Seven years old? Really!

22 February 2019
My first book, Down to Earth, is seven years old today, it was published 22 February, 2012. My editor, Jo Rosenberg, said she thought the book would sell for a long time and yes, it's still in the book shops and selling well. It helped me get to know so many people I would never have met otherwise and opened up many opportunities. Penguin sent my sales figures yesterday. So far, Down to Earth has sold 23,056 copies. 

A collector of buttons

19 February 2019
My mum was a collector of buttons. She loved roses and magnolias and preferred raw vegetables much more than cooked ones. She was a dedicated family woman, a loving mother to her two daughters and a frequent helper at our school. She was quiet and gentle but fearless when something upset her. One day, she saw the local priest walk out of the pub across the road from our school. Oh boy! Stand back.

My mother, Jean St Claire - 1919 - 1993

Sending love to our Korean family

17 February 2019
Sunny flew to Korea on Friday to spend time with her mum Sun Ja. She has been receiving treatment for an illness for a few years now and Sunny's two sisters have been caring for their mother and doing their best for her.  She's in hospital now so Hanno and I want to send a message to Sun Ja, along with these photos I took this morning.

Hanno, our son Kerry and Jamie.

Baked tortillas (flat bread) for lunch

15 February 2019
Hanno and I generally eat the food we grew up with. We feel satisfied and comforted by that kind of food and we know it's preservative and additive-free and contains a lot of fibre and nutrients.  But we also like spicy food and since Sunny came into our lives she has opened up the dazzling world of Korean food for us.  We're lucky here because we have three chefs in the family so usually there is no mediocre food served. My mum taught me to cook and although I'm not a trained cook, I think I'm a pretty good home cook.  πŸ˜‡

Dried apricot jam and elderberry cordial

11 February 2019
It's been hot and humid here this past week. Most days, Hanno and I both took advantage of the cooler temperatures before 8am and did a few bits and pieces in the garden and front verandah.  Hanno is continuing with general tidying up as well as lawn mowing on the ride-on, and I've been cleaning and organising the bush house, planting up the first of the polystyrene boxes and sowing seeds. It's hot work but it needs to be done so we work until we get hot and then go inside, put the air-conditioner on and have a cold drink.  And there we stay, working on inside jobs, until about 4ish when the temperature starts to slowly descend.

 Hanno making up a cold elderberry cordial. 
You might be able to see the grasshopper Gracie is looking at. She was locked in on it and when it hopped away, she lost it!

Cut back and pay off debt, it's life changing

7 February 2019
Angie Grant, please email me about your course.


Do you sometimes wonder if change is possible?. You sail along accumulating debt with a home loan, car loan and credit cards that you thought you'd easily pay. Then on top of that there is your phone and your partner's phone, broadband, pay TV, gym memberships, insurance, your holiday, the kid's camps, entertainment, eating out, your new iPad, laptops for the kids, clothes and shoes for everyone, education costs and toys to make the kids happy. Oh, and don't forget food and fuel, both must be bought every week. If only you could press rewind, go back a few years and make better choices. Life would be easier if we didn't spend like this.

Both courses full

5 February 2019

It looks like both my workshops - blogging for beginners and writing, are full. If anyone drops out, I'll let you know. I'm looking forward to speaking to everyone face-to-face.