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As you know, I was bitterly disappointed when Satalyte shut up shop as it might have meant the end of my admittedly short career as a publi...

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I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia.

My books

The first novel of my trilogy, The Talismans, is available as e-books from Smashwords, Amazon and other online sellers. I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $AU25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. Book two of the trilogy, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available again shortly. The best way to contact me is via Facebook!

Buy The Talismans

The first two books of The Talismans trilogy were published by Satalyte Publications, which, sadly, has gone out of business. I hope to see my books back on Amazon under a new publisher in the near future.

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Dagger of Dresnia
Want a copy? Contact me at satimafn(at)gmail.com

The Cloak of Challiver

The Cloak of Challiver
Available again as an ebook soon!

Mythic Resonance

Buy Mythic Resonance

Mythic Resonance is an excellent anthology that includes my short story 'La Belle Dame', together with great stories from Alan Baxter, Donna Maree Hanson, Sue Burstynski, Nike Sulway and nine more fantastic authors! Just $US3.99 from Amazon. Got a Kindle? Check out Mythic Resonance.

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Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

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Places I've lived: Geelong,  Australia

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

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Places I've Lived - Sydney
Sydney Conservatorium - my old school

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Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

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Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier
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Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

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Places I've Lived: Perth by Day
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Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

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Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

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Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
From Kings Park

Inner Peace Blog

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Awarded by Joanna Fay. Click on the image to visit her lovely website!

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award
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Friday, 6 April 2007

Casting the Net

Each day seems to bring a new place to visit. Sometimes it is nearby, sometimes it is miles away, but every destination has its own charm.

On Wednesday afternoon Renate took me to see Germania, a huge statue erected between 1887-1883 to celebrate the first re-unification of Germany. The crowning figure alone is over 10 metres tall and the tiered plinth, which is decorated with life-size figures in bas-relief of Kaiser Wilhelm I and other German leaders of the time, is 25 metres high. Built high on a peak above Rüdesheim and overlooking almost half the Rhine Valley, the Germania precinct offers some of the most spectacular views imaginable. Whole villages are spread at the viewer's feet, interspersed with vineyards and forests and punctuated with fortresses. As if this were not enough, Germania's backdrop is a recreation of an English country park dating from the 1780s. Very much in the style of Capability Brown and his successors, the artful wilderness includes unexpected delights among the trees; charming "follies" such as a pavilion in the style of a Greek temple, a tiny castle and a tunnel with twists and turns that opens onto an unexpected gap in the vegetation, affording a tantalising glimpse of the river. The count's old hunting lodge has been turned into a hotel, which now farms its own venison. A falconry is situation close to Germania and now and then one can see falcons and even eagles flying free.

Birds of prey are not the only interesting wildlife in the Rheingau. There are badgers and weasels and otters and owls, pine martens, squirrels and hedgehogs and hares. All can be seen occasionally in the wild. This morning, Good Friday, Elfriede was delighted that a hare ran across the garden, no doubt on his way to collect eggs for delivery on Sunday. Here the chocolate variety still takes second place to the real thing. With shells beautifully decorated, Easter eggs can be bought in the shops and the German equivalent of the Egg Marketing Board advertises them widely. Many people like to decorate their own eggs at home but increasingly, the chocolate delicacies we are used to seeing in English-speaking countries are ousting the hard boiled kind.

Yesterday Elfriede took me to Mainz to tick off a few more architectural and historical delights. We visited four churches. The first one, that of St Christopher, we came across quite by accident while trying to find the Cathedral. It was built in the early C14 and stood for over 600 years before being bombed in WWII. Gutenberg, Mainz's most famous son, was presumably baptised there, since his family is known to have lived nearby. The shell of the church is still standing and has been preserved, with a small chapel in what must once have been a vestry, as a memorial to civilians killed in war. Next we headed for the impressive Mainz Cathedral. Dedicated to St Martin and St Stephen, it has a long and glorious history. An ancient church stood there even before 1000AD and under the guidance of Archbishop Willigis, a new edifice was built early in the second millenium. Sadly, it was barely finished before it was severely damaged by fire, but Willigis, undaunted, ordered a rebuild. He died well before it was completed but is remembered as the founder. A wheelwright's son, Willigis took the product of his trade as his insignia, lest he forget his humble origins, and this device forms part of every coat of arms in the Rhinegau, for the entire valley fell under the rulership of the Archbishop of Mainz until Napoleon's invasion of 1805. Some archbishops were good and charitable men, while others were little better than the robber barons they sought to rule. One of them, Hatto by name, set up toll castles to fleece the traders who used the river as their highway. He also levied huge corn tithes on the peasantry, who were supposedly free men under the archbishops rule, but they were less free under Hatto than many who laboured under a secular lord.

After paying our repects at the cathedral, Elfriede and I determinedly heaved ourselves uphill to St Stephen's church. The sainted Archbishop Willigis is buried here, but St Stephen's is even more famous for its utterly lovely stained glass. No medieval dies irae stuff here: these gorgeous blue windows are a celebration of life that somehow manages to fit in beautifully with the church's C13 architecture. The orginal building was destroyed and rebuilt many times, most recently after the devastation of WWII, and in 1973 the parish priest, Fr Klaus Mayer, sought to embellish the church with new windows that would not only serve as a token of friendship between France and Germany, but also as a symbol of hope for the reconciliation between Christians and Jews after the horrors of the holocaust. He approached Marc Chagall, who willingly undertook the work despite the fact that he was approaching his tenth decade of life. The aqua shades that form a background to the biblical figures depicted in the apse windows give the church a unique beauty. Chagal completed the six windows of the apse and recommended the services of Charles Marq for those in the body of the church. Executed in similar style and in the same kind of blue shades, these are abstract rather than pictorial and complement Chagall's work perfectly. Chagall died shortly after completing the oeuvre in 1985. He was then 98 years old!

Retracing our steps and marvelling at the wonders we'd seen in St Stephen's, Elfriede and I broke our church-crawl to admire quite a different kind of artwork: the metal fountain of the Fastnachtsbrunner. Burgeoning with figurines from the Carnival, this work demands close examination for the viewer to fully appreciate its almost infinite variety. Nearby we paused in the Gutenbergplatz to worship at the shrine of the man who invented moveable type and to stand on the narrow band that marks the 50th degree of latitude. From there we gazed in awe at the 1829 State Theatre with its surprisingly modern facade. The Mainz Ballet is about to begin a season and the posters reminded me of the several friends and teachers from my earlier days who worked with that excellent company.

Our last port of call was the church of St Quentin, whose sanctuary looks almost like a Greek temple with its pillars and marble canopy. It also contains some very fine wood carvings, but I was pretty much cultured out of my brain by this point and was more interested in the Bretzel Elfriede purchased from a market stall for us to munch on the way back to the car. Mmm...

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