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Winter Cheer

It’s winter here, and though in Melbourne we don’t get snow, it does get very grey and cold and wet and dreary. And a bit depressing.

I often used to get my mother a plant for Mother’s Day — usually a cyclamen or a flowering begonia, and last year, in May, I bought myself a red cyclamen. It lasted for months and months and I found it really cheered me up.  I’d come out into the living room and the morning sun would be shining on my plants lined up along my wide window sill — and if there was no sun, just grey gloom, the cheerful red flowers of the cyclamen really brightened the day.

Now in the new house I not only have a couple of cyclamens in bloom, I have this gorrrrgeous red zygocactus (aka Christmas cactus) that a friend  gave me when I moved in. She gave me two — both of which she’d grown from cuttings from her own plants. The first one to flower was the lovely soft pink one that I blogged about in May.

As soon as that one finished flowering, I popped it outside in the cold and brought  the red one inside, and it’s started flowering now. Isn’t it beautiful? Beside it is a little Chinese Money Plant that another friend gave me as a tiny baby plantlet, an offshoot of her own plant, and it’s thriving and is now having babies of its own. In fact about half of these pot plants were cuttings or gifts from friends.

Here are the plants ranged along the bookshelf in my bedroom, looking out onto the grey bare trees outside, and keeping me cheerful no matter what the weather. 

That little splash of red beyond the claret and white cyclamen and the maidenhair fern is an anthurium, which has glossy green leaves and red bracts. As you can see, everything is doing well. 

Western Australia

In August I’m heading off to Perth, in Western Australia, on the other side of the continent, to attend my first Romance writing conference in several years — I’d booked for the last two, but each time, the state borders were locked down and I couldn’t go. So fingers crossed this time it all goes ahead smoothly.

I’m giving a workshop on “writing a series” at the Romance Writers of Australia conference — the full program is here.  I’m attending a signing, organized by the Australian Romance Readers Association, along with a number of other authors — see the list below.

Dog and newspapers

When I was packing to move, I wrapped all my crockery and glassware and breakable ornaments in newspaper — it’s how we did it when I was a kid and we moved every few years. Mum had trained me well in the wrapping and nothing ever got broken.

So with this move, every time I unpacked a few boxes, I had a pile of newspaper, and after unpacking one or two boxes, I’d gather it up from the floor and take it outside to the recycle bin.

Milly helped.

Or more accurately, she supervised, checking to see that no creature was lurking among the papers. Because you never know . . . 

She’s very protective like that. 

And when I’d get up to make a cuppa, she guarded the pile from thieves and other  bad people — and dogs. 

Keeping an eye out. Just in case.

Apparently piles of newspaper are fun. I know this because once, when the recycle bin was full and I left a pile of the stuff on the floor overnight, I was woken by someone cavorting in paper . . .  

Not that it was Milly, oh no. Would a dog be so frivolous in the night? Surely not!

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