Archive for April, 2014

“The Gaelic Horseman” overlooks the battlefield at Curlew Pass in Co. Sligo, Ireland. (Photo: FMF © Oct. 2003)

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Busy doing my tax return and came across an unsaved (!) poem I wrote and submitted (some time ago) to be included in an anthology to raise funds for the preservation of Rhinos.

Harry Owen  the inaugural Poet Laureate for Cheshire (UK) in 2003, moved to South Africa’s Eastern Cape in January 2008, was the editor and now the book is published I shall put my order in.

Even though they didn’t use my poem I certainly want to support their very worthy cause.


Imagine slow, deep heart beats

echoing inside a massive hide.


Slumberous half-blind grazing.

Open veld rare rhino protected.


Unaware evil stalks with intent.

Crack! Stinging rifle shot thrums.


Laboring body lumbers to escape.

Laid low, as deadly saw crudely


works on pointed bone bleeding

on Africa’s Skin.  Enough death,


illegal trade.  This is no noble

harvest to feed the starving poor…

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2012 

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Lest we forget…

Everything I’m feeling today was said this time last year…

Perth Words... exploring possibilities.

I was lucky, I had my dad and mum until my early thirties – but so many didn’t.

1967M&DUmthali web

My Dad was a Pathfinder in the R.A.F. 35 Squadron and awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by King George.  

PilotDadUniform ADJWeb

Mum blamed the blitz for making her take up smoking.


Dad never missed the chance to proudly honor his fallen mates in whichever country he found himself – it was the only time his medals saw the light of day and the only time he publicly acknowledged the war unless ‘Dambusters’ or ‘Battle of Britain‘ were on TV.    

My husband and I have been doing a lot of research into Mum and Dad’s life before Africa and have found out many surprising facts which have answered many, many questions we should have asked when they were with us.  

I now know why  ‘Don’t Fence Me In’was one…

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The Sweater Shop, Doolin, Co Clare, 2003.

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Easter at our house.

Last day of the Easter weekend and all eggs (except the two above) distributed.

I always buy Cadbury’s Easter Bilby for my son the Environmentalist and the Lindt Gold Bunny for my daughter the Chocolate Connoisseur.

The Bilby is an Australian marsupial under threat of extinction and environmentalists suggested a couple of years ago, the way to help would be to use the commercialization of Easter.

Meet Australia’s Easter Bunny: the Long-Eared Greater Bilby:  “And there’s arguably no better way of getting our kids interested in our native wildlife than covering them in chocolate.”

Apart from having my gorgeous grandies round for tea after a family picnic in the park yesterday,  I’m busy re-writing a story I wrote a few Easters ago.

Originally called  ‘An Easter Tale’  or ‘How the Bilby got Easter’s job with the wrong tail’,  it’s now called ‘Bringarious Bilby’  with grand ambitions to be published sometime in the not too distant future as a children’s picture book.

Hope your long weekend was all you wanted it to be – and you and yours are safe.




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‘Urban Scrawl’ an anthology of member’s stories published in 2000 by Peter Cowan Writer’s Centre.


The illustration for my story ‘Write to Romance’.


“Write to Romance” appeared in ‘Urban Scrawl’, a collection of member’s writing put together by Peter Cowan Writers Centre in 2000 and was the first of my short stories published in Australia.

As I have quite a few snippets of story on my computer ‘shelves’ I’m very interested in putting together a collection for an eBook to publish online as soon as possible.

Watch this space.


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It’s that time of year again (photo taken today).   Wish I’d taken photos last year, when I wrote this though…


Two Fans


Two fans enthusiastically spin amongst

a pile of rubbish waiting for pick up,



Through wind and rain, even thunder

“Look at me!” but nothing moved.

Clever stack.


Unlike No 2’s plant pots. Scattered

colorful rattles voicing the gusts.



Drive-bys;  inspection opportunists.

Recycling on a budget or business,

who knows?


Roadside shopping has rules. Don’t

muddle. Re-stack after inspection.



It’s bad manners to sort, scrounge,

accept or reject – pull apart, untidy,

then go.


 Frances Macaulay Forde © 2013

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Inspired by Retirement & Beyond.


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Do you believe in Karma?

Standing in front of all those Alexander McCall Smith books, I was overawed – found it difficult to settle on just one (or two) to get signed, but   “Trains and Lovers”  called to me.

How could I resist when I had also writtenRail Tales – notes from the Currumbine line.’   like many who had found the enclosed capsule of a train carriage inspiring.

I’ve been waiting weeks since listening to him  talk at UWA , to find the time to read the book.  Not wanting to pick it up for a quick look, but time to read the whole thing because I know once I open those magical pages, I won’t be able to put it down.

Within the very first chapters Alexander had mentioned my home town Perth, Western Australia; introduced us to an Australian lady called ‘Kay’ in her 50’s; mid-twenties ‘Andrew’ with eyes the same color as my Mum’s;  asked another if he was Canadian  (my niece lives there) before letting ‘Andrew’ tell us about himself.

‘Andrew’ comes from the same place as my mother’s family, Oban, Mull, South Uist and Lewis.  Mum also spoke Gaelic when she was young and came from a long line of doctors.  In fact, my maternal grandfather was named after a famous doctor who helped found the Physiology school in Glasgow University,  John Grey McKendrick. ( I’ve tried, but cannot find any other family connection to the famous physiologist except the name.)

And I’d only read to page 17.

So I’ll be ‘gone’ for a while readers…  this book is obviously my Karma.

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Sonja’s artwork. (4 1/2 years old)

My brother is meeting his 1st grandchild in Sydney today, but isn’t allowed to go too close because he sneezed before getting on the flight!


I held you to my

breast – now calm

and gently, with my

forefinger, caress

-ed your tiny arm.

Frances Macaulay Forde © 1976

And today, I got a call from my son to say that his littlest is in the Children’s Hospital with a lung infection!  I wanted so much to go straight to her bedside and give lots of cuddles, to make sure she gets better.  But that’s my son and her mum’s job – not mine!

Sometimes it’s really hard to stand back. They are wonderfully capable, hands-on parents to their two beautiful little girls,  so as requested I will go and spend tomorrow with my older granddaughter until they come home.    After Sonja’s  Swimming Lesson, we’ll do some painting – always the first question after “Hello, Nanna!”

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