Artist’s dates add sparkle to life

Artist’s dates were high on my list of things I missed during COVID-19 isolation. Both have been regular, important parts of my life for decades. I missed the fizz of new ideas and the sparkle of self-induced fun. I know that brains need novelty and stimulation and wrote about that here. But when I couldn’t […]

The Yield by Tara June Winch, a review

The Yield by Wiradjuri author Tara June Winch earned its place on the Miles Franklin Longlist for 2020. The finalist will be announced on 16 July. The author’s first novel, Swallow the Air, won numerous literary awards. Last weekend, many Australians attended Black Lives Matter protests. I chose instead to immerse myself in this beautifully […]

Black Lives Matter – ethical questions

Black lives matter. So do all other lives. Black Lives Matter protests around the world have galvanised countries and communities. But an inherent conflict exists in Australia. There is a desire to protest on behalf of black people, as well as the requirement to obey laws that exist to prevent further outbreaks of the deadly […]

Exploded View by Carrie Tiffany – review

Exploded View by Carrie Tiffany will take its place at the forefront of both Australian and women’s literature. The winner of the inaugural Stella Prize, the author presents the reader with a dark, tightly controlled and poetic novel which has been long-listed for the 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Award.

Post-isolation and mixed emotions

Post-isolation emotions render me vulnerable and anxious, mixed with relief. There’s joy. My family and I can visit and talk to face to face. There’s a downside, as well. Ten weeks of restricted activity changed my view of the world. My fitness suffered although I walked every day. But unless I swim regularly, my arthritic […]

How to gain momentum after hibernation

Wondering how to gain momentum after several amazing months of isolation? The COVID-19 pandemic sent us all to the shelter of our homes. It felt strange at times, but I soon adapted and began to like the new gentle pace. Now I’m starting to think ‘coming out’ might be a slower process than I first […]

Jargon and slang – COVID-19 changed our language

Jargon and slang related to COVID-19 changed the language of Australia. It happened almost as fast as the novel coronovirus which causes the disease that devastated populations spread across the world. Everyone learnt and began to use the formal and informal languages quickly.

Celebrate the month of May – ideas for activities

I invite you celebrate the month of May with me. This month might well mark the tag-end of isolation. For most of us, relaxation of even a few restrictions has come as welcome relief. For others, especially older or more frail people, there may be a still be a way to go until we see […]

Scarlatina – my brush with a once deadly disease

Scarlatina (the Latin name for scarlet fever) is not the romantic disease some novelists would like us to think. It caused the death of children in some fiction in classic children’s literature. But this deadly disease occurred in epidemics as a world-wide scourge. You can read about scarlatina in children’s literature here.

Scarlet fever, Beth March and others

Scarlet fever, according to Lizzie Enfield, is ‘the red rash of romantics’. The once-deadly disease causes a high fever, red rash, red lumps on the tongue, flushed cheeks and red creases under the arms, in the elbows and groins. As well, it causes the death or severe disability of several children in literature. They include […]

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