My Articles

SWEET OLD SYDNEY

Have you ever visited Angel Place, just off Martin Place in Sydney?  Its hanging birdcages  are a touching memorial to the city’s lost birds, forced ever westward over the years of white settlement. If you listen carefully you can hear their recorded songs and calls over the

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THE CRANKY CORMORANT OF BLACKHEATH

THE CRANKY CORMORANT OF BLACKHEATH

JUST LET ME BE! Honestly, the resident pied cormorant at Blackheath duck pond  is the crabbiest looking creature imaginable. There is really no cause to be miserable in such delightful surroundings, especially in spring when the cherry blossom is out.   I have no idea if this

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An Old Weber Never Dies.

An Old Weber Never Dies.

Like most Australians the  ubiquitous Weber bar-b-que was part of my life for many years. And yes, it even produced our Christmas turkey on a couple of occasions.                       But somehow we lost our passion for bar-b-ques

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THE GREAT VEGEMITE COMP!

THE GREAT VEGEMITE COMP!

  Vegemite was developed  by Australian businessman Fred Walker, in opposition to the UK’s Marmite. It was first sold in 1924.  I was amused to discover that  he briefly marketed it as Parwill  (as in Pa will, Ma might.) In October 1926  an advertisement in Sydney’s  Sunday

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EDITOR DES UNDER ARREST!

EDITOR DES UNDER ARREST!

Hello, Editor Des here. I have to be very brave about writing this, because I am still a bit traumatized. Well I went to Sydney with my guardian Pauline Conolly this week week. She wanted to do a bit of shopping and other stuff at the big

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PRAVISSIMA – WHAT A WATTLE!

PRAVISSIMA - WHAT A WATTLE!

The bush was grey A week today Olive green and brown and grey;  But now the spring has come this way, With blossoms for the wattle. By Veronica Mason. One of my favourite  trees is Acacia pravissima, also known as The Oven’s wattle.   It can withstand the

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ESKBANK HOUSE – THE BARTON PARK EXHIBITS

ESKBANK HOUSE - THE BARTON PARK EXHIBITS

I visited Eskbank House Museum in Lithgow recently. The oldest part of the colonial Georgian  house  was built circa 1842, from local sandstone. The original owner was Mr Thomas Brown, who established the Eskbank Colliery.   There is a lot of early Lithgow history on display, but 

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TO SINGLETON – UP THE PUTTY ROAD

TO SINGLETON - UP THE PUTTY ROAD

What a privilege  it is to be  part of  New South Wales History Week.  It’s an opportunity  to speak on subjects close to my heart, and this year a chance to see a part of the state I have never visited before; Singleton in the Upper Hunter.

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THE VICTORY ANTIQUES CENTRE

THE VICTORY ANTIQUES CENTRE

THE VICTORY….HEART OF ‘OLD’ BLACKHEATH The Victory Theatre opened in 1921 as The Arcadia.   Locals even enjoyed an early form of 3D.       It is now a vast antiques centre.  The bear (Editor Des) is not for sale, though sometimes I am sorely tempted

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HARLEY COHEN; GALLIPOLI STROLLER

HARLEY COHEN;  GALLIPOLI STROLLER

  Sydney born Harley Cohen was one of the first to enlist in WWI. His  service number in the 4th Battalion  was a very low 37.  He was a slight figure,  only 5′ 3″ tall  and weighing in at a shade over 8 stone. He was university

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