Home again, home again, jiggety-jig

Hundred-year old vines.

Kerry and I drove home via Coonawarra and somehow picked two glorious days to do it. Weather was delightful all the way. We did stop overnight in Coonawarra and make the odd purchase or two. It was a lovely way to end my month in Adelaide.

Sculptures made from vine prunings at Di Georgios

Thought this made an interesting nest but it had sagged. Below is the picture taken lying down looking into the sky.

Can you see the bees? The bush was fair buzzing…

The view from our motel room door

Last night

Tonight is my last night in the May Gibbs apartment here in Adelaide. I’ve had a wonderful time, with the mix of writing, visiting and socially.

I’m thrilled that I managed to complete the second draft of my novel while I was here . I finished this morning and will now let it sit for a little while before looking again.

I’m packing up books and clothes and will leave in the morning. I’m very keen to get home to my boys but am also sad that this time is at an end.

Thank you May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust. To Nan, Jo, Janeen, Ian and Mary.

A little confidence is a dangerous thing…

Note to self: when entering unfamiliar territory (say for example an underground car park) take note of the level you’re on and where the exits are.

This may help you
1. Find your car again
2. Leave via an exit that takes you to a familiar road
3. Allow you to get home without having to discover all the backstreets (no matter how lovely they are)



Today I was doing sessions at Goodwood Community Centre for Goodwood Library. Great fun. Pity about the weather. Squalls raced through one after another, bringing angled rain, gusty wind and even hail.

The last group I had were a little late and I suggested the rain was a bit of a problem. Shiny faces assured me that no, the rain was great fun! Their teacher thought they were a bit wild, but I thought they were great…bright, chatty and interested.

One girl wasn’t sure about my jokes, but she appreciated a dry comment that I made later on and everyone else missed. Great fun.

This ‘tree’ is near the library. I didn’t take the photo today…it would have been impossible. I learnt today that it’s a fountain, but of course drought has meant it has not run with water for a very long time…until today!

Racing to the finish line

Someone was telling me recently about string theory and relativity and all sorts of things and I was struggling with the concepts. We were in a car going somewhere and they said it was like when you are overtaking a car. You catch up with them slowly and the closer you get the faster you seem to catch up. Then almost suddenly you are level and then past them. Your speed is constant, so is theirs but it feels relatively faster as you get closer. I think that was it. It made sense to me.

And that’s how it feels now I’m in my last week at the Burrow on my May Gibbs Fellowship. The first two weeks were gently paced although I was pleased with the work I achieved. Then the third week seemed to go faster than the first two. And as for this last week…well it’s fair racing.

Here are some pics from the last little while…

Seen in a Glenelg street…

My friend Cath flew in from Newcastle for the weekend and we had coffee and baked cheesecake for morning tea in Hahndorf.

This was the ceiling in the cafe where we had morning tea.

Jo Vabolis, Nan Halliday and me at the CBCA dinner on Friday night.

Talking about the speed of a sneeze.

Table decorations (and emergency supplies) at CBCA dinner.

Two of the Spicks and Specks-type after dinner activities. (which ahem our table won)

Saturday afternoon and the olive grove on East Terrace

These trees should be able to talk. They look like mini cities each one.

These parrots were delicately eating the flesh of the fallen olives.

Here are some they missed.

It was hard to believe this creek was dry, it’s been raining so much here. But the weekend was glorious.

Botanic Gardens Sunday morning

um cacti…

I think this is a native fuschia…the markings are like the distribution of blood vessels…can you tell I’ve just done a book about the human body???

Peace and stillness in the water lily pond. Hard to believe these unfurl from the prickly bud below.


Yesterday I wrote furiously all morning then caught a bus into town for my appointment at the Migration Museum. Yes, I checked the bus timetable. Yes, I know it only takes minutes to get into town from here. Yes, I know I allowed extra time in case things took longer than planned.
But for once, I’d taken something to do when I arrived somewhere indecently early. I had my laptop and sat in the wonderful Adelaide State Library and wrote some more.

The Migration Museum was very generous in allowing me access to some material that supported one of their exhibitions. It was like being a kid in a lolly shop, I didn’t know what to look at first. But I spent a very speedy two hours in there gathering information. Fantabulous!

I came out and took some photos of some wonderful buildings that are part of or near to the Migration Museum. They include police barracks, the Destitute Asylum and Girls’ Reformatory. Beautiful buildings. Sad stories.

I particularly liked the different textures…and this sign. which lets people know where they can acquire their disaster.

I found my way to the bus stop having carefully checked where to get on. All fine except on the way home I passed several, SEVERAL, bus stops that were closer to where I was! Ah well, I did get to walk through the gorgeous Adelaide Arcade.

Then it was off to the SCBWI at the Box Factory. This is a new chapter for SA and they are still exploring the shape they will be. Lovely to be a guest there and to talk about books. Thanks to SCBWI SA for inviting me, collecting me and delivering me home. Great fun.

Waves to Kathy, Graeme, Claire, Katherine and Marianne and Katrina (who wasn’t there at time of photo-taking).

Things I noticed today

A smooth-barked winter tree looked like an octopus with head buried and tentacles waving in the breeze.

A cat hidden (or not so hidden) inside a side drain of a stormwater drain.

A creek running through a house block. I want one.

Mary Martin’s

I had a small but enthusiastic crowd this morning at Mary Martin’s bookshop in Norwood for my book reading. This was my little helper, feeding Old Sailor a jelly, then a shark.

A Sailor went to foot, foot, foot…

There were two more children but they were more shy initially. However once the camera went away they were feeding sea creatures to my sailor quite happily.

Before the reading, I went for a walk. It’s clear spring is on the way with blossom and wattle emerging.

I was fascinated by these two houses…one an old shop with a very fancy curved, corrugated tin under-verandah.

The other was sited right on a roundabout and from the balcony above you would be IN the traffic!

Blue, bloke, birds and bun

Things I notice today:

Blue feathers are not always blue

The bloke in the very discreet new black Mercedes. I wouldn’t have noticed car or man except for the bright yellow sign inside windscreen blaring out ‘NOT FOR HIRE’

The parrots are nesting. Noisily so, in almost every tree along Osmond Terrace. It must be THE place to nest.

The small Kitchener buns have no calories. I’m reliably informed that it is so. Unlike the big ones which apparently still only have a few.