• Death lillies
    Love letters

    Life and death for Chicken Little

    I am the youngest (by many years) in a family of five children. Mum was 42-years-old when she had me, a baby that was never planned but couldn’t be helped. My nearest sibling is eight years older than me and the oldest is 17 years older than me. Earlier this year my Mum died following complications from a drug-resistant bacterial infection. She was 89-years-old and had been disabled by a stroke for the last 13 years of her life. If it had been possible for her to end her own life at any time during those years I know she would have done so. Six months prior to Mum’s death,…

  • Drawing of spacecraft
    Love letters

    Waiting for personal spacecraft

    There comes a time in every girl’s life when she is faced with the reality that she is middle-aged and, god forbid, respectable. I’ve had this realisation and still haven’t come to terms with it. How could I have gone so wrong? I wasn’t designed to be middle-aged and I certainly never imagined myself as respectable, but here I am with a lovely husband, a house, two cars, two kids past high school and a dog. When I was about eight I remember calculating how old I would be in the year 2000. At that age, the year 2000 was a science fiction event. My grade four maths brain swung…

  • Woman donating blood
    Soul food

    The gifts of giving blood

    Yesterday, I was turned down by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service when I tried to make a donation. Since my last donation, I haven’t been to North Queensland or anywhere in Asia, or had intercourse with a sex worker, or gotten a new tattoo, or had man-to-man sex, or used intravenous drugs. I don’t do a lot of charitable work in my community, but the one thing I make sure I do semi-regularly is donate blood. I like the thought of my blood saving someone’s life. It’s like I saved them myself. If it wasn’t for my blood, what would happen? If there was a global catastrophe and blood supplies…