The Royal Show and all the fun of the fair

Royal Show, Perth

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 surfaced today on the birthday of my daughter Anne. She and I often went places together, including football games at the Perth Stadium and on holidays. A few years ago we went by train to the Show, just for the fun of it. I hadn’t been for many years, and then always with my children or grandchildren. Anne and I had a lovely, adult day.

I thought about that outing. Then, synchronicity being what it is, and doing what it does, my friends Sue W and  GC chose ‘Fairgrounds’ as the topic of their word challenge for the week. You can read their blog by clicking on their names.

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Ruth Wilson remarkable author ‘The Jane Austen Remedy’

Photo of author Ruth Wilson

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 Hill,’ after the novel Jane of Lantern Hill by LM Montgomery. She lived there for ten years, alone but not lonely, supported by her daughters and the local community.

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Winter ‘blah’ and ways to banish it

Winter 'blah'

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. My brother. John’s granddaughter. Renee’s partner. Several dear friends. I worry about them and like everone else, wish this would pass.

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Why abortion legislation matters to this old woman

Why abortion law matters

Abortion legislation, very much in the news this week, matters to me. I believe women have the right to make decisions about their own bodies and what happens to them. For too long, patriarchal institutions like medicine, the law, the media and religion have dictated to women.

The recent overturning of the Roe vs Wade legislation in the USA on Constitutional grounds makes me sad. Abortion laws in that country are now decided on a state by state basis. This is also the case in Australia where all states allow abortion, but with restrictions.

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Practise curiosity to grow and learn

Curiosity, the desire to know things, is a necessary human trait. Strong in young animals and children, it propels them to learn about the world and their place in it. They question, explore, play and have fun. Curiosity is essential for all kinds of learning.

It is enables and encourages creativity, learning and problem-solving skills.

People who excel display unlimited curiosity and they question continually. It keeps them, and us, interested and interesting. But, unless constantly fed, curiosity can fade. When that happens, people become less involved in living. Their learning skills diminish.

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Edie Richter is Not Alone – by Rebecca Handler

Edie Richter book cover

Edie Richter is Not Alone, Rebecca Handler’s debut novel, is a tragicomedy. Serious themes and great grief interwoven with laugh-out-loud observations ensure the reader’s interest remains high.

Rebecca Handler, who now lives and works in San Francisco, lived in Western Australia for three years. She reflects this experience in the setting of her book.

While I may not have chosen Eric Richter is Not Alone, I’m glad that we read it at my book club. Otherwise, I might have missed it.

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Breastfeeding tricks for great-grandmothers

breastfeeding tricks for great grandmothers

Breastfeeding! It didn’t occur to me that I would learn new tricks to deal with this ancient art. It’s been practised by women for ever, and we think we know all there is to know. But each generation does things in it’s own way, different from before.

We’ve welcomed five new infants into our family in the last eight months, so there’s been much information for me to absorb. In my privileged position of great-grandmother, I’m exposed regularly to new knowledge about all things baby and child care.

I hope I keep up with the challenges!

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Grapple with new information to keep brain growing

struggling with new information

We spend a lot of time grappling with new information and skills just so we can keep up in the modern world. Every time we buy a new gadget or product, we have to learn how it works. Computers and mobile phones constantly change. Information technology demands we keep up or give up, but that’s not all that changes.

Last week I conquered rapid antigen tests, although I felt quite nervous. What if I got it wrong? What if I couldn’t do it? But two new great-granddaughters and my need to see them and their mothers meant I’ve become very blase about RATs.

From cradle to grave, human brains learn and grow. (See my blog on life-long learning.) The best results come from those experiences which caused us to battle with new information and find a place for it in the framework of knowledge that already exists in our brains.

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More newsletter than blog for the end of May

Van gogh newsletter

Here’s a newsletter so everyone knows I’ve been extremely busy over the past few weeks. My usual pastimes have fallen by the way. Blogs not written. House barely cleaned. Take-away meals on the table every night (no, just wishing, kidding!).

But I have been busy, in my own, pottering-around, eighty-four year old way. Life has a magic way of catching up with me. I know everyone says this, but how in the name of goodness did I ever manage to work and do all the other things?

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Hairdressing woes that dogged me all my life

hairdressing woes

Current hairdressing woes aside, my life has been blighted by a rough deal dealt by my genes!

You’d think a sane and rational older adult, in a world with so many problems and so much sadness, would have better things to think about. But my genes preoccupy too much of my thinking time. It’s not my congenital hammer toe, but my hair, which disturbs me.

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