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Favourite Books from 2015 - What were your favourite reads in 2015? The Writer’s Festival in the grounds of the University of Western Australia is always a feast for me and this year’s selection in February, more than lived up to past presentations. Liz Byrski spoke about her non-fiction book, ‘In Love and War,’ which I have only recently read. […]
Friends In My Garden: Owl - Owl My friend owl is a friend of many years. He perches on the fence sometimes a little wary to join in the babble of the crowd but when he does they respond with hilarity to the jokes he tells for owl is witty as well as wise. His nest is in a neighbouring tree […]
Dunsborough Library and South West Retailers - I recently spent a few days in and around Dunsborough, presenting ‘The Green Velvet Dress’ in the library, where I enjoyed the scones and coffee and sold copies to all who attended. I then took my novel to book shops and interesting galleries between Dunsborough and Boranup. I now have four new outlets (see on […]
Friends In My Garden – Bizzie Lizzie - I’m sure you all have at least one character like this in your friendship garden.             Such a Bizzie Lizzie is pretty little balsam dashing about always wanting to please. Wearing happy colours she brightens dreary corners. There are times when she’ll work too hard then suddenly stop fall in […]
Friends In My Garden – A Tree of Grace - This poem was written for my daughter, Stephanie, who demonstrated such courage and determination after the loss of her baby and her husband in a car crash in 1990. It still makes me cry but I hope it shows how much I love and admire her. It has been shared with many readers who lost […]
Friends In My Garden – Chirpy Chatty Charmer - CHIRPY CHATTY CHARMER A bright little bird perches on my shoulder lands in my lap or sits on the bench beside me. Rarely still he bobs and darts and scurries from tree to fence from path to bench to me. Whistling and chirping and singing away He’ll talk to himself if there’s no-one around to […]
Friends In My Garden – Friendship -   Friends In My Garden is the name of my first book, a collection of poems about people in my life depicted as birds, flowers, trees and other things that you find in a garden. Many of you have copies, but for those who don’t and who have asked to see my poems, here is […]
A Successful Week in Local Libraries - The Green Velvet Dress  presented at two libraries in one week. A bit daunting, but I’m getting into the swing and starting to enjoy myself. For evening events the libraries have provided a glass of wine and some delicious nibbles, which helps me to relax  and puts the audience in a receptive mood. About fifteen […]
The Green Velvet Dress - The Green Velvet Dress is historical rural fiction.

Stories

Chewing Gum to the Rescue -  This short story will be included in the Memoir I’m writing. It’s all true, even down to the names as I see no need to hide the identities of my fellow gum-chewing partners. For those of you who don’t know, Alan and I were married in 1961. We traveled around Western Australia with a caravan […]
Weather Alert: Short Story Competition Winner - Late last year I entered this story in a writing competition. It’s not my best short story but when I won first prize I promised to post it once it was published. I then forgot about it, so here it is. If you read the longer version last year under the title ‘Lightning’, please ignore […]
The Hills in Summer - THE HILLS IN SUMMER The throb of the helicopter woke me. Seven fifteen, the clock said. ‘Smell that?’ Another deep sniff and I bolted out of bed. ‘Get up! Get up Tom; there’s a fire.’ ‘Wha.’ My husband’s sleepy head rolled over to face me. ‘What’s that love?’ He swallowed, trying to get the juices […]
Weekend In Paris - ‘It’s six o’clock already.’ Rain drips from the points of her umbrella as Jasmine checks her watch and tries to move faster through the Friday evening crowd. Despite the weather, her mouth turns up at the corners. She does a little skip over the next puddle, dreaming about her coming flight and Brendon’s plans for […]
Lightning - After Christmas, time to get back to writing at last. Chopin and Mozart are entertaining me from the lounge room and I have been searching through some old stories in the hope that I might find something for my readers to enjoy. This one is based on our years on a farm that was situated […]
Colours – Grey - Grey is not one of my favourite colours, but I think it depicts the emotional state of someone experiencing this kind of loss and grief.       GREY She watches the sun set then gathers her jacket closer to her chest. Under her bare feet the sand feels crunchy. It makes a squelching sound […]
Two Old Farts - There goes Mick again. Silly old bugger. Thinks he’s Prince Charming or something, the way he carries on with the Murphy sisters over the road. Mind you, they’re as dopey as him, fluttering their silly old lashes and mincing about, pretending that they’re still young and pretty. Young and pretty. Bah! Had my pick of […]
Kerbside Collections - Last Sunday Julian and Penelope enjoyed a salubrious lunch at the Darlington Estate Winery. Returning home they shared memories of teenage years – Penelope’s spent in the hills, riding her bike along bush tracks with friends, Julian’s helping his father on the farm where he lived in Cornwall. ‘After that feast we should have a […]

Articles

Spring in the Hills - Spring is here again, and my camera has been busy, so today, instead of York in England, I have to write about my garden in Glen Forrest.     The view from my bedroom, into a private courtyard which is now finished, is already a delight and in a few weeks, when everything blossoms, it […]
York in England 2016 - One of my favourite places in the UK is York. Like Bath, it is a large city with a very interesting history and the architecture (much of it dating from the middle ages)  begs for camera action at every turn. The famous York Minster requires at least one visit, as the foundations go down to […]
London 2016: The National Gallery - This week I am at last back to presenting my thoughts and images of The National Gallery in London. Although I love the French Impressionists and therefore, the famous galleries in Paris, some of my favourite artists are to be found in this London landmark. I generally like to have lunch in the small restaurant […]
Moving House - I promised to write about the National Gallery in London, but I hope you will find this description of the last week and half amusing. Buying a new residence and moving in, should be an exciting exercise but we all know that the stress levels for a house move, or in this case setting up […]
Banbury and London 2016 -   ‘Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross to see a fine lady upon a white horse.’ When I recited that nursery rhyme as a child I didn’t realise that she was famous because of what she didn’t wear while riding that horse. The English town of Banbury sits on the edge of the Cotswalds, […]
Favourite Fragrance Day - Apparently today is a day for discussing our favourite fragrance, so I’m putting my ideas down here and hope to get feedback from those of you for whom a memory is evoked by a particular fragrance. The sense of smell is supposed to be the strongest for bringing back things in our emotional memories. I […]
Perth Heritage Days -   Last weekend, the 15th and 16th October, we stayed in the city in order to visit several of Perth’s old buildings, hear stories, see a photographic display in panorama and enjoy a display of ballroom dancing which was all free as part of a program called Perth Heritage Days. The Royal Perth Hospital Museum […]
Irises in My Garden - Irises fill me with joy when their vibrant blues, purples, lemons and whites burst forth outside my windows. I have to grab the camera and snap away, almost as if I fear that they will disappear if I don’t capture their beauty immediately. This gorgeous display comes from the bulbs that I almost tossed in […]
Rome to Florence by Train - On May 2nd this year, we said goodbye to our friends at the Hotel Farnese (lovely hotel if you’re staying in Rome, see them at http://www.hotelfarnese.com ) and set off in a private taxi for the Central Railway Station. Richard, our driver, parked a long way from the entry. After waiting inside for half an […]
Spring Has Sprung in the Hills -                   After such a wet, cold winter, to walk out of my back door and bask in gentle sunshine, filled my heart with joy and my body with warmth. My fingers were itching to plant and dig, to gather my harvest, or just get down and dirty. […]

Travel

Harlow Carr Gardens near Harrogate UK - Leaving York on the 4th of June, we were excited to be on our way to the beautiful Lakes District, with a stop at Harlow Carr Gardens. Our hire car from Hertz was a very comfortable Mercedes. Susanne did most of the driving while I navigated. When making the booking, back in Australia in March, […]
Mystery Plays 2016 York UK - The 2016 production of the Mystery Plays was one of the most impressive pieces of theatre that I have ever seen. I know that for some of you, the idea of a religious performance in a religious venue conjures up images of an evening spent in the most boring possible way. Believe me, this was […]
Characters and Theatre in York - We missed seeing the famous Jorvik village in York, because it was destroyed by the river flooding and damaging much of the lower parts of the town. I mentioned that in an earlier blog, but we still wandered along and around The Shambles where we found buildings so old, we wondered how they were still […]
York Minster Today - Last week I mentioned that two events caused major restoration projects to be carried out on York Minster during the latter part of the 20th century. The second one was a fire in 1984 that destroyed the south transept roof. Lightning started the fire in the old roof timbers. If it wasn’t for firemen pulling […]
York Minster: Tales and Treasures from the past - Visiting churches might look like a religious interest, and for many I suppose that’s all it is, but for me, being able to step back in time, particularly when I can step DOWN in time, to see the layers of history hidden underneath the present day structure, is a much more interesting reason for visiting […]
York England: History everywhere - After lunch we wandered around the historic centre, discovering this delightful sign for the street of Swinegate. It’s not about gates as such, but about passageways, or access, so, a bit like a gate as we know it. The old Barley Hall was not on our ‘must see’ list, but we couldn’t resist exploring when […]
York England 2016: Day Two - Our travel editor for the West Australian newspaper, Stephen Scourfield, wrote about touring around England in last Saturday’s travel lift-out. I feel that I could qualify for having similar tales published, particularly with all that we saw and did in York last year. Stephen even mentioned the squirrels – see the little fellow that we […]
York in England 2016 - One of my favourite places in the UK is York. Like Bath, it is a large city with a very interesting history and the architecture (much of it dating from the middle ages)  begs for camera action at every turn. The famous York Minster requires at least one visit, as the foundations go down to […]
London 2016: The National Gallery - This week I am at last back to presenting my thoughts and images of The National Gallery in London. Although I love the French Impressionists and therefore, the famous galleries in Paris, some of my favourite artists are to be found in this London landmark. I generally like to have lunch in the small restaurant […]
Banbury and London 2016 -   ‘Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross to see a fine lady upon a white horse.’ When I recited that nursery rhyme as a child I didn’t realise that she was famous because of what she didn’t wear while riding that horse. The English town of Banbury sits on the edge of the Cotswalds, […]

Poetry

Friends in my Garden: Daisy, Coriander and Free Spirit - This past week I’ve been thinking about friends and family. How some people stay with us all our lives, but others, no matter how much we care about them, move on and we loose contact with them. When I wrote and published Friends in my Garden, the people in these poems were some of the […]
Friends In My Garden: Hyacinth and Peony - Life has been hectic for the last few weeks, hence my lack of postings on this site. I am keen to return to the travel tales from England but for today, I hope to please those of you who enjoy my poems, especially those from my first book, ‘Friends In My Garden.’ Hyacinth was written […]
Friends In My Garden: Butterfly and Magnolia - Today I’m in the mood for poetry so I’ve gone to my book, Friends In My Garden for a selection. Two very different characters, but both written for women who inspired me and brought joy into my life. Butterfly is the sort of friend who pops in with chocolates and champagne when you’re feeling down. […]
Friends In My Garden: Oak and A Time For Tears - The following poems were written for  a man I once thought was the centre of my universe. It’s almost nineteen years since I shed those tears and I’ve found new, strong and lasting love. This post is for those of you who think that your life ends with the loss of one love. It changes […]
Friends In My Garden: Exotic Bird - I hope that many of you have at least one person in your life who fits this image of a good friend. Mine has been a bit off colour lately so this is a tribute to her, to remind her how much I appreciate her. Please feel free to send this poem on to the […]
Friends In My Garden: Wings Of Turquoise - Like the other poem which I have posted today, this was written for a friend who had been in pain, emotionally and physically. I wanted to depict a woman who was once artistic, creative, talented in many ways, but who was trapped in a marriage of violence and humiliation. It applies to any women and […]
Friends In My Garden: Chestnut Tree - Today I have gone back to my book of poetry, ‘Friends In My Garden,’ for a poem that deals with family and friends who were grieving. ‘Chestnut Tree’ applies to men who suddenly lose a child, sometimes through death, but it could also be through family breakdown or some other kind of separation, hence the […]
Friends In My Garden: Zinnia - When I was writing poems for my book, ‘Friends In My Garden,’ I had a few young female friends for whom this one was suitable. The sort of people who never seem to tire and who make you laugh whenever you are with them. I’m sure you all know and love someone like my Zinnia […]
Friends In My Garden: Cuddlesome Pup - He was a bundle of cuddlesome delight when first I brought him home, a bouncy, yappy pup full of mischief. He loved to entertain performing tricks and making silly noises. Even when I tried to teach him to be good to sit be still he’d roll around, do his stunts wag his tail and look […]
Cold Hands - White sheets white gowns white faces walls a putty-coloured grey dreary vinyl scrubbed thin. Disinfectant pervades the air.   Lumps on beds, wrapped like mummies body functions monitored, minds in zones beyond our reach. Around them hover guardians of gadgetry in sterile masks adjusting tubes connecting life support machines to almost lifeless bodies.   Cryptic […]

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