I love lifestyle blogs. Perhaps as a novelist, I should focus more on reading writers’ blogs but the truth is I have an insatiable curiosity about people’s lives – far more interesting than how this character, that agent or those publishers behave.

One of my favourites is Coal Valley View


Mel, the writer, lives across the valley from our farm and she is a young mother filled with love of life, honesty, empathy and acute powers of observation.

I’m an aged mum, my kids are well and truly fledged, but I live my former life vicariously through Mel’s blog as she raises her four children, farms, gardens and develops a business. She’s also a knitter. For that I read a lover of handcrafts and being an embroiderer myself – bingo!

She reads too and as a novelist, I love readers. They are blood to my body!


Today I climbed one of the huge hills on our farm and looked across the valley to Mel’s. I felt as if I were hang-gliding I was so high. So high that when we held a bonfire and cracker night a few years ago, we had to let the airport know because we are on the commercial jet flight path!

It’s a great valley – filled with vineyards, sheep farms, vegetable farms, stone fruit orchards and olives. It’s a gourmet valley I tell you!


Today as I sat up in my eagle’s eyrie, I thought how I would love a spare $A300,000 to develop 25 acres we call the Ski Run. It faces north, is beautiful soil currently growing a crop of oats for our pregnant ewes and would be a most superb vineyard.


After watching Red Obession, I have decided I would love to grow some pinot grapes. My husband said I’d drink the profits but I reminded him I am a white wine drinker so the vintage would be safe.

Anyway, unless Peter Jackson options my books for his movies, it’s but a dream. Have to say it’s a nice dream though…