• The Water Doctor’s Daughters

    The intriguing story of wealthy 19th century water-cure physician, Dr James Loftus Marsden and his children, who grew up knowing Charles Darwin and Alfred Tennyson. Two girls died in suspicious circumstances resulting in sensational trials. Available via Amazon and major Bookstores.

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  • All Along the River: Tales from the Thames

    An engaging and humorous armchair read & companion volume to more practical guide books. Both quirky and fun, it is packed with information about literary associations, local recipes, folklore and a good many murders and mysteries! Available via Amazon and major Bookstores.

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Blue Mountains – latest article

  • Lycopodium Christmas tree.
    CHRISTMAS IS NIGH As Christmas approaches I love looking back at seasonal celebrations in my village of Blackheath. The following is from The Lithgow Mercury in 1909; There was very little stir here during Christmas, and everything passed off quietly. On Boxing Night a concert was held...
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History – latest article

  • Blakney shrapnel location
    Captain Blakney – a hero of WWI
    HAPPY TO SERVE Cyril Blakney  enlisted as soon as war was declared in 1914.  He was a compositor from Hobart, and also an accomplished  musician and amateur actor. Such a fine looking young man. After the Gallipoli campaign Cyril  served on the Western Front.   On June 10 1917 he...
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Humour – latest article

  • Editor Des and his own rose.
    The Story Of the Editor Des Rose.
                        My guardian Pauline Conolly grew a special rose called Hot Chocolate. ‘Come and smell it Des’ she said. So I did, just to make her happy. I took a deep breath of the perfume and then…wham!! A ...
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Travel – latest article

  • Gingerbred House, Katoomba
    Hello, Editor Des here. Well today I went to my favourite restaurant in the whole of the Blue Mountains.  I took along my camera to show you what it’s like; Do you know what? It’s in an old church, so I think it might be specially blessed.  I...
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Latest Blog Posts

  • Tawny frogmouth in the arms of a gum tree.
    FROGMOUTHS HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT Can any bird or animal camoflague  itself as successfully as the Australian  Tawny Frogmouth? They are truly astonishing. The only way I can find them in my garden  is to look for  splashes of their droppings below mature eucalypts . None of...
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  • Harlequin bug on lavender
    Gossamer wings through the camera lens.
    ALWAYS CARRY A CAMERA Owning a small ‘point and shoot’ camera has transformed the way I look at  and appreciate my Blue Mountains  garden. The play of light, the beauty of a detail suddenly observed. It means that my ‘matron’s rounds’ are slower, but  they are also...
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  • Currawong
    I must admit that  Australia’s  pied currawongs do not have a great reputation. They are opportunists, preying on  unwary small birds and robbing the nests of others. I’ve never  forgiven a local gang of them for harassing our nesting tawny frogmouth and stealing the eggs. However,  apart...
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  • Copha delivery vans in Sydney
    KEEP SOME COPHA IN THE CUPBOARD There is an Australian urban myth that Kellogs invented Copha for the express purpose of making chocolate crackles. Well let’s explode that for a start.   The advertisement  below appeared in the Women’s Weekly in December 1937.  It is the first known mention...
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