DIGITALIS – DEADLY GLOVES FOR LITTLE FOXES

DIGITALIS - DEADLY GLOVES FOR LITTLE FOXES

Foxgloves (digitalis purpurea) fill me with nostalgia. My mother grew them in her rural Tasmanian garden. ‘Don’t touch them’, she would tell us, ‘they’re poisonous. ‘ Naturally my sister Robbie and I defied her by sticking our fingers into the little ‘gloves’ with a mixture of fear

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PANDORA’S BOX – KEEPING THE LID ON!

PANDORA'S BOX - KEEPING THE LID ON!

FOLLOWING ON FROM DEVILISH DRUGS. ANOTHER BATTLE IN THE WAR After I left hospital my strength began to return, but the fluid around my heart did not clear as hoped. By April it had actually increased slightly, and surgery became  the only option. My surgeon was amazing.

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PANDORA’S BOX PART IV – DEVILISH DRUGS!

PANDORA'S BOX PART IV -  DEVILISH DRUGS!

Continued from PART III – Creepy Answers ‘YOU HAVE CHURG STRAUSS SYNDROME…THERE IS CURRENTLY NO CURE’ Even though I had been informed in the most gentle and empathetic manner,  the word ‘incurable’ shocked me to the core.   Was Dr Flood joking?   Hardly any diseases are incurable these

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PANDORA’S BOX PART III – CREEPY ANSWERS!

PANDORA'S BOX PART III - CREEPY ANSWERS!

FOLLOWNG ON FROM – A MEDICAL MYSTERY It was always an early start to the day at The San, because  the  cardiologist made his  daily  ward rounds at 6.00am.  My spirits never failed to  lift  when he appeared.   Due to medication I hardly slept and the kindly

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PANDORA’S BOX – PART II…… A MEDICAL MYSTERY

PANDORA'S BOX - PART II...... A MEDICAL MYSTERY

Following on from PART ONE of course. By now I had become  a  medical mystery. What happened next probably saved my life.   My  worried cardiologist at Katoomba  had a discussion with the hospital’s emergency doctor, who had assessed me when I was first admitted.  This lovely lady

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PANDORA’S BOX – A MEDICAL MEMOIR

PANDORA'S BOX - A  MEDICAL MEMOIR

‘You’re playing with Pandora’s box. Sometimes it’s better not to open it. Sometimes, it’s better not to know’. Tatiana de Rosnay. In September 2011 I was completing my research for a narrative non-fiction book in Great Malvern,  a beautiful town in the English  county of Worcestershire. It

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BIRDSCAPING YOUR BACKYARD

BIRDSCAPING YOUR BACKYARD

There is a constant battle during spring, when birds are competing for territory, water, and food to feed their chicks. Here in the Blue Mounains of NSW only the large cockatoos and kookburras rise above the fray. Size matters…..on the next level down currawongs will chase off

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SWAGMAN AT THE IVANHOE HOTEL

SWAGMAN AT THE IVANHOE HOTEL

I was working on my book while lunching at Blackheath’s art deco New Ivanhoe Hotel recently, and also completing my survey of local pies. This one was beef, thankfully without kidneys! As I was gazing in bemusement at the giant side-serve of gravy (wot, no tomato sauce?),

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CURRAWONG V THE DESPERATE DUO OF BOB & THE WATTLEBIRD

CURRAWONG V THE DESPERATE DUO OF BOB & THE WATTLEBIRD

There is no one more upset when a bird is killed or injured than my partner Rob. He is known as Dr Bob, for his ministrations to all manner of feathered creatures in our Blackheath garden. He scrubs out the birdbaths far more often than me, and

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THE LOST PORTRAIT OF A BIG HEARTED SINGER

THE LOST PORTRAIT OF A  BIG HEARTED  SINGER

To mangle the words of Oscar Wilde, for an institution to lose a miniature portrait would be unfortunate, to lose a life-sized framed oil painting sounds more like carelessness. Catherine Hayes (1818-1861) was a celebrated, Irish born soprana who toured Australia extensively in the mid 1850s. At

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