Lately I’ve been…


  • The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver, having screwed up my courage in the face of its not being The Poisonwood Bible. But it’s pretty wonderful in its very own way so far.
  • Phryne Fisher books by Kerry Greenwood (under strict instructions from my aunt, who was right – I did like them). Very happy to read the ABC is making a series: will be great stylish TV if they get the casting right.
  • Travel guides to Paris and Provence.
  • Prisoners of War by Patsy Adam-Smith – dipping in an out – it’s too horrific to read right through.
  • Seventeenth Century France Through the Eyes of Travellers. Fascinating and often hilarious.
  • Also re-read Pride and Prejudice on my iPod to see how it was on the tiny screen – far too much page  turning for my liking, but fine if you’re stuck – astonished, after so many reads, to find things in the book I’d overlooked or forgotten.


  • New Guinea art and artefacts at the Museum of South Australia. Two afternoons in a row. Too exciting. Identified a few of my arrows.
  • Carrick Hill house and gardens in Adelaide, with a perfect little collection of old English oak pieces and jewel-like paintings by the likes of Nolan, Dobell, Fox, Nora Heysen, Gaugin, fake-Gaugin, and Fantin-Latour. Lalique glass. Gorgeous Streeton of Venice. Arts & Crafts garden including a children’s book trail with a hobbit house and a Secret Garden (although it was far too hot to explore it thoroughly).

Not admiring

  • The new Saturday Age layout, clearly designed without any usability advice.
  • The weather.


  • About poor Mission Beach, where I would happily spend every winter forever. Of all places for a cyclone to cross the coast.


  • Research for Tragédie only, not drafting at present. Have to do the immersion thing – period food, clothes, buildings, streets – before I go much further. Met with the lovely Michael Shirrefs who is full of tips on how to do research in French archives.
  • Ideas for something set in Marvellous Melbourne – maybe a sensation novel – maybe a detective novel – probably both – too early to tell.


  • To Tancrede, a baroque opera in which La Maupin performed
  • Brand New Heavies – just rediscovered a couple of old CDs and forgot how much I loved them

What do you think?

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