ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Monday, 30 August 2010

Because i am a Girl - Proceeds go to Plan, one of the world's largest child-centred community development organisations.


I've been blown away by reading this book and just know you will be affected also if you haven't already read it. The whole concept is fresh: sending seven authors to different countries to speak to young women and girls about their lives, struggles and hope. Marie Staunton, chief executive of Plan UK had the idea that authors would be invaluabe in making victims visible. The Random House Group found writers willing to travel and see situations with a writer's keen eye, rather than the eye of a development worker.The seven writers are Marie Phillips, Kathy Lette, Joanne Harris, Irvine Welsh, Deborah Moggach, Xiaolu Guo and Tim Butcher. You will agree they are writers of some calibre. 

The Because I am a Girl (BIG) campaign aims to break the cycle of uneducated mothers giving birth much too young to underweight babies who in turn grow up to be unhealthy and uneducated. As part of the campaign, they are following a group of little girls and their families until 2015. 

Join this campaign by clicking on www.becauseiamagirl.org.

Someday I will prove that I am no less than my brothers...Rakhi, 17.

Joanne Harris is my favourite author on the list, and that may explain why I was especially taken with her style when she describes so powerfully and poetically the story of the Great North Road in Togo.

An excerpt:

One of the watchers on this road is Adjo.

In the mornings at five o'clock, when she gets up to do her chores, the road is already waiting for her; humming faintly; sheathed in mist...The road is like a crocodile; one eye open even in sleep, ready to snap at anyone foolish enough to drop their guard. Adjo never drops her guard...Until two years ago, she went to school, and the road saw her walk the other way, dressed in a white blouse and khaki skirt and carrying a parcel of books. In those days, the song of the road was different; it sang of mathematics and English and geography; of dictionaries and football matches and music and hope.


Now,

Traffickers. Such a cruel word. Adjo's mother calls them fishers of men, like Jesus and his disciples. Their river is the Great North Road; and every year, they travel north like fishermen to the spawning grounds. Every year they come away with a plentiful catch of boys and girls, many as young as twelve or thirteen...they smuggle them over the border by night...sometimes they take them over the river on rafts made of wood and plastic drums...they sell them for the price of a bicycle.

Adjo knows the road is a god, a dangerous god that must be appeased...sometimes it takes a stray child, So Adjo sings; Don't let them come, please...

The road sings a song of loneliness; of sadness and betrayal. It sings of sick children left to die along the road to Nigeria; of girls sold into prostitution; of thwarted hopes and violence and sickness and starvation and AIDS. It sings of disappointment..


There are so many gods in the land of Togo. River gods; road gods; all may be false gods. But the real power lies in the human heart; its courage; its resilience. This too is the song of the road, and through the voice of children it endures and grows more powerful every day; sinking its roots deep into the soil, sending out its seeds of change wherever the wind will take them.

Adjo knows change will not happen today. Or this year. But maybe in her lifetime -
Now that would be a thing to see, don't you think?

I hope you learned a little something new and I hope I have been inspiring enough to encourage you to buy the book and/or join the campaign.

Denise..:)


Friday, 27 August 2010

Travelling Solo - Word Painting Blogfest entry

Thanks to Dawn Embers  for hosting the Word Paint Blogfest. Description is called for, so I've tweaked the beginning of a short flash I had in the 'forgotten' file. Read and enjoy, then use the link above to read some more...


She was hurting all over. The mattress was lumpy and scratchy; her sides ached from tossing and turning. She felt something biting, stinging her face. She groaned, clapping her hands, trying to scare whatever it was before she was eaten alive. ‘Ouch!’ she whimpered. ‘Pesky little creatures!’ she snarled through clenched teeth. She slapped at the air a few more times, then groped around, looking for a light switch.

Her water glass fell with a clunk and a splish onto the wooden floor. ‘Darn!’ she whispered as loud as she dared. ‘Ha!’ Finally her fingers found an object and she pressed hard. ‘Whoops!’ she squeaked, clamping her hands over her mouth. The radio blared, filling the night with foreign chatter. She felt a knob and turned...Phew! Silence…

She looked around in the semi darkness, alert to strange sounds seeping in through her tiny window.The call to prayer was echoing across the rooftops. The city was awakening. She knew that somewhere on top of a minaret there was a muezzin calling the faithful to the mosque to pray. But did he have to use a microphone? Her poor head.

She held her head in her hands, gathering her thoughts, waiting for her heartbeat to settle. Then she discovered what felt like an old-fashioned light switch.

‘Whoa!’

Her feet hit the damp floor. She gasped, aghast. Miniscule moving mites covered her bedclothes. She couldn’t make out what they were. What creepy crawlies do they have here? How did they get in? Did I bring them with me in my backpack? Did I brush against something on my way up the stairs?

Never mind how they got in. They were here, now, thousands of the little blighters. She threw back the moist covers and got to work, smacking madly, making little red smears on the greyish-white cotton. ‘Take that! And that! You little monsters!’ she hissed.
Seeing no further signs of life, she ripped the sheets off the bed and shook them, snapping hard, imagining tiny black bodies floating in the air. Smiling grimly, she straightened the bedding, wondering if she’d be brave enough to dive back in. Why not! I’m not some wuss! She snapped off the light.

She tried to sleep. But she couldn’t stop imagining little critters crawling around in her hair like PacMan, Chomp! Chomp! After awhile the thought was comforting. She tossed and turned, scratching her head, her arms, her stomach, thinking, thinking...
Solo travel could be a bitch. Even PacMan was company.



So please leave a comment, then click the link above to read more.


©Denise Covey, 2010


Friday, 20 August 2010

Black Angel - Life of Crime/#fridayflash

Black Angel


Black is my new favourite colour.


Your hair is the first part of you I see as I push you into the world. Amidst the euphoria and pain I am surprised to see a little head covered in black. Sure, it is messed in little curly strands, mixed with blood and fluid, but when the nurse washes you and hands you to me wrapped in a shawl as soft as fairy down, your hair is a halo of black fuzz. As I gaze at you I fall in love. I hold you close and kiss you and blow soft puffs of air across your head, catching my breath in wonder.

Art is blonde and I'm a redhead. Go figure. But I love your black downy fuzz. It goes so well with your bright red wrinkly just-been-born skin.

I'm ready to leave the hospital when I get a huge shock. You’ve gone bald. My God! Your beautiful black hair is no more. No one warned me about this. How can this be? To go from fuzzy black to bald overnight. Obviously I hadn’t read the baby books closely enough. Is there something wrong with you? No, I'm told. This is quite normal. Normal, I huff, no one told me I was going to have a bald baby. I hug you close, mourning the loss of your baby locks. It looks like I’ve given you a zero cut with Art’s clippers. It’s ok, I'm told, she won’t stay bald for long.
#
Within a week your hair grew back, but this time it wasn’t black, it was blonde.

And blonde it remained, except when you were sixteen and you and your friends decided to go goth at a pyjama party. When I picked you up, there you were, one of six gorgeous girls with charcoal-black hair, thrift-shop black overcoats and black Doc Martens, laces trailing like old spaghetti. My mouth was open, ready to tear strips off you, when I realised that you hadn’t gone black, you were…

…red, see Mum. I wanted to be a redhead like you. Whaddayathink?

It’ll grow back, I say, a bit at a loss.


The redheaded phase only lasted a few months, then the blonde was back but with a red tinge. I wondered why you didn't go black like your friends who kept their black hair, their overcoats and Docs, then added piercings, tatts and attitude, but I was pleased you didn't take it all on board.

How I loved your long strawberry-blonde curls. You were a Botticelli angel come to life. My heart did somersaults just looking at you, lying there in your dark room at night, clutching your red teddy bear, your hair wavy on the black satin pillowcase with its single red rose.

Art was beside himself, terrified every time you went out at night. He'd pace the floor, look at the clock, look out the windows.

I prayed.

Art always hated your friends, especially Jack with the black mohawk, stiff as a weapon. You were Art's little angel. He never wanted you to grow up.


He got his wish.

Who would have thought that you'd be caught between Jack and Art's hatred? Who would have thought you'd take the fatal blow? Oh, Art...Art...Angel...Angel...

Here you are, lying so close to me on your four-poster bed with its black drapery. But tonight your beautiful strawberry-blonde hair is hidden from me. Except for one curl, caught in the zipper of the slick black body bag.

Black is no longer my favourite colour.



©Denise Covey, 2010


Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Blog Breakout - Please take a peep


Just a quick newsflash to say that I now have 4 blogs in case you haven't noticed! For my followers on L'Aussie Writing you've probably seen that I've undergone several changes as I've sorted out my focus and gone from a thinker to a cowgirl, yee haa. I can't promise my look will never change again. Already those trees appear a little dull...and there's just so many cute skins out there. Hmm...

So here is a brief description of my blogs:

  • L'Aussie Writing - right here - my everyday writing blog, flash fiction, story excerpts, writerly bits and pieces
  • Pichets in Paris - my French indulgence - Paris/France/European photos, travel stories, history, French-style decorating and information blogs
  • L'Aussies Travel Blog - photos, stories, links about Australian/Asia Pacific travel
  • Muscular Dystrophy Blog - information, stories, links regarding disability and MD in particular. Trying to raise awareness of this degenerative disease.
So I hope you'll pop over and take a look at my other blogs and consider following. All my blogs can be accessed by the 'My Other Blogs' link at the top of L'Aussie Writing.

There's more...if any of you just happen to be interested in antique stationary engines (or know someone who is,) my husband Geo has got in on the act and has started a blog called New Way Station, where he is hoping to meet fellow enthusiasts of these ancient engines. Hey, he's even got demos off youtube!

Thanks, lovely people.



Sunday, 15 August 2010

Weather Blogfest - The Whale Hunt Hots Up

Thanks to Amy and Mia at a Little Slice of Nothing for hosting this blogfest which I see has not been plain sailing (excuse the pun.) I forgot until I saw an entry flash past my blog feed - eek, but I did sort of have something in mind.

This scene takes place about halfway through my WIP novel. The MC’s love, Michael, has left his beloved Ruby behind and is following his dream of intervening in the whale slaughter in the Southern Ocean. Naturally, there is lots of weather involved, adding to the drama.

Read on:

He was growing tired of playing poker every night, watching the interplay of national characteristics—schooled British accents, flat Kiwi vowels, Australian slang, American drawl, Irish jokes. But Michael thought it’d beat steering through icebergs at night.


Restless, Michael wandered out onto the stern. There was a merciless wind, so he zipped up his parka as far as it would go. The big black ship seemed to be diving ahead—plunging, pitching, rolling. Michael stood steady, his feet firm on the deck. He’d managed to adjust to the rolling motion.


‘The weather’s being kind to us so far,’ Irish Mick said as he strolled by, ‘but you just wait...’


Michael watched the sky. To tell the truth, he wondered if this old tank could survive a storm. As he stood watching out to sea, a dense fog rolled over the water and he suddenly felt the wind and the temperature drop. He looked for the big white birds—they glided out of the fog, white on white, then were absorbed by it. Michael was comforted by their presence.


‘Hey, Mike, did you know that the albatross know when a storm is coming?’ yelled a couple of deckhands who were smoking nearby. ‘You can tell everything by the birds, y’ know.’


‘No, I didn’t know. Thanks.’ Michael watched the mist settling on the waves. He felt uneasy. He went below-decks to take a nap.


When he came back up, the fog was rolling over the decks like heavy smoke. It put a veil between him and the water. He could no longer see the wake. We are a black ghost ship, Michael thought, sailing into oblivion. We are all alone—strike an iceberg, tear the hull, down in two minutes. What good would an emergency radio beacon do in this empty vastness? He had a pang of longing for the safety of the Eco Pacific, his state-of-the-art whale watching vessel safely anchored in a marina at home.


*** Cut here in the interests of brevity for blogfest…


Michael went below decks. He fired up his laptop and began his blog post:


In pursuit of unnamed whale ship. Two miles away. The superstructure looks white and the rest looks like fog. Perfect conditions for the whalers. We are moving slowly through a dream of fog and ice. We have passed two icebergs of over 100 feet high and the size of Manhattan. We have been passing it for the past hour and have at least the same to go. I tremble to think what a splash it made as it broke off the glacier.


All around our ship are rafts of broken icebergs—some the size of ships, others as small as a dinghy, some sculpted like animals. The water is as blue as a deep lake. We are in a floating world, a monochrome world—whites, blues, greys and blacks. Little white snow petrels and little Antarctic petrels glide around the ship. The air smells pure—not a trace of smoke, earth, tree, rock, grass. In the water, a few penguins waddle along the edge of ice, flying through the dark water as did their forebears. They stand, gawking up at the black hulk passing by. They stand in a ragged line and wave stubby wings.


This place does not seem to belong to earth, yet the birds, the circling birds, remind you that you are still on the planet.


© Denise Covey 2010


Friday, 13 August 2010

#fridayflash - A Story About Nobody

A Story About Nobody

‘You’re such a nobody!’ he snarled, ‘Somebody like me doesn’t need to be married to a nobody like you!’
She lay down her knitting and looked at him over the top of her tortiseshell glasses. She hoped she wouldn’t lose her place as it was a devilishly difficult pattern.
‘My, my, aren’t we having an attack of the vapours today,’ she sighed. ‘Better watch it. At your age all this yelling and screaming can’t be good with your high blood pressure and all. I’d be a bit careful I would.’
‘You…you...loser…nobody..!’
She watched, fascinated, as his body spasmed and he clutched his heart. He crumpled at the knees like a ventriloquist’s dummy. Thump! His head was only millimetres from her feet. His eyes bulged, burning into hers, eyelashes fluttering. His hand groped for her slippered foot, fingers twitching, seeking somebody, anybody.
But nobody was there.
Her hands reached for her knitting, hoping she could pick up where she left off.


©Denise Covey, 2010



Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Greetings from Bath - Jane Austen is taking over my blog today!

Thanks to Sally Quilford for giving me the idea of having a guest blogger today in honour of her birthday celebrations. You see, she is taking a day off from her blog, handing it over to a guest writer, so she invited everyone who heard about it to do the same. Being such a follower, I thought, great idea Sally! So today I'm inviting guest blogger, Jane Austen, to publish her thoughts on Bath. Over to Jane:




It's great to have the time to write a few words to you, my dear readers. I've been so engaged with the doings of the servants and have just seen to the sending off of one to the prison hulks in London. I believe a likely result for his stealing food from the kitchens of ourselves and our goodly neighbours will be a rather long voyage to...where was that again? Oh, Van Dieman's Land, Botany Bay, that convict colony somewhere at the bottom of the Earth! Yes, I did hear something about such a quaint idea of getting rid of the light-fingered classes.


But I digress. To begin, I think it is a truth universally acknowledged that the reader in possession of a good book gains further pleasure from knowing where the author lived and found inspiration. To this end, I wish to acquaint you with Bath, which you will find mentioned more than once in my writings.




4 Sydney Place, Bath.

Myself, I've been quite busy lately with the move to Bath accompaning my dear parents and sister. We are comfortably settled into our lodgings in 4 Sydney Place, but, in truth, I am deeply unhappy here. I anticipate an imprisonment myself of many months.

I have visited Bath before today, twice, to be precise - in '97 and '98, when I was scarcely in my 20s. I found Bath tolerable both times, but to me Bath is a city to visit, not to live in. Why, you may ask?



The Abbey

Dear reader, Bath as a city is beautiful, with unequalled Georgian architectural style and a comely setting. As you know, it is the principal health and holiday resort in England,  second only to London in importance. But in a city so elegant, there is an incessant social whirl. I confess I find the endless dances, concerts, taking the waters, taking tea and parties such a trial.


The Roman Baths

 I so miss my life in the country. I console myself that I am here for my dear father's health and therefore must show fortitude in the many days, months, years, that lie ahead. This cannot stop my irritation when each morning we receive another invitation for another tedious party. Here I am forced to endure nonsense conversation with scarcely any wit. This is my lot. For myself, I cannot look around me without finding an occasion to laugh out loud, but my countenance must appear serene at all times. Thank God for the fan!

Tea at the Pump Room

My personality will not allow me to fall into the vapours, however. I find I have no other choice but to use my time wisely. At night I must endure the social rounds, but the mornings belong to me. I find my writing is blossoming with such endless material gleaned each night. I am currently working on a main character, Anne Elliot, who will share my dislike of Bath and will become a worthy mouthpiece for me and my prejudices. I am thinking of calling it Persuasion. In it I will include Lyme Regis where we have holidayed. Such a lively town and quite close by. 


Lyme Regis

With my busy social life and my care of my father, I fear Persuasion will languish for many years before I lay my quill aside.


The Royal Crescent


So, dear readers, be patient with me. If not for socialising in Bath, I should be able to write so much more, but on the other hand, Bath has given me so much to burlesque. My mother and my sister Cassandra have discussed with me our future, and we have settled on Chawton in Hampshire after daddy leaves this world. Such a delightful home will allow me to spend endless quiet days writing at leisure in between reviving walks in the countryside. I have three novels to be finished and edited, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Northanger Abbey and I have hopes of writing at least three more, including one I will call Persuasion. 


Occasionally, I dance

Until next post,
I remain,
Yours sincerely,

Jane


Blog Takeover Day - Wednesday August 11th - a different kind of blogfest


Sally Quilford from over at Quiller's Place had this great idea to celebrate her birthday. It's not the first time she's run this Blog Takeover day. Due to its success she does it every year. I've decided to take part so watch out for a funky post tomorrow, Wednesday! Here's the details in case you'd like to participate. Please do. The more the merrier!


Sally says:

I've been reading The Lost Blogs, which is a funny book about the lost blogs of famous historical folk (didn't know Moses kept a blog? Well you do now) Now obviously I can't call my little challenge the 'lost blogs' idea as I'd get sued...


So I'm calling it Blog Takeover Day, and inviting everyone to join me, for one day only, in letting someone else take over your blog for the day on Wednesday 11th August. Now this doesn't mean handing the keys to someone else and letting them post and have access to all your blogger files. What it means is you posting a blog post on your blog 'written' by someone other than yourself.

SUGGESTIONS:
  • Someone famous (and I'd stick to dead to avoid law suits if I were you), or
  • A fictional character you've created (perhaps to promote something you've got published?).
  • It can be set in the past or future(I realise the date stamps on blogs won't show that, but you could probably allude to various things in the blog post to show it is in a different era).

The important thing is that it's not you. It's up to you whether you put up one long post or a series of posts throughout the day, as long as they're by your chosen person and not by you. It's also up to you whether you use 50 words or 500 words. Of course, when you revert to posting as yourself again is entirely up to you.

The only rule is that it must have all the makings of a proper blog post, not a short story, so you/your chosen character might allude to their earlier blogs (which you don't have to write, don't worry), they might link to other sites, or share pictures. But they're only giving a snapshot of their lives. In short, a genuine looking blog post.

Then send the link to me (that is Sally, use the link at the top,) either in the comments on my blog or by email to squilford(at)gmail(dot)com and I'll put them altogether in one post and send peeps your way. Naturally I won't link to anything sexist, racist, homophobic or hate-fuelled of any kind etc, unless it's clear from the blog post that those prejudices/behaviours are being condemned.

So, remember, Wednesday 11th August 2010 is Blog Takeover Day. Join me in helping to put some smiles back on a few faces. If for some reason you want to take part, but can't do it on Wednesday, don't worry. Join in anyway, when you can and still send me the link. Or if you don't have a blog but have been directed here from my Twitter page, what about doing a Twitter Takeover Day? (it's given me an idea to combine the two).


I know it's short notice, but just think of it as the bit of fun it is, and not a serious writing project.

So bloggers, would you like to be someone else for the day?


Saturday, 7 August 2010

High Drama Blogfest - Where are the fire trucks?

Thanks to DLHammons at Cruising Altitude for hosting the High Drama Blogfest/Giveaway.

This is a story I began after the horrendous Victorian bushfires twelve months ago here in Australia. It was hard to write, but I felt compelled. Many people who lived in the serene hill towns outside of Melbourne perished, as tremendous fires destroyed these heavily-timbered towns.

I begin my 500-extract when the MC, Jilly, had just spoken to the fire authority and alerted them to a fire in her area. One of the problems with the Victorian fires was the lack of responsiveness/resources of the fire-fighting authorities. Many perished because of this. Read on…



Her Fire Plan? Jilly slammed the phone down. Oh, God! She was horrified to see the smoke had grown from a whisp to a red twister. The red-orange-black flames were skittering along the ground gobbling the brown grasses and spitting out black stubble. A stiff breeze whipped the flames higher and higher. One good thing -the fire’s direction was away from her house, heading for the opposite ridge.

But she knew the wind could change a fire in a heartbeat.

The gigantic wall of flame was growing before her eyes like a giant genie free from its bottle. She felt an icy creepiness throughout her body even though the temperature was at boiling point.

Where are the fire trucks?

Her knowledge of fires wouldn’t fill a water glass. She’d only just arrived from the city seeking peace and serenity. But even the rawest city slicker knew that water meant salvation. Thankfully the dam just down the hill was still half full from the previous season’s rains, the pump was primed, ready. C’mon. She dashed to the dam and checked the possibilities—did she have enough hose to saturate the house and fill the gutters? Running back up the hill, she clipped a hose to the back outdoor tap and tested it with a few squirts. Fine.

Okay, I have water.

Where…are…the fire trucks?

Running to the front of the house, she was mesmerised by smoke whirling up the hill in her direction like an unwelcome visitor. Oh my Lord! The wind had changed, the fire was coming. A wall of flame was heading her way, galloping across the paddocks like a terrified pack of brumbies. Eucalyptus trees exploding. Animals screaming. Fireballs searing the sky. She was in Dante’s Inferno.

How could fire change so quickly?

She knew she was supposed to go or stay, but she hadn’t thought the fire was going to threaten her. There’d been no warnings. But now it was coming. The power lines were on fire, the wires swinging. Flying cinders were whirling through the sky. It was too late to make a choice—the fire had made it for her. The ferocious blaze was already leap-frogging the valley road and licking its way through her paddock. Escape was impossible.

I’m a survivor. A fire can’t beat me.


Fear got her adrenaline pumping. She ran to the hose. She had to wet everything before the fire reached the dam and wrecked the pump. It was approaching at a terrifying speed.

She dashed inside, wet a towel and wrapped it around her head, covering her mouth. The water pressure was low, but Jilly managed to coax enough out to do the job. She watched as the flames continued their destructive path uphill, well-feulled by the dry summer grasses, dead trees and undergrowth. As she hosed, she looked around in panic. Where could she go? Where could she hide? All she could hear was the cracking of exploding trees and the loud whoosh of the flames as they shattered everything in their path. Everything was on fire. Everything was turning black. Everything was over.

She was surrounded.

Where…are…the…fire…trucks..?



To be continued...

Now off you go to read more high drama stories here.

©Denise Covey, 2010


Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Look out! Handwriting Tag! I've never been blog-tagged, have you?


G'day! As our fingers are made for tapping rather than grabbing a pen and paper these days, some bright spark came up with this tag. You have to actually WRITE IN PEN ON PAPER! Phew! Well, I actually love to write longhand (is that what it's still called?) so Tessa at Tessa's Blurb, I really don't mind being tagged. Unfortunately, there's always rules! Here is what I (and you if I tag you) have to handwrite:

1. Your name/Blog's name
2. Are you right-handed or left-handed?
3. What are your favorite letters to write?
4. What are your least favourite letters to write?
5. Write: "The quick, brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."
6. In CAPS, write: "BABOON, SPLENDOR, ONOMATOPOEIA, FLIP-FLOPS, HUZZAH!"
7. Your favorite song lyrics are?
8. Make sure you tag 7 people to join in on the fun. =)
9. Tickle your fancy and add a special quip for us to enjoy. =)


9. So I forgot this one. Back to typing. A quip: Well, not really, I'm in a rush. And I love to bend the rules. Here's a few lines from a bubbly little poem:

Can you hear the stream flow
Forever running free?
My laughter's in the ripples
And bubbles eternally

So there's nowhere to hide. I hereby tag the following lovelies:

1. Loveablehomebody Ashley Ashbee
2. Flutey Words - Aubrie
3. Helen M Hunt - Fiction is Stranger than fact
4. Selma @ Selma in the city
5. Francine @ Romancing the blog
6. Pamela Jo @ Theres just life
7. Inkcrush - Nomes

So, go on now. Accept the tag and get writing!


Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Winter Strolling Around Brisbane

I needed a break from all the writing, so I decided to go for a lovely stroll on Sunday. Was another perfect winter's day here in Brisbane (26.5 degrees Celsius/79 degrees F), so the great outdoors were calling. I've enjoyed the occasional photo essay from blogger friends, so I thought I'd share my day with you. Grab a coffee or tea and join me...



We really do have kangaroos in the street Down Under, so my first stop was to make sure they had their winter woollies on.








Then it was across to the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), just across the river, to catch the last day of the Ron Mueck exhibition. Luckily I'd bought my ticket online as the queues snaked all the way through the Cultural Centre. Mueck is a London-based Australian artist. If you ever get a chance to see his scarily lifelike sculptures, you'll be blown away by his talent. So astounding. Being an Aussie, I'll put up his man on air mattress. Everything was perfect, right down to the odd scuff on the knee.








After the exhibition it was time for a coffee and French pastry with my friend Sarah. Rather yummy.






To walk off some of the above, we strolled through the graceful bouganvilla walk on South Bank. The light and shade was beautiful.






Then a lovely breather in the Botanical Gardens at South Bank.






Looking up, I saw a splendid little gum (eucalyptus) tree, so very Australian.


                                               

Can you feel the sunshine
Warm upon your skin?
I am the very sun itself,
The love you feel within.
Nearly home, I decided I needed more sun, so I sat in my favourite nook in the bridge near my digs, watched the sparkling water, the ferries, inhaled the peace, then caught up on the latest stories in That's Life Magazine. Unfortunately, none of mine were in this issue. Several of my blogger friends' stories were. I was chuffed to see their names. Rule Brittania!


                                           

Home again. I enjoyed a tantalising champagne with hibiscus flower and syrup on the deck. No better way to end a winter's odyssey.



We all need a break from quill and pen sometimes. How do you spend a glorious winter's day? Or summer's day?