A real fixer-upper

December 28, 2013Memoir, Opinion, Social issues, The Sydney Morning Herald

In his Booker Prize-winning novel The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes’ grey-haired anti-hero takes the train to London for a spot of shopping. On his list? Cord for restringing blind, kettle descaler and those patches you iron on to trousers when the fabric wears thin. ”It’s hard to find this stuff locally any more,” … Read More

A coeliac in the family

January 9, 2023Memoir, Opinion, The Guardian

Late in her life, my beloved grandmother was diagnosed with coeliac disease. It was the early 1980s and “gluten free” was not the woke gastronomical term it is today. There was no gluten-free bread in the supermarket and no GF alternatives on the cafe menu. If we went to a restaurant, we phoned ahead. “Can … Read More

How to design housing for happiness

February 11, 2023Homepage, Memoir, Opinion, The Saturday Paper

A few years ago, I was involved in the design of a social housing project. The project had all the best possible intentions. It aimed to address homelessness among older single women by building high-quality, affordable eco-townhouses in a gentrifying suburb close to the city. Like many architect-designed projects, it came in over budget. I … Read More

The three of us

October 5, 2013Homepage, Memoir, Social issues, The Sydney Morning Herald

I prepared for the birth of my identical twin sons with all the precision of a military operation. I had a roster of friends and family staying with me for three months and a food circle that would keep me in evening meals for six weeks. I hired a cleaning lady, a mowing man, and … Read More