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We are more than half way through November and I have not written a blog post. Life goes on as usual: Mondays and Tuesdays I teach dance. W...

About Me

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I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia. You might enjoy my books - The Dagger of Dresnia, the first book of the Talismans Trilogy, is available at all good online book shops. Book two, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available again shortly. Book three, The Seer of Syland, is in preparation. I trained in piano and singing at the NSW Conservatorium of Music. I also trained in dance (Scully-Borovansky, WAAPA) and drama (NIDA). Since 1987 I have been writing reviews of performances in all genres for a variety of publications, including Music Maker, ArtsWest, Dance Australia, The Australian and others. Now semi-retired, I still write occasionally for the ArtsHub website, and I still teach dance at Trinity School for Seniors, an outreach program of the Uniting Church in Perth.

My books

The first novel of my trilogy, The Talismans, is available as an e-book from Smashwords, Amazon and other online sellers. I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $AU25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. Book two of the trilogy, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available again shortly. The best way to contact me is via Facebook!

Buy The Talismans

The first two books of The Talismans trilogy were published by Satalyte Publications, which, sadly, has gone out of business. Book one, The Dagger of Dresnia, is up on the usual bookselling web sites as an e-book, and I have a few hard copies to sell to those who prefer Real Paper. Book Two, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available soon. The easiest way to contact me is via Facebook.

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Dagger of Dresnia
Want a copy? Contact me at satimafn(at)gmail.com

The Cloak of Challiver

The Cloak of Challiver
Available again as an ebook soon!

Mythic Resonance

Buy Mythic Resonance

Mythic Resonance is an excellent anthology that includes my short story 'La Belle Dame', together with great stories from Alan Baxter, Donna Maree Hanson, Sue Burstynski, Nike Sulway and nine more fantastic authors! Just $US3.99 from Amazon. Got a Kindle? Check out Mythic Resonance.

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Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

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Places I've lived: Geelong,  Australia

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've Lived - Sydney

Places I've Lived - Sydney
Sydney Conservatorium - my old school

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier
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Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

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Places I've Lived: Perth by Day
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Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
From Kings Park

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Saturday, 27 February 2010

Trials of Old Age




Things are still pretty chaotic in my neck of the woods. No sooner had I finished rejoicing at the end of limited downloads and successful publication of the latest Specusphere than my eldest sister, who is nearly 85, had a "funny turn" - her third - and wound up in hospital. She is home now, but sadly, she is not only becoming physically feeble, but mentally so as well. She needs constant attention, so I'm now busier than ever.

I'm one of four sisters, and three of us live here in Mount Gambier. Although we're spread out in age, we are all getting old and we constantly laugh at our forgetfulness, our aches and pains and our poor eyesight and hearing. You have to laugh or you'd spend all your time moping.

The poor hearing alone gives us a lot of giggles. Last week I went with a book club run by my other sister, the one closest to me in age, to the new Mount Gambier library. It's stunning, BTW, and has been hailed by one overseas expert as "the best small library in the world". The picture at left is of the children's corner - a magical place full of caves and tunnels and frogs - even the automatic check-out is shaped ike a giant frog. The link above will take you to a page from which you can hop to the library's site and also to the town's tourist site to see pics of this unique and attractive little city.

The librarian who showed us around noted various areas of interest - the Les Hill local and family history room; the coffee shop, the magazine collection..."And here," she said with a wave at a trio of screens, "is where we keep the Weed."

"Good gracious me," thought I. "They are really determined to get the youth of the town interested in books if they are growing dope in the library". Common sense prevailed. "Pardon?"

"The Wii. You know, games and such."

Ah, yes, well. Ah hem...

Then at dinner, my sister read out a letter from a mutual friend. Said friend was talking about their home and its surrounds. "And Josh still likes to walk across the park in his undies to get to church", the missive concluded.

Again the mind boggled. The vision of an elderly man strolling across the park in his boxer shorts - or maybe long johns - and entering the church, thanking the sidesman for the prayer book and parish paper, making his way to his customary pew...

I was starting to get ideas for a story. Why was Josh half naked? Was this a particularly eccentric brand of Christianity, one with which, for all my degree was in Religious Studies, I remained entirely unacquainted? Or was Josh making some kind of protest, making a statement about the need for non-judgemental acceptance of each other's idiosyncracies? Alas, common sense again reared its head and I realised the phrase "in his undies" must really have been written as "on Sundays". Pity.

One of the funniest misunderstandings due to deafness actually involved my father, who was very deaf from quite early in his adult life. It was an occupational deafness - as a power station engineer, he spent a lot of time in noisy environments, and away from them he was as deaf as a post. For some reason, he took me to work with him one day when I was about four years old - I think Mother must've been in hospital or otherwise indisposed - and I was amazed to find that alongside a boiler his hearing was perfect. It actually frightened me a bit. This couldn't really be my father. My father was deaf, and was always asking me to speak up. Yet now I was the one who couldn't hear him until he bent down close to my face. "No need to shout, lass," he said. "I can hear you."

But back to the story - one morning my father was getting ready for work when a neighbour came to the door. "Fred's dead," she announced sadly.

"Oh, I'm so sorry," said Dad. "Is there anything I can do?"

"Fred's dead!" repeated the woman, louder this time.

"Yes, I'm sorry to hear it. Can I do anything to help?"

This time, the neighbour shouted. "For heaven's sake, lend me a loaf!"

She had been telling Dad she was "out of bread".


7 comments:

Jo said...

Old agre????? You're only a whipper snapper yet. Wait til you catch up with me. I'm pleased to say neither us is too hard of hearing yet although we both think the other mumbles.

Satima Flavell said...

I thought there was only three or four years between us, Jo. I am 67 this year.

Jo said...

I was only kidding you. I am 72 this year, muuuuuuuuch older than you.

Marilyn Z. Tomlins said...

I do hope your sister is on the bend. And I do really think that it is much better to be busy than to sit and pluck the hairs of your eyebrows one by one out of sheer boredom.

Sue Bursztynski said...

The children's corner looks delightful, Satima. And best of all, full of kids! No library is any good if it isn't busy. Recently, we've had a whole lot of complaints in the Age newspaper about the State Library being so very noisy! It started with some journalist grumbling because she couldn't concentrate on writing her novel there. Well, I have researched and worked on about eight books in the very busy State Library and never had any problems. I would be depressed working in a space with no one there. Must come over and write a book in your new library some time!

Satima Flavell said...

Ah, we are of the same generation, Jo. You sound much fitter than I am though, with your bowling. I do a little yoga and belly dance but only intermittently so I never get really fit.

But I tell you what, Marilyn, bored I ain't. Even without Erica's disability I am flat out. Partly it's another of the joys of old age - I just can't sem to get as much done in a day as I did even five years ago, let alone ten.

You're right, Sue, it's a super library to work in. Apart from the coffee shop it's not at all noisy. In fact, I've even worked in the coffee shop and not been overly disturbed by the noise - and the coffee is good:-)And you can even take it into one of the reading places in the library proper if you like. It's lovely and light and the view from the front, over the Cave Gardens, is gorgeous.

marry said...

Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!
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