and below, happy me...
Saturday, December 26, 2009
and below, happy me...
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Now we're in Noosa and I've finished my book, so I'm officially on holidays. I was sad to let these characters go, actually, but last night E and I had a divine dinner at a restaurant right on the edge of the sand to send them off in style. Can you guess what we talked about (at least some of the time?) yeah... my next book.:)
Friday, December 11, 2009
We're driving, rather than flying, because we want to use our car while were in the SE and we'll be away for too long to make car hire an option. We've made this journey many, many times, so we know the ropes. Yesterday, our morning tea stop was Bowen (where much of the movie Australia was filmed). That's Cape Gloucester in the background. They now have big posters boasting about how much Hugh Jackman loved Bowen.For some reason (which I think is peculiar to Aussie country towns) we have big plastic statues of the local product. There are big bananas and big pineapples. In Bowen there's a big mango. Bowen mangoes are truly sensational, possibly the most divine fruit in the world, and we bought a whole bucketful -- that's fifteen mangoes for eight dollars -- and we got to keep the bucket!! (Green ones down the bottom)One of my writers friends from Victoria was recently thrilled that she'd bought mangoes for $1.78 each to make a mango trifle -- (pretty much traditional trifle, but with lemon jelly and slices of mango -- sounds yummy, except it's never become a staple in our household because I have a husband who doesn't like custard and a son who doesn't like jelly, sigh).
Here in Rockhampton, we're in the heart of beautiful cattle country, so there are cow statues everywhere. I'll try to get a shot for you.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
My editor loved the setting I described, but obviously marketing has its own way of thinking... I hope American readers won't feel conned.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Can’t show photos at the moment as I cleverly left my laptop and its attachments behind in T’ville!! It had to happen one time, but why did it happen when I’m on deadline? Arrgh!
Anyway, to start with – good news. Young Lazarus/Gloria is thriving. After being hand fed the whole time we were in Townsville last week, it’s nearly twice its size and last night spent a night back in the main coop, sleeping inside one of E’s flannelette shirts.
Also, we’ve discovered that Icarus, the young male who kept flying up and hitting his head on the roof, was actually being pecked by the other more dominant male. On further observation, we felt so sorry for him that we decided to let him out and he now lives quite happily outside the pen, although he often calls to the females to follow him.
One female seems keen, I must say.
Today, for the first time, we’ve let all the adults out to explore our block and they’re having a wonderful time, constantly pecking, presumably at insects. Sometimes they’re in pairs, but often the dominant male lures both females to wander with him and chases poor Icarus away, so we’re giving serious thought to the best way to manage Icarus’s romantic interests, and we’re very much hoping that the young keet is Gloria. Alpha males are more trouble than they’re worth.
On the writing front, I’m in the final part of my book, (bless E for letting me use his laptop) and tomorrow I’m having another gathering of NQ romance writers, which should be fun.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Last week I minded the twins for two days while their mum had a well earned break. We had fabulous fun. They’re eleven months now, crawling, into everything, vocalising… so we made lots of animal sounds and sang songs and played with balls endlessly. I discovered how hard it is to get down on the floor and then up again quickly. The girls have totally opposite personalities and don’t really look all that alike now, even though they’re supposedly identical. So it’s fascinating to watch them develop into unique little people. But yes, I was a tad weary at the end of two days… not nice to realise I’m not so young any more. Then again, grandmothers aren’t meant to be young, are they? J This is Milla. And here's Sophie. And yes, it's very hot in Townsville now. Hence the lack of clothing.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Successful RADF applicant Mark Reed recieved funds to invite NIDA teacherFrancesca Smith to conduct a 5 day playwrighting Intensive at the MagneticIsland Recreation Centre. Thanks to Townsville RADF participants will onlyhave to cover the cost of meals and ferry fares. Date:Tuesday 1st December Sign In at the Recreation Centre after 5pm or early Wednesday morning Workshops run all day from Wednesday 2nd to Sunday 6th. All accommodation and joining fees covered by RADF
Meals: $135 and Ferry $29 return to be coverd by participants
Contact: Mark Reed for registration and payment detailsPho: 4721 5433Mobile:0401 435333 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Our orchids are doing better than ever this year.
A lovely splash of bougainvillea.
And the buddleia is out.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Anyway, before we talk names, I have some sad news.
Last night we had a very cold night and
a) we didn't realise how cold it was. I was shocked to get up and read the thermometer and see it was 11 degrees
b) we didn't realise that guinea fowl really don't like the cold
c) we didn't realise that our mother guinea fowl wasn't interested in sitting on her babies and keeping them warm.
You know where this is going, don't you?
Yes, dear reader, I'm sad to report that when Elliot checked the pen this morning, the babies were in a terrible state -- at death's door. In fact, one of them has since died, which is just awful. Two are quite fit but another isn't well. As you can imagine, they are all inside with us tonight, tucked up in a woolly sweater. Fingers crossed all will be well from now on.
And so to naming...
We have to call one of the adult females Matera... because when we were at the Women's fiction festival in Matera a few years ago, there was a guinea fowl in one of the ancient stone houses near us. It used to sit in the window and call out and we've never forgotten.
Elliot wants to call the baby that almost died but seems to have revived Lazarus.
And he's chosen Icarus for an adult male that keeps flying high and hitting the roof.
But there are four other birds as yet un-named and we're very open to suggestions. There's a female and a male and two babies of as yet uncertain gender. Anyone like to toss a name in the ring?
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
We’ll keep them in the pen for three to four weeks, and after that they’ll be able to free range on the block, the plan being that they’ll return to the pen to roost each night. There’s a special high opening and shelf for them to fly back in that keeps them safe from cats etc.
Here they are checking themselves out in the mirror. E read about this trick on the internet. Honestly, they stay there for hours admiring themselves, or trying to work out what the heck these other birds are -- and at least it stops them from fretting about being in the pen while they get used to our place. We already have one egg, but we’re not planning to eat it. I’ve begged that we don’t eat any of the birds either, in case you were wondering. One reason we wanted guinea fowl, apart from the fact that they’re quiet and look cute running around the place in their flocks, is that they’re reputed to be very good at catching and eating ticks and chasing snakes. In other words, they deal with two drawbacks of country life in one blow.
If you’re worried about what will happen to them while we’re doing our city stints, our lovely neighbours will be keeping an eye on them. A big plus of country living. Will keep you posted.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Ahead of us now, the mountains loom even larger as we approach Tully, and we know that our Tablelands are up there, too… somewhere in the clouds. If I remember correctly from long ago geography lessons, it’s thanks to the height of these mountains that Tully has the highest annual rainfall in Australia. The south east trades blow up the coast, warming over tropical waters, then they have to rise to go over the mountains and they cool and condense. It’s called orographic rainfall. There, that’s a little bit of information you may want to forget…
Anyway, we drive on through Tully and towns like El Arish, where soldiers settled after WW1, and named after the battle in the Middle East, and then we come to the turn off where we leave the coast and head for the hills.
We pass banana plantations that were flattened a few years ago by Cyclone Larry, and for six months the whole of Australia went without bananas, or paid astronomical prices for imports.
Now we watch the car’s external thermometer start to drop as we climb the Palmerston Highway through thick rainforest and past crystal creeks… until we emerge on the Tablelands where it’s invariably misty and green. Here sugar cane and bananas have given way to dairy cows and milk factories… and we truly do feel as if we’ve arrived in another country.
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Have I mentioned that crocodiles are a distinct possibility in all waterways in Far North Queensland ? So unfortunately no swimming outside the safe enclosures.
Cardwell is right by the sea and a must stop spot! I love it here, sitting on the beach where the Coral Sea (protected by the Great Barrier Reef) laps gently at tangled mangrove roots. You can look out at Hinchinbrook and Gould Islands, watch sailing boats and wonder about the adventures they're having...
This the half way point in our journey. More tomorrow...