Saturday, 20 April 2013

Historic and Romantic Parramatta, NSW

With another week having rushed by me there seems to be a hole in my work calendar that wasn’t filled by work! I certainly can’t ascribe to the saying “that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. I’ve done nothing but play… all bowls. It was both fun and rewarding, and my game has improved somewhat as a result of the many days out on the greens this week. The theme of my next book, as yet untitled, is both historic and romantic. The main characters are taking shape and the scenes are played out in an area that I know well, having been born and raised a mere few kilometers away. From memory I can almost relive some of my childhood trips to Parramatta Park, where I rode my bicycle along the pathways or over the rolling hills. With some imagination, those same places are coming to life again in a slightly different way and without a bike. The time frame in which I am setting the story, 1815 – 1820, was an important period in the life of a new colony. It was a time in which the problem of growing enough food for all the residents, particularly in the region of greater Sydney, had been solved. New businesses and farms were flourishing [many with help from the convict labourers]; the huge mountain range to the west of Sydney, the Blue Mountains, had been crossed and new grazing lands discovered. This opened up the country for sheep, cattle and wheat growers. I hope it also opens my mind to a ‘rollicking yarn’ as the saying goes.’’ Cheers T.B.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Musings from my keyboard

The date for the commencement of the cover art process for my book, Interrupted Romance, is creeping closer all the time... to 20th May. Meanwhile, my second book is progressing each day and I've reached the 4th chapter. Who knows how many chapters it will end up with?

This new story is set in Parramatta, known as the cradle city of the nation of Australia, where the convicts laboured to cultivate enough food to feed the colony of New South Wales, as it was known at the end of the 18th century, into the beginning of the 19th century. Very few of these early convicts and settlers ever returned to old England, and were basically forced to establish new lives and/or identities for themselves and their families... or died trying.

The tale revolves in and around [Old] Government House, which is currently the oldest standing public building in Australia, and thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Parramatta River does actually run along beside the House as described in the book. The fields and paddocks described have since been given back to the public in the form of Parramatta Park, which includes a great new football stadium close to, and within walking distance of, the CBD.  Picnic areas abound within the confines of the park, along with cycling tracks, exercise areas etc. It's a great place to start for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in local history, and close to other historical buildings, such as: Elizabeth Farm House, Hambledon Cottage, Roseneath and many more. Some days the words flow like river water - but there are days when it just gets too hard, and those are the days to go back to tracing my family tree in Scotland and England. That's a rewarding pastime for any one interested in family!

Cheers, TB