My Articles

THE GENTLE GENIUS OF MAY GIBBS

THE  GENTLE GENIUS OF MAY GIBBS

A DAY OUT FOR DES (THAT’S ME) Well just before Christmas my guardian Pauline Conolly took me to Sydney as a special treat. Now  she loves  going to the State Library, but I don’t  (boooooring!!) I was  pretty p…..d off when we ended up there (sorry, I […]

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LETTER TO SANTA

LETTER TO SANTA

THE STRESS OF WRITING  TO SANTA CAN BE OVERWHELMING…..AN  ILLUSTRATED ESSAY BY EDITOR DES…. ER, THAT’S ME. Hello. Do you think a fellow aged sixteen and a half is too old to write to Santa? I don’t.  And my guardian  Pauline Conolly often  says I am immature […]

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HOW TO ENJOY CHRISTMAS STANDING ON YOUR HEAD!

HOW TO ENJOY CHRISTMAS STANDING ON YOUR HEAD!

CHRISTMAS DOWN-UNDER John O’Grady once wrote a best selling  book called, They’re a Weird Mob.  It was about Australians and yes….we are a bit strange.  What do you expect when we live in an upside down world? Our fair country  was  described in Alice in Wonderland  as […]

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THE COURAGE OF SAPPER McRAE

THE COURAGE OF SAPPER McRAE

  On April 26 1915, the day after the dawn landing at Gallipoli, Sapper Duncan McRae (2nd Field Co. of Engineers) was shot in the shoulder by a Turkish sniper. He was evacuated to Egypt and from there to a military  hospital in England.   Unfortunately it […]

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NORMAN LINDSAY; THE SPIRIT OF SPRINGWOOD

NORMAN LINDSAY; THE SPIRIT OF SPRINGWOOD

  When Australian artist and writer Norman Lindsay first saw what was to become his home at Springwood in the Lower Blue Mountains of New South Wales, the sandstone cottage was sadly neglected and the floor boards full of white ants. Nevertheless, Lindsay reported to his wife […]

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TOURIST OF TASTE

TOURIST OF TASTE

THE WORST TOURIST IS  A TINY ONE During the off-season, invading armies of visitors withdraw from the museums and  galleries of Europe to be replaced by assault  squads of  schoolchildren. I find them more alarming than bag snatchers.  They knock people over and make a great deal […]

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DRIVEN MAD ON FOREIGN SOIL

DRIVEN MAD ON FOREIGN SOIL

My partner  Rob  and I were looking through some old holiday pics the other day.  Suddenly he held one up and said dreamily, ‘I remember that place; it was fantastic.’  As I glanced at what seemed a fairly nondescript town centre he added, ‘It’s where I found  […]

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UP AND DOWN THE TOWN OF SIENA

UP AND DOWN THE  TOWN OF SIENA

SIENA: JEWEL OF TUSCANY   Some  years ago my partner Rob and I hired a car and toured the  Italian province  of   Tuscany. One evening we checked into a charming little hotel tucked behind the Campo within  beautiful  Siena’s medieval walls. However, there was a small […]

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TWO BRISBANE BEAUTIES; EVIE DOYLE AND BLANCHE GREAVES

TWO BRISBANE BEAUTIES; EVIE DOYLE AND BLANCHE GREAVES

On April 2  1905,   the Brisbane Courier  published an article on two young women. The girls were close  friends, with a lot in common.  They were both  daughters of  Brisbane publicans, both  from Irish Catholic families, and both convent educated. They  also shared a love of […]

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WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS IS…BUSH WEEK?

WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS IS...BUSH WEEK?

  Today we romanticize the  Australian bush,  but a century ago the term had  more  negative connotations. The pioneers who had cleared the land  were often perceived as dim witted yokels by their  city slicker cousins.   This was made  very clear  in 1918, when attempts were made […]

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