Thursday, 28 August 2008


Here I am, trying to sound a teensy-weensy bit cleverer than wot I normally do, with my review of Kate Grenville's superb The Idea of Perfection.

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Thursday, 21 August 2008

Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)

Now that the taste of Moet and spicy crisps has gone from my mouth, and the novelty of sidling up to The Australian and declaring: "I'm a real and proper author, y'know . . . do you really think I should be mopping my own floors and changing shitty nappies?" has worn off (almost) I find myself wondering if it was all just a figment of my imagination because since the flurry of excited emails from my agent, and a request for some biographical information from the publisher: nada.

I know this is completely normal, I know it, I do, in that tiny part of me that still has the occasional rational thought, but it's a bit like being asked on a date by a boy you've been mad about for years and then told: "But not till 2010, ok? Because I've got a whole heap of other dates to go on before I get round to you, hot stuff." You'd start to question it, wouldn't you? You'd play the conversation over in your mind. By the hundredth replay you'd start to hear different words. He didn't ask you on a date, you moron! He asked you what time it was, while looking distractedly over your head at another, prettier girl.

I've been Googling: "Did I really get a book deal?" to no avail. Maybe I don't even have an agent. I might not have written a book at all. Or emigrated. Did I imagine the children, too? Perhaps I am actually a traffic warden who, trapped in her miserable job and growing ever more lonely in her grubby bedsit, has conjured up an elaborate alter-ego to while away the hours.

This is one of the more likely scenarios I have dreamt up in the last fortnight.

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Thursday, 14 August 2008

Fly Me To The Moon

Partly because I'm scared to tell you this for fear of jinxing it, I'm backing into some news slowly and gently... Prepare for lift-off:

I lay awake, thinking: "Oh god, oh god, oh god, what have I got myself into?"

The Australian dashed out to buy champagne and when he returned we stood opposite each other glugging it at great speed while I broke the World Record for talking very fast with a mouthful of inappropriately spicy crisps (with Moet! I'm all class...)

I got up, paced around and walked over to the sink whereupon I seized the washing-up brush and scrubbed frantically anything within reach, humming a deranged tune and waiting for hell to freeze over / a month of Sundays / flying pigs.

I giggled briefly and my vision blurred and the words I was looking at did not make sense so I read them again, and again, and again...

My agent sent me an email and the subject header was: OFFER.


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Sunday, 3 August 2008

Have A Break, Have A Wordle

Last night I delivered the first draft of my new picture book to the kindly goddess-like editor who commissioned it and *might* want to make it into a series.

Here it is in Wordle form. I'm not saying you should be interested, but you might want to make your own

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Saturday, 2 August 2008

Read Without Mother

You may remember last month that The Girl was giving me a bit of trouble on public transport (see Read With Mother). An update, of sorts, on her reading skills . . . 

But first, a newsflash: our stuff has arrived. Yes, all 31 boxes and 2 non-box-but-bubble-wrapped-to-within-an-inch-of-their-lives-es. This was supposed to be a euphoric moment. I'd kept saying to the "Have You Settled In Yet?" Brigade that once our stuff was here the house would feel more like a home. We'd no longer feel like we were on holiday, cooking with one saucepan and staring at empty shelves. Turns out that was exactly the problem earlier this week when I started unpacking - this is really, really it (I know I've said this before but now this is really really really really really it). It's as if I felt secure in the knowledge that only we were here, not all our things, which meant we were still a bit there. But as I unwrapped photo frames and mugs with the children's faces on and the blender that still has a tiny solid bit of soup stuck on it and the old wooden wall thermometre that belonged to my grandmother, I saw my old life wash into my new life and that made me bawl. When the thermometre found itself a perfect place on the wall (which seems to have some of the most bizarrely positioned picture hooks I've ever seen), I bawled more (but quietly, you understand, so the children wouldn't see).

The following day I'd gotten over myself, and started to see more of the benefits of having stuff on the shelves (less acutely visible dust) and toys filling every inch of floor space (impossible to hoover, oh well). And today we've had a truly almighty unpacking session, while the children ran around in their pyjamas helping themselves to popcorn and satsumas and trying to play with every single toy they could lay their hands on for approximately 17 seconds before moving onto the next.

The Girl suddenly went quiet. 

"Is she with you?" I yelled to The Australian.

"No. Is she with you?" he yelled back.

"Let's think about that for a second . . . "

We were both knee-deep in bubblewrap so we shouted for her.

"Yes?" she yelled back.

"Where are you?"


"Where's here?"


"Give us a clue."

"OK. C-O-O-N-A-W-A-R-R-A. Coonawarra! That says Coonawarra!"


"And this one says: K-O-O-N-U-N-G-A H-I-L-L. Koonunga Hill!"

Oh, we realised, she's at the wine cabinet.


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