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Six degrees of Separation Tags: Separation

Six Degrees of Separation

This is a phrase I confess to having used occasionally but have never really taken into consideration. Until recently...

The internet says this theory was conceived in 1929 by a Hungarian writer, Frigyes Karinthy in a short story called ‘Chains.’(The link to Goodreads is here just in case you can’t resist a peep!)

There have been numerous tests since the theory came to light and there is plenty of information available online. It means a person anywhere in the world can be connected to another, through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries.

Keep the above in mind and before you go to sleep wondering where this is leading, let’s digress, let’s talk about -

The Perth Writers Festival 2017.

This event is held annually at the University of Western Australia. This lovely institute of learning began life in 1911 and is a mere 3963.9 kilometres from where I live on the east coast, 41 hours in the car or five hours by plane, take your pick!

The 65 hectare campus is situated right on the Swan River. Many of the sandstone buildings feature coastal limestone arches and Romanesque features nestling side by side with lush green lawns and wonderful gardens. Moreton Bay Fig trees and many species of oak trees flourish there offering a welcome respite from the searing West Australian sun.

It is the perfect setting for the three-day festival.

There was something for everyone. Topics were numerous and varied – the local paper says “sharp, satirical and provocative.”  Speakers were carefully chosen, an intelligent mix of international and local. There were workshops to attend for a reasonable fee, lectures with a nominal fee and numerous free lectures alongside panel discussions with many writers. Music could be heard floating through the courtyards in the evening as people sipped wine under the stars and listened to poetry.

The weather was hot, in fact too hot at times but the organisers had the foresight to provide plenty of food and beverage outlets with many shady umbrellas and places to sit. More than 43,000 people attended this year, a testament to how popular this event has become.

The atmosphere was one of genuine camaraderie, a feeling of being united by a real love of literature and understanding of words.

On the second day it was necessary to make a phone call, so slipping outside I found a cool spot among the trees and away from the crowds. Sitting on an empty bench I was joined minutes later by a smartly dressed lady with blonde hair and reading a book. On finishing the phone call she leaned over and said,

 “Excuse me, but if you don’t mind me saying – you should always get a second opinion.”  She’d overheard me talking to one of my daughters about a very sick friend who was looking for advice.  I agreed with this lady and we began chatting.

In a few minutes, she’d told me quite a bit about her life and that she’d once lived in Bangladesh. Not really thinking there was much chance, I asked her if by any chance she knew Paola. She did!

For those who don’t know, Paola is an accomplished writer and was a long-time member of WA.

On my return home, I contacted Paola by Facebook and she remembered the lady with blonde hair whose name was Nana Lye. She was happy to know Nana remembered her.

Now what was that about six degrees of separation?!


This Week - January 23rd 2017
Category: Site News
Tags: Sharing news. This week's events

This Week – 23/1/17

 Apart from a new President in America and a new Premier in the state of New South Wales, what else is going on?

Monday Muse – Angela has given us some great topics. Combining various words in a sentence is always fun and can be a challenge so do check them out. In addition she has given us two photos, one of which is ex-member Sally at the Volksrant ...had to Google that and I think it is the Dutch daily morning paper. (please correct me, Angela if I am wrong!) As for the poem, ‘Still I rise’ by Maya Angelou, there are some beautiful lines to choose from.

Jo is doing The Blog this week and promises it will be up later. She is having trouble with the Planner which keeps assigning the January jobs to the bin!

As for The Bragging Stool Sue is firmly perched aloft with her Ad Hoc tale published again. I doubt they have had any writer appear 48 weeks in succession so well done, Sue! Are you going to stop at 52 or keep going I wonder.

January Opportunities  There is still plenty of time to enter the two comps closing in February;

The January Formal Meeting was held last night (well, night time my time in Sydney anyway!) The entire meeting was dedicated to a discussion about the magazine so please check out either the discussion on Skype or review the minutes which will be up shortly.

The next informal meeting will be held on Sunday 12th February at 11am CET

The next formal meeting will be held on Sunday February 26th at 4pm with Maggie in the chair.

If I have missed anything please let me know so I can make amendments – otherwise, have a wonderful, writing-filled week. Crilly




Christmas Tags: Real Christmas

Feeling jolly ...’tis the season?!

As I sit staring at the large Christmas tree adorning our lounge room, I find myself thinking back.

‘The tree smells so wonderful, it fills the room.  Kind of green and earthy. ’ A good friend said last year.

‘It reminds me of my childhood in England, all we need is a flurry of snow,’ said another.

‘In my lounge room?’  I teased .   ‘You’ve had too much champagne, go home!’

I knew what they meant of course, a real tree feels authentic. Alive some might say. Whilst touching a branch might feel a little prickly it gives up its sweet pine smell to the palm of your hand. The irregularity of its shape and the challenges presented when decorating may cause some hilarious moments and happy family times, not to mention the odd frustration.

’No, the star goes on the top of the tree, darling.’ Memories abound of words spoken to a tired four year old, desperate to pin the star to the front of her pyjamas!

Then, along came the kittens!

Two kittens from the Rescue Centre joined our family last year just after my beautiful, freshly cut, six foot tall Christmas tree arrived. Having lived most of their short, eight-week life in a cage the run of our house must have been a delight. Having a huge, real tree to climb, an even greater pleasure!

Baubles flew everywhere, tinsel was commandeered and dragged around between tiny kitten teeth and I lost count of the times we heard the plaintiff cry from one whom had climbed to the top but could not work out how to get down.  Yet another rescue mission began.

Two days later my daughter (owner of the kittens) read that the ingestion of pine needles can be fatal in cats.

‘Do you think they have eaten some?’ She asked, eyes wide.

Watching them race around the tree like cats on amphetamines, I found it hard to believe they had -but we could not take that chance.  That afternoon our real tree was dispatched and its plastic replacement purchased.

Trying to summons enthusiasm, my husband waxed lyrical about its uniformity – both in colour and shape. He spoke of its ease of access, a short walk to the garage and there it was, neatly packaged in a large white box. What decent tree lives in a box?

No more hefting a spiky tree onto the roof of the car. No more lugging it inside. Better still it was great for the environment. My eyes glazed over and I wondered when my quintessentially, meat eating, beer-drinking, very traditional Aussie husband had become a greenie! The truth is he hadn’t!  The math added up and he decided that within X years the horrible plastic tree had paid for itself as opposed to buying a fresh tree annually.

You may wonder what all of this has to do with writing – the answer is ...not much!

 It did occur to me that we must be very genuine in writing though, write what we believe in. Write from the heart, be authentic, metaphorically speaking, wave your arms around like a real tree in the wind. Be very real.

Are you feeling jolly now? Tis the season after all!

The kittens survived and yes, one year later I am still looking at a six foot tall, plastic tree and there are baubles bouncing off the tree at regular intervals and tinsel being terrorised.

On that note may I wish you all a wonderful Christmas wherever you are irrespective of your tree choice ...this blog is written tongue-in-cheek of course!

Much love to you all and here’s to a healthy, peaceful and safe 2017.



Image result for christmas tree drawing


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