A Quick Word


Sadly, the delicious 40th anniversary of Possum Magic is now over. But this year, 2024, as if the good news can’t tumble into the world quickly enough, I’ll have the happiness of the 20th anniversary of Where is the Green Sheep? (Shared with Judy Horacek, of course.) Both last year and this year there were, and will be special anniversary editions of both books. Lovely. Nice, at my age…

The biggest 40th celebratory event last year was Possum Magic The Ballet, performed by a cast of the final year students at the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne. No expense or effort was spared to create this exquisite show. It was both delicate and dynamic, and gorgeously uplifting. And hysterically funny in parts as well, when the male dancers were boxing kangaroos and lifesavers. Julie Vivas, the illustrator, and I were over the moon and hugely grateful, and awed, and almost shy. It was a glittering affair.

 Here we are, the two ancient creatives, still smiling through on December 8th 2023.

The program and the performance were simply gorgeous:


I’m sorry not to have any fresh news about books at the moment. You may be asking yourself, with reason, why I even bother with an intermittent blog. Fair call, frankly. It’s to indicate I’m alive. Anyway, on the bright side, one of my books is still being illustrated, another is waiting for the illustrator to start, and right now I’m writing yet another, about which I’m currently obsessed. I’m aiming, by hook or by crook, to have something published in the year I turn 80. Wow! Fun times! It may come as a necessary shock to the world to discover that brains can still work doggedly inside old heads. If I’m no longer here in two years’ time, or my mind is wandering, or in the end there’s no new book out in 2026, feel free to laugh at my expense.

Here in Adelaide, South Australia, it’s the height of summer, but honestly, no matter where you live in the world, the weather been weird. Different. Unusual. Unpredictable. Too much of one thing and not enough of another. Too hot. Too cold. Too wet. too dry. A few years ago, one of our Prime Ministers, for whom I had scant regard, declared verbatim: ‘Climate change is crap’. What a deluded fool! Poor man. The legacy that we the Old are leaving to the Young is a disgrace. I am mortally sorry.

About the changing climate: it rarely rains in our summer. The lawns die, the gardens wilt, the streets are hot-hot under bare feet, and the beach is crowded. Imagine then, the shock of this storm over ‘our’ beach before Christmas. What??? No! Not possible. But yes. Fabulous.

In spite of the peculiarity of the weather, summer provides lots of breaks for coffee and friends and walks and reading and gardening and perhaps a touch of travel, and cooking-and-family, the latter of which, in my case, comes together every evening. I’m still exercising and weight-lifting, although my asthmatic lungs increasingly let me down. I’m often red-faced within twenty minutes of an hour’s fast fitness class and looking at my watch far too often. I never leave a class early, but I do sometimes sit out for a moment to catch my breath. I’ve survived Covid once, pretty well, but wear a mask in crowded situations. Why get Covid twice, I ask myself, with all the risks it presents to weaklings like me? Er, that’s not right. I lift 6kgs above my head every morning, 20 times in each arm. No weakling can do that. I must focus on the positives.

Let’s all focus on the positives in 2024. A smile never goes amiss.

All the best!

Mem xxx