There is a hunger out there for open and honest conversations!

My co-author Doris Brett & I were overwhelmed with the enthusiasm for our book THE SUNDAY STORY CLUB (PanMac), @The Happiness Conference in Sydney on Mon. There seems to be a hunger out there for open and honest conversations. This is one theme of the book, which we wrote as an antidote to all those FAKE online personas. (Yes! Irony alert! I’m online here.)

Not only do we share stories from our salon, we also show you how to run your own salon so you can benefit from deeper connections with others.




The Sibyls’ Salon

Sibylesque Sibyls Salon mayThanks to Sibyls Eva, Celia, Viv G., Cinzia, Viv S., Ann, Donna, Elizabeth and Margot, who came along to our MAY SALON and Celia for the Sibyl Cake.

This time we learned:

  1. We can have fun rewriting literary classics. Perhaps, today, Lady Chatterley would skip the flowers and sport a pubic hair style to match her lover’s hipster beard. If the cats took over George’ Orwell’s Animal farm, the mice and the dogs would be deemed expendible from a comfy couch somewhere. And if 007 was Jane, Jane Bond, one gadget she might invent for personal use only is a James Bondroid with attachments. 
  2.  The powerful impact of stories from each of our lives.

Sibylesque Salon cake3. In times of grief, letter writing gives shape and form to thoughts and feelings that can help others understand.

We also raised some funds for Sue’s Global Community work in Nepal, which is in even more need of our help right now.

Sibyl Doris & Sibyl Kerry.

Part-time Goddess of the Garden

by Honey Clarke

Purple Quote blank large

The Chooks  by Honey Clarke

The Chooks
by Honey Clarke

I’m feeling frightfully bucolic right now. A bit like Ceres, goddess of crops tripping sylph-like through the fields, triggering all she touches into life. Winter in the Crater is the best time of the year for vegie greens and my vegies are a vision to behold. Gardening holds such power for change.

Please don’t think that I’m one of those green thumbs, who plants by the moon, grows an abundance of flowers and harvests pumpkins as huge as my head. In summer Mother Nature rides rough shod over me with her ride-on mower and I manage to save some things in her wake. But in winter, when bugs head north and possums seem to have plenty I am Goddess of the Garden.

It wasn’t always so. My turning point came in the 1990s when I had to start a garden from scratch and I discovered Gardening Australia. Here before me was garden porn for the desperate and undeserving. All the things I fantasized about apparently were there at my fingertips.

Sketch of Honey planting seed

Sketch of Honey planting seed

It was revolutionary how little was needed to make life come anew. I followed blindly. When Jane propagated I snipped tips off everything. Col saved seeds; I saved seeds too. Oh and I knew what Peter meant as he sniffed his compost, threatening to put it on his muesli. Truly, it was so “bloomin’ ” marvelous. The miracle of life in seed or sprig meant whole worlds opened up for me.

Okay my “tip-pruning” took on an unhealthy twist. My kids groaned as I drove twice around the roundabouts looking at new plants and they threatened they’d leave if I whipped out my secateurs one more time at the MacDonald’s drive-thru. In the end, our house block that was once a triumph of clay ended up a lovely garden and my zealotry tempered with time.

Plenty of people realize the power of the plant. Stories of generosity flourish including: fruit and vegetable swaps where garden wisdom is exchanged as well; towns where they help the homeless by swapping vegetables for collecting waste; community gardens that burst with produce and vibrant community, and movements like Landshare where those with land share their spaces with those who haven’t any, to grow food. How powerful is that!

So there are times in summer when it’s cheaper to buy a box of tomatoes than to grow one, but the thrill of that little green shoot promises so much. I’m following the footsteps of those who have come before me and planting possibilities for the season to come.


Honey Clarke

Honey Clarke

Honey Clarke lives on the side of a mountain in an extinct crater lake with her partner, the Rock Doctor. She’s an artist, writer and teacher who encapsulates the essence of life in the quick strokes of paint or pen. Honey has two grown up kids and seven grandchildren. She is part-owner in a bamboo farm. She would like to say her hobbies are kite-surfing and abseiling but that would be a lie. Instead she reads, swims, travels, paints and blogs as much as possible. Honey’s blog is Honeyclarkeart. To inquire about Honey Clarke’s art, books or illustraoins contact her at:

Other posts by Honey include: Some Grandmas are Wild Things

Gemma Sisia has a big dream to fight poverty through education.

Gemma Sisia has a big dream to fight poverty through education.


The charity that she and the Rock Doctor champion is St Judes in Tanzania, a brilliant school educating kids out of poverty.



Photo Source: Honey Clarke’s Blog and St Jude’s Website.