11 November 2011


I've spent an interesting few days this week in Sydney, a city I love visiting.  It's vibrant, and even though the downside of that is that it's busy, everyone I've come into contact with has been friendly.  Although the city covers a large area it has a real heart, which is something many cities lack.
There are some beautiful parks (reserves) and gardens, and I spent a happy couple of hours wandering around the botanical gardens early morning when it was still fresh enough to enjoy.  One of the things you couldn't help but notice is the abundance of jacaranda trees in bloom.  They are stunning with their beautiful blue/purple flowers.
Although it's early spring it is significantly more hot and humid than Auckland at present, and there was a spectacular lightning storm on Tuesday evening while I was on the ferry to Manly.
Using the underground/rail system so much over the past few days I've really noticed the number of people using iPads and Kindles etc. to read. 
The underground seems to have a life and culture of its own.  It certainly has its own weather system with hot breezes that appear to come from nowhere.  The London underground is great and I enjoy using that, but some of the stations in the Sydney system have taken things to a whole new level, or should that be depth.  Getting out at Town Hall you can go above ground to the stores, or wander the underground labyrinth of shops.  I find it amazing how you can stroll along window-shopping and find yourself in the basement of the QVB (Queen Victoria Building) without going near street level.
What has this got to do with writing I hear you ask.  Not a lot, except I sat in a café in the lovely QVB and wrote this while enjoying an iced drink and resting.  A number of years ago I used a weekend trip to Sydney as an opportunity for research as I set part of Driftwood in Sydney.
In my first drafts I tend to do a lot more scene setting and description than is needed, and consequently a lot of it is cut in later drafts.  It makes for pleasant travelogues, but doesn't move the plot forward.  The same happened with Lives Interrupted.  I deleted chunks I had enjoyed writing from my research when in London.
It's a fine line between setting the scene and boring the reader, hopefully I haven't bored you with this little travelogue, sorry post!


  1. Your talk of jacarandas and Sydney makes me homesick. I am an Aucklander living in Italy but anything Downunder does the trick. Sob. Liz

  2. I know what you mean (though reversed in my case). I remember wonderful holidays travelling around Italy, and the ancient buildings and churches you find everywhere.