Margaret River and Varuna

I recently returned from Perth. It was my first visit and the only capital city in Australia that I hadn’t visited. My daughter lives there now so it won’t be my last time.

Whenever I visit a new place I like to buy a small momento.

I bought this wooden brooch in Leederville. I call him Punty and all his limbs move. I pinned Punty to my jacket and each time I looked down, his arms and legs would be in a different position. Sometimes he was running, sometimes walking, sometimes skipping or jumping.

 Punty reminds me of a character in a Norman Rockwell painting whose work I have loved since I was at school. Rockwell captured daily American life so beautifully through his illustrations.


I also bought a set of rubber stamps which I will use for future book signings.

 This wee willy wagtail in King’s Park was so tame, it ate out of my hand. Obviously a very well fed little bird.

We were very well fed too!

This was the delicious lunch we ate at Leeuwin Estate winery in Margaret River.

‘Arkady’ lamb, cutlet, pie, quail egg, white anchovy

Blueberry and hazelnut frangipane, lime and Frangelico ice cream

Lemon curd tartlet, marshmallow sherbet, lemon ice cream

Devastating fires came through Margaret River in November last year. Ironically they were started as a controlled burn by the Department of Environment and Conservation but it all went horribly wrong. Thirty nine houses were destroyed including the beautiful Wallcliffe House built in 1865.

In this photo I took at Prevelly Beach where Margaret River runs into the Indian Ocean, you can see where the bushfires came through and the chimney tops of historic Wallcliffe House.

Here is Wallcliffe before the fires.

And sadly, after…

The waters of the Indian Ocean around the coast are a beautiful blue green. If you look carefully you can see wind and kite surfers.


Writing News

I was lucky enough to receive a Varuna Writing Retreat Fellowship which I will take up in early January 2013. I will spend two weeks in the Blue Mountains to work on the illustrations for the Wish Bird. Varuna is the former home of writers Eleanor and Dr Eric Dark and is now set up to support Australian writers. Everyone I have spoken to who has been there has loved it. I can’t wait!

That’s about all the news I have except that on Monday I’ll be visiting Stonnington Primary School in my role as one of the ambassadors for the Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge. It should be fun.





3 thoughts on “Margaret River and Varuna

  1. Punty is so cute <3 I love active jewelry myself and have a turtle, frog and clown pendants that all have moving parts.
    Congratulations Gabrielle, the Blue Mountains will be a perfect place for inspiration I'm sure!

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