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Unexpected blooms

I’ve always loved frangipani (plumeria) flowers, ever since I was a kid and my big sister had them in her bridal bouquet. So pretty and such a lovely fragrance. They don’t readily grow down south (of Australia), where I live — they’re more of a tropical plant. But some people manage, and I’ve been trying for years to get one to flower — without success. It hasn’t died, but that’s the best I can say of it.

When a friend of mine moved house a few years ago, she was delighted to find an old frangipani bush growing in her garden. Several years passed but it never flowered for her. She moved it, tried planting it in a different position, but still not a bud in sight. 

A few months ago, in frustration, my friend ripped her frangipani out. She was about to throw it in the green recycle bin when she decided I might want it, so she stuffed it in a plastic bag and dropped it over to me. I thought it would never grow. It was just a couple of thick old sticks, no leaves and barely a root to its name. So I bunged it in a pot at the front porch and forgot about it. 

And lo . . . I have flowers! There they are in the photo above — only two so far, but more coming. And they smell divine. So at the moment at my front door I have a few late gardenias in bloom and frangipani. Bliss.

Mind you, my original frangipani has more leaves than ever this year, but not a single bud of flower. I live in hope, though, that my new plant will encourage it.

Are you a fan of fragrant flowers? What’s your favorite?

ARRA Awards

I’ve been smacked by a friend for forgetting to put this news up here on my blog. My excuse is that I was traveling, but I’m home now, and so . . . 

I went to the ARRA (Australian Romance Readers Association) Awards night in Sydney a couple of weeks ago, and was thrilled to receive four awards:

Strongest heroine (Jane Chance in The Spring Bride)

Favorite Historical (The Spring Bride)

Favorite Continuing Romance Series (The Chance Sisters)

and Favorite Australian Romance Author.

So here’s a picture of me,  grinning like a loon on the night.

It was a huge honor — these awards are voted on by readers — and the full list of finalists is here.

So it was a very exciting night for me and topped off a wonderful day where I had high tea with a bunch of lovely readers, and then the dinner.

Thank you to ARRA for organizing these awards and events. Congratulations to all the other winners and finalists — the  list of winners is here

 

The Untold Stories

I’m up today on Women’s History month at Read-A-Romance, talking about the recognition (or lack of it) that women like Elizabeth Macarthur (her husband was on the Australian $2 note when I was a kid) and for that matter, my g-g-grandmother had. That’s Elizabeth Macarthur on the right, not my G-g-grandmother. She had an altogether stricter, tougher look. So did Elizabeth when she was older.
 
 
How many other stories like this are there, where the women’s work is dismissed as “minding” or “looking after” something that belonged to the men, or or “staying home” while the men did the important stuff?
 
And then there’s the story of why Boudicca (aka Boadicea) revenged herself so terribly on the Romans, who had refused to recognize her right to rule — and gave her and her daughters a lesson they’d never forget.