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

My Reading – November 2018

Graveyard Clay (Cré na Cille) by Máirtín Ó Cadhain. Translated by by Liam Mac Con Iomaire and Tim Robinson I wonder am I buried in the Pound Plot or the Fifteen-Shilling Plot? Or did the devil possess them to dump me in the Half-Guinea Plot, after all my warnings? The Cry by Helen Fitzgerald It … Continue reading My Reading – November 2018

Book Review – The Lady of the Tower by Elizabeth St John

The Lady of the Tower imagines the life of Lucy St John, a descendant of Margaret Beauchamp (maternal grandmother of Henry VII), from 1603 as she emerges from girlhood to 1630 when she was wife of the Keeper of the Tower of London. With the death of Lucy’s mother five years earlier, the family has been … Continue reading Book Review – The Lady of the Tower by Elizabeth St John

An Interview with the Author!

This is my first 'real' interview - Richard Lowe interviews me about Forsaking All Other and writing in general. It is part of his Author Talk series where he interviews a range of authors about their books and their approaches to writing. Richard's website Fiction Master Class also contains a wealth of material for people … Continue reading An Interview with the Author!