My Country Kitchen - Friends

My post this week isn’t a recipe as such, it’s more about the ingredients that go into my life. The people who gather around my kitchen table, at the  bench (a bar with stools where mates prop and talk while I continue to cook), the pool, the outdoor tables and even the front fence if I happen to be there.

My friends are a huge part of my life and I just want to give you a little peek at the last week to show you some of the little things they do which help me write my books. Most, if not all of these people have been in my life a very long time.

There’s Em, who makes the best cups of tea this side of the Equator, that save my life every week. She also plays plot ping-pong with me so I can iron out issues while our kids play. Her husband, a bushman, is awesome with the practicalities of life, dreaming up book titles and peoples names. Their children are like my nephews and nieces. I adore them all.

Hurley is a woman who is responsible for my current state. It’s her "fault" I met the most wonderful man in the world and had two more beautiful kids. She's the reason I have hair that is nicely shaped for at least four weeks until she can lasso me back into her hairdressing chair. She loves me, and I love her – warts and all. (I can hear her saying, ‘Warts? What warts, Toots?!’) Cattleman’s Get-togethers, balls and parties were our mecca for many antics. We’ve had road-trips, four wheel driving treks, camping to back of beyond– you name it and we’ve done it together. I love her much. Her husband pretty good too, except he drives a Nissan...

Jen, is my numbers woman (she saves my life with the financials). She’s also my sit-on-the-other-side-of-the-bench-and-lets-solve-the-problems-of-the-world woman. A fellow single mum, whom when I found myself in this state many, many years ago I went up to and said, ‘How do I do this?’ Her response was, ‘You just get on and do because you have to.’ She was right and we’ve been best mates ever since.

My mate Nell, an incredible horsewoman and dairyfarmer last week picked up I was getting stale; too much time on the computer chasing deadlines. So I got a text on Saturday. "Meet me at mum and dad’s. You bring your kids and the tucker. I’ll bring my kids and horses." There followed a fun and fabulous day for both kids and mums alike. While the kids played in the scrub around the hut, Nell and I rode. I felt more alive than I had in months and I was able to do a power of writing over the next few days. I owe that gorgeous girl big time.

Yesterday, the kids and I trekked to the beach to meet with my long-time friend Kaz, a pocket rocket dynamo of a woman who had driven from Sydney to Port Albert on Monday with five small children and a dog.


She is amazing. Our friendship is also one in million. We just start talking where we left off twelve months ago, like no time at all has passed in between. I was her bridesmaid. I’m privileged to be Godmother to one of her children. We’ve lived a lot of life together and have shared much.

Today – and being school holidays – my mate Shell, took the kids to play 'so you can finish this book.' She just knew I needed a couple of hours. Shell always does this. She’s always there for you. She also keeps me organised with school stuff, because she knows and accepts that I’m such a scatterbrain.

Tomorrow we head bush, up the back of the beyond, with other mates – bush people too – where one, Pammy, will read the draft of Mountain Ash. While Pam will give me honest and loving constructive feedback, her husband Mal – also a bushman - will delight me with more mountain tales I can use in my books. I treasure and love this duo like you wouldn’t believe.

And of course on the end of the phone is my critique partner, fellow author, best mate, and THE most wonderful encourager in the world – Kate Belle (Her recent release was THE YEARNING). Without her to brainstorm plots, story hiccups and talk about writing, I don’t know where I’d be. Probably rocking back and forth in a straight jacket.

And this is just the beautiful friends I’ve seen in the last week.

There’s no doubt about it, I am so blessed.

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