Archive for April, 2017

Scatterlings of Africa

I too am a ‘scatterling’…

Retirement and beyond

This  song was written by a South African singer, Johnny Clegg, and tells about the many people who were born in Africa, or  who, like me,  lived there for a considerable time, and are now scattered all over the world.

I was born in Ireland, but moved to Zimbabwe (then known as Rhodesia) in the 70s when I was newly wed and looking for adventure and a new life.    My four children were born there, and I stayed in Zimbabwe until 2002, almost 30 years.  We lived in a peaceful country with a great climate, in a country with lots of natural beauty, and with lots of wildlife and amazing scenery, sunrises and  sunsets like no other.   Life was good, we watched our children take their first steps, starting their own big adventures, learning to walk, learning to run, but always within the comfort of home and within…

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030624FemoyOrig (2)


#Femoy  #Flowers  #WordlessWednesday  #IrishVisit

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ANZAC Day ~ 2017

When we collected my 7 year old grand-daughter from school yesterday, we talked about ANZAC Day being a ‘holiday’ today and what it means.

“Has anyone in our family been in a war, Nanna?”

I answered that my daddy was in the British Royal Air Force but actually, started as a pilot in an Australian Air Force Squadron, stationed in England: Flt Lt J.A. Forde D.F.C. – Pathfinder Force 1942-1946.   

“Is he still alive, Nanna?”

“No, sweetie, he died a long time ago.  He was my daddy, so your Great Grand-daddy…”

“In the war, Nanna?”

“No, sweetie, he was lucky.  He did meet your daddy though, when he was a very little boy.”

As I was trying to rationalize all the grandparents Sonja is lucky to still have in her life, I was thinking of those she doesn’t… and why we call them ‘Great’.  It occurred to me, they’ve all earned that title, whether they served in the war or managed to survive it as civilians.

I honestly don’t know which would be worse; those able to go and fight – do something about the threat or those who had to wait (often starving and bombed out of their homes) for those loved ones to return.  Not knowing (sometimes for years) if they were even alive or dead.

I think my dad’s generation have earned the title ‘Great’ and will try to explain why I think so, to Sonja, later in another of our very precious conversations.


And we will remember them,
brave soldiers all

who raised the trumpet
and answered the call,

marched in straight lines
to the war, in tin hats.

How many, these days,
have the courage for that?

Can we take heed and listen,
learn lessons or care?

And never send our young people
to die ‘over there’?

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2003

#ANZACDay  #LostFamily   #LovedOnes  #Heroes  #BraveSoldiersAll

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HUGE congratulations to Hellie Turner and all involved in adapting books to the stage of yet another talented West Australian author: Dianne Wolfer.  Just in time for ANZAC Day. 

Her story also inspired the French spectacular of epic proportions: The Giants who captivated Perth last year!


“Presented by: Black Swan State Theatre Company

by Hellie Turner
based on the novels by Dianne Wolfer

A courageous story that inspired the roaming spectacular of The Giants.

Fay, a sweet young girl, lives an isolated life with her lighthouse keeper father on the bleak, windswept Breaksea Island in the Great Southern region of WA. With the outbreak of war in 1914, Fay finds purpose in transcribing Morse code messages from soldiers stationed off shore, becoming their last hope of getting messages to their loved ones before heading to the front line. On the other side of the country in rural Victoria, Charlie and his best mate Jim abandon the outback for the excitement and adventure of seeing the world. As soldiers in the Light Horse Brigade, they quickly discover the brutal realities of life on the frontline.”    Tickets from Ticketek.

#LighthouseGirl  #ANZACDay  #DianneWolfer  #HellieTurner  #BlackSwanTheatre


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‘Their Finest’


“You’d need a heart of stone and a funny bone of porridge not to enjoy this sweet-natured and eminently lovable British film – a 1940s adventure, with moments of brashness and poignancy.” Read more…  The Guardian:  Friday 21 April 2017.

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Once again, you’ve taken me back to the icons of my youth – James Taylor and Carol King with a song which epitomized my teenage feelings about the world. Thank so much, Thom!

The Immortal Jukebox

Brooklyn 1962

Billy Snr

When I get home I’m tired and beat. That’s why I come up here.

Up here, up on the roof where the air is fresh and sweet.

Up here it’s as quiet as Brooklyn gets.

A man can drop his shoulders and take a deep breath and let his mind roam free.

Last week I was forty four years old. Forty Four!

My folks married in ’17. A War wedding.

Dad said to Mom, ‘I won’t wait. The world won’t wait. Let’s get married now!’

I hop they had a sweet time in the short time they had together.

Dad never made it home from France. Never made it home.

Two things in life I’d like to do.

Take Kathleen and Mom with me to lay some flowers and say a prayer at Dad’s grave.

And see Billy Boy and Maureen go to College and make…

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Loved this poem ‘Sometimes’ by a poet I’ve just discovered on WriteOutLoud:


#Sometimes  #PurpleTigers  #ChildhoodFears  #Poem


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Dream Home

If this place was in Western Australia, it would be my ultimate dream home!  Love the furnishings, they take me right back to my childhood.





#DreamHome  #1950’sFunishings  #1950’sStyle


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The thought Mum is watching over me – hasn’t ever left me, is what helps me cope with her loss after so many years. My mum was a writer too. I only have copies of scripts we wrote together in my late 20’s and the ticks of approval found later in my 1968 poetry journal. My parents moved houses and countries often because of war, they traveled ‘light’ – how lovely to have such a school book!

SOCIAL BRIDGE ~ Jean Tubridy connecting with you from Ireland

It’s strange how things happen. I was only saying to son, Harry, yesterday how fortunate I was to have the mother that I had in that she was so loving, humane, witty, comforting and understanding about everything.

We were driving round a roundabout when I came out with this utterance which arose as a reaction to hearing a lot of heart breaking stories on radio recently about people whose mothers had disowned them or with whom they simply couldn’t get along for all sorts of complex reasons ranging from clashes over arranged marriages, drug abuse, alcoholism, adoption issues, personality differences …

There was a time when I was foolish enough to think that everyone had a great relationship with their mother but over the years I’ve come to know lots and lots of mothers and daughters who have no connection whatsoever and maybe haven’t spoken to each other for decades.


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Their Finest

Oh, another one to look out for, screening previews this weekend…

Film Mafia

Their Finest Hour and A Half
Directed by Lone SherfigPreview Screenings in Australia over the Easter long weekend; opens April 20th

*** (out of five)

Lone Scherfig loves to fetishise Britishness. In her masterpiece, An Education (2009) she presents a fabulous and slightly fantastic 60s London; in The Riot Club (2014) she gets right into the taffy and the toffee at the snootiest club within Oxford University. Now she gives us a dreamily romanticised London under the blitz. It’s suitable for a romantic and slightly ludicrous drama – as this is – but one can imagine the matte painted bombed-out streetscapes and central-cast Old Londoners With War Relief Tins seeing Ken Roach, Danny Boyle or any one else with a penchant for grit or realism puking in the aisles. Bombings – and bombing victims – are rarely this pretty.

That said, the subject of Their Finest is filmmaking, and, during the course of the film, we see plenty of instances…

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