• Creative joy

    Painting class

    “Let’s paint!” he says, flexing fingers that know paintbrushes I can tell, as his shirt knows paint (Are we going to get dirty?) the class leaps up – limber bare-bellied girls and a trio of tatty superior blokes – my friend and I too organise easels, brushes, squeeze out small neat turds of thick glistening gloop onto ice-cream lids – red yellow blue white black (Are they the only colours we get?) crisp new white paper covers last term’s spilt paint a table is made manifest in the middle of the easel jam a red-checked tablecloth arranged a bagful of shoes tipped out painters dart from behind easels to poke…

  • Peta Goodwin playing fiddle
    Creative joy

    Fiddlin’ about

    All my life (it seems) I have filled in time spent waiting – which is a LOT of time, as all women know – by imagining myself playing the violin. I have played symphonies in parked cars, concertos in dentists’ waiting rooms, the ‘Four Seasons’ in cafes (of course) and etudes lying on the beach. In my imagination I have tucked a fiddle under my chin and set feet tapping in all sorts of unlikely places. I have loved the imagined feel of the thrumming instrument on my shoulder and the sensuous glide of the bow awakening the silent strings. In 60 years I have never even got close to…

  • Garden in Margaret River
    Home delights

    Garden blossoms into rich new life

    A couple of years ago I thought I may have to give up gardening. An old back injury was giving me constant grief and people were saying things like “Well, at your age, maybe you should stop doing…” The list included almost everything I enjoy doing except sleeping. I remembered times when my garden had, due to where I was living or what I was doing, consisted of a few plants in pots – and they hadn’t been my best times. I thought about my large block of land and what I would do with it if I couldn’t garden. I thought about what I would do with myself if…

  • Drawing of a woman
    Creative joy


    Author’s note: For several years I worked as the weekend cook at a hostel for independent adults with disabilities in Perth. I used to wonder about the stories of the people who lived there. Not many were able to share them – some couldn’t remember, some couldn’t tell and some couldn’t speak. One woman in particular fascinated me as she seemed to have two very different stories – one she expressed in stock phrases and the other she expressed with her hands. I wrote ‘Linda’ in an attempt to weave all the broken bits I knew of her into a story that showed her integrity and her courage. This short…