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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BLOOD ON MY BOOTS…..MURDER ALONG THE THAMES!

BLOOD ON MY BOOTS.....MURDER ALONG THE THAMES!

  Blood On My Boots was one of the titles I considered for my book on the Thames Path. I love social history , especially murder mysteries,  and  many bodies  have  ended up in the  river.   The  book was eventually published as All Along the River;

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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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MRS MACQUARIE AND THE MYSTERY OF ST JOHN’S TWIN SPIRES

MRS MACQUARIE AND THE MYSTERY OF ST JOHN'S TWIN  SPIRES

APOLOGIES IN ADVANCE, THIS STORY IS A BIT COMPLICATED! When St John’s church at Parramatta  (New South Wales)  was being remodelled circa 1817, Elizabeth Macquarie offered some advice to the project’s architect, Lieutenant John Watts (1786-1873). In 1895 Watts’ daughter, Mrs Margaret Elizabeth Bagot wrote; ‘Mrs Macquarie

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DEAR MISS ALL – CHILDHOOD ANGST

DEAR MISS ALL - CHILDHOOD ANGST

DAYDREAMS I was raised on a small dairy farm  near Ulverstone, on the north west coast of Tasmania. Many would consider this an idyllic childhood, and in retrospect   it was.  However, owing to a steady diet of American comic books I eventually longed to be anywhere else

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BARISTA EDITOR DES, BLACKHEATH’S NEW COFFEE KING?

BARISTA EDITOR DES, BLACKHEATH'S  NEW COFFEE KING?

You know what? Lately my editing hasn’t been going so well, because I missed a few errors in one of my employer Pauline Conolly’s articles. In my defense, she does make a lot of typos. The pay isn’t much good either. Hardly enough to keep a person

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BOTTOM UP! HA HA!

BOTTOM UP! HA HA!

Hello, well bottoms are very  funny, aren’t they?     Q.  WHAT HAS A BOTTOM AT THE TOP?  A.  MY LEGS!   That’s a joke I made up by myself.  We have all been talking about our bums lately haven’t we, what with the mysterious shortage of loo paper.

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LACHLAN MACQUARIE; FATHER OF THE ANZACS?

LACHLAN MACQUARIE; FATHER OF THE ANZACS?

 VISION FOR A NATION By 1815 Governor Lachlan Macquarie’s extensive building programme and his efforts to raise the moral standards of the colony of New South Wales were bearing fruit. Sydney, which had been little more than a squalid penal camp when he arrived, was becoming a

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EDITOR DES…SPORTS STAR

EDITOR DES...SPORTS STAR

When I was very small I went to the Sydney Olympics and since then I have been a sportsman extraordinaire!  Mind you,  I do face  certain  physical ‘challenges’. I find it helps if I limber up with a bit of yoga before breakfast. After that I eat

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THE TAILORING OF THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE!

THE TAILORING OF THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE!

 A DECIDEDLY FISHY STORY! Back in the 1980s my partner Rob and I owned a little half cabin cruiser called Sixpence. I loved catching blue swimmer crabs in Mosman Bay. We also used to fish for snapper off Sydney Heads, although heavy swells often forced us to

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