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Australian Author, Journalist, Speaker
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    Our family has welcomed a big, beautiful baby boy following the safe delivery of Zachary Graham Williams, first son – and second child – of my son Tyson and his wife, Vanessa in Melbourne over the weekend. I have had a splendid time being caring grandma to 22-month-old Scarlett and we have spent much time […]

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    April has been a month of  high excitement. Baby Zachary Graham Williams, born the first week, presented as my fifth grand-child, a big baby boy weighing 4.12 kilograms and 51 centimetres long. A fine specimen and a beautiful brother to grand-daughter Scarlett. Records are important newsmakers when a new baby arrives and Zachary weighed more […]

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    There’s always something happening with ‘sex’ and the French! And presently, French president, Francois Hollande is the star act. He continues to court emotional and political disaster because of his sex life – or should I say lack of it of late. In France, the Prime Minister, Manuel Valls has the power to install whomever […]

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    My sister Anne has a crammed life, but today we shared some incredibly uplifting sisterly events. On the eve of Mothers Day, we bought chrysanthemums from a road stall and visited our mother, Florrie’s grave at the Enfield Memorial Park.  This is the first time in many years that we have joined our hands to […]

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    News about three outstanding women of the world today deserve attention as female role models – Hilary Clinton, Dr Catherine Hamlin and world renowned primate expert and conservationist, Dame Jane Goodall.  One thing which inspires me is that they are all ageing women, and are still planning and working for the good of others. The […]

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    My dear French friend, Dominique Bievre, who lives in Valance, France recently visited Paris and then got caught in the crippling SNCF rail transport strike.  As soon as he arrived home, he sent this gem of an email, which sums up French society in a manner which only a native-born French person could. “I manage to […]

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    Oscar-winning Welsh actor, Anthony Hopkins can be “really stroppy’’, Clive Owen brings “a laugh onto the movie set’’, and Catherine Zeta-Jones is “so unpretentious’’, says renowned Australian film maker and screenwriter, Scott Hicks. These titillating snippets were among tales of Hollywood stars from Hicks in an entertaining Q & A with Dr Nick Prescott at […]

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    Some days simply need to be endured, such as today which is my late husband’s birthday – the third since he died two years ago last month. Yes there is sadness on such an anniversary, but it is also important to acknowledge that simple things have become pleasurable again. Yesterday, for instance, my friend Sheryl […]

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    AFL football has gained new-found interest in my life since my team – Port Power – reached top of the AFL championship ladder and this elation has been a great conversation booster over the past few months. Allegiance to a footy team adds colour to family life, too and I notice on my grandson Zachary’s baptism invitation that […]

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    One thing that fascinates me about the current feisty debate around  Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s “signature” Paid Parental Leave proposed policy is that women, themselves, are not hailing this initiative as the best thing since sliced bread.  The hoo haa from men was always expected, because the vast majority simply continue to go off to […]

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    August 25, 2014 – Another pivotal day in the history of France, which we should remember if we love to visit the City of Light, or the City of Lovers, whatever suits your situation. Today, 70 years ago, Charles de Gaulle,  rode down the Champs Elysses and accepted the capitulation of Hitler’s general. We should […]

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    It began as one of those lovely lazy spring days, which erupted into fright when the bloke visiting the house shouted  “There’s a snake behind you!”.  A nonisecond beforehand, he was quietly reading a novel in the living room and we two women were scanning cookbooks outside in the al fresco. “Quick! Where is a […]

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  • 10/18/14--06:15: Flowers fertilise the soul
  • If flowers fertilise the soul, then my spring garden with its gorgeous crop of fancy irises and first rose blooms are the reason for my tranquil pleasure.  The lavender bushes are in flower, the herbs are lush, the pansies have yellow faces smiling at the sun and the “seduction’;’ roses are  bursting out of their buds.    With clippers in […]

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    Adelaide fashionistas have an exciting – and rare – chance to visit an amazing exhibition of some of the most famous post-war fashion masterpieces ever created by the world’s top designers at the Art Gallery of South Australia. “Fashion Icons”,  a major international exhibition of  French fashion  from Paris’s Musee des Arts Decoratifs, raises the thorny […]

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    It is a beautiful Adelaide Hills garden setting and we are gathered in rows of white plastic chairs, not for a wedding, but for the saddest event.   There is  a tiny white coffin sitting on a lace-covered table cloth  at the funeral of my niece Chelsea’s infant son, who was stillborn a week ago.   Chelsea married her husband, Allan, last year, […]

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      Pity it wasn’t one of those multi-million dollar lotteries, but from the exhilaration from my son Tyson’s household you would think they had won the jackpot.   However, in an exciting win, his wife, Vanessa’s name came up in the ballot results for  reservations at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck restaurant at Melbourne’s Crown. Thousands missed […]

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    If there is one thing which will keep ageing Baby Bpomers in the work force is the realisation that their long “bucket list’’ of activities for retirement will be unachievable. According to new research released recently by Rest Superannuation Fund, of 1000 people surveyed, less than  one third believed they would  be able to fulfil  […]

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    Congratulations to renowned viticultural researcher and educator,  Peter Dry, who has won the 2014 Maurice O’Shea Award for his outstanding service to the Australian wine industry over 40 years. He began his career in 1970 in the Riverland as a research officer with the South Australian Department of Agriculture in Loxton.  After five years, he […]

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    On a much more joyful note, here is a photograph of quite a famous South Aussie Master of cricket – Michael Willson, who sent this snap of himself hooking the ball at the Australian Over 70s National Interstate Cricket Championships held in Melbourne recently. Michael is the SA Captain and also the Australian Vice Captain.  […]