Happy Spirit birthday Clare aka Mo Hayder. Shine brightly, beauty. I hope you’re writing up a storm✨Never ✨forgotten.🌹

‘When it’s over, I want to say all my life
‘I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
Mary Oliver
(When Death Comes)’




2023 was a year the colour of blue for me. The muted silver blue of a Tasmanian sky and sea. I loved being home in July, inhaling Hobart’s salty air, walking familiar streets, knowing I’m close to Antarctica. After years of mountain life it was a week of blue bliss.

It was also a big transitional year for my daughter who started at Sydney University. I wrote (nearly every day). Read (over 62 books). Reading was once again my haven, comfort, my joy this year. If you’re interested in the books I’ve posted them on my Goodreads, Instagram and Author Facebook Page.

I didn’t achieve my personal target of reading more classics but that’s something to aim for in 2024. So grateful for authors, bookstores, libraries including street libraries.

As the world continues to seem more fragmented and volatile I found stability and grace through books.

I continued to write and I am now querying agents. I completed the Curtis Brown Creative Course in Writing a Psychological Thriller with Erin Kelly which I loved and would recommend.

I facilitated Moon Circles for my Mystic Rose Clinic, continued building my Reiki business and did evening care for an elderly lady in the village. We finally staged David’s Ghost Hunting play in January. It wasn’t the best year of my life (hard not to be overwhelmed with the fragmented state of the world) but it was still a year filled with blue. There was much to be grateful for. And I am.

 May 2024 bring you unexpected blessings.


Sally Buck: ‘You look real nice, lover boy, real nice. Make your old grandma proud. You’re gonna be the best-looking cowboy in the whole parade.’

From the opening scenes with Jon Voight in his cowboy suit and Stetson leaving his small town to become a male prostitute in New York, Midnight Cowboy is simultaneously sad and beautiful. The atmospheric soundtrack, Harry Nilsson’s Everybody’s Talkin’ transported me back to the ‘70’s. Bob Dylan’s Lay Lady Lay was considered at one time. The opening took me back to coach tours I did around Australia when younger and the disorientating feeling of being on coaches for days with different people coming and going.

Both Voight and the brilliant Dustin Hoffman are perfectly cast as Joe Buck, the Super stud cowboy and Dustin as Ratso – Enrico Salvatore Rizzo,  a cripple who lives like a rat in New York City and who yearns for a better life in Florida.


Dustin was fresh from The Graduate (another of my favourite films) and was nearly passed over as being too pretty and short for street-wise Ratso, but thankfully, Dustin won the part by meeting with director, John Schlesinger in a seedy New York bar to prove he could fit in and showed him a waiter working in a diner who was his image of what Ratso would look like if he had been successful. Dustin wasn’t interested in being a film star, he wanted to portray real people and was willing to take risks with his creative choices.


Voight is also excellent in his debut role as the damaged, naïve handsome, gum-chewing cowboy who wants to make his fortune by having sex with older New York women (although things don’t run to plan and he eventually has to perform sexual favours for men). It’s in the thankfully brief shocking montages that we understand the trauma in Joe’s past that turned him into the Midnight Cowboy. He’s painful to watch as he struggles to survive in the harsh world he once strutted so fearlessly into.

It’s a film of male friendship, survival, loneliness, desperation, a strange love letter to New York city and the eccentric, flamboyant,  shadowy damaged inhabitants inhabiting her bars and streets. It’s about poverty and people made homeless by development.

Midnight Cowboy came out in 1969 when America was at war with Vietnam and demonstrations were rife. The Manson family had just shocked Hollywood and the world with its sadistic murders. Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon watched by 650 million people around the world. The times were definitely changing.

It was adapted for screen by Waldo Salt (Truman Capote was one of the writers to turn it down.)

James Leo Herlihy wrote the 1965 novel.

The film won Oscars for Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Adapted Screenplay. It was the first X-rated movie to win an Oscar.  It  also won five BAFTA awards. Both Voight and Hoffman lost out on the Best Actor to John Wayne for his role in True Grit.




It was a joy and privilege to be in conversation onstage with local author Ann aka A D Penhall in Katoomba today for the launch of her very clever, gripping crime novel, Dangerous Devotions. 🔪🖤👠Ann and I met many years ago at a Sisters in Crime launch in Melbourne and it was terrific to grill her on stage about the journey of her book and her writing process. We spoke about her writing journey and the bonus of bottom drawer manuscripts.  There was a large engaged audience who even asked questions.
Dangerous Devotions is published through Clan Destine Press 👠👠🔪🖤


The exquisite 1970s film DONKEY SKIN based on Donkeyskin Charles Perrault’s 1695 french fairytale and directed by Jacques Demy has everything I love in a movie. French fairytales, a very dark underbelly and Jean Cocteau inspired effects with 1970’s surreal touches. Plus, the casting of Jean Marais as the father who wishes to marry his daughter to fufill his dead wife’s wish and beautiful Catherine Deneuve as la Princesse makes it even more of a delight. A perfect Family Movie Night experience. 🌹🌹🌹

Ghost Hunting

Tonight was meant to be opening night for Ghost Hunting, a beautifully written one-act play and one of four making up Blackheath Theatre Company’s Out of the Blue.
I played Clarissa Peacock (‘a clairvoyant of no society whatsoever; I’m a free spirit’). My daughter Daisy was Beatrice, a novice ghost hunter, and Elizabeth de Koster-Wyszecki was the abrasive Adelaide (a sceptic, but ‘friend to all genuine mediums’).
Pandemic lockdowns meant the show was play postponed three times previously, having been scheduled for May 2020, May 2021 and October 2021. It was incredibly frustrating returning to scripts after months away and re-learning lines and blocking.
Just ten days before our 28 July 2022 premiere, the newly elected (three weeks before) BTC Committee very suddenly and unexpectedly – without any prior consultation with Out of the Blue directors or actors – cancelled all performances, claiming the show was too risky because of the pandemic. The BTC President and Secretary, elected four weeks ago, have already resigned over fallout from the controversial decision.
Blackheath Theatre Company is the only performing arts company in Australia currently pulling plays off instead of staging them. All over Australia, every other theatre is open, with audiences in masks. In the same our show was declared too dangerous for theatre-goers to attend, the local Blackheath History Forum and Phoenix Choir both went ahead to full houses, completely sold out, relished by exactly the same demographic of locals who were denied the opportunity to enjoy some live theatre.
David Levell’s other ghost play, A Bush Haunting, in 2019 was a big hit with audiences. An expansion of the story recently won the international Twisting a Tale Dickens Museum competition. Ghost Hunting was possibly even stronger and would have transported theatre-goers into a haunted house. It’s distressing people have been denied this experience thanks to a management committee with far more impressive mediumistic powers than Clarissa Peacock, pinpointing that July 28-July 31 was an absolute peak of Covid danger but surrounding days were nowhere near as risky.
Tonight, I’ll store away Clarissa and Beatrice’s antique blouses, cameo brooches and rosemary sprigs. There are no rehearsal photos, as the shock news was delivered last Monday about an hour before the rehearsal publicity photos were to be shot. I’m sharing a few inspiration photos for Clarissa Peacock and Ghost Hunting from my Pinterest board for those who might be interested in a snippet of the behind the scenes work that goes into creating a character.
Thank you to my fellow cast members Daisy Levell and Olive for sacrificing precious HSC/school study time. I’d like to apologise to the marketing people and the many volunteers who were on standby ready to go to do the hard work behind the scenes in letterbox drops, catering, front of house. I see you all.
Finally, thanks to David for your incredible words, for the inestimable hours in freezing cold halls throughout several very long winters as writer/director. I truly loved every moment of those rehearsals. Thank you to the other Out of the Blue writers – Brian Twomey, Iain Fraser and John Shand. I’m thinking of you all on this sad night of what should have been the culmination of years of hard work. I hope at some stage in the future your plays will be performed. You all deserved better.
Writer images courtesy of Kylie Blakemore