Writing Woes

Quiet historic Raymoth lane where I lived

Eunice today – age70


It grieves me that I do not have the discipline, or an agent in lieu, to be a succesful writer. I t writing. I hate editing. Actually I can no longer see to edit. 

The answer is to find an agent who appoints an editor… or some other excuse. Mills and Boon are still waIting for a second book they invited me to submit when they said my first submission, Island of Flowers, did not have enough coflict (they had a format). 

That book is a romance featuring Poinsettia Garland (known as Pansy – the reason is in the book) and the notorious (in the family) page 22; “A we bit lis” – Auntie Joan. The hero is a French flower importer, tall, and pretty cool. He is not a pansy by the way.

 It is even ‘fini’, with a happy ending and all. Are you on the scent? I need to get it at least on Kindle before cd disks are no longer legible. 

Or do I join up the two halves of my historical novel, loosely based on some family details given to me by my beloved Nev on his death bed? No joke. It is an Australian multicultural historical novel. Sort of topical now.

I have written are loads of memoirs, some printed and collated into a book. Or ‘Ruth’s Garden’ – .poems and photos that I printed and sold through the local nursery. Oh it goes on. 

My family inherits, unwillingly, a large plastic bin of various manuscripts, plus disks and.scraps of handwritten paper containing spontaneous ‘poyums’ that got no further. Plus a fat folder of published stories and poems, ten anthologies and several magazines containing my work. I am not a failure at writing, just at the business of writing, and publishing.

One has to have a life to become a writer, or be observant enough to write about other people’s, but the crucial point is to write it down, print it out, get it published, and hopefully make it pay; that being the only measure os success in this day and age.

I have had too much life in my life. No one argues that. Point is, I have worn myself out having that life, so need to sit my backache down at the laptop, block out the four lanes of hurtling expressway only a few metres from my window, and get on with it. But not right now.

On the other hand, I was beginning to make a name for myself as a freelance journalist (Eunice Hobson. Pre-Google). I racketed around the countryside in my Datsun Stanza taking rolls of black and white film for The Land to print and publish…oh lots of stuff in my scrapbook. I even had my byline and got paid! I will tell you about that next time



Redhead Beach is not far from here. It is not as popular as the main beaches, and the surf can get rough. It is also near a small island where sharks like to hang out and breed. Hence the icreased number of sightings close to the beach.

Global warming and all that. 

The surf club is trialling drone surveillance in addition to the usual Surf Club monitoring and aerial reconnaisace.

So Barb was swimming there the other day, as you do, having a lovely time and keeping fit as well.

She is petite, and looking down at her sleek black one-piece thought: “I look like a seal! Sharks like seals.”

At that instant the siren went off. Shark sighted, leave the water! Barb couldn’t hit the beach fast enough, along with all the swimmers (between the flags), and the surfers. They are not so blase’ since the recent spate of attacks along the coast.

It turned out to be a hammerhead shark only a metre from the beach. Not sure if they eat pink black and blonde seals but Barb will be wearing bright swimmers (swimsuits) in future, as recommended.

And of course they will all be back in the water.

This is ‘Straya’ after all.

Info on hammerhead sharks

Bushfire Season Has Started Early

Last night’s rain has given my friend Louise and her bedbound husband a reprieve from the approaching fires. 

She could see the helicopter water-bombing nearby and knew the fire service would fight to keep them safe. 

This is the second year they have been in this position. Moving is not an option at this stage.

Whenever there is a bushfire in the Hunter there is always someone we know nearby. It is just something we live with. 

That, and snakes (though in 34 years I have only seen one, and that was heading in the opposite direction thank goodness). 

But dont get me started on spiders!

I live with very nice bushland on one side and a petrol station 200metres away but the fire station is nearby. 

It is important to keep grass mowed and dry leaf litter to the absolute minimum. It is all just a way of life we get used to in teturn for beautiful beaches and amazing scenery.

I am more at risk from sunburn at the bus stop!

My 1950’s Apartment

To be honest, having grown up in original 1950’s round-edged, flat-painted, heavy- corniced apartments, I delighted in pine furnished, clean-edged Conran curtained modern sixties decor for my first home. Over the years eclectic or Bohemian seems to have accompanied me in my many restless moves. I have spent more on moving and removing than I could have spent on new furniture of good quality.

It has come full circle now that I am renting Esther’s flat, purely for the view. Arty like me, aged 90, Esther has subdivided her large house into three apartments. I am on the top floor, perched somewhat precariously on the side of a steep hill that contains rock, stones and pebbles indicating some great watery upheaval millions of years ago.

Esther’s husband built the house, and much of the furniture, back in 1948. I was 2 years old at the time, in Scotland, a country just recovering from the ravages of World War 2. As I grew up, clambering over wildflowe-growing bombsites during play was normal. We had no concept of what horror had occurred to create our play areas, and into the 1960’s these were cleared and replaced by red brick houses or steel-framed concrete fnctional buildings suitable for a brave new world.

Meanwhile, in the relatively war unaffected New World down under, new migrants found plenty of space in which to build relatively large homes. MrA rolled up his manly sleeves and got creative. Built to last. 

Personally,I find living with all this real ‘retro’ irking. I long to pull down the cupboards and replace with sleek, gossy, shiny. 

But thanks to my itinerant writer’s ways It is not for me to do so. When the time comes, and Esther lets go her frail hold on the property next to which(two doors up) she was born, this prime land will be sold, cleared, to become a motel with a million dollar view or at least a modern apartment on the teeming highway between the Newcsastle beaches, and sSydney.

I had said I would take the apartment unfurnished, but arrived with the removal van on 6th December, only to find many bits of mismatched furniture and very old carpet pieces still in situ and Esther many miles away staying with her daughter. No one dictates to Esther! I have met my match. So I live around our motley collection, knowing any changes will be spotted as if on secret camera. I am ninemonths into a twelve month lease, dreaming of ’60 Minute Makeover’ ( although perversely would hate having to live with someone else’s choice), and turning myfrustrationinto a novel entitled ‘A Door Slams’. By the time it is published I will probably be in a care home with only half a mind and a vase of flowers.

In the meantime, for you odd people who think Retro means Brand New Design, here is the real deal. 1948 build, 1950’s interior. I Why is the modern washing machine on a trolley next to the sink?…will look out of the window at the amazing and constantly changing view instead.

My Son Saved Cliff Richard’s Life!

They have a very droll sense of humour in Worksop, Nottinghamshire. It isn’t the brash humour of Yorksire, even though on the border, but a certain dry wit delivered deadpan and leaving a beat for you to get the point. 

Lee Westwood the champion golfer has it, though I daresay his PR team has tried to tone it down. My Wee Pal Barrie (as Dad called him) has it. At first I took offence. Worksopians don’t do endearments. They ‘take the Mick’ instead. You are supposed to feel loved and special. Humph! It only works if you didn’t grow up elsewhere. 

I grew up in Scotland. Our humour is Billy Connolly (not necessarily with the swearing). As for Aussie humour, it may be laconic but the TV humourusually seems to be second hand; sending people up, not often kindly. Ive been here 34 years. Judge for yourself.

Now my sons were both born in Worksop but left at a very young age when we emigrated to Australia. Their father was a Yorkshireman with a dour disposition, so we will discount him. But they seem to have absorbed that unique Worksop style of humour at birth.

My eldest, who prefers to remain anonymous (don’t you Richard?), comes out with some classics, usually at my expense. 

     “We’ve got a new big tv Mum. We can watch the videos you send on it…Oh no, we will need an extra wide screen!” 

To which I replied:

    “I can still have you adopted.” (No I cant, he is in his forties).

His best though, was a few years back when he took me to see Cliff Richard live at the Entertainment Centre here in Newcastle, which he informed me he would suffer through because he got free tickets. I am an extra large fan of ‘Cliffy).

Now you younger readers may not remember that many women used to throw their panties at ‘Ciffy’ on stage, as a sign of their adoration.

He must have cupboards full of scanty panties.

We were just settling comfortably in our rather good seats for the start of the concert when Eldest Son muttered to me:

     “Mum, don’t throw your knickers at him – he would suffocate!

Very funny – not.

Watch Cliff Richard in Concert on Youtube

Very early photo of Cliff Richard
Photo courtesy of Click here for web page.

Top photo fromMore interesting information on Cliff Richard (unofficial)

Whale Watching from Newcastle Harbour

Photo courtesy Nova Cruises. Princess on the Hunter River Newcastle Harbour, under Newcastle Cathedral and The Brewery.

After my incident with dolphin watching (more about that later) my stomach will not cope with the up….down motion of the boat,but even seeing a whale from the cliffs here is excitiong so going close up must be awesome. The whales travel up, then back along the east coast of Australia as part of their breeding cycle.http://novacruises.com.au/m-v-the-princess#!prettyPhoto

Now that Nova Cruises will be going direct from the harbour it will be so exciting!

Less dramatic, and staying on calmer waters in the harbour, Some of us are going on the M.V. princess for the Lunchtime Harbour Cruise on my 70th birthday soon.I am already excited!

Check out this link: http://novacruises.com.au/m-v-the-princess