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A Soliloquy - Looking to the Rainbow

‘Shit happens’ is the saying when things suddenly go awry.
Shit happened to us last week when our grandson Liam was diagnosed with acute leukemia.
He’s in Wellington. We are in Otaki and the first desire is to rush down, sweep him up in your arms to protect and comfort him. The second desire is to do the same for our own children, his father and his aunt, to comfort them and keep them safe. The fear for their safety is always there.

Levin Rotary Speech

Last night I spoke to the Levin Rotary again. This is the third time I went not as a local government politician or a health board member but as an author. I spoke to about 40 mainly men, but some women as well, about my 2 books ; 'Women in my Rose Garden' and 'Missionaries, Wives and Roses'. They were so receptive I felt quite proud! I was a bit nervous about talking to crusty old male Rotarians but they were generous in their enthuasium and praise.

NZ Gardener

There is a nice comment in the March issue of the New Zealand Gardener about my book - Missionaries, Wives and Roses. Help google and blind readers

speaking about books

A very busy time at the moment. I spoke to 90 people at the Johnsonville Garden Club about Wo men in my Rose Garden and Missionaries  Wives and Roses - great that there is still a garden club with so many members alive and well. Today I spoke to the Association of Women Graduates in Waikanae. About 40 people there. Both days were well received. People enjoyed my journey and the stories about the various women and roses. My investment in a projector was warrented I think as someone today wants to book me for another club. Sold some books as well which is a bonus.


I am struggling to get out in the garden - the weather has been so hot it is impossible to work for more than an hour. And now there is a chilly southerly wind cooling things down dramatically but I am still struggling. The Christmas listlessness is hard to shake. But I am motoring on with Emperorers, Generals and Gentle Men. 4 chaps now in draft form. Onwards!

Sir Cedric Morris and Peter Beales

Yesterday I reported the death of Peter Beales and mentioned some of the roses he was responsible for. What I ommitted was his great introduction - Sir Cedric Morris - artist and plant breeder - which was introduced by Peter in 1979. it was a seedling found in the gardens of the home of Cedric at Benton End in Suffock and it is a rose to treasure. It is not for the faint of heart or the small garden as it travels widely spreading its canes across great didtances.

Peter Beales

The sad news from England overnight was the announcement of the death of rosarian Peter Beales. He was 76

He started growing rose in 1968, won 19 Gold medals at Chelsea, and was awarded the Victoria Medal of Honours in 2003, awarded by the Royal Horticultural Society.

He was a noted rose grower, nurseryman and author and his book 'Classic Roses' is one I would never be without. We are now onto our second copy and it is a battered well used tome. Our first one fell to pieces. It is a must have for any fledgling rosarian.

Holiday is over

My husband is making cheese with a visiting American friend. I am banned from the kitchen so mug of coffee in hand I am back at work on the computer. This is now officially the start of work on my next book - Emporers, Generals and Gentlemen - starting today with General Kleber. I have actually done 2 others last year so he is no three on my list.

books have arrived

I am off into wellington today to pick up stocks of Missionaries, Wives and Roses from the publisher. Help google and blind readersThey have finally been cleared to customs and are off to the distribitor this week. Hopefully they will be in the book shops next week.

Post Christmas

Christmas is gone - thoughts turn back to the gym - and to starting a new book. But first I am going to write a wee book for my grandson who is off to university next year.  It will be called Easy Cooking for First Time Flatters.' or perhaps 'One Stop Cooking.'

Then on to' Emperors, Generals and Gentle Men' - 2 chapters written already - 2 gentle men - Graham Stuart Thomas and Lawremce Johnston.

Meanwhile stocks of Missionaries Wives and Roses should now be landed and hopefully through customs to be in the shops by mid January.

On ward

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