THE SISTERS' SONG coming in January 2018 from Allen and Unwin. Sign up to my newsletter.

1. I’ll skim over the progress of my novel, because it’s going slowly and there’s not much to report. However, I do have plans to devote myself to it this weekend …

2. I have two doctor friends who’ve also written novels (both of which are marvellous reads, I hasten to add), and we’ve met a few times to share writing and feedback. Already, I can see our feedback is changing from carefully chosen words and tentatively made suggestions, to what we really think, and honest feedback is such a gift.

3. Dear Michelle and Jacquie, You were right: Nora was too insipid and that knitting scene was really pushing it too far. Thank you for your honesty. Love, Louise. x

4. Last Friday, I went for a dermatology review. I thought my appointment was half-an-hour earlier, so I had a long time in the waiting room, pondering my sun confessions. I don’t mind disclosing that I didn’t use sunscreen as a child—I don’t think it was even available. But I feel silly admitting to the coconut oil, and the sprawling on a towel trying to toast myself. Hardest to confess, however, are the solarium visits …

5. The dermatologist started the examination professionally, slipping his magnifying glasses down over his eyes, and scanning my face and chest. As soon as he saw my abdomen, he said, ‘It’s lily white.’
After a brief pause, I said, ‘I haven’t worn my bikini lately.’

6. (And after four kids, I don’t think I’ll be wearing it again.)

7. This week, I also sat in the waiting room at the Department of Transport while our younger daughter sat her driving test. I’m pleased to report that she passed.

8. I’m also worried and anxious and nervous that she passed.

9. Once again, I spent time in the waiting room at the AMEB*, although I wasn’t so nervous waiting through that exam.

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I’ve seen this sign once or twice over the years.

Years ago, when I first sat in that room, I think I held my breath until my little lamb emerged from her time with the nasty wolf examiner. These days, I’m more relaxed, and this time I took my camera to help pass time. However, in the middle of her exam my daughter happened to look out the window and see her mother wandering the grounds, camera to face, snapping away.

8. I can’t have put her off too much because she passed.

9. And I managed to take a couple of nice shots:

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Teachers’ Training College, Claremont. (Now part of UWA.)

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Cenotaph—UWA, Claremont.

10. I also attended a Mother-Son breakfast with my elder son, organised by his school. At its close, the Headmaster addressed the boys:
‘The mark of the man you are, is how you treat the women in your life,’ he said.
I thought they were beautiful, and pertinent, words.

11. A few times this week, I’ve felt awed by my children and the people they’re growing into. When they were born, I imagined what their characters might be like in the future, and I envisioned a kind of hybrid of their father and me. As they grew and developed, occasionally I spotted similarities with one or other of us, but often, they took me by surprise, and I wondered where on earth they’d come from—they were nothing like either of us. Sometimes, I found it hard to just let them grow, naturally, and become themselves, but now I look at them and the individuals they are, and they’re more delightful than I could ever have imagined.

*AMEB=Australian Music Examinations Board

~

Some photos from my week:

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Pretty pinks—cottons and buttons

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More pink—pencils, buttons, a flower, and an antique cup, saucer and plate.

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Mozart serenely watches on

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Wisteria—on the selective colour setting of my camera.

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And more selective colour and flowers

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Lastly, I consider myself very lucky this week, in that my daughter has granted permission to post this video of her singing at a recital last weekend:

 

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THE SISTERS' SONG

Coming January 2018 (Allen and Unwin)

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