• Life Day By Day,  Life Matters

    The carnival is over

    ‘Turn down the volume’ she cried. All she wants to do is rest. There were times when music bought joy into her life. The passion, the emotion. But now, all she asks for is quietness, peace. She wants others to understand but does not explain. Her silence speaks volumes to me, it is loud and unexpected. Hence, when there is a request to turn down the volume, it is not questioned. She looks at the photo sitting on the wine table in the corner. It may have once been home to bottles of wine, and a random feather from her scarf. It was a sign of good times. But now…

  • Life Day By Day

    Atherton

    I put my suitcase down and looked around. A kitchenette with laminate benches and a laminate table and vinyl covered chairs. It was 60s style. I opened the back door to see the bush behind. As I returned to the car I looked around. My unit was one of around ten others. All in a row with a covered parking space out the front. The place looked run down and in an isolated area. Yet this was to be home for the next month, Monday to Friday, and only a few minutes’ drive to the township of Atherton. Earlier in the day I drove from the Sunshine Coast to Brisbane…

  • Life Day By Day

    From my home to yours

    I am taking a break from short story writing this week. Not that I am short of characters and plots. Too many ideas and unfinished articles! What have you been doing at your place as we all get used to living with COVID-19? I am spending more time at home. While I love my home I miss the spontaneity of change. Such as a short trip away or visiting my favourite Toowoomba restaurant. However, I want to wait, now that the Queensland borders are opened (except to Victorians and hotspots in New South Wales) to see what the virus gets up to! In the meantime, here is a pictorial story…

  • Life Day By Day

    No second chance

    Once the coronavirus restrictions were lifted and café’s opened Alison and I met for lunch in Toowoomba at the Parkhouse Café. I patted down my windswept hair as I walked into the café, elated that I was catching up with my bestie after months of home isolation. I looked around the café, the tables were scattered sparsely across the café floor. I had to wait to be seated and the disposable paper menu was handed to me at the table. It was different to other occasions when the café was a buzz with diners and people lined up at the counter to order. I kept reminding myself not to hug…

  • Life Day By Day,  Life Matters

    A day to remember

    We all thought we knew what to expect when the Johnston family met for a reunion in Adelaide in 2013. After all, we had attended six previous Johnston reunions. On the 2 June 1953, the Johnston family of eight (four boys and two girls) left Lisbellaw, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. The family were immigrating to Australia. Their first destination was England’s Tilbury docks where they boarded the P & O Ship, the SS Mooltan. June 2 was a memorable day for Charles and Violet Johnston and their children. It was also a memorable day for Great Britain, and all the nations of the Commonwealth. It was the day of Queen…

  • Life Day By Day

    The child is growing older

    The sun is shining through the shutters as she pulls the bed coverings over her head. All she can hear is the sound of the clock, tick-tock, tick-tock, as if to say – time to get up! But it is a cold winter’s morning and she must be persuaded to get out of her warm bed. There is a solitary silence surrounding her as she gathers her dressing gown tightly around her. She passes the mirror; her hair is tousled and untamed. Her hairbrush has gone missing, but she will find it later. Always known for her agile and graceful poise she would glide to the breakfast table. However, today,…

  • Life Matters

    Childhood memories – the family home (Part 2)

    The backdoor of our family home, where Christine and I grew up, was open. I knocked on the door, Christine did the same. As there was no answer we tentatively walked in – uninvited guests! As I stepped into the small porch childhood memories came flooding back. I then walked into the adjoining room, the laundry. There I saw the same concrete tubs. They had been there for 65 years! Back then there was a small table in the corner. This is where my sister Susan and I sat while our mother washed our face and hands, grubby from playing outside. One day, during the ritual of face and hand…

  • Life Day By Day,  Life Matters

    Childhood memories – the family home (Part 1)

    My parents build their first home in Toowoomba in the 1950s. To realise their dream my father, who had  been in the Air Force, borrowed money through the War Service loan program. I was four years old when we moved in, two years older than my sister Susan. The house was a simple structure, made of fibro, three bedrooms and one bathroom. The toilet was in the backyard. The house had a lovely treed outlook, opposite Newtown Park. During World War II Newtown park was a military camp, home to thousands of Australian and USA soldiers. Most of the soldiers were accommodated in tents. There were halls and other outbuildings…

  • Socio-Political

    What were they drinking?

    If you watch television or listen to the radio, you will have heard about the Federal government’s home renovation stimulus scheme. Since it was announced there has been an outcry about the sensibilities regarding the scheme. Another way of saying sensibilities is ‘what were they drinking?’ That is, the politicians and public servants who concocted the scheme? This morning Senator Jacqui Lambie was interviewed on ABC Radio National by Hamish McDonald about the scheme. Jacqui who is known to ‘shoot from the hip’ said, ‘what the hell is in their cigars?’ The sub text here relates to the 2014 photograph of the then Treasurer, Joe Hockey, and Finance Minister, Mathias…

  • KJ's Kitchen

    Cooking to a Latin beat

    Cooking can be hard work. Look around any busy home kitchen and it is not long before the dishes pile up! Take the Banana and Date cake I made yesterday. On two occasions I started with the wrong size bowl. Therefore, that added two more bowls to the washing up. It was a new recipe and it looked great when I put it in the oven. Before long, I heard my One&Only (O&O) calling out ‘your cake is falling all over the side of the loaf tin and dripping into the bottom of the oven!’ I removed it from the oven and placed a tray underneath the cake tin. Before…