From the archives


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san Valentino sul portatileTrue love

True love what are you? Where are you?
You haunt each day, each think I do
But you’re elusive, out of reach
Beyond a wall I cannot breach
Just when I think that I’ll give up
You slip a sip from your sweet cup
You keep me running, drive me mad
For you’re the love I never had
I catch a glimpse and then you’re gone
But it’s enough to drive me on
You drive me mad what can I do?
I’ve no defences left ‘gainst you.

© Zoe Younger

Another from the depths of the archives




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Retirement crisis concept as a couple of adirondack chairs sinking in the ocean during a thunder storm as a metaphor for financial investment problems for retiring seniors who lost their savings or broken dreams symbol.

The complexities of life are, sometimes, more than I can stand
And I wish that I could work them out just sitting in the sand
The waves relentless on the beach a mellow soothing tone
And noone there to hear my little low frustrated moan
Relationships with people are the hardest things of all
The more you care the easier, I find, it is to fall
To hurt and wound, dishearten and not even know I guess
Until one day you find out that this person’s in a mess
You’ll say, “I never knew, you know. I wish that you would say
Communicate just how you feel – we’d never get this way”
But so often now I know that I do just the same myself
My feelings stay inside me, hidden way back on a shelf
Is there nothing we can do but make a resolution now
A kind of private self communication vow
Make known your hurts and happiness, I’ll listen while you speak
And when you touch on faults of mine I promise I’ll be meek
Our honesty will pay off. There’s just no way it won’t
The close relationship we have will break up if we don’t
So take me in your arms and tell me of the way you feel
In words right from your heart so that I’ll know it’s real
Then our mutual understanding it will warm us every way
And I know our love will grow with each and every passing day.

© Zoe Younger 1980s



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martin-chasseur gant ailes bleuesEarly Australians must have thought they were hearing things when they came across their first Kookaburra. If they hadn’t heard of this crazy sounding bird and couldn’t be sure where the laughter was coming from, it must have been a puzzle. When we were kids they were known as Laughing Jackasses.

In Torn, Mary and her young charge first hear his call when they are riding through the bush toward their new home. It seems a strange and unique country to our Irish “new chums” as new Australians used to be called.

So, if you’ve never heard the laugh of a Kookaburra, here’s a link you might enjoy.

As children, we learned the classic Kookaburra song, it became so much a part of who we are that when a famous Aussie band used a flute riff which sounded similar in a song, it landed them in a court battle on charges of copyright breach which ended rather badly.

Found a rendition on YouTube almost as we used to sing it.

Some bright spark Aussie kid also did some plagiarizing singing “new” words to the much loved song… “Kookaburra sits on an electric wire, jumping up and down with his pants on fire. Laugh, Kookaburra, laugh, Kookaburra. Hot your pants must be.”

We hear some birds here in our mostly quiet suburb but it has been a long time since I heard a Kookaburra laugh. How did I get onto this subject then? Well, I was on Facebook and reposted a picture of a brown snake eating a sausage right off a barbeque plate. Someone asked whether the snake killed the sausage first and it reminded me how Kookaburras will swoop on anything meat related when they feel safe enough. Steak, sausages, all food for a hungry Kookaburra, which has to “kill” it first, of course.


Another from the archive


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Laugh and Love and Live

Time is something, so they say that heals almost all things
The heart that feels so crushed and bruised they tell me even sings
And, given time, I’ll find the peace I thought would never come
They say I’ll wonder how I found the time to be so glum
I’ll take a moment to reflect on hours then long ago
When my heart felt oh so heavy and the time passed by so slow
Those things that seemed important will be so far in the past
So then I’ll say that time is winged and flies so very fast
But I thank you for the richness that to my life you did give
And realise that now’s the time to laugh and love and live
To bid old hopes and dreams a very wistful last ‘adieu’
And learn to live my life as if each day it starts anew
I know that I should do it and I sometimes wish I could
But then I wish that my poor heart were made of solid wood
So I couldn’t feel tonight that old and now familiar pain
For my eternal thoughts of you become a bittersweet refrain.

© Zoe Younger

As Time Goes By


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Time ClockIsn’t time a weird and wonderful thing? 24 hours can drag its heels until it feels neverending one day then flash by in an instant the next. Well it’s really our perception of time. It only feels that way. We all have the same 24 hours each day and it’s up to us how we use those hours – or don’t use them.

This week has been a combination of the two above.

I can barely believe a whole week has gone by again and November is just around the corner. Some of you may have noticed the NaNoWriMo tags appearing everywhere. For those who are not writers, November is the month of National Novel Writing Month, the big challenge – write 50,000 words in one month.

That’s a lot of words and believe me, in NaNoWriMo you value every single one of them. “Winning” NaNoWriMo means achieving your goal of 50k blood red words on the page because you opened a vein and wrote with almost your last gasping breath. Nah enough with the dramatics. So you write, on average, 1666 words a day. Yes. I know that was a little dramatic but you should see it from where I stand or sit or kneel… You submit your masterpiece and get a certificate to say you won! That’s it. The whole point is to set your goal and just do it. This November Shattered is where it’s all going to be happening.

On the other hand, waiting is one thing which makes time seem to drag. Waiting for your husband to finish ‘windowshopping’ for ‘big boys toys’ aka the hardware shop or the tool barn; waiting for your own true love to ask you to marry him; waiting to hear from an agent/editor that they want to sell/buy your masterpiece.

Of course, none of them even come close to that harrowing wait which some of us know only too well, waiting for a loved one’s body to give up the fight, waiting for her pain to go away permanently, wishing it didn’t have to be so and knowing, in your head at least, that anything would be better than watching her suffer, wishing you could take that pain on her behalf. Some times life is very unfair.

But, some times life is hilarious. Some times love is gentle and kind. Some times you wish those special moments would last forever. These are the times I wish for you.

Teenage Angst


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sad enamored girl draws a heart on the window in the rain

It’s Over

Soft rain on the window pain

A swift dart in a lonely heart

A powerful drug in a one litre mug

It went to my head, now that feeling is dead

Now all I have left is a heart that’s bereft

Vain obstinate hope with which I can’t cope

Bitter sweet refrain which will always remain.

© Zoe Younger

Found this among some old books. Obviously, I felt bad at the time but, now, too many years later? I have no idea what this was about!

Horses on ships


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Begrüßung Stute und FohlenMy books are set in colonial times and the introduction of the horse to Australia. Of course the only way for horses to be brought here in those days was on sailing ships. So, how did they do it? That was a question that required some research and some more and some more…

You may enjoy this story I came across from The Times of February 8th, 1811 of a horse’s views on boarding a ship:

” … During the late embarkations of the dragoon horses, at the Dock-yard, Plymouth, two of them were found so completely ungovernable as to frustrate all endeavours to sling them, and they were, in consequence, sent back to their barracks; but on Thursday last, a singular occurrence happened during the embarkation of the 11th dragoons. A fine spirited horse had baffled all the efforts of the dragoons, &c. to sling him, and became so ungovernable as to tender it dangerous to approach him; however, a sailor, with characteristic indifference to danger, dragged the animal to the Jetty Head, and proceeded to put the slings under his belly, but he soon received a severe kick on his forehead, which laid it open, and the horse got loose and dashed off; then, to the astonishment of the bystanders, he wheeled round, and returned to the sailor, who lay at his full length, near the Jetty, or Pier, and, with his right fore-foot, pushed him off the Jetty into the sea beneath. The sailor, though nearly stunned, swam to shore, mounted the Jetty, seized the animal, and wet and bleeding as he was, finally succeeded in slinging and sending him on board. …..”