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The end is nigh…

There is a lady in Esperance who, every time she sees me, asks me if I’m writing my next book. When I say yes, she’s always surprised, but even more so when I say I have a deadline. ‘Oh, you have to write to a deadline?’ ‘Yes, yes I do,’ I nod. ‘Really? I thought…

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Editing and Harvest don’t mix

As the time for the unedited proof copies of Purple Roads to go to the printers, nears, my editing time seems to be shrinking – gasp! Late last week I got the third round of edits back and although there’s still a reasonable amount to do, there is a backlog of farm and housework that…

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I love the hustle and bustle of harvest

I love the hustle and bustle of harvest. If you discount the fact that you spend about fifteen hours a day, itching and sticking to vinyl seats that you have to peel yourself off of, harvest could be one of my favourite times of the year. Unfortunately those two things don’t help endear itself to…

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Meita’s first ute ride

There comes a time in every dog’s life, when they graduate to riding in the back of the ute.  Believe it or not there is a lot to learn about riding in the back of a wobbling, moving and bouncing piece of tin! We always tie our dogs on because no matter how seasoned a…

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Frustration at it’s best (or worst!)

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a start to the thunderstorm season like the one we’ve had this year! If you go back to a previous couple of blogs, you’ll read that we have had about 40mm over the last week or so. Well you can make that about 50mm now! The sheep always camp…

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The thunder rolls and the rain falls

  It hasn’t really rained when we wanted it to – well, not in the amounts we would like to have seen this year. The dams around the district have been drying to a puddle, and most farmers that have stock are worried about how they will water them. Us included. It’s amazing how a…

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Guest Blog Post by Barry Nicholls: Not a Love Letter

On writing Barry Jarman’s biography by BARRY NICHOLLS Barry Jarman had coached me at Kensington and once foolishly claimed that I would play cricket for Australia. He was wrong but, on the other hand, he hadn’t only played Test cricket but had also worn a footy jumper for West Torrens, set up a well-known South…

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Sometimes, windows are my eyes

Last week, after many power outages and surges, the microwave blew up closely followed by the TV. I’m not casting any aspersions that the power caused the demise of my two electrical appliances, but it does seem coincidental. We rarely watch TV and I thought I hardly used the microwave…  However not two days after…

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Guest Blog: Charlotte Wood on her new book, Animal People

  Between harvest, shearing, edits for Purple Roads and writing Silver Gums, I’m thoroughly enjoying reading Charlotte Wood’s new Book, Animal People. It’s the topic for my talk with Barry Nicholls on ABC radio next week – I hope you enjoy her blog post.   ALTHOUGH I’ve lived in the city for more than twenty-five…

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Hay, bales of hay!

Making hay is one of the fun things about the farm … unless you get hay fever, like I do!   For the last few weeks I’ve been sneezing my head off and will continue to do so until harvest has finished.     Rye grass, grain dust, normal dust and ‘fines’ (minuscule particles of…

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The Sunny Cowgirls & the Esperance show

I heard the other day, through some form of media that people seem to think that the Agricultural Shows are dying. I beg to differ. Yesterday The Boss donned his good clothes, the kids counted their pocket money and I packed my camera and we drove the 100km to the Esperance & Districts Agricultural show.…

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Jennifer Byrne, Monica McInerney and Lola’s Secret!

I think you all know that Monica McInerney is one of my favourite authors. We’ve talked about At Home with the Templeton’s through the Book Club here. The Alphabet Sisters is an amazing book, based in a country town, in SA called Clare. I grew up an hour and a half north of Clare and…

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The scent of hay

The Esperance Show is next Friday and Saturday and without fail we are usually making hay. Many years ago, we would be showing lambs or involved with the carcass competition (both cattle and sheep), but good quality hay is now more important that anything else. Especially when the season cuts in early like it has…

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And the thunder rolls…

Weather is such an interchangeable thing. And sometimes it changes within minutes. The boss came home for lunch today – a luxury at this time of year, what with hay making, shearing and lambs to weigh, all in the next twenty four hours. After a cup of tea and a chat, he wandered back out…

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Dads and Daughters

Every daughter has a special relationship with her father. Mine is no different. I love my Dad to the moon and back and I’m so proud of what he has achieved in his life and the obstacles he’s had to over come to do it. A few weeks ago, Mum and Dad flew to Alice…

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A rude awakening

Yesterday was busy to say the least. But then again, it seems that’s the norm in my world and has been for many years! We’ve got over one thousand prime lambs ready to leave this morning and tomorrow. We’re also (still) shearing and the hay is nearly ready to be cut – time for me…

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Meet Meita

Meita (pronounced ‘metre’) is our new pup. We seem to have a few coming along don’t we? Well unfortunately Buck and Hogget both were killed by snakes, last year, so the only working dog we have at the moment is Wally (also know as Law – our dogs have about five (nick) names but they…

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My new editor

  I’m lucky enough to have a writing partner. He’s pretty good at what he does; he keeps my feet warm, doesn’t answer back and sits there with his head to one side listening to me argue with myself about plot points. It seems that I often bore him though. That’s when he will lie…

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Stop and smell the (canola) flowers

      I’m not sure why it’s heart wrenching, incomprehensible tragedies that make us stop and look at our lives – I don’t understand why we can’t see what we have until something happens. Why have I enjoyed the hugs I’ve had from my children more this week than others? Why couldn’t I appreciate…

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