Al fresco loo

July 26, 2017

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 […]

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The water word is out

July 17, 2017
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After the White-faced Heron staking a claim on my pond, the word seems to have got out to other water birds that the pond is here and the surrounding lawn is soggy enough to easily poke a long waterbird beak into. A small troupe of iridescent Straw-necked Ibis were here the other day, strutting and […]

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Woman at work

July 10, 2017

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 […]

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 Pond tenant

July 3, 2017
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I have never had a waterbird on my shed roof, yet a few days ago this solitary White-faced Heron was using it as a lookout post. A common enough heron apparently, but not here, not yet, to me. The only water nearby is my rather pathetic pond-cum-drainage attempt. Could that be what had attracted him? […]

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Winter blooms

June 28, 2017

Kind of creepily flesh-like, with its pairs of pointy-toed pink ‘legs’ and that gaping orifice;  kind of disgustingly gooey, with those red wet lumps, which yet are almost like the secretions of raw wounds. The pink fleshy stems add to the plant or animal dilemma (hence the ‘phalloid’ species). But the ‘yuck’ factor increases at […]

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Wet school days

June 19, 2017

Few modern parents would allow their children to take the risks that I frequently did to get to school in weather; well, perhaps they still would in the country… From The Woman on the Mountain, Chapter 13: Wet and Wild By the time I was thirteen I was used to our farm creek flooding, when […]

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Winter warmth

June 12, 2017
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I am sorry to see the last of the Glory Vine’s red leaves preparing to drop and join the colourful drifts along the verandah edges. But the little maple trees are taking up the Autumn baton from them. At my last home, the Liquid Ambers were the light sources of dull winter days, but here […]

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Jail baby

June 5, 2017
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This sketch was intended for Chapter two: ‘Getting out of jail’, of The Woman on the Mountain. We lived here, in a village of 200 people, for 10 years before we went bush; both my children were born while here. ‘It would be hard to imagine a more extreme downsizing to a 3 x 4-metre […]

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Cheap thrills

May 29, 2017
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One of the benefits of wintry mornings is that the sun rises later according to the clock, so I need not bolt out of bed at 5.30 a.m. to catch the event. In fact I can catch it from my bed now, being the end of autumn. On this particular morning the light flooding my […]

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Mountain moments

May 22, 2017
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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 […]

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Shaped by land

May 15, 2017
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It’s Autumn, so many locals are burning off their grasslands, or setting fire to their stacked bonfires of fallen branches and creek logjam clearings. Being Autumn, it’s also a time of misty mornings and low-angled sunray surprises in this valley. This particular morning I was treated to a combination of them both, as the sun’s […]

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Bird beaks

May 8, 2017
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There are lots of kookaburras around here, and lots of good vantage points for them. This one chose a particularly photogenic spot, bedecked as it is with lichen. Quite high off the ground, yet the bird can see the slightest movement down there, punk head cocked, poised ready to swoop and put that ferociously strong […]

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