Friday Five…


So anyways, I haven’t popped too much up on here of late. It’s been a combination of a chaotic time in the partition job, and well, I’m sure that you know how it is. Rather than boring you with the details, let’s jump straight into the Friday Five (and yes, I’m aware that it’s Saturday as this goes to press)…

What we attempted…


Vivid Sydney is on at the moment and with friends over from Wellington for the weekend, we attempted to see it. Unfortunately the weather gods had other ideas.

The plan was to have an early dinner at an old favourite on King St Wharf- The Malaya- and then catch the ferry around to Circular Quay to see the lights from the water.

sticky chilli chicken wings
sticky chilli chicken wings

As it turned out, we stayed on the ferry and came back again, but still got some great views of the Opera House and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA).

As a result of the dark, the rain, the distance, the rain… the photos are, quite frankly, crapola. Besides, you’re probably bored already of all the Vivid photos up on Facebook and Instagram etc…


What made me laugh…


Hunt For The Wilderpeople. What else was there to do on a rainy Sydney Sunday than go to the movies? And what a movie- this one is fabulous. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll laugh some more.

What I discovered…

one of the dark corners...
one of the dark corners…

I was told about Uncle Ming’s in the partition the other day. ‘It’s seriously dark,’ someone said. ‘You’ll never find it,’ said someone else. ‘It feels like an opium den might feel if I’d ever been to an opium den,’ said another colleague.


There are no signs on the street level, and you walk down the stairs beside a suit shop in York Street, and through an ordinary looking door- and there you are: In Uncle Ming’s…a seriously cool little bar that’s dark, hard to find, and feels much like I imagine an opium den might feel if I’d ever been to an opium den.

What did we drink? Cocktails, of course… In the pic below is Uncle Ming’s version of an old-fashioned…


What I’m working on…

I’ve been completing the re-write for what used to be Finding John Smith. I’ve found this book to be harder and longer to write than Big Girls Don’t Cry– I suspect that’s partly because of everything that the first six months of this year has dished up, and partly because it’s the book that crosses over between my Melbourne series and a series set in Queenstown that I have planned to write over the next few years. In any case, it’s virtually done now- and bears very little resemblance to the idea that I started with. Heavy sighs.

Oh, the new title? I’m thinking Road to Paradise…yep, sounds a little cheesy, but when you read it, you’ll understand. Paradise, you see, is a place as well as an idea- and, in the absence of anything better from Vivid, it’s in the lead pic for this week…

What I’m reading…


Murder With The Lot, by Sue Williams. I love a good accidental investigator story- cozy crime, I think the genre is called. Some of my favourite literary characters are Shane Maloney’s Murray Whelan, and Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher and Corinna Chapman. Sue Williams’ Cass Tuplin is as endearing as these- plus there are chiko rolls involved. So far it’s everything I love in a crime novel.

Thanks to Angela Savage’s blog for the recommendation. I’m already looking forward to getting into the follow-up Dead Men Don’t Order Flake.



3 comments on “Friday Five…”
  1. Deborah says:

    Road to Paradise is a great title! Looking forward to hearing more!

    And I love out of the way places like Uncle Ming’s…. though everyone usually knows about them and they’re inexplicably packed.

    I haven’t travelled that much, but I loved the Fado bars in Portugal. There was no signage and they just seemed to pop up around the city. You’d sit on crates or whatever and drink what they gave you and listen to not-always-great family members performing.

    1. Jo says:

      Thanks Deb 🙂

  2. Hi Jo, I look forward to hearing what you think of Sue Williams’s Cass Tuplin novels. For my money, Dead Men Don’t Order Flake is even better than the first.

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