Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Black Thread

I have just found the cover picture to The Black Thread on www.Amazon.uk.co
It's the first time I have seen it and must admit I am rather disappointed.
My other covers have been far more attractive.
On the other hand, at least there is no doubt that the story is connected with canals and barges.
And perhaps the girl in the picture will grow on me, as she is nothing like the character I imagined when I wrote the story.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Goodbye Goats

I can leave a place I have lived in, even a state or country with no second thoughts or regrets, but saying goodbye to the goats is a bit hard.
I've been running goats for 18 years and have experienced the heart-ache, hard physical work and frustrations with comes with breeding livestock.
I've had angora goats, cashmeres, ferals, even some dairy goats but for the last 8 years I have been running South Aftican Boer goats.
Today, the final 15 were taken off the property today - to a good home, I'm pleased to say.
So, with all the work and traumas I have experiences over the years, why will I miss them?
Goats are the most incredible creatures. They are intelligent (second only to dogs)affectionate, very family oriented, and as kids are the most delightful creatures to watch as they play.
I've helped bring dozens into the world. I've bottle fed some, revived some by giving them mouth to mouth, even kept newborns warm in bed with me.
I've cried when some of my older girls have died or I have had no alternative but to put her out of her misery.
Yes, I will miss seeing the goats from the kitchen window - but after 18 years, it's time to move on.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ulverscroft Large Print books

Though I have packed all my books for the move next week, I was delighted to receive two copies of the large print edition of, The Twisting Vine.
The books arrived today and, though they were published in March, it's the first time I have seen the new cover.
I am delighted with the artwork - it's different to the first edition, though I still wish that the book had been titled, Through Glass Eyes, the title I had written it under, and not the title chosen by the original publisher.
If you are not aware, the publisher of large print books is the Ulverscroft Foundation which is a registered charity in the UK.
The sale of its books provides funds for research, diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases.
Large print books are not only popular with the partially sighted but also with older readers.
Ulverscroft's large print editions books are circulated world-wide.
I am proud to be associated with The Ulverscroft Foundation.
The Twisting Vine in large print can be ordered through your local library.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Sailing home

From the Isle of Pines it was only a two day voyage back to Sydney and again it was calm seas and clear skies.
As we arrived back in Sydney at about 6.00 am, it was too dark to get any decent photos.
It was a good holiday. The onboard service was good and the islands quite unforgettable and as I had been offered an extremely cheap last minute deal, it represented value for money.
Before we disembarked, my friend from Adelaide, insisted on having a photo in the ship's library where a copy of 'Sea Dust' graced the shelf.
It seemed fitting to leave a copy there as it was the 'Pacific Sun' I had planned to launch 'Sea Dust' on 18 months earlier.

The Isle of Pines

The Isle of Pines should be called the Isles of Pines as there are dozens (probably hundreds) of small coral atolls decked with pine trees. They seem to be growing out of the sea and some look almost like rafts floating on the ocean.
Thanks for the panorama softwear, Rob, I was able to create a few conjoined shots.

Pacific island paradise

I'm afraid my photos don't capture the colours of the sea. They were amazing.
When I got the the bridge which joined the islands, I decided it was time to turn around. I was too tired to walk all the way back but I was lucky to get a lift back from a local.

Ouvea - a beach like no other

From Vila we sailed to the French island of Ouvea.
With no town or dock, the ship dropped anchor beyond the reef and passengers were ferried on shore by tender.
Nearly everyone from the ship stayed closed to the jetty where they were dropped. They were happy to laze in the crystal clear water.
Ouvea must have one of the longest pristine white beaches in the world.
The sand is so fine - the sea so many different shades of blue - I just walked and walked picking up seashells on the way.
I had miles of beach to myself.
On the photo you can just see where the point is on the horizon.
When I rounded the point I came to the bridge where the island splits in two. Inside the reef was a beautiful lagoon.
You can see the bridge in the next photo.

Port Vila - Vanuatu

After three days cruising on perfectly calm idyllic seas, the Pacific Sun docked in
Port Vila on the island of Vanuatu.
It reminded me very much of Bali.
The town was quite small with lots of shops selling local wares. The main difference was that there was no pressure to buy and no bargaining.
The people are very happy and the local dancers were very obliging.
I couldn't resist a photo with the kids and though they were really dark skinned until I got on the ship and realised my hands and the sides of my trousers were covered in coal dust!

The Pacific Sun shines on Sydney Harbour

It was sunset as P&Os Pacific Sun steamed out of Darling Harbour - and the timing was perfect.
What a thrill it was to see the Opera House on one side and Lunar Park on the other and see the Sydney Tower poking up from the city's skyline.
Sydney has certainly changed since we lived there back in the 70s but the memories of all the trips we took to Manly on the ferry soon came tumbling back.
As we went under the bridge I think all 1800 passengers were on deck to savour the moment but it was amazing how quickly they disappeared below.
Most of them missed the setting sun - it was magic!
I remained on deck until the ship had sailed out of the Heads and set its course to the north east and the islands of the South Pacific.

The coat-hanger brigade

Today is officially the Queen's birthday in Australia - but that's not the reason these folk are waving.
They are standing on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge as the Pacific Sun sails under (with only inches to spare between the top of the funnel and the bottom of the bridge).
It's two week since I joined the 'Sun' on a Pacific Island cruise.
Having come back with the flu, I have only just got around to uploading a few photos.