Mountain District Radio Episode first aired on 31 July 2017 at 3:00 pm
Hello Good Lifers,
After last week's debacle with the scheduled phone call to author Jaye Ford (AKA Janette Paul) I was a little apprehensive as I dialled...but all was well! Jay answered immediately and I was delighted to be able to speak with her.
It is not often that a successful crime writer turns to romantic comedy as an alternative literary genre, but Jaye has done that most successfully with 'Amber and Alice'. Jaye is a highly regarded Australian crime writer with five very successful novels to her credit. She also has an interesting professional background as a sports journalist and TV commentator!
Amber & Alice tells the story of two very different half-sisters reared by a charming, erratic hippie mother with somewhat relaxed moral standards. Amber is earnest, ambitious and very responsible, her half-sister Sage follows much more closely in her mother's lifestyle and the two young women have little in common.
However, in a reckless moment on Amber's part, everything changes! The morning following an office dinner she finds herself badly hung-over, wearing her tattered cocktail dress, stilettos with a broken heel and with no idea as to how or why she is in a car with Sage!!
With some prompting from Sage, she recalls that in a moment of drunken honesty she had publicly proclaimed her anger with her employers, lost her job, and phoned her sister for help. Stunned, she is then told by Sage that they are part of a convoy travelling to Alice Springs! It is the last thing she wants to hear.. and makes every effort to 'escape' the journey.
However, Sage tells her that their frivolous mother, who had died the previous year, left a diary which could indicate the identity and whereabouts in Alice Springs of Amber's unknown father. (Are you still with me?) With this incentive, Amber decides to share the trip.
From then on there are delays, dramas, misunderstandings and Amber incurs the wrath of the handsome convoy leader and other members of their party as she causes all kinds of problems.
There are some truly hilarious moments in this book, specially in relation to 'onesie' pyjamas in the guise of a cow! (I loved this book and highly recommend it.. And I HATE most romantic comedies!)
Jaye told us that 15 years ago she and her husband and 2 children had themselves been part of a convoy which travelled to Alice Springs and when they came home she wrote an outline for this story, but abandoned it. However, encouraged by her mother, she rewrote it and voila!
I am finding it particularly relevant as a very good friend is embarking next week on - yes! - a trip to Alice Springs as part of a convoy of 500 women from all around Australia! (Can't wait for progress reports!) Needless to say, I am passing on the book to her.. and wondering if she will see it offers a threat or a promise!
Jaye is currently working on her next book, another rom-com, which should be published next year.
AMBER & ALICE - JANETTE PAUL (AKA JAYE FORD) ......................
We are fortunate to have many excellent wineries so close to us in the Yarra Valley and the opportunity to taste a wide range of wine varieties in so many different restaurants. Many of us tend to always drink the same wine variety, if not the same label, so I thought it would be interesting to hear something of other lesser-known varieties becoming popular in our restaurants and liquor outlets.
Now this is where a bit of nepotism creeps in. My son was a winemaker in the Yarra Valley and in South Australia, then a fine wine buyer for Dan Murphy stores and, more recently, a consultant and wine writer, so I called on his expertise.
He spoke of a wide range of lesser known European wine styles becoming popular here and, as a result, vineyard owners planting the appropriate grape varieties. He also made comparisons with the more familiar local varieties with which they could identify.
He has compiled a list of these wines, with an estimate of prices that could be expected. Now my computer skills do not run to being able to transfer the list to this page! I am hoping my techno-smart friend TJ might be able to do that! If not, I will laboriously type it and put it on FB! (Or you can email me and I'll send through his copy!)
STEVEN CREBER...... AUSTRALIAN WINES ...................
The anticipated opening of Prosperina Bake House has become a bit like the Saturday matinee serial.. we are all breathlessly awaiting the next episode and the final opening! We thought it would be a good idea to have chef/owner/partner Gary Cooper bring us up-to-date about progress.
Gary told us of yet another bureaucratic hitch which has further delayed their opening, but - with some reservations - he thought it would probably be officially opening in about 2 weeks.
Meantime, with a hive of industrious locals swarming over the community garden like busy bees, it is being cultivated at a great rate and should be flourishing by opening date!
Watch this space for updates.......
GARY COOPER -PROSERPINA BAKE HOUSE - MT. DANDENONG TOURIST RD., SASSAFRAS ......................
TRACEY ROBERTS will be entertaining us next Sunday 6th at Skylark Café with an early afternoon performance. The café opens at 10.00 a.m. and the music will commence at about 12.00 noon. I am looking forward to it, particularly as she has promised me Georgia!
She will also be performing with the quartet Herft, Geri, Roberts & Smith at Skylark on Saturday 26th August at 7.30 p.m. $15 entry.
TRACEY ROBERTS @ SKYLARK ROOM, BURRINJA - SUNDAY 6TH @ 12.00 Noon - SKYLARK ROOM @ 7.30.P.M. - SATURDAY 26TH - $15 entry. Bookings 828 2772 ......................
There are always interesting happenings at Burrinja (Glenfern Road, Upwey), including the current exhibition by artist Rain White.
Growing Pains Initiative is another exhibition which be opening at the weekend. I hope to attend this and will share more about it next week.
BURRINJA CULTURAL CENTRE - GLENFERN ROAD, UPWEY. ...........................
The excellent exhibition combining photography and paintings by Paul Gallant is still showing at Arvy's Gallery and is well worth a visit. You will find a number of familiar faces on the walls!
ARVY'S GALLERY, MT DANDENONG TOURIST RD., OLINDA ...........................
THE HILLS FOOD FRONTIER has quickly established a significant place within the community and offers a variety of great services to we locals. Their annual dinner is scheduled for 19th August. It is free, please bring your own food and drinks, tea and coffee will be provided. Bookings @ www.trybooking.com.
ANNUAL THFF DINNER - 6.00-8.00 P.M., SATURDAY 19TH AUGUST - NO CHARGE. BOOKINGS: www.trybookng.com ........................
I am hoping to see THE TRIP TO SPAIN at Cameo and will pass on details next week. ......................... I read a terrific book titled See You In September by English author Charity Norman. A novel, it describes in chilling detail the seduction of a young English woman into a cult settled in a community based in a remote NZ valley. There is the inevitable all powerful Messiah figure and we share the 'agony and the ecstasy' as the main character renounces her own family in England, until a crisis calls her home for a forbidden visit and she starts to see the flaws in their 'Paradise'.
At the same time I am reading The Road to Jonestown (by Jeff Guinn), a true version of the same kind of seduction into a cult, with - in that instance - the almost inevitable fatal results of the murder/suicide of over 900 people.
Another challenging novel - The Way Back by Kylie Ladd - tells the story of a young teenage girl who mysteriously disappears, reappearing after four months with horrifying memories and an inability to face 'the real world'. I have just started reading it.
On a lighter note, an old foodie friend (Peter V. Howard) has written a humorous novel about the rise and rise (yes!) of a TV celebrity chef! He has called it The Cooking Game and it promises to be most entertaining. ......................
Thanks to John Weeks for his major role in getting The Good Life to air and to good friend T J, who puts this weekly waffle on the website! Thanks too to John for including it on his own website!
Best regards, Ann