'll teach him!)
Got off the phone from him disastrous radio interview and thought, "Why am I defending this woman?"
Because she wasn't getting a fair go. And I hate unfairness.
Julia is feisty and funny, impeccably groomed, and just really, really lovely. After I interviewed her that day my husband Dave and I actually did see her on the street. We were walking through Kirribilli and her long white car with the Aussie flags drove past with Julia the PM sitting in the back seat all alone. Looking a tad vulnerable.
(Later that same day, I went to Kings Cross and interviewed a prostitute. Life is a trip.)
Previous Street Talks:
1. Noelene the Young
2. Megan the Mouse
3. Harpal the Australian
4. Darren the Artist
5. Jo the Interesting
6. John the Telstra Guy
7. Michael the Photographer
8. Peg the Lady
9. Jeff the Preacher Man
10. Andres the Cobbler
11. Honey the Prostitute
12. Mark the Masseur
13. You the Blog Reader
14. Jo the Podiatrist
15. Casey the Uni Student
16. Dream the Horse and Carriage Driver
17. Tamas the Hungarian Accordionist
18. The Dignified Trolley Ladies
19. Alex With The Studded Hot Pink Belt
20. Leaf The Fallen
21. Bel Of The Library
22. Jay And His Big Issue
23. Emma The Adult Shop Cashier
24. Teena, Saver Of Dogs
25. The Luna Park Face
26. Gary The Missing
27. Kristen at the Elephant Bean Cafe
28. Uncle Paul
29. Jess The Mama
30. The Two People At The Checkout
31. Alfie The Pourer
32. Breaking The Rules With Captain Starlight!
33. The Woman In Line At The Bakery A Few Weekends Ago
34. Dog The Dog