SYDNEY? IT’S FOR THE BIRDS MATE!

SYDNEY? IT'S FOR THE  BIRDS MATE!

RUFFLED FEATHERS For the seagulls of Australia, the arrival of Europeans was  an unpleasant experience. As Cook’s  Endeavor made its way along the east coast in 1770, the crew were forced to supplement their dwindling provisions by shooting and eating the birds. Sir Joseph Banks wrote; Sea

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KATIE W. STEWART & HER BOOK; FAMOUS ANIMALS (VOLUME I)

KATIE W. STEWART &  HER BOOK;  FAMOUS ANIMALS  (VOLUME I)

It’s a rare, but delightful experience to come  across a project that is fresh, funny and completely engaging. For me, it was author & illustrator Katie W. Stewart’s  book,  Famous Animals. I was so impressed when Katie posted a sample in a writers’ group we belong to, 

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AUSTRALIAN EPIPHANY

AUSTRALIAN EPIPHANY

Unlike my  ancestors, I  have never thought of England as ‘home’.  However,  I did grow up confused  about my national identity. At primary school  in Tasmania we stood before the flag on Empire Day and sang God Save the Queen before being handed a packet of boiled

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THE STIRRINGS OF SPRING

THE STIRRINGS OF SPRING

]  It was that period in the vernal quarter when we may suppose the Dryads to be waking for the season. The vegetable world begins to move and swell and the saps to rise, till in the completest silence of lone gardens and trackless plantations, where everything

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Antique Pillboxes and Other Miniature Containers

Antique Pillboxes and Other Miniature Containers

AN OBSESSION IS BORN On holiday in Tasmania some years ago, I purchased a sweet little pillbox in an antique store at Evandale. It was gilt, with  a beautiful lid of  purple, machined enamel. It cost me $40. Soon afterwards I bought an 18th century  patch box

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ALFRED TENNYSON, JOHN RASHDALL, AND THE MARSDEN CHILDREN

ALFRED TENNYSON, JOHN RASHDALL, AND THE MARSDEN CHILDREN

THE POET AND THE PREACHER An interesting aspect of my book The Water Doctor’s Daughters,  is the lifelong friendship of  the poet Alfred Tennyson  and the Reverend John Rashdall.  The pair had grown up together in rural Lincolnshire, and were contemporaries at Cambridge University.  Rashdall was the

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BORONIA – HEART STOPPER AND HEART BREAKER

BORONIA - HEART STOPPER AND  HEART BREAKER

Because the fragrance of your deeds, Has sweetened a sad soul’s doom, And ministered to many needs, I send you Boronia blooms.     Ella McFadyen  1906   I confess there is an element of nostalgia in my love of the tiny brown cups of   fragrant Boronia megastigma. I

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THE AUSTRALIAN MISS HAVISHAM

THE AUSTRALIAN MISS HAVISHAM

 A FAMOUS NOVEL BY MR DICKENS When Pip meets the jilted Miss Havisham in the novel Great Expectations she is dressed in her decaying wedding attire, presenting a terrifying blend of waxwork figure and living skeleton. According to many people, Charles  Dickens based this character on the 

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THE PUZZLE SURROUNDING A WORLD BICYCLE TOUR

THE PUZZLE SURROUNDING A WORLD BICYCLE TOUR

BON VOYAGE In early June 1898 a young man called Victor Richard Ratten resigned from his position at the Union Bank in Forbes, a small town in the Central West of New South Wales. His colleagues presented him with a memento and wished him Bon Voyage. I

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MAGNA CARTA; SIGN HERE IF YOU PLEASE!

MAGNA CARTA; SIGN HERE IF YOU PLEASE!

  On June 15th 1215,  King John was forced to sign the Magna Carta by his rebellious barons. The event has a  romantic association for me. My first true love was a nine year old baron called Leigh Dunstan, who made my heart flutter in grade four

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