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”

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 #9 Kiama, the Illawarra Film Festival and the Norman Lindsay Art Gallery, New South Wales

This is the ninth of my Highlights and includes some of the most outstanding experiences of my Australian trip. First, Kiama, which is down the coast south of Sydney. This was a base from which we planned to visit the Illawarra Film Festival in the Phoenix Theatre, Coniston. We were there because my daughter AbigailContinue reading “Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #9 Kiama, the Illawarra Film Festival and the Norman Lindsay Art Gallery, New South Wales”

Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #8 An Odyssey Through New South Wales – Manly and Sydney

This is the eighth in my Highlights series. It opens in Manly, lively, buzzing beachside suburb of northern Sydney, where we stayed in the Quest Apartments overlooking the Harbour. Taking the boat from Manly to Circular Quay was delightful and although I have visited Sydney a few times before in the past this time IContinue reading “Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #8 An Odyssey Through New South Wales – Manly and Sydney”

Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #6 Mangrove Swamps

This is the sixth part of my Highlights. I love mangrove swamps: and enjoyed exploring those on the Boardwalk at Nudgee Beach on the shoreline of Moreton Bay, and also the swamps along the riverside walk at the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens. Mangroves play a vital ecological role: they help to stabilize shorelines and reduceContinue reading “Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #6 Mangrove Swamps”

Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #3 The City of Brisbane, South Bank

Here is the third post of my Highlights; today, the south bank of the Brisbane river, with its Art Galleries, Performing Arts Centre and State Library, along with the headquarters of the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation, where my daughter Abigail works on the news programme), the Big Wheel, and the inspired South Bank Parklands, formerlyContinue reading “Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #3 The City of Brisbane, South Bank”

My Australian Journey 2022: #9 Norman Lindsay Art Gallery, Blue Mountains, NSW

I was delighted to visit Norman Lindsay’s property in the Blue Mountains. He was an extraordinary man who lived from 1879 to 1969 and he was a writer as well as a children’s writer poet and illustrator, a wartime cartoonist, a propaganda poster designer, artist, garden designer and sculptor. His home is now an artContinue reading “My Australian Journey 2022: #9 Norman Lindsay Art Gallery, Blue Mountains, NSW”

Book Review: ‘The Little Ice Cream Shop by the Sea’ by Lizzie Chantree

Today I am pleased to be sharing with you my review of ‘The Little Ice Cream Shop by the Sea‘ by Lizzie Chantree. I discovered this author through a Facebook support group for writers, and my decision to read this book is an example of how good feelings towards an author purely on the basisContinue reading “Book Review: ‘The Little Ice Cream Shop by the Sea’ by Lizzie Chantree”