In the movie "The Great Beauty", the 2013 Italian film by Paolo Sorrentino, a tourist, after taking photos in Rome,  collapses and dies. The message is clear: See Rome and die! Like the protagonist in the film, my abode while in Rome (in my case, the...

I was drawn to the exotic name Ein Gedi, when coming across it in my brother's first novel set partly in Israel. Then in a friend's writing based on a poem by Ted Hughes from "Folktale", part of  Hughes' collection entitled Capriccio.  Hughes refers obliquely...

Like for most things, you can only understand the strong emotions grandparents feel  towards their grandchildren once you've experienced it.

Some live only for their children and grandchildren. I cannot imagine this. I feel so lucky and priviliged to have my twin passions, my family AND my writing. I've reconnected recently with people from my past, one who told me that he is bored with his life.  What about the joys of learning new things, of travel, exploring different places, cultures and scenery? How can anyone be bored when there is so much to do and to see, even in one's own country, not to mention other places on planet earth?

Cavtat Harbour is one of the prettiest places I've ever been to. Slate toned mountains against green hills, turquoise waters and blue skies; in the village terracotta roof tiles and cobbled stones, all combine to create an impression of stepping into fairyland for me. [caption id="attachment_11067"...

"Flame Trees" was sung by Jimmy Barnes to commemorate Australia Day on 26th January this year (2016). The song depicts for me the two sides of Grafton, its  polarities. This town is the setting for my memoir "River Girl" that I intend to publish in the near future. We lived outside the main town at a place called Waterview. Being surrounded by nature was the positive side of my childhood when I was growing up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcvB3-Svp1c

Grafton and South Grafton

I was born and grew up in the far north coast town of Grafton in NSW, Australia. Actually, it was on the poor cousin side of South Grafton on the western bank of the Clarence River. At a place called Waterview. There's a crooked bridge joining the two sides of the river.  We lived on a block of land in a weatherboard cottage, a bit of a dump, really. Dad didn't mind, so long as he was away from the town 'rubber necks'.  Mum hankered after mod cons and pretty things. Dad wanted only land, gum trees and bullocks.

There was an avenue of jacaranda trees, which marked the end of the township of South Grafton, and the start of the Gwydir Highway, that we lived next to, one mile out from the town boundary.