When the shack was built ….

I was fourteen when I put away the tools. The year was 1969 when I slammed the hammer down on that last nail head to secure the final floorboard. The shack was built. Two bedrooms – one with a wooden shelf, the height and width of a single bed that was attached to the four […]

How my grandfather made ginger beer in 1915

Albert raced into the kitchen after hearing a succession of small explosions. His eyes immediately turned up towards the high cupboards. What could it be? The popping sound continued as he watched the foamy bubbles flowing down the outside of the cupboard doors where he had stored his precious ginger beer. He ran a finger […]

Nurses are important

I’ve dabbled in writing from a tender age. The first story I had published was entitled ‘nurses are important’. A catholic newspaper was seeking contributions from children ten years and under. As a Catholic farmer’s daughter, I had lived a sheltered life until then. But here was my first big opportunity to become famous. A […]

Triabunna School, South East Tasmania – December 1910

Triabunna 1930 my grandparents

Three more hours to go. Albert Castle felt he could barely last three more minutes let alone three hours. Today’s lesson was about magnetic fields. The teacher, Mr Basset continued in his usual monotone using flowery words that Albert never understood. “The earth is comparable to an immense magnet. It has magnetic fields that protect […]

How Lycra Boy changed my life

red bike for hire to ride on bike track

It was sunrise when I arrived at the Bike Hire shop.  There was no one else in sight at that time of day which was exactly what I wanted.  I waited for a few minutes before slamming the palm of my hand on the bell that was sitting on the counter. Finally, service was coming. […]

I’m the manager. Just let me do my job.

air conditioner for Melbourne summers

‘Are you right?’ he asked from afar. ‘No’ I replied. I was looking for an email on my phone. ‘Ahh, a problem with your phone?’  ‘No’. The assumption there was something wrong with my phone set the tone of what was to follow. The manager He finally sauntered over to the service desk where I […]

Be careful when you walk past bushes

The deep croak preceded the raspy old voice. “Would you like to have sexual intercourse with me?”  Peering into the bushes I caught a glimpse of the practically bald head of Frank, the frail old pervert from next door. He had gone to a lot of trouble with his remaining wispy strands of white hair. […]

Modern history for kids

Image: dreamstime.com/stock-image-whitehouse Once in a faraway land called the Jumbled States of Aciremia there lived an old buffoon called Ronnie Rump.  He had a dream that he was the mighty leader of this not so great land for four years. He promised his faithful followers that he would make Aciremia great again. Features of Ronnie’s […]

Shona rises to the occasion

Shona. ‘She’s a real showpiece ‘, declared my brother, Skipper Bruce. Forty thousand people lining the Hobart harbour and foreshore couldn’t be wrong. The enormous crowd cheered her on as she chugged towards the dock. Smoke was billowing out of the struggling engine. Miraculously she made it to her berth before snuffing out. Skipper reckoned […]

How to avoid a kitchen disaster

It was that tiny fishbone that did it. After all the pre-preparation, then the preparation, surely nothing could go wrong. I pored over recipes online for hours hoping to get some inspiration. Finally, I found a fish curry that seemed simple enough.  Jim was partial to fish and curry. By combining the two I was […]