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A FRIENDSHIP LOST; JEANNIE AND JOAN

DEMENTIA; THE SILENT THIEF A few months ago my mother-in-law Jean moved into a Sydney nursing home. She had previously been in residential care for eighteen months after dementia and failing physical health meant  she could  no longer remain in her own home. My husband and I live

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Moments With Minties.

Moments With Minties.

ARE MINTIES NUMBER ONE? It would be hard to name  Australia’s most iconic  lolly  (that’s a  sweet or candy to non Aussies)  Fantails? Jaffas?  Life Savers? Minties must surely be a contender.   They were invented in 1922, by James Stedman, son of Australia’s first  large-scale confectioner. Mintie wrappers are

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Dr Ratten – Made in Chicago

Dr Ratten - Made in Chicago

TO CHICAGO – A MEDICAL MISSION On September 3 1906, a wealthy young dentist from Brisbane boarded  the passenger  ship Aorangi. He disembarked in Vancouver,  then entered the United States and  made his way to Chicago by train. His name was Victor Richard Ratten. Soon after he arrived

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THE ECHIDNA, A STRANGE LITTLE ANIMAL.

THE ECHIDNA, A STRANGE LITTLE ANIMAL.

  The Echidna is known by quite a few names; spiny ant-eater, porcupine,  hedgehog. It’s  real name is Echidna acubata. It is a cousin to the equally weird platypus. There was an urban myth in the old days that the echidna could fire its spines like arrows, as

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EDITOR DES GOES TO THE EASTER SHOW

EDITOR DES GOES TO THE EASTER SHOW

THE BIGGEST SHOW IN TOWN Last week we  went to the Royal Easter Show in Sydney.  It’s a huge fair, and  farmers and gardeners take their produce along and win prizes. Well some of them win. I wanted to enter  some of my vegetables, but Pauline Conolly  (she’s my guardian)

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Editor Des and the Halloween Pumpkin.

Editor Des and the Halloween Pumpkin.

  Hello, here is a rather sad story about my Halloween pumpkin. I forget when I planted the seeds, and also what kind they were. And maybe I was a bit late getting them in. Our bees seemed to have left when the lavender and thyme and all

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Autumn in Blackheath

Autumn in Blackheath

LEAF PEEPING IN AUTUMN I love my little  village of Blackheath. I do joke and call it Bleakheath, but only with affection.  It’s in the  upper Blue Mountains of New South Wales, so the seasons are well defined.  Spring is gorgeous and  snow  can occasionally transform it in

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BLUEY; THE ARMY COOK WITH A DEVIL OF A JOB

BLUEY; THE ARMY COOK WITH A DEVIL OF A JOB

When the troopship Geelong left Hobart on October 20 1914, it carried the  Tasmanian contingent of the 12th Battalion  to Egypt, and  thence to  Gallipoli and France. There was a unique  mascot on board, a Tasmanian devil.  I’m not sure whether the practice  was  officially sanctioned, but

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Social history and Sydney’s Easter Show.

Social history and Sydney's Easter Show.

 TIMES ARE A’ CHANGING AT THE SHOW As I wandered   around Sydney’s Royal Easter Show this year I was struck by how accurately this iconic event reflects changes in our society.  The cookery section is a classic case in point.  If we want it to survive we will

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A WEBSITE IS A WONDERFUL THING

A WEBSITE IS A WONDERFUL THING

THE LITTLE WEBSITE THAT GREW! On September  10 this website clicked over  to 138,000 visits.  Maybe not a  great deal by some standards, but amazing to me. When I began in late 2012 I had no idea about  SEO (search engine optimization), effective tags or stop words. It must

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