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Gone fishing!

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Clarks Clerks will be closed for business until 1 August 2011. I’m taking time out for a holiday and to investigate some new projects. If you are interested in our services please leave a message and I will respond when I return.
Best wishes
Eileen Clark

 

School uniforms

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In Australia the end of January marks the start of the new school year. Little kids ask ‘How many more sleeps?’ before their first day at school while older kids have mixed feelings about their transition to secondary (or High) school. Around the nation shops are packed as parents and children gather together all the essentials for the first day back at school.

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Writing newsletters

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An advertisement in our local newspaper on Saturday reminded me of how community groups used to produce newsletters. Someone wanted to buy a Gestetner duplicating machine for a school in East Timor. Now virtually extinct, the Gestetner was the low-tech manual predecessor of the photocopier. A friend of mine had one that she made available to community groups to print their newsletters. Every month she would have the Mothers’ Club, the playgroup, the Boy Scouts and many others toiling away on the duplicator, producing bulletins to keep their members informed and in touch.

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Our article in 'Schizophrenia Bulletin'

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I have just had an article published in the prestigious journal Schizophrenia Bulletin. The article was written with two colleagues in Melbourne, and in it we report the results of a study looking at the experiences of carers (mainly parents) of young people who have developed a psychotic illness. These illnesses can be severe, long term and unpredictable and carers experience a maelstrom of emotions as their lives are thrown upside down by the demands of caring. The full citation for the article is: McCann, T. V., Lubman, D. I., & Clark, E. (2009) First-time primary caregivers’ experience of caring for young adults with first-episode psychosis, Schizophrenia Bulletin, doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbp085

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Jigsaw puzzles

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I have loved doing jigsaw puzzles ever since I was a small child, quite why I don’t know! Perhaps I like the sense of achievement that comes from transforming a box of colourful cardboard pieces into a finished picture, or the order that comes from finding the right place for every piece. Whatever the reasons, when I want to relax I choose a puzzle and start putting it together, and then become engrossed as the picture takes shape before my eyes.

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Skiing

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Winter has come and for me, that means skiing. I love the sensation of moving across the snow in the unique Australian alpine environment. I do cross-country skiing, which is rather like bushwalking on skis. Cross-country skiers don’t use chair lifts or tows to reach the tops of slopes before hurtling down at high speed. Instead we go everywhere by our own efforts, and that may mean grunting up hills before swooping down the other side. It also means we can move away from the crowds in the resorts and head for quieter areas. We see other skiers, but not too many of them, and a few birds, but there are always animal tracks to remind us that we share the environment with other creatures who are able to survive despite the mantle of snow across the land.

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Letter writing...

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When I arrived in Australia in the mid 1960s my first task was to write a letter to my parents in England, assuring them that I had arrived safely. My parents had no telephone at home and they came from the generation that considered telephones and telegrams as bearers of bad news. That first letter grew into a forty-year weekly ritual of letters between my mother and me. These letters described the high points of our lives—holidays, weddings, graduation, babies—but for the most part, their most striking feature was their ordinariness. As in most families, nothing special happened most weeks and we wrote about the weather, the garden, a new dress or the price of petrol.

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