The Lure of a Country House Library

I was inspired by an Instagram post I read recently from a fellow-author. She said she was warming up with a cup of coffee at the Dorchester Curiosity Centre in Dorset, while waiting for her MOT to be done, and ‘contemplating how cover design has developed over the decades’. She was looking at an entireContinue reading “The Lure of a Country House Library”

Book Review: ‘Down Under: Travels from a Sunburned Country’ by Bill Bryson

Today I’m pleased to share with you my review of one of my Christmas present books. Having visited several of the Australian locations in this book – Sydney, Canberra, Alice Springs, Uluru, Darwin, and the Great Barrier Reef, among several others – I loved reading about Bill Bryson’s experiences there in his brilliant piece ofContinue reading “Book Review: ‘Down Under: Travels from a Sunburned Country’ by Bill Bryson”

The Love of British Folk Tradition: Coventry and Kenilworth Morris at Kenilworth Castle on Boxing Day morning

I love Morris dancers, and at Kenilworth Castle on Boxing Day morning, all those who had braved the icy winds and crisp chill of the atmosphere were treated to several dances by the Coventry Morris and the Chinewrde Morris Dancers of Kenilworth. Male and female dancers entertained us while we were fortified with hot chocolateContinue reading “The Love of British Folk Tradition: Coventry and Kenilworth Morris at Kenilworth Castle on Boxing Day morning”

Book Review: ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ by Liane Moriarty

Today I’m pleased to share with you my review of a book I greatly enjoyed. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty is set in the idyllic landscape of New South Wales, Australia. The TV adaptation appeared on our screens in 2021 as a TV mini series starring Nicole Kidman and shifted the action to theContinue reading “Book Review: ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ by Liane Moriarty”

Book Review: ‘Cuckoo in the Nest’ by Fran Hill

Today I’m delighted to be sharing my review of an ARC of this debut novel by my friend and very funny fellow-author Fran Hill, ‘Cuckoo in the Nest’, to be published by Legend Press on 26 April 2023. BLURB It’s the heatwave summer of 1976 and 14-year-old would-be poet Jackie Chadwick is newly fostered byContinue reading “Book Review: ‘Cuckoo in the Nest’ by Fran Hill”

Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #14 High Views of Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland

This is the fourteenth and final Highlight. What better than some panoramic views from a great height? So we ride up to the Skypoint Observation Deck on the 77th floor of the Q1 Building, Surfers Paradise. We took lots of photos of the fabulous views and had Tacos and salsa for lunch in the bistro.Continue reading “Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #14 High Views of Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland”

Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #13 Maleny, Montville and Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Queensland

This is the thirteenth of my Highlights and today we visit an area of Queensland which is enchantingly beautiful. High in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, north of Brisbane, you’ll find the two small towns Maleny and Montville,  which have the reputation of attracting artists and other creative people. Here in Montville we found an exquisiteContinue reading “Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #13 Maleny, Montville and Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Queensland”

Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #12 Binna Burra, Gold Coast Hinterland, Queensland

This is the twelfth of my Highlights: a visit to the mountain eyrie of Binna Burra, location of the heritage-listed lodge where I have in the past spent happy days and weekends. Binna Burra occupies a lofty peak in the Gold Coast hinterland with panoramic views of Lamington National Park and it fell victim toContinue reading “Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #12 Binna Burra, Gold Coast Hinterland, Queensland”

Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #11 Tweed Regional Art Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, Murwillumbah, New South Wales

This is the eleventh highlight: the Tweed Regional Art Gallery was an enchanting discovery set in the idyllic landscape of the Tweed Valley. The Gallery showcased the work of Margaret Olley, Australia’s most celebrated painter of still life and interiors. What I learned of Margaret Olley fascinated me. She lived alone in a corner houseContinue reading “Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #11 Tweed Regional Art Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, Murwillumbah, New South Wales”

Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #10 Leura, The Blue Mountains, and the Gold Mining Town of Sofala, New South Wales

This is my tenth Highlight; we have arrived in the beautiful town of Leura, full of quirky shops, white blossom trees, pretty houses and cafes. Here we stayed for two nights. We were now in the Blue Mountains, with majestic views of cliffs and rainforest canopy. At the lookouts – Echo Lookout and Sublime PointContinue reading “Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #10 Leura, The Blue Mountains, and the Gold Mining Town of Sofala, New South Wales”