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

My books

The first two novels of my trilogy, The Talismans, are not available as e-books at present, but I expect to get them back online shortly. However, I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. 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 Cloak of Challiver

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

Places I've lived: Geelong, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong,  Australia

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've Lived - Sydney

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

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier
Blue Lake

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day

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

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

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night

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

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Sunday, 6 July 2008

If winter come...

Spring is never far behind winter in these latitudes. In fact, it's almost as if autumn, winter and spring take it in turns to run the weather between May and October. Most of the time, the temperatures are pretty mild. There is rain-and heaven knows we need plenty of that-but, at least along the coastline, frosts are rare.

We've had good rains this week. Down at the oval where I like to walk the dogs, one area became a temporary duck pond a few days ago. It's dried out now and the quackers have retraced their fifty-metre walk back to the river, although there are still plenty of shallow puddles.

But, depending what you're used to, you would not think it cold here; at least, not for winter. Today the sun shines down from a clear blue sky, so I took the dogs on an extra leg around the block before heading to the oval, checking out the gardens along the way. One household boasts what appears to be a single camellia bush with two kinds of flowers, some pale pink striped with a deeper pink; others self coloured in the darker shade. Whether caused by a sport reverting to type or a clever gardener's training of two bushes to look like one I don't know, but it is a lovely sight in the sunshine. A house or two farther down, Iceberg roses in full bloom, a full dozen bushes of them, all taller than I am, nod to us we pass, and I rejoice at how lucky I am to live in a place where roses and camellias both flower in mid-winter. Soon there will be spring bulbs, flowering fruit trees and magnolias, and gardeners will reluctantly remove the last of the rose blooms and prune the bushes in readiness for the early summer flush in November.

Back from the walk, my shoulders soften in the sunshine that pours in through the window, while my stiff hands, cold in their fingerless gloves, hit wrong keys more often than not. On a day like this, it's warmer outdoors than in. Most people here think it not worth the trouble and expense of central heating for our short ersatz winter; and besides, the government is now on our backs about climate change and the need for restraint when it comes to heating and cooling. So warm shoulders and cold hands are the order of the day. The dogs have the right idea: they move from one patch of sunshine to another as the sun circumnavigates the house. Here is Juliet's little fosterling, Sara, peering over the back of the couch. She is real, honestly, even though she looks like a teddy bear...

And here is Sonia the Cat, looking every bit her elegant, aristo-catic self. Actually, since Sara arrived, Sonia has made a dignified retreat to the front room. Discretion is definitely the better part of valour when you're an elderly cat and there are three dogs in the house. She cautiously comes to the kitchen at meal times, occasionally demanding that I escort her past the madding throng of canine peasants if they look like being too unruly for her refined tastes. She then allows me to lift her onto the laundry bench so she can enjoy her repast without interference from the lower orders.

Like Joscelin, Jacqueline Carey's hero in the Kushiel novels, I just "protect and serve";-)

16 comments:

Jo said...

Sonia looks like she has been over indulging in melted chocolate. Aren't animals wonderful, wish we still had a pet.

Satima Flavell said...

Yes, I also miss having pets of my own so it's nice to have a chance to be with these guys.

Juliet said...

Nice photo of Sonia! I think I'm homesick.

In these Baltic cities the dachshund seems to be the most popular dog, closely followed by Pomeranians, Yorkies and other teensy breeds suited to urban life. I've seen one or two big dogs in the borzoi / wolfhound league as well. And cats are everywhere, from a country cat devouring a fresh mouse beside a woodheap to a city cat lurking under a pastry shop rubbish bin.

Satima Flavell said...

Cats are ubiquitous:-) The only place I've seen without any - well, I did see one - is Kathmandhu, and a local friend told me that people eat them so they don't last long! No wonder the one I saw looked so terrified!

The aniimals are missing you but they are glad I'm there to feed them!

Jo said...

On the other hand, if you go to Greece, the country is overrun with cats. Usually if you are eating, particularly in an outside restaurant, you will feel cats weaving in and out of your legs whilst you are sitting at the table. I like cats, but they can be a damned nuisance there.

Satima Flavell said...

It would be a novelty the first time but I can imagine after a few meals I'd get heartily sick of bludging cats, much as I love the species:-)

Oh, BTW "to bludge" is an Aussie verb meaning to sponge off someone - the cats, in this instance, are bludging food!

Jo said...

Actually, I'm not sure, from memory, that the cats were bludging. Just being friendly I guess, most of them were fed by local restaurants etc. but they were still a damned nuisance.

Satima Flavell said...

Heh heh - knowing cats, I'll bet they had at least a hint of an ulterior motive!

hrugaar said...

Maybe the cats wanted to be the centre of attention - they're like men in that respect (ever wondered why men and cats so rarely get along...? heheh).

Autumn, winter and spring seem to run the weather between May and October here too ... but we live in the northen hemisphere. :S

Satima Flavell said...

You're right, Hrugaar - hardly any men really like cats, although some tolerate them. Maybe they do see each other as competition for the limelight:-) Apropos, see Lee Battersby's blog (link on my main page.)

Yeah, the British "summer" is amazing, eh? It took me a while to realise that when an Englishman says "It's a nice day" he means "Wow, it's not raining!". Mind you I'm not knocking rain, We need more. Lots more.

Marilyn Z. Tomlins said...

Satima -- Firstly, may I have Sara please?

Next, here in Paris the seasons change from morning to afternoon to evening. So far summer's been iffy and I know ... I just know ... that it will be autumn in August.
Marilyn

Satima Flavell said...

Sara's gorgeous, isn't she? Mind you, she is an independent little madam who will snap at you if you try to pick her up when she doesn't want to be picked up, but when she does feel like a cuddle she's all over you like a rash.

Oh, I hope you don't get autumn in August! far, far too early!:-(

Satima Flavell said...

PS loved your story about the Jolie Geminis:-)

hrugaar said...

Sara sounds like me. I must have been a dog in a previous life (and hence my wary truce with cats?).

Satima Flavell said...

Heh heh - Hrugaar, I hope you aren't a grumpy little madam!(g)

hrugaar said...

No lah! Though I have on occasion been likened to a Rottweiler with bad PMT (PMS). Of course I prefer to think of myself as a half-elven princeling in need of a large amount of personal space ... :D

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