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Australian Author, Journalist, Speaker
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    Eighteenth century French writer, Voltaire in his novel Candido, says “Il faut cultiver notre jardin’’, which means “we must cultivate our garden’’. He is writing metaphorically that it is important to cultivate the spirit within as well as the beautiful things in our life. This gem of French literature was unearthed by my French teacher, […]

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  • 01/19/11--00:31: The King of Cakes
  • Galette des Rois: There is something about religious tradition which gladdens the soul and in French culture, the festival of Epiphany when the Three Wise Kings, who visited the Christ Child, is celebrated with a special cake on January 7 each year. The cake is called  La Galette des Rois and it is celebrated in […]

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  • 01/21/11--01:35: WORLD WINE MAN WOOED BY KI
  • There is something magic about Kangaroo Island which lures unsuspecting people and its raw beauty entices them to stay. Such as another gifted fellow, French winemaker, Jacques Lurton and we hear of his love affair with  KI over dinner at Reflections, the restaurant of Kangaroo Island Lodge at American River. (It is a finalist in […]

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    People flock to Kangaroo Island to see the wildlife and landscape, but it only when you stop to meet the locals, that their stories reveal its human face and how 10 per cent of the population are artisans. We come each year to the island to watch birds and sunsets, try local wines, eat marron […]

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    We were screaming fans yesterday at Strathalbyn, for theSantos  Tour Down Under stage 4, banging on the barriers as Aussie rider Cameron Meyer outsprinted Thomas DeGendt in a dash to the wire. The two champions led the spectacular peloton by about 30 seconds racing at about 60kms an hour in a thrilling finish to a […]

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  • 01/21/11--21:56: Nature’s flower bower
  • Last week I shared how sweet it was to gather olive branches and thistles from the roadside on our wedding anniversary. And here is the result – a free, floral arrangement which lasted a week in our living room. The agapanthus and the sword-shaped leaves came from our garden, the wheat  was found next to […]

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    He was nimble enough as a slim, small waiter delivering a tray of coffees and cake, but it was bandy legs which hinted at a former life in the saddle. And there were other telltale signs too.  Barry Gottfried wore a fancy, expensive cowboy’s belt, which seems incongruous in the setting – serving tables on […]

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  • 02/19/11--21:49: Pheasant Veronique:
  • What do we cook to celebrate our wedding anniversary dinner? Something grand for just the two of us to be served on the terrace at twilight overlooking the River Murray, which is fast flowing past our rental accommodation right now. The answer comes as we approach Mt Compass where we usually buy venison. But today, […]

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  • 02/20/11--19:48: New Year’s Day 2011
  • The new year begins with ham and eggs on hot, buttered muffins for breakfast at our Hindmarsh Island home before we take our friends on a tourist drive of Goolwa over the bridge from where we live. Goolwa is a river port, the last town before the River Murray reaches the sea, and on New […]

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    How hard it is to define one’s personal style, yet British author, Kirsty Gunn in her best-selling book 44 Things: A Year of Life at Home captures her step-mother, Irene so beautifully in the following vibrant extract. “The woman who talks long into the nights and days, apartment and her flowers shining out around her, […]

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  • 03/20/11--16:16: The Art of Living Fearlessly
  • Happenstance is an intangible thing. However, I find our mantra for living well with cancer in the most unlikely of places – The Cullen Hotel room where a colourful card had been left as a  welcome message. Typically, on the outside is a signature sketch by Adam Cullen of his dog, Growler and inside is […]

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  • 03/20/11--17:42: Beautiful native flower bowl
  • Did you know that the Greek goddess of flowers is Flora?  It was a recent question in SA Weekend’s Brainwaves test and I should have known it, or guessed the answer. I have been picking native flora from Hindmarsh Island to deck my house in bowls of flowers. There is a spectacular grouping of mature […]

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  • 03/25/11--01:40: World Cancer Day
  • It’s World Cancer Day and there is really only one statistic to remember today:  11 million people worldwide are cancer survivors who will celebrate a birthday this year. This good news does not negate the fact that cancer is a deadly disease, but medical technology has come up with many treatments which cure or keep […]

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  • 03/26/11--04:57: A fruitful way
  • There are myriad ways to bring pleasure into our lives and it helps to know that spontaneity is one element of longevity. So, when husband Olivier suddenly suggested we take a different road home to Goolwa on the Fleurieu Peninsula, I turned right and took the unfamiliar Flagstaff Hill Road to Middleton for the first […]

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  • 03/27/11--23:55: Mushrooming in Kuipo Forest
  • Sunday, March 27: Another day of pure pleasure searching for the rare cepe mushrooms in Kuitpo Forest. Cepe is a rare mushroom in Australia, but sells for up to 100 Euros a kilogram in France because its unique flavour is prized by the French.. Few Australians know of cepe unless they have seen the price […]

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  • 03/27/11--23:59: Our February Christmas
  • My adult children from London, daughter Serena, husband Jon and my three grand-children,  arrive in Adelaide in the middle of a storm in February. Poor things. They hate London’s dreary, dismal weather and yearn for their once-a-year visit to sunny Australia, the tail end of  cyclone Yasi lashes us with drenching rain when we drive […]

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    Bride-to-be Philipa Charlesworth, of Goolwa, exudes all the joy of a first-time bride as she shows off the exquisite Pacific-island design of her wedding gown which she will wear in Tongo in June. Yet, it is the fifth time she will marry. And she gushes about her sweetheart like a teenager in the throes of […]

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  • 04/03/11--18:55: Relay for life
  • My son, Tyson, who lost his dad in November, and his wife Vanessa are doing something very special. They have mounted a Relay For Life team raising funds for The Cancer Council of South Australia and have raised more than $1000 with sponsorship and the hard work of fund-raising.  Vanessa has cooked trays of honey […]

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  • 04/03/11--19:03: Diane von Furstenberg
  • Here is a gem of wisdom about design from evergreen fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg. “There is design and there is art.  Good design is total harmony.  There is no better design than nature. If you look at a branch or a leaf, it is perfect.  It is all function. Art is different. It is […]