Latest News

Once again the weeks have slipped away, and an update on this web site is long overdue. It's been a period of bits and pieces: some writing - mainly poetry; some good news - a number of poems accepted for various journals and magazines, such as Polestar, The Write Angle, Poetry Monash, and Poetry Matters, etc; some bad news - poems rejected (enough of these to prevent hubris, just as there are enough accepted to keep me sending them out!); some guest speaking at Probus Clubs and other organisations ...  And two big agenda items: our coming trip to South America, which will be a wonderful breaking of new ground for both of us, and the beginnings of research towards a new novel. But that's on the back burner for the moment, and I'll report progress on that when it's more firmly in place.

So once again the Easter season is almost with us, and last Sunday the palms were firmly in place beside the altar with their reminder that Holy Week has begun. The weather is looking good and the garden is calling. This year we're having Easter at home, with the usual Easter egg hunt for the smaller children on Sunday morning, and maybe this year I'll once again plant bulbs for the spring.

Where have all the past years gone? asked the song writer ...  So do I.  Another year has passed, and it's somehow today the last day in January of 2016. Even more, it's a long time since I've added to this page in my web site. Strangely it's one of those things that seems to move towards the bottom of the 'to do' pile, and that pile, believe me, is considerable!

So, since October, what has happened? It's all been surprisingly trivial, but very satisfying. The usual December pre-Christmas frenzy of activity, this time lessened by the fact that instead of a huge influx of house guests, for the first time in many years we went to Canberra for a Christmas in someone else's home - to eldest daughter Felicity. Lovely to have someone else responsible for managing the daily routines, and a happy time marked by lots of wonderful food, catching up with old friends in Canberra,  a number of really good films - and, of course, lots of card-playing with eager card-shark grand-daughters. "Well, you taught us!" they say .... As I said, nothing earth-shattering in these last few months.

But a sobering time, as we attended funerals of friends of many years, with an increasing recognition of the fact that social events have moved on from the 21sts, the engagements, the marriages, the christenings, the decade birthday parties, the children's weddings ... and now we are entering the era of funerals as our most common gatherings of old friends. Sobering, indeed.

Perhaps this is is why we are seizing the day (nothing like a bit of 'carpe diem' as a motivator) and planning an imprudent but very desirable trip to South America this year. It looks wonderful, despite the shadow of falling share markets and the looming Zlika virus, and we are looking forward to it enormously - that's if we ever get through the morass of visa applications that seem to be required for every area our APT travel will take us. So we struggle with forms for Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador in an increasing recognition that we are going to be covering a lot of territory.

For me, one of the anticipated pleasures is the writing. I'll try to keep to my usual pattern of a poem a day, knowing that there's great satisfaction when, on return, David puts together my poems and photos in a book that becomes a treasured record of our time away. That will compensate for the very little bit of writing I've done in these last few months - a handful of poems, and that's been it. Not good, and it leaves me feeling very empty in spite of all life's other satisfactions. That will change ...

On the road once again, and this time we're in Melbourne for a series of functions, the first of them a reunion lunch for about a dozen old friends from my Matric (Year 12) 1955 school class. Worth celebrating, because this is our sixtieth anniversary, and that's quite a span of time.

For those interested, Flowers & Forebears is now in print again, and available from the online order page on this web site. So too is the latest book, a slim volume in the Picaro Poets series now being published by Ginninderra Press. It's called Indochina Days and is the 'poem a day' record of our recent travels in Vietnam and Cambodia, new territory for both of us. We travelled from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh city, then spent a week meandering by boat up the Mekong to Siem Riep, where the past glories of Angkor Wat were something I have always wanted to see. And not disappointed! This was, of course, the year we were definitely not travelling overseas ...  somehow that wasn't kept to.