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Australian Author, Journalist, Speaker
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      Paris chiefs have finally told women they can ‘wear the trousers’ after a 213-year-old ban on wearing such clothing was revoked as “incompatible’’ with contemporary French society. Back in 1800 law-makers had originally issued the order forcing women to seek permission from police if they wanted to ‘dress like a man’. Of course, this […]

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  • 02/18/13--04:03: Frankie is a champ at tennis
  •   Whatever happens to ageing rockers? Ask Frank Sebastyan, former sensational lead singer of Frankie and the In Sect rock band and he will tell you his sporting success story. Forget about the microphone, Frankie now wields a tennis racket and played for South Australia in Perth at the Tennis Seniors Australia Championships in January. […]

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    A belated but hearty congratulations to palliative care Godfather, Emeritus Professor  Ian Maddocks, who was named Senior Australian of the Year 2013. My heart jumped with joy at the news as I played a small part supporting his nomination by another South Australian, whose wife had recently been diagnosed with a terminal disease. The media […]

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    BY JEANETTE COOMBES   Certainly, this is not my best look! No Akubra for me, but the fly net is a must at Mt Barry working on a cattle station in the far north of South Australia in January.   The weather has been kinder today. Only 37 – not yesterday’s 47! The water in […]

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  • 03/08/13--02:59: C’est catastrophique!
  •   What is more French than savouring a steaming casserole of Coq au Vin, splashed down with a quality bottle of Sauvignon Blanc served at a classy restaurant which has honed l’art de la table .   The rest of the world could buy take-aways and fizzy drinks, but les Francaises like to think they […]

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    A European study which looked at cancer rates in all 27 Europ0oean countries has released both good and bad news about women surrounding the diagnosis and death from cancer. Britain has announced that deaths from lung cancer has overtaken deaths from breast cancer to make it the most lethal form of the diease among British […]

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      Let us not indulge too much in platitudes this International Women’s Day because, although we can be smug about real progress over the past quarter century in achieving equality in law, the one big issue – violence – still impacts on women and girls. We could examine newspaper clippings from the last few weeks […]

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      Time slips by quietly and suddenly it is 10 months since husband Olivier died.  Some friends say “time enough’’ for grief and beseech me to “move on”.  And I wonder what do those words mean?  Am I to forget my great love? Yet I can’t erase him from my mind and I don’t want […]

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    Writers Week in Adelaide was once more a smorgasbord of talented writers and I indulged in the unique atmosphere and being inspired by some of the world’s best authors. It now unfolds annually in the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden, a glorious treed space behind Government House – and the whole magnificent event is free. Celebrated […]

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    Mad March heralds Autumn and farewells the most extraordinary summer in my memory.  It seemed at one stage the whole of New South Wales was burning in an ominous scattering of more than 100 bushfires. They followed Tasmania’s devastating bushfires and later in summer, some of  Victoria’s national parks also burned. Here in South Australia […]

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      Some blokes have all the luck. Take popular yachtie vice-commodore of the Goolwa Regatta Yacht Club Locky McLaren  spend last Sunday motoring his yacht loaded with a bunch of female friends, including his wife,  my dear friend Jayne and my neighbour, dear friend Chris, three other girlfriends and myself on the River Murray from Goolwa to Clayton Bay.  As […]

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    Renowned healthcare advocate, Dr Judith Roberts, has warned that any Federal Government funding cuts to cancer screening programs would result in rising death rates from the dreaded disease. Dr Roberts, a former president of Cancer Council Australia and chair of Cancer Council SA,  says the community needs to be reassured that life-saving screenings for breast […]

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      Australian bush outfitter R.M. Williams has pulled off a dream deal. French fashion house Louis Vuitton has bought just under 50 per cent of its iconic designs tailored for stylish “colts and fillies”. Rather than rue the French buy-up of a famous national label R.M. Williams chef    Ken Cowley says he hopes his new […]

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    To my darling Frenchman, Olivier, If only you were still here dear to see how the garden is continuing to bloom and bring me pleasure. Remember the discussions we had about how we would choose irises and roses to colour the exotic plantings which the landscape designer chose for foliage? Some of the roses have […]

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    My heart weeps for the victims of the Boston bombings. Particularly, I cannot throw off my sadness for the Richard parents of that little eight-year-old boy, Martin, who died and their daughter, Jane, whose leg was blown off.  Does their unspeakable grief break your heart, too? My sympathy pours out for Bill, the father as […]

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  • 04/19/13--06:41: When a grandchild is born
  • There is no point in wishing to be young again. I ponder this profound fact in the hairdresser today while having another colour to cover my rapidly increasing grey hairs.  I am impatient to finish because I am meeting my daughter-in-law Vanessa for lunch with my eight-month-old grand-daughter Scarlett . This is to be the highlight […]

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    In this laissez faire society of ours, it is hard to understand the hatred which spews forth in Britain upon the death of Britain’s first female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The poor woman is dead, but the knives are out and none more vicious than from the mouth of former actress turned MP, Glenda Jackson. […]

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    It’s a good thing these builders are sociable blokes.  Not only are they doing an excellent job restoring our ‘white room’ and building a French-style fireplace for us, but they have invited me to join them for their short lunch breaks because I work from home.  During one such break, we got talking about the […]

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    For me, this has been an exhilarating week  of  girlie stuff: a strange French woman staying in my house, a glorious garden party with heaps of girlfriends, a girls’ night in delightful accommodation, a Friday lunch to celebrate a much younger female friend’s fiftieth and afternoon tea with my beloved sister.  There was the lunch-hour […]