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Australian Author, Journalist, Speaker
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      Lyceum Club senior-vice-president, Marguerite Wark has won a special prize in the Writers’ Week competition and shares her delightful words with us. “Writers’ Week – my favourite week in the year – when authors give insight into their raison d’etre , friends gather in the gardens to listen and  discuss ideas put forward by  highly […]

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  • 12/07/12--18:35: Kookaburra’s special song
  • Remember the childhood song “Kookaburra sits on the Old Gum Tree…Merry, Merry King of the Bush is He….’’. The words flooded back this week when a kookaburra descended upon the gums surrounding the new garden and sat on a low-hanging dead branch. The interest in this snippet is that in the eight years I have […]

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  • 12/08/12--05:07: November a social whirl
  • November must surely nudge March as the best fun month in Adelaide.  Take my November social calendar as an example of a typical Adelaidean’s merry-go-round of fun. We didn’t  need to be in Melbourne to gather in our thousands in myriad venues, in my case in the luxurious Springfield home of a friend, where we […]

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    The recent Over 60s National Cricket Championships played in Adelaide last month revealed two  local champions – Des Fuss (left from Moonta and wicketkeeper Michael Willson formerly of Kangaroo Island,  (right) who were selected for the Over 70s National Cricket  2013 Team.  Both men have captained the South Australian Over 60`s teams in the National Championships […]

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      The tragedy of the thoughtless radio prank which led to the suicide of nurse Jacinta Sadanha  is just awful.  Greig and Christian when they apologised on television appeared crushed, tearful and full of remorse.  The   London news footage of Jacinta’s husband and two children with the young daughter covering her eyes was heart-wrenching; the world audience could […]

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    So this is Christmas.  Trees with twinkling lights in so many windows, wreaths on doors, Father Christmases in every shopping centre and big red bows tied around street trees. Sometimes one spots a nativity scene in a shop window.   And every now and then houses in rows will be  decorated with millions of coloured lights. […]

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  • 12/24/12--00:10: Depardeau flees France
  • France’s favourite actor son, Gerard Depardeau has caused an outcry by renouncing his Frenchness and handing in his French passport because he is incensed at the socialist Hollande French Government implementing a 75 per cent wealth tax. And he isn’t the only one.  Depardeau, who has many business interests in France besides his popularity on […]

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    It is a pity Christmas comes only once a year because it brings such joy and happiness. Ours was a wonderful Christian family celebration beginning with the Christmas Eve children’s service at Concordia Chapel followed by merriment at home with French champagne, fruits, chocolates, dips and nuts. This set the scenario for gift-giving.  Gifts are such a […]

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    As you read this, it’s your first reason to celebrate  the dawning of 2013 because despite all the doomy prophecies, the world did not end.  And despite the war in Afghanistan,  Middle Eastern strife,  the US “fiscal cliff’’ and worries about the debt-laden European economy, our corner of the world here in Australia enjoys peace […]

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    In a surprising update on France’s tax hike for the ultra-rich,  France’s highest court has thrown out the controversial plan to tax the wealthy at a rate of 75 per cent, saying it was unfair. In a further blow for the embattled French president, Francois Holland, the constitutional council found that the way the tax […]

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  • 01/17/13--04:11: Diversity in Aged Care
  • The Federal Government’s national ageing and aged care policies move beyond mainstream to diversity. The Federal Government has released its first national ageing and aged care strategy for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people and for those from different ethnic backgrounds. Initiatives include sensitivity training for the aged care workforce and a review […]

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    So much for the idyllic Sunshine State! Brisbane seems to be drowning in a cyclonic drenching and 80km winds lash relentlessly around the Queenslander house built on stilts where my daughter lives, luckily high on a hill. However, the lower suburbs and restaurants along the banks of the Brisbane River are flooded and it is […]

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    Tom Hooper’s musical version of the Victor Hugo novel, Les Miserables,a classic tale of romance, morality and crushing poverty in revolutionary France, is spell-binding. This is due in no small measure to the astonishing performance of ex-convict Jean  Valjean by Aussie actor Hugh Jackman. Valjean, a credible thief, who does his hard time for 19 […]

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      Paris chiefs have finally told women they can ‘wear the trousers’ after a 213-year-old ban on wearing such clothing was revoked as “incompatible’’ with contemporary French society. Back in 1800 law-makers had originally issued the order forcing women to seek permission from police if they wanted to ‘dress like a man’. Of course, this […]

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  • 02/18/13--04:03: Frankie is a champ at tennis
  •   Whatever happens to ageing rockers? Ask Frank Sebastyan, former sensational lead singer of Frankie and the In Sect rock band and he will tell you his sporting success story. Forget about the microphone, Frankie now wields a tennis racket and played for South Australia in Perth at the Tennis Seniors Australia Championships in January. […]

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    A belated but hearty congratulations to palliative care Godfather, Emeritus Professor  Ian Maddocks, who was named Senior Australian of the Year 2013. My heart jumped with joy at the news as I played a small part supporting his nomination by another South Australian, whose wife had recently been diagnosed with a terminal disease. The media […]

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    BY JEANETTE COOMBES   Certainly, this is not my best look! No Akubra for me, but the fly net is a must at Mt Barry working on a cattle station in the far north of South Australia in January.   The weather has been kinder today. Only 37 – not yesterday’s 47! The water in […]

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  • 03/08/13--02:59: C’est catastrophique!
  •   What is more French than savouring a steaming casserole of Coq au Vin, splashed down with a quality bottle of Sauvignon Blanc served at a classy restaurant which has honed l’art de la table .   The rest of the world could buy take-aways and fizzy drinks, but les Francaises like to think they […]

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    A European study which looked at cancer rates in all 27 Europ0oean countries has released both good and bad news about women surrounding the diagnosis and death from cancer. Britain has announced that deaths from lung cancer has overtaken deaths from breast cancer to make it the most lethal form of the diease among British […]