Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wishing you all ...

A very happy Christmas filled with peace and love...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


While I was packing up old photos I discovered these newspaper clippings from my daughter's dancing days.
In an artistic expression of reconciliation, the company Vicki danced with, Dancenorth, collaborated with Mornington Island Dancers to take a new piece called Luli around the country. The performance showed the two styles of dance separately in the first act and then in combination in the second half.

It was fabulous.
The show's opening was spellbinding with absolute silence -- and an Aboriginal man in the centre of the stage making fire by rubbing a stick onto bark. The anticipation in the audience as they waited for that first spark was palpable.
On tour, they travelled across the north of Australia to Broome and then through southern states. Aboriginal elders on the tour gave Vick a tribal name -- Brolga, which is a dancing bird.
Happy memories.
But I'm equally proud of my daughter these days. She's an occupational therapist working with autistic children.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A little gem of wisdom...

Yetserday we moved out of our apartment and our furniture and boxes are in storage until after Christmas. I'm exhausted from all the packing, packing, packing, and the heat... which is quite disgusting...and hits like a wall of damp sweat the second you move out of air-conditioning.
The great thing is that I've streamlined our possessions yet again (that's the one really good thing about moving). I went through every file in my filing cabinets, recycling masses of unnecessary paper, and that set the standard for my approach to this move.
Now, until Wedensday, we're house-sitting for my son and his family who are heading even further south for Christmas than we are. We're also caring for their cat and dog... Winnie and Rosie...
This is the photo they framed for us for Christmas, a picture we'll treasure to be sure...

On the writing front, I have revisions, but I can't face them till we're settled at Tarzali (after Christmas).

And this might sound irrelevant... giving how blessed I am, but I wanted to share these wise words I read recently in a novel by one of my very fave authors, Rosmunde Pilcher...

The secret to happiness is making the most of what you've got.

It might sound obvious, but it struck a chord with me.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Starting early ...

We had an early Christmas dinner with our NQ family last night as we're all heading in different directions for the big day.
I made a yummy dessert from a recipe in this month's Australian Country Style magazine.
It's so simple and scrumptious I had to share it here.

500 grams of Christmas pudding
I kg vanilla ice cream
pinch of allspice
400 ml pure cream
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
100 g butter, chopped

Grease 25 x 10 x 8 cm deep baking pan (mine wasn't exactly that size) and line with plastic wrap. Crumble Christmas pudding into coffee bean size lumps, either by hand or with food processor. Place ice cream in a large bowl. Mix in pudding and spice by hand (latex gloves are recommended as protection against the cold). Spoon mixture into prepared baking pan. Cover and place in freezer for at least 30 mins, or until firm.

Meanwhile stir cream, sugar and butter in a heavy based saucepan over medium low heat until sugar has dissolved and mixture comes to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until a smooth caramel sauce forms.

Turn ice cream pudding out onto a chopping board. Remove plastic wrap and place slices of pudding on serving plates . Spoon warm caramel sauce.

Oh, and here's a pic of a little person helping me to decorate our nostalgic piece of  Christmas  kitsch -- a lolly tree that used to belong to my grandmother.
Now back to packing.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Have you asked Santa for an ebook reader?

If you have, you might like to check out  Harlequin ebooks where thriteen of my books are available as ebooks, including Molly Cooper's Dream Date, which will be on the shelves in the US next month.

Here's a taste of Molly and Patrick's story... (blogger chopped off the email addresses -- probably thought they were real. :)

To: Patrick Knight
From: Molly Cooper
Subject: We’re off – like a rotten egg

Hi Patrick,

I can’t believe I’ll actually be in England in just over twenty-four hours. At last I’m packed (suitcases groaning) and my little house is shining clean and ready for you. Brand new sheets on the bed – I hope you like navy blue.
I also hope you’ll feel welcome here and, more importantly, comfortable. I considered leaving flowers in a vase, but I was worried they might droop and die and start to smell before you got here. I’ll leave the key under the flowerpot beside the back door.
Now I know that probably sounds incredibly reckless to you, but don’t worry – the residents of Magnetic Island are very honest and extremely laid-back. No one locks their doors.

I don’t want you to fret though, so I’ve also left a spare key at reception at The Sapphire Bay resort where I used to work until yesterday.
“Used to work.”
That has such a nice ring, doesn’t it? I’ve trained Jill, the owner’s niece to take my place while I’m away, and for now, at least, I’m giddily carefree and unemployed.
You have no idea how much I’ve always wanted to live in London, even if it’s only for three months. Thanks to you, Patrick, this really is my dream come true, and I’m beyond excited. I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep tonight.
Have you finished up at your work? Are you having a farewell party? Mine was last night. It was pretty rowdy and I have no idea what to do with all the gifts people gave me. I can’t fit as much as another peanut in my suitcases, so I’ll probably have to stash these things in a box under the bed (your bed now). Sorry.
By the way, please feel free to use my car. It’s not much more than a sardine can on wheels, but it gets you about. Don’t worry that it’s unregistered. Cars on the island don’t need registration unless they’re taken over to the mainland.
It was kind of you to mention that your car is garaged just around the corner from your place, but don’t worry, I won’t risk my shaky driving skills in London traffic.
Oh, and don’t be upset if the ferry is running late. The boats here run on “island time”.
Anyway, happy travels.

London here I come!


P.S. I agree that we shouldn’t phone each other except in the direst emergency. You’re right – phone calls can be intrusive (especially with a ten hour time difference). And they’re costly. Emails are so handy – and I’ll try to be diplomatic. No guarantees. I can rattle on when I’m excited.


To: Molly Cooper
From: Patrick Knight
Subject: Re: We’re off – like a rotten egg

Dear Molly,

Thanks for your message. No time for a farewell party, I’m afraid. Had to work back to get my desk cleared. Rushing now to pack and get away. Cidalia (cleaning lady) will come in some time this week to explain everything about the house – how the oven works etc.

The keys to the house are in a safety deposit box at the Chelsea branch of Barclay’s bank on the King’s Road. Square brick building. My colleagues have instructions to hand them over to you. You’ll just need to show your passport. You shouldn’t have any problems.

Have a good flight.

Best wishes,

To: Patrick Knight
From: Molly Cooper
Subject: I’m in London!!!!!!!

Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow!

If I wasn’t so tired I’d pinch myself, but I’m horribly jet lagged and can hardly keep my eyes open. Insanely happy though.
Your very gentlemanly colleague at the bank handed over the keys and wished me a pleasant stay at Number 34 Alice Grove and then I trundled my luggage around the corner and –
Patrick, your house is –
Divine will have to suffice for now, but the truth is that your home is more than divine.
Too tired to do it justice tonight. Will have my first English cup of tea and fall into bed. Your bed. Gosh, that sounds rather intimate, doesn’t it? Will write tomorrow.



Sunday, December 05, 2010

A busy Advent...

We're moving... packing boxes, sorting out what to put in storage at son's and what to take with us... dusting books, earmarking all my keepers... tossing out clothes I've "grown out" of... and tossing old manuscripts (yikes... found silverfish)... so much to think about with Christmas coming as well.

Meanwhile, granddaughter Lilly is loving this Jacquie Lawson Advent calendar. Check it out. Each day leading up to Christmas,  there's a new animated surprise and it's not too late to get started. It's gorgeous and so much fun.

And it's not only for little people

Thursday, December 02, 2010

word pictures...

Don't you just love the international language of art? These are drawings sent to me by children from:


and Africa...