Archive for December, 2016

Updated – Brolga Dance

Re-posting this in honour of our 13th Wedding Anniversary yesterday.

Brolga Dance

Newly hitched we hit

pop-hot spots in Sydney.

Occasion marked: Us.

040317OurSydneyTrip (37)

Tickets to ‘The Lion King’

in old Capitol Theatre

took us back to Africa.


Sticky Date at Doyles

added more weight

to our love waistlines…


We watched the river,

Opera House teeming,

Coat-hanger tourists.


Sky-high Telecom chats

revolving restaurant

views topped off trip


before Aqua chatting,

large-finned silver

swimmers mesmerize.


Guinness for St Paddy

raised to Shamrock Green.

Chinese gardens walk,


Brolga dance to hotel

suite, (less public for

private celebrations).

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2014


#FrancesMacaulayForde  #DoylesRestaurant  #SydneyHarbourBridge  #SydneyAqarium  #SydneyOperaHouse  #Sydney:ChineseGardens  #TelecomTower  #RevolvingRestaurant

Links:  Telecom Tower Restaurant    Doyles Restaurant   Chinese Gardens of Friendship    Harbour Bridge    Sydney Aquarium   Sydney Opera House

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Generous George Michael

Here’s a wonderful example of  ‘Who are you when no-one’s looking?’


George Michael’s donations were gratefully remembered by a number of charities (Photo: Getty) by Karl McDonald 12:19Monday December 26th 2016

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RE-BLOG – Looking forward to this emotional film; screenplay by local writer, Luke Davies. Review; Screenwriting Magazine

Lion screenwriter Luke Davies eschews “obvious” screenplay structure to create a spiritual journey


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Christmas in Zimbabwe

Re-post from Facebook:  “Who are you when no-one is looking?”

Brunette on a Bike – inspired tales from Zimbabwe added 3 new photos.
8 hrs ·

“Character is doing the right thing when no one is looking”
I thought I would follow up yesterdays post with a note about what a Zimbabwean actually does when in Zimbabwe, at Christmas, as opposed to, say, Singapore…..
I hear the comments about our people needing to help themselves, I hear the comments blaming Harold Wilson, the English who sold us out, the Shona who won’t stand up and the hope of a nation that put this despot into power, I even hear the voices of the very sad people whose own wounds are so deep they cannot pause to send a prayer at Christmas to someone less fortunate. However I am none of those people and in spite of currently still living in a land gone mad I am proudly Zimbabwean nonetheless and one who still feels strongly that Christmas is a time of giving, especially to those who don’t even have $6 to burn let alone the $6 million that their esteemed president took upon himself to relieve our already overdrawn banks of…….
So the question then, what to do. My own finances are in a sorry state but we still managed presents for Christmas, the children using their own hard earned savings to purchase small thoughtful gifts for each other. We cut a Christmas tree from the garden, used last year’s decorations and strung the Christmas lights although we couldn’t buy the batteries required to light them. Yet what to do for my staff? The people who care for my family, pets and property throughout the year. A round table discussion and the answer soon arose…..we cleared out our cupboards.
My maid, Lucy, has inherited children from her deceased daughter and her son-in-law. Her daughter-in-law died this year leaving Lucy’s other son with an 11 month old baby and a 3 year old. It’s easy to buy these kids a packet of sweets and not think too hard about the fact they lost their mum this year but in our family it’s not enough. As the cupboards were cleared the piles on the table grew, a soft toy and baby blanket for this one, an action man and Barney book for that one, clothes etc wherever we could fit clothes to bodies and yes, a chocolate bar or packet of sweets for each. Again the temptation to put it all into a Bon Marche packet and be done but the mother in me came out with punches flying. These children would not get a single present to open on Christmas Day, wrapping paper is a luxury beyond the means of any and of course the pesky question of what to put inside the paper when putting food on the table is a struggle enough. Dispensing with the food issues first we provided four families with a chicken, potatoes, carrots and beans and cooking oil to make a Christmas dinner. Then between my Mum, my sister, my daughters and myself we wrapped over thirty Christmas gifts for our staff and their children and grandchildren. It didn’t cost much, some of it was a simple pair of shoes or bottle of nail polish no longer needed. But every one of those kids got a Christmas gift to unwrap this morning.
Our own presents were frugal, beautifully crafted and deeply thoughtful. Perhaps the most powerful for me was from my 13 year old son, a simple block of wood carved with the words “Character is doing the right thing when no one is looking”. accompanied by the most poignant and eloquently written hand made card. He did his part too, We took a drive this morning and handed out over twenty small inexpensive treats to children we found on the streets and back roads of our town. Greeted with shy disbelief that quickly became whoops of surprise, delight and gratitude we both felt our spirits lift at these simple yet powerful acts. For the most part these kids wouldn’t die if we didn’t feed them chocolates, unlike the two thousand plus Zimbabwean children who will die today from starvation, but the small kindnesses were well met and solemnly appreciated with a gentle double clap of tiny hands and a polite curtsy as big brown eyes peered over clutched chocolate bars and sparkled for a moment with hidden pleasure….. As we drove off from the last child Craig said to me “Mum, we gave the parents a gift too. Did you see how happy that mother was when her child got the coloring book?” And indeed I had seen it. Is there anything worse, as parents, when we cannot provide for our children? The “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” on this page are rather a moot point in the face of putting a sparkle in a child’s eye or a smile on a parents lips. Isn’t that what being human is all about? Not about pointing fingers and blaming someone but asking the question “What can I do to help today?” One of my friends and her gang of women helpers wrapped over a hundred presents this month to distribute to orphanages (Kim that’s you), another distributed seed maize she’d paid for to a local village last month when the rains came, the people came to collect the maize one cupful at a time, the children coming with cupped hands for their portion, so poor they didn’t own a cup.
Later, as we left for our family Christmas lunch I met my maid at the gate with a young child I didn’t recognize at her side. Lucy had already cleaned my house today, on Christmas, unasked and unpaid, out of gratitude for all we had done. She introduced me to the child, her friends daughter, her friend being in hospital this week and the child alone at home. This is the Shona culture that we are harranged for. We care for each other, no matter how much or how little is at our table there will always be enough for you too. This then is what we Zimbabweans do in Zimbabwe at Christmas.
I challenge each of you reading this, whether today at Christmas , next week or a year from now, on the day you read this post please take the spark lit here and fan it to life, I challenge you to deliberately go out and do something that you can never be repaid for. Spread the gift of giving and bring a little light into the world and then tell me……
Who are you when no one is looking?
Merry Christmas everyone from a stormy yet somehow still sunlit Zimbabwe.

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Queen of Hearts

8 She selected her engagement ring from a catalog.

“Although royal engagement rings are usually custom made, Diana selected hers from the Garrard jewelry collection catalog. The ring, which consists of 14 solitaire diamonds around a 12-carat sapphire set in white gold, now belongs to Catherine Duchess of Cambridge Middleton.”

Princess Diana selected her engagement ring from a catalog Photo (C) GETTY IMAGES


Queen of Hearts

So sad to chose your engagement ring from a catalogue.

Makes it seem much like a business arrangement

– it was to him.


But she was a young, fresh virgin in body and mind.

Still pure enough to believe in love and romance

– not Tampax fantasies.


His vacant moral garden damaged the monarchy beyond repair.

The legal heir we all fervently hope won’t succeed  – but cede

– skip a generation


pass the throne to a son she treasured and nurtured to value everyone.

Be honest and real in all walks of life, deal with countries – people

– touch with truth.



Frances Macaulay Forde © 2016




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‘Going In Style’ trailer

Deadline Hollywood talk about Going In Style.  

Can’t wait to see it on the big screen.


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A reader reminded me of this blog post, so thought I’d publish it again…

Perth Words... exploring possibilities.


ACT 1:  This poem “Desertification”  1st appeared in the 2007 anthology  of Fellowship of Australian Writers WA  “Lines in the Sand”, on page 28.

ACT 2:  Also that year, I was flattered to be asked to read it at the launch of John Kinsella‘s “Shades of the Sublime and Beautiful” published in 2008 by Fremantle Press,  together with Dennis Haskell and Glen Phillips, in the University of WA bookshop.    There was a video taken that night but I can’t get it to upload here…

ACT 3:   This poem inspired a young poet Marlia Douglas to write her own poem with the same title.   I found all this out when Marlia turned up at one of my Poets Corner events.

She just happened to be in the State Library when it was on, and poked her head in to listen.  As host I was constantly looking out for…

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Stephen Page

Author: The Salty River Bleeds, The Timbre of Sand, Still Dandelions, A Ranch Bordering the Salty River. Alum: Palomar College, Columbia University, Bennington College. Follow on twitter @SmpageSteve on Instagram @smpagemoria on Facebook @steven.page.1481

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