Category Archives: Memoir

A Bouquet for a Writing Workshop

I facilitated a writing workshop for the Biennial 2015 at a local City Council.  It was my brain child: born when their Curator and Visual Arts Co-ordinator asked me to help her plan an event that would include the ethnic communities in … Continue reading

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I must have done something good

Hedgebrook is accepting applications for 2017 residencies. As a Writer in Residence at Hedgebrook, you stay in a cottage of your own, nestled in the idyllic woods on Whidbey Island. You join your five fellow writers in residence for dinner … Continue reading

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The Strange Things that Come to Mind

One thought leads to another. Today, because I am unwell and sitting around doing nothing, I picked up the knitting needles.  I think one’s mind empties as one knits and leaves room for other thoughts to invade. I’m knitting a … Continue reading

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Crepe Myrtle

My Crepe Myrtle always flowers as Chinese New Year approaches.  At home in Hong Kong the flower markets would be selling pink peach blossoms at exorbitant prices.  Here Down Under it is summer and Crepe Myrtle would have to do to … Continue reading

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Being Literate

I can speak, read and write in Chinese and in English so I claim to be bilingual. However, being literate in Chinese can mean many things and two people claiming that status may not be able to communicate with each … Continue reading

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The Ninth Day of the Ninth Month重陽節

Today is Chong Yang Festival 重陽節,a day of remembrance for the Chinese.  It falls on the ninth day of the ninth month of the lunar calendar, when families go hiking and visiting their ancestor’s graves. When I was young, it … Continue reading

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Session Three: Introduction to Chinese Calligraphy

From the ten students enrolled, nine attended in session 1 and seven came to session 2 yesterday; the numbers attending are dwindling.  That has always been the pattern.  People discover how difficult it can be,  materials too expensive and difficult … Continue reading

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Session One: Introduction to Chinese Calligraphy 書法

Last week MOSAIC at Chatswood confirmed that, after the cancellation of my calligraphy course, ten students came forward to enrol; so it’s back on again, starting tomorrow. I’d taken the cancellation as a sign from Heaven that I should have some … Continue reading

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The Nun Story

I want to be fair and say that not all nuns are nuts.  Many were sane enough to leave their ‘order’ when they had a choice.  I know of families of orphans from which one or more of the girls enter a convent … Continue reading

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In the Name of God

The stream of child abuse cases continue to surge as headlines in the media.  The latest is of another Christian institution harbouring criminals who abused children in residential care.  Those of us who suffered at such institutions know the legacy … Continue reading

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The Photograph

Thanks to Ian Morris OAM, aka Uncle Long Nose, I have the photo for my ‘Header’.  Here it is without the necessary cropping.  Taken at Keep River National Park in the Northern Territories, Australia.  Moments before this was taken, I was … Continue reading

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The Seventh Night of the Seventh Waxing Moon

When I was a little girl, my grandmother would round up her granddaughters and have us worship the goddess on the moon.  I can still remember the sweet scent of the loose face powders and other toiletries that she’d prepared … Continue reading

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Reading Chinese

The language of 中國 China is 中文Chinese though some nations in the rest of the world calls it Mandarin.  The official spoken language in China is Putonghua普通話 (common speech), a dialect that other nations also call Mandarin.  普通話Putonghua is taught … Continue reading

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On My Own 獨行

I found myself living alone on the cusp of a new century.  Friends enquired if I was coping.  I had to admit that it felt no different; I’ve always been on my own. However,  things changed.  Few friends remained but … Continue reading

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Twenty Five Years 二十五年

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“I Hate Poetry” 詩之愛與恨

So my friends told me.   They didn’t use the past tense, though they traced their hatred of poetry back to their school days.  I understand.  It’s like cryptic crosswords; you have to get on the right track.  I don’t like … Continue reading

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Four Eyed Girl 四眼妹

At twelve I became ‘four eyed’; that’s what the Cantonese calls a bespectacled person.  Suddenly the world looked different.  I became a book worm and my grades improved. I see double when I try to look straight ahead.  At school … Continue reading

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Remembering Daisy

Daisy died with a hymn book in her hand * I don’t remember Mum and Dad She said Every priest my father Every nun my mum They all my mother They strict They hit us, here and here If we … Continue reading

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