Once upon a beach holiday

To the sea, perchance to see

Still life with lizard

A room with a view

The walk to town

Late afternoon selfie

Upon a little hill

Here’s leaf litter to you

Held together with slogans and paint

Too hot to seek asylum here

And finally … does he look like a half-transformed Frog Prince? I think he does

Queensland Literary Awards

I have been on holiday in Byron Bay (bliss) and was thrilled while there to receive news that Big Red Kangaroo has been shortlisted in the Queensland Literary Awards.

Big Red is keeping fine company in the Griffith University Children’s Book Award category.

For the full list of award categories and shortlists see here

Herring Island

Yesterday, we took the punt to Herring Island. As you do.

Actually, as I’ve not done. Ever. But have been keen to do for some years. It’s a man-made island in the middle of the Yarra around Richmond/Toorak (depending on which bank of the Yarra you’re on).

I knew little about it beyond that it was home to some sculptures.

I know more now, but I’ll let you discover that for yourself if you wish. But I will share my yesterday. We were visiting Herring Island for a bush poetry event at the invitation of the new Riverkeeper Andrew Kelly and his team.

This is Herring Island from the punt jetty on the Toorak bank.

This is the punt that ferried us across.

These are the bubbles that show where the A-frame welcome sign flew and then sank.

 Here are the sculptures. At intermission we charged our glasses, nibbled on cheese and wandered the island to find them.


The weather was clement (is that even a word on its own? I must check). I did just check and ‘clement’ means ‘mild’. That sort-of fits, but really the appropriate word is glorious.

I really liked this sculpture, like the prow of a ship, or in this case the island. It’s easy to imagine it sailing on downstream.

This is not a sculpture, more a found object, but I liked it anyway.

Hard to really tell here but that stone ball is bigger than the opening.

Stone cone. Of course.

More not-sculpture but sitting in the bush to be found, just like the sculptures.

Another not-sculpture

Bit tricky to see but this one extended the length of the cleared space, stepping stones of a sort. Or a serpent, or …

Not a sculpture but a very patient photographic subject.

Reassembling for the second half of the bush poetry event. A range of poetry, some original and others recited from Aussie favourites. Some songs too. 
Happy now. I’ve been to Herring Island. 

Clunes Kids Booktown and SpringFest with Itty Bitty Book Van

I’d planned my preparation down to the minute. Two days in Clunes at Booktown for Kids (with fellow authors and illustrators Andrew Plant, Marks x3 (Wilson, Greenwood and Carthew), Sherryl Clark, Judith Rossell, Krista Bell, Frane Lessac, Hazel Edwards, Ann James, Craig Smith and Jackie Kerin)

and then a day by Lake Wendouree at SpringFest with Kerri of the fabulous Itty Bitty Book Van.

This VERY flat tyre was not part of the plan.

Neither were the two hours I spent while four new tyres were fitted. But the ride on the new tyres – that was fabulous.

I arrived in Clunes on a gorgeous Thursday afternoon, too early (okay so my plans generally have a bit of flex in them) and wandered around before checking in.

What a beautiful clematis! This was at Keebles where I and several other of the authors and illustrators were accommodated.

The gardens went on and on …

Love a bearded iris

These dead trees added a sculptural element.

There was a putting green and a half-court for tennis. Not that we were anywhere near either of these.

Walking down to the pub for dinner was like walking onto a film set. No surprise that the main street of Clunes has appeared in several films.

Early morning Clunes


More poppies

The gateway to Keebles.

This is the theatre at Clunes. Some of the workshops were held here.

And this is my willing junior soldier in WWI clobber. I never thought I’d find someone small enough for my army boots.
Bookfest was fabulous despite lower than hoped-for numbers. All those I talked to reported really enjoying their time. Hopefully they will help to spread the word for this festival. Mega thanks to Sheila, Tess, Tim and all the wonderful volunteers.

After two days at Clunes I drove to Ballarat and on Sunday joined Kerri of Itty Bitty Book Van at the SpringFest around Lake Wendouree. Wasn’t the warmest of days, but it was fun to read to many groups of children, sign some books and have a bit of a wander around the lake. I bought a tomato plant to replace the one my dog sat on, and some basil too.

Then, home again, home again jiggedy jig.