Tag Archives: Sydney

Friday in Five: Vivid edition!

27 May

Got five minutes? Or maybe even ten? Here are some of the spectacular and wonderful things I’ve loved this week, brought to you from Sydney.

Awww of the week

o-BABY-GIRAFFE-facebookI spent the day at Taronga Zoo on Sydney Harbour and overdosed on cute! Penguins, wombats, sea-lions, meerkats… but still, the cutest sight of the week has to be the baby giraffe born at Taronga’s Western Plains zoo. How’s this for cute? (Also, kind of messy, but you’ll get past that!)

Song of the week

Gurrumul and KellyThis has been out for a few months now, but I’ve only just discovered it. Legendary Australian songwriter Paul Kelly joins equally legendary and soulful Australian indigenous singer Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, who sings in the Yolngu language, in an exquisite rendering of Amazing Grace. Close your eyes and breathe it in.

Quote of the week

Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

Person of the week

nicholas negroponteIn the work I do when I’m not writing romance, I have the privilege of quite often hearing wonderful insights and ideas from amazing people. This week was one of those weeks when I was surrounded by ideas, courtesy of the World Business Forum Sydney. The best of them was from a man I’ve admired for a very long time – Nicholas Negroponte, founder of MIT’s Media Lab and also the One Laptop Per Child project, which influenced provision of over 50 million – that’s million – laptops to help educate the world’s poorest children.

Negroponte has had lots of amazing ideas over the years, but the one I loved this week was this: “connect the last billion people” by establishing a constellation of low earth-orbiting satellites, beyond the jurisdiction of any country. Why? Because access to the internet should be a human right and a civic responsibility, and if you assume that kids are our most precious natural resource and that education is the key to developing that resource for the good of everybody, then it just. Makes. Sense.

Negroponte costs such an initiative at $10 billion – that’s billion. That’s a lot of money. That amount of money would fund the US’s operations in Afghanistan for… oh, around five weeks. It would fund Australia’s illegal detention of 25 asylum seekers for a full year. So, you know… priorities.

Views of the week

Finally, here are the Vivid views I promised! I took a harbour dinner cruise with Vagabond Cruises and between scoffing canapes and quaffing bubbles managed to snap a few of the views I loved best. Hope you enjoy the Vivid colour and magic!

What have you loved this week? Drop me a line!

Gracie x

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26 May

What a fabulous week I’ve had! I’m in beautiful Sydney, partly for my Other Life work but also to see Vivid in all its spectacle and finery. Lighting-the-Sails-SONGLINES

So I’ve got lots to share, but I’ll be a little late sharing it tomorrow because I want to bring you the best of the Vivid Festival Opening Night. I’m going to quite some trouble to capture some great views for you (I know! After all this enthusiasm, it’d better be good, right?!). darling harbour


So check in tomorrow night for some great music, a quote and a person that have really changed my thinking, a bit of cute and a lot of light and colour!


Vivid Sydney celebrating the Doctor's 50th anniversary! - Imgur(These are some photos from previous Vivids to whet your appetite!)


‘Til then…

Gracie x

Fancy a romantic coastal escape?

14 Oct

Is there anything more magical, more intriguing, more romantic and filled with possibility, than escaping to the coast?

The sea has been a constant in my life for long as I can remember. It frightens me, it sickens me, it awes me, it draws me, it inspires and renews and recreates me.

My astrological element is fire, if you believe in such things. But my soul craves the sea.

So many of my stories start and end near the coast. In Hearts on Hold, reclusive artist Cate Boyd flees Sydney’s Bondi Beach for the rocky, remote island cliffs of Mediterranean Gozo, after losing her husband to the treacherous depths of the Great Barrier Reef. My current works in progress, too, are driven by the moods and muses of the sea.

So when the chance came to leave my hometown for a little house on the beach a couple of hours north of the city, I grabbed it with grateful hands and a hopeful, yearning heart.

In just over a month I’ll be here:

Peregian secret

…and more than likely humming this.

I’m creating my own romantic coastal escape. I hope you won’t mind if I share this new adventure with you! I’d love to hear your favourite coast locations and experiences, so please drop me a line…

We can be heroes

16 Apr

Some amongst us live big lives. We call them heroes. Whether they are trained and regularly tested in their heroism or whether circumstances require them to do something beyond any training or ordinary expectation, they make a significant difference in their world and in ours.

They’re the emergency services teams – the police, the paramedics, the firefighters – who responded in Boston this morning and in Fukushima in 2011 and in Victoria in 2009.

They’re the humanitarians and aidworkers and fundraisers and peacekeepers who respond in Darfur and Mali and Syria.

They’re the surgeons who operate in the fistula camps in Central Africa as well as in the cardiac units of Sydney. They’re the teachers who open the eyes and the minds and the hearts of the children they’re entrusted with and lead them to a passion for life and learning rather than a fear or rejection of it.

These heroes give of themselves, sometimes at the expense of those they love – husbands and wives and children feeling their absences, friends and causes and private interests abandoned – because their expertise, strength  and courage is needed elsewhere.

They’re often the leads in romantic novels, although those fictional heroes and heroines only rarely capture the depth of real character displayed by real people in unreal events.

Let me tell you who I think the true heroes are not.

They’re not the rioters in the UK vilifying a politician who, regardless of how different her politics were to theirs, served her country in a job few thought could be done and fewer wanted to risk doing themselves.

They’re not the celebrated golfers and footballers who, while probably just as devoted in their training as police and ambos and firies, walked away from work last weekend with at least a dozen times a police officer’s salary and a magnitude more glory, without making a difference to anybody outside themselves.

They’re not the cowards who set the bombs in Boston because they couldn’t bear to see others enjoying healthy, free, fearless joy in themselves, their working bodies and their community.

Some amongst us live big, heroic lives. We honour them most by living heroically ourselves, however big or small we think our own lives and our own significance.

We honour them by standing up and speaking out for the things we believe in; by challenging sexism and racism and homophobia and xenophobia when and where we see it; by teaching our children that the smallest acts of violence – against others or against themselves – eats away at their heroic, human core; by looking out for each other in the cliched but so-important random acts of kindness.

Whatever your day brings today, your expertise, strength and courage is needed. Be your own hero, in your own lunchtime. Your life is big enough.

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