Friday, 19 March 2010

Weekend my dreams...

I would love to be planning a weekend with nothing more arduous than re-reading some of my favourite books...I love these...I bought the first one 'Salvation Creek' for a plane trip back to the U.K from Sydney and was hooked!

Upon my return I had to get hold of the sequel which I enjoyed just as much:

I don't want to spoil your enjoyment if you haven't read either of them but just to give a bit of background info - the first book is the story of how Susan ends up living on beautiful Pittwater, just north of Sydney after a series of life dramas which make her re-assess her priorities about work and where she wants to live. If you know Pittwater and have ever dreamed of living the island life, you will love it. If you don't - it will make you realise what you have missed!
The second book continues her story when she marries Bob who lives, rather fortuitously, at 'Tarrangaua' built as a holiday home for the iconic Australian poet Dorothea Mackellar. Anyone who ever went to school in Australia will know of her most famous work:
My Country

The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land -
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand -
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

I have left out the 3rd, 4th & 5th verses but these three hold the conundrum which dominates a lot of my thoughts and plans...if only I had the conviction of Ms. Mackellar. She evoked, with this poem, the passion of a young nation tired of being seen as 'Britain's grubby apron'. In a single line - 'I love a sunburnt country' she embraced everything Australian and made fools of an establishment that continued to yearn for 'green and shaded lanes'. I think maybe my indecision about green & shaded lanes or the wide brown land is best left for another post.......have a happy weekend whether your love is green or brown........s


  1. I must add the sequel to my book list - I loved the first one but for some reason haven't got around to the next one. Thanks for the reminder. Hope you have a lovely weekend. Leigh

  2. Hi Susie
    Well my mind often recalls that verse.. particularly driving past the parklands during our summer....

    I haven't heard of these books.. so they will go on my never ending list of must reads.... You know a friend of mine lived on an island on the Hawkesbury River for many years.. I often wonder what it would be like.. although I would have to change careers.. wouldn't that be nice!! have a great weekend xx Julie

  3. Where's the tissue box? Susie, those verses are lovely, I do not think I have ever come across that before. I am going to correct that shortly.
    Pittwater...say no more. If we could plunk ourselves somewhere between Avalon and Palm Beach we would be in heaven. We often thought it would be a great place to retire too. I sense someone is getting the travel bug and needs to visit her GG very soon. Have you made any plans yet?

    I have not read these books and they look like fun, great for a long plane trip. I have read a number of Di Morrissey books which are great when you need to get away from it all. I just read a review on 'Kimberley Sun' which looks like a fun read...but I digress, as usual!
    Hope you have a great weekend Susie!

    PS...I put info on the Chelsea Flower Show on 'Finding My Way' if you haven't ordered tickets yet:)

  4. Hi Leigh Julie & Jeanne - Leigh, definitely read it, if you liked the first one, you'll enjoy the 2nd too;
    Julie - you can live on the island vicariously through these books - all the joy without the trips in the tinny!!!
    Jeanne - thanks for Chelsea Flower Show info - it gets booked up fast so I'm getting onto're right about the travel bug but I always feel 'one more trip' will make my mind up - so far, no luck!!! x

  5. "I love a sunburnt country" is a magnificent line, with its fervour and acceptance and its seemingly unparticular stance. Thanks for the book tips!

  6. Susie, you'll never believe it, but I've currently got on my bookshelf her latest release. It's a "coffee table" book called "A Life on Pittwater". Exquisite. I've spent a great deal of my childhood in that part of the world. Our family had a boat moored in Careel Bay and we spent many happy hours exploring Pittwater. Anyhoo, if it's photos of Dorothea Mackeller's home and general Pittwater's a must. I truly can't recommend it highly enough. I'll do a post on it to give you a taste?

    Hope you're enjoying lovely Spring weather. Meredy xo.

  7. Susie I have not heard of these books, but I am definitely going to check them out, that poem is beautiful.

    Pop over to mine when you have a mo, I have something for you.

  8. These are going to go on my list too - sound wonderful - just the kind of book for a plane journey from Melbourne to London! Great weekend to you.... x

  9. Dear Susie,
    Sorry that I'm late for the party. I don't know how I missed this post.
    Anyway, the books sound great. Very descriptive and, although poignant for you and the majority who have commented before me, I'm sure us pommes will get a lot out of it as well!! I'm looking for a new book to read when we go to Edinburgh next month, on the train. It's a long journey so I shall be in need of some reading matter.
    Blogging is great for reading suggestions, isn't it ?
    Have a great Sunday, Susie. XXXX

  10. what a lovely review of a book
    that i will certainly read!

    the poem was wonderful, too.

    green or brown? i have both
    in me, as i lived part my life
    in the rugged west and the
    rest in the green hill country.