Mental Health Challenges Aplenty in 2020

Over the past six years, I have written at least 20 blogs about mental health and my particular affliction, anxiety/depression. The Black Dog Institute says one in seven Australians will experience depression in their lifetime. It carries the third-highest burden of disease (in terms of cost to the community), in the country. So if it has never affected you, be aware. The Black Dog can sneak up on you, as we can see: One in…

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The joys of gardening

This week, determined to write something without uttering the C word, I decided on a blow-by-blow description of our efforts to establish a garden. Great minds do think alike, apparently, as The Conversation published a timely piece on Monday. “It’s a great time to try – a vegetable patch.”  The Conversation’s thrust is that we (the people) have more reason now than at any other time in recent history, to grow our own food. If…

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Movember and a short history of facial hair

Fourteen years ago a couple of Aussies came up with ‘Movember’ – a campaign to raise awareness of men’s health issues including prostate cancer and depression. There are many ways to take part in Movember (which lasts for the month of November). The most visible way is to join other men who are growing a Mo for 30 days and ask people to pledge support. No better time to introduce Grandad Wilson (;left), posing in…

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Insomnia and the four poster bed

It may come as no surprise, given our circumstances, to read that I/we have suffered bouts of insomnia these past few weeks. Selling up and moving from our home of the past 17 years was one major stressor that contributed to fitful sleep. Then there is the (ongoing) uncertainty about where we will end up living, which in our case requires two people to agree on the location, condition, ambience and price of another home….

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