TROUBLE AT THE MILL

TROUBLE AT THE MILL

This piece was first published in the Sydney Morning Herald. Following in the footsteps of Gracie Fields…my brief career as a mill worker. In a radio survey that set out to find Australia’s worst job, removing chicken innards on a production line won hands down….or rather hands

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SISSINGHURST; A SUBLIME GARDEN

SISSINGHURST;  A SUBLIME GARDEN

SPRING AT SISSINGHURST   House hunting in the spring of 1930, the English poet Vita Sackville-West viewed a crumbling castle in the Kentish countryside. Standing in the middle of a cabbage patch she looked up at its romantic, Elizabethan tower, turned to her son Nigel and said;

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THE AUSSIE COCKTAIL…A LIGHTHEARTED HISTORY

THE AUSSIE COCKTAIL...A LIGHTHEARTED HISTORY

                SHAKEN AND STIRRED! Thanks to  classic  wines such as Penfold’s Grange, Australians are now less likely to be perceived as a nation of unsophisticated  beer swillers. However,  cocktails are perhaps  more generally associated with Manhattan or Paris than ‘the

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ADVENTURES IN SEWING, by JOHN PAUL BERNETT

ADVENTURES IN SEWING, by JOHN PAUL BERNETT

  It is such a pleasure to host this guest blog.   One of the joys of social media is connecting with people completely outside one’s usual orbit.  John Paul Bernett is an amazing fellow; writer, modeller, carer for his beloved wife  (and editor),  Beverley.  I am  impressed

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BOOK REVIEWERS…PLEASE GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!

BOOK REVIEWERS...PLEASE GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!

CLENCH YOUR PEN AND KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT! Authors are  constantly advised  not  to respond to negative reviews.  I fully agree; you  simply cannot argue with another person’s opinion. It is  worth remembering that many literary  classics suffered a hatchet job when first published. I particularly love

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THE MYSTERY OF MRS MACQUARIE’S EARRINGS

THE MYSTERY OF MRS MACQUARIE'S EARRINGS

 A PRICELESS GIFT On September 26 1968, Australia’s Consul-General in New York, Sir Reginald Sholl, received a visit from an elderly gentleman offering to present the Australian government with a pair of earrings associated with Governor Lachlan Macquarie’s wife Elizabeth. Sholl’s visitor was Edward Manley Hopkins, great-grandson

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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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