The lovely Mere Lake, less than half a kilometre from here on the Subiaco Common, might just as well have been on the other side of the moon. Bursitis of the hip has kept me home for many weeks, or at best walking only short essential distances.
Swimming, even many laps, on the other hand, didn’t hurt as much, so the local pool became my go-to place.
Hope Farm by Peggy Frew, my accidental library pick last week, drew me in from the beginning. I’d planned to borrow Frew’s Islands, longlisted for this year’s Miles Franklin Literary Award. All copies were on loan.
I’m glad Hope Farm sat in a pile of returned books waiting to be shelved. Otherwise I might have overlooked it. As it turned, out this page-turner kept me up far past my usual bedtime as I devoured it.
Buying new shoes challenged me. At best the activity bored and, at worst, depressed me. Once or twice, a pair of shoes captivated my imagination. An orange pair, the year I turned 39. They matched, perfectly, an oversized pumpkin-coloured jumper I wore that winter. Forty years later, a blue pair made my feet twitch with delight.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.