Book Review – Call of the Curlew by Elizabeth Brooks

Call of the Curlew begins on 30 December 2015. 86-year-old Virginia Wrathmell has known for years that one New Year’s Eve she will walk onto the marsh and meet her end there. She has been waiting for a sign. The sign has now appeared on her doorstep in the form of a fragile curlew’s skull. … Continue reading Book Review – Call of the Curlew by Elizabeth Brooks

My Reading – January 2019

Call of the Curlew by Elizabeth Brooks Virginia Wrathmell knows she will walk on the marsh one New Year's Eve, and meet her end there. The Corset by Laura Purcell My sainted mother taught me the seven acts of corporeal mercy: to feed the hungry; refresh the thirsty; clothe the naked; shelter the traveller; visit … Continue reading My Reading – January 2019

More than just written words?

Yesterday was National Handwriting Day in a number of countries and wonderful images of pages handwritten by various people from the past were floating around the internet.  One was the the draft of a speech given by Elizabeth I to Parliament on 10 April 1563 responding to a House of Lords petition urging her to … Continue reading More than just written words?

Black Friday, 13 January 1939

It is 80 years today since the Black Friday bushfires which devastated the Gippsland area of Victoria. In 1989, on the 50th anniversary of those fires, my mother, Catherine Mary (McGrath) Merrick, put her memories of that day on paper . ~~~ 'What a dreadful day. The hills of East Gippsland and beyond Melbourne were … Continue reading Black Friday, 13 January 1939

My Reading – December 2018

Shell by Kristina Olsson The day the great man sang, heat blazed in haloes over Bennelong Point. The Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry No decent story ought to begin with a dead prostitute and for that, apologies, for it is not something upon which respectable persons would desire to dwell. The Ghost Tree … Continue reading My Reading – December 2018

An Unseasonal Christmas – Rain, Wind and Snow in 1878

In less than one hundred years of British settlement in Australia, settlers had developed certain expectations of Christmas -- the weather would be warm, dinner could be taken al fresco, the afternoon would be spent in outdoor activities. But 1878 was a year when the 'clerk of the weather' decided to show that he had … Continue reading An Unseasonal Christmas – Rain, Wind and Snow in 1878

Christmas in Australia

For many people Christmas brings to mind images of snow covered trees, robins hopping on branches, holly and ivy. Here at ‘the top of the world (or the bottom according to your point of view)’* Christmas occurs in summer. While weather can be variable (it has been known to rain at Christmas), the perfect Christmas … Continue reading Christmas in Australia

Book Review – Graveyard Clay (Cré na Cille) by Máirtín Ó Cadhain

Graveyard Clay (Cré na Cille) by Máirtín Ó Cadhain is set in a graveyard in the west of Ireland in the early 1940s and is a continuing dialogue between those buried there. These are not spirits waiting to be translated elsewhere but rather the coffin-bound corpses of the dead. They have brought with them into … Continue reading Book Review – Graveyard Clay (Cré na Cille) by Máirtín Ó Cadhain