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?!

Read More

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! 

Read More

‘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!

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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.

Read More

Cabinet of Curiosities…

Thoughts for the new book are coming together.


I feel like a detective placing clues on a board. Some shout louder than others but somewhere in what I am looking at, a storyline is emerging. The legend of the Fox Spirit is whispering particularly loudly. Readers might remember her appearance in The Shifu Cloth. 

Read More

True Grit…

Today, 27th November, would have been my mum’s 91st birthday.

And even though she has been gone for over a year and is now the sparkliest, brightest star in the heavens, we will still celebrate because she was so important to our whole family…

Read More

Inspired marketing…

I was listening to a well-known Australian writer on the radio this afternoon.

She was talking about her latest release – a story taking place in WWI. Woven into the story is a tin of chocolate.

This writer is adept at marketing and promotion. To entice readers to her Meets and Greets, she had a chocolate made by an Australian chocolatier to give to trusty fans. And to make it even more special, the chocolate is blended with blackberry which is the name of the heroine’s horse.

And in a previous novel about perfume, WWI and France, she had a special French perfume blended and readers were invited to buy the limited edition.

Inspired marketing? Yes, I believe it’s very clever…

Read More