Book Review: ‘The Winter Guest’ by W.C. Ryan

I was engrossed by this historical novel set in Ireland in 1921 among The Troubles that exploded in 1919 in the Irish War of Independence after the First World War. The Winter Guest by W.C. Ryan brings our investigator and first person narrator Tom Harkin to the atmospheric, crumbling and haunted ancestral mansion of theContinue reading “Book Review: ‘The Winter Guest’ by W.C. Ryan”

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: ‘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”

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 #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 #4 Roma Street Parklands, Brisbane

Here is the fourth post of my Highlights. Today, Roma Street Parklands, Brisbane. Reclaimed from a railway goods yard (and using land which was, of course, prior to that, used for thousands of years by the local indigenous peoples for ceremonies and meetings), these exquisite parklands are a joy to wander through and to restContinue reading “Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #4 Roma Street Parklands, Brisbane”

Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #2 Mt Nebo, Mt Glorious, the Great Dividing Range, and Somerset Dam

Here is the second post of my Highlights: and today, one of my favourite areas, the mountain backdrop behind Brisbane, which is of course part of the Great Dividing Range. First of all, Mt Coot-tha and its Lookout, a hugely popular destination for tourists which also has a lovely restaurant/cafe where visitors may enjoy theContinue reading “Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #2 Mt Nebo, Mt Glorious, the Great Dividing Range, and Somerset Dam”