Genius and Rapture:

Going by train to the city has its advantages. As it takes a little over an hour each way, one is able to read. Today I started a book Janet, (an author/ teacher/ friend), lent me yesterday. Such friends are rare and precious!

What a delight to find such an interesting book. It is called ‘Dear Genius’, The letters of Ursula Nordstrom, collected and edited by Leonard S. Marcus. I wonder how many of you have read it?

Ursula Nordstrom, (UN), worked for Harper & Brothers, New York, for more than forty years. She became the first woman elected to the Board of Directors, Harper & Brothers in 1954. She was a most outspoken and caring editor in the Department of books for Boys and Girls for many years.

This is a quote to give you an idea of the sort of person she was:

“Asked pointedly by Anne Carroll Moore, the New York Public Library’s powerful superintendent of work with children, what qualified her, a non librarian, nonteacher, non-parent, and noncollege graduate to publish childrens’ books, Nordstrom just as pointedly replied, “Well, I am a former child, and I haven’t forgotten a thing.”

Her letters reveal her strength of character. It is exciting to hear of someone who would support writers she thought had talent, even during their difficult, non- productive times. I shall enjoy reading further…

Our trip to the city was to meet our new grand daughter, Hazel Elsa. Such perfection, and it makes one realize that miracles still happen. She was born yesterday and her new parents are understandably besotted, as are her numerous grandparents.



Magic Pudding:

On Christmas Eve last year I realized that our plum pudding we’d ordered hadn’t arrived. Chris had thought he’d make things easier for me by ordering the pudding for the first time. I e-mailed the company with no response. Chris rang and spoke to the Manager, who was very apologetic when he realized that it was their genuine mistake. (And it had been paid for earlier in the month).

The Owner/Manager said he’d make up for this upsetting dilemma on the 6th January, when they returned to work. He realized Christmas could be an emotional time, especially when catering for larger numbers. He was very sympathetic, and that  made me feel better.

Fortunately I had time to make a pavlova and a pecan tart, (for our Canadian and American members of family). In fact there was no drama.

On the 6th January, true to his word we received a phone call to say our bank had been refunded, plus a parcel was on its way. Opening the parcel, a few days later, not just one plum pudding, but two, plus a Christmas cake!

The smaller plum pudding we tried immediately. It was superb, just like my mother’s. The cake too, was moist and delicious. So any Australians reading this, I’d like to put a plug in for this wonderful company. The Newcastle’s Pudding Lady makes these delicious treatswhich is a family company and the food is really superb. (available on the internet)


Review: ‘Winter Wish’ Dixie Minor

Dixie Minor’s Y/A book, ‘Winter Dream’, is set in the shadow of the north Georgia Mountains. The culture of a country town is reflected through the eyes of 18-year-old Jessie.

The loss of her mother at an early age permeates the story that encapsulates the uncertainties of youth.

Turmoil and dangers disrupt this peaceful town; combined with boy friend issues; suspense is maintained.

Jessie’s maturation is shown with her realization that she is not responsible for other people’s problems and happiness.

This book retains wholesome family values, without resorting to horror and terror. A welcome gift for any teenager. Dixie Minor is a fellow blogger and can be found at:

Egg Shells and glass shards:

Home again, so much to say, but feeling gagged! There was so much I accumulated and wanted to share with you all, but daughter no. 2 proceeded to tell me the dangers of blogging:

  • Never use your real name, (too late!)
  • Change names of your family members
  • Never put up family photos (too late!) especially without permission.

As a result of sharing my memoir, ‘Enduring Threads’, with my three children, Daughter 2 has changed her surname….

Writing has been good for me, but I really didn’t think it would be so bruising to others. Perhaps I had sheltered them all these years and I hadn’t realized how affecting and hurtful the book might be. There is so much more I could have written!

My daughter-in-law read two versions and advised me of some changes she felt might be advisable. She floats above the flotsam and jetsam. I don’t think my son or other daughter have read the book, apart from the first 50 (fairly safe) pages. So, shall put it aside for a time and think about things… Perhaps to be published after my death? Then I could add those things I took out.

Fantasy- land beckons, where my fictional characters can do what they please and eggshells are not made of glass shards.

Planning, planning, planning:

Retirement meant I had no deadlines, and I wallowed in nothingness and gardening for a time. Then with some broken bones, I couldn’t garden, and frustration set in.

Writing has meant that I have to plan. There are still chores that need to be done and lists  prioritise so that I don’t forget. My short term memory is faulty. Writing, I lose all sense of time. Regular habits; (such as walking, are routines that help to keep Chris , me, and Millie healthy), are essential.

There are still things I put aside, for instance, seeking out publishers. That seems to go into the ‘one day’ basket. Family takes precedence. Tomorrow I am off to Canberra to see two children and their families. One 40th birthday and one 1st birthday are to be celebrated. These mile stones are important, things we can’t recapture if we don’t make an effort to be there.

Subsequently, I shall be off air for four days. Shall miss you all, but shall try and catch up on my return.


World Body Painting:


If you look closely, this is a person.

This parrot is in fact a female model who posed for ‘world bodypainting champion’ Johannes Stötter.

The Italian artist spent weeks planning the transformation, taking four hours to paint his subject with ink.

The model’s arm forms the parrot’s head and beak, and her legs form the wing and tail feathers.

Smiling is like a breath of fresh air

Laughter is a precious gift that gives me a feeling of well-being. Luckily I have a husband who triggers my laughter buttons.

Reading is another treat. Let me share with you something that made me smile recently, reading ‘The Rosie Project’:

‘Jesus addresses the angry mob who are stoning a prostitute: ‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.’ A stone flies through the air and hits the woman. Jesus turns around and says, ‘Sometimes you really piss me off, Mother.’

It is the little things that make life precious. M-R asked on her blog what is meaningful and what do we like? There are so many facets of life; I don’t know where to start. Laughter and humour are just the beginning.