First day of summer


Good horn, good brakes, good luck: a month in India


Please find a link to this piece that was published in Bruce Gillespie’s Treasure 1, June 2013:Good horn, good brakes, good luck: a month in India,Good horn, good brakes, good luck: a month in India

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In case you missed it …

Elwood Writers

We’re thrilled to share the podcast of the special Mother’s Day edition of Cover To Cover from Vision Australia Radio. The entire program featured work from the Elwood Writers. And thanks to Tim McQueen and Vision Australia Radio, we were given the exciting opportunity to read our own work on the air.

Here’s the podcast link:

We’d love to hear what you think of the program. Let us know in the comments section below. Happy listening!

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Recent activity at Jennifer’s blog:


A couple of years ago I wrote about composer Messaien’s, The End of Time, written while incarcerated in a German prisoner of war camp during World War II. Last week, the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) reminded us of the music of those composers who did not survive – composers who were Jewish victims of Nazism. Three of these composers were in their 40s when they died/ were murdered, and one was only 26. We can only know their early and mid-career music, and must imagine what they might have created had they lived their natural life-spans.

All of the music in this concert was for wind instruments, some also with piano. The first piece was a wind quintet by Pavel Haas, written when he was in his early twenties, some years before the war. Although I play a wind instrument, I sometimes don’t like the medium of…

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Eileen Joyce

Here’s a piece from Jennifer’s blog about Australian pianist Eileen Joyce (1908 – 1991).


What was it like to live in the golden age of the piano virtuoso, in the first half of the 20th century – before the rise of hi-tech recording and challenges to the piano’s central position as queen of keyboard instruments? What was it like to come to that world from an impoverished childhood – particularly if you were a woman? These questions come to mind when one contemplates the life of Australian pianist Eileen Joyce (1908 – 1991) who grew up in Boulder, a West Australian mining town.

I’ve been thinking about Eileen Joyce after attending Julia Hasting’s musical play, Fame Fortune and Lies: the life and music of Eileen Joyce, performed as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival. Julia is an accomplished pianist and an actor and she combined these two skills magnificently to give an outline of Eileen Joyce’s life, illustrated by performances of appropriate…

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Laundry, a piece of short fiction from Barry Lee’s blog:


There are too many choices, and he can’t decide, so in the end he stays home and does some laundry. He sits outside on the battered chair and watches the washing drying on the line. While he watches, he smokes cigarettes and drinks milky coffee. He’s forgotten the ashtray so he flicks the ash onto the ground. He remembers how he used to drink his coffee black and long because that’s how they drank it in the American police shows on TV. Sharp artificial scents from the laundry reach him. As the fabrics dry, the smell softens into flowers and sweet afternoons. A friend phones. Just for a chat, they say. He tells them he’s been busy today. Busy, busy. Another friend calls soon afterwards. He tells them the same thing. He wonders why they called. He remembers his first mobile phone, and plays with his toes. The washing moves…

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Madeleine St John: A Stairway to Paradise

A review of Madeleine St John’s “A Stairway to Paradise” from Jennifer’s blog:


With the adaptation for theatre of her novel The Women in Black, the writer Madeleine St John has been rediscovered. She would now be well into her seventies, but she died of emphysema some ten years ago. Having enjoyed The Women in Black, centred around a store very much like David Jones, Sydney in the 1960s, I recently picked up another novel by her, A Stairway to Paradise.

This book has been described as ‘a dissection of desire’ and, although some reviewers see it as about a love triangle, I think that, far more, it is about the nature of desire and love. It is set in London – probably in the 1990s, the exact time doesn’t matter. Two men, Andrew and Alex, both married, love Barbara. But the desire between Alex and Barbara is the focus of the novel. Andrew, Alex’s squash partner has done what is perhaps…

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