by Anna Campbell
It's just before Valentine's Day which is the big annual day for romance writers. So just for something completely different and to give you all a break from being showered in hearts and roses, I thought I'd talk about some recent visitors to my place.
For many years, I lived in a tiny little flat in Sydney with a beautiful view of the neighbors' toilet windows (at least it wasn't distracting when I was trying to write!). Anyone who visited had to sleep on the floor in the lounge. Which was certainly fun in a pajama party kinda way but not exactly grown up.
These days I live in a proper house on Queensland's Sunshine Coast which is a very pretty part of the world. These days I love to get visitors. I put flowers in their room - check out the flowering gum blossoms I put in for my most recent guests. I put chocolates on their pillow. I clean the bathroom that is theirs alone (now that's luxury! LOL!).
But lately I've had some visitors with no interest at all in a posy on the dressing table. Unless I happen to scatter some bread crumbs in the bedroom - and as you know, that's grounds for divorce!
Aren't these black swans gorgeous? They've been hanging around all summer and it's been such a treat watching them.
Before this, we'd occasionally get a stray pair flying in but they'd never stay. So when a pair turned up a couple of months ago, I assumed they'd take off again like all the others. But they stayed. And then they found two more friends. And now most of the time, I have six swans on the lake at the bottom of my garden.
How cool is that? They really are the most beautiful creatures. They're deep, inky black with red beaks and legs and pure white undersides to their wings (check out the guy having a flutter in the right-hand corner of this photo).
Whenever I see them, it feels like a lovely unexpected gift that I've done nothing in particular to deserve. I hope they stay!
So let's leave this Valentine's Day madness behind and talk about unexpected joys. When was the last time something or someone happened to you and left you feeling like you'd been blessed?