Lockdown blog


Stuck in Sydney in the family home, I’ve begun a daily blog inspired by my daily walks through the nearby Dame Eadith Walker Estate.  Here’s a sample.


The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne by Gilbert White (1720-1793) has provided both an inspiration and a template for this lockdown blog.  The following has been lifted directly from this text:

The author of the following letters takes the liberty, with all proper deference, of laying before the public his idea of parochial history, which, he thinks, ought to consist of natural productions and occurrences as well as antiquities.  He is also of the opinion that if stationary men and women would pay some attention to the districts in which they reside, and would publish their thoughts respecting the objects around them, from such materials might be drawn the most complete county-histories.


Day I – Saturday the 24th of July, 2021 AD

Dear Sir

The Dame Eadith Walker Estate is within half a mile of my current accommodation. Lockdown has provided myself with the opportunity to walk the grounds of this fine estate on a daily basis. In the following days I will provide you with a description of my observations on a daily basis.

Today, a stiff breeze from the north-west at around 20mph (ref. BOM) has discouraged most birds from feeding in the open grass field on the north side.  They have mostly retreated to the trees or to the southern fields on the lee side.  Welcome swallows (more details to follow) and magpies are the most obvious.

Yours etc.

Sunday the 25th of July 2021 AD

Dear Sir,

The Dame Eadith Walker Estate, also known as Yaralla Estate, and now home to the Dame Eadith Walker Hospital, lies in the suburb of Concord West, in the city of Canada Bay, formerly the municipality of Concord, in the Parish of Concord, in the County of Cumberland, in the state electorate of Drummoyne, in the federal division of Reid, formerly the division of Lowe, located on a promontory on the Parramatta River between Majors Bay to the east and Yaralla Bay to the west, approximately half-way between the centres of the cities of Sydney and of Parramatta, in latitude 33.847 south and 151.087 east.

The Estate is bordered on it’s west side by Nullawarra Avenue. The avenue is lined with what I think are maple trees.  At this time of year, they are totally bereft of leaves, but the branches are still holding a fair number of seed pods.  There are hundreds of these pods on the ground under each of these trees.  The pods are hard, sharp, dry and brown.  They are a serious trip hazard and must be responsible for many sprained ankles. They’re aesthetically unpleasant and do not look appetising at all. However I’ve witnessed rainbow lorikeets tucking into them. They must have been hungry.

Yours etc.

Lockdown blog Read More »

Failure to Launch

They perform funny songs and witty and award-winning poetry but can they actually get their books off the ground?

Robert Edmonds is a writer/comic performer whose poetry has been published many times and has been nominated for and won prizes, but Gravity Doesn’t Always Work is his first collection.

Clark Gormley is a writer/singer/comedian who has performed one-man comedy shows and written three albums worth of songs for Nerds & Music, but his poetry collection Not What You Think deserves a bigger audience.

Watch them perform their best work of a lifetime over 45 fun-filled and story-packed minutes!

Sunday 21 March, 11 am! at Carrington Bowlo $5 entry, tickets through The Newcastle Fringe.

Saturday 27th March 6.30pm at Harp of Erin Theatre. Next to Wollombi General Store. $30 meal plus show. BYO. Table bookings only. Limited seats. Book in store or call 49983230. 

Failure to Launch Read More »


Clark Gormley is a poet and singer-songwriter based in Newcastle, Australia. He has been involved in organising and promoting local poetry readings for over 20 years.He has been published in several anthologies including Visions From the Valley, A Slow Combusting Hymn and Brew 30 Years of Poetry at the Pub Newcastle. He has written and performed three nerd-themed one-man shows, and is working on a fourth.  He’s also written a bunch of wordy songs, most of which he has sung in the duo Nerds & Music. Gormley pursues these creative endeavours in an effort to counterbalance the stodginess of a career in chemical engineering.

His flying islands book, Not What You Think, was published in 2019.

Panda Onesie

you get home and

run to the wardrobe

before the shopping

is unpacked

the onesie goes on

and there you are

a befurred cherub

in black and white

happy as a folivore

in a bamboo forest

the onesie stays on

until you go out

home being your

natural habitat

a tiny enclave of

Sichuan Province

cos you’ve read that

the species doesn’t

fare well elsewhere

so you need to wear

your human skin

as protection when

venturing into

outdoor captivity

this huge open range zoo