The Florentine Diary…

Sometime in the naughty nineties, I enrolled at the University of Tasmania Art School. Specifically the Paper Mill with a view to learning about paper, binding and artist’s books from the inestimable Penny Carey Wells.

It was a fabulous time – not least for the people I studied with who became such friends. Most had degrees in Fine Arts and were teachers of Art. I wasn’t, but it didn’t matter because the level of paper knowledge and binding was pretty well even throughout…

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Shiver me timbers…

The aroma of timbers and the sea.

The sound of people yelling to each other – from the yardarms, from the seats of skiffs, from the wales of yachts as they go about.

The crack of sails filling and the flack of pennants in a stiff breeze…

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Wooly bums…

No writing this afternoon, no swimming either …  instead, bringing the ewes off the oat stubble on a stormy afternoon…

Through dust and dirt…

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It’s a rainy day today.

My garden needs this, especially the herbs and veg which were considering turning their rooty toes up. Today, they are spritely and beaming at me as I look out the window.


More than any other year, this summer has given me a plethora of veggies in the garden and so I invested in the River Cottage Veg Book. And have we been eating flavoursome food?!

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A day in the life of…




Pickling walnuts. Imagine a slab of sourdough, some fruit chutney (maybe apple and almond or fig and onion) some delicious aged cheddar that bites one’s tongue and pickled walnuts on the top.  A thing of joy! 

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‘They sailed away for a year and a day…’

My love of boats began as a child and my attitude toward boats is rather like Ratty’s: that ‘there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats…’

But perhaps I should qualify that.


Whilst I love being on rivers and round the coast, the idea of tackling something like the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in the vicious Tasman Sea and Bass Strait is a step too far. Mind you, in my youthful late-teens/early twenties, myself and other friends all thought seriously about putting our names down to be the ‘Return’ crews, sailing the racing boats slowly back to Sydney. Ha!

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Time flies!

 Gosh! What a year it has been!

And how fast it has flown!

I wonder sometimes if it’s an age thing, that time flies because one is on the downhill run…

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Books I’ve read in 2016…

I’m a very slow reader of fiction.

Partly because I spend a great deal of time reading non-fiction for research. For time off, I either embroider or tumble into bed exhausted at night and manage just 3-4 pages of the fiction novel I might be reading.


 I haven’t counted the books I’ve read this year and will just list those in my library which appealed the most to me as a reader and writer. I’m not a believer in listing books which have not been what I had hoped or which I was unable to finish. I think it’s unfair to the author who may well by liked by many other readers and who has a brand and who has worked hard to pull off a good novel. Reading ‘likes’ are completely subjective and so below is my very subjective list…

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Solitary Confinement…

Sometimes life is for escaping from.

Sometimes it’s for escaping to.

Today was the latter…

Very early this morning, the men decided to go fishing and being totally uninterested in the hunter-gatherer thing, I asked if they could drop me at Maria Island.

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