Take a break and just wait for that breakthrough

First published in The Age, January 11, 2014 For many of us, summer equates to long lazy days, sport to watch or play or dozing, book in hand. We might call it switching off; taking a mental break; stepping away from the chaos and intensity of alarm clocks and deadlines. This doesn’t always come easy. […]

Getting ready to say the hardest of life's goodbyes

First published in The Age in 2007. ‘Turning 40 is not so bad,” I reassure my husband as he edges up to the day. He is dreading the belly bulge and physical slump from life’s downward slope. I passed the milestone several years ago and haven’t found the other side too difficult, apart from one thing. It’s […]

The height of success

First published in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Brisbane Times and The West Australian in 2009. I knew Barack Obama was going to win the US presidential election. Why? Quite simply: he was taller. At 6’1” Obama towered a full half-foot over his opponent, John McCain. And height matters. Reports suggest that in […]

Teetering over the great high school divide

first published in The Age in 2006. EVERY country has its taboos. In France one can vilify Dominique de Villepin, the Prime Minister, at a dinner party without raising even the most thinly sculpted eyebrow in the room; however, discuss religion and it could be the last taste of creme caramel under that roof. In Australia there’s […]

Finding the 'new normal' after your parents die

First published in The Age/Sydney Morning Herald/Brisbane Times – January 2018 It used to be so easy to welcome the new year – Auld Lang Syne, champagne and a flimsy resolution or two. But flicking off the past is getting harder as I get older. Probably because there’s so much more to leave behind. It […]

The shed

Middle-age does funny things to people. Especially men. I have a male friend in his forties who has suddenly begun saving up to buy 1000cc of rumbling engine between his thighs. Another now requires an annual men-only fishing trip to Lake Tekapo in New Zealand to be happy. And then there is my brother-in-law, who […]