Showing posts from 2015

SO THAT WAS 2015....

Yep, two days left and 2015 is over. It was a full on year in so many respects. A few health glitches this year but mostly it has been amazing. (Warning, there will be a photo montage ahead)

We ventured forth and saw some lovely gardens and came back inspired...and with plants.

Due to this inspiration three new garden beds were dug and planted, definitely Works In Progress, but I have a vision. Whether they become anything like I imagine is hard to say.

During 2015 we had one child move house, one child become engaged, one child tell us they are about to become a parent and one child get married.

A very exciting year (and we only have two children!)

We also spent a lot of time with Little Miss...which is always a joy...and a learning curve for all involved.

We went to see animals...

and Disney Princesses with a stop at a lovely tea room on the way.

It was also a year of a bit of culture... I say a bit. From the Buena Vista Social Club to Stephen Fry, Sweet Charity to the Lion King...…


Yes tis the season (yet again, where has the year gone?) for the mad rush of shopping for just that right present. If you have a writer in your life, what do you give them?

Stationery never goes amiss. Whether a new notebook  or pad, a pen or it notes, paper name it. I have yet to meet a writer that doesn't ooh and ahh over stationery, and fondle a brand new notebook with the wonder of what words to fill it. Then that same blank notebook stares accusingly at the writer for most of the year.

There is always books. Whether a favourite author or perhaps a new genre, a biography...a book on writing perhaps such as Stephen King's On Writing (happily sits on my shelf).... a dictionary or even subscription to a writing magazine such as Writer's Victoria...or the UK one.

How about a new coffee cup (the consensus is that writers drink nothing but cups of coffee and red wine...lots of red wine) make that a HUGE coffee cup (doesn't work for…


We had a busy involved shopping and baking and Christmas light looking (quite disappointing up here)  with Little Miss. It was lots of fun, a tad tiring, but fun. Then on Sunday we had the work family Christmas do at Luna Park.

Little Miss was very impressed. Not only did she get a present but food, lots of rides (this year we managed seven), she also got to meet Santa.

If Santa doesn't know by now that all she wants is an Elsa doll, then he isn't listening. She has told each Santa helper we have met, as well as written letters stating this fact. Fingers crossed for her.

 After all this we went to a friend's Christmas party. This is a friend we have known for years...but here's the thing...I don't do parties.

I'm an introvert, and no matter how much I push myself to get out there, do things, attend things, get myself out and about...I still have this urge to just snuggle in at home and not move.

 Parties make me cringe.

I don't mind if I know …


On the weekend my writing group, Lazy River Writers, had our Christmas break up. We tend to have a meal out to celebrate, there is usually festive decorations, a secret Kris Kringle, we also hold a meeting.

This meeting is not for workshopping nor fine tuning a WIP...but we do the usual talk of what we have achieved the past month, our brags, as well as catching up with what has occurred personally.

One  member puts together our Top Five Achievements for the year which is always a great way of looking back over what we sometimes feel has been a year of little success.

We also discuss how our goals for the year have gone. This usually brings much chair scraping, much mumbling of 'didn't do anything' or the announcement of 'it was a crap year'.

This year, amongst the tinsel and Santa's...and the most yummy food.....

(I have told you that our group does food very very well haven't I?)

It was suggested that since we celebrated our fifteenth year together that …


As I said in the last post, I have been attempting PiBoIdMo...picture book idea month. Although I expanded horizons slightly and allowed it to be a month of children book ideas. Picture book, poetry, short story, novel.

And yes, at the end of the month I had 30 ideas.

I'm not saying they are all amazing ideas, in fact a few are very very boringly ordinary...but...

There are three I am quite excited about. Two could be picture books, one a junior novel. So the ideas were flowing...the difficult part is being in a child's mind.

Although there are many that will say I am well and truly there, childish in so many ways.

Monkey comes to mind....

as does a certain sock puppet who came away with my writing group for a writing retreat.

She really threw herself into this weekend away. She read and she wrote (well she sat behind a keyboard and industriously tapped away- as so many of us do).

She joined us for meals and our lamentations over the publishing difficult it is…


I decided to give PiBoIdMo a go...which is basically Picture Book Idea Month...although I have extended it to picture book and chapter book ideas. One idea a day for the month of November.

So far, so good. Some ideas are simple, some have turned into a few lines or idea has half a page of writing. I always think back to the rumour that Roald Dahl had a notebook with  'write something about chocolate'....the rest became history and Willie Wonka was born.

You would think that because I work with children each day, that finding ideas would be easy. But the two days I work with babies and toddlers, there is not that much conversation.

I will rephrase that, there is much conversation, but quite difficult to understand. Most babies do love to babble and's the deciphering that is difficult. It's the Storytime day when I have 3-5 year olds, that's where you get some very interesting stories and ideas.

To help gather ideas we happened to have Litt…


As the eldest child you are often asked to do many things. Lift that, move this, feed the dog, organise the family get together. Most requests don't send shivers of panic down your spine like organising an event. Especially organising's like herding kittens.

The trouble begins because we all have families---and children....and some of these children have children. So instead of organising Dad and Kate, myself and three grows to attempting to organise many.

Then there is the fact that so many of us work weekends (really, how anti social is this? Perhaps it is our way of not ever catching up?) Not to mention children's sports and other regular events that occur on weekends.

The first feat was to choose a date.

Then a place to meet. I chose a park, halfway between US and THEM....noonish.

Then I made the stipulation to bring some games to play, there would be no 'electronic devices'. Aren't I a meanie?

With a playground nearby for the you…


Last night we went and saw Stephen Fry in his Telling Tales show. I know he's not for everyone but I think he is a very intelligent man, erudite, funny as well as thought provoking. And I was not disappointed in his show (even though he had been given a not so good review for the show the night before).

He has some great tales to tell....which of course comes with being an actor / comic / writer / performer and knowing so many people. Some of his stories (complete with accents, although he still has to work on his Australian ) were very funny, others quite tragic and deep.

I came not knowing a lot about him as a person and really enjoyed the insights he shared. From his school days (wasted really as he was a trouble maker) to his encounters with the law and drugs, and meeting his friend, and fellow comic / actor Hugh Laurie.

But what I loved was when he talked about his discovery, and soon to be passion, with language.

He was 12 and he had just read this amazing book (borrowed fr…