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 ‘The Shadowing’ by Rhiannon Ward

Today, I’m pleased to share with you my review of another of my Christmas book gifts: a gothic novel published in 2021 by Orion Books. The Shadowing by Rhiannon Ward is both a captivating read and a learning experience. I read this book in one evening and it gripped me throughout. Variously described on AmazonContinue reading “Book Review ‘The Shadowing’ by Rhiannon Ward”

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”

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”

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 #7 An Odyssey through New South Wales – Boonah to Newcastle

This is the seventh post in my Highlights series. Today we begin our exploration of New South Wales, from Boonah in Queensland, through the Border Ranges National Park on the Lions Road, passing through Kyogle, Casino, Coffs Harbour and staying our first night at Sawtell. Then on the next day heading to the city ofContinue reading “Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022:A Travel Diary #7 An Odyssey through New South Wales – Boonah to Newcastle”