The Mountain

This drawing was meant for Chapter 5, ‘Living for Weekends’, of The Woman on the Mountain. We’d moved there into the still very basic cabin, and I’d taken the writing work from my old design firm… In a way it’s as if I remained part of the company even after I’d left and moved back […]

The sun on your knees, a view of birds and bush… who’d want an indoor loo? This sketch and extract is from The Woman on the Mountain, Chapter 14, ‘The Simple Life’. ‘Contrary to popular mythology, the simple life is not found in the country but in the city, where you simply pay your bills […]

This drawing was meant for Chapter 12 of The Woman the Mountain, ‘While the woman’s away…’ which is mainly about the wildlife moving in and taking over when I wasn’t there. Here’s the relevant extract about one of the ultimately futile attempts to keep them out… When the rain finally stopped, I began fortifying the […]

When I wrote my first book, The Woman on the Mountain, I originally intended to illustrate it. After all, if Gerald Durrell could have illustrations in books for adults, why couldn’t I? In the end, the book having grown longer, we decided not to use the pen and ink drawings. I still have scans of […]

My verandah is a great spot for watching the sunset light up the escarpment or the sunrise blush the sky over the ridge. But only twice have I been lucky enough to be out there when the moon rose early enough for me to catch it creeping up past the ridgeline. Once it popped into […]

As at my old Mountain, the sky here is as important for my visual delectation as the land. And I am as fanciful about what it offers. Like this sunrise, where the billowing white foreground cloud looked so like bushfire smoke, unlikely as that was, that I had to go out and sniff the air […]

One of the reasons I just have to live near mountains is that they never look the same. Sunlit or moonglowed, gaily golden, broodingly black or morning misted, their interaction with the sky and the light makes for a perpetually changing visual feast. As at my old Mountain home, I can never decide which I […]

I am probably irrevocably hooked on mountains and their moods. The facing mountains are closer here than they were on my previous Mountain, but are similarly on my north-east, so also flaunt their moods most of a morning. Their moods are partnered with the clouds descending from above and the mists drifting up from the […]

As you see, I have moved from what was my mountain and its range to a new set of mountains. This is what I woke up to the very first morning. So I (and you) can look forward to many good sunrises. I am tucked into the side of the hill in this mountain-ringed narrow […]

On my last day here on this mountain, nature is turning it all on for me. A little glimpse of the things that symbolise what I love most here. Wallabies and their joeys were all around, the camellias and bulbs were still in flower, and the bush beyond was glistening with sunshine and dew. The […]

As I pack and move out 36 years’ worth of my magpie collection, the cabin is far emptier than ever since it was built. I am appreciating the texture of the more revealed expanse of mud walls, freshly emphasised with the repainting (with natural paints of course). I am admiring each treasure before I pack […]

On the first day of July I woke to our coldest morning yet this year — 4ºC — and light patches of frost. Frost always surprises me as to where it is found and where not, but its decorative and novelty values are always appreciated here. My favourite rock with its gloriously complex lichen adornments […]

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