Monday, 23 February 2015

Celebrating Australia: A Year in Poetry


My friend, Lorraine Marwood, has just released a new collection of poetry for children with Walker Books Australia.

She'll be appearing here shortly (within the next couple of weeks) but being also a teacher, Lorraine has set me (and other bloggers on her 'tour') a challenge. We are each to write a poem using one of her strategies. Hmm.

So stay tuned while we negotiate her appearance, and I wrestle with a new poem.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Dromkeen Open Day and the John Barrow Collection


Dromkeen lives! The wonderful Bernadette and Tony have brought Dromkeen back to life after it was sold 18 months ago. It's looking grand. The first exhibition is this one - The John Barrow Collection - curated by Books Illustrated (Ann and Ann).


John Barrow was a teacher and principal and picture book art collector and upon his death, he willed the collection to Books Illustrated. This is the first time this very extensive collection of picture book art from the 80s, 90s and 00s has been on show, and it's a ripper!


The trees are still here.


And the view from the new chook house is amazing. Get yourself there for a look. Dromkeen is open Thursday to Sunday 10 - 4 pm.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

What did you do on New Year's Eve eve?

I made sausages!

It is said that the proof is in the pudding, but in this case the proof is in the sausages. Garlic, sage and rose; bratwurst; Jeanma Special; spicy.

Guess what's for tea?


The clueless leading the clueless. But we're learning.


Don't look too closely at these early extrusions






Getting the hang of it


Metres and metres of sausages



Change of guard. Well, change of sausage mix.


We went for normal size, but you can make any size you want with this machine.


Threading the casing onto the ... um ... casing thing?


These are the experts: Jean Ma and Catherine.


Weighing it all up. Ready for dinner!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Farewell First Tuesday Children's Book Club


About five years ago, I was one of the founding members of the First Tuesday Children's Book Club


Since then, we've met in various rooms in the Abbotsford Convent. Sometimes in the yellow room, sometimes in other spaces, but mostly in the room we knew as Mother Superior's Chamber. (Recently it's been renamed but I'm always going to remember it as Mother Superior's Chamber).


It's a great place to meet. It's been a wonderful thing to meet regularly with a bunch of enthusiastic others to talk about children's books.

Towards the end of this year, I made a decision to withdraw from the group. Not because of any failure or challenge in the group, but because I found my year just too full and needed to pull back on something. And unfortunately, book group was it. I'm already wondering whether it's a good idea. The withdrawing that is.


Yesterday, one of our members (thanks Heather) organised a tour of the State Library before lunch. Cathy, one of the SLV librarians, was our guide. It's such a rich and wonderful place that our tour could only hint at its treasures, but it was enough to remind me how much I love this place.


These spiral stairs allowed librarians access to all the books that were held in these balconies. Fit they must have been.


This is an image from one of the books on display in the 'World of the Book' permanent exhibition.

After our tour, we had lunch at The Moat, in Little Lonsdale St, where they gave me a beautiful notebook and pen.

I am so grateful to have been able to meet regularly with these knowledgeable, warm and wonderful people to discuss so many wonderful books. I will very much miss our meetings, but am happy in the knowledge that many more books will receive such respectful and intense attention. Thank you to them all.
Thanks too to Jaz for these photos.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Once upon a beach holiday


To the sea, perchance to see



Still life with lizard



A room with a view




The walk to town


Late afternoon selfie


Upon a little hill


Here's leaf litter to you


Held together with slogans and paint


Too hot to seek asylum here


And finally ... does he look like a half-transformed Frog Prince? I think he does

Queensland Literary Awards

I have been on holiday in Byron Bay (bliss) and was thrilled while there to receive news that Big Red Kangaroo has been shortlisted in the Queensland Literary Awards.
























Big Red is keeping fine company in the Griffith University Children's Book Award category.

For the full list of award categories and shortlists see here