IN THIS ISSUE FEATURES
Books and Writing
Death in the Sea of Grass Don’t Get me Started Just Out Spring Season at KSP The Idler
19 39 3 5 52
Business Card Board Finance with Steve Networking
53 46 47
Front Page Photograph: Field Marshall Slim’s statue in Whitehall See article on page 53 Photograph courtesy of 123Rf
Federal Notes 9 Foodbank Visit 8 Letters to the Editor 18 National Award for SAFE 18 Notes From Parliament 11 SAFE 54 Standing Up for Swan Hills 10 SVRN Combating Bushfires 50 New $90 Million Aged Care 51 Swan Valley Explorer Service 49 Wine at Parliament House 48 The Compassionate Friends 55 What’s On 12
Douglas Wineries & Dineries Help Save Slate Cafe Lone Star Rib House Swan Sweet Temptations Entertainment
14 15 16 15
Blockbusters on the Horizon 34 Footnote People in History 53 Fringe is Back! 36 Long Lost Treasures 34 Looking for Love at Kads 33 Mad Tatters - A Newbie View 35 Nobody’s Talking to Me 32 Reviews 42 Theatre Reviews Charley’s Aunt 40 The Desecration of Your Mum 41 Theatre with Gordon 37 TV with Chris 38 Leisure
House and Garden Vertical Gardens Swan Hills Karate Club Blitzes
DISCLAIMER The information in this publication is of a general nature. The articles contained herein are not intended to provide a complete discussion on each subject and or issues canvassed. Swan Magazine does not accept any liability for any statements or any opinion, or for any errors or omissions contained herein.
SWAN MAGAZINE WEBSITE:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Registered Address: 18 Tokay Lane, The Vines, Western Australia 6069 OCTOBER DEADLINES: Advertisements: 1st October Editorial: 1st October Copyright: Swan Magazine 2018 2
BOOKS AND WRITING JUST OUT Title: Author: Publisher: ISBN:
in life, and a mapmaker, that demands the fulfillment of being yourself,” Zillionaire states, counseling readers: “Find yourself within its pages & verses then move forward towards whatever your conception of life may be.” Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble
The Old Man and the Boab Tree Scott J Gobbert Xlibris Au 9781 5434 0302 2
cott J Gobbert is an Australian from the northern city of Darwin with a dream of becoming an author and has started with a small children’s story. He came up with the idea for his book while sitting under a giant Boab tree. The Old Man and the Boab Tree is a story about an old man who every day listens and enjoys animal’s stories under an giant old boab tree. Gobbert invites readers to follow the life of an old man as he listens to the stories of the lives of northern Australian animals. He also hopes that his bush and wildlife stories will be enjoyed by children and adults alike. An excerpt from the book: There once was a man who was old and wise, He sat under a boab tree that was just as old and just as wise as he was. Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble.
About the Author Anakan Zillionaire “AZ,” is a traveler who mainly resides in the Byron Bay area of Australia. His mother was a spiritualist healer and life artist, while his dad was an art teacher who has written books on self-esteem and personal development. “The Living Art” is his debut book that took over twenty years in the making. ~oOo~ Title: At the End of Holyrood Lane Author: Dimity Powell Illustrator: Nicky Johnson Publisher: Harper Collins ISBN: 9781 9253 3576 7
lick is just like any other youngster. She loves to chase butterflies and jump in autumn leaves. But life at the end of Holyrood Lane is often violent and unpredictable due to the constant storms that plague her home, causing her to cringe with dread and flee whenever they strike. Flick tries her best to quell her fears and endure the storms’ persistent wrath until, one day, with nowhere left to hide Flick summons the courage to face her fears by asking for help to overcome them. At the End of Holyrood Lane provides a sensitive glimpse into one aspect of domestic violence and how it can affect young lives. Designed to be visually arresting, emotionally incisive, and ultimately uplifting, it is a tale of anxiety shown through the eyes of a small child with an intense dislike for thunderstorms - a fear shared by many young children. This clever duality of meaning is able to evoke a gentle awareness for young readers who may be suffering their own domestic torment but who are too scared or unsure of how to seek help and shelter from their own storms, whatever their nature. This is the second book by the acclaimed author-illustrator team of Dimity Powell and Nicky Johnston, who specialise in handling difficult subjects with sensitivity and hope.
About the Author Scott J Gobbert was born in Toowoomba, a town in southern Queensland. At an early age, his parents moved to a small town called Weipa where he grew up and spent his childhood. He considers himself a bush kid. Growing up, he was always somewhere in the bush exploring or fishing with his father and getting up to mischief with his friends. ~oOo~ Title: The Living Art: A Guide to Life, the Universe and Everything Author: Anakan Zillionaire “AZ” Publisher: Balboa Press AU ISBN: 9781 5043 0973 8
he Living Art: A Guide to Life, the Universe and Everything (published by AuthorHouse) is a new selfimprovement and empowerment manual. The book helps one grow in conscious awareness and align oneself with one’s individualized perfect dream life-living. The book is designed to be a tool to support readers to find, live and be themselves, and live within the achievement of one’s higher dreams. Intended to be a “pick-a-path” book, it allows readers to work through and process their current situation and evolve. Zillionaire says that those properties make it similar to tarot, rune and i-ching. “This book is evolutionary, helping you on your journey
About the Author Dimity Powell writes for children because she would secretly love to be one again. To support this fantasy she produces sometimes silly, sometimes sad, always sparkly stories for school magazines, anthologies, online apps as creative digital content, and as junior novels and picture books. Many of her stories have been shortlisted or won awards including her digital narrative, The Chapel of Unlove for the Story City App, shortlisted for the Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards 2016. 3
BOOKS AND WRITING Two of her picture books feature on the Kindergo App and appear as part of Virgin Australia’s Inflight Children’s Entertainment Program. PS Who Stole Santa’s Mail? filled the Christmas stockings of children everywhere for the first time in 2012. At the End of Holyrood Lane is her second picture book with EK Books. The Fix-It Man, also illustrated by Nicky Johnston, debuted in 2017. Dimity is also Managing Editor of highly respected children’s literature website Kids’ Book Review, and a Books in Homes role model. Her past adventures include skiing the French Alps, Kombiing around a quarter of Australia, spotting manatees in Florida, and getting lost in the Bermuda Triangle. She’s tried a few grown-up jobs but thinks it’s more fun writing for children now because she believes that great stories - like ice-cream - are life essentials. One day, she would love to travel to Lapland and meet Santa for real.
expect and more a part of their journey. It’s a gift for us to read such personal encounters – to be informed, inspired and entertained. In the age of online oversharing - we are at risk of becoming immune to people’s stories – but here is a collection of tales you can connect with – by real people sharing for so many reasons – and no clicks required. All they ask is to read, consider and have courage. A wonderful second book in the Stories from the Heart series – a follow up to Tales of Inspiration – we have twelve new contributors, all Perth based and all of whom have shared their stories on stage at Stories from the Heart events. I can still remember the feeling of nervous energy building up as I drove to that first Stories from the Heart event, as a first time sharer. It all started with a phone call – like so many good adventure stories. “You just have to trust me”, the caller said. “I’ve got this great idea for an event and I’m going to make it happen, but I need you to be a part of it”. It was Lisa and you could hear the excitement and determination in her voice. The event was for World Story Telling Day – a very fitting way to launch Stories from the Heart.
About the Illustrator Nicky Johnston is a primary educator, speaker and children’s book author and illustrator based in Melbourne, Australia. Passionate about raising awareness of the importance of children’s emotional wellbeing, Nicky has written books to help children deal with anxiety and develop resilience. She is an experienced public speaker and presents at parent forums, seminars and conferences. Her illustration style is described as whimsical, playful, narrative, emotive and dreamy. She works mainly in watercolour, ink and pencil. She also produces work digitally using a variety of illustration software. Her passion for sharing her creativity is evident in feedback from children and teachers after she has visited their school. Her communication style, love of teaching and storytelling, shines through and inspires the next generation of author and illustrators. Nicky’s first children’s book Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts! was adapted into a theatrical production. For five years the show has been performed at primary schools throughout Victoria, educating children dealing with anxiety and helping to develop a healthy resilience. For four years, Nicky was the Creative Director of 52-week Illustration Challenge Facebook group. This online Illustration Challenge inspires a community of artists and illustrators to create artwork using weekly theme prompts while providing a safe and encouraging environment for personal artistic development. Title: Author: Writer:
Sharron and the author, Lisa Evans For as much as we had to have faith in Lisa and the concept, as one of seven invited story sharers, she also had faith in all of us. Faith in our willingness to share a story, to invite people in to a part of our lives that we had probably never shared so publicly before. We also had to deliver on the principles of good story telling – a new concept to pretty much all of us, myself included. That first event was amazing – as were the story sharers who took us on a journey, generously inviting us onto their lives, their loves and their losses. However, it’s a team sport. I firmly believe it’s as much about the listener as it is about the sharer. There is so much to gain on both sides, as you soon realise it’s as special to share a story, as it is to be witness to it’s telling. Concluded on page 56...
~oOo~ Tales of Courage Lisa Evans Sharron Attwood
on’t tell me, take me there. So is the mantra of the story teller, or rather the story sharer, as we have come to know them. Story sharers are brave. Reading these tales I feel the authors working through their experiences, gathering the insight only passing time can bring –and as they weave their newly discovered knowledge into their Tales of Courage – you feel less voyeuristic than you might 4
BOOKS AND WRITING SPRING SEASON AT KSP SHANNON COYLE
hether you have a finished manuscript ready to launch into the world or you just want to learn more about your publishing options for the future, then this workshop is for you: So You Want to … Publish Online on Saturday 24 November from 1.00-5.00pm with Wild Weeds Press. The workshop will offer an informative session guiding participants through the process of publishing work online. Participants will leave with an increased awareness of the online publishing world and associated platforms, and will take home a list of resources and a voucher for self-publishing services. Suitable for writers across all genres. Tickets from $35. SUNDOWNER SESSION To cap off the month is our final 2018 KSP Sundowner Session featuring best-selling novelist Anna Jacobs on Friday 30 November from 6.30-8.00pm. This year Anna is again the fourth most borrowed author of adult fiction in the UK and her 85th work of fiction will be published in October. She writes three novels a year and her books are still in print from the 1990s. How does she do it? Come and find out. Her talk will focus on the business aspects of publishing fiction, as well as (naturally!) the craft of story-telling. It’s a hard balance to keep and what works varies from one writer to the next.
Anna will talk about what has helped her and offer suggestions for you to try out, since one approach doesn’t fit everyone. Glass of complimentary wine on arrival thanks to our friends at Lion Mill Winery. Tickets only $5 for members or $10 for guests, cash on arrival. KATHARINE’S BIRTHDAY Get set for Katharine’s Birthday on Sunday 2 December from 10.30am-3pm, our end of year free community event. The day includes guided heritage tours, award ceremonies, sausage sizzle, café cakes, and the official release of KSP’s 2019 Events Calendar. To book or for more details on any of these activities please visit the KSP website www.kspwriterscentre.com or phone the office on 9294 1872.
HOUSE AND GARDEN VERTICAL GARDENS
ertical gardening adds another dimension to your growing spaces - indoor or outdoor. Whether you’re concocting a vertical herb garden or a trellis, save space in your garden with a garden that grows up. Vertical gardens are one of the hottest new garden trends and yet it’s one of the oldest (have you ever grown a vine on a fence or trellis?). Vertical garden elements can draw attention to an area or disguise an unattractive view. This style of gardening is a perfect solution for just about any garden. In vertical gardening, use trellises, attached to the ground or to large containers, allow you to grow vines, flowers and even vegetables in a vertical garden using much less space than traditional gardening requires. Vertical gardening with upright structures can be a boon for apartment dwellers, small-space urban gardeners, and disabled gardeners as well as for gardeners with large, traditional spaces. Indoors, you can grow small-stature houseplants as vertical gardens by creating living walls for a tapestry of colour and texture that helps filter out indoor air pollutants. Increasingly, hotels and office buildings are incorporating living walls and vertical gardens both inside and outside. Although vertical gardens might need more frequent watering, they contribute to good air circulation. French botanist Patrick Blanc is credited as the father of the green wall movement. He produced his first project on the exterior of the Museum of Science and Industry in Paris in 1988. Dozens of his other works are now installed worldwide, indoors and out. Blanc refers to his projects as living paintings or vegetal walls. Creating a vertical plant wall or garden using Blanc’s methods requires metal framing, a sheet of rigid plastic, and felt. The frame of the vertical plant wall can be hung on a wall or it can stand alone. The rigid plastic, attached to the frame, makes the wall waterproof. The plants’ roots grow in the felt, which evenly distributes water and fertilizer. Plant selection depends on the light and other growing conditions. Besides watering and fertilizing, vertical plant walls require other maintenance, including pruning, dusting, weeding, and, sometimes, plant replacement.
Take these elements into account when gardening vertically outdoors: • Anchor your vertical gardening structure in place before planting to allow you to avoid disturbing the roots or stems of plants. Pair heavy or more demanding plants with sturdier structures. • Plants grow differently on a vertical garden. Some, such as climbing roses, need to be physically attached to structures, while others, such as morning glories, are twining and will loop themselves around trellis openings. • Plants grown in a vertical garden might need more frequent watering and fertilizing because they’re exposed to more light and wind. A wide variety of vertical garden plants are used on a vertical plant wall or garden, with plant selection determined by the light conditions. Consider these selections: Annual flowering vines that climb without becoming too heavy. Easily grown perennial vines for vertical gardens include clematis hybrids and ivy. All grow best in full sun; clematis prefer to have their flowers in sun and their roots in shade. Vines for shade vertical gardening include kiwi, Dutchman’s pipe and climbing hydrangea. Edibles that adapt well to vertical planting include fruiting vines such as kiwi, edible flowers such as vining nasturtiums and vertical garden vegetables such as peas, squash, tomatoes, and beans. Think of growing herbs vertically rather than horizontally to maximize your planting real estate. Utilize shelving, wall hangers, or hanging mechanisms to give individuallypotted herbs a place to be that’s out of the way. Attach a drip irrigation system for easy watering, or add a rope-andpulley system to allow easier access to hanging baskets for watering and tending your vertical garden. 6
If you have an existing structure such as a shed or garage, add a trellis in front of one of the walls so vertical garden plants have a structure to support their stems but don’t cause any damage to the wall. Be sure to leave some space between the trellis and the wall for air circulation.
SPORT AND LEISURE SWAN HILLS KARATE CLUB BLITZES LISA SKRYPICHAYKO
ensei Bob Allen’s students continue to shine, bringing home awards recently from the inaugural West Australian Karate League WA Open in Joondalup. As a senior kata coach with the Karate Federation of WA, Sensei Bob has helped his students earn a reputation on the tournament circuit for excellent stances and basics, and the team’s results are proof of this. Eleven of the fourteen students from Sensei Bob’s Midland and Mt Helena dojos who competed found a spot on the podium, with strong performances from all who gave it a go. After being pipped at the post on previous occasions, Damien Bell (Sensei at Swan Hills Goju Ryu’s sister dojo in Bridgetown) finally struck gold in Veteran’s Kata, scoring a bronze as well in Men’s Open Kata. Damien gave special thanks to Drew Ridley and Sensei Bob, “a great training buddy and a great coach”, adding “Bring on next year!” Other club medalists include Pearce Brezmen (gold, Boys’ 15-17 year old Kata), Drew Ridley (silver, Men's Open Kata), and Nikki Biju (L-R) Ebony Strang and Therese Spencer (Photograph by Bob Allen)
(silver in kata), with Tia Ross, Therese Spencer, Elijah Ridley, Lorraine George, and Oliver Von Koss all earning bronze medals in their events. The club’s sole kumite (fighting) competitor Ebony Strang came away with a silver medal for her efforts. Sensei Bob commended her, saying “I’m proud of Ebony’s courage and fighting spirit, and I’m glad she stepped up to represent the dojo in kumite. Her example plus the new equipment we have been able to purchase with assistance from Shire of Mundaring will hopefully encourage more to participate in this discipline.” Sensei Bob Allen is a senior kata coach for the Karate Federation of WA and a former national karate referee. He teaches students of all ages at his Midland and Mount Helena dojos. For more information, please ring Bob on 0419 922 609 or email bob@ swanhillsgojuryu.com.au.
Tia Ross with bronze medal for kata (Photograph by Linda Ross) 7
COMMUNITY FOODBANK VISIT JESSICA WRIGHT
he Honourable Mike Nahan MLA and Alyssa Hayden MLA were recently given a tour of Foodbank WA by their CEO, Mr Greg Hebble. “We were both very impressed with everything that has been achieved by Foodbank WA and the good work they are doing helping so many people, young and old, in our State,” said Mrs Hayden. Foodbank WA's goal is to fight hunger in WA by providing quality food to people in need and delivering food education that promotes healthy eating. They essentially aim to ensure that people who have fallen on hard times have access to nutritious food when they need it. “Unfortunately over the past year, given the increases to cost of living under the McGowan Government coupled with minimal wage growth, demand for Foodbank WA's services has grown exponentially; demand is up by eleven percent from last year!” said Mrs Hayden. Mr Hebble stated that increasingly it's the working poor that are turning to Foodbank WA for a meal in times of crisis. However, despite this, Foodbank WA managed to still feed more than 53,000 people every month (22,000 of these are children) over the past year. Their School Breakfast Program serves breakfast to over 18,000 children every week, across 470 schools in WA. On top of this they also deliver a Food Sensations program which is a free four week nutrition and cooking program targeting low to middle income earners and provides nutrition education, cooking lessons and budgeting tips. Mrs Hayden emphasized that Foodbank WA would not
be able to do what they do without Greg, his team and all the volunteers (many of whom are corporate volunteers who provide their services pro-bono e.g. dietitians, chefs). She also said they would not be able to feed as many people as they do without all their donors as a massive 80% of the food they receive is donated. Donors include big chains like Coles, Aldi and Woolworths to local farmers and growers. Only yesterday it was World Sandwich Day with Subway teaming up with Foodbank and donating one meal to hose in need for every sub, salad or wrap sold on 1 November. If you want to know more or volunteer or donate head to: www.foodbankwa.org.au.
ANOTHER BLOW FOR SLATE CAFE
s all of you know by now, portion of Marshall Road in Bennett Springs and Dayton Boulevard in Dayton was been temporarily closed from May 1, for a period of sixteen weeks. This ‘temporary’ closure has had a devastating effect of this charming café’s business - hours have had to be reduced and staff laid off. Naturally they have been longing for the 1st of September when the works were scheduled to finish. The reason given for the full closure given by the contractor was: ‘• As the work is to be carried out in winter, as such the requested duration was for sixteen weeks with confidence that the works would be finished before the requested closure duration. • The full road closure would enable the works to be completed in a shorter period of time.’ However, despite this assurance the contractor has now been given, without any public consultation at all, a further thirteen weeks to complete this project - and of course, no assurance that even this extra time of more than three months will see the project completed. This means that the already stricken Cafe will now not be given full access until shortly before Christmas and with absolutely no guarantee even then. What can we do to help, firstly Slate need you to keep going with your family, kids and pets to this charming café - do yourself 8
and them a favour and keep going. Secondly, the Slate Cafe have begun a petition for compensation from the City of Swan, which seems only reasonable, since their business should not be penalised for CBP Contractor’s mis-management of its works. Their finances are limited, and the business cannot afford to continue operating at a loss. If you agree, please go to www.change.org and sign the electronic petition and if you can, please share it with your friends.
FEDERAL NOTES HON KEN WYATT AM, MP Member for Hasluck , Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health
MRI FOR MIDLAND
e did it Hasluck! I am pleased to announce that, with your help, we have successfully secured a full licence for the MRI machine in Midland! A huge thank you goes out to the 3000+ people who signed my petition and helped get this achievement across the line. From the 1st of November 2018 Perth Radiological Clinic at the Midland Hospital will bulk bill for all scans available under Medicare – meaning no out-of-pocket expenses and no waiting times. I am delighted that we have fought together and managed to secure the MRI services that the rest of the metropolitan area enjoys. I will always fight for the residents of Hasluck to ensure they have the essential services they need in order help them stay healthy and keep the Lenka Psar-McCabe from Perth Radiological Clinic, Patient Tony Franks, Ken Wyatt MP cost of healthcare down. and Paul Dyer from Perth Radiological Clinic celebrate a full licence for the Midland The Morrison Government’s Hospital MRI Machine! plan for a strong economy means we continue to deliver record funding for essential services such as Medicare, public hospitals and lifeADVERTISEMENT saving medicines. An MRI is a commonly used medical scan which gives a detailed view of the soft tissues of the body such as muscles, ligaments, brain tissue, discs and blood vessels. It is used by doctors to diagnose and monitor number of different medical conditions including cancer and trauma or sporting injuries and our local facility can now access these lifesaving scans for stroke, heart and other medical conditions. Thank you again to all those who signed my petition and are therefore helping to make Hasluck an even better place to live, work and raise a family. In other news, round four of funding for Local Drug Action Teams (LDATs) designed to support on the ground organisations to tackle ice and other drug issues in our communities is now open. The Liberal National government is committed to keeping Australian families and communities safe and through the proactive work of local LDATs, we are taking a preventative approach to tackling drug issues. More information about LDATs and the application process can be found on the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s website www. community.adf.org.au/implement
KEN WYATT MP Federal Member for Hasluck
The information in this publication is of a general nature. The articles contained herein are not intended to provide a complete discussion on each subject and/or issues canvassed. Swan Magazine does not accept any liability for any statements or any opinion, or for any errors or omissions contained herein.
Authorised by K.Wyatt MP, Shop 10-12 Forrestfield Marketplace, 80 Hale Road, Forrestfield WA 6058. 9
STANDING UP FOR SWAN HILLS INAUGURAL HILLS BILLY CART FESTIVAL NAOMI RAKELA
ount Helena, a historic saw milling village in the picturesque Perth hills was buzzing with visitors recently while playing host to the inaugural Act- Belong-Commit Hills Billy Cart Festival. Premier Mark McGowan was among some of the thousands of visitors who descended on the hills destination, to watch billy cart races, visit the vintage markets and car shows and try local produce. More than 150 competitors participated in races with prizes awarded to the top three finishers of each race. Premier Mark McGowan was on hand to present the “Most Creative Billy Cart” award which went to cart # 32. The event was organised by the Mount Helena Ratepayers Association and supported by grants from Lotterywest and Healthway. For more information visit www. hillsbillycartfestival.com Premier Mark McGowan: “The Hills Billy Cart Festival is a fantastic initiative of the Mount Helena Residents and Ratepayers Progress Association and I’m pleased the State
Jessica Shaw MLA LOCAL MEMBER FOR SWAN HILLS
@JessicaShawMLA Jessica.Shaw@mp.wa.gov.au 9296 7688 HERE TO HELP Aveley, Bailup, Belhus, Brigadoon, Bullsbrook, Chidlow, Ellenbrook, Gidgegannup, Melaleuca, Mount Helena, Sawyers Valley, The Vines, Upper Swan, and Wooroloo. Office Address 8/31 Egerton Drive Aveley WA 6069
Postal Address PO Box 2265 Ellenbrook WA 6069
Standing up for Swan Hills
Billy Cart Festival - Premier Mark McGowan Jessica Shaw MLA, James Martin & Mt Helena VBFB
Government was able to support the event through Lotterywest and Heathway grants. One of the key priorities of my government is investing in tourism and promoting all of the unique destinations we are lucky enough to have in Western Australia. “The Perth Hills are a natural tourism destination - they have so much to offer, and are right on our doorstep. “Local events such as the Hills Billy Cart festival are so important in encouraging visitors to the area, supporting local businesses and showing off all the Perth Hills have to offer.” Member for Swan Hills Jessica Shaw: “The inaugural Hills Billy Cart festival is just one of the amazing community events that helps put the Perth Hills on the map as a tourism destination. “Not only is it a great family day out, it provides an economic boost for our local Hills small businesses. “This event celebrates our history and shows what a creative, vibrant community we are. “Our community has really pulled together to put this event on – it shows we can achieve great things when we all work together. “Congratulations to the Mount Helena Residents and Ratepayers Progress Association on a fantastic family event.” Mount Helena Resident and Ratepayers Progress Association Joan Quinn: “The purpose of this event was to encourage families and the community to work together with kids to create an inspired billy cart, build lasting family memories and have fun! “We are rapt in the festival’s success and hope to make it an annual event.”
Authorised by Jessica Shaw, 8/31 Egerton Drive, Aveley, WA 6069
NOTES FROM PARLIAMENT HIGH TEA FOR A GOOD CAUSE Hon Donna Faragher JP MLC Member for East Metropolitan Region
ast month, I met a terrific group of students from the Swan View Senior High School Clontarf Academy with Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Kyran O'Donnell MLA. The Clontarf Foundation aims to improve the education, self-esteem, life skills and employment prospects of young
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and women, the Chairperson of the Voice of the Voiceless Ministry and is actively involved in the Ellenbrook RSL Sub Branch. Earlier this year, Mr Mallard was also recognised as the City of Swan’s Citizen of the Year and Senior Citizen of the Year at the City’s 2018
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men. Through a comprehensive and inclusive school-engagement programme, Clontarf staff mentor students through a range of activities focussing on healthy lifestyles, sport, leadership and education. During our visit, the students spent time talking to us about the various activities they are involved in and the positive impact that the Clontarf Foundation has had, and continues to have, on their lives. Many students shared their future aspirations and with the amazing support and guidance provided through the Clontarf Foundation I have no doubt they have bright futures ahead of them! I would also like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the 2019 Western Australian of the Year award recipients – Dr Craig Challen SC OAM, Mr Frank Mallard, Ms Noelle Martin and Professor Cheryl Kickett-Tucker. Mr Mallard, who I caught up with just last week at an Ellenbrook RSL Veteran’s Health event, has been recognised as WA’s Senior Australian of the Year. Mr Mallard is a strong advocate and ambassador for
Australia Day awards. I was also delighted to see Dr Challen, who I met earlier this year, recognised as WA’s Australian of the Year. Dr Challen, who is also a member of the East Metropolitan community, was a key member of the Tham Luang cave rescue operation in Northern Thailand. As the world watched and waited for all twelve boys and their soccer coach to be safely rescued from the flooded cave system, Dr Challen and the entire rescue team performed what can only be described as a miracle. If you would like assistance on any State related issue, please do not hesitate to contact my office on 9379 0840.
Member for East Metropolitan Region Shadow Minister for Education; Training; Women’s Interests
Here to help!
Ground Floor, 108 Swan Street Guildford 6055 9379 0840 | Faragher.email@example.com Authorised by D.Faragher, 108 Swan Street, Guildford WA 6055.
WHAT’S ON IF YOU WOULD LIKE AN EVENT LISTED IN THIS COLUMN RING our office on 0418 934 850 Entries for non-profit entities are free. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS - Glen Forrest Group Every Monday evening We meet at 7.00pm at the Glen Forrest Uniting Church, Mc Glew Rd, Glen Forrest. Call Dermot 0488 905 211 or John 0448 074 536 or the Perth Office (all hours) 9325 3566.
All welcome. It’s like bush dancing, with sticks and bells. It’s aerobic exercise and great fun! Tuesdays 7-9pm practice, Guildford Town Hall, cnr James St and Meadow St, Guildford. And drinks later at the Woodbridge Hotel with live Irish music For more information please contact: Christine Hogan: 9279 8778 Email: madtattersmorris@iinet.Net.Au Website: madtattersmorris.myclub.org.au
AUSTRALIAN BREASTFEEDING ASSOC. Discussion groups, guest speakers, morning tea. Free breastfeeding counselling. Expectant mothers, mothers, babies and children welcome. National Breastfeeding Helpline 1800 686 2686 is a 24 hour 7 days a week service.
SWAN WOODTURNERS GROUP
The group meets in the rear hall of The Senior Citizens’ Centre, The Avenue, Midland, at 1-00pm. on 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th. Tuesday, and at 7-00pm. on 2nd Tuesday of each month. A demonstration and cuppa are the norm. Men and Women are welcome. Enquiries to Ted 9295 4438.
Swan/Mundaring Group meets every Monday, 9:30-11:30am at the Gumnuts Family Centre, 8 Mudalla Way, Koongamia. A qualified ABA counsellor is present at each meeting to give confidential information and support on breastfeeding issues. Contact Natalie 9572 4971. Kalamunda Group meets fortnighly on a Thursday, 9:3011:30am at the Maida Vale Baptist Church, Edney Road, High Wycombe. Contact Jenny 9252 1996. Northam Group meets each second Tuesday of the month at the Bridgeley Community Centre, Wellington Street, Northam 10am to Noon. Fourth Tuesday each month at Toodyay Playgroup, Stirling Terrace, Toodyay. Noon to 2pm. Please phone Louisa 9574 0229.
SWAN VALLEY COMMUNITY CENTRE
THE HILLS CHOIR
Monday Mornings The Art Group meets at Baskerville Hall from 9am – 12pm for just $5.00 per session. Group leader Gilly can help and advise with most media. Feel free to come and have a look and meet our local artists – they are a very friendly lot, new members welcome! For more information call 9296 1976 or firstname.lastname@example.org www.swanvalleycommunitycentre.com
ELLENBROOK COMMUNITY WEIGHT LOSS CLUB
Wednesdays Come and sing with us! Swan Harmony Singers is a community choir that meets, 7-9pm, to sing music ranging from jazz to pop, plus the occasional classic. No auditions. Join us at the Salvation Army Church Hall, 371 Morrison Rd, (opposite Swan View Primary School), Swan View. Enquiries: call Anna on 9299 7249, or Chris on 9298 9529 or 0435 062 728.
Monday Evenings Do you enjoy singing and joining with others to make beautiful music? Come and join the Hills Choir. We meet from 7.30 to 9.30pm at the Uniting Church on Stoneville Road, Mundaring. Contact Margie on 9295 6103 for further information.
SWAN HARMONY SINGERS
Every Tuesday evening We meet from 6.45pm to 8.00pm at the Woodlake Community Hall, Meeting room 1 Highpoint Blvd, Ellenbrook. Friendly support group at low cost. Male and females of all ages welcome. Contact Shirley 9276 7938 email@example.com.
HILLS CHRONIC PAIN SUPPORT GROUP
1st Wednesday of each month Hilltop Grove Estate, 1645 Jacoby Street, Mahogany Creek. Morning tea provided, between 10.30 - 12.00 noon. Enquiries Terina 9572 1655. DISCLAIMER The information in this publication is of a general nature. The articles contained herein are not intended to provide a complete discussion on each subject and or issues canvassed. Swan Magazine does not accept any liability for any statements or any opinion, or for any errors or omissions contained herein.
WHAT’S ON ELLENBROOK AND DISTRICT MENS SHED INC.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday We are open at 4 Transit Way Ellenbrook from 10.00am to 3.00pm. Potential members can turn up on those days and there will be someone to explain what we do and give membership details. Annual fees are low and members can do their own thing, participate in projects for the community or simply just come in for a chat and a cuppa. We are considering extending our days to include Saturdays or evenings if there is enough interest.
MUSTARD SEED - DISCOVERING COMPUTERS
Mustard Seed is a fifteen year old non-profit organisation and teaches all aspects of everyday computing. Ability levels from beginners onwards. Want help with Windows 10? In need of instruction with your Mac computer? Have an iPad or Android tablet and don’t know what it will do? We can help. Cost is $3 per session. Classes are heldat 56 McGlew Road, Glen Forrest. To gain a place enrol now. Phone 9299 7236 or 0478 604 163 or E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: noodlebytes.com
SWAN VALLEY COMMUNITY CENTRE MUSIC CLASSES
Tuesday mornings Learn to play tunes on piano or keyboard immediately – the SIMPLY MUSIC method. Play songs, chords, blues and classical in small groups at a reasonable price. Call Heather 9296 4181.
MIDLAND MEN’S SHED
Every Tuesday morning We meet socially every Tuesday morning from 9.30am to
11.30am in the Bellevue Baptist Church Hall and our usual attendance is around fifty-five. At least once a month we have a guest speaker on a range of topics. We also go on excursions to various places of interest (e.g. HMAS Stirling, Aviation Museum, Fremantle Ports, ALCOA, etc.). Our workshop with wood working and metal working is in Midvale and for the opening hours and further details please contact Rob Cutter on 0419 967 873. Also in operation is our music group – the Rockin’ Shedders which is going from strength to strength and their repertoire of songs increases each week. For more information on the Shed please contact Kevin Buckland on 0417 961 971 or by email to email@example.com.
EASTERN DISTRICTS MACHINE KNITTERS
Friday - second and fourth We meet from 9:00am to noon at 10 Brockman Road, Midland. Feel welcome to join us for morning tea and see how easy it is to make your own garments. For more information contact Pat 9309 3260; Liz 9572 7074 or Pat 9295 2793.
Wednesday evenings 6:00pm The WA Horse Council equestrian radio program is now in its seventh year. The programme is broadcast on the Community Radio Station 91.3 SportFM. To ensure that your club, event, breed or business gets coverage, call Diane Bennit 0409 083 617..
SWAN HARMONY SINGERS’ REMEMBRANCE DAY CONCERT
Sunday, November 11 Swan Harmony Singers will honour all those who served and sacrificed during the Great War with a Remembrance Day Concert in the Salvation Army Citadel in Swan View at 3:00pm. The concert is the brainchild of longstanding choir member Chris Durrant, whose relatives served in the conflict. His father was a young officer in Mesopotamia and Palestine, and two of his uncles lost their lives – one in German East Africa, the other in the battlecruiser Queen Mary at the Battle of Jutland. The program devised by Chris combines songs reflecting this special anniversary with readings of war poetry from poets like Rupert Brooke and Robert Graves. In a lighter vein, the choir will revive memories of the war years through popular ditties of the period. The concert will be followed by afternoon tea. Tickets (including afternoon tea): Adults $20, Concessions $15, groups of 10 or more $150. Children under 10 free. More info and bookings: Anna Wright 9299 7249 or getyour ticket at the door.
DOUGLASâ€™ WINERIES AND DINERIES
These are the restaurants and eateries, casual and formal, and wineries that I personally reccommend and eat at for pleasure.
The hidden gem of a bar in Bassendean 77 Old Perth Road
OPEN Wednesday - Thursday 5-10ish Friday 5 - 10:30ish Saturday - Sunday 12 - 10:30ish HAVING A FUNCTION? - FULLY CATERED & NO HIRE FEE
FOOD SWAN SWEET TEMPTATIONS DOUGLAS SUTHERLAND-BRUCE
he last of our stops on the whistlestop tour of the sweet delights of the Swan Valley was at the renowned wine makers, Olive Farm. The usual first question is ‘Where are the Olive trees?’ and for that we have to go back a bit to the founding of the colony of Swan River. In 1829 an English botanist, Thomas Waters, settled in South
Guildford, having brought with him a number of plants, including olive trees and grapevine cuttings which he duly planted, making Olive Farm the oldest vineyard in Western Australia. The current owners have now run the place through four generations from Ivan Yurisich, who bought it in 1933 after having arrived as a gold miner at the turn of the last century with only the clothes he stood up in. He was the first of the family to make wine, following the Yugoslav traditional methods. His son Vince took over in the 1960’s and was among the first to produce méthode champenoise sparkling wine - no celebration in WA was
complete in the 70s and 80s without a few bottles of Olive Farm. Vince’s son, Ian, attended Roseworthy Agricultural College and when he took over in 1981 he expanded the business, planting a further forty acres of vines in the Swan Valley and establishing a function centre and restaurant which very quickly came to dominate and take focus away from the pure winemaking, which in turn led to the establishment of the ‘new’ cellar door in the Valley and the closure of the South Guildford property. Now Anthony, great-grandson of Ivan, with help from the family, runs this modern and efficient winery, creating some of the very best wine the West has to offer. The much-awarded clean, elegant lines of the cellar door sales area (designed by Michael Yurisich) welcome you into the amazing world of Olive Farm’s wines. Inside the cool tasting area we sampled crisp whites, reds redolent of the soil and climate, and the rich fortified deliciousness for which this label is so justly famous. Give yourself a treat and try - as an added attraction the cafe the Cheese Barrel is also well worth a visit for lunch.
The Thoughts of an Ageing, Balding Foodie
LONE STAR RIB HOUSE
serious choices for the dedicated diner. Seeing the place is called a ‘Rib House’, as one might expect, they specialise in ribs - beef and pork all served with chips, sweet or baked potato and homemade coleslaw. (Mostly $35.95, although the “Gorgin’ Grunters ‘Massive Pork’ Ribs” are $48.95 for what I expect, given the generosity of the portions, would be a truly huge serve.) The menu is a work of art in its design and in the complexity and range of the dishes, all described in what I can only call fanciful language. Chicken, for example, is called ‘Biddy’ and there is a variety on offer under the title ‘Biddy Vittles’ - including the ‘I-Tally-Ann Style Parmi Schnitzel’ ($22.95) which was Angela’s selection of main course. This was (as in every case) a substantial portion of beautifully tender breast of chicken with the traditional Napoli sauce and cheeses with the addition of some crispy bacon. Delicious. We began with an entrée of ‘Loco Cheesy LandTrout (Bacon) Garlic Bread ($9.50) for a delicious, crisp, garlicy loaf sprinkled with bacon, which I shall henceforth call ‘Land-trout’, plus a papertowel roll holder full of the most delectable battered onion rings made from real rings of onion rather than extruded oinion paste, and you can really taste the difference. At $16.95 it represents excellent value for money, as it fed four of us comfortably. it comes with a small tub of aioli as well. For myself I chose, after considerable debate with myself, ‘“Homer’s” All AmericanPork Chops ($29.95)
o the average Australian the word ‘Texas’ means beef, oil, big hats and John Wayne* - not necessarily in that order. But it’s far more of course, much as Australia is more than prawns, opals, flies and Crocodile Dundee. But from the outside, another continent, that’s how it seems. The popular Australian view of Texas has been seized upon for the chain of franchise restaurants the Lone Star Rib Houses, which has now opened in Midland in what has become restaurant strip - Dome, The Principal, Crust, Hog’s Breath, Chatters, Katsu Japanese, Grill’d, Mad Mex, Lone Star and San Churro all cheek by jowl in Cale Street between Railway and Great Eastern. Lone Star is newly opened and as I quite like a bit of meat grilled I was keen to try it and we dined, en famile, on a Wednesday evening. Rather naughtily, we didn’t book, and were quite lucky to get a table as the place is jumping. The decor is pretty much what you’d expect, raw varnished wood, cool greys and free buckets of peanuts. A vast sign proclaims the place to be ‘Bucking Awesome’ and it pretty much is. (Although presenting the careless speaker with the same challenge that ‘Friar Tuck’s’ did in Durban. We sat in a comfortable banquette near the kitchen and bar and opened the vast menus offering
Triple Chocolate Mud Cake ($9) of incredibly rich moist traditional chocolate Mud cake, finished with crramy chocolate ganache topped with dark chocolate flakes. In fact, there were a number of options that we could have considered at all aspects - I haven’t even touched on the wide range of burgers, chicken and hot dogs including the challenging Dallas Double Dog Dare (Could you? Would you? Should you?) A two foot long roll loaded with hotdogs chili con carne, chips, onions, bacon, eggs and cheese! The challenge is to eat it within twenty minures or fewer and earn your place on the Wall of Fame plus a voucher for your next visit. There’s a range of seafood, too (called ‘Underwater Beef”) of pan fried fish, Atlantic Salmon and the “‘George DubYa’ Bush Pepper Sqeeyid ($22.95) - or in English Calamari and garlic aioli (which is actually tautology since aioli is garlic mayonnaise) - and it sounds heavenly and I shall definitely try it next time. And there will, most certainly, be a next time. The food is excellent, well priced for value, service was friendly and willing, if very busy, and the whole experience was delightful Very Highly Recommended. * Yes, I know he was born in Iowa and lived in California all his life - but we’re talking perception, not reality.
Two of them, grilled and basted in a Bourbon glaze and served with either some nice thick chips or a baked potato and sour cream and the homemade coleslaw. Pork can be iffy, and if cooked incorrectly, can be dry - these were perfection, succulent and tasty and the baked potato just amazingly good. Jess, who’s on something of a health kick at the moment, ordered a salad - a Beef Salad (21.95) with big chunks of mediumrare beef steak, seasonal greenery and crisp noodles dressed with a light, but tasty, coriander, lime and ginger sauce. James’ choice of steak (never in doubt) was the ‘Rodeo Rider Rump’ ($25.95) exactly cooked as required, medium-rare with umami grilled onto the outside and pink perfection inside. Served with a baked potato and mushroom sauce ($2.50) it was as good a steak as he’s eaten in a long while. We should not, by rights, have had room for dessert, but tossing caution to the winds we ordered Cheesecake of the day (Chocolate) with whipped cream and ice cream ($12.95) and Brownie Blast ($14.95) of chunks of homemade Brownie with vanilla ice cream, hot chocolate fudge, whipped cream served in a half-pint mug as a sundae topped with a Maraschino cherry. They were wise choices, even with the contrasting charms of the Choc-A-Holic’s
The hidden gem of a bar in Bassendean 77 Old Perth Road
OPEN Wednesday - Thursday 5-10ish Friday 5 - 10:30ish Saturday - Sunday 12 - 10:30ish HAVING A FUNCTION? - FULLY CATERED & NO HIRE FEE 17
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
COMMUNITY NATIONAL AWARD FOR SAFE
aving Animals from Euthanasia, (SAFE Inc) has been voted Outstanding Rescue Group 2018, in the inaugural Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards announced recently. Founded in 2003 in the Pilbara, SAFE Inc has grown to include branches in Albany, Avon Valley, Broome, Bunbury, Busselton, Carnarvon, Esperance, Hedland, Goldfields, Karratha, Newman and SAFE Metro in Perth. The primary goal of the organisation is to save healthy companion animals from unnecessary euthanasia by fostering, desexing and rehoming them. SAFE averages over 300 companion animals in foster care each month and has saved over 23,000 animals since the organisation began. SAFE Founder Sue Hedley says winning the national award is recognition of SAFE’s dedicated volunteer teams who foster and rehome more than 1,000 animals every year. “It’s a huge honour to receive this award when there are so many dedicated, hard-working rescue groups across the country all doing excellent work. I am especially proud of SAFE volunteers who do the hard yards, sometimes in challenging circumstances to ensure healthy rehomable animals are not euthanased. The personal rewards are enormous, it’s life-saving work and our foster care program makes it possible,” says Ms Hedley. Ms Hedley says the need for animal rescue and rehoming services is not abating and encourages people who wish to support SAFE’s work to volunteer, adopt, donate or partner with them to ensure it is the animals who are the real winners. The Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards program which recognises inspiring examples of dedication to the rehabilitation and rehoming of companion animals Australia wide attracted hundreds of entries.
Dear sir, As an interstate observer of the current stoush over the advertising on the opera house sails, the solution for the people of New South Wales seems simple. If you don’t like it, boycott the race, vote against the premier (and probably Scomo as well) and don’t listen to Alan Jones. The latter may be a moot point, as I understand that not many do anyway. The politicians involved should note that they are the protectors of an Australian icon, not just a NSW one. Tony Jackson Rockingham Sir: The Australian Monarchist League is delighted that the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has announced that he is a constitutional monarchist. He did swear allegiance to the Queen in his ministerial oath of office and his sympathies were confirmed when he restored the portrait of the Queen to the Prime Minister’s office. The wall of republicanism built up by Peter Fitzsimons is fast crumbling. In September 2015 I warned that monarchists would desert the Liberal Party in droves following Turnbull’s successful plot against the sitting Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, which they did. Now, the Liberal Party is increasingly becoming more welcoming to its former more traditional members under the leadership of Scott Morrison. The only chance that republicans have is a Labor win at the next general election. With Morrison’s declaration that he is a Queen’s man a Shorten victory is now becoming far more unlikely. Philip Benwell National Chair Australian Monarchist League Dear Sir, Now the debate has started into how Australian cricket got to it’s parlous state, it’s worth noting that the decline pretty much coincided with the rise of the short version of the game. Real cricket should be a marathon contest between bat and ball in which defence is as important to the outcome as attack. It’s a unique game of which we have been justly proud. But it seems like CA treats test and shield cricket as a necessary evil instead of the core of the game. The short game, however, is only a version of baseball with a flat bat. The problem here is that baseball is a more interesting game which keeps it’s audience more engaged for longer. No amount of pyrotechnics or flashing lights is going to make T20 any better than a game of hit and giggle. And why has CA followed this path? Money, of course. It really can’t get any more grubby than that. Tony Jackson Rockingham
At twelve years old Rocky, affectionately known as the Rock Monster, is one of the oldest dogs to be adopted out through SAFE Metro. Thanks to our amazing foster carers he got to wait for his new family in the comfort of a home instead of the stressful environment of a shelter. He’s now living in the lap of luxury being spoiled by a family with three young boys. If you’d like to help animals like Rocky follow the link below to apply to be a foster carer. We especially need carers for large dogs and cats. For more on SAFE Inc www.safe.org.au 18
FICTION DEATH IN THE SEA OF GRASS KAREN R W TREANOR
irectly after having her morning coffee, Claire sent Sipo off to the Queen to deliver her message. By midmorning he had returned with the answer. “Her Majesty somewhat grudgingly agrees to let us have a look around near the Cave of the Winds,” Claire told Rivka. “She informs me Themba will meet us there at two o’clock, and that we are to bring Sipo as well. There are times when I feel she treats me like a backward little sister.” “I wish I had some slacks. I don’t fancy rock-climbing in a dress,” Rivka said. “I can lend you a pair; you’re a bit taller, but it shouldn’t matter. Go into my wardrobe and take the dark green twill slacks; they’re big on me. Wear boots if you have them.” “I don’t, but I’ve got some British walking shoes, a souvenir of my time in London.” “They’ll do. Well, I hear my waiting room filling up. I’ll see you at lunch.” Prying open her starched top pocket, Claire headed down the hall. Shortly before two o’clock, Claire gave in to Rivka’s offer to drive and sat in the passenger seat giving directions as the little car headed up the winding road toward the Cave of the Winds. Sipo sat upright in the back seat, waving regally to any young women they passed on the way. “This seems likely to be the last level place we’ll find,” Rivka said, stopping in a small clearing. “So we’ll walk from here,” said Claire, taking her medical bag and putting it in the canvas sack with shoulder straps that she used when having to hike in to see a patient. This innovation left her hands free to hold on to bushes or rocks, something she had found vital when paying house calls to some of the more remote patients. At the top of a sharp incline, Sipo gave a loud owl-like call, which was quickly answered. Themba stepped from behind a rock a few yards further along. “Hello, Themba. Any luck?” Claire asked. “No, it is as if the eagles carried her away,” Themba said. “I pity any eagle who tried to carry your mother anywhere; she would give him a good telling off,” Claire said to the tall warrior. This won a smile, which faded quickly. “Well, there’s no point looking on the dark side; let’s get to work. I thought we would go up to the stream, and you would look on one side while Sipo looks on the other. I will look around the pools, and Miss Lerner can be placed somewhere where she can see over the whole area.” Neither of the young men had a better suggestion, so the party made its way further up the hill and across a ravine to where an icy streamlet burst from a crevice and chuckled its way down the slope. “Why don’t I sit here? There’s a good view of most of the upper stream,” Rivka suggested, finding a smooth flat rock. Nearby was a clump of mountain orchids that begged to be preserved on paper. She put Claire’s medical bag down and began to open her own bag, laying out pencils and pastels. The search party set off. Rivka was soon absorbed in the delicate shading of the orchids and only occasionally remembered to look down on the searchers. Now and then short comments floated up to her from those below. Knowing the young men could cover more ground faster than she could, Claire left them to search for Elspeth while she poked about the edges of the small pools that formed where the stream slowed its downhill rush. She didn’t really expect to place of work, who might I see?” Claire chewed her thumbnail
and paced back and forth on the bank. “The most likely person would be someone from the farm itself. Perhaps I accidentally run across this person out here one day and that makes me suspicious. After that I follow the person whenever he leaves the farm, or at least as often as I can. But while I may be an accomplished tracker, it takes me a while to find out what’s going on. Right, so I’ve learned that the person is stealing diamonds that belong by ancient law to the Queen. Why don’t I now go and report this?” Claire scrambled up to the next pool. She sat down and peered into its depths, willing answers to float up to her. “I don’t report it because there’s no time. For some reason, I have to take action right away. No, wait: perhaps I do plan to report it, but I want to take evidence of what I’ve seen. “Yes, I want evidence so I can establish the truth of what I say and also perhaps to save the diamonds from the thief. So why do I only take one, and why do I swallow it? I’ve got pockets in my shorts. Why not put it in there?” “You’re talking to yourself again,” said Rivka, materialising beside Claire and waving the shiny nickel Thermos under her nose. “I’m trying to be Thabo Khonzi. Why do I not put the diamond in my pocket? Why swallow it?” “Perhaps it wasn’t on purpose. You may have put the diamond in your mouth where it would be safe from a cursory search if you’re caught. Then you swallowed it accidentally, or on purpose when you realised you were being stalked,” Rivka said,
“Exactly. Well, I will return to the pool and see what else I can find. You carry on.” Claire turned to go when there was a shout from far above. Themba stood at the edge of a rocky outcrop, beckoning. “You go see what he’s found, Sipo. I’ll get the medical bag,” said Claire. She turned to retrace her steps when Rivka hailed her from the other side of the stream. “Go on, I’m bringing the bag!” It took Rivka a bit of fancy footwork to get across the stream, but she managed it while clutching the medical bag tightly. “I’d have thrown it if I had any faith in my sporting skills,” she panted, fetching up next to Claire on the inadequate path. Claire in the lead, they set off after Sipo and in a few minutes hauled themselves up onto the small plateau where the two men were in rapid conversation. “What is it? What have you found?” “Look!” Themba waved a hand at a very narrow crevice, beside which a straggling thorn bush stood. On one of the thorns was a shred of magenta wool. “That’s the colour of the shawl Elspeth wore the last time I saw her,” Claire said. “If a person entered this small place, she might leave something caught on the thorn bush,” Themba said, peering into the dark crevice. “It is too small for me, and too small for Sipo, but a small woman might enter.” “Well, I guess that’s me,” said Claire, taking the medical bag from Rivka and pulling out a flashlight. “You’re not going in there by yourself!” her friend exclaimed. “There might be leopards in the cave. Her Majesty would not want you to go in there,” said Themba, his concern over his mother’s well-being temporarily overridden by the thought of what the Queen would do to him if he allowed her friend to be eaten by wild beasts. Sipo, who had pressed his face as far as possible in the narrow opening, pulled back and said, “I cannot smell leopard there. But there may be snakes.” “We could get help,” suggested Rivka. “It would take several hours. I really think it would be best if I try first. I’ll talk to you all the way in, and I won’t go very far,” Claire said, slipping past Sipo and side-winding her way into the crevice. “Pass me the medical bag.” Slipping on the shoulder straps, Claire settled the bag in the middle of her back to present the narrowest possible width. After a bit of pushing and wiggling, Claire was able to back into the darkness of the uneven opening, the flashlight clutched in one hand. She disappeared from view, saying, “All right, it’s twisty, but it doesn’t get any narrower, I think— argh!” Then silence. “Claire, Claire, speak to us! Are you all right?” Rivka cried. There was a bit of heavy breathing, then Claire responded, “It’s all right; there was a two foot drop I wasn’t expecting. I think I’ll be able to turn around in a minute.” Rivka said to Themba, “I’m going in now, and I will relay what Claire says back to you. You must make up your own mind what to do if you think we may be in trouble. I’ll keep back so in case Claire falls or something I won’t go down with her.” Inserting herself into the crevice the other way around in hopes she would be able to see where she was going, Rivka slowly disappeared from sight. Being ten pounds heavier and an inch taller than Claire, the going was much slower for her. “Claire, I’m coming in. Can you see anything?” Rivka called. “Yes, there’s a small cave and I think someone has been living here recently. There’s a dead fire and a water pot, and two blankets. I can’t tell if they are Elspeth’s, but it’s a good bet, wouldn’t you say?” Rivka wriggled and squirmed and popped into the small cave beside Claire with audible relief. “I wouldn’t want to try
pouring out coffee and passing it to Claire. She filled the smaller of the nested cups for herself and sat down. “That’s a good thought, and it fits with what little we know about all this. We do know Thabo was stalked and killed, and have to assume his killer had some good reason, at least in his own mind. I was hoping to find some clues out here, but so far, nothing.” “Well, here’s a lump of something that looks like it came out of a pipe. If only Sherlock Holmes was here he could tell us exactly what sort of tobacco it is.” Rivka poked a twig at a blackened lump lying under the edge of a small rock. Claire pulled back the rock carefully and stared at the lump. She took a small envelope from her pocket and scooped the pipe dottle up gently. “It might be nothing at all, but it’s all we’ve found, so I’ll take it along. There are probably only two thousand pipe smokers in Tshaniland, so it should be simplicity itself to trace this back to one of them. Ha-ha.” She sat down dejectedly. “Stupid of me to think I’d be able to discover anything. I’m not a trained detective.” “Well, it was worth a try. And the day’s not over yet,” Rivka said, rinsing out the Thermos cups and replacing them. “I’ve found another kind of flower, so I’m going to draw that one as well. Perhaps you can tell me what it is later. Don’t despair; something will turn up.” Feeling a bit foolish, Claire stowed the envelope of pipe ash in her pocket and went up to the top pool. She poked around, not expecting to find anything, and her expectations were fulfilled. She had just about decided to give up and go over to watch Rivka drawing flowers when Sipo called from further up the hill. “There is something here, Tshadola.” He was crouching, looking intently at something. Claire scrambled up the slope and said, “What is it?” “I think it is a tin. I cannot get my hand in.” He held out the offending member, as if trying to wish it smaller. Claire crouched down beside him and peered into a niche under a large rock. “I can get my hand in, I think. I hope there are no scorpions in there.” She slid her hand into the small space, and with a scissors motion managed to capture what had been tucked away. “Hau! It is tobacco!” exclaimed Sipo. “Well, we don’t know that. It’s certainly a tobacco tin, but there might be something else in it.” Claire looked at the green and black painted container. It was the large size, which made it remarkable. Most Batshani bought small tins, because they rarely had much hard cash. Which was not to say this tin had not been salvaged by someone. It was a never-ending source of fascination to Claire to see how many things that Europeans casually discarded could be put to practical use by the Batshani. There was a stall at the market where almost everything on sale had been made from salvaged materials. This tin could well have been found and put to use by someone local, not necessarily a European. Claire carefully pried off the tight-fitting lid and tipped the tin. Out fell a pencil stub and a small tuppenny notebook, with grey-mottled cardboard covers. Flipping it open, she sighed in disappointment. “It’s written in Sitshana.” Sipo smiled and said, “I can read it, Tshadola.” Claire shut the notebook and slipped it into her pocket. She had seen enough words she could recognise to know that the notebook was important. One phrase in particular, “mashile Alilo,” had clear reference to the lavender diamonds: mashile meant tears. She stood up and said, “I think this may have to do with the task her Majesty has given me, so probably it is best if I take it for her to read first. However, I think we should put the tin back in its hiding place.” “Ah, so the person who has hidden it may not know we have seen the notebook,” said Sipo, quick on the uptake. “Unless he opens the tin.” 20
that after a Sabbath dinner,” she said, dusting her hands on her pants. “Where could she have gone? Down that tunnel over there, do you think? No, wait; don’t even think of going in there until I report back to Themba what we’ve found so far.” “I’ll go tell him, it’s not quite such a battle for me,” Claire said, slipping off her bag and wiggling back into the constricted entryway to the cave. She got back to the opening and explained what they’d found. “There’s a tunnel; I’ll have a quick look there. She might have gone for water or something and suffered a fall.” Themba said, “I do not think this is a good idea.” “Don’t be silly, what else are we to do? There may be another entry to the little cave, but by the time we find it, it will be dark. If your mother is lying there hurt, the sooner she is found, the better.” Not giving him time to argue, Claire slithered back down the corridor and into the cave, where Rivka stood stock still in the dark, fearing to move lest she run into something. “Next time we do this, God forbid it’s any time soon, let’s have a miner’s hat with us,” she said, picking a beetle off her pants leg and throwing it into the darkness with a shudder. “Better yet, a hat with the miner in it.” Claire stepped into the low tunnel and shone her light ahead. “I hope this isn’t a corkscrew passage; it would make things very difficult if we have to try and bring an unconscious person through it.” “Ever the optimist,” muttered Rivka behind her in the shadows, clutching the medical bag like a life preserver. Fortunately, after the first turn the tunnel ran fairly straight, although sloping perceptibly downwards. Rivka wondered if this could be an old watercourse chewed into the rocks over eons. Underfoot the rock was quite smooth. Ahead, Claire suddenly disappeared around another bend and Rivka heard a gasp. “What is it, have you found her?” “Yes, her and more. Wait till you see this!” Claire’s voice was full of wonder. Joining her, Rivka came into a sort of stone anteroom that opened into a wider chamber. All around, small points of light danced and twinkled in the darkness, catching the flashlight’s meagre rays and multiplying them over and over. “It’s like those caves you see in the National Geographic!” Claire said. “But there’s no time to stand here gawking, I’ve found Elspeth.” Rivka saw the crumpled bundle, still in its pink shawl, lying just to one side of the entry to the tunnel. Claire was on her knees beside her patient, gently feeling along leg bones and arms. “I have no idea how long she’s been here unconscious. She feels very cool, but she had her shawl on and she wears her skirts long, so with luck she hasn’t taken a chill. I’m not sure how we’ll get her out of here. I’m not even sure she should be moved; there may be serious head injuries.” Rivka looked off into the darkness and whistled the first bar of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. An echo came back to her. “I’d say this cave is very big, and while it might eventually come out somewhere, we’d run out of flashlight long before we ran out of cave. I guess we go back the way we came. I think I can carry Elspeth back to the little cave, then we’ll see what we can do from there.” Claire, about to argue, recognised the sense of what Rivka said. “What’s the best way to do it? If you go first, you’ll be in the way of the light. If I go first, the same problem applies, but you should be able to see something.” “You drape her over my back and then go ahead with the light and the medical bag. I’ll hold on to her arms and bend
forward. It won’t be fast but it should be safe. I saw it done in a film about firemen once.” “Forgive me for not being impressed by that,” Claire chuckled. “We’d better get going. The battery is getting weaker.” Propping the flagging light on the medical bag, Claire helped settle the unconscious Elspeth on Rivka’s back. Elspeth was thin from her illness, and her weight would be supportable for a short distance. “Off you go,” said Rivka, bent over to get Elspeth’s dangling feet off the ground. “I’m right behind you.” Shuffling into the tunnel, Rivka followed the fading light. Going back up the tunnel, the slope was much more pronounced, but Rivka kept going: not for any money was she going to be left alone in the dark. It took all of five minutes, but eventually the ungainly parade came out again into the small cave. With great care, Claire and Rivka eased Elspeth to the ground and covered her with the blanket that she’d left by the fire. The flashlight flickered. Claire gave it a thump and it stabilized, but at a feeble level. When Claire opened her medical bag, Rivka looked in and said, “Aha, I thought so.” Among the medicines and syringe cases was a box of matches, which Claire carried to light the tiny spirit lamp she kept in the car for emergencies. While Claire felt all over Elspeth’s skull with gentle fingers, Rivka put the stumps and bits of wood together and coaxed a fire to life. Then she went to the constricted passage to the outside and wriggled through. “Themba, we’ve found her. Doctor Claire is checking her over, but she’s alive. Can you get me some wood? I’ve got a little fire going but it won’t last long.” Themba and Sipo both sprang up, one going back down the 21
hill and one further up. They returned with several dry branches broken into pieces that Rivka could easily carry back to the cave. Squirming backwards with her prize, Rivka stoked up the tiny fire until it gave reasonable light and warmth. “I don’t want to suffocate us, but your batteries won’t last much longer and you’ll need the light.” Claire gave the flashlight a shake. “And not a minute too soon; that’s almost the end of the artificial light.” She switched it off to conserve what little power remained. “I wonder if there’s any such thing as artificial light?” mused Rivka, “or if perhaps it’s all a manifestation of energy one way or the other and—” “Rivka, we need a nurse more than a philosopher at this point,” Claire said. “Can you get some water?” Glad to have an excuse to get out of the oppressive atmosphere, Rivka picked up the small water pot and wormed herself out to the plateau where the two young men were waiting impatiently. “Sipo, can you go down where my drawing things are and rinse out that Thermos bottle and fill it and this pot with clean water? Themba, your mother is breathing. The doctor is checking her head for injuries, but no legs or arms seem to be broken. Beyond where we found her there is an enormous cave, full of sparkling rocks. I can’t begin to guess how large it is, or if it connects to the outside somewhere.” Themba controlled his expression, although a muscle jumped next to his left eye. “I am sure the doctor will fix everything,” he said, more as an incantation than as an article of faith. Saying will make it so, thought Rivka, and hoped that this time the old chestnut would prove accurate. Sipo scrambled back up the slope clutching the Thermos. Rivka took it and squirmed back into the cave. “Well, this is the oddest doctor’s office ever,” Rivka joked, setting down the Thermos and poking a few more bits of wood into the heart of the fire. “How are we going to get her out? It will be difficult, since there’s not enough space to carry her on my back the way I did from the big cave. We might rig up some sort of hammock-sling,
but I’d be worried about bumps and scrapes.” “Yes, we could well do more harm than good. It looks like this cave could be my branch office for the next few days. I wish to heaven I had an X-ray machine I could fold up and put in my medical bag. I suspect there’s something wrong inside her head, but the only way I can assess it is by the most basic things like pupil reaction and blood pressure.” Claire got up and looked around. “We have three choices: stay here, try and find a way to the outside through the big cave, or widen the entry to this one.” Rivka had taken a burning branch and was examining the surrounds of the twisting entryway. “It could be dangerous, trying to move these rocks. There are cracks and crevices, but there’s no way to know what might come tumbling down if you start trying to remove some to widen the entry. I’m no geologist, but—” “Geologist! You’re brilliant, Rivka.” Claire dashed to the opening and wriggled herself through it again. “Themba, go to Enkalovu and tell her Majesty about this. We need her advice. Also, get some crowbars and chisels; things that can be used to move the rocks if the Queen thinks it’s wise. Take Sipo; he can organise that while you are seeing the Queen.” Themba looked unsure about the wisdom of leaving his charges. “We’ll be all right here,” Claire insisted. “Rivka can keep the fire going. There must be a natural chimney in here, because we haven’t suffocated yet. Your mother seems to be stable, but she hasn’t awakened. I don’t think it would be wise to try and push her through this passage; we might do more harm than good.” Themba, glad to have something useful to do, leaped like a gazelle down the rocky cliff, followed by Sipo. Back in the cave, Claire had Rivka hold the fading torch while she gently washed Elspeth’s head wound. “It’s an odd place to have an injury if she got it from a fall,” Claire mused. “You’d expect it to be on the back or perhaps the temple, but this is right over the left ear. Perhaps something fell on her.” Or perhaps someone hit her, thought Rivka, then chided herself for being suspicious. Why would anyone hurt this 22
harmless old woman? She helped Claire wind a gauze bandage around Elspeth’s head. “She’s slightly dehydrated, which is worrying—it indicates she might have been lying here for a day or more. I haven’t got any way of rigging up a drip; I should have thought of bringing a bottle of saline with me.” “You can send someone back to the surgery for that,” Rivka said. “Good idea. You could go and do that now.” “I really do not think it would be wise until the men come back, Claire,” said Rivka, who wanted nothing so much as to be out of this place, but wasn’t about to leave Claire on her own. “If her condition isn’t critical, let’s leave that errand for a while. Later I can go for supplies and some lamps as well.” Claire, while realising this was a sensible decision, chafed at sitting here doing nothing but watching her patient. “When the men come back, we should send word to Redmond Trevelyan,” Rivka said. “He might have some ideas. Perhaps he can start a search for the other entry to the big cave, if there is one. If there’s not, they’ll have to force an entry this side, that’s the only other choice.” Time passed, but not nearly fast enough. Rivka wriggled outside again and found that Sipo had left a pile of dry wood near the opening. She dragged this in piece by piece and made a neat woodpile near the fire. There being nothing else she could do, she took her pocket sketchbook and a pencil and began to draw the scene in the cave. “I’ll call this ‘Medicine at the cutting edge.’ You couldn’t get any more basic than this. Our ancient ancestors must have had similar experiences, keeping vigil over an injured person, unable to do anything but keep her warm and sheltered.” Claire said, “In fact, they could do more than that. It’s amazing what those people could do. There are traces of skull surgery on bones dug out of caves and from Egyptian tombs. From the pattern of healing, it’s clear that many of the patients survived the process for months or years after the operation. Even if the early doctors thought they were opening the skull to let out bad spirits, the result was the same as if they knew about subdural hematomas. That’s what I fear may be happening inside Elspeth’s skull. There’s a patch of broken bone under the skin; I can feel it moving, and that means there’s a chance there is bleeding underneath. What I wouldn’t give to see Dr. Shongway’s superior smile and clever hands appear before me right now!” “What will happen if it isn’t fixed?” “Death or permanent damage, probably the former. It’s what killed Malaila’s mother. She fell on something, a haematoma developed, and Dr. Shongway was on the other side of the country. There was no way to reach him quickly, and by the time a driver had been sent, the Queen had died. Malaila became determined that whatever it took, she would drag Tshaniland into the twentieth century. The telephone system was expanded, agricultural aid partners were sought, and I was recruited to set up a practice. The only limitation placed on me was I was never to be out of the country at the same time as Dr. Shongway. It makes scheduling vacations outside Tshaniland difficult, so I’ve in fact only been to South Africa twice, both times for less than a week.” “Perhaps when I finish the Queen’s portrait we could take a few days off and go to Mozambique. I’ve heard it’s really fascinating.” “It would take two days to drive there. Most of the roads are gravel except near Lourenço Marques. Let’s wait until we’re rich and take a boat from Durban,” Claire laughed. She was sitting beside Elspeth, holding her wrist, when suddenly her face clouded. “Damn, something’s happening. The pulse is getting thready. I’ve got a very bad feeling about this. Where is our rescue team?” “No sooner requested than delivered; I hear something outside,” said Rivka, her head in the cramped passageway. She
wriggled out, followed by Claire. Coming up the rocky path was the Queen, followed by a retinue of people. “Well, you’ve found her but you can’t get her out, is that the story?” Malaila demanded of Claire. “Yes, and it’s worse than that—she has pressure in her skull from an injury and if it isn’t relieved soon, the prognosis isn’t good.” “You mean she may die? Why don’t you medical people ever use plain words?” The Queen frowned and said, “How long?” “Something has to be done soon. I’d like Rivka to go to the surgery and get me these supplies and come straight back.” Claire handed over a list she’d scribbled while waiting. “A cave is not the ideal place to conduct surgery, but it’s actually a fairly simple procedure that doesn’t even need general anaesthetic. “If we can get some light in there, it should be possible to do it. That will buy us some time while you have a look at the geology of this place and figure out if it’s safe for the men to widen the entry. The other alternative is to find a way out through the bigger cave where we found Elspeth. It seems large, but we don’t know how far it goes.” “We should be prepared for anything. Sipo, go with Miss Lerner now and get these things and come straight back,” the Queen commanded. “Themba, send for more lamps, and find someone small to go in there and search for another way out. Claire, you’d better go back in and sit with Elspeth. I’m sorry I can’t join you, but…” the Queen swept her hand in the air as if to apologise for her height, “at least I can have a look at the rock formation and assess the possibilities.” Someone from the Queen’s party gave Claire a blanket, and someone else passed over a water bottle. Clutching these, Claire again inserted herself into the corkscrew and manoeuvred backward into the cave. Back inside, Claire found her patient no better. She put the extra blanket over Elspeth and sat beside her, holding her wrist and praying Rivka would be back soon. Outside she could hear the murmur of voices and occasional tapping on stone. She had confidence that if there was a safe way to widen the entry to the cave, the Queen would find it. A louder noise pulled her away from her thoughts. A small dust cloud floated into the cave ahead of a thin brown man holding a lantern. “Nee sabona, Tshadola,” he said. “I see you also, Nahama,” Claire said, recognizing one of the Queen’s servants. “So, you have been given the job of finding the other way out?” “Yes, if there is another way. I have a lantern, and rope,” said Nahama, reeling in and winding up a considerable quantity of cordage that he’d tied to his waist and pulled after him like a tail while negotiating the tight passage. “The tunnel widens a little once you go in, then it bends and goes downhill,” Claire said. “I wish you luck.” Slinging the rope over one shoulder, the small man set off into the tunnel. Shades of Theseus in the labyrinth, thought Claire. Shortly thereafter, a young boy squirmed into the cave with two lamps and a can of lamp oil. Claire exchanged greeting with him, and watched as he filled and lit the lamps. With the steady light she felt much more optimistic: at least she could see what she was doing. Letting go of Elspeth’s wrist, she got up and began investigating the cave’s potential as an operating theatre. There was a protruding stone slab that wasn’t as high as she’d have liked, but was better than attempting surgery on the floor. “Butilo, I think it would be good to put maThemba up on this stone. Can you help me?” Pleased to be addressed as ‘brother’, the boy began dusting off the stone with the tail of his shirt. Claire removed the top blanket from her patient and folded it in thirds to make a mattress. “If I take her shoulders and you take the feet, we should be able to move her without harm,” Claire explained. The move was 23
accomplished easily, and Claire was horrified to feel how light the old woman was. She must have been eating poorly for some time to have lost so much weight. The little boy carefully laid the other blanket over Elspeth. “Will she live?” he asked. “I hope so. She is very strong in her heart,” Claire said, using the phrase that meant a determined person. “She is my grandmother,” the boy said, stepping closer and taking the thin brown hand in both of his. “I am Puli.” “Ah, you are the son of Bongilay!” exclaimed Claire, remembering hearing about Elspeth’s eldest child when she lived in Boston. The boy smiled. “Yes. I will stay here with you and help you. My mother cannot come in; she is too fat. She is making me a little brother.” Claire smiled at this. “What if it is a little sister?” “That is all right, but I would like to have a brother.” His eyes went back to his grandmother. “Will she wake up soon?” “It’s hard to say. Head injuries are difficult.” Claire looked in her pocket for a mint or something to give the boy, hoping to cheer him up. When she felt in her left side pocket she found the notebook she had put there hours earlier. “Look, can you be the nurse for a few minutes and stay here? I must speak to the Great She-leopard.” Wiggling back to the outside world, she found the Queen tapping a section of the wall and talking rapid Sitshana to several men who stood by with crowbars and shovels. “May I interrupt? It’s important.” Claire moved to one side, away from the people, and the Queen followed. “What is it, is she worse?”
“No, she’s stable for the moment. How soon can you get us out of there?” “Not very quickly. This is unstable rock; there are old fracture lines. We’ll have to take it slowly. What did you want?” Claire pulled the notebook out. “I can’t read much of it, but it refers to the Tears of Alilo. I think Khonzi must have written this, and hidden it. I thought you should have it.” The Queen flicked through the pages and said, “Appalling handwriting. You’re right, it does look important, but right now I’ve got to be Clerk of Works for this project. I’ll read it later.” Motioning one of her attendants over, she gave her the notebook and said something that Claire interpreted as “Guard this with your life”. “I’ll get back inside. Bongilay’s son is with me. Do you think someone could provide some food? God forbid I have to operate in there, but if I do, I need to have my glucose levels steady.” Malaila laughed. “I remember when you used to use that as an excuse to have a feast at Bailey’s. Extra hot fudge, wasn’t it? I’ll order food and send it in by the boy.” Claire smiled her thanks and inched back through the rock passage to the cave. It was getting monotonous, and she thought if she never saw another cave, she wouldn’t mind. Her patient was no better, and the small boy looked worried. “She won’t wake up,” he said. “It’s the body’s way of protecting itself. When there is a serious injury, it’s better to be asleep, so the body can repair itself. Just like pain—pain is there to stop you from moving around and making an injury worse.” Claire hoped she sounded confident. “Why don’t you go back outside and bring the food when it gets here?” Once the boy was gone, Claire again checked Elspeth’s blood pressure and pulse. Neither was encouraging. The body was slowly shutting down as the master organ failed. If something wasn’t done to take the pressure off the brain, Elspeth would slip over the edge into death like a snake in a stream. “Not if I have anything to say about it!” Claire exclaimed, much more bravely than she felt. “About what?” Rivka asked, squirming back into the cave, a sack over her shoulder. “I think I’ve got everything you wanted, and food is coming.” “Thank God!” Claire pounced on the sack and carefully removed the contents, which were wrapped in a towel. She laid the towel out on the foot of the plinth where the patient lay and took up the scissors. “Hold the lamp up so I can trim away the hair and wash the area well.” Rivka, having already acted as a veterinary nurse, thought that this couldn’t be any worse. I don’t have to watch too closely, she thought, holding the lamp high. Claire trimmed away the hair from the depressed section of skull and painted antiseptic all around the area. “We’ll leave this for a minute and have a bite to eat. I don’t
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KAREN R TREANOR KAREN Treanor has been writing since the age of six. Discovering bandicoots in her backyard, and learning that nobody was writing about these engaging little beasts, she started Quenda Books, which publishes the Scoot, Scoot, Bandicoot® series, in 2003. For many years she was a frequent visitor at Western Australian schools and libraries, talking about bandicoots and book publishing. Karen worked for Swan Publishing for several years, and her book reviews, poems and short stories have appeared often in the Swan Magazine. She lived in Mundaring with many visiting bandicoots, possums, bobtail lizards, and magpies; plus some resident chickens, cats and a very tolerant husband until 2014, when she packed up the cats and husband, and moved to Tasmania where she spends her time wallaby wrangling, making sourdough bread, and writing. 24
want to have the shakes for this.” What she really hoped was that Elspeth would miraculously get better and no operation would be necessary. She wasn’t at all confident of being able to do what was needed. The shaking of her hands had nothing to do with low blood sugar and everything to do with low confidence. Bongilay’s son re-entered the cave with a small basket. “They have sent sandwiches and maasi,” he said, setting it down by the fire. “A sort of yogurt drink,” Claire explained when Rivka looked puzzled. They ate quickly and without conversation, Claire running what she could remember of her limited experience in brain surgery through her mental projector. After the meal, she went to look at Elspeth again. If anything, her breathing was shallower and her pulse more erratic. There wasn’t going to be any choice, except that between certain death and possible recovery. It was all down to Claire now. Throwing a brief prayer up to her rationalist Unitarian God, Claire sloshed antiseptic on her hands and said to Rivka, “This isn’t the way I’d like to do it, but I can’t see any other solution. Are you all right for this?” As she spoke, Claire set up a saline drip using a makeshift sling hooked over a projecting rock to hang the bottle. She slipped the needle into Elspeth’s right arm vein, taped it in place, and adjusted the flow. Rivka said, “Like you, I can’t see any choice. Puli, why don’t you go back outside? I’ll call you when it’s over.” The little boy said, “No, perhaps you will need help. I will stay. I will stay by the fire and keep it going.” Claire pulled on a pair of surgical gloves, sloshed more antiseptic on them, and turned her attention to the work at hand. “All right, this is what I am going to do. I will put some local anaesthetic in the skin, then cut it back in a flap. You will hold it down with this clean gauze pad. I will lift away the broken pieces of bone. I will hope the injury beneath is not severe. I will clean it out as best as I can. Then we put the flap back and stitch it. Then we pray.” “I can manage that last bit,” said Rivka with a shaky laugh. “Isn’t it dangerous, leaving someone with a hole in her head?” “The edges of the bone will grow together eventually. In ideal conditions, we’d try to replace the pieces, but as we don’t have the luxury of a trained surgeon and a well-fitted out operating room, we’ll have to do what we can and hope for the best. I wish I knew what was happening with Nahama. He went looking for another way out over an hour ago.” “Can we wait for him a bit longer?” “No, it’s too late. We either operate or start planning a funeral,” Claire said, dropping her voice so Puli couldn’t hear her. Taking the ampoule of Novocain, Claire filled her small syringe and injected several areas of skin around the wound. She wasn’t sure Elspeth could feel anything, but she didn’t want to take a chance of the pain of cutting causing a sudden jump or twitch against the scalpel. The brain itself had no pain receptors, but the scalp could be exquisitely sensitive. “Okay, we’re ready.” Claire picked up the knife and made a swift square U-shaped incision. Lifting the flap back, she put a sterile gauze pad over it and nodded to Rivka, who placed two fingers gently on the pad to hold it clear of the wound. Cleaning the exposed area with sterile water and patting it dry with another swab, Claire looked intently at the exposed bone. Rivka stood holding the lamp high with one hand and restraining the skin flap with the other. “Puli, you were right, we do need you,” Claire said. “I want
you to stand at this side of me and hold the other lamp so it shines right where I am looking. You don’t need to watch, but you must keep the light right here, so I can see what I’m doing. Can you do that?” Eager to be doing something, the boy did exactly as told and held the lamp firmly just where Claire wanted it. “Just so you know what’s happening, things may look icky in a minute. I have to take out the broken bone bits, and there will be some blood. Shut your eyes if you have to, but keep those lamps steady.” Claire took up a pair of offset tweezers and the scalpel again. Very carefully, she freed the first piece of bone and tweezed it away from the brain. “You were clever to get all the implements I wanted, Rivka.” “It was no problem. You wrote down ‘bent tweezers’ and I found them easily. If you’d have said ‘Rigatoni’s tool’ or something, I’d never have known what to get.” “Yes, they do tend to name surgical devices after the people who invent them.” She separated another fragment and removed it. After another three pieces, she said, “I think…hope… no, I’m pretty sure…that’s the last of the broken bits. Now let’s see what the damage is.” She squirted sterile water on the exposed cortex and gently mopped it up. “Nasty. There’s a clot, and the dura mater, the brain’s covering, is torn.” Taking a sort of dentist’s pick, she loosened the dark-coloured mass and gently lifted it away. More sterile water, more gentle mopping. “It’s too good to be true, but it looks as if the injury bled, clotted, and the injured blood vessel sealed itself up. Now the 25
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pressure of the clot and the caved in bone has been removed, we might get some—hang on, something’s seeping. Hold that lamp high, Puli.” Rivka tried not to watch but found the proceedings too fascinating to ignore. Claire peered into the wound intently. “Damn and blast. It’s just a tiny blood vessel, but it is still oozing. I could leave it and hope it stops naturally…no, don’t dare.” Bending over the towel where the implements were laid out, Claire took a length of fine silk. “Best to tie it off.” With infinite care, she slipped the smallest of the curved tweezers under the leaking vein, grabbed the end of the silk and drew it under so she had an end on both sides. A simple square knot closed down the leak immediately. “I really don’t like tying off any blood vessel, but at least this buys us some time. If it’s necessary, we can take her to hospital and let Dr. Shongway improve on my butchery later. I can hear his scathing comments already.” She mopped and peered some more, then with something like a lampshade needle, sewed the small cut in the dura. “All right, take your hand away, Rivka.” The skin flap was folded back to its normal position and Claire stitched it carefully in place with tiny even movements. “It shouldn’t show at all once the hair grows back” “I can’t believe this is the woman who can’t sew a hook and eye on a skirt the right way,” Rivka chuckled. “That’s a work of art. You’d get a prize in any quilting contest in Pennsylvania.” “Skin is different from cloth,” Claire explained. “There, a bit of a clean-up and we’re done. Good job, Puli, you were as steady as a lamp stand. Duchess herself couldn’t have done better.” Claire began winding gauze around Elspeth’s head. To be compared with the formidable office nurse was an honour and Puli seemed to grow momentarily taller. “Will my grandmother get better now?” “She should, but this is tricky business. All we can do is wait and hope.” Claire finished wrapping the bandage and pinned it in place.
“Why don’t you go and tell Uncle Themba?” Pulling the blankets up around Elspeth’s shoulders, Claire checked the pulse and found it stronger and steadier: that was encouraging. Without warning, her own legs let her down and she found herself clinging to the side of the stone table. “Whoops!” said Rivka, inserting her shoulder under Claire’s arm and heaving her upright. “All of a sudden you were like a puppet with its strings cut. Must be the relaxation of tension.” “Thank you, Doctor Lerner,” Claire laughed shakily, demanding her knees to lock and eventually getting their agreement. “Maybe some more of that tea?” As Rivka was pouring tea, there was a scuffling sound and Nahama came out of the tunnel with a rush. “Hau! I did not think I would get here before the lamp oil was finished!” he said. “It is a very big cave, and it swallows up the light like the dragon that eats the sun. Next time I must take more oil.” “Next time?” Claire asked, hope bubbling up in a rush. She was more than ready to leave the cave. “Have you found a way out?” “No, but I have found a place where there once was a way out. There is a place where rocks have fallen, but it is new, I think. There is a chance that beyond that place there is a way out. How is maThemba?” “Better, I think. Her heartbeat is stronger. She is not awake yet.” “I will go outside and explain what I have found,” Nahama said, leaving his bundle of rope and slipping into the crevice. “I wonder what progress they’re making out there. Shouldn’t we be hearing something?” Rivka asked. “I don’t know. Maybe you could wiggle out and ask. I’d really like to get Elspeth out before anything else happens. I don’t suppose a cave is particularly germ-infested, but this really isn’t my idea of a post-operative ward.” Claire checked her patient again and found no miraculous improvement, but at least no deterioration. The pulse had improved somewhat when the pressure on the brain was relieved but now there would be postoperative swelling to worry about, not to mention the possibility of other blood vessels leaking. Rivka disappeared but returned with news shortly. “It’s almost dark. The Queen says the task of moving the rock is too tricky to attempt in bad light. She’s sent for some men from the mine at Bhunya; apparently they know all about difficult rock walls. She wants to talk to you. I’ll watch the patient.” Claire sighed in frustration. This wasn’t going at all the way she wanted it to. Medicine in the wild, she thought, squirming through into the fading daylight. Down the valley the sun was dying in glory, as red and purple streamers slashed the western sky. Any other time Claire would have sat and watched, but time was too valuable now. Malaila beckoned her to a seat on a boulder, behind which Themba and Sipo stood guard. “There’s a problem. The rock is not stable. I’ve sent for men from the mine for advice. I can classify any rock you want, but when it comes to moving them, you need experts. I suspect we will run out of daylight before we can start work.
Death in the Sea of Grass With Karen Treanor’s kind permission, Swan Magazine will be serialising Death in the Sea of Grass over the coming year - but if you can’t wait to find out who dunnit or why they didit, you can buy the whole book as a downloadable ebook from Fido Publishing for the bargain price of only $4.99 from their website on www.fidopublishing.com. While there you might like to browse her other books which are all available through Barnes and Noble (www. barnesandnoble.com.) or Amazon on www.amazon.com. 27
you. Duchess said she’d lock everything up, and Koko’s staying in the kitchen with the cat. When I left she’d made herself a mattress of newspapers and looked set to stay as long as required. We put a note on the door and told the patients to go to the hospital if they needed urgent attention. By now the whole town knows what’s going on. So it’s all taken care of.” Claire couldn’t think of anything else to say except, “Thanks. When this is all over, I owe you a dinner someplace grand.” “Let me know when you find such a place!” Rivka laughed. She opened one of the baskets and pulled out a jug. “It’s warm, whatever it is. Tea, I think.” She poured a mug for both of them and motioned Puli to come and sit by the fire and join them. Refusing tea, he found an orange in the basket and set about eating it. Before long his head was nodding. Rivka spread a blanket against one wall and pushed him gently toward it. “Ah, the simplicity of youth. Out like a light.” “Youth can sleep because they haven’t such a welldeveloped sense of disaster as their elders,” Claire said. She went again to check Elspeth. No change. The saline drip had run through. She pinched the skin on Elspeth’s hand and was happy to see it snapped back normally. “Well, she’s rehydrated sufficiently, and the clot and bone splinters are gone. All we can do is wait. I wish I’d paid more attention in the neurosurgery rotation at Boston General, but I always seemed to be doing errands for the Registrar when anything interesting was happening. I’ve done everything I can think of.” “It will be fine. She’ll be awake and lecturing us in the morning,” Rivka said firmly. Sometimes when you said something in a determined manner it worked out just as you hoped. Her thoughts went to her missing brother: if only she could believe he would be awake and lecturing someone in the morning. “Come on, let’s have a bite to eat and settle down. The men from the mine will be here at sun-up. With any luck we could be home by noon.” Sitting cross-legged on the sandy floor, they shared a roast chicken and a couple of apples and finished the now lukewarm tea. Rivka tidied the meal away and Claire stoked up the fire. “All the comforts of home,” she said, laying out blankets and putting the matches and extra lamp oil where she could find them in the night if needed. They took turns painting iodine on the assortment of scratches both had acquired from the trips back and forth to the outside. “I didn’t realise how many scrapes I had,” hissed Rivka as Claire daubed at a scrape on her elbow. “All done. You shall have a lollipop for being a brave girl,” said Claire. “I’m a little concerned that Elspeth might wake in the night and roll off that makeshift operating table. Let’s move her down here by the fire.” Laying down a pad of blankets, they lifted the patient carefully and put her down where she would see Puli if she woke up. When she woke up, Claire amended—keep those positive thoughts flowing. Rivka yawned. Claire said, “Lie down; I’ll sit up a while. I’m too wound up to sleep.” A distant rumble sounded, then another. “Oh, goody, just what we needed to make our adventure complete: the storm’s breaking.” “Nothing we can do about it. We should be safe enough in here; there’s no evidence that this cave has been filled with water in the recent past,” Rivka said. “It doesn’t smell damp, and there’s none of the rubbish you’d expect if water had run through here often.” “That’s the one good thing about it, it’s dry. I feel sorry for the boys outside. They’ll stay put and face the storm rather than have to face Malaila’s wrath if they leave.” “Surely we could tell them to take shelter further down the hill.” “I’ll suggest it,” Claire said, prepared to collect more
“How is maThemba?” “Her pulse is stable. We took out the bone splinters, cleaned the wound and sewed her up. In normal conditions, in a hospital, I’d expect an uneventful recovery eighty percent of the time.” “And the other twenty percent?” “In the lap of the gods, things can go wrong, things you don’t expect. And I’m not a brain surgeon.” “You did well enough last winter with that farmer they brought to you,” the Queen said. “He had a scythe in his brain, didn’t he?” “It was a sickle, and it was the grace of God it didn’t kill him. All I did was back it out of the wound and clean it as best I could. I’m as amazed as anyone that he survived,” Claire said, not wanting the Queen to take heart from what she still regarded as a fluke of successful surgery. “But this isn’t as bad as that, surely? The farmer’s wound would have been full of dirt, germs, heaven knows what.” “On the face of it, Elspeth’s wound isn’t as deep, but as we don’t know how she came by it, and we don’t have some magical brain viewer to peer inside, it’s best not to be too optimistic. But, as you say, her wound was cleaner. The brain wasn’t exposed to air for very long, and with luck all will be well.” Malaila snapped her fingers and a maidservant trotted over with her handbag. Out came the cigarettes and the Zippo. Claire bit her tongue and edged away downwind of the fiercely exhaled smoke. This was no time to deliver health lectures. “Well,” said the Queen, flicking a thread of tobacco from her lip, “it looks as if you’ll have to stay put for the night. I’ve ordered food, blankets and more firewood for you. The boy can take it in—here’s Puli now, he can stay with you and fetch and carry as required. I’m sorry, Claire, but if we attempt to widen the passage now, without knowing what we’re facing, the whole cave could fall in on you.” Claire shrugged. “Hey, this is better than the time I got stranded in the middle of the Mantikulu on an Irish bridge for the whole night, with crocodiles snapping at my wheels. All I had to eat then was half a chocolate bar and a Thermos of cold tea.” The Mantikulu, the Great Water, was Tshaniland’s main river, and notorious for rising without warning after a thunderstorm in the hills. Claire had been fortunate not to have been washed away. As it was, when the water went down she had only three wheels on the bridge. A local farmer and his oxen had towed her to dry land and after a few hours in the sun, the faithful Baby Austin had run as well as ever, although it had dripped for days after. “As long as we have lamp oil and food and water, we’ll be fine,” Claire said. “Oh, I think you can count on having water enough. Look.” Malaila waved an arm at the eastern horizon, where huge purple clouds were rumbling up like a herd of buffalo. “Great. Best to get the supplies stowed and send the rest of you home,” said Claire, wondering how watertight the cave was. “I’ll leave someone on guard all night, just in case,” said the Queen, grinding out her cigarette and rising. Claire didn’t envy the watchman, but could see the sense of having someone available in case something happened during the night. Picking up one of the bundle of blankets that had been brought to the plateau, she backed into the passageway once again, praying that this would be the last time she’d have to do it. Inside, Puli was bossing around three other small boys and organizing the tins of lamp oil, jugs of water, blankets, and food baskets. Claire longed for a hot bath, but settled for sluicing her hands and face with cool water. “You had better go home now, the storm is coming,” she said to the boys. “Kijima, kijima, run along. And thank you.” Rivka said, “So, we’re here for a while yet?” “No need for you to stay; go home while you can. There’s weather brewing up in the east. I’m really sorry about getting you into all this. All I planned was an afternoon’s gentle sleuthing, and look what’s happened.” Claire sat back on her heels and looked up at her friend. “No way am I going back to the house alone. I’ll stay with 28
scratches from another trip through the tortuous passage. “Let me have the small lamp.” Holding the lamp before her, she squirmed through to the outside. “Themba? Sipo?” she called, her words carried away in the flame and noise of a nearby lightning strike and its attendant thunder. Odd: one or both or them should be here. The lamplight hampered her night vision, so Claire stooped to set it down. A sharp crack sounded just over her head and a spatter of stone chips sprayed her cheek and shoulder. Turning down the lamp wick almost instinctively, Claire backed into the passage and wormed her way back into the cave so quickly she never could remember how she did it later. “That was fast. Did they refuse?” Rivka said, sitting up. “How did you get that cut?” Claire touched her cheek and her hand came away with a smear of blood. “Either it was a freak bolt of lightning, or someone shot at me. There are no guards out there. Oh, God, what have I gotten us into now?” She began to shake all over. Rivka grabbed a blanket and wrapped it around her, holding her tightly. “You’re safe in here. Nobody can get in except us small people.” “You always find a good side to everything,” Claire laughed shakily. “Maybe he can’t get in, but what’s he doing out there?
Nobody but a madman would be crawling around these hills in a storm after dark.” “A madman or a determined man. We might want to make some plans.” “Like what, taking that holiday in Mozambique?” “No, plans to move into the larger cave. Think about it, Claire: a wandering madman is very unlikely, so it has to be someone who wants something desperately. And who’s that likely to be?” “You’re not on about Franz Felsbach again?” Claire was still unsure about Rivka’s assessment of Franz as a villain. She suspected him of being a racial bigot, sure, but if that were a crime, half the expatriates in Tshaniland would be in jail. “What would be the point of Franz shooting at me?” “Perhaps he wasn’t. Perhaps he was shooting at someone he thought was Elspeth. You said yourself her head wound was in a peculiar spot for having happened in a fall. Suppose while she’s been living up here she saw something, something like Thabo Khonzi saw? If there is something illegal going on that has caused one murder, what is to stop another one—or three?” Rivka’s words chilled Claire. Whether the gunman out there was Franz or not, he was obviously a danger to all of them now. “Let’s not wake the boy yet. Let’s just take a few things through to the other cave, get a fire going, and then assess our options.” “That should take all of three seconds,” Rivka said, scooping up a lamp and a container of lamp oil. Working as quietly as they could, the women transferred the food, water, blankets, and the medical bag to the other cave. Rivka came in with an armload of wood clutched to her chest and said, “I’ll get a fire going. You stay with Elspeth until it’s ready. Perhaps it would be good to wake Puli. I don’t know why, but I have a strong feeling we need to get out of the little cave. Humour me, Claire, my Aunt Tovah was a clairvoyant.” She gave a crooked grin, but there was no real humour in her words. Claire felt a chill, and it wasn’t just from the surrounding air. Feeling half foolish and half scared, Claire went back to the small cave. Outside the storm was still pummelling the sky, and occasional flashes wormed their way down the narrow entryway to light up the wall above the sleeping boy. “Puli, Puli, wake up,” she said, shaking the thin brown shoulder. “What is it? Is it morning?” he asked, sitting up. “You are bleeding!” “Just a little cut, I’ll fix it in a moment,” Claire said, realising she hadn’t bandaged the small wound, and thinking she must look rather fearsome with blood clotting on her cheek. “Listen, Puli, we think there’s a bad man outside, with a gun. He can’t get in here, but perhaps it would be better for us to move into the larger cave. We need to move the rest of the firewood, and then we’ll move your grandmother.” Used to being told by adults what to do, the boy didn’t argue, but his eyes slid to the dark crevice. “Are you sure he cannot come in?” “If he could, he’d be here now, wouldn’t he?” Claire observed practically. “It may just be an accident, but a bullet hit the rock near me 29
when I went out. Rivka, Miss Lerner, has got a fire going in the other cave, and she’ll need wood, so why don’t you start now?” While Puli was away, Claire checked Elspeth again. Her pulse was strong and even, which was good, but why wasn’t she waking up? If only Dr. Shongway would miraculously appear! She’d even welcome his sarcastic comments on her rough and ready surgery. If Elspeth didn’t recover, Claire knew her reputation would suffer. Selfish of me to look at it that way, she thought, but it’s the truth. No one will remember under what conditions I had to work, they’ll just remember I lost the patient. Well, it’s not going to happen if I can prevent it. The storm eased for a brief moment as the wind backed around, preparing for an attack from another direction. Claire could hear the change in the tone of the rushing air outside the cave. And then she heard something else, a scraping noise which stopped almost before it registered. There was something about the sound that was manmade and furtive as well. Someone outside the cave was doing something at the entrance. There was a brief whiff of sulphur. Before her brain processed and identified the smell, Claire grabbed Elspeth. No time to get Rivka, no time for anything. Hauling the unconscious woman to her feet and grasping her under the armpits, Claire staggered to the tunnel. She was only halfway along it when a tremendous roar echoed and re-echoed in the enclosed space. Dust surged down the tunnel, filling Claire’s nose and mouth. She was thrown against the wall with her burden, but because the space was so tight, the injuries were minor. Coughing, blinded, scraping every projecting limb, Claire kept up her backward shuffle, dragging Elspeth. “Claire? Claire! Are you all right?” Rivka called, bringing a lamp to the mouth of the tunnel and holding it as far in as she could. “Alive, I think, but I don’t know about Elspeth,” Claire called. “Hold the lamp high. I can just see it out of the corner of my eye.” Reaching the straight part of the tunnel, Claire readjusted her grip and in another minute felt Rivka’s strong arms around her waist. “Two more steps and you’ll be able to turn and I can catch Elspeth,” Rivka instructed. “Puli, come take the lamp.” Between them, the women got the patient into the cave and on a blanket by the new fire. “That was as close as I ever want to get to a mine accident,” Claire said, coughing up dust. “It looks like you were right, Rivka, somebody out there doesn’t want us to leave here alive.” “I thought it was a lightning strike at first.” “Just before it happened, when the wind changed, I heard a scraping noise outside. Then I smelled sulphur, and luckily my subconscious works faster than I realised. By the time I thought ‘match!’ I was in the tunnel, dragging Elspeth. I suppose it was dynamite, don’t you?” “Probably. Doesn’t really matter; whatever it was, it’s bound to have done a lot of damage. What worries me now is, did it take down the outer wall, and is our visitor now on his way in to finish the job?” Claire, kneeling beside her patient, said, “God Almighty, I never thought of that. I’d better go back and see.” “You must take care of my grandmother, Tshadola,” said Puli, who had been uncharacteristically silent until now. “I am smallest. I will crawl back and look. He will not see me.” Rivka and Claire exchanged looks. “If your suspicion is correct, it’s only a matter of time for all of us,” Claire said, amazed at how calm she felt. She turned to the boy. “Puli, you be very quiet and very careful. Keep low and don’t expose yourself to the light, if there is any.” “I have caught a springhaas by myself. I know how to stay low and be quiet,” the boy said proudly. “I’m impressed,” Claire said, and she was. The springhaas was a shy and speedy animal, and anyone who could catch one without a trap was clever indeed.
“Off you go, and be very, very careful.” After the boy had tiptoed down the tunnel, Claire said to Rivka, “If I thought we had any chance at all I’d never let him do this, but we need to know what’s happening out there.” Just then, there was a moan and a cough, and a shaky voice whispered “Ubani lo? Who is there?” “Elspeth! Elspeth, it’s Claire!” Pulling the lamp closer to her patient, Claire was delighted to see that both her eyes were open. Recognition flared. “Tshadola, it is you. What is happening?” “It’s a very long story, maThemba,” Claire said, falling back into the proper form of address. Never had she called this formidable woman by her first name. Elspeth was a stickler for the proper forms and procedures. Struggling to sit up, Elspeth said, “What is wrong with my head?” “You had an accident. We found you unconscious, and I had to do a small operation to fix the wound,” Claire said, deciding not to go into the gory details. “Do you remember how you got hurt?” She put a folded blanket under the older woman’s shoulders to act as a pillow. “I don’t want you to sit up all the way just yet, it might cause a headache.” Frowning, Elspeth said, “I remember coming into the little cave and hearing something in the big cave. I was afraid it might be a leopard, but then I thought I was being foolish. Why would a leopard harm me, who raised the Great She-leopard? So I went into the big cave with a torch from the fire I had made. Then I do not know what happened.” “Rats!” said Claire, who had hoped Elspeth would be able to tell her something useful. “So you didn’t see anyone?” “No, but what I heard, that could have been someone. It would have been someone small. The way into the little cave is very tight. Perhaps it was a child, up to mischief.” “Perhaps. Or perhaps it was someone who found a way into the big cave from outside,” Rivka suggested. “Did you see if there was another way?” Elspeth sighed heavily. “I think I remember seeing a distant light. But perhaps I dreamed it.” Rivka and Claire exchanged looks. Was it possible? Surely if there was a way from the big cave to the outside, Nahama would have found it. “If someone used dynamite tonight, perhaps he used it in another place,” Rivka said. “This has to have something to do with the diamonds.” “What diamonds?” asked Elspeth. “Someone has found Tears of Alilo,” Claire explained, “and the Queen asked me to try and find out who.” “It would not be a Motshani, it must be a foreigner,” Elspeth said. “No Motshani would touch a sacred thing.” Claire wished she could be so sure, but she knew any society was capable of throwing up mavericks who didn’t recognise social conventions. There was a slight noise from the dark tunnel and Puli slipped back into the cave. “Hau, hau! She is awake!” he exclaimed, releasing a torrent of Sitshana as he rushed up to his grandmother. “Don’t hug her too hard, she’s still very weak,” Claire cautioned. Once Puli had made sure his grandmother was all right, he said, “I went down the tunnel very quietly, and I looked into the little cave, and it is not there.” “What? What do you mean, it isn’t there?” Rivka asked. “It is nothing but rocks in there now. There is no cave, only rocks,” the boy explained, as if to a not very bright person. “Well, perhaps the man who set the dynamite is trapped in his own evil deed,” said Claire, feeling much better at the news. “That’s well and good, but here we are with no way out. What can we do?” Rivka asked, her voice sounding very loud in the cavern. “They know we’re in here. The experts from the mine will arrive in the morning, and we have lamp oil and food and water—we could be in much worse circumstances,” Claire said 30
firmly. “And here they come now!” exclaimed Rivka, leaping to her feet as something cold grazed her ankle. “It’s water!” Claire said, “Quick, help me get Elspeth on to that shelf! Puli, take a lamp and find a place that is higher than this one.” Rivka took the other lamp and set it on a natural stone bench, then helped Claire move the protesting old woman to it. “No, Mrs. Masilani, you must not try to walk just yet,” she said, getting a firm grip on the bony ankles. “All right, Claire, one-two-up!” “I do not like being moved about like a sack of mealie meal!” Elspeth said. “I do not like having to care for my patient in this stone hospital, but we must all put up with things for a while longer,” said Claire. Rivka was standing by the edge of the tunnel, holding the lamp. “It’s not running terribly fast; perhaps it‘s just rain water.” “Perhaps the explosion has redirected the stream,” said Claire, thinking worst-case possibilities. How full would this cave get before the water found a way out? And how high could they get before that happened? “Hello-o!” came the piping voice of Puli. “There is a nice place here. It is almost like a riverbank. There is sand.” “Great,” muttered Claire. “Where there’s sand there’s been a lot of water action in the past. How good are you at holding your breath?” Rivka laughed shakily. “That sand could have been left a thousand years ago. Anyway, they’ll get us out, I know they will. Mr. Molapo will insist: I’ve had a twenty pound retainer for the portrait and he’ll want to be sure Her Majesty gets her money’s worth.” At this, Claire and Elspeth had to laugh too. Perhaps there was a tiny suggestion of hysteria in the sound, but for a moment the gloomy atmosphere seemed lighter. “Right, we need to get organized,” Rivka said. “Puli, come get some wood and start a fire over there so your grandmother will be warm. I’ll start taking the food baskets and blankets, Claire, and you take care of your patient.” Given direction, the little boy was a good worker, and within a quarter hour there was a cheery fire burning at the new site and most of the supplies had been shifted there. “I’m glad your Aunt Tovah’s clairvoyance was passed on to you, otherwise we might be stuck in here with no supplies, and in the dark to boot,” Claire said. “We left some things in the other cave, but most of what we need to survive for a few days is here. And it looks like we shan’t want for water.” Claire and Rivka made a chair of their hands and carried Elspeth, protesting at every step, up the incline. After crossing a number of flat natural steps, they settled her by the new fire. “Right, I think a meal is called for. Let’s see what else they’ve given us,” Rivka said, opening two of the woven grass baskets. “Cold cooked sausage of some sort; better eat that first, before it goes off. There’s a chunk of cheese, some loaves of bread, some cold putu. Also some apples, oranges and some fruit I can’t identify and another flask of tea: a feast, in fact.” Using the bone saw from Claire’s medical bag and trying not to think about its previous employment, Rivka sliced bread and sausages and shared them around. There weren’t enough mugs for tea, but Rivka amazed Puli by constructing a small cup from a sheet of her sketchpad.
“You fold it in quarters, then fold back the points, squeeze it like this to open it, and voilá, a cup. As long as you drink quickly and then shake it out to dry, you can use it over and over.” “May I use the wala cup?” Puli asked. Rivka giggled and nodded, deciding that now probably wasn’t the time to start French lessons. Taking a piece of bread for herself, Rivka found a flat rock and sat down. “This is very nice sausage. It is made from ostrich—very good for you,” Elspeth said, somehow understanding that Rivka wasn’t going to eat something made from unknown meat. “Oh, Rivka, I never thought! Were you were worried it was pork sausage?” Claire asked, feeling thoughtless. “I didn’t know and I didn’t want to ask. My family don’t keep strict kosher, but we don’t purposely break the dietary laws either,” Rivka said, taking a piece of the meat. “I guess ostrich would be all right. One’s first duty is to survive, after all. I wonder if Moses ever ate an ostrich sausage.” “We, too, have things it is forbidden to eat. Each clan has its own things: the Masilanis cannot eat snake meat, and the Lutsis do not eat fish,” said Elspeth. “I must be an honorary Masilani, because I would never eat a snake,” Claire said with a shudder. Everyone laughed at that. Rivka passed around the basket with the fruit in it. “Since we don’t know when we will get out of here, we should not eat too much now,” she said, eyeing the remaining food. She thought it would make four modest meals, the last of which would be stale bread and whatever the strange fruit was. She held one up. “Puli, tell me about this. I have never seen one. Is it nice?” “Very nice. It is called ‘litchi’.” “I will have one for dessert,” Rivka said, putting it to her mouth. “No, no, you must peel it first, like this,” Puli said, removing the leathery red skin. “There, now you eat it, but not the seed inside.” Rivka ate the litchi and became an instant convert to the odd little fruit. “When we get out of here, I shall buy a whole basket of them and you and I will eat them all, Puli.” “Right; bedtime. We’ve all had too much excitement today,” Claire said. Elspeth suffered her pulse to be taken, her pupils examined and her heart listened to before settling down on a blanket with Puli curled up next to her. Claire was amazed at the old woman’s recuperative powers. You’d never know she’d had her skull opened less than a day before. “Shall we take turns tending the fire?” Rivka asked. “What you really mean is standing guard,” Claire said. “That, too, although I think we are probably safe from the gunman. If he could have got in, he’d be here by now. Other than the water running in, I don’t think we’re in immediate danger.” “Then let’s take a chance on banking the fire, turning off the big lamp, and trying to get some sleep.” Claire rolled herself up in one of the blankets and closed her eyes. Rivka sat watching her for a while, then shrugged and followed suit. Whatever would happen would happen whether she was awake or not. It might be important to be well rested for whatever came next. Filling the little lamp again and turning the wick down to minimum, she put it and the matches on the rock beside Claire and found a blanket for herself. Soon only the sound of trickling water could be heard in the cave. Chapter six next month ... 31
ENTERTAINMENT NOBODY’S TALKING TO ME SANDI BUCKLEY
obody’s Talking to Me is written by Tommy Marren and directed by Siobhan O'Gara it is set in rural Ireland in the late 1960’s and is best described as a ‘full blown’ Irish rural comedy that promises a night of uncontrollablelaughter from start to finish. The celebration of a 50th wedding anniversary should be a happy occasion but not for Mattie and Maggie Conway! The ‘happy couple’ haven’t spoken a single word to each other for ten years but the only people in on the secret are the couples only daughter Josephine and Mattie’s sister Minnie who both happen to live in the same house as the estranged couple! However, disaster strikes when the local parish priest checks the parish records and decides to surprise Mattie and Maggie on the morning of their anniversary to renew their marriage vows. Needless to say all hell breaks loose and audiences are in for a roller-coaster of hilarious scenes as the reason for the ‘silence’ unfolds piece by piece.With sub-plots that include a wake, an over-used handkerchief, a tricky crossword, a pair of over-worked knitting needles, a well-oiled whiskey bottle, a very confused kettle its one laugh after another! Nobody’s Talking to Me runs from Thursday the 15th November 8pm until the 24th November (matinee at 2:00pm on the 18th November at the Irish Theatre Players theatre, 61 Townsend Road. Tickets cost $20-$25 and are available from TryBooking: www.trybooking.com/yqai.
LOOKING FOR LOVE AT KADS DAVID GRIBBLE
fter twenty-one years of marriage, James Beale walks out on his wife, Molly. She is devastated and after four months of being alone, she has reached rock bottom. Her best friend, Fiona, persuades her to try the “six-step miracle cure” for abandoned wives. The idea being that on completion she will be guaranteed to get her life back together. Molly agrees and finds that it works. Not only does her husband want to come back, but she has two other suitors vying for her affection. The twists and turns, the intrigues and the misunderstandings on her road to recovery, all add up to a hilarious evening’s entertainment. This is Raymond Hopkins’ charming and hilarious comedy Looking for Love, directed by Ken Harris and Kalamunda Dramatic Socieyt’s next production. Looking for Love runs from the 16th November to the 1st December at the Town Centre Theatre, Central Mall, Kalamunda. Curtain up at 8pm (2pm for matinees) Tickets start from just $12 for Wednesday evenings and Sunday matinee performances. Saturday the 24th of November is fish 'n chip night! The $30 ticket price includes a delicious fish and chips supper (one night only). Every seat in the intimate Town Square Theatre has an excellent view of the stage. Free parking on Mead Street and Barber Street or in the Kalamunda Central Shopping Centre Car Park Call Linda on 0448 779 891 for any booking enquiries or book online on the Kads website: www.kadstheatre.com.au/ whats-on. 33
ENTERTAINMENT BLOCKBUSTERS ON THE HORIZON
ith spring in the air and summer beckoning, the blockbuster movie season is upon us with the release slate for the coming months looking very enticing indeed. With October through to January often producing some top notch films and awards season looming, we take a look at some of the most anticipated films of the blockbuster season to get excited about!
LONG LOST TREASURES A QUIET PLACE (2018)
his month’s forgotten treasure is more a film that has flown under the radar this year. Some of the best independent features and, at times, big budget blockbusters, fly under the noses of many audience goers despite being a hit with critics. This is exactly the case for the chilling and incredibly clever A Quiet Place. Directed by John Krasinski and with a sequel already in development, A Quiet Place is a thriller with a difference. The film follows the Abbot family, Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and Lee
ROBIN HOOD (22nd November) The tights are long gone as the legendary medieval vigilante is brought to life for a whole new generation. Taron Egerton brings brooding intensity and charm to the titular character as high powered crossbows, hand grenades and militia inspired gangs combine in medieval welfare. With some Australian talent including Ben Mendelsohn as the Sheriff of Nottingham and Tim Minchin as Friar Tuck alongside Jamie Foxx as Little John, this is sure to be a ride and a half. Strap yourself in! Also Watch For: Boy Erased, The Girl In The Spider’s Web, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, The Grinch and Creed II
(Krasinski) along with their children Regan (Millicent Summers), Marcus (Noah Jupe) and Beau (Cade Woodward). The Abbots live in what appears to be a post-apocalyptic society. Stores and streets are abandoned and they live with the bare necessities and survival skills appear to be of paramount importance. It is then revealed, after a predominantly silent first couple of scenes that they are living in a town with monsters. Monsters with ultra-sensitive hearing. The family must live in absolute silence or the monsters attack. A large majority of this film is dialogue free and relies on the expression of its actors to drive the tension, which remains on a knife edge for the majority of the time. Krasinski and Blunt provide defining performances, a couple in constant fear for their own lives and the lives of their children. One of the film’s most terrifying yet gripping sequences comes when Evelyn goes into labour and must use light to send a message to her husband before giving birth in silence. The concept is unique and the execution is excellent. What adds to the film’s uniqueness is the fact that Millicent Summers who plays Regan is deaf and relies on sign language in real life, bringing an incredible sense of authenticity to the situation. One for thriller fans and not for the faint hearted, A Quiet Place is a truly unique and incredibly tense experience. A Quiet Place is available on DVD, Blu Ray and Digital Download.
AQUAMAN (13th December) The DC Universe hasn’t exactly fired in recent years, especially alongside the juggernaut that is Marvel. However, this latest spectacle from the DC universe sees Jason Momoa reinvent one of the most ridiculed superheroes in Aquaman. Gone is the spandex and the look of Aquaman is masculine and powerful and the visuals of the film look impressive. Amber Herd, Nicole Kidman, Patrick Wilson, Willem Dafoe and Djimon Hounsou make up a high profile ensemble cast and this could well be the spark DC need to create a superhero hit. 34
ENTERTAINMENT MAD TATTERS - A NEWBIE’S VIEW RICHARD LE SERVE
traight up to Hong Kong, and on to Shanghai Mad Tatters Morris. What could go wrong? As it turned out, not much, but it could have gone wrong big time. For example, a huge typhoon is lurking around the region wreaking havoc here and there. It is a surprise to have your fingerprints taken at the airport when entering China. What have I done wrong? The bus is on time and we are off to a hotel in Pudong, a place about the size of greater Perth, so it seemed. Along with the Mad Tatters Morris team there were teams from Peru (who live in Germany) Panama, who live in Los Angeles and Armenians who live in Seattle, USA. There was Swedish belly dancing group and an Argentine team whose dance impersonated Egyptian peasants being married. Seventeen teams in all, eight international sides. All makes perfect sense; almost! We are all here to participate in the 5th China Lujiazui International Folk Fitness Dance Festival, held in Shanghai. China also has nine teams entered and they are all very different. As a newcomer to the Tatters dance group I was not sure what to expect from China. As it turned out, it was a positive experience. We danced by the Huangpo River in Shanghai which is brilliantly lit at night and were welcomed by a Chinese audience who must have wondered about wild looking, shouting westerners who wear top hats with multicoloured feathers sprouting at the top. We knew we had them when we suddenly stopped whooping and sang a sentimental love song In a Faraway Place in Chinese which had them clapping and singing along with us. A comment was made to us that we had touched their hearts. Tibetans in national dress dancing with huge long three-stringed guitar-like instruments about a metre and a half long stamped and played their instruments, behind their heads and were spectacular and athletic. As well as the Festival appearance we danced at a Famers’ Harvest Festival in the country, a school and in the
city itself. One day we performed at three different venues with long bus drives in between. We were also very well received. Organising officials were presented with a wooden plaque from the City of Swan which was very well regarded. The Mad Tatters Morris, as a group, is very diverse. Ages vary, but included a sixteen year old flautist who enjoyed the occasion of being involved with so many ethnic groups and varieties of dance and song, so different from being at school! Shanghai is a super-city of twenty-five million souls but I don’t know where they were all hiding as it had less traffic than Perth, was inexpensive and clean everywhere. No graffiti, no anti-social behaviour and it felt safe to walk around at night. The Mad Tatters Morris China tour was supported by Alfred’s Kitchen, The Woodbridge Tavern and The City of Swan, to whom we indebted for their generous help in getting to China. To sum up, a satisfying and fun trip for all concerned and made all that practice in singing Mandarin worthwhile! Do come and join us on a Tuesday night at the Guildford Town Hall, 7-9 and afterwards at the Woodbridge Tavern. It’s a fun night out and great exercise. For more information ring 9279 8778.
ENTERTAINMENT FRINGE IS BACK FOR 2019! DOUGLAS SUTHERLAND-BRUCE
he Perth Fringe World is back for 2019! That world class heady mix of theatre, drama, jazz, cabaret, circus, stand-up, song, impovisation, comedy, mime, roller-skating, drag artists and talent offered for those discerning theatre-goers seeking excitement, enlightenment and entertainment. Perth Fringe World 2019 runs from the 18th January to the 17th February, but so keen is the interest that the organisers have released tickets for some shows (a hundred of them) out of the more than seven hundred shows and events for early bird buyers through the TeaserTix program. These tickets are available until the 15th of November when the full program will become available on the website at www.fringeworld.com.au. Fringe World Festival Director Amber Hasler: “TeaserTix were a great opportunity for audiences, excited for next year’s announcement, to hop onto the Fringe World website and sample what’s in the program. “TeaserTix is an opportunity for Fringe lovers to get a taste of some of the amazing shows that will be part of Fringe World 2019.”
Some the shows released, and only one seventh of what will be available, are: Fuego Carnal, which has won multiple awards, five star reviews and the hearts of the people that have flocked to see it. Presented by Dream State Circus created in 2000 by husband and wife team Jacob and Sophie McGrath born out of a love and obsession of the accessible, nondiscriminative art of street performance and improvisational comedy. Nineteen years later, after over 3900 performances, in almost forty countries, their art has taken them to some of the biggest festivals on the planet including Glastonbury, Edinburgh, Toronto and Adelaide and now to Perth. Fuego Carnal is on at the Empyrean at the Ice Cream Factory. Tickets cost $42 to $55.
Le Aerial, A Circus / Cabaret to be thrilled by - a spectacular display of aerial grace and beauty. High flying, high energy performers treating you to breathtaking aerial manoeuvres which will thrill and inspire. Be delighted by the unique cirque skills which will have you gasping in awe. La Aerial brings together some of Australia’s best gymnasts, divers, dancers and athletes. Our company pushes hard to strive in new forms of aerial work, captivating audiences with creative and exciting pieces of aerial equipment. La Aerial is playing at The Edith Spiegeltent at Yagan Square. Tickets are $38.00. Club Swizzle, the smash hit of 2018 (from the creators of La Soirée) is back! Club Swizzle will once again transform the iconic Ice Cream Factory into the wildest den of iniquity in town this summer. After blowing the roof off the Roundhouse for its European premiere, Club Swizzle returns to Perth direct from London with a new line-up of mischievous acrobats, troubadours and cabaret queens. Club Swizzle kicks the mayhem up a notch in a perfect cocktail of comedy, cabaret and circus served with a twist. Audiences are encouraged to arrive early and enjoy a few signature cocktails at the Club Swizzle bar before the action begins. Leave your coat and your hang-ups at the door and come and join the club!
ENTERTAINMENT Club Swizzle is on at The Ice Cream Factory. Tickets cost between $30 and $95.
attitude. Presented by The Showhouse Perth at the Air Nightclub, Northbridge. Tickets cost $25.
Blanc de Blanc returns to Perth for a simply unforgettable evening of breathless abandon. From the acclaimed creative minds behind Madonna’s Rebel Heart tour. Described as a “dazzling spectacle of pure madness,” Blanc de Blanc is a five-star show guaranteed to take you into a “riotous world of desire and abandonment”.
Cirque Africa After a sell-out debut season as the top-selling show at Adelaide Fringe 2017 Cirque Africa is coming to Fringe Africa in 2019 for the first time ever with a new show that is even fresher, funky, bold, and more fun. It challenges your imagination like no other show. Experience the new 2019 Cirque Africa, the greatest show from Africa. 100% African, 100% energy, 100% fun, Cirque Africa is a one of a kind show that is sure to amaze and enthral all who see it. A 100% African cultural experience, Cirque Africa is a vibrant and highly entertaining blockbuster production which transports each audience to the positive side of Africa. Cirque Africa is on at The Regal Theatre, Subiaco. Tickets cost $39 to $45.
Bang Bang! A Tarantino Tribute is an ode to the creative genius himself, Quentin Tarantino. Get ready to have your heart racing and senses tantalized. Sass, style and stilettos will be showcased as part of Perth’s newest, and sexiest, addition to the arts and entertainment scene. ‘The Showhouse’ will see some of Perth’s most soughtafter dancers sway through interactive performances that entice the audience to be a part of the show. The show is not your typical cabaret; it is a more edgy, modern take on the style including sexy jazz, which combined with the gorgeous girls in their cheeky lingerie, props and a sassy storyline is full of 37
TV WITH CHRIS TRAVELS WITH MY FATHER Season 2 Netflix
and performance with Moldovan Eurovision superstars The Sunstroke Project and a chilling yet surprisingly humorous visit to Chernobyl. All the while, Jack completely disregards the rules and his hilarious immaturity provides plenty of laughs, particularly in a sequence where he undertakes training with European Cossacks (Michael’s attempt to toughen him up). The only downside to the series is that there is not enough of it! Five twenty-five minute episodes can be binge watched very quickly and I found myself wanting to go back and watch them all over again. Fingers crossed that we see the Whitehall’s return for a third series of misadventures (perhaps even in Australia sometime) as the shenanigans are highly entertaining!
sleeper hit from 2017 returns as UK comedian Jack Whitehall returns in all his boyish, bumbling glory alongside his uptight and unintentionally hilarious father Michael Whitehall in Season 2 of Travels With My Father. Season 1 saw the mismatched pair travel through South East Asia with Jack’s sense of adventure and Michael’s love for culture and comfort butting heads with hilarious results. Season 2 is more of the same dry humour, awkward situations and laugh out loud shenanigans as the Whitehall men travel across Europe, stopping into Germany, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine and Turkey. The fact that the series premise is based
THE CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA Season 1 Netflix
ight from the outset, it is clear that this reboot of the tween favourite Sabrina the Teenage Witch (which ran from 1996-2003) is no comedy. Gone is the talking cat, the comedic capers and the light hearted nature. These are replaced with
around starkly contrasting views on what a ‘holiday’ should look like is what drives the comedy. Jack is clearly out of his comfort zone in situations such as Romanian wine tastings and history tours through the Bavarian alps whereas Michael vocally expresses his dislike of German beer carts, Ukranian clown carnivals and milking goats in Transylvania. The pair encounter some incredible scenery and undertake some fantastically wild experience such a a German sport which combines skis and motorcycles, an encounter satanic rituals, sudden and graphic deaths and black magic and boy, it works!! Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) is approaching her Sweet Sixteen but, as a half witch, the day also happens to be the coming of her Dark Baptism, where she is set to commit herself fully to a life of witchcraft under the guidance of her two aunts Zelda (Miranda Otto) and Hilda (Lucy Davis). Tying her to the mortal world is the loveable Harvey (Ross Lynch) and Sabrina is caught between the mortal life and that of her ancestors and her warlock father. With a strong 38
willed nature, she must fight the forces that will lead her down the path of darkness to discover her true place in the world. From the creators of Riverdale and based on the characters from the Archie comics, this dark and twisted take on Sabrina is gleefully gothic. It could have very easily played it safe with the ‘dark’ tag but what the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina does so well is combine moments of comic book character with sequences of absolute terror (and these are as dark, chilling and often violent as the MA rating suggests). The casting of Sabrina is spot on with Kiernan Shipka bringing a quiet intensity to the character and showing some excellent moments of light and shade. Miranda Otto and Lucy Davis bring subtle nods to Beth Broderick and Caroline Rhea’s original incarnations of the Aunts whilst providing their own moments of fearful fun. Michelle Gomez is just as good as the brooding, possessed Mrs Wardell and Ross Lynch provides a likeable and believable Harvey Kinkle. Fans of the original comedy will be in for a surprise with the dark and often intense nature of this reboot but it hits the nail on the head with an excellent contemporary feel, moments of dark magic and a rocking soundtrack. Sabrina is back and darker than ever!
DISCLAIMER The information in this publication is of a general nature. The articles contained herein are not intended to provide a complete discussion on each subject and/or issues canvassed. Swan Magazine does not accept any liability for any statements or any opinion, or for any errors or omissions contained herein.
WRITING DON’T GET ME STARTED…. GRUMPY OF ROCKINGHAM
An irregular column of opinion ast month, Cher came to RAC Arena (né Perth Arena) as part of an Australian concert tour, apparently put together after a very successful Mardi Gras visit to Sydney. The review in the paper was predictably 10 out of 10. And so it should be given the class of the performer and the glitz on show on the night. Back in August, Celine Dion did the same thing to pretty much the same review. I assume the reviewers get really good seats, front and centre and fair enough too. I’ve been to the odd show where from the distance to the stage, you could have been mistaken for thinking there could have been a muppet performing or a cardboard cut-out if it wasn’t for the big screen. You can’t get away with doing that to a reviewer. However, on these occasions, I was in the expensive seats ($300+ each). These are brilliant seats. I saw Rod Stewart put on a magic performance a couple of years ago from this vantage point. The seats are above the side of the stage, looking down on the performance area, which I call the high wings. Now maybe I’m picky, but you would expect the show to be good from those seats, otherwise why charge that much for them? This is mostly my review of the Cher show. Some days before the show, the entertainment pages said words to the effect of “Cher brings her Las Vegas show to Perth!” And I think that’s exactly what happened with little adjustment to cater for the venue. So, there I was with my partner, anticipating a great musical show, featuring Cher’s voice over everything else. The house was full and the fans were vocal. The show started with Cher and about eight dancers in close company, doing a number in centre stage. The dancers were crowded around Cher so that, from the vantage of above the side of the stage, you couldn’t see Cher at all over the dancer’s tall head-dresses. This set the tone for the remainder of the performance. The stage setting had four powerful spotlights at each side of the stage which shone directly in the eyes of anyone sitting in the high wings. So when the lights were used, you couldn’t actually see anything that was happening on the stage. In addition, the sound balance was terrible. The volume of the band was loud enough to drown out the performer’s voice. How do they even do that? This isn’t a one-off case. The same thing happened at the Arena in the Celine Dion Show, and at Crown Theatre during the Tina Arena show last year, although, to be fair, Crown Theatre adjusted the balance at about the halfway mark. I came to the conclusion that the Vegas show was exactly what we got. Exactly what we got, based on the stage settings and seating layout in Vegas. There was a monologue a little way into the show, but it was about USA. There was no acknowledgement that the show was in Australia, or even a “Hello Perth”. And at the end of the show, it just finished. A quick wave and exit, stage rear. No encores, no returns to the stage for further acknowledgement. Probably just another day at the office. That might be what a long run in Vegas does to you. Lastly, there was a guy seated directly to my left who felt inclined on random occasions that had no specific link to shout “Woohoo” at the top of his voice into my left ear. $600 down the drain. They really should give the reviewer my seat.
COMMUNITY THEATRE from stage front, to stage rear, and with a 30% dim of the appropriate lamps the audience moved with the action. The sound effects and music were smoothly operated by Thomas Desmond. Thanks to Rachel Porter, for a well supervised and professional production.
THEATRE WITH GORDON
The poor housekeeper, Brassett (Harriet Lobegeiger), is struggling to retain her sanity as her employer Jack Chesney (Michael Allan) is very tense, desperate to become engaged. He is sitting at his desk composing a lover letter to Kitty Verdun (Annabelle Segler). He is permanently neurotic, whereas Kitty is strong and slightly manipulative. Jack is interrupted by Charley Wykeham (Edward Blake), an orphaned, old Etonian school friend who is looking for help in writing a similar letter to Amy Spettigue (Tessa Harris), his fawning girlfriend.
Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. - Helen Keller
Amy is the niece of the miserable and strict Mr Spettigue
harley’s Aunt is a funny farce that was written by Liverpool born actor, (Walter) Brandon Thomas, who died more than 100 years ago. Thomas was an all-round entertainer, playwright, and songwriter. Thomas’s local Hunt used to put on entertainment for its ‘Hunt Bespeak’ – their Awards Night – and so each year they sponsored a new play. One year they asked Thomas if he would write a light-hearted comedy, and Charley’s Aunt was born. This idea later spawned the popular wartime cinema personality, ‘Old Mother Riley’. This simple fun play for the locals, Charley’s Aunt, went on to break all major theatre records. Its initial London run included 1,466 performances at Bury St Edmunds and The Globe. This Victorian and very English, 150-minute comedy classic is being presented by PAANDA, and can be seen at Prindiville Hall, University of Notre Dame, at 19 Mouat Street in Fremantle. The curtain rises at 7.00 pm each Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday night until 10th November. The scene: 1890s Victorian England The sets were of a very high standard. Congratulations to Alannah Pennefather. The first was Jack Chesney’s home. There were flats painted brown with white woodwork (décor painted by Antonio Coelho), a burgundy leather Chesterfield settee, a writing desk, a bookshelf and various comfortable chairs. (Christopher Vogas), whilst Kitty is his ward. As the two An antique wine storage cabinet and the luckiest item in the young women are going north to Scotland next day, and room – a wastepaper basket. In one scene the audience audibly will be away for many months, the two love-stricken men gasped as a crystal wine glass was accidently knocked off the have only hours to get their partners’ guardian and father desk, landing safely into the wastepaper basket full of screwedto let them become engaged. Obviously Spettigue will up paper. not leave the girls behind with these young men, who are The second set was the grounds of St Olde’s College, a walled in ‘heat’, without suitable supervision. However, Charley garden with trellises and an arched entrance. There was a white has an old and exceptionally wealthy aunt, Donna Lucia wrought iron table and set of chairs, a garden bench and a lawn. D’Álvadorez (Ana Ferreira Manhoso), that he has never The third set was the sitting-room of Stephen Spettigue’s seen, arriving from Brazil. home. Similar to the first interior but with different furniture and paintings on the wall. There was an upright piano and stool, a Yet again, Jack has a visit from another undergraduate, fireplace, a white lounger and another Chesterfield. A wonderful the scrounging Lord Fancourt Babberly ‘Babbs’ (Matthew collection of props sourced by Jessica Dening and Jacob Jones), but Jack is also penniless, and hoping for a spot of Whiteside. cash from his father, a spritely, confident ex-Colonel, Sir The audience had to leave the auditorium whilst the sets Francis Chesney Bart (Giacomo Gropolli). were changed. One break was a tea break, the second simply to allow the team to carry out their work. The stage manager They learn that Charley’s sassy aunt and her friend Ela (Justine Ralph) and her team were very quick, and obviously (Ella Gorringe) have been delayed with her arrival. What well organised, but with several front of house staff standing should Jack and Charley do now? around perhaps a few extra hands may helpful, and the intervals shorter. For this production, director Troy Coelho has chosen a The lighting was designed and subtly operated by Catherine 100-years old, very British, comedy. Comedy is a genre that Acres. There were a couple of scenes where the action moved 40
shows its age more than any other; yet with this top-rate cast and a huge amount of thought and work, he has brought us a completely fresh approach. The storyline is quite predictable but is great fun. The play retains an authentic Edwardian style but has a brilliant pace and a lively delivery. Accents can so often be a problem, but everyone had a natural ring to their inflections. Most of the cast are Notre Dame students, who are studying other diverse topics, with their acting being a side-line. The authentic costumes, thanks to Kirralee Coulter and her assistant, Abbey Morris, were superb; matching the wearer’s personality. The gowns were of complex design and beautifully tailored. The fine makeup and hair design were by Kirralee and her assistant Natasha Guest. As Babbs, Matthew Jones must be the lost lovechild of Rik Mayall from the 70’s TV series The Young Ones. What a terrific sense of humour and with a magnificent delivery. Along with Michael and Edward they all seemed to feed off each other, even having physical altercations that were perfectly choreographed. The cast were flawless. A small observation, a ‘halfpenny’ was pronounced ‘haypknee’. Another quality show by PAANDA. Two and a half hours of pandemonium guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. ~oOo~ The Desecration of Your Mum is a short story written in 1830 by Mary Shelley, the wife of the Romantic poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley. In 1797, when Mary was born, her parents William and Mary had only been married for five months. Before Mary was even a month old, her mother – Mary Wollstonecraft – died of complications, and so Mary Shelley never knew her. The author still held her in the highest esteem, in fact Mary learnt to write her surname by tracing the letters on her mother’s gravestone. Could it be that the playwright wrote this short story because of – in her mind – feeling guilty, about being the possible cause of her mother’s untimely death? Mary’s short stories are known for being rather ‘plodding and stodgy’. However, Shelley’s story has now been modified and freshly devised by the third year students studying Advanced Studies in Theatre and Performance at Murdoch, into this immersive piece (so yes, there are no seats!). They have done a wonderful job in mounting this creepy, post-Halloween, adult production. After the popularity of Murdoch’s amazing production of Mary Shelley’s masterpiece Frankenstein two years ago, join them now in celebrating the play’s 200th anniversary, with their interpretation of one of her rarely seen stories. The Nexus Theatre is in Murdoch University, South Street, Murdoch. There were only three of these one-hour ADULT performances. There is no nudity but many of the disturbing themes are explicit and for adults only.
Karki) warns Victor of potential doom. A stunning guide (Cody Lin) leads us along a dark passage, past the cage containing a man (Thomas Wendt) who, reminiscent of Dennis Hopper in the film ‘Blue Velvet’, is sucking on a gas mask. We arrive in the celebration party area, where a cheer leader (Kamara Churchill) shakes her pom poms and welcomes us. In the stage wings, a beautiful young woman (Catarina Chesworth) is applying make-up, but do not be deceived, she is evil and about to die. On stage a young teenager (Sara McIntosh) is checking her pregnancy test before breaking down. In another area is a birthing chamber, with several pregnant mothers (including Margaret Camporeale) are trying hard to deliver. A mother (Claire Mosel-Crossley – appropriately a birthday girl) explains how to look after a newly born baby (Lily). A sick girl (Amy Alice Smith) explains how not all children are born healthy and tells us her personal story. Xarna Rappold wheels her pushchair past the dying witch. Numerous action-filled surprises pop up throughout this post-dramatic play, delivered in its post-modern style. Third year students should be pushing their boundaries, stretching their acting skills to the uncomfortable limit and having to enact their worst nightmares. If not at Uni with friends, when will they get a chance to fail or pass with dignity? Thanks to a wonderful director, Joe, this is their big chance. Director Joe Lui, with production support from Dr. Alexa Taylor, who are both Murdoch ex-theatre students have excelled. A hundred years ago in Nexus, a smart youngster dressed in a dinner suit, without music, played an amazing accompaniment on a grand piano. He was Joe Lui. Two years later, in the style of the film Cabaret, Joe then shook the course lecturers when he gave us a wartime German Night Club – complete with cabaret seating and waitresses – before presenting an accurate night of sleaze and kinky entertainment. The lecturers could not believe that a someone only twenty years old could produce such quality and atmosphere. Since then Joe has won the respect of the WA Theatre bodies as he pushed the limits with every production in which he is involved. I ask the actors in this show to remember Joe’s message and advice. GO for it with every presentation that you create in the future. Years later you will not remember your failures, but you will reluctantly remember your fear of trying. This show had a very fast pace, excitement and examined every aspect of a mother and child relationship. This collection of tableaux finished with a one-finger salute, and an utterance that would have brought a smile to Mary’s famous feminist, desecrated mother – Mary Wollstonecraft.
The set: was everywhere! Starting on stage with Victor Frankenstein’s operating table. The audience are led through the tunnel to the dressing rooms. Each area had bunting and coloured crêpe paper decorations. Behind the central stage curtains was another performing area. We even ended up in the car park. The stage manager was Zenna Newman-Santos, who must have spent hours clearing up the detritus and cleaning floors after the show. Victor Frankenstein (Justin Mosel-Crossley) cackles as he brings his monster to life. The monster (Rhys Evans) seems to be already quite alert, and correcting Victor’s every move. Victor tells us how much he would like another child – perhaps a girl? But a religious fanatic (Dhurba 41
ENTERTAINMENT - REVIEWS FILM Title: Writer: Director: Reviewer:
of the film as well, and shan’t give away much, other than my impressions. Shot in Leeds (hometown of co-writer Dyson) over the Halloween weekend of 2016, the first scene sets the tone with 1970s home movie footage of an awkward family gathering. The dim, grainy colours of old celluloid give way to the bleak lighting of the modern-day town and countryside to evoking familiar yet foreboding feelings. The ninety-eight minute anthology comprises three stories intertwined as lingering supernatural cold cases, handed over to famous TV personality and paranormal skeptic, Professor Phillip Goodman. In a reprise of his stage role, Andy Nyman’s Goodman accepts the likely deathbed request of his childhood role model and fellow debunker Dr Charles Cameron, and sets out to explain the hitherto inexplicable. Goodman enthusiastically investigates each case, to prove Dr Cameron’s theory: “the brain sees what it wants to see”. Goodman interviews the witnesses, each of whom is haunted by experiences they cannot explain or forget. I won’t say much about their cases so you can experience them yourself ... if you dare.
Ghost Stories Andy Nyman Jeremy Dyson Lisa Skrypichayko
prefer to blame my inability to find a companion to join me at Luna Palace’s media preview of Ghost Stories on the scariness of the film’s very premise, rather than on the possibility that I’m just not that cool. Bravely striding down the cinema aisle unaccompanied, I wondered if the movie might just turn out to be as terrifying as promised, leaving me quaking solo in my seat with no one to clutch for reassurance. Moving on! I have survived to write this, so clearly it wasn’t too much for this delicate flower. On the contrary, I enjoyed this olden-days triptych of spooky vignettes for many reasons. From the panicked breathing underscoring the opening credits to the tearing away of the last veil (more on that later), I found Ghost Stories to be a captivating, fun, and sometimes scary diversion. There are layers of psychological puzzles plus the true nature of reality thrown in for good measure, for those who wish to dig deeper. At several points, especially toward the end of the film, I felt that many scenes seemed quite theatrical. I don’t like to research something I’m reviewing before I experience it myself, but I was not surprised to learn afterwards that Ghost Stories was based on Nyman and Dyson’s 2010 stage play of the same name. Now I’m sad I missed it when it played at the State Theatre Centre in 2016. An announcement at the end of the play asks the audience to “keep the secrets of Ghost Stories” so that new audiences do not have the experience spoiled with any prior information about the play. I will respect this in my review
Case 1: Tony Matthews - Matthews (Paul Whitehouse, actor and writer, known for The Fast Show) is a night watchman at a former women’s asylum, who endures lingering guilt for abandoning his daughter. He has tried for years to erase his memories of a young female apparition who tormented him during one particularly bad graveyard shift. When Goodman interviews a priest who believes and has supported Matthews in pastoral care, he is told “it is now unfashionable to believe in anything but one’s own spiritual gains”. My takeaway is “Night watchmen don’t get paid enough”. Case 2: Simon Rifkind - a very meek and anxious teenager, Simon spends most of his time in his basement bedroom, working on his occult art and research, largely to avoid his antagonistic parents. A moment of rebellion leads to terrifying consequences.
Alex Lawther (mainly known for playing the young Alan Turing in The Imitation Game) gives a standout performance of the traumatised young man. Although more than a few false shocks are delivered throughout this film to make us jump and giggle, I believe it was during this story that someone ran out of the cinema. I’m sure they had a call they needed to take. Moral of this story: “Volvos can’t protect you from everything”. Case 3: Mike Priddle - I have no smart-arse summary of this story, which ends up encompassing all the cases, including Professor Goodman’s own, in a shocking plot twist. In contrast to Bilbo Baggins and the many more genial roles he’s best known for playing, Martin Freeman takes a turn for the sinister with his character Mike Priddle - a very rich and successful businessman with a whiff of regret about him. Formerly one half of a power couple, Priddle grieves his wife who died in childbirth and their unborn child who haunts him in his luxuriously lonely home. Much of this interview takes place during a long walk in the achingly beautiful but sombre countryside, with Priddle presenting as a wise, bittersweet philosopher, questioning how exactly it is that they have ended up at this junction, and uttering observations ranging from “It’s funny, isn’t it? How it’s always the last key that unlocks everything” to “you’re always supposed to feel safe in your own home”, and even channelling the Jurassic, with “somehow life finds a way”. I feel I must mention that this particular story does feature a very shocking and violent moment, which may trigger some. Search synopses or parental guides to the film online if you are concerned (it is rated M, or 15+). Nyman has said he chose male protagonists who all have difficulty facing and expressing their feelings. “If you look at male suicide rates, it’s horrific, it’s insane, it’s terrifying. It’s terrifying the inability for men to open up, the inability to talk about their feelings, the inability to properly analyse what it is to be a man, it’s insane. This isn’t a film which is entirely about that but that’s certainly at its beating heart for sure and that’s something we hope people talk about.” The film’s denouement wraps up the seemingly disparate stories and relates them back to Professor Goodman’s own past. His confident, cocksure demeanour changes as the false backdrops of his own life are torn away, leaving him to face his own ghost and question whether the mind truly sees what it wants to see, or in fact sees what truly is. Already sharing writing and directing credits for the Ghost Stories play, Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson mark their
cinematic directorial debuts with this film. The artistic team assembled around them (composer Haim Frank Ilfman, cinematographer Ole Bratt Birkeland, film editor Billy Sneddon, casting director Shaheen Baig, production designer Grant Montgomery, art directors Pilar Foy and Kerry Ellen Maxwell) create and maintain a suspenseful atmosphere, dutifully keeping viewers on the edge of their seats throughout. There are some good makeup effects, however the creatives tease most of the fear out of our collective subconscious and imagination through deft manipulation of sound an image. Several lovely little personal character quirk and brilliantly timed comic moments give us a welcome smile or even the relief of a laugh along the way, but only enough to briefly pause the growing suspense of the stories. We recognise little details from one story to the next, and are gratified to see it all come together in the end. One can feel the nostalgia and affection Nyman and Dyson hold for this genre. Although a fellow audience member I chatted with en route to the restroom opined “I should’ve stayed home and done the dishes”, I thoroughly enjoyed this film and believe fans of The Twilight Zone, The X Files, Creepshow and horror anthologies in general will not be disappointed. ~oOo~ Title: Director: Reviewer:
First Man Damien Chazelle Chris McRae
hirty three year old Director Damien Chazelle is hot property right now. The director of the critically acclaimed Whiplash and La La Land has the ability to create intimacy in the face of obsession. He can tell a story in an incredibly personal manner through choice of shots, clever use of music and the ability to draw astonishing performances from his cast. Moving away from the musical world, Chazelle creates an operatic masterpiece of a different kind with First Man, the story behind Neil Armstrong’s efforts in the lead up to him becoming part of history as the first man to walk the surface of the moon. Ryan Gosling is the first man himself and plays the challenging role of the serious and often cold Armstrong with tender poignancy, coupling a cold exterior with an incredible amount of tenderness. Unlike many other films set around the events of the moon landing or the space race, First Man focuses more on the events surrounding the preparation, failed attempts and eventual success of the mission. The Crown’s Claire Foy plays Armstrong’s wife Janet and Armstrong’s family life is both heart-warming and heartbreaking as the impact and importance of family come into play as he reaches quite literally for the stars. That being said, the shuttle sequences are truly spectacular and Chazelle’s long time musical collaborator Justin Hurwitz brings intensity and tenderness to his score. However, some of the action with Armstrong in the capsule, including a dazzling mid film malfunction sequence is largely music free and largely
relies on the terrifyingly intense sound effects and, more often than not, pin drop silence to drive the tension or awe. The use of Chazelle’s iconic close up shots ensures that in the vast reaches of space, in the face of one of the biggest events the world has ever seen, the man himself is never lost. The ambition, drive, pain and ultimate accomplishment is always seen in Gosling’s eyes and is mesmerising throughout. If this was a musical, it would be hailed a showstopper. It is exactly that, as First Man reaches new heights and is one of the year’s absolute best and an early awards contender. ~oOo~ Title: Director: Reviewer:
Red Joan Trevor Nunn James Forte
here is one thing that must be made clear at the start. It is marketing hype to put “Inspired by…” in advertisements for an entertainment. Otherwise I would be putting “Inspired by War and Peace” on the posters for my next romantic comedy. That this story was inspired by any true events is an assertion which cannot be tested Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong in First Man – we have to take the author’s word for it - but I have problems believing it. This film bears There are some problems sorting out Joan’s motivation little relation to reality. – loyalty to her Russian-Jewish lover – a commitment to The screenplay is an adaptation of the novel Red Joan by Communism – a belief that if the east and west have the same Jennie Rooney. The Joan Stanley of the novel shares a place (the weapons then nuclear war is less likely. None of these was research labs codenamed Tube Alloys) and a time (1940 to 1960) entirely convincing. However I enjoyed the pace, which was with the spies Melita Sirnis (later Norwood) and Klaus Fuchs closer to a John Le Carré than an Ian Fleming story. Under Trevor (both of whom passed on the secrets of the atom bomb to the Nunn’s direction, it is all great fun. Russians). Red Joan was seen as a part of the British Film Festival Joan and Melita both drank tea from a Che Guevara mug. at Luna-Palace cinemas. It will almost certainly get a general Practically everything else is fiction. release later in the year. Watch out for it – recommended. That said, how very British to make a film about an English-woman with a first-class honours degree in physics making important contributions to the development of nuclear weapons and giving away (she was never paid) the secrets to the communists. Our heroine is a traitor and MI5 are idiots who only catch her long after she has retired. Can you imagine such a film ever coming out of Hollywood? The above is not a spoiler. Judy Dench plays the older Joan - arrested in the opening scene. The story is told in flash backs as she undergoes interrogation. The young Joan is played marvellously by Sophie Cookson. Not having undergone any espionage training, Joan survives on her wits as she moves from crisis to crisis and lover to lover. For this is no Mata Hari – she relies on her brains Judi Dench and Sophie Cookson more than her beauty to obtain information. 44
Title: Journey’s End Director: Saul Dibb Reviewer: James Forte Unrelenting Horror
his month we remember the armistice which ended the Great War one hundred years ago. It was the most concentrated slaughter of mankind, lasting over fifty months, that we have ever seen. There were larger numbers of dead in the Second World War – but not in the same concentrated, prolonged and totally futile fashion. Two recent British films commemorate (they certainly do not glorify) the conflict. One, They Shall Not Grow Old, is by Peter Jackson (of Lord of the Rings fame). He has taken original archival footage of life in the trenches from the Imperial War Museum – and used computer technology to make it flickerfree and sharpen the focus, a host of painters to colour it and expert lip readers to obtain the dialogue to then be spoken by actors. The result is a modern film taken a century ago. It is being released on November 11th which is too late for this issue. I hope to review it for next month’s Swan Magazine. The other is a new film of the classic 1928 play Journey’s End by R C Sherriff (which premiered with a young Mr Laurence Olivier in the lead role). Sherriff had been an infantry officer in the trenches for ten months before being badly wounded when a German shell hit a concrete bunker. Thus, we can regard the actions and dialogue as being authentic. Sherriff set the play in an officers’ dugout with a passage at the rear leading up to the front-line trench. The action takes place over four days as the company braces itself for what they know will be an overwhelming German attack in the 1918 Spring offensive. They are going to be annihilated. The film is faithful to the play – although it is able to portray a wider view of the battlefield than just the claustrophobic dugout. Captain Stanhope is the company commander, trying to hold things together. Into this situation comes Raleigh straight from school in a clean new uniform. He has used family influence to be posted to this particular battalion - as Stanhope was his house captain and his idol. Stanhope has been seeing Raleigh’s sister and he does not want word to get back to her of his degeneration under the stress of war. In particular he has been drinking heavily. Under Saul Dibb’s taut direction, Sam Claflin and Asa Butterfield are perfect as the embittered Stanhope and the enthusiastically naïve Raleigh. There is also a stand-out performance by Toby Jones as Private Mason – the officers’ cook. Sherriff skilfully incorporated Mason’s brief appearances to give some humour amongst the almost overwhelming doom and gloom. For example, with Lt Trotter who has just come off watch: MASON: (serving up some bacon) If you look down straight on it from above, sir, you can see the bit o’ lean quite clear. TROTTER: Good Lord, yes! That’s it, isn’t it? MASON: No, sir; that’s a bit o’ rust off the pan. Over the years there have been some formidable films made of the horrors of the Great War – All Quiet on the Western Front, Kubrick’s Paths of Glory, Tom Courtney in King and Country. This film is good enough to stand beside them. Journey’s End was seen as a part of the British Film Festival at Luna-Palace cinemas. A must-see for those who wish to understand what we are commemorating - four and a half stars.
Editor’s Note: It is usually supposed that the title comes from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night: ‘Journeys end in lover’s meetings’. But, according to the playwright, after considering calling the play Suspense or Waiting he took the title from the closing line of a chapter in an unidentified book ‘It was late in the evening when we came at last to our journey’s end’. The play had difficulty being produced in 1928 - ‘no one wants to see a war play’ and ‘how can I put on a play without a leading lady?’ being frequent obstacles. And it wasn’t until the play was recommended by George Bernard Shaw that it was first staged. After it opened in the West End in 1928 it ran for more than two years.
FINANCE FUTURE MARKET DIRECTION MAY BE SET BY CHINA STEVE BLIZARD
ince the election of President Donald Trump, any threats to the world economy had been overlooked with the US stock market hitting new highs. Sentiment suddenly changed in October, with the US indices giving up all of their gains for 2018. While Wall Street sell-offs focuses the minds of investors like little else, other stock markets have been heading south for a longer period. European and Asian markets have been falling since May. Signs of slowing global GDP; concern that profits have peaked; the brewing row between Italy and the European Union; plus the impact on costs of American tariffs on Chinese imports have all contributed to the slide in global markets. With the prices of Treasury and corporate bonds also falling in response to rising US interest rates, few asset classes gained value during 2018. In particular, concern of a weaker Chinese economy now seem to set the tone for global financial markets. China’s economy has ground down to its slowest growth rate since early 2009, as rising trade tensions and the Chinese government’s efforts to tackle debt continuing to weigh. The National Bureau of Statistics reported that thirdquarter GDP grew by 6.5 percent from a year ago, the weakest result since the global financial crisis of 2008. Shares in Asia and Europe are worth watching as they are more dependent on the Chinese market. Asia’s trading economies are closely connected through mutual supply chains, so can be impacted by the US-China trade war and any Chinese slowdown. European based chemical firms through to chipmakers have reported weaker sales in China. Carmakers have been among the hardest-hit by China, with luxury producer, Jaguar Land Rover, forced to mothball production at one of its British manufacturing plants.
dividing line between expansion and contraction. TARIFFS Chinese manufacturers have come under increased pressure from the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China. US trade sanctions are yet to bite, as many Chinese exporters appear to have pushed more goods through customs to beat the ever-widening US tariff net. So far, the effects of the new and higher tariffs have been rather asymmetric, with Chinese exports to the US to be up fourteen percent for the year. Despite this, Chinese imports from the US fell 1.2 percent, blowing out the monthly bilateral trade imbalance to $US34 billion. China also noticeably sped up exports to key trading partners in Europe and Japan as well. Trump has warned he will expand tariffs to cover all imported Chinese goods if China’s President Xi Jinping does not accede to U.S. demands when the two leaders meet in November at a Group of 20 summit in Argentina. However, in the lead-up to the US midterm elections, President Trump tweeted that he “had a long and very good conversation with President Xi. “We talked about many subjects, with a heavy emphasis on trade,” he said. “Those discussions are moving along nicely.” That tweet sparked a broad market rally, as the Trump administration’s latest attempt to talk up the market into the midterms is working for the time being. Xi’s Chinese Dream of Rejuvenation of Chinese People, a term coined in 2013 to describe the role of the individual in Chinese society, isn’t just a slogan. Being seen to cave-in to the Trump White House is just not on, so expect both sides to dig in further which begs the question of what China will do next.
SATELLITE INDEX ccording to an index based on satellite imagery, China’s A manufacturing output contracted in October, refuting the official narrative of modest but persistent expansion. The China Satellite Manufacturing Index compiled by the U.S.-based, SpaceKnow, which uses satellite imagery to track activity levels across thousands of industrial sites, slipped below 50 points in October for the first time since June 2017, according to Bloomberg. As with the official purchasing managers index, fifty is the
MORE STIMULUS LIKELY Wary of an even sharper slow down, Chinese authorities have eased bank financing costs, tax fees and increased export rebates for the second time this year. RBC Capital Markets’ head of Asia currency strategy, Sue Trinh, said it was important to bear in mind that the impact of trade tensions has yet to be fully reflected in the data. “Chinese policymakers are faced with a tough proposition - keep pumping liquidity into the system for limited dividend and growing long-term imbalances or accept much slower growth and refocus on deleveraging,” Trink said. “For now, it looks like China will keep pulling on fiscal and monetary levers even harder to keep growth on target.” DEBT MANAGEMENT China’s effort to tackle its vast shadow-banking sector means that consumers have lost access to unregulated credit and local governments are finding it harder to borrow. Continued on page 56 ... 46
BUSINESS - NETWORKING GET YOUR NETWORKING WORKING SHARRON ATTWOOD
PRIVACY VS PROFILE - CAN YOU HAVE BOTH?
hen we start to look at ways to build and grow an effective personal brand – the discomfort starts to build when clients realise they may have to let people into their life and their story. Note I say an effective personal brand – none of this is compulsory, but merely an educated assertion that to have the best brand it needs to be a balanced brand. Time to put the personal into Personal Branding! Social media is – at its core – is and was always supposed to be social. All about people getting to know other people. About sharing and learning. It wasn’t invented, and certainly hasn’t grown to the juggernaut that it is on the back of advertising or trolling and arguing, but that’s another column! You can share a bit about your business on your personal accounts and a bit of personal stuff on your business page to get the balance right. I started out keeping a hard line between the two and shared very little ‘Sharron Stuff’ – until a mentor pointed out that to the outside observer it looked as if I all I ever did was see clients, go to networking events and get my nails done. I pay attention to what and how I share everything – but that’s my jam. For you – have a plan that is in line with your values and it will make it less time consuming. No one has time to sit and ponder every post. Should I or shouldn’t I? There are things I never post about – I’m not a warts and all type of person. If you have awareness around you being a ‘share it all’ poster – rock on. However, you can’t take it back. A random outburst of spite filled hate will cast a very long shadow on your brand over what may have been a mere moment of anger. Consider venting to a friend rather than across all platforms of social media. You will also find that each platform has its own personality, and when you understand who follows you where – you can tailor your message accordingly. LinkedIn is still rather business orientated, Twitter can be more ranty and of course Instagram is all about great images and quotes. Facebook is often where clients get confused because they have many more pages, profiles and groups to participate in.
However – once you know your brand voice – you will effortlessly know what to share and where. Photos of you should always have a purpose. Suffice to say that you don’t need to edit, filter and Photoshop all pics of you – but a great image, even a good selfie, does wonders for reinforcing your brand – when it is on brand. People love consistency – so seeing you doing your thing gives them reassurance. Off brand images – or the ‘EpicFail’ type of images need to be properly captioned for context. Your fans and followers like to see more than just the polished business version of you. A façade of filters will not build as deep a brand as a timeline peppered with seemingly candid shots and event snaps. Tag yourself in good pics you see online and look at sharing. On the flip side – feel free to untag yourself in less than flattering image or if you are feeling ‘over tagged’ and overexposed. You don’t have to be tagged in everything. You can also control who tags you in photos. You may like to review every attempt to tag you – or just stay on top of the notifications to see when you get tagged. I do not allow my personal profile to be tagged on a business page, until I have reviewed it, as I found the function was being abused by some page owners as a way of ‘getting their post out there’. It’s not cool! I always recommend clients tighten up the ability of other to tag them when on holidays so they can decide who sees what –especially when out of the country. Family photos – there’s a great deal of conjecture around sharing photos of your children online. I understand both sides of the conversation and recommend you google a few articles and blogs to make up your own mind. I will say though – that sharing images of anyone designed to make them look stupid or feel shameful is not good policy and can often just make you look bad. I have seen this backfire on the poster many times. You are making a decision, on behalf of someone else, to put an image out there forever! No matter what privacy settings you use. Like my tagging comments – you do not have to check in at every event and every venue you attend. It’s good etiquette to support an event by checking in (if you want to) and posting a good pic –but don’t feel you must tell everyone where you are. It can work against you to be an ‘Eddie Everywhere’ in business as people start to wonder when you get any work done. I am always curious as to why anyone would check in at the dermatologist – ‘Getting the rash results’ or the Bank – ‘Overdrawn again’. Not saying it’s wrong but I’m certainly curious as to why a business owner would feel the need to overshare in this way. If you are waiting on the answer to ‘Privacy vs Profile’ can you have both. The answer is YES! At the end of the day you can choose what you share and can exert some control over what others share. Technically that is. However – attempting to have no personal brand or personal profile in the age of social media is a lot like rolling a driverless bus down a hill. Best you get behind the wheel and take charge of your brand’s destination! 47
SWAN VALLEY AND REGIONAL NETWORK WINE AT PARLIAMENT HOUSE
wan Valley winemakers shared their Singapore Airlines SPremier, Wine Show Gold and Silver winning wines with the WA Members of Parliament and key industry figures at
a function hosted at Parliament House by the Minister for Regional Development, Agriculture and Food, the Hon. Alannah MacTiernan. President of the Swan Valley and Regional Winemaker’s Association Yuri Berns said that the Swan Valley has been producing premium wines for many years and that international Wine Tourism is growing in the Swan Valley. In a new approach to attract more international Wine Tourists, the Swan Valley has been delivering its tourism project, Singapore Visitors to Swan Valley (SV2SV) – supported by the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package. SVRWA secured $250,000 in funding through the International Wine Tourism Competitive Grants program for this project that works with consortium members across academia, government and business to enhancing the wine tourism experience for international visitors and attract increased visitation. Winemakers and the SV2SV project manager Lori-Ann Shibish met with the WA Premier Mark McGowan and members of Parliament to share the 2018 Singapore Airlines Wine Show winning wines to highlight the Swan Valley’s premium offerings. Wines of Western Australia, this week its key strategic goals to WA Members of Parliament and key industry figures at the function hosted at Parliament House by the Minister for Regional Development, Agriculture and Food, the Hon. Alannah MacTiernan. Wines of Western Australia’s Chair Trevor Whittington said that the Association’s ten year strategic plan identified export
Premier Hon. Mark McGowan and SV2SV Project Manager L-A Shibish market development and international wine tourism as key to the industry’s growth. “The USA is the largest wine market in the world and Wine Australia is targeting this market with a 60% allocation of its Export Support Package with the other 40% going to China. Our export strategy will mirror these priorities. Speaking at the event, Minister MacTiernan acknowledged the wine industry’s contribution to the state economy through significant value-adding, regional jobs and tourism. She affirmed strong government commitment to the industry via export and tourism initiatives which will increase the value of the sector and create opportunities for jobs and growth. During the event, Minister McTiernan awarded Wines of Western Australia’s Lifetime Membership Award to Tricia and Denis Horgan in recognition of their contribution to the development of the state’s wine industry. Trevor Whittington: ‘In the 1960’s four pioneering doctors followed the advice of Dr. John Gladstones, an agronomist with the Department of Agriculture who presciently wrote: “… I believe Margaret River will with time become one of the world’s great wine regions." ‘Gladstones in fact identified all of our state’s key wine growing regions as offering optimal climatic and soils for viticulture, with the potential to grow the best wines in the world. ‘Our wines, which constitute just 4% of Australia’s production, are firmly placed in the premium quality category, with average prices three times higher than the average price achieved in Australia’s other sixty wine producing regions. ‘The wine industry does not stand alone – it is linked to the tourism industry; to regional development; to liquor racing and gaming; state development; primary industries; water; local government; planning; environment; small business - the list goes on. 48
SWAN VALLEY AND REGIONAL NETWORK SWAN VALLEY EXPLORER SERVICE STARTED
rinking, eating and exploring your way through the Swan Valley wine and tourism region has just got easier with the introduction of the Swan Valley Explorer. Launched by Tourism Minister Paul Papalia and Transport Minister Rita Saffioti, the new hop on, hop off bus service will operate seven days per week departing from the Guildford train station. The circle route will take guests along West Swan Road, Great Northern Highway and Reid Highway, allowing them to hop on and hop off at wineries, gourmet food provedores and tourism attractions. The service will not only cater directly to international and interstate tourists without transport, but also local visitors who want to enjoy a drive free day in the Swan Valley. The buses will run on a reduced frequency on Monday and Tuesday and will operate every thirty minutes from Wednesday to Sunday, timed to meet with connecting train services at Guildford. An all-day hop on, hop off ticket will cost $20 for adults, $15 (Concession) and family - $50. Tickets can be purchased online at www.goadams.com.au/swanvalleyexplorer, on-board by EFTPOS and at the Swan Valley Visitors Centre. City of Swan residents will also be able to purchase an annual pass at the subsidised rate of $60 for the entire year. The Annual Pass will be sold thru the Swan Valley Visitors Centre in Meadow Street, Guildford. Proof of Identity is required such as your Rate Notice or Drivers Licence. If you have no Drivers Licence other proof of Identity. The buses are all air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible and fitted with free Wi-Fi and a new technology called the Eyevert Passenger Engagement System. The Swan Valley Explorer is amongst the first in the world to install this technology, which will provide information about the region and its attractions in multiple languages direct to each passenger's smartphone by using QR codes. Tourism Minister Paul Papalia: "The Swan Valley is one of Western Australia's premier visitor destinations. It is world renowned for its gourmet food and beverages, as well as its nature-based attractions and experiences. "The introduction of the Swan Valley Explorer will play a key role in attracting interstate and international visitors to the region. "Visitor attraction remains the State Government's number one tourism priority everything we are doing is about growing numbers to create jobs, develop business opportunities and diversify the economy. "I congratulate the City of Swan, Adams
Perth and the local business providers for getting behind this new initiative which will help unlock the Swan Valley's tourism potential." Transport Minister Rita Saffioti: "This is essentially a CAT bus style of service for the Swan Valley tourism region that will connect it with the rest of Perth's public transport network. "This is yet another reason to visit the Swan Valley - an amazing region which is deceptively close to Perth, increasingly connected to public transport and accessible for cyclists with Principal Shared Paths. "Attracting more visitors to this region is a high priority for the State Government and it is promising to see innovative businesses get on board with plans to leverage the Swan Valley's tourism potential. "Additionally, the State Government is working on a revised planning framework that will help protect the Swan Valley as a crucial viticulture and tourism region into the future."
SWAN VALLEY AND REGIONAL NETWORK COMBATING CATASTROPHIC BUSHFIRES
record total of $7.3 million in bushfire management funding assistance will be delivered throughout Western Australia under the McGowan Labor Government. As part of the funding assistance, seventeen regional local governments and agencies will share in $5 million to physically address bushfire threats in their local communities. $3.3 million will be allocated to regional local governments to carry out more than 410 bushfire mitigation treatments including planned burns, weed control, mechanical clearing, fire breaks and access roads. Eligible regional local governments will be provided with $500,000 of funding later in the year, and nearly $1.2 million will be made available to other government agencies to treat bushfire risks in areas such as unmanaged Crown reserves. This $5 million of funding assistance is part of the McGowan Labor Government's inaugural $15 million Mitigation Activity Fund, which has already helped 15 local governments treat bushfire risks in their communities earlier this year. Also announced was a further $1.2 million under the Department of Fire and Emergency Service's new Rural Fire Division to treat bushfire risks on unallocated Crown land. This is the first time that DFES has formally moved into preventative measures and is part of a record $35 million package over four years to treat bushfire risks on unallocated Crown land. The expenditure will be spread throughout the State, and DFES regional officers will work with partners on a range of activities, including planned burning, weed control, mulching and fire breaks. The McGowan Labor Government has also increased the capacity for local governments to identify their bushfire risks. It has allocated $1.1 million to provide certainty of continuous employment for eight permanent DFES Bushfire Risk Management Planning officers. These DFES officers will help local governments throughout Western Australia identify their bushfire risks through the development of Bushfire Risk Management Plans. Once those plans are complete and have been endorsed by the Office of Bushfire Risk Management and approved by local governments, regional local governments may be eligible to apply for funding under the $15 million Mitigation Activity Fund to physically treat those risks. Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan: "This $3.3 million of mitigation funding for regional local governments will help to make communities safer as they deal with the almost ever-present threat of bushfires during the warmer periods. "It is by identifying and treating bushfire risks that we can improve efforts at reducing catastrophic bushfires and make those fires that do occur hopefully more manageable. DISCLAIMER The information in this publication is of a general nature. The articles contained herein are not intended to provide a complete discussion on each subject and/or issues canvassed. Swan Magazine does not accept any liability for any statements or any opinion, or for any errors or omissions contained herein.
"This is why the McGowan Labor Government has today announced a total $7.3 million in bushfire management funding to identify bushfire risks throughout regional WA as well as to physically treat those risks. "The Department of Fire and Emergency Services has also embarked on a new era and is now an agency that no longer focuses on just response, but has moved into prevention, preparedness, response and recovery functions. "For the first time, DFES will be co-ordinating mitigation of bushfire risks on unallocated Crown land through the Rural Fire Division and a $35 million mitigation fund. "We are putting to the side whose responsibility mitigating those bushfire risks may be and simply getting on with the job of trying to improve community safety. "But we must always remember that fire is a part of the Western Australia landscape, and we must all play a role, including local landowners, in trying to reduce the chances of inevitable fires becoming unmanageable." Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray: "I am very pleased that the Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup and others in my electorate have taken up this funding opportunity and are working hard to reduce their bushfire risks. "As those of us who live in the regions know all too well, fire is an ever-present threat during the warmer months and we have to try to reduce the threats where we can. "This record funding through DFES's new Rural Fire Division will help our local regional communities identify their bushfire risks and do something about them. "I would encourage all local governments to put their Bushfire Risk Management Plans in place, have them endorsed and apply for support under the Mitigation Activity Fund." Funding will be provided to the following local governments:
Local government Round 1, 2018-19 Outcome â€‹ Sum ($) Treatments Augusta Margaret River 322,800 30 Beverley 53,900 9 Boyup Brook 321,150 33 Bridgetown-Greenbushes 151,780 27 Carnamah 107,900 13 Chittering 19,500 6 Donnybrook-Balingup 272,570 42 Irwin 220,850 17 Jerramungup 165,975 76 Karratha 19,000 7 Nannup 476,500 15 Northampton 187,450 15 Ravensthorpe 228,110 65 Wagin 222,000 19 West Arthur 67,000 10 Woodanilling 196,600 14 York 257,200 14 TOTAL 3,290,285 412 State Government agencies will share in $1.2 million, and a further $500,000 will be made available for other regional local governments later in the year. 50
SWAN VALLEY AND REGIONAL NETWORK NEW $90 MILLION AGED CARE FACILITY
remier The Hion Mark McGowan joined representatives from the Commonwealth Government and Hall & Prior health and aged care group to turn the sod on a new $90 million aged care facility in High Wycombe. Expected to be completed next year, the facility will include 160 new aged care beds and is estimated to create up to 250 new local jobs in the residential and home care industry. Karingal Green in High Wycombe will provide a world-class aged care precinct with a health and wellness facility, health and lifestyle programs, rehabilitation services, research and training facilities, and day respite services as well as home care services. The precinct will include a dedicated dementia care wing as well as young disabled care facilities which will cater for the high level 24/7 care needs of younger residents, while also providing aged and lifestyle appropriate services and facilities. The facility has been realised with the support of the Commonwealth Government, the National Bank, and the Fire and Emergency Services Superannuation Fund. An aged care working group, formed by Kalamunda MLA Matthew Hughes and representatives from key State Government departments, is implementing the McGowan Government's election commitment to fast-track the availability of State-owned land and property for the development and construction of new aged care facilities. Since the group's establishment, more than thirty aged care development opportunities have been assisted through land
transfers, rezonings, development approvals and land projects, with these projects estimated to create at least another 1,500 aged care beds in the coming years. This includes two lots at Sunshine Park in Lesmurdie which have been transferred to Burswood Care Pty Ltd, on the provision they are used or developed for aged care facilities. Premier Mark McGowan: "My Government is investing heavily into ensuring we deliver quality health care to Western Australians. A boost in aged care beds will alleviate pressure. â€œIn collaboration, industry, government and the community are working together to manage the balance between demand and supply of aged care beds. New precincts like these create hundreds of jobs through construction and health care." Kalamunda MLA Matthew Hughes: "I welcome the commencement of the construction phase of the Karingal Green project which has been much anticipated by the community over the past ten years. "The facility when completed will go a long way to providing much needed additional operational residential aged care beds for the district. There remains, however, a significant shortage of high needs residential aged care in the electorate of Kalamunda. "I am very pleased that the WA Labor Government has taken steps to address the identification of suitable land for residential aged care by the establishment early this year of the interagency Working Group on Aged Care Availability and to be an ex officio member of the group."
THE IDLER The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Mind
occasionally visit. You have a very wild imagination, I tell you!” The writer explained that during my time on said sites they’d taken a screenshot of me through the camera on my device. The photo was synchronised with what I was watching. I must admit that I looked at the nondescript pinhole camera innocently staring back at me. Was it winking at me? Without thinking I moved the speck of dust idly sitting off to the left of the camera over the lens just to be sure. “Oh my god! You are so funny and excited,” the email read. As my mind trolled through my most recent online activity I considered what might have been so enthralling. Was it when I opened the Australian Tax Office small business portal? Or the City of Perth rates section. No, it had to be my reaction to seeing Venom listed on the Palace Cinema website for next week. “I think you do not want all your contacts to get these files, right?” the writer challenged. If so all I had to do was send $500 “quite a fair price to destroy the dirt I created”, to a nominated bitcoin wallet. Otherwise the files would be sent to all my contacts. The hairs on the back of my neck huddled together and performed three rounds of the Mexican wave. I had forty-eight hours to do so and as the sign off suggested I should be thankful for being “taught a good lesson”. So what to do? Twelve hours had already passed before I’d opened the email. Clearly there were a couple of options: a) Pay the money, even though I had absolutely no way of knowing how to make such a transaction; b) Consider filming myself while on these ‘occasional’ sites. Set up my own YouTube channel and start charging people to see my “funny and excited” reactions; c) Ring my friends, colleagues and parents to apologise for what they were about to see; d) Read the email again, slower this time, and notice the faltering English. As the initial thumping in my heart subsided and the hairs on my neck stood down, I giggled. A giggle that was instantly replaced with a huge sense of personal shame and disappointment. Not disappointment about having allowed someone access to my system. Nor disappointment at having to pay the money, or the prospect of watching my hard earner career melt away. No, the disappointment hit hard as reality sunk in. How boring is my life? How safe. How sad. For the past six months my most interesting internet searches would have been about miniature dachshunds, tuna recipes, movies, and my own website. Even combined they don’t amount to the profile of someone planning to overthrow the government or trying to hide dubious sexual proclivities. At a stretch the most blackmail-able aspect would be one too many photos of my favorite actor of the moment. I can report that the forty-eight hour deadline has well and truly passed. I can also report that I haven’t been on the receiving end of any embarrassing phone calls from colleagues, friends or my parents. I like to think that’s because they haven’t received any damming emails from me. But maybe they have. Maybe they’ve been sent by mail and are just about to hit their letterboxes. Continued on page 56 ...
HACK WORTHY GLENNYS MARSDON
he other day an email landed in my inbox and as I started reading it my first reaction was panic. By the end however, my mood had changed to one of embarrassed disappointment. Perhaps you would have been the same. The email writer started off by introducing themselves, how polite. Their name was the internet handle they used on … the darknet. Got your attention? They certainly had mine. Having sat on the WA Consumer Protection Advisory Council for several years I was well versed with scams. The little hairs on the back of my neck frantically waved hello. According to the ACCC, in 2017 Australians lost $340 million to scams. That’s $340 million in one year and a $40 million increase on 2016. Investment scams were at the top of the list accounting for $64 million followed by Romance scams at $42 million. During my time on Council we were privy to just some of the great work being undertaken by the Department of Commerce in conjunction with the West Australian Police. One such initiative was Project Sunbird where 6,000 letters were sent to potential victims. Another was changing the language from Romance Scams to Romance Fraud to reduce the stigma and embarrassment that hampers reporting. There is nothing to be embarrassed about it these people are committing fraud. Back to the email. I’d seen a thousand investment and romance letters in my day, but this was different. The writer explained that they’d hacked into my email more than six months ago and had been monitoring my actions. The proof was in the ‘from’ header, evidently, which suggested I had emailed myself. Furthermore, they said they’d been able to hack into all my social media, videos, photos and internet history. So not your usual person dying of cancer, child needing an operation, or inheritance letter. And then it got personal. “I was most struck by the intimate content sites that you
FOOTNOTE PEOPLE IN HISTORY FIELD-MARSHAL SIR WILLIAM ‘UNCLE BILL’ SLIM
ield Marshal The Right Honourable William Joseph Slim, 1st Viscount Slim, KG, GCB, GCMG, GCVO, GBE, DSO, MC (1897 – 1970), British military commander and 13th Governor General of Australia, was born near Bristol, Gloucestershire. At the outbreak of World War I, Slim was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He was badly wounded at Gallipoli, and later served in France and Mesopotamia. In 1919 Slim was given the rank of captain in the British Indian Army, in which he served with Gurkha regiments until 1934 when taught at Camberley Military College until 1937. In 1939 he was promoted to brigadier and became head of the Senior Officers' School at Belgaum, India. On the outbreak of the World War II Slim was given command of the Indian 10th Brigade and sent to Sudan, from where he took part in the East African Campaign helping to liberate Ethiopia from the Italians. He was wounded again in Eritrea. He then joined the staff of General Archibald Wavell in the Middle East Command. Promoted to Major-General, he commanded British forces in the Middle East Campaign. In March 1942, Slim was given command of BurCorps in Burma, which was being attacked by the Japanese. Heavily outnumbered, he was soon forced to withdraw to India. Having successfully brought the majority of his shattered command out of Burma, he took over XV Corps. During this time he planned for a revolutionary new style of warfare to negate the advantages the Japanese had in mobility on the offense and depth in defence. He also took to the task of training the rapidlygrowing Eastern Army and restoring their confidence and abilities. After the disastrous Arakan Campaign, caused by Noel Irwin’s incompetence, Slim was elevated to command the new Fourteenth Army—formed from IV Corps (Imphal), XV Corps (Arakan) and XXXIII Corps (reserve)—later joined by XXXIV Corps. He quickly got on with the task of training his new army to take the fight to the enemy. The basic premise was that off-road mobility was paramount: Much heavy equipment was exchanged for mule- or air-transported equipment and motor transport was kept to a minimum and restricted to those vehicles that could cope with some of the worst combat terrain on earth. All units were to form defensive 'boxes', to be re-supplied by air and assisted by integrated close air support and armour. This theory was put to the test early in 1944, when the Second Arakan Offensive was met by a Japanese counter-offensive, which quickly surrounded the Indian 7th Infantry Division and parts of the 5th Indian and West African 81st Divisions. The 7th Division's defence was now fought as "Uncle Bill" had told them to do. They were supplied by air—negating the importance of their lost supply lines. The Japanese forces were then almost totally destroyed by the reserve divisions coming down from the north. But the real test was now to commence—the Arakan had been a distraction. The main Japanese offensive was heading for Imphal—hundreds of miles to the north. Slim rallied incredibly. He airlifted two entire veteran divisions from battle in the Arakan, straight into another battle in the north. In 1945, Slim launched his greatest gamble—a blitzkriegstyle offensive into Burma, with lines of supply stretching almost
to breaking point across hundreds of miles of trackless jungle. The Irrawaddy was crossed (with the longest Bailey bridge in the world at the time—most of which had been transported by mule and air) and the city of Meiktila was taken, followed by Mandalay. With virtually all major Japanese formations in Burma crushed, Rangoon was taken by a textbook combined land/air/ sea operation in May 1945. After the war Slim became commander of Allied Land Forces in South-East Asia. In 1948 he returned to England where he became head of the Imperial Defence College and then Chief of the Imperial General Staff. In 1953 he was promoted to Field Marshal, and accepted the post of Governor-General of Australia, without retiring from the Army. His correct title while Governor-General was therefore Field Marshal Sir William Slim. Although public opinion in Australia was not as keen on British Governors-General as it had been before the war, Slim was a popular choice since he was an authentic war hero who had fought alongside Australians at Gallipoli and in the Middle East. In 1954 he was able to welcome Queen Elizabeth II on the first visit by a reigning monarch to Australia. Slim's duties as Governor-General were entirely ceremonial and there were no controversies during his term. In 1959 he retired and returned to Britain, where he published his highly acclaimed memoirs, Unofficial History and Defeat Into Victory. In 1960 he was created 1st Viscount Slim, of Yarralumla and Bishopston. He died in London in December 1970. 53
COMMUNITY he Compassionate Friends of Western Australia Tregardless strives to support families who have lost a child, of that child’s age throughout WA.
We are a non-profit, non-government funded charity that provide peer call support, group meetings, a drop in centre, sending out quarterly newsletters, Anniversary Cards, we hold Walk of remembrance and a candlelight service (non-religious) at Christmas. We are run by volunteers and bereaved parents that are further along in their grief and wish to help others who have suffered this tragedy. Although everybody’s grief is different it helps to talk to someone who has actually had this tragedy happen to them. They WON”T say “I know how you feel” as no one can, but they will say “I don’t know exactly what you are feeling but this is how I felt when my child died”.
WALK OF REMEMBRANCE HELD IN MARCH EACH YEAR Events like these above give the bereaved some hope of a life after the death of their child. They connect with others that have been through the same tragic experience. In doing so its helps them to feel that they are not alone in their grief, that there is a worldwide connection to other suffering the same. DONATIONS Donations allow us to purchase stamps so we can send our booklets and other information to the newly bereaved, community groups, doctors surgeries and hospital throughout Western Australia. They help us cover advertising cost in newspapers throughout Western Australia, pay for our office and utilities allowing us to have Peer Support Workers come in and contact to bereaved that wish to have contact. The Compassionate Friends of WA Inc. receives no Government funding in any way.
We raise funds by holding events, charity drives and donation from our members and outside bodies. Although this is fantastic, we still struggle with the cost of keeping our doors open so any suggestion on fundraising or donations are gratefully accepted. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED We are always looking for volunteers to help man Sausage Sizzles, Charity Shopping Centre Drives and other events along with peer support volunteers (bereaved parents) for telephone support and group meeting facilitation.
54 Simpson Street, Ardross 6107 6257
Concluded from page 44 ... The government’s campaign to cut debt is impacting economic activity; however, it has implemented some compensating moves. Local authorities have been given license to issue more bonds to finance infrastructure spending. On October 1st the income threshold beyond which personal tax is levied was raised from 3,500 to 5,000 Yuan (A$1000) a month, with a cut in the sales tax on cars from 10 percent to five percent being mooted. However, if a bilateral meeting between Presidents Trump and Xi later this month does nothing to ease trade tensions, the Chinese government is likely to act more decisively. While China is not all that matters, the outlook for global asset prices in the coming months will be shaped by how far China goes to stimulate its economy. Courtesy of Roxburgh Securities
Concluded from page 4 ... Over the course of the events I have had the pleasure of listening to over 100 sharers and have also shared the moments with many guests. You get hooked – and I’m privileged to have never missed an event, as a sharer and as a listener. There are no passive participants. It’s often said that as we become more and more connected via technology, people are feeling less connected than ever. I think this is one of the main reasons events have sold out. We are craving connection – and this is what sharing our stories offers. It’s that chance to connect as we share, listen, discuss and take action upon. We have had stories to make us laugh, make us think and make us cry. We’ve listened on as sharers have taken us into the hardest moments of their lives, offering an insight so raw that you feel as if you are witnessing a part of the grieving process yet all you can do at that moment is listen. I feel I have become a much better listener by participating in Stories from the Heart. I know what it takes to share. It’s different for everyone though, and they all have my respect. Our stories deserve to be heard. I also see events as story now. It’s like a code has revealed itself. Everything around me is a story – and it’s a great way to experience life. We have also heard stories that make us laugh out loud at the funny things people have done, or in that knowing way that says “Yep, been there!” Just as the events had found their time, so too has this book and it is now. For our Story Sharers to so generously include their story in print, allows us to indulge at our own pace and experience it in our own way. Having heard the stories performed live, being able to read them affords me another way to connect and share in these moments. Congratulations to Lisa and her contributing authors, on not only a wonderful event series and another fabulous book, but for what has surely become a movement. A movement towards sharing, normalising and participating in one another’s experiences of life at a time when we so dearly need to be heard and be present. Enjoy, have an open mind and an open heart as you now read the stories held within. Available on Amazon and via speakingsavvy.com.au.
Concluded from page 50 ... Or maybe the recipients, like my email friend, found me incredibly entertaining but don’t want to own up to it. No. Instead I fear it’s more likely that I need to up my end of the bargain. To that end I have removed the piece of fluff from over the camera and vow to spend the next twelve months developing a browser history that is more hack-worthy. At least I’ve got my News Year’s resolution sorted early for once. If you think you’ve received a scam go to www.scamnet. wa.gov.au.
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"Lest We Forget" - It's 100 years since the guns fell silent at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, 1918 and we rem...
Published on Nov 10, 2018
"Lest We Forget" - It's 100 years since the guns fell silent at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, 1918 and we rem...