A Review {of sorts} of Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee — To Read or Not To Read

Go Set A Watchman came out over three years ago. I have studiously avoided it. Why? I’m not really sure but I think it had a lot to do with rumours of Atticus’s racist ideas and me not wanting to have to look more closely at a childhood idol of mine. Recently I downloaded an […]

via A Review {of sorts} of Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee — To Read or Not To Read


How To Make Cumquat Jam

How to make cumquat jam?
First you must go back in time to more than ten years ago. You will go to a Garage Sale at the dance hall on Dixon Road, Buderim and you will purchase, for the princely sum of $2 a plant labelled as Native Lemon. It will languish in this pot, doing absolutely nothing for a few years before it is banished to the back of the garden to fend for itself, as many other plants have done before. Here it will make its grand escape unbeknownst to humans because you were not looking. {It’s a jungle back there!!} One day you will realise that it has grown and go and check just what the hell is going on and realise you are months too late. You sigh, and hack the plastic pot away, heap lots of mulch up to the tree {for it is now a tree} and wish it well.

A couple of years later you see flowers and then…..native lemons?? Oh no no no…you see….cumquats!

You make fiddly cumquat marmalade each year and curse the tree and the person who bought it {yourself} as you prise out every one of the fifty gazillion pips that reside in cumquats. The marmalade tastes amazing but you wonder if it is worth it.

Fast forward to this year, where you decide to make Cumquat Jam {or Jelly depending on where you come from} for this year’s haul is a mighty one. {See picture below} The cumquat tree has obviously been enjoying the weather.

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What is the difference between the Jam and the Marmalade you may ask yourself and you will reply NO MORE FIDDLY PIP REMOVAL! Yes! All you will do is halve the cumquats, cover them in water and simmer for two hours. After this you let the whole mixture cool for a while before squeezing through cheese cloth. When you can’t find your piece of cheesecloth {it’s in the pantry somewhere!!} you choose a sieve instead and let the juice run through and then keep stirring the pulp until you couldn’t be bothered anymore.

You will measure your pulpy juice of cumquat and heat it up, adding the equivalent amount of sugar. For example, you will find you have 2 litres of pulp and will therefore need 2 kgs of sugar. You will keep stirring until the sugar has melted, and then simmering until jam forms. {You will test this by placing a little on a plate and if it sets then your jam is ready}

You will have your carefully saved jam and honey jars ready and warm in the oven. You will not have forgotten to take their labels off and therefore will not have to madly scrub whilst the jam cooks.

You will fill the jars, place on their lids and admire your work. You will ignore the mess and take a photograph of your jam instead. You will write about it. People will admire your craft, both with words and cumquats.

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You are the Cumquat Queen.



Copyright September 2018

My Poetry for a Writers Festival

This year’s Melbourne Writers Festival had an online poetry element. Each day poets were invited to join in by tweeting a poem. I, of course, had to accept the challenge and write a poem everyday. And here they are. Can you pick which one of my poems was chosen as poem of the day???




another haiku

words are like prime ministers

easy come and go



with daddy-long-legs

the conversations are short

drowned in the shower



poetry for poetry’s sake

no remuneration necessary


a small pat on the shoulder

and a slice of cake


a pot of tea

and a thank you


for brightening my day

with poetry


but really

it’s just poetry


for poetry’s sake




25 bags of mulch


exhaustion strikes


like a mosquito

on a blood run

in January



a quick word

at 2:00 am disgruntled

kookaburras chuckle

fight with the screaming

possum over the favoured

tree written in

the stars and the

moon insomnia



a tale of two card readers

when a port is not

the right port

and a reader

of cards





haiku day begins

at one with the universe

maybe not today




from under the blankets

a cry of mo{u}rning


cars drive over the bump





and the children yell

on the way to school


and the mo{u}rning

moves without me


forward and backwards in time

a dream



it comes from the west

as all change does


this taste of dirt in my mouth

a reminder of the centre


watching the extremes battle

one eye shut



father’s day

the neighbour’s new tools

destroying the silence






Copyright August/September 2018

Walk The Dandelion


The girl pulled the final weed from between the end bricks. Rising slowly, she gently rubbed her aching back before wheeling her barrow over to the compost heap at the edge of the road. She grimaced as she upended the barrow. The pain never left but at least her task was complete for now.

She slowly packed her supplies into the wheelbarrow and set off down the brick road. It was a long way back to the beginning.

As she walked, she moved back in time, through the weedless bricks of yesterday, to the early sproutings of a week before, and the full thicket of dandelions from a month before that.

As she walked, her pain lessened, her cares eased, and she began to smile. She remembered the good times, the days when clouds loosed rain upon the ground.  The times when dandelions covered the earth, not just the gaps in brick roads.

Tomorrow, she knew, she would begin again.  Pulling dandelions from between bricks, scattering their wishes in the morning sun. Wishes for others to capture, and sow, and wish upon, themselves.



Copyright August 2018