The Week: 6th – 12th March

Bright Blue Sky Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney Autumn 6th March 2017

First day back home. Blue sky, sunshine, summer temperatures – and half a new deck!

We went to Canberra’s Enlighten festival last night. The national buildings (National Library – above, National Science and Technology Centre, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Old Parliament House etc.) are lit up. There are also bars and food stalls and opera performances and a whole lot of things.

I will find some better pictures tomorrow.

This possum has moved in (not our first one, but the smallest so far), right outside my bedroom window. The night-time fights with other animals kept me awake all night a few nights ago!

It has been absolutely gorgeous in Canberra this week. Temperatures up around thirty degrees, bright blue skies, sunshine. It feels more like summer than autumn most of the time.

Chris Miller 11th March 2017 Russia invaded Ukraine

A timely reminder from a very respected journalist in Europe.

A Ukrainian woman is behind bars in the United Arab Emirates at the moment because doctors found out she is pregnant to her fiancé. They are “testing” her to find out how long she has been sexually active, which sounds like an appalling abuse of a woman’s basic rights.

You’re not allowed to have premarital sex in the UAE, and women are imprisoned for reporting rapes. Please be aware that just because Dubai and Abu Dhabi look shiny and tourists love them doesn’t mean it isn’t an Islamic country with some terribly restrictive laws – especially for women.

I have to travel through there are few more times this year, and I really wish I wasn’t. Qantas sends their flights through there a lot now, and codeshares with Emirates, which is one of the worst airlines I have ever experienced.

Also on my list of “things that annoyed me this week”, this article:

Pope may allow married Catholic men as priests

The reason it annoys me? Ukrainian Catholic men – married, soon to be married, planning to be married – have ALWAYS been able to become priests. For centuries. Most of the priests I’ve ever known have been married – with children.

This is allegedly such a groundbreaking idea, but once again people totally ignore the fact this is already, and always has been, a thing.

Nobody knows anything about Ukraine, but you’d think a journalist or two might mention this extremely relevant fact!

And then there’s:

Muhammad Ali’s son detained at US airport for second time

He’s a flipping US citizen! What is wrong with Trump’s version of America??!

My review of Outback Cowboy (Hot Aussie Heroes Book 1) by Margareta Osborn

My review of Devil in Spring (Ravenels #3) by Lisa Kleypas

My review of A Temporary Family by Sherri Shackelford

Patricia Briggs’ New Book

Excuse me, cover designers…

Home…

Okay, I’m home, and likely to crash at some point soon! Qantas messed up a couple of A380s worth of people’s flights, and so people were sent off on random flights all around the world in order to get where they needed to be.

dubai-international-airport-terminal-3-sonya-heaney-march-2017

In Dubai, waiting at yet another departure gate.

I was meant to fly directly home, but instead ended up on Emirates (whose staff really need to get their act together – the service and the food were appalling), paying unexpected visits to the United Arab Emirates (where airport shopping was done), and to Thailand (where our departure gate was showing a propaganda video about the greatness of their king – apparently he just about invented everything in the universe).

We were late arriving in rainy Sydney, and very nearly missed our flight to Canberra. However, luck was finally on our side, and here I am back in summer clothes and enjoying the sunny afternoon!

Adding it all up, it was about two and a half days of travel, which is insane.

devil-in-spring-ravenels-book-3-by-lisa-kleypas-uk-cover

The book I most recently finished – and loved – was Lisa Kleypas’ Devil in Spring, which I intend to type a review for tomorrow.

Heading Home

We are flying out of London today, provided the airline sorts out the mess they created by cancelling the original flight!

With any luck I will be home by Sunday afternoon (yes, that’s how long it takes!). Then this blog will be back running as it’s meant to.

img_20170302_192843_403

What I am up to.

When I travel I always have the best intentions of maintaining my blogs, but of course that never happens!

I have begged off lunch in Venice today to catch up on some things in my work life, but when you are staying on the Grand Canal it is always easy to be distracted!

It didn’t help that when I ducked out to the supermarket I was discovered by friends and “forced” to stop for pre-lunch drinks!

someone-to-hold-westcott-book-2-by-mary-balogh-uk-australian-cover

I finished Mary Balogh’s latest the other day, and loved it to pieces (I honestly don’t ever cry, but this is one of four of thousands of books I’ve read that nearly made me). However, there won’t be a review until I return home in March.

I am now in the process of reading a bunch of Australian books by women writers, as I am to moderate at the Jugiong Writers’ Festival shortly after I return home:

http://jugiongwritersfestival.com/?page_id=715

http://jugiongwritersfestival.com/

I am also now reading a review copy of Eloisa James’ latest book – my first by this very famous author! It is great so far.

img_20170219_135749_467

Breakfast view.

However, I am in Venice at Carnevale, the most important time of the year, there are people in spectacular costumes everywhere, and our long-term Italian friends (who we’ve known since living in India many years ago) have driven here from Asti to spend time with us. So I am falling behind.

My Italian-language skills are becoming terrible, because these days so many people speak English.

I am sorry for all the typos I am sure are in this post, but I have no proper computer at the moment!

I am also sorry for not responding to people. It is not on purpose!