The Royal Show and all the fun of the fair

Perth Royal Show has been held at the Claremont Showgrounds for as long as I can remember. It’s seven kilometres from the centre of Perth, a few kilometres, and three train stops, from our apartment. It’s not the sort of place I think about often. But memories of my last trip to the Royal Show …

Ruth Wilson remarkable author ‘The Jane Austen Remedy’

Ruth Wilson turned her back on her successful and conventional life when she turned seventy years of age. She left her traditional husband and moved to the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. With the help of an unexpected inheritance, she had previously bought a cottage. She painted it bright yellow, and called it ‘Lantern …

Winter ‘blah’ and ways to banish it

Winter ‘blah’ seems to attack me every year. Each time, it catches me unawares and sends me into a spin until I work out what’s happening. Sometimes, I catch it early, but not this year. July 2022 treated many of my family to COVID-19 in one or other of its variations. My son and daughter-in-law. …

Struggle and persistence lead to new ideas

To struggle, according to dictionary definitions, means to make strenuous efforts in the face of difficulties or opposition. It sounds like something to be avoided at all costs. However, I’m convinced struggle is good for us and that we must grapple with new material if we want to learn and understand the world. Without struggle, …

Alert: post contains tragic news

It is with deep sadness and a heavy heart that I announce the death of my beautiful and beloved younger daughter, Anne Mari O’Callaghan (Annie). Born on 11 August, 1965, she died on 27 December 2021. She is survived also by her daughters, Renee Paige and Megan Jane Muhleisen, her grandson Bailey Muhleisen and her …

Too Much Lip, by Melissa Lucashenko – a review

Too Much Lip, Melissa Lucashenko’s sixth novel, won the 2019 Miles Franklin Award, Australia’s most prestigious literary award. It was also short-listed for the Stella Award and several others prestigious awards.

Force of Nature by Jane Harper – a review

Force of Nature, a suspense-filled novel by international best-selling Australian author Jane Harper, kept me in its grip from start to finish. The author skilfully maintains high levels of conflict, tension and fear through the story.

Orchids, writing and distractions

Orchids are not  exactly my favourite flowers. They do fascinate me. For years I’ve tried to grow cymbidium orchids. Some years they bloom with festive joy. Other years they sulk. This has been a sulking year. My orchid plants have been neglected while I’ve been writing, rewriting, worrying. Not one bud has emerged.

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