in conversation with georgina cole...

Georgina Cole is my mother, and biggest supporter. She works in the field of adult migrant language, literacy and numeracy.
Some of her favourite books include Watership Down by Richard Adams, Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons and Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, as well as anything by Nora Ephron.

Tell our readers a bit about yourself?
I'm Georgie. I'm Melbourne-born but grew up in Sydney. My first love is hanging out with my family - those times are precious. I have worked in the field of adult migrant language, literacy and numeracy since 1984 - a field that is always dynamic, challenging and so rewarding. I'm not very good at doing nothing in my 'down time' (I need to get better at this!) so I am usually working at something - my piano, learning languages - although I can spend hours with a tricky Sudoku or a jigsaw puzzle to relax. Music is always on - in the house, on my iPod, in the car - I can't live without it.

What inspires you?
My family, wonderful performances, especially concert pianists, symphony orchestras, a good movie, Sydney Harbour any time, the New York skyline, the paintings of Delaunay, Matisse, Rothko, Miro to name a few...

Is there a particular book that has changed your life or way of thinking?
The Garden of Eden in Hell - the biography of Alice Herz-Sommer who, at her death at 110 years old, was the oldest living Holocaust survivor. Our shared German-Czech-Jewish heritage, her passion for music, piano and life in general, made me wish I had known this remarkable woman.

You are on death row. What do you choose as your last meal? And what song/film/book do you want to enjoy with it?
I would be eating spaghetti bolognaise and watching back-to-back Singing in the Rain, The Court Jester (with the brilliant Danny Kaye), or The Odd Couple (the original with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau) and Airplane or The Naked Gun. I want to go out laughing!

Do you have a favourite quote from a book/author/influencer?
"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream." - Paulo Coelho
"Life is beautiful. You have to be thankful that we are living. Wherever you look is beauty. I know about the bad things, but I look for the good things." - Alice Herz-Sommer

What are your favourite book/s?
Watership Down by Richard Adams has a special place in my heart ever since I read it in my early teens. I have a very soft spot for Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons, one of the sweetest, funniest books I have read. Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes always sends a chill down my spine. And anything by Nora Ephron is always by my bedside.

You are stuck on a deserted island and can have one book with you...what will it be?
Probably Isabelle Allende's Eva Luna or Gabriel Garcia Marquez' One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Do you have any pieces of wisdom to share?
"Never, never, never give up" - Winston Churchill
"Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the now. Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the now." - Eckhart Tolle