Blog

My inner ballerina?

Croise devant, port de bras, demi-plie

These expressions came creeping out of dark corners of my brain this week as I went to my first ballet class since I was a child.

Ballet class – me – at the age of 65!

Why for heavens’ sake? I’m a writer, not some frustrated prima ballerina. Not even almost retired Galena at the back of the corps de ballet!

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Voter Backlash…

This is my bay.

It also belongs to many other people – the people of Tasmania. These are State waters, a beautiful sea that has provided occupation, recreation and ambience for many lifetimes of both indigenous people and newcomers.

When I talk of occupation, I talk of professions. I talk of fishermen – generations who have caught wild fish for a living. I had an uncle who was a professional fisherman. He would take his boat out and fish between the continental shelf and the shore of Tasmania, catching all manner of fish for the markets. But he fished sustainably and treated the ocean and what lived in it with respect, knowing that to over-fish would be cutting his nose to spite his face.

Today, a young family friend is also a professional fisherman, but thanks to climate change and an ecology altering by the day, his catch is sporadic and difficult.

Times have changed…

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Desert Island Books – with Alex Martin!

UK writer, Alex Martin and I became acquainted a couple of years ago – I discovered her wonderful WWI  novel, Daffodils, and from that moment, became an ardent fan. This book and its sequels are the kinds of novels from which TV series are made. It was only natural that I include Alex on my Desert Island guest list – we share a lot in common – coasts, dogs, herbs, French countryside, and of course, we are both indie writers.

Welcome, Alex…

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Desert Island Books goes back to the Dark Ages…

I ‘met’ Annie online  last year and rapidly became a fan of her work and her informed blogposts on Dark Age history. We share something of a love of light and life and Annie has humour that appeals. It was only natural then that I invite her to be my first guest on Desert Island Books so that we can learn more about the Inner Annie (try saying that fast!). She admits to cheating but I don’t mind. Over to Annie and her Top Ten…

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NEW Desert Island Books!

Okay!  It’s not a new idea. In fact it’s been done everywhere. But I find I like reading what people would take to an island to sustain them…

I like listening to Desert Island Discs too – wondering whether, if the island is truly a desert island, they dance to the music, conduct a symphony orchestra, play air guitar truly fortissimo – and all without being embarrassed! And I wonder if the music would be a solace, soothing ebbing spirits as passing days get notched into the trunk of the obligatory palm tree.

But back to the books…

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The Florentine Diary…

Sometime in the naughty nineties, I enrolled at the University of Tasmania Art School. Specifically the Paper Mill with a view to learning about paper, binding and artist’s books from the inestimable Penny Carey Wells.

It was a fabulous time – not least for the people I studied with who became such friends. Most had degrees in Fine Arts and were teachers of Art. I wasn’t, but it didn’t matter because the level of paper knowledge and binding was pretty well even throughout…

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Shiver me timbers…

The aroma of timbers and the sea.

The sound of people yelling to each other – from the yardarms, from the seats of skiffs, from the wales of yachts as they go about.

The crack of sails filling and the flack of pennants in a stiff breeze…

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Wooly bums…

No writing this afternoon, no swimming either …  instead, bringing the ewes off the oat stubble on a stormy afternoon…

Through dust and dirt…

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