A question of territory


Last week Charles Wooley interviewed me from Tasmania for his radio show, which goes out to 50 regional stations across Australia.

Clearly a discerning and intelligent man, since he loved my book – he proved to be warm, funny and empathetic as well. He especially loved the stories about the Spotted-tailed Quoll who lives and breeds in my shed.

When I put the phone down I was still chuckling at his offer to play the quoll in the unlikely event of a TV show of the book.

Not two hours later a movement about a metre inside the sunlit open doorway of the cabin caught my eye. There she was, as bold and spotty as you please, walking into my kitchen in the middle of the day!

I uttered a small squeal – not the clichéd mouse-sighting kind – just a shocked involuntary ‘What-the …!’ She glanced at me, turned, and unhurriedly waddled back out the door, her long tail held straight out behind. I got up from the desk and followed her, grabbing the camera as I went.

She hadn’t gone far. From the doorway I watched as she jumped into my ‘burnables’ bin, fossicked about, then leapt back out on to the verandah with a potential but unproductive piece of scrunched up printer paper.

I could have told her that story was no good, but it must have smelt of the buttered slice of pumpkin and walnut loaf that had sat on my desk papers at morning tea.

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I ought to be planting trees…


It’s a glorious autumn on the Mountain. The Woman ought to be out there planting trees but is spending too much time indoors right now, doing interviews, preparing talks, because her book is out!


The Woman on the Mountain is now in any bookshop worthy of the name. Published by Exisle Publishing, (ISBN 978 090 898 8709) and distributed by Pan Macmillan, it’s a candid meander through my life up here alone on my remote mountain wildlife refuge – answering the oft-asked question, ‘Why do you live way out there?’

The horses and the quolls and the wallabies have as large a role in the book as I do, although the defiant machines on which I depend for my self-sufficient lifestyle take up quite a few pages too.

There’s always something new and unexpected happening here in the busy natural world in which I dwell, so this site can be my ongoing notebook.

Catch what the critters got up to lately or my most recent saga of mechanical ineptitude.