Goodbye, 2019.

The only thing on many Australians’ minds as the year comes to an end is that our entire country is on fire. Canberra is finishing the year blanketed in smoke and suffering through a severe heatwave, and for some of the day we had an out of control bushfire five minutes from us.

The New South Wales South Coast, where many (most?) Canberrans either have holiday homes or have visited many times, is ablaze, with people evacuated to the beaches and the entire landscape burnt away.

We need a miracle for 2020.

Canberra Australia Summer Heatwave Sunset Sonya Oksana Heaney Smoke Bushfire 30th December 2019 1

The Week: 22nd – 28th October

White Spring Flowers Blue Sky Canberra Australia 25th October 2018 Sonya Heaney Sunshine Garden Nature

Spring sunshine – and a spring sunset – in Canberra.

Only days to go before I fly to China!

A Book for the Anniversary: Goodbye for Now by M.J. Hollows

Goodbye for Now by M.J. Hollows

Babies in Young Adult Fiction

Revisiting Madeline Hunter

A Devil of a Duke (2018) (The second book in the Decadent Dukes Society series) A novel by Madeline Hunter

Out Now: A Stage Full of Shakespeare Stories by Angela McAllister (author) and Alice Lindstrom (illustrator)

A Stage Full of Shakespeare Stories By (author) Angela McAllister Illustrated by Alice Lindstrom

On this day: British women prepare for invasion

The_British_Army_in_the_United_Kingdom_1939-45_Second World War Two 23rd October 1941 Women of Britains Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) operate a rangefinder during anti-aircraft

On this day 80 years ago

The Week: 12th – 18th February

IMG_5664 Canberra Australia Summer Sunset Sonya Heaney 12th February 2018 Australian Capital Territory Tuggeranong Sky Clouds Nature

IMG_5673 Canberra Australia Summer Sunset Sonya Heaney 12th February 2018 Australian Capital Territory Tuggeranong Sky Clouds Nature

Monday summer sunset in Canberra.

Another hot week, which has made watching the Winter Olympics an odd experience!

The National Multicultural Festival is on here in Canberra at the moment, and we braved the heat and the crowds yesterday afternoon to pay a visit. Should have worn something traditionally Ukrainian!

The Middle Eastern/Gulf section was very strategically organised this year, including the Palestinian part, which has Trump to thank for the slightly awkward Jerusalem billboards. Also notable: Qatar was nowhere near countries like the United Arab Emirates.

We finished it all off with drinks at a Hawaiian bar.

My review of Medal Up: A Winter Games Duology by Nicole Flockton and Fiona Marsden

 Medal Up A Winter Games Duology by Nicole Flockton and Fiona M Marsden

Recommended Olympic-Themed Read

Walk on the Wild Side (One Hot Fling #2) by Natalie Anderson

Fifty Shades is still going?

Fifty Shades of Grey Fifty Shades Freed 2018 Reviews IMDB 3.5 out of 10

Go Canada!

Tessa Virtue Scott Moir Team Event Ice Dance Figure Skating Pyeongchang Winter Olympics 12th February 2018

More Olympic Stuff

Ukrainian Aljona Savchenko and Frernch Bruno Massot of Germany won gold. Pairs Figure Skating Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Korea 2018

Second Sport Update

Jarryd Hughes

I think everybody should know…

Diaper Duty Vampire (Vampires of Amber Heights Book 1) by R E Mullins

The Week: 5th – 11th February

Friday sunset in Canberra

Australian Parliament all wrapped up in scaffolding for refurbishment yesterday afternoon.

2018 Winter Olympic Games - Opening Ceremony

2018 Winter Olympic Games - Opening Ceremony

Kim Yuna lighting the Olympic torch.

Misty – and the end she didn’t deserve

Blind Calico Cat Canberra Australia 26th May 2017 Sonya Heaney Cute 1

We’re not a country??

Flags across the country have been lowered to honour one of Australia's former governors-general, Sir Ninian Stephen, who died on October 29. Parliament House Canberra 8th November 2017

My review of The Marquess Tames His Bride by Annie Burrows

The Marquess Tames His Bride (Brides for Bachelors) by Annie Burrows

My review of Shakespeare for Children: Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare for Children Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Must monsters always be male?

Cinderella Disney.

Cover Love

Carrying the Gentleman's Secret by Helen Dickson

The Week: 1st – 7th January

First Sunset of 2018 Sonya Heaney Canberra Australia Sky Clouds Summer Garden Nature

The first Canberra sunset of 2018

Ukrainian Christmas Eve Canberra Australia Ukrainian Embroidery Ukrainian Culture Sonya Heaney 6th January 2018

Happy Ukrainian Christmas! It’s HOT here – 39 degrees today, and we’ve had high temperatures most of the week.

I’ve been working my way through a good book or two, but haven’t had as much time to read as I need to finish any of them yet!

Ukrainian Christmas Eve

Christmas Candles Ukrainian Christmas Sonya Heaney Zazzle Store

Cooking for Ukrainian Christmas

Varenyky Ukrainian Food Christmas Ukraine Canberra Ausrealia Sonya Heaney 5th January 2018

Wish List for 2018

Books HD

Fancy running a bookshop for a week?

Wigtown_Market_Square_-_geograph_org_uk_-_212447 Wigtown Market Square Scotland UK Book Town

My review of The Husband Hunter’s Guide to London (Husband Hunters #1) by Kate Moore

The Husband Hunter's Guide to London (Husband Hunters #1) by Kate Moore

My review of Montana Groom of Convenience by Linda Ford

Montana Groom of Convenience (Big Sky Country) by Linda Ford

The Week: 11th – 17th December

Canberra Australia Summer Sunset Sonya Heaney 10th December 2017 Sun Garden Nature

Summer sunset in Canberra

Saturday Summer Sunset Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 16th December 2017 Sky Tuggeranong Nature

Saturday Sunset

Canberra Australia Summer Flowers Pink Flowers Sonya Heaney 12th December 2017 Summer Garden Nature

Summer Flowers

Hot week here in Canberra. Summer is late this year, but had finally arrived! I know people say it every year, but I have never been less ready for Christmas than I am this year.

I have a bunch of Christmas review books I’m just not going to get to in time.

Happy 242nd Birthday, Jane Austen!

Portrait of Jane Austen in watercolour and pencil. By Cassandra Austen.

My review of Dashing All the Way: A Christmas Anthology by Celeste Bradley, Eva Devon, Elizabeth Essex, Heather Snow.

Dashing All the Way A Christmas Anthology by Celeste Bradley, Eva Devon, Elizabeth, Heather Snow.

A Great Tweet

Defending Romance Books

Andersen Book Art

Paper Sculpture Fineart Postcard The little match girl n-4 - Hans Christian Andersen's tales

Jane Austen Calendar

Classic Coloring Jane Austen 2018 Calendar Colouring Books

100 Years Ago

allenby_enters_jerusalem_1917general-sir-edmund-allenby-entering-the-holy-city-of-jerusalem-on-foot-1917-to-show-respect-for-the-holy-place-first-world-war-one

The Week: 20th – 26th November

Canberra Australia Spring Sunset #2 Sonya Heaney Tuggeranong 19th November 2017 Sky Clouds Nature

Canberra Australia Spring Sunset #1 Sonya Heaney Tuggeranong 19th November 2017 Sky Clouds Nature

Spring skies in Canberra

End of Spring Canberra Australian Capital Territory Australia Sonya Heaney Sunny Warm Afternoon Blue Sky Garden Flowers Nature 22nd November 2017

Blue sky and sunshine at the end of spring…

Canberra Braddon Rainbow Roundabout Gayest City in Australia Most Gay-Friendly Andrew Barr Marriage Equality November 2017

What we did in Canberra this week. With far and away the highest “yes” vote for gay marriage of anywhere in Australia, we (it was actually already planned) painted a roundabout in one of the main restaurant streets in the city rainbow colours.

Garema Place Marriage Equality Gay Marriage Canberra Australia Andrew Barr November 2017

This follows on from the commissioned street art in one of our main squares, that was painted the afternoon of the result of the vote.

^^^^

Our latest idiot cat. Hannibal, an overly friendly Burmese cat (all Burmese cats are super-affectionate) being looked after by our neighbour for several months. If there’s anything higher than him, he MUST go to the top of it (it’s a good thing he has a bell)! He basically lives over here, and gets lonely and terrorises the house at all hours of the night. (They are actually two different photos, not me zooming in. He was standing there for ages!)

#Russian terrorists in #Ukraine. 5th April 2015.

This week, while the world was watching Zimbabwe (I must have watched a day’s worth of live coverage from Harare on Al Jazeera, BBC etc. – though it’s good to see Africa get some attention for once), Russia did one of the weirdest things yet.

The Russians running one proxy republic in the east of Ukraine invaded another proxy Russian-backed “republic” in Ukraine. All the while Russia says they’re not invading anyone. It has been called the most stupid invasion in history – and it may well be.

However, it’s looking more and more like Putin is going for a full-on invasion while his “useful idiot” in the White House distracts the media. Once he joins all his fake republics up, there’s a massive part of Ukraine both gone and filled with Russian troops. The rest of Europe should be very, very worried.

I have family in Donetsk – the most important city the Russians invaded three years ago. That nobody cares – even though it’s in Europe, and allegedly the world cares more about Europe than elsewhere – makes me frustrated, angry, and upset on a daily basis.

This week a tiger was shot after escaping a circus in the centre of Paris. I am shocked and horrified most people in the world (including most of Australia) still allows wild animals in

This week a tiger was shot after escaping a circus in the centre of Paris. I am shocked and horrified most people in the world (including most of Australia) still allows wild animals in circuses. We banned them in Canberra in 1992!

One Month Until Christmas

christmas-decorations-sonya-heaney-canberra-australia-1st-december-2016

My review of Twelfth Night with the Earl (The Sutherland Sisters #3) by Anna Bradley

Twelfth Night with the Earl (The Sutherland Sisters #3) by Anna Bradley

My review of When in Rome (Heart of the City #4) by C.J. Duggan

When in Rome (Heart of the City #4) by C.J. Duggan

Coming Up for Joanna Shupe

A Scandalous Deal (The Four Hundred Series #2) by Joanna Shupe

Cover Love

Valerie Bowman The Right Kind of Rogue 2

Literary Coin Purses

Wuthering Heights Purse Clutch. Kisslock Bag Quote Whatever Our Souls Are Made Of His And Mine Are The Same Bronte Bridal Wedding Bridesmaid

The Week: 6th – 12th November

Canberra Spring Sunset After the Rain Sonya Heaney 6th November 2017 Sky Clouds Nature Tree

Monday sunset after some desperately-needed rain in Canberra.

Flags across the country have been lowered to honour one of Australia's former governors-general, Sir Ninian Stephen, who died on October 29. Parliament House Canberra 8th November 2017

The flag of Australia’s Parliament House, Canberra at half-mast for the funeral of our former Governor-General Ninian Stephen on Wednesday. I took it from the car (the sun reflecting off the metal is a bit distracting!). Flags at all of Canberra’s national monuments were lowered for the occasion.

Spring Roses Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney Sunny Afternoon Blue Sky Pink Flowers Pink Roses 9th October 2017 Garden Natre

The spring roses are out in Canberra.

There are many things I could say this week. However, I will just comment on gymnastics (a sport I won medals in, my brother was on the Olympic squad of, and I later coached). It seems that most US Olympic gymnastics stars for years have been victims of a paedophile/sex abuser. People are saying this is even worse than the stories coming out of Hollywood. It seems so.

Hearing that the champions from the last few Olympics were sexually abused hours before we watched them win medals is… it upset me so much. I hope they get some justice for it.

My review of Hold Her Again by Shannon Stacey

Hold Her Again by Shannon Stacey

My review of Mail-Order Christmas Baby (Montana Courtships #1) by Sherri Shackelford

Mail-Order Christmas Baby (Montana Courtships #1) by Sherri Shackelford

‘We’re told to be grateful we even have readers’

Amazon kindle Ebooks

New Release for Mary Balogh

Someone to Wed (Westcott #3) by Mary Balogh

Melbourne Cup Day

Promises by Cathryn Hein

Remembrance Day

AWM_060483_Australian_21st_Brigade_troops_Ramu_Valley_1943 Soldiers from the Australian 21st Brigade move down from the Finisterre Range into the Ramu Valley 9th November 1943

The Week: 5th – 11th September

Spring Blossoms Canberra Australia Garden Flowers Blue Sky Sun Sonya Heaney 5th September 2016 IMG_0283

Spring!

The start of the week in Canberra was so bright and sunny. Perfect for walking, as we have so much bushland and nature threaded throughout the entire city.

saturday-spring-sunset-canberra-australia-sonya-heaney-10th-september-2016-sky-clouds-nature

Canberra’s Saturday Sunset

sonyaheaneyhungry-magpie-visitor-magpie-canberra-australiananimals-bird-australia-spring-funny-cute-cbr-9th-september-2016

One of our friendly neighbours hanging out at the back door on Friday.

The only problem with an Australian spring is that we have magpie swooping season (if you look at the map on the link, I live in the middle of the worst part!). Around here, I know the magpies well enough that they come knocking at the door with their beaks (there aren’t many things funnier than hearing a knock, going to answer the front door, and there’s a bird standing there!), but I’m a little wary of walking on paths I’m not too familiar with!

The first Christmas present (I kid you not!) was purchased this week. A bit scary!!

Victoria – great costumes, terrible history?

victoria_promo_003-600x900miniseries

My review of The Earl’s Return (Marriage Mart Mayhem #7) by Callie Hutton

The Earl's Return (Marriage Mart Mayhem #7) by Callie Hutton

My review of The Governess Was Wicked (Governess #1) by Julia Kelly

The Governess Was Wicked (Governess #1) by Julia Kelly

What I’ve been reading…

Safe Harbor (Drake Sisters #5) by Christine FeehanDangerous Tide (Drake Sisters #4) by Christine FeehanTurbulent Sea (Drake Sisters #6) by Christine Feehan American Cover

Apprentice In Death

Apprentice in Death (In Death #43) by J.D. Robb