Come along to hear how I came to write the book and meet the very special person who inspired me to put pen to paper. I will also be reading one of my favourite passages, so bring your box of tissues!
You can purchase your copy on the night in time for Christmas for $30, and I will be happy to sign it, and perhaps add a suitable note if it is to be a gift.
Note – you can buy a paperback version of The Wideawake Hat on Amazon anywhere in the world. The e-book version is available on Amazon and Kobo. And you can order your paperback copy in New Zealand NOW at Buy The Wideawake Hat (+ $6 postage and packing)
At Toitu, the Settlers Museum, in Dunedin there is an example of the kind of home that George would have built for Sophia. Cob walls with wooden rafters and thatched roof, it would have been a sturdy little building but quite cosy for a small family. Sophia may have lain grass on the floor, or perhaps woven a rag rug, and George would have made the bed frame from the branches of trees around them.
The South Island is unseasonably cold and wet. In the last few days we have had the sort of rain that filled the river so quickly that it got in the way of George getting home from a difficult lambing. Our braided rivers are fed from the Southern Alps and melting snow and consistent rain has swollen them to bursting point. At times like this you realise why the river beds are so wide – they really do fill with water, creamy torrents carrying debris and causing a mist to form above the churning water. Truly an amazing sight!
Here’s the report of the day’s flooding in Otago, a little further south than us, but territory with which Sophia and her family and friends would be very familiar.
Today is a NorWester Day in the Mackenzie. Just like the day that Sophia had to rescue her washing as it flew off the line. When we first came to the basin we knew nothing of the strength of the wind (and we lost a couple of garden sheds because of it), but we are used to the routine these days, and have packed away the outside furniture and made sure the trees are still tied to their stakes. Now we just wait for the wind to turn on as if someone had flicked the switch. The line of clouds is forming above us along the ridge of the Ohau Mountains. Here is New Zealand Geographic’s description of this strange phenomenon :-
Toitu – the Settlers Museum in Dunedin was a source of much information in writing The Wideawake Hat. The portrait gallery is an inspiring place with walls covered in the faces of those early settlers. Here’s an interesting story of two young girls who would have been born at about the same time as Heather Mackenzie. http://www.toituosm.com/…/sta…/an-early-settler-time-machine