Five weeks in the UK & Norway

For two years Australia’s borders were closed, meaning I was unable to see my daughter, Sophie, who’d gone to Norway for her gap year.

So the moment I got a chance, I booked tickets to see her.

The idea was that my husband would meet us in Japan, where we’d lived for two years, and then I’d carry on with our younger daughter, heading straight to Oslo, Norway.

I’d then have a sideline trip for a few days to the UK so I could see dear friends I’d made when I lived in the UK in my twenties, and others I’d known since my childhood in Africa.

Windswept Cornwall, London, Royal Palace in Brighton, exquisite Lake District!

Yes, I got to see it all, but…

I’d booked our five-week holiday last November – before Omicron was even a word, and before Russia invaded Ukraine.

You can imagine what happened next… Finnair cancelled our flights. Now Japan was out of the picture due to the flight cancellation, but also because my husband – a pilot who’d been laid off for 18 months during the pandemic – had been rehired and, due to the upsurge in world travel, was unable to get any time off (and hasn’t been able to after 8 months of trying).

Anyway, when I rebooked, I changed things around to have a dedicated two-week stopover in the UK before going to Norway for three weeks.

So here are some pics of our wonderful time in Brighton, the Lake District, Cornwall, and London.


Those who follow me on FB will see more personal pictures but this is just a taster.

After two wonderful weeks spent checking out caves for my Cornish smuggling novella, which is one of ten in the anthology Sexy Scandals of Swain Cove, I headed off to London and the Lake District.


Having farewelled my gorgeous friends, Adrian in Cornwall, whom I’ve known since I was a child as our mothers were best friends in Lesotho in the 1960s; and Fiona, with whom I’d been at school since the age of five and who showed me London again; and Louise, who was my dear bridesmaid after we’d met when she was 16 and I was 18, at Ames House, an impressive mansion in Hampstead dedicated in 1912 by its benefactor to ‘protecting the morals of young working girls’, I headed off to Norway.

There, the idea was to settle Sophie into student accommodation for her next three years at Trondheim University. The clever girl had made the most of being locked out from seeing her family by becoming fluent in Norwegian and passing all her language exams so she could be accepted into history and literature.

Here are some pictures of her Norwegian accommodation, an easy 15-minute walk from her university in Trondheim.


In beautiful Trondheim, we discovered an amazing Book Bar, and I’ve included a ‘Narnia-like’ photograph of the garden where I was outside, knitting at 8pm, when a beautiful buck wandered by.



Of course, the ancient city of Trondheim is famous for many things, including amazing Nidaros Cathedral.



After returning to Australia, I hadn’t even unpacked before it was time to go to the Romance Writers of Australia conference which was held in Fremantle, a beautiful seaside suburb of Perth where my husband and I spent two years before we went to live in the Solomon Islands for the next two years in 2001.



Now I’m home. And here was a wonderful welcome from my darling hubby!



I’ve had a wonderful time away but my deadlines are upon me. I need to finish my smuggling anthology – that’s my first priority. (Well, after doing my tax return for the last two years).

But I need to relax in between, and knitting is the age-old panacea for me. I used to hate knitting until I was 29 and my Swedish/Norwegian mother-in-law taught me the Continental way of knitting, and how to read Norwegian patters which are so different from the English method, as you can see below.



For this latest project, I chose a quick, easy design, as it’s all knitting in the round, then cut down the middle, and sewn together with the bands knitted in afterwards.

That’s it from me, for now. I feel very lucky to have got to see so much of the world, and so many dear friends and family, after being shut off from it for the past two years.

Happy reading, knitting, and whatever you like to do to relax, everyone!