Maggie and I recently visited Ireland. The aim was to visit Ougterard in Galway where the principal character in my latest book - Captain Scully - spent many years as a Resident Magistrate.
But sometimes the unexpected is more exciting.
As a part of the trip we stayed at Monart Spa Resort in Co Wexford. There we indulged in a daily variety of saunas, great food and what can only be described as luscious scenery! The staff became friends as they cosseted us with kindness, and not only that, it was all internet free! With he quietness came a time to reflect and read.
In the “Old House” was a traditional country house library and after discussing an idea with Matt Bodo, the manager, I have donated some of my books to their collection, as both my books and Monart believe in Healing, Hope and in Inspiring people.
Some memories you carry with you for a long time - this was one of them.
It is said that absence makes the heart grow fonder - so currently, I'm feeling the love!
Since I last wrote I've been working in Kuranda in far north Queensland and Burnie in north west Tasmania. In Kuranda it was 17C to 29C each day with blue skies, in Burnie it was -3c to 9C each day. One week it was shorts and jogs on the beach, the next it was four layers of clothes and walks along a wind-swept, yet beautiful-in-its-own-way beach.
But some wonderful things happened too.
Firstly, Captain Scully finally got into print!!! Now I'm working on the official release in hte next couple of months - it's going to be fun and involve bubbles!
Secondly, we saw some incredible things - snakes, crocodiles, astonishing bird life and trees like I've never seen before.
But the cutest experience, and the saddest was that of a little Joey that was rescued from it's dead mums pouch (colloquially talked of as road-kill) and reared by hand over several weeks by one of the reception staff in Kuranda. Sadly, young Mandy fell out of her artificial pouch one night and never recovered. It makes you realise that life, in all its varied forms, is fragile, Yet there are so many quiet folk who rescue Joey's, bats, birds, even snakes and after hand feeding them over weeks to months, release them back into the wild once they are have fully adapated!
Talking about being released into the wild - I managed to release a few of my books into both States, so hopefully more people can share the adventures of Rosso and Mr Dickens.
I hope you enjoy my happy snaps and videos - the world is an amazing place. So are the people!
And here are a couple of short videos. In the first, Captain Scully dips his toe in the Bass Straight on Cooee Beach, Burnie. The original Captain Scully would have visited those shores in 1838, and he wouldn't have been able to have a hot shower afterwards either!
In the second, yours truly shows his style in Port Douglas, far North Queensland whilst on a day off! Don't blink or you'll miss me!
In her brief existence this rare Swamp wallaby brought a lot of happiness. Vale Mandy.