Wildflower Festival in Kings Park a winner

flag flying at Wildflower Festival

The 2020 Kings Park Wildflower Festival, on now until the end of September, won my heart again this year. I’m a year-round fan of this park, which is almost on my doorstep. But some spectacular events like this Wildflower Festival take my breath away.

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Holiday in the Swan Valley in springtime

New grapes in Swan Valley

The Swan Valley, less than twenty-five kilometres from home, seemed an unlikely destination for a holiday. But it turned out to be a wonderful place to spend three nights at the beginning of September.

It felt a bit like cheating, to holiday so close to Perth at a destination most Western Australians would think of as an afternoon drive, or at most, a day trip. But we found so much to do that we wished we’d booked for longer.

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Melting Moments delicious Australian delicacies

Melting moments

Melting Moments, the debut novel of Anna Goldsworthy, deserves to be widely read. It provides both an intimate picture of domestic life and an entertaining social history of women’s lives in Australia during the 20th century.

Anna Goldsworthy has written several acclaimed non-fiction books, and has published widely in journals. She is also a concert pianist and lecturer at the Elder Conservatorium of Music.

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The night guest by Fiona McFarlane – a thriller

Cover image of The night guest

The night guest, by Fiona McFarlane, tells a chilling story of ageing, dementia – and elder abuse. The author’s debut novel, published in 2013 leads the reader on thrilling roller-coaster ride. I discovered The night guest in a second-hand bookshop recently. I’m glad I did because it mesmerised me from beginning to end.

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COVID-19 complacency – Is it time to regroup?

COVID-19 complacency

COVID-19 complacency has overtaken some of Western Australia. How could we so quickly forget our lessons learnt about hygiene and social distancing? I’m disappointed and edgy because I think we’ve become soft inside our hard borders.

I’ve turned into a grumpy old woman, anxious for my own and other people’s safety.

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Change of name – change of identity

change of name rose

A change of name in my mid-forties changed my identity. The decision came easily and made good sense. The process took less than two hours and cost very little but the result amazed me and continues to delight me after all these years.

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Common People by Tony Birch – a review

Cover Common People

The common people who fill the pages of Tony Birch’s book of short stories come from all walks of life. The people, and the stories, sometimes tell of great hardship. But they also tell of the kindness and generosity of strangers who make difference and provide hope.

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Short stories as art and craft

Short stories in collections

Short stories fascinate and often delight both readers and writers. They can be compared to pieces of art or even to poems. All three capture a mood or an emotion that lingers long after you view, read or listen to them.

In the past, I’ve reviewed short stories, including ‘Killing Daniel’ and Everywhere I Look, both by Helen Garner, one of my favourite authors. But recently I rediscovered how much I enjoy short stories to the extent of binge-reading and finding new favourite authors.

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How a gratitude journal can transform your life

Picture Daily gratitude journal

A daily gratitude journal can be an awesome tool for anyone who wants a happier, more fulfilled life. The simple act of giving thanks in writing for even the smallest pleasures can lighten the dark days. When life runs smoothly, making a note of things we enjoy enhances our happiness.

As an old French proverb reminds us, ‘Gratitude is the heart’s memory’.

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Kalbarri memories – the scenic route

Kalbarri Western Australia

Kalbarri memories seem important this weekend. I’m trying to forget about COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter protests, as well as bullying on Facebook and Messenger. It feels as if these call for an antidote such as a blog about something totally different. What better than to write about than a place I love?

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