The first draft of Rosie and Scruff Boy is finally done! There were a few rough moments there during the miserable cold weather of June, winter in Australia, but I finally reached the happy ending.
Australia, being in the southern hemisphere, has summer from December to February. Christmas, for us, is usually hot, sometimes very hot. Traditional holiday dishes don't make much sense when it's swimming weather.
In my work in progress, working title Rosie and Scruff Boy, I'm trying to write some scenes set at Christmas. It's difficult. I'm so envious of anyone who's in a warm sunny place right now. Here, it's cold and gloomy and often rainy. Also frosty.
Our winters aren't northern hemisphere winters. Today, for example, was minus 3 degrees Celsius this morning, and will probably hit about 12 degrees Celsius this afternoon. But it's cold for us. I've always been a summer girl, and can't wait for the warm days to come around again.
Last century they built concrete silos all over the country along every railway line. Now they're a problem. They're too small, too inflexible, too dangerous to use, and too hard to demolish. The only use for them is to paint huge murals on them to attract tourists. Not really; many are still in use. But many are not.
There's an Australian Silo Art Trail (www.australiansiloarttrail.com/siloart)
The photograph of the Weethalle Silo below is by Annette Green. Weethalle was the first art silo painted in New South Wales. The artist was Heesco Khosnaran.
Rosie decides to buy Matt a replacement hat as a gift. The shop assistant gets right behind the idea.
“Matt will love this,” she says. “It will improve the dress standards of the whole town when he stops wearing that other one. He can keep that for draining sumps and so on.”
We share a smile of agreement. Only afterwards do I realise that I hadn’t told her who the hat was for.
Now available from ebook retailers, an ebook collection of my Tender Spies series. Set in Australia, these novels and novellas follow the lives of two spies and the woman who loves them. Along the way there are action, adventure, family dramas, tragedies and triumphs, a love triangle, betrayals and reconciliations. Great holiday reading.
Work in progress: Rosie and Scruff Boy (working title).
Rosie and Matt drive out to Matt’s farm, Brackton Downs, for a picnic.
I park in front of the house. Close up, it looks even worse.
“You’ve been living here? Seriously?”
“How could you bear it, leaving it like this! It’s crying out for love and attention.”
"'It’s just a building. Not a puppy.”
He’s cheering up now, arguing.
Work in progress. Matt takes Rosie into town to buy boots. They visit an old shop that has been selling goods for more than a century.
Work in progress. Rosie and Matt visit Decima's old cottage, a slab construction from the colonial era.
The house is pretty old. Instead of standard horizontal weatherboard panels, it has vertical slabs, wide and thick. Probably made from all the local trees they cut down when they decided to grow crops here.
Rakali Springs suffers a severe dust storm that rips roofs off houses and destroys trees. Rosie and Matt discuss it.
We see a house without a roof. People crawl across it, dragging a tarpaulin to cover the exposed trusses and beams.
“Looks like it followed quite a narrow track,” says Matt. “Like a tornado.”
“We don’t have those, do we?”
“Not like they do in the US, but we have smaller versions.”
“Like what exactly?”
“You know. A whirlwind, kicks up dust. But a small diameter.”
“You mean a dust devil. I hope. I haven’t heard your version before.”
I blush and he laughs.
Rosie finds evidence that her ancestor, Decima, was part of the anti-conscription movement in 1916 and 1917. That would have taken some courage for a war widow.