Poetry, permission and how to make lentil soup

poetry, lentil soup

Poetry as a response to a recent blog post surprised and delighted me. I had written about grief and loss. You can read the original at Baby steps on the road to recovery My dear granddaughter, Jane-Heloise, sent me a copy of a lovely poem on the same theme by acclaimed American poet, Jane Hirshfield. The title, Da Capo, is a musical term which means ‘from the beginning’.

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Witness by Louise Milligan – a review

Witness by Louise Milligan

Witness: An investigation into the brutal cost of seeking justice by Louise Milligan deserves its place on the Stella short-list (2021). Witness provides a frightening account of what it can mean to be the complainant in a sexual assault case.

Few people report sexual assault to the police. Fewer still take their case to court. It is almost impossible for alleged predators to be found guilty. This book makes clear why this happens in Australia.

Louise Milligan exposes flaws in the system. She demonstrates it as callous, sexist and ‘weighted towards the rich and powerful’. She calls for change.

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Baby steps on the road to recovery after loss

Baby steps to recovery

Baby steps. The concept resonates. Do one small thing. Then another.

Brush your hair. Put bread and cheese on the table. Water the plants. Rest often. Talk. Cry. Find a comfortable space to be. Fold the washing. Put the socks in drawers and fresh sheets on the bed. Take care of yourself. Ask for comfort. Comfort those who need you.

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Songlines: The Power and Promise – a review

Songlines: The Power and  Promise

Songlines: The Power and Promise by Margo Neale and Lynne Kelly provides a compelling and in-depth discussion about part of the culture of Indigenous Australians.

The authors point to a way forward in which all Australians can benefit from an increased understanding of Indigenous culture. See below for more about the Margo Neale and Lynne Kelly.

Songlines are the means of storing and earning knowledges, ancient and modern. They are stories embodied in the land, sea and skies to be remembered and passed on through song, dance, art, ceremony and, most importantly, through attachment to Country.

From the back cover, Songlines: The Power and Promise

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Confessions of a house cleaner tragic

the house-cleaner tragic

A house cleaner tragic through and through, I’ve enjoyed cleaning my own house all my adult life. I find it meditative, creative and satisfying. But, at 80+ I finally decided to take the plunge and employ a cleaning firm that specialises in working in apartments.

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Child Protection stories and my involvement

Child protection stories

Child Protection stories don’t sound like a lot of fun. But, always optimistic, I expect my newest venture, work with the Family Integration Network, WA, to be satisfying and enjoyable. That’s not just for me, but also for the participants in a group who want to write stories about how involvement with the Department of Child Protection affects their lives.

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The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth – a review

The Good Sister cover

The Good Sister: Everyone has a Dark Side kept me turning the pages until way past my bedtime. The sixth book by best-selling Australian author Sally Hepworth, it boasts plenty of plot twists and big themes. Mystery and psychological intrigue abound as we learn about the family dramas that surround the sisters and their mother.

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Hard lockdown mark II against COVID-19

Hard lockdown mark II

Hard lockdown mark II in Western Australia pounced quickly. After ten months of no community transmission of COVID-19 and our ordinary lives, the edict came yesterday as a shock. Not that we should have been surprised. Mark McGowan, the State Premier, warned all along that, should there be a case of community spread of COVID-19, he would act swiftly.

Within minutes of the announcement, the sceptics and naysayers showed up in force on social media. But those in favour of the restrictions greatly outnumbered them. Most seem to be glad that the government took strong, decisive and immediate action.

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Alert: post contains tragic news

serenity prayer

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 siblings, Jenny, Michael, Peter, James and Timothy O’Callaghan.

Rest in peace, dearest Anne.

Fake it till you make it psychology and sociology

Fake it till you make it

Fake it till you make it sounds like an instruction to trick or deceive. But it actually provides useful direction for people who find themselves in a new or difficult position and unsure about how to proceed. The phrase suggests that by imitating confidence, competence, and an optimistic mindset, a person can realize those qualities in their real life.

I first came across the concept way, way back in my early years of tertiary study. Hearing about it at the start of a Social Science Degree at the WA Institute of Technology,* I laughed at the idea.

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