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Happy day…

Happy, Happy Birthday to my Darling, soon-to-be-mum Daughter!

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1981LeighJessRockingham1982JessJamKindy 0031981OctJess5thBday

I’m so proud of everything you are and everything you do – always have been.

You grow more beautiful every hour and I know, you’ll teach your son to be a gentle, strong and loving man.

So many wonderful years ahead of you, Sweetie.


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For me, Spring means Araluen again;


many, many family parties and dressing up.



@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #POEM:PaintingSpring  #September  #Spring








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In May every year there’s a festival held in the small country town of  Toodyay to commemorate the escape of Moondyne Joe from the infamous Fremantle Goal  in 1865.

He became a folk hero by evading capture and making his way back home to Toodyay where he was eventually caught, upstairs in the pub.

The annual festivities are a light-hearted way to bring visitors to the town which has been ravaged by bushfires many times over the years.

These photos were taken when we attended the festival in May, 2009 to sell our fudge.

Later that year in December when the temperature reached 45 degrees C. more than 3000 hectares and 38 homes were lost to a catastrophic fire blamed on a collapsed power line.

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I’m happy to report we again attended in 2010 when Toodyay had recovered well with crowds flocking to support the town, only a short 2 hour drive from Perth.

I wrote a poem, inspired by the evidence of the bushfires in the landscape which was later published by the International Centre for Landscape and Language Journal, Edith Cowan University.




black ash still lay

where fire had licked

with devil tongues

across the road-side gravel


a careless cigarette

city slicker thrown

on community fun day

to re-enact Moondyne Joe


quick fire prowled up

summer-dry gullies

stand of trees ridge

wind break – not fire-breaker


no escape allowed

as bright yellow jackets

smother white foam

contain the bush fire danger


gumtree pale striped

old bark peeled back

green growth beauty

black trees juxtaposed


fresh life canopies

halt dieback spores

spiked hair sprouts

thousand years and counting



Frances Macaulay Forde © 2010



#FrancesMacaualayForde  #ToodyayWA  #MoondyneJoe  #MoondyneFestival  #SouthWestWA  #ICLL-ECU  #InternationalCentreForLandscape&Language


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When I first returned to Perth in Early December 2003 after living in Ireland for 14 months, the Jacaranda outside my kitchen window was in full bloom!

Hubby and I took a ride into the city via the Sunset Coast Tourist Drive, along the coast from just north of my suburb to Fremantle, back along the Swan River (home to our black swans) and into Perth City.

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My Jacaranda

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Views on our 5 min drive from our house, along Ocean Reef Road,  to the sea.

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West Coast drive and our many white beaches…

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Whitfords Avenue has multi-million dollar beach side homes on it and a huge shopping centre. About 7 mins drive from my house.

West Coast Highway part of the Sunset Coast Tourist Drive to Fremantle and South.

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Swan River meets Leach Highway from Fremantle and Kwinana Freeway to the city skyscrapers in the distance.

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Now we’re on the Kwinana Freeway, almost into Perth City, still driving next to the Swan River.

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Sailing on our beautiful Swan River at sunset.

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Freeway in South Perth just about to cross the Narrows Bridge and into the city with iconic Kings Park on the left.

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Kings Park Memorial where the Anzac Ceremonies take place every year, overlooking the Swan River.

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About to turn down, into the city… must take some more photos and this time, show you how our beautiful city sits next to the Swan, sparkling in the sunshine.

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In the city now and looking up.

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Hay Street Mall in December sunshine with its very modest Christmas Decorations, 2003.

It was good to see skyscrapers again…   Cork didn’t have any really tall buildings in 2003 – part of it’s great charm.    Although 11 years later, the Perth skyline has changed and I should do an update…  If you enjoy this post, I will.

The multi-million dollar houses on Whitfords Avenue are the opposite of my little 3 x 1.  A different postcode 5 mins away, off the same Ocean Reef Road, means they have sea views and beaches at their feet.  I keep saying to hubby, if we just put another storey on our house, we’d see over the sandhill to the sea. too!   Ha-Ha.


#francesmacaulayforde  #PerthCity  #FremantleWA  #WestCoastHighway  #SunsetCoast  #KwinanaFreeway  #SwanRiver


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So proud of my brother Paddy who’s just released his first album of original songs called “Avartarian Summer”

He’s also made a video with one of the soundtracks of our beautiful South West forest featuring one of our iconic birds, a Kookaburra!

Please let him know if you enjoy his sounds and pictures.

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For my 50th birthday I wanted a university degree in creative writing, something I’d done all my life but never formally acknowledged.  A new course was launched at Edith Cowan University which seemed tailor-made for me.

When I applied I didn’t really expect to be accepted because I had left school early in the mid-sixties and sat an entrance exam which I was sure I’d fluffed by going off at a tangent (as usual).

But no, to my continued amazement I was accepted and made my trepidatious way to class surrounded by clever youngsters, fully expecting to be left far behind.

The Return of Rainbows

Driving down Alexander,

(early morning rush hour)

lecture on documentary film.

Eager for knowledge, I noted

low, broad bands of color

spanning the sky above Uni.

Ignoring the grey clouds,

I welcomed the return

of rainbows to my life

Frances Macaulay Forde © 1999

2002Graduation Leonie & Sue

Friend Leonie and I at Graduation.

I got through, only with the uncompromising support and encouragement of  Honorary Professor of English at Edith Cowan University and Director of the University’s International Centre for Landscape and Language, Glen Phillips. 

His poetry has always connected with me and I buy as many of his books as my budget will allow, unfortunately I won’t be at the up-coming launch of this next (three ) books because I will be working elsewhere.  

In my last posting I referred to my Jacaranda carpet in my poem ‘Renovations’ directly inspired by a poem from one of Glen’s early books:


“Lovesongs/Lovescenes” by Glen Phillips

When my first book of poems ‘Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey’ was published in Ireland, it proudly contained a Preface by Hon. Prof. Phillips:  “A brief word by way of a preface to a unique book.” and concluded with “Sharing this book could change your days and I wish every reader a happy and rewarding time with it while congratulating Frances very warmly for the achievement.”

See what I mean?

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Two quick apologies…


1.  Sorry for not posting for a couple of days – busy (obviously) with other stuff but must make a better effort to spend a few minutes posting something!

2. Sorry the sound on my recordings is very soft (apparently) so as soon as I’ve got time, I’ll re-record them with the volume up and see what you think.

One promise: I will do better for you.

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A Crumpled Valentine

Just found this and loved it – hope you don’t mind, Retcon Poet.

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I’m going to be off-line for a while as my computer needs some hospital treatment after I joined DropBox then decided to delete my account.  Before cancelling the account I deleted all the files for safety.

What I didn’t know was DropBox  deleted everything on ‘all my devices’ – my hard drive too!  BUGGER!

I’m just really hoping my computer guru/fixer can find them and restore everything again.  I’ve got most files & photos backed up but not since November – so all Chrissy photos and writing… Oh well.  Hopefully I’ll be back in a couple of days.

Thanks so much for reading my humble blog and have a good week.    Remember to back up often!

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