3. A book set in your home state

I’m not sure how I feel about this book.

I did read it in about two days which means I must have liked it because I stop reading when I don’t like a book.

I think it is a good book. It’s set back on the early 1990’s and I like that because I’m a child of the nineties. It’s also set in rural NSW and I like that too because I’ve spent a lot of time there.

Normally I don’t like modern Australian fiction. Too much of the convict mentality taints it. Or perhaps that’s just David Malouf. But I’ve found myself reading a little more of it lately. Last year I read all of Inga Simpson’s novels and I can’t wait for her to right more. And I love all Helen Garner’s true writing.

In this novel, I think it’s the way it unfolds that I like best. Because the narrator is writing from the future, after all the events have taken place, she tells the story on real time, as it happens, even if she didn’t know the information in real time. This way the mystery unfolds chronologically and I’m not confused or kept in the dark as a reader, something I loathe. 

All good mystery/crime fiction should allow the reader to become the sleuth. There should be just enough information for you to have a stab at picking the killer but not so much that you actually do. The twists and turns of this story really fit with the rural community setting, reflecting both the historical time and some contemporary concerns.

The ending was a little abrupt but I was unsatisfied, just a bit taken aback that it was finished.

My problem at the moment is that I dont know what to read next because there is no YA fiction on my shelf and the ones I want to read haven’t been published yet.

Visit NSW : Part Two

So this is the second half of my photo essay about my holiday around NSW this month. We’ve already covered the beach portion and the country portion of my travels and now for something else.

Blue Mountains
Like Cowra, this was just a day trip, up to Wentworth Falls. It’s quite a beautiful place, with a great cafe. We were going to have breakfast and bushwalk.

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We walked to Empress Falls first. Which ended up being a good thing because had I eaten before hand I probably would have thrown up down a cliff face. They really should say how many stairs there are going to be. Walking down was ok, it was steep and slippery in places but manageable. Going back up was crazy. Up hill is always harder for me, and in the end I couldn’t even talk, I just had to keep putting one foot in front of the other and use the handrails, where available, to drag myself forward.

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Unfortunately there was no gas at the cafe when we got back and so we couldn’t have breakfast.

Sydney
We finish with one of my most favourite places. I have said often on this blog that it is almost my favourite city in the world (though Tokyo just pips it at the post), and it is definitely my favourite city in Australia, though I’ve never been to Perth, Darwin, Hobart or Adelaide.
This month I have been to the city six times. A few just for shopping, but others to see some really interesting things.
I went on a little excursion to the Powerhouse and Maritime museums. At the Powerhouse there was a video game exhibition which was really just a whole bunch of games for people to play. I didn’t think I s going to lime it very much but then I found this game called Critter Crunch and an hour passed without me even realising it. Gaming doesn’t really lend itself to photo taking though so you will just have to imagine me standing in front of a TV screen with a play station controller in my hand as I feed smaller bugs to progressively bigger bugs until none are left and I have a high score.
At the Maritime museum I went to see the Viking exhibit.

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I could have sworn I’d seen it before but I didn’t recognise any of it. Maybe it was Romans I saw last time? Honestly, I don’t remember. The exhibition itself was pretty interesting but we also had a pass to go outside on the real boats which I had never done before.

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I didn’t actually go on it (because it was too creepy) but I could have if I wanted to.

I also ended up having dinner at Darling Harbour one night for a friends birthday and was lucky enough to see The Lion King musical again at The Capitol. It is such a magical production, the opening sequence of Circle of Life is so overwhelming that you just want to cry.

I also had the quintessential Sydney summer experience of dinner at Circular Quay.

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I went with my family to see David Sedaris. If you don’t know who he is, go out right now, buy Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls and read it right away.

After all that though I did miss Sacrilegious, which I am a bit sad about. How many times do you get to jump all over stone henge?

Coming up on my next blog: Part Three.

Visit NSW : Part One

That wonderful time, the holidays, is almost over. And, for the short time that I have had, I feel like I have accomplished much. I promised a promotion of tourism in NSW and this is what it shall be. All month I have travelled across my home state (not really going all that far distance wise) and sampled a great variety of things it has to offer.
Ordinarily this post would have been six or seven smaller posts with little obvious point. Now that I am not having to write every day it is one epic post that sums up everything great about my holiday and, by extension, NSW.

Let us start at the beginning. Or perhaps, better yet, maybe by region. I feel this is going to be a bit of a photo essay.

Thirroul

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Normally I don’t like the beach. It’s too sunny and sandy and salty, and it stays with you for days. This time was different. Firstly, we hadn’t spent hours and hours trying to get there. This holidays I realised it is actually quicker for me to get to the beaches of the south coast than any other in NSW. My husband loved Thirroul beach as a child and so wanted to take me there. Parking was a breeze, try getting a spot at Bondi on a sunny day, and it was the most perfect weather. I wore so much sunscreen I had a second whiter skin and I lay on my towel reading. It was perfect. I even went in the water. I know for some of you this will be a shock, especially since I have written frequently about my fear of the ocean. But it was beautiful and I had a gorgeous new cossie to show off too. I am almost inclined to change my mind about the beach after this visit. So much so that now I kind of want a beachside holiday house.
I also went to visit my newly married friend in Wollongong.

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It was just as nice here too.

The Great Western Plains
One thing we had to do this holiday was go to Cowra. I have been saying that we should go for a long time, though we never find the right moment, or weather. Well, the weather be damned this holiday, we drove out there on one of the most scorching days. The reasons for the trip west were twofold. My husband has led a sheltered life in terms of his experience of greater NSW. Until a year or two ago the furthest west he had been was Penrith (I may be exaggerating, expect a retraction if he doesn’t agree with what I have written). So then we went to Bathurst, and a year or so later to Dubbo, which he has now visited twice. I wanted him to visit Cowra because it is a place where some real Australian history (the POW prisoner escape during WWII)

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had taken place and also because my great grandparents had a shop in a town just outside it.

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And in that town is a park named after my great grandfather.

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Coming up on my next blog: Part Two