I've just had a wonderful week swanning around (yeah, that's a pun as will become clear if you check out the photo a little bit lower down!) Victoria.
It actually wasn't great timing as I've got a book due and my launch for SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE'S BED is going on right now. But the National Gallery of Victoria was having a huge exhibition about Napoleon. Given that Napoleon is the major historical figure of the first quarter of the 19th century and that's the period I write in, I really couldn't miss seeing it. And it closes this weekend so it was now or never.
It took me a couple of days but I did the complete permanent collection (apart from the fashion and Asian galleries which weren't open). I feasted my eyes on beautiful art and ceramics and jewelry and furniture and glassware. Stunning stuff all round. Must say the feet objected to all that museuming, though. I was walking like a duck (a swan? Nah!) by the end!
I also did the Napoleon exhibition which featured an awful lot of gold. In fact, I had a gilt headache by the time I got out. Clearly Monsieur N wanted to show the world that he'd arrived and he did it in the flashiest style possible. Among my favorite pieces were some exquisite snuffboxes in diamonds and gold. The sort of thing we all have lying around in our top drawer, of course!
I also caught up with a stack of wonderful friends, including wonderful medical author Sharon Archer who features in the photo at the top of the page. And I had lunch with a whole crowd of Melbourne authors at the gorgeous Langham Hotel on the Monday. Made a complete pig of myself of course!
Emmie Dark, young adult writer Ebony McKenna, rural romance writer Cathryn Hein and historical romance superstar Anne Gracie.
I got lots of photos of the lunch, so I'll probably do a blog just about that so you can see all the great writers who live in Melbourne. Well, at least those who could make the lunch. It's school holidays down here at the moment. A couple of the regulars couldn't be there, sadly. Although they were present in spirit!
It was quite a swanny visit. Not only did I regularly cross Swanston Street in Melbourne, I went to SWAN LAKE at the Victorian Arts Center on Friday night. It was a beautiful new production from the Australian Ballet, using the traditional elements. That suits me down to the ground (or the water!). When I go to SWAN LAKE, I want swans, I want a prince, I want pretty dresses, darn it! That was a lovely way to kick off my weekend in Melbourne!
the botanical gardens there. I took SOOO many photos so flower pics are going to grace all my blogs and my Facebook page for the next few months. Here's a sample. Isn't that pink lovely? They have lots of beautiful mature European trees there so it was like being in an English country garden in spring.
So that's been my recent excitement. What have you been up to lately? Been anywhere nice? Oh, and if you are traveling, I can recommend SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE'S BED for your suitcase! Gold goes with everything! LOL!