Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Wind, Rain, Fire and Locusts - Fiona Lowe

Australia is currently struggling with weather. A large chunk of Australia has been very wet and flooded this Janurary just past. The West has sizzled in heat with bushfires. locusts have plagued farmers and right now, parts of Queensland are bracing themselves for Cyclone Yasi. Where we are in southern Victoria we're been incredibly fortunate just to have rain and although the river flooded, we were not badly affected.

We did however have an incredibly wet week in a tent by the beach. Camping is something best experienced under sunny skies. Everything is harder when it's wet...and we didn't just have drizzle but torrential rain that didn't eased for five days. The flip side was instead of surfing, rockpool rambling and canoeing we were reading and learning new card games and honing our skills on existing ones. Playing games around a table is one of the things I love about camping. We laugh, we argue, we negoitate and all those skills are really important for the kids to learn because they're skills they will need out in the big, wide world.

We also did quizzes. Every day, DS2 would read out the quiz from the paper and it's amazing how much stuff we know between the four of us. The Scrabble dictionary also got a beating. So although it wasn't the most active holiday or even one of the best holidays, we had fun, a good relax and realised we could rub along together without iPads, computers or TV. (everyone is allowed their iPod for music).

And on day seven the sun did come out and all was well with the world:-)

To celebrate my latest release of Single Dad's Triple Trouble I'm giving away a copy. To be in the drawer, just tell me about your most challenging vacation!

Fiona Lowe is an Australian author who writes for the Harlequin Mills and Boon Medical Romance line and single title contemporary romances for Carina Press. When she isn't drying out soggy tents, she tries to juggle a weekend husband, two sons, writing and an out-of-control garden. For more information on Fiona, visit her at She can also be found at Facebook and Twitter


Linda Henderson said...

I guess mine would be the year we went to California to go to Disneyland and somewhere in Arizona the fuel pump went out on the car and we were stranded on the highway. Not a fun experience. Today we are in a blizzard and have over 18 inches of snow with it still coming down. Drifts and 3-4-5 and more feet deep, it's not a fun place to be right now. I'm in Southwest Missouri.

seriousreader at live dot com

ev said...

It's very snowy here in upstate NY too.

Our version of camping is with our RV, which is usually guaranteed to be at least warm and dry, even if I don't hook up the tv.

One of these days, my goal is to vacation on your side of the world. Even if I go alone!! Which is actually the way I have the most fun. I drove from NY to CA and spent the entire time doing what I wanted for 12 days. It was great!

Fiona Lowe said...

BRRR, Linda, keep warm. I hope your power holds. Being stranded is never fun. I have been stranded at sea and stranded on a highway. I preferred the highway because the huge waves of the storm were pretty scary. But then again, those roadtrains are scary too!

Fiona Lowe said...

Ev do come! BUT if you want to visit the far north of Australia you need to come in late May-August as the cyclone season is over. Sadly that makes it cooler in the south where I am as it's winter then. OUr best weather is March...very stable.

Laney4 said...

I don't know if you'd call it challenging or not. When I was 39, we visited my sister and family, and they drove us to the mountains to help my BIL's brother take down a tree on his vast property. While climbing up this huge hill (which apparently was a mountain), everyone else got up higher and I couldn't get my footing right to catch up to them. (My legs are 5" longer so there wasn't room to bend them the same way as the rest did.) My BIL and DH each had one of my arms and were trying to drag me up the hill, but I couldn't get any footing. Somehow I got twisted around so I was facing down the hill, and I had to manage getting twisted back again. When I did so, then they had to drag me sideways along the hill until I could find somewhere to get footing. (If they had literally dragged me up the hill, I would have wrecked all my clothes and face, arms, and legs with the dirt, mud, and branches.) Needless to say, I am glad that I didn't pee my pants while dangling there precariously, as I was very scared, plus I'm afraid of heights at the best of times.

Nas Dean said...

Vacation to remember was the tour we took of India in late 2009. India is very vast and an incredible place and mostly we toured by car for fifty days. I found most places, food didn't agree with me and I had to keep a lookout for McDonalds just so I know what to order and hope of getting the right food.

And had to keep a look out for conveniences otherwise wait till we reach our hotels.

But when we came to Singapore it was so different, then we toured Malaysia. Visited Australia on our way back. Going through we had stopped in HongKong and visited China before India. It was one incredible vacation!

desere_steenberg said...

Most challenging vacation had to be a trip down to Cape Town , after two lovely days there my son got really ill and we were in a town where I did not know the Doctors or where to go and find them , and the hotel room did not have a fridge so had to keep his medication on ice !

He was very little and so very ill but the airline did not want to alter the reservations so we had to stick it out for 3 more days !

But I learned a valuable lesson , always book a hotel room with a fridge and always check doctor details and locations before you leave on a trip !

All the best to everyone with the horrific weather conditions !


pageturner said...

I think it must be the time I stayed with a pen pal and her family took us on holiday to Denmark, camping. I'd never camped, didn't own a bikini, didn't like the sun and only spoke English, so I spent most of the week in the tent reading the same book over and over again!

Kaelee said...

My most challenging vacation was taken just after my husband and I both quit our jobs because we were going to move home to Alberta. We were living in Montreal Quebec at the time and decided to spend some time touring the Canadian Maritime provinces. We bought a tent and set off. The first time we set up our brand new tent it took us over an hour. The next night it rained and we found out we should have cured our tent to make it waterproof. We bought a tarp to cover the top of the tent. A few weeks later we pulled into a campground and a gentleman came over and complimented us on our fast set up. I put up the tent as my husband cooked dinner on the camp stove and we were set up and eating in about 20 minutes or less.

We felt pretty proud of ourselves a few days later as our tent was the only one left standing in the campground after the tail end of a hurricane went trough. It was flooded out but standing. There were lots of tent trailers on their sides but our tent was still up.

Michele L. said...

Thinking back over the years I think the most challenging vacation ever was when my hubby and I took a vacation back to Pennsylvania to see his relatives. We live in Indiana.

It was summer, nice and hot, and we took his parents car as our car wasn't very road worthy. It turned out their car wasn't much better. Halfway into the trip the air conditioning went out and the thermostate was stuck open. So instead of cold air coming out, it was hot air blasting out at us.

We had all the windows rolled down and the most skimpiest clothing on that you could still call decent. We were like limp rags when we got there and didn't feel like doing much at all. I think we rested up that whole day and luxuriated in the air conditioning at the aunts house. I usually like road trips but that was one I was looking forward to getting over with as quick as possible.

One other trip that was quite challenging is when our luggage was lost on a trip to Alabama. We made it there but our luggage didn't. Don't know where it went to but it didn't show up until a week after when we were back home again. The airline mailed it back to us when it was found.

Fiona Lowe said...

Laney, I hope you got well looked after when you got back! I think that might put me off climbing mountains....actually, I hate climbing steep hills. Much prefer to walk along the flat!

Fiona Lowe said...

Nas, what a fantastic trip. I have India on my list. Right now I am reading The White Tiger.

Fiona Lowe said...

Desere, a sick kid is never easy but when you're out of your normal environment, it's even tougher and often the things we just take for granted aren't available.

Fiona Lowe said...

Oh, dear Pageturner, that sounds like a L-O-N-G trip! Hopefully the book was a good one and worth re-reading!

Fiona Lowe said...

Kaelee, nothing like practice, eh? I confess to buying a tent, walking out of the shop, putting it in the car and heading out for a two week outback holiday. We too found out we should have cured it but we didn't have rain on the trip so we hosed the tent when we got home.

Fiona Lowe said...

Michele, hot air on a hot day? You poor things! I think it is so much easier to warm up than cool down.

desere_steenberg said...

Very true Fiona and thank you so much for the great opportunity you are giving us to win your stunning book !!

chey said...

My most challenging vacation was camping in the rain. Did lots of reading, crosswords and playing games.

Pat Cochran said...

The most challenging "vacation"
was really a camping trip for HS
band students many years ago.
Several booster families signed
up to chaperone, students obtained
parental permission slips, & with
the band director & family, off we
went to the nearest state park. The
parents did the cooking. Students
hiked, canoed, and attempted to get
past the parents around the camp
fire each night to raid each other's cabins! The director tried canoeing and ended up in the lake! Everyone had a grand time, but I
was never so glad get back home!
I like the odds of three teens
(my own) rather than thirty!

Fiona Lowe said...

HI Everyone,
THANKS so much for sharing your stories! They were fabulous. I got Boy Wonder (12) who has a huge hat collection to pull a name out of his summer Panama Hat and the winner is....drum roll.....Michele-L!
Congratulations! Please email me at with your details so I can mail you a copy of Single Dad's Triple Trouble.