COVID-19 complacency – Is it time to regroup?

COVID-19 complacency

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.

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Change of name – change of identity

change of name rose

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.

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Common People by Tony Birch – a review

Cover Common People

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.

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Short stories as art and craft

Short stories in collections

Short stories fascinate and often delight both readers and writers. They can be compared to pieces of art or even to poems. All three capture a mood or an emotion that lingers long after you view, read or listen to them.

In the past, I’ve reviewed short stories, including ‘Killing Daniel’ and Everywhere I Look, both by Helen Garner, one of my favourite authors. But recently I rediscovered how much I enjoy short stories to the extent of binge-reading and finding new favourite authors.

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How a gratitude journal can transform your life

Picture Daily gratitude journal

A daily gratitude journal can be an awesome tool for anyone who wants a happier, more fulfilled life. The simple act of giving thanks in writing for even the smallest pleasures can lighten the dark days. When life runs smoothly, making a note of things we enjoy enhances our happiness.

As an old French proverb reminds us, ‘Gratitude is the heart’s memory’.

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Kalbarri memories – the scenic route

Kalbarri Western Australia

Kalbarri memories seem important this weekend. I’m trying to forget about COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter protests, as well as bullying on Facebook and Messenger. It feels as if these call for an antidote such as a blog about something totally different. What better than to write about than a place I love?

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Artist’s dates add sparkle to life

Artist's date

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 go out, I felt helpless and slightly deprived, although on the whole isolation didn’t affect me badly.

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The Yield by Tara June Winch, a review

Cover of The Yield

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 written and rewarding book about Aboriginal people.

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Black Lives Matter – ethical questions

Black Lives Matter

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 COVID-19.

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Exploded View by Carrie Tiffany – review

Exploded View cover

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.

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