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  • Travel Thursday
    Blog

    Travel Thursday – this week we’re off to Scone

    Travel Thursday

    I’m adding a new weekly theme to the Blog – Welcome to the first Travel Thursday Post

    It’s a while since I shaken things up here and I got to thinking about some fun new things to add. I know none of us has travelled much in the last year, and here in Australia we won’t be going beyond our shores, largely until 2022 but because COVID is pretty under control here we are allowed to travel internally. Not only that, but I’ve recently moved to a new area where there are lots of things for me to explore and share with you. Plus, many of my author friends feature travel in their books and I love a bit of vicarious travel every now and then so off we go on some adventures.

    A Trip to Scone in the Upper Hunter.

    A couple of weeks ago my husband and I went with a couple of friends to Scone, NSW. It’s located in the Upper Hunter about 2 hours from where we live now in Newcastle.

    We chose this place because a longtime mutual friend of ours owns a B&B in Scone. If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you might recall I was in a writing group for a long time called The Writer’s Dozen. It formed out of a writing course at the NSW Writers Centre, where we aimed to write a novel in a year. Well, my friend Angella was in that original group, as was Jen who owns the B&B, so it made sense we’d plan our overnight jaunt there.

     

    Me, jen and Angella
    L-R – Monique, Jen, Angella

    Turns out we didn’t see too much of the town itself but we saw lots of our friends so here’s a little recap.

    Pre-COVID Angella and I often met up at the Customs House Library in Sydney for a Friday writing session and lunch and we hope to get that started again soon.

    Our first stop was the Two Rivers Winery for wine tasting and a lovely charcuterie plate. We sat outside in the glorious sunshine and sampled their delicious wine. The cheese plate was so good we asked where the cheese was from and that led us to the (Cheese factory) so we could grab some cheese and crackers for our hostess, we already had the champagne on ice.

    Two Rivers Winery
    Highlights from Two Rivers Winery

    Jen’s B&B – Russley Rural Retreat is all kinds of adorable. I had been there before but not for four years and it was just as adorable as I remembered it. It was also lovely to see Jen who is hands-down one of my favourite people on the planet. She always, always brings a smile to my face.

    These are some pictures of Russley Rural Retreat.

    Russley Rural Retreat
    Images from Russley Rural Retreat

    That night we went to the Linga Longa Inn which we chose because – that name is so Australian. It was basic pub fare, nothing to write home about except the company. Afterwards we sat under the stars talking and laughing for hours. It was food the soul.

    Linga Longa

    After a delicious breakfast and a lot more talking, we headed back towards Newcastle. We stopped at the anotherĀ  winery – Hollydane – which was gorgeous and I would love to have a long lunch there one day soon (Expect a blog post about that!). We tried some wine (and bought a couple of bottles) and when we were finished a family was taking off in their own private helicopter, which was fascinating to watch.

    We meandered back home after a lovely night away.

    It was a good reminder that sometimes all you need is a change of scene, lots of laughs and good friends to reinvigorate you.

  • Blog

    Two 99cent books, writers’ groups and Musical Monday.

    9/14/2014

    A Fair Exchange - 99 Cent Sale PromoI really am not quite sure how it got to be Monday again. What is happening to 2014? Whoever has control of the handbrake is welcome to pull it now and make things stop or slow down a little bit. I will be totally fine with that.

    Last week I went to an event for writers’ groups at the NSW Writers Centre. My friend Pamela Cook spoke on behalf of our group which was the Writers’ Dozen but these days is the Writers’ Half Dozen. It was a lovely night and really interesting to hear about the many groups out there and see so many enthusiastic writers.

    It was also a sharp reminder of the importance of community and the need we all have to be supported on our journeys. Our little group has had remarkable results in terms of people being published, continuing to write, winning competitions and the other tangible signs of success. More than that though it reminded me what a gift those people and that group have been in my life.

    I’m plugging away on the sequel to Any Way You Slice It, Book 2 in The Upper Crust Series. One of my problems is I have too many ideas and not enough time, and probably discipline, to complete all the projects I would like to. I really must get a working title for that novel. I had one in the middle of the night a couple of weeks back and wrote it down…must find that piece of paper.

     

    Any Way You Slice It - 99c Sale Promo - Upper Crust SeriesAny Way You Slice It is still 99cents and this weekend until Tuesday A Fair Exchange is 99cents too. If you haven’t read them now is the time and if you have I’d really appreciate a review.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Musical Monday has rolled around again.

    As I was driving home from the NSW Writers Centre I was listening to a radio show where people call in requests and someone requested American Pie. I hadn’t heard the song in forever and that was a good thing because when I heard it Wednesday I was struck by the beauty and complexity of the lyrics a bit like when you hear or read something for the first time.

    So given I am writing books about pies I thought it was fitting.