I follow American writer Tom Ryan on Facebook and on Instagram.
I count myself privileged to have read his books Following Atticus and Will’s Red Coat. Tom’s words are even larger and more infinite than his cherished relationships with his dogs.
On my island, we have yet to go to lockdown, even though we were the first state within Australia to close our borders. We still have freedoms that I’m sure my friends in the UK and USA crave and our Covid-19 figures are light by comparison. But every day, more become ill and the rules strengthen. We adjust as best we can.
Over summer, I was caught in a beach rip and despite that I’m a good swimmer and know all the rules, when I felt the strength and speed of it, panic poured over me like the waves that were part of said rip. Simply, I thought I might drown.
I draw a comparison with the way the world is being dragged along in the Covid-19 rip tide. We all know we should adjust, keep calm and go with the flow, but it’s hard, isn’t it? The constant state of flux, the bad news.
Last Christmas, I gave my husband a gift voucher for a helicopter flight over some of Tasmania’s iconic coastline. Digging around in the letter holder last week, I found the voucher and was horrified to find that the quite expensive tickets were expiring on 27th December, so it became rather urgent to use the voucher if we didn’t want the money to go down the gurgler.
And of course, husband being the wonderful man he is, wanted me to join him.
‘Great,’ I sighed. ‘Triffic…’
Once upon a time…
… we downsized to a small house with a tiny garden. The garden, once established, had to give us (and the dog) joy. And an escape from the city outside the gates, because we’re not city folk.
It also had to promise to care for itself for large tracts of time.
So not a lot to ask really…
I’m back in the Matchbox Garden away from the coast as I prepare for further eye surgery on Tuesday, so had a trip to the nursery, bought a few things and had a little bit of a plantathon… not that one really gets a sweat-up in the Matchbox, unlike my Northern Hemisphere friends who are sweltering!
Today I offer up a bit of a mish-mash of pics because in all honesty, there’s only so much to see in a garden that’s tiny.
We’ve been in the city for 10 days, but are now back in the big garden. Despite lack of water and freezing conditions, the garden has surprised us, doing things with a distinct ‘Where’s spring?’ attitude. My six might show that our garden is gradually waking from winter (such as winter was…)
Inevitably, with contemporary fiction, parallels are drawn between the circumstances in the novel and an author’s own life.
Cathy Kelly, one of the world’s most successful women’s fiction writers, (and who very kindly wrote a superb endorsement for Passage) said: ‘Everyone assumes that if you write contemporary fiction, it is about yourself…’