#WATWB November 2019 Surprised by ‘Life?!’

Image source: ABC News Australia

I remember my first experience of supreme pizzas, back in the day. It was fabulous to get all of those flavoursome toppings on one pizza! (Sorry to those Italian style pizza purists who find such complicated pizzas offensive!)

Later in life I found that blessed thing called seafood paella: lots of kinds of seafood and rice all in one place! Yummo! Washed down with vino, of course!


images.jpgAh!! Seafood paella.  Image source: https://hispanickitchen.com/recipes/mixed-seafood-paella/ .

I got that same kind of saturated sensation when I encountered this thing on ABC News Australia under the tab ‘life’.

But, let me interrupt the spiel to welcome you to

#WATWB November 2019, where our co-hosts are Damyanti Biswas,

Lizbeth Hartz,
Shilpa Garg,
Peter Nena,
and, myself,  Simon Falk.

Please head on over to their pages.

So, WATWB is all about promoting good news and I found some in that ABC News Tab called ‘life’. Check it out.

I found stories about a coffee seller who left his shop to change a lady’s car tyre.  A ‘substitute child’ who offered a lonely mother a happy Mother’s Day gift was another. 

This one has to be a favourite:

Neighbourhood love

Firefighters have been hard at it battling bushfires across Australia in recent weeks — and some are also there to help their neighbours.

“Our neighbour across the road goes out of his way to help us by mowing our grass for us on a regular basis,” says Terri Maher.

– Terri Maher, Coffs Harbour, NSW

Source: ABC News Australia accessed 28 November 2019


These are great stories of good news from everyday life in a neighbourhood.

Do you have any stories like this of your own that you can share?

This ‘life’ segment can be subscribed to by email.  I’ve signed up.

Would you like to join our WATWB each month?  Some details can be found here.



#WATWB October Late Entry – Horticulture Program

A week late I’ve sneaked a post in our latest #WATWB Edition.  Our generous co-hosts for this month are:

Sylvia McGrath,
Lizbeth Hartz,
Shilpa Garg,
Mary Giese,
and Belinda Witzenhausen.




Source: Picture from ABC News Australia.

In a story from Australia’s ABC News “Good News” link I read:

Twice a week, Grace takes a break from her life in the lockup and is able to feel as though she is at home again.

She is one of dozens of female prisoners involved in a horticulture program at the Alice Springs Correctional Centre, which started earlier this year.

The program, situated in the relatively green and leafy yards beside the prison, aims to equip prisoners with practical skills and build up their confidence in the process.


Among the key points in the story there’s….

  • Participants report that spending time in the garden and the bush has boosted their mood and taught them a lot.
  • The program manager reports that no task is too much for participants and that the program has given them valuable skills for reintegrating into the workforce when they leave prison.

Originally started for men, this program is now in place for woman.  Alice Springs is in the Red Centre of Australia and very significant for Indigenous Australians.  This program is sure to be win for these women and the environment as well.

Please check out other #WATWB post on online and share the good news with others.


#WATWB September 2019 Australian children make solar powered lights to help kids in PNG

Welcome to the We Are The World Blogfest #WATWB for September 2019. Due many commitments by our team of volunteers, we are beginning with less than the usual co-hosts for this month.

Sylvia Stein, Eric Lahti, Shilpa Garg, and Lizbeth Hartz.

Please visit our co-hosts and any other #WATWB posts that you are drawn to.

My post for this month is not from one of the flashy commercial news networks. Nor does it feature countries that are considered major players on the stage that influences the world. But, it is good news.



Photo Source: Solar buddy youtube via SBS News Australia.

Australian children are making solar powered lights so that children in Papua New Guinea can have light to do their school homework and similar things. Along with Greta Thunberg it seems that more young people are teaching us about care for each other in a way that cares for the environment as well.

I’m so pleased that SBS News Australia have brought this audio story to my attention as I was simply listening while at lunch. As the SBS story reports, some of the Papua New Guinea children are doing their homework by old kerosene lights! Not only are they old technology, but they are toxic, potentially unsafe and not the best source of light. Here are Australian children making lights that are solar powered and having them sent across to Papua New Guinea. That is being a good neighbour.

The link to the audio is in the paragraph above.

Now, some tasters from the written article

Thirty-eight per cent of children under the age of eight in PNG can’t read or write, while 1.4 billion people from around the world don’t have access to reliable electricity.

Students from the Holy Cross Primary School, in Sydney’s east, are among 55 schools participating in a program hoping to curb those numbers.

The program allows students to build solar-powered lights which are later sent overseas to children living in remote communities.

Julia Savage, 12, said she couldn’t imagine life without electricity.

“I think it would feel really weird,” she told SBS News. 

“I’ve become so used to using electronics – it’s kind of normalised – but if I was living in Papua New Guinea I’d find it quite hard.”

The initiative is being led by Australian charities Solar Buddy and Origin Foundation.

Origin Foundation’s Emma Barton said the lights can also have economic and health benefits for people living in isolated regions.

“A lot of people are relying on kerosene lamps, candles and wood,” she said.

“It’s bad for their health, it’s bad for the environment and it’s costing a fortune.

“About 40 per cent of the household income is going towards those types of fuels.”

You can also read more.

Giving light to someone can be a way to open adventure to them.  Such things are hinted in this excerpt of a poem.

Sometimes, When the Light


Sometimes, when the light strikes at odd angles 

and pulls you back into childhood

and you are passing a crumbling mansion 

completely hidden behind old willows

or an empty convent guarded by hemlocks 

and giant firs standing hip to hip,
Full poem, courtesy of the Poetry Foundation here.



Want to know more about #WATWB and how you can join us?  Check this out.

#WATWB August 2019 Book In Some Good News

Welcome to the #WATWB We Are The World Blogfest for August 2019.

Please visit our valiant co-hosts as well.

Susan Scott, Peter Nena, Shilpa Garg, Mary J. Giese and Damyanti Biswas.

This month I’ve gone a bit off the grid.  Neither of these two stories about writers have been generated by news media sources. But they are still good news.  Given all readers of this blogfest are ‘reader-types’ and many of you are also writers, I think they are good news stories of interest.

Josephine Moon.pngJosephine Moon. Picture from Better Reading Podcast, accessed 27 August 2019.

#1. Josephine Moon.  You can read about her here and listen to her on the Better Reading Podcast here.  Josephine became a novelist and tells us that she kept a spreadsheet of her attempted manuscripts. After 100 rejections she finally deleted the spreadsheet. But, wait for it. She persevered with her writing and has been published numerous times. One of the aspects of writing she favours is “uplit”.  Uplit is writing that encourages hope.  Sounds like a WATWB theme to me.  Then there is this:

In 2018, Josephine organised the ‘Authors for Farmers’ appeal, raising money to assist drought-affected farming communities. She is passionate about literacy, and is a proud sponsor of Story Dogs and The Smith Family

As Australia is still in drought, that has a ring of good news.

YBYS-front-cover.jpg Damyanti’s soon to be published novel. Image from her website, accessed 27 August 2019.

#2. Damyanti Biswas. Oh, yes. You’ve come across her before. In fact, she and Belinda McGrath Witzenhausen are the people who got us into this blogfest.  What is also fabulous about this forthcoming novel, #YouBeneathYourSkin, is that some of the proceeds will go to support a great initiative for children called Project Why and to help those afflicted by abominable acid attacks in India.

You can find other posts at #WATWB


#WATWB October We Are The World Who Watch Water


After having a month off #WATWB it is good to be back. I missed it!

Ever thought of doing an ice bucket challenge

with sand?

Yes? No? 

Or a water fight with flour?

Then read on.

While flying home from the Portuguese Camino I got to binge the in-flight entertainment on Qatar Airways. This included movies and some TED Talks. One of the TED’s that struck me was on saving water by Lana Mazarhreh. Lana grew up in Jordan and knows about being water wise.  Oh, yes… and about that ice bucket challenge too! Her TED talk can be listened to here.

Lana Mazahreh لانا مزاهره

Image: LinkedIn.

Lana begins by talking of the experience of Capetown in South Africa. Afterwards she talks of other countries. She gives some handy hints along the way.  Some may dispute her strategies. This can be tested and we all know that numerous strategies are needed to tackle complex problems.

Many of the countries participating in this #WATWB know cycles of droughts and floods. Some of us know of where there are vast quantities of water that is unsuitable for safe consumption.  I thought it timely that I saw Lana’s TED talk and am glad to offer it in this post.

Thanks to the Poetry Foundation for a poem on water.  The selection is ‘The Water Diviner’ by Dannie Abse.  Full text here.   Excerpt below.

The Water Diviner

Late, I have come to a parched land
doubting my gift, if gift I have,
the inspiration of water
spilt, swallowed in the sand.
To hear once more water trickle,
to stand in a stretch of silence
the divining pen twisting in the hand:
sign of depths alluvial.
Water owns no permanent shape,
sags, is most itself descending;
now, under the shadow of the idol,
dry mouth and dry landscape.
No rain falls with a refreshing sound
to settle tubular in a well,
elliptical in a bowl. No grape
lusciously moulds it round.


Our cohosts for this month are Eric Lahti, Inderpreet Uppal, Shilpa Garg, Mary J. Giese and Roshan Radhakrishnan.  Please do visit their posts and join in the sharing of stories.




You can also check out #WATWB on Facebook.

#WATWB August Refreshing Relief in Drought


Above:  Sir George Hubert Wilkins (from Australian Dictionary of Biography, originally, Ohio State University).

It has been said of the explorer and adventurer, George Hubert Wilkins, that, as a child in rural South Australia, he was puzzled by the then drought.  He heard that, to understand climate, one needs to explore the polar extremities of the earth. So that is what he endeavoured to do.

Sadly, many nations of our world are afflicted by natural disasters.  In my own country of Australia we are in drought. It is not new for us. But it is always a challenge. What follows are a set of some news items about how people show support in time of drought.

A convoy of helpers travel from Sydney with supplies for rural NSW.  A drought relief concert lifts the spirits some some in NSW .  Then there is….

The Burrumbuttock Hay Runners

Previous generations of my Mother’s family lived on livestock and farming lands in the Walbundrie District of NSW. Near there is the town of Burrumbuttock. There, the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners do their good thing.  Here is a sample from their website


In 2014 Brendan ‘Bumpa’ Farrell heard about a farmer in Bourke (NSW) that was struggling in the drought. He contacted the farmer and offered to bring him a truck load of hay to help him out. From that the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners was born. Since that date in 2014 they have completed 11 successful hay runs to help drought affected farmers all over NSW & QLD.

You can also follow the Hay Runners on Facebook.


Image: from the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners website.

Our co-hosts for this month are:

Simon Falk, Andrea Michaels, Shilpa Garg, Sylvia Stein and Belinda Witzenhausen . Please go and visit their posts as well.

My poem this time is a Drought pingback from one I wrote when I was 11 years old.


We Are Still Warmly Welcoming #WATWB


We warmly welcome

Anyone with good news on

The last Friday of each month to

Write a

Blog with us.


Cohosts this month are: Sylvia Stein, Roshan Radhakrishnan, Inderpreet Kaur Uppal, Damyanti Biswas and myself.

Want to spread more cheer with other great writers. Check out our We Are The World Blogfest  and its  Facebook Page .  You only have to write 500 words of good news and can add in links to the website or video clip for that news. If you are ready to sign up here is the linky list.

Want to make your post easier for readers to find and tag?

Add #WATWB to the blog title.

Thanks so much! 🙂


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