My Articles

REEDY MARSH; LOVE AND LOSS

REEDY MARSH; LOVE AND LOSS

In 1900, Australian troops were serving in the Boer war. At a tiny school at Reedy Marsh in northern Tasmania, pupils were raising money for The Children’s Patriotic Fund. Nora May Upston was my maternal grandmother. Charles Arthur Upston was my great uncle, and Minnie my great

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THE WIDOW WONGA

THE WIDOW WONGA

Widow Wonga is a bird very close to my heart….and is loved just as much by my husband Rob. She and her partner have been living and rearing chicks in our Blackheath garden over a very long period, sometimes producing several sets of twins a year. I

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MUDGEE MAIL TRAIN – A TERRIBLE JOURNEY

MUDGEE MAIL TRAIN - A TERRIBLE JOURNEY

Charles Spring died at Mudgee hospital just before midnight on Friday, August 27 1938. He was 72, and had been in failing health for some time. Mr Spring had requested that he be cremated at Rookwood Cemetery in Sydney. Next day his grieving widow Georgina boarded the

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A TOWN HALL SAGA AT ULVERSTONE

A TOWN HALL SAGA  AT ULVERSTONE

In the old days, a Town Hall was as much the heart of a community as the pubs or the parish church. But building a new one requires co-operation and consensus. My Tasmanian home town of Ulverstone drew tourists from very early times, due to its lovely

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THE HAIRPIN BANKSIA

THE HAIRPIN BANKSIA

I’ve only ever worn plain white tee-shirts, but I’m tempted to buy this one with a ‘hairpin’ banksia on it. The correct name is Banksia spinulosa. ‘Spinulosa’ refers to the spiny leaf tips, which are thankfully fairly soft, What a great plant; able to cope with heavy

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THE ULVERSTONE FIRE OF 1921

THE ULVERSTONE FIRE OF 1921

At about 3.00am on Sunday January 9, 1921 fire broke out behind a shop in Reibey Street, Ulverstone. A barman at nearby Furner’s Hotel raised the alarm at 3.05am.The hotel is pictured behind the telegraph pole in the following photo. The fire brigade arrived very promptly, but

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THE OLD FUEL STOVE

THE OLD FUEL STOVE

My mother cooked on a cast iron Lux fuel stove for many years. She could judge the temperature of the oven simply by putting her hand near it. Her technique never failed, even for delicate sponge cakes or cream puffs. How on earth did she do that?

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CIRQUE DU WOOD DUCK – BLACKHEATH POND

CIRQUE DU WOOD DUCK -  BLACKHEATH POND

I live  just around the corner from the Blackheath duck pond, in the beautiful Blue Mountains. It recently  underwent  a complete makeover and re-design. The long-necked turtles were  re-homed at The Rhododendron Gardens. Two metres of silt were removed and will be used elsewhere.   The last

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DESMOND & THE BANKSIA MAN

DESMOND & THE BANKSIA MAN

Desmond, aka Editor Des, has been sitting at the woodheap bird watching with his mate Bob Banksia; full name Mr Robert Banksia Serrata. They have been hoping to see the arrival of the blue wrens. No luck so far and I think the tension must have led

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TINDER TIME – A CLOSE CALL!

TINDER TIME - A CLOSE CALL!

Gathering tinder for the fire is very satisfying. I have loved doing this I was child, gathering sticks in the Tasmanian bush. Behind the dear old dogs in the following photo is the woodheap on our farm. It was taken circa 1960. We had an open fire

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