Saturday, August 01, 2009

Wildcard Weekend - Fiona Lowe

Escape the daily grind this weekend with Fiona Lowe!

A few weekends ago my husband and I ‘escaped’ for a weekend away…well 29 hours actually… to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We had a lovely time visiting the big smoke of Melbourne, taking in art exhibitions, enjoying the shopping and just soaking up a cold and windswept winter’s day as the crowds swept by. I had a lovely time determining where people were going from the coats they wore!

It got me thinking about how weekends away used to be a large part of our life before school sport on a Saturday intervened in our lives! Before children DH and I would work a full day, drive six hours to Mt Hotham on a Friday night arriving around midnight, ski for two days and then drive six hours home and still make it to work bright and breezy on Monday morning…yeah we were younger!

When we lived in the US for a few years we would go away one weekend a month because we were ‘tourists’ and we had to ‘see’ everything we could in our 2.5 years. So we dragged our baby and then toddler everywhere, loving the breakfast on the farms in the summer and the cross-country ski-ing in winter.

When we came home I tried to keep this “weekend away” thing going but another baby arrived, we had a garden that needed tending and once a month was just too much. So we did picnics instead and as we live on one of the prettiest coasts in the world, there were lots of beaches and small towns to explore.

And yes all of our weekends away and day trips are fodder for books! When I was writing Miracle: Twin Babies, and creating Port Bathurst...or ‘Port’ as the locals in my book call it, I instantly thought of Mallacoota which is a sleepy fishing village at the end of a dead end road. When I decided there needed to be a children’s camp in ‘Port’ I remembered of Queenscliff with its Cottage By The Sea. Then tumbled into the mix was Apollo Bay, Barwon Heads, Port Albert and just about every little town on the coast of Victoria between Mallacoota in the East and Portland in the west.

No matter where you live I think that in Port Bathurst you can probably recognize a small seaside town that you know in your part of the world, and a perfect place for a weekend away.

I’d love to hear your favourite places to visit for a well- earned weekend away!

Fiona Lowe is an Australian Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance author and her 11th book, Miracle: Twin Babies is available from August 1st in the UK, USA & Australia


  1. Weekends away! One of my favourite things, Fiona!
    One of my most favourite places to go at the weekend was a big old caravan we'd parked in a huge shed on 40 acres in rural Victoria. We'd bought the property intending to build and live there but work circumstances changed and it never quite happened...
    but as a place to go for the weekend it was wonderful! We had an old pot belly stove in the corner of the shed for warmth in winter and we used to take up a prepared casserole to heat on top. All very rustic of course but minimal work and maximum relaxation! It was hilly and had an interesting creek line. Lots of native fauna. Birds, lizards, wallabies, and the occasional red-bellied black snake. We used to go for long, long walks and go star-gazing at night.
    Thanks for that opportunity to walk down memory lane, Fiona! :)
    Congratulations on your 11th book - I'll be watching out for it on the shelf!

  2. Fiona,

    What a lovely topic for a blog. I adore weekends away. Unlike you we've found we've had more weekends away since having kids as it's sometimes easier to fit in a long weekend instead of a bigger holiday. Only the other weekend my daughter and I took to Sydney for an overnight stay while the boys in the family heading up the coast for an outdoorsy weekend at a campsite on the coast. Personally I love the Blue Mountains for a weekend away - gorgeous in summer and winter. Years ago, when we lived further south we'd make weekend trips to the Alps or to the coast. And when living in Germany we had some lovely weekend adventures to all sorts of places.

    It's a gorgeous sunny weekend here and I've just received suggestions for revisions and a weekend away instead would be wonderful!


  3. Fiona, forgot to say, congratulations on no 11! Wow! Just read one of your books on that train trip to Sydney and it was a winner. Looking forward to this one too.

  4. THanks Annie and Sharon and now I really am itching to go away again!
    Sharon I think that potbelly and the lovely bushland needs to go into a book. H&H stuff in a cabin in the wilds :-)
    Living in Victoria I've only been to the Blue Mountains once in 2003 but I loved it. I have been promised a weekend at the Hydro majestic...hmm must press that promise. It fell through due to it being booked out for a conference once. Ohh, Annie, you've given me an idea :-)

  5. Hi, Fiona!

    Happy anniversary! What a great idea to go away one weekend a month.

    I spent recent weekend in Melbourne. It's one of my favourite places--I love its European flavour, shopping (so many one-off boutiques) and amazing food. Strangely, even though I live in the big smoke, I tend to holiday in big cities. Though, years ago we used to spend weekends at Stradbroke Island or the Gold Coast in Queensland.

  6. Hi, Fiona :-)! I adore weekends away, and I'm fortunate that my husband does, too ;-). Our favorite destination is Northern California's Napa Valley. Great wine, gourmet meals, wonderful scenery--and the drive there and back (through the redwoods) is also beautiful.

  7. Authorness, I love Melbourne too!
    Terry, I have been to the Napa Valley and agree with you. Did you see the movies Bottleshock and Sideways...both set there I think.

  8. Yes, Fiona, I saw and enjoyed them both :-). Sideways was set in the area around Santa Barbara, in the southern part of California. But Bottle Shock was set in the Napa Valley, including scenes at Chateau Montelena, the winery featured in the film (

  9. Another feature which the Gods offer as a clue is very foreboading and ominous. Mt. Zion is a mountain to the north of Diablo (the eye of The Beast) and one which has a working quarry at its base. Consistant with the decay we experience in society, Mt. Zion is being eaten away, slowly stripped of its resources, until one day paradise will be gone forever.

    So many people don't care about global warming. They disregard the need for conservation and instead drive SUVs. They don't care about the Federal deficit/debt (outside of partisanship) and they don't care earning $400k for an $80,000/year job will eventually bankrupt the country. They have awarded themselves $400k pay and retirement packages, loading up their friends on the payroll during the boom 90s through the real estate bust while all services which the program were intended to fund now get cut to pay for it.
    These people are often common public university labor. Not Ivy League, not private university.
    This labor isn't good enough to command the salaries they are earning. And they understood this when they applied to the public university they settled on.
    You can't expect a top-tier salary with a second-rate education.
    They think they are going sometime during/at the end of this life, and disregard the poor souls who are left behind.
    Sounds like the Italians who were used to plan World War II and the Holocaust, and not by accident.
    These are the people who will be here in the United States when bankruptcy is declared and society deteriorates into chaos. And they will deserve the anarchy which ensues.

    Continuing the push for privatization, reinforced and supported recently with enormous public sector salaries and retirement packages.
    Once achieved the gods will utilize the corruptive predisposition of the private sector economy, as seen with the sub-prime/bailout fiasco, to initiate economic catastrophy and initiate the bankruptcy proceedings of the United States.
    Whether the cure for cancer/diseases or the permanant resolution of economic misery, before the gods remove these motivations to pray we will experience an inordinate deluge of each element, with economic misery being perhaps the dissallusion of the united States with bankruptcy.

    The gods used the Italians to ruin life in the 20th century.
    The gods used the Italians to ruin life in A.D. with The Church.
    The Church controlled Western Civilization. As the largest land owner in Europe they controlled the monarchies. They were responsbile for slavery, revenge for African invasion and rape of Italy. They created religious discontent, ultimately leading to the disfavored dumping ground known as the United States.
    And each generation of these Italians were sold on "earning", only to be reincarnated as a lesser life form subsequently, punishment for their evil.
    "The West Bank, where the end of the world will begin." With xtianity.

    The gods are the commensurate rapist pathology, focussed on control. Be it animal migratory patterns, growth rates for plants and trees or human behavior::::The gods feel compelled to control these phenominah, whether it meets their strategy or not.
    It is appropriate they picked the Italians for the downfall of man. The perception offered is exactly how the gods are. Unfortunate for the Italians, they were deliberately altered to match this pathology so the god's behavior could be justified in the context of the god's positioning.