There Was an Old Sailor

A first advance copy of ‘There Was an Old Sailor’ was posted to me more than a week before Christmas. (thanks Virginia at Walker Books) I received notification of this while I was at Salamander Bay and was looking forward to it being at home waiting for me. But alas, alack, due to reasons unknown (postal strike, Christmas mail volume) it didn’t make it. Agggh! Frustrating to know it was in transit but not arriving. But, first mail yesterday, there it was!

It looks fantastic. Even better than the scans, gorgeous as they were. You can see the cover here.

Luckily we were having visitors for dinner so I didn’t have to wait long before beginning to share my book with the world. 🙂


I forgot the dolphins.

One morning while having breakfast, a pod of dolphins entered stage right and gracefully and calmly made their way right across the bay in front of us, only metres from shore. They eventually disappeared from view at the other end of the bay.

No photo, because I didn’t want to miss a second and the camera wasn’t to hand.

Boats and birds and things

We are just back from a short break on the NSW coast, where my brother is living in a house on the beach. Six paces from verandah to sand. Perfect.

We breakfasted on the verandah, lunched there, even dined there. All the time watching the changing sea, the passing parade of people, dogs, boats, boats, boats, birds and even the most indefatigable kite surfer. This last bloke kept zooming past us all one very windy day, his joy evident in the high jumps and even flips in the air. Free entertainment.

The ocean showed us all her faces. King tides, mirror calm, choppy and everything in between. The sky in the wide bay we faced was better than any screen.

Each morning some of us were up early. That had something to do with the very diligent kookaburras who delighted in their alarm-clock role, ranging up and down the street in case we went back to sleep. Bit like a feathered snooze function. But it meant a chance to kayak and/or swim before breakfast.

Newport Substation Arts Centre

Every first Saturday in the month (except January) there is an Artists’ Market in the wonderful substation in Newport, Vic. I’ve loved this old square building since I first moved to Newport over 18 years ago. It occupies its space comfortably, at home between road and rail.

Some years ago, a group of people who shared a love of this building began doing something about it. And the building has a new life. It’s an arts hub with all sorts of things happening. There are classes in African drumming and latin dancing. My choir (Newport Community Choir) is again performing there next weekend, in cahoots with Willin’ Wimmen, a Williamstown choir. And then there’s the Artists’ Market… See here for details.

But I digress…

With my storyteller friend Jackie Kerin, I spent last Saturday at the Substation.

Jackie had set up a story room and we tag-teamed throughout the day, storytelling and book reading, and generally talking to people about all things books and story.

Children of all ages stopped by to chat and listen. Adults visited too, with and without children. And Jackie and I talked all day about books and stories. Bliss.