Tuesday 20 August 2013


If you enjoy a good Australian story, then The Big Beet is the book for you!

Taken from the traditional Russian tale The Enormous Turnip, this Aussie version shows how the spirit of mateship is alive and well.

Mr McGruff (known as Bertie Magee) heads out into his vegetable garden to pick a nice, fresh, juicy beetroot for his wife Thelma's hamburger, but as hard as he tries he just cannot pull it out of the ground!

Thank goodness for people who don't mind lending a hand!

The Big Beet is the first picture book written by Australian author Lynn Ward, who has previously written stories in School Magazine, as well as other publicationsIt has been cleverly illustrated by Adam Carruthers, who has illustrated such titles as Ruffy and Me, and Losers?, also available through Omnibus Books.

A well rhymed, hilarious, progressive story, The Big Beet shows children how things can be achieved successfully if everyone works together.

Publisher: Omnibus Books for Scholastic Australia
Category: Picture Book
Title: The Big Beet
Author: Lynn Ward
Illustrator: Adam Carruthers
Publication date: August 2013
Format: 270 x 245 mm
Extent: 24 pp
Age: 4+
Australian RRP: $24.99
Binding: Hardback
Printing: Colour
ISBN: 978 1 86291 966 2

Tracey ♥

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Sometimes I Surprise Even Myself.

I'm so happy that I have been able to enjoy a lot of our trip to the Cape.

I didn't expect to, which is why I worried about it for over a year.

It hasn't all been sunshine and lollipops mind you, but I guess that’s to be expected from a girl who hasn't hugely enjoyed the whole camping thing. I'm ok for a weekend, or long weekend even, but when we’re talking extended periods of time-well let’s just say I would rather stick pins in my eyeballs.

I'm a huge what-if-er.

The fear of the unknown and the isolation only adds to my uncertainty.

What if this happens and we’re miles away from anywhere?

What if that happens?

God forbid anything happens.

I hate that about myself.

I wish I could just go with the flow, and wait for there to be something to actually worry about before the fear sets in.

Unfortunately, the fear starts way ahead of time.

In my head.

So, as this trip was going to happen whether I liked it or not, I stocked up on my anti-stress herbal supplements and prepared to take them a handful at a time. Amazingly, although I have taken some, most of them are still in unopened bottles!

And I have to say I'm a little proud of myself.

More than a little.

I think I fricking rock, if truth be told!

My husband is extremely proud of me too.

He was expecting waaay more nervous irritability and anxiety coming from my side of the car than he has received, and mighty glad about it too, I'm sure.

And here we are, more than half way through, and only roughly ninety odd kilometres away from the northern most tip of Australia.

I have to admit it though, I am completely over the dust, dirt and sand.

I'm sure I must have dust in every single crevice.

Especially if what comes out of my nose in a tissue is any indication-uggghh!

I know, too much information. Sorry.

But you catch my drift.

I can’t take much more of it.

That, and the lack of toilets.
(What am I, a fricking bear? I don’t shit in the woods I’m sorry!)

And showers!

(However, speaking of showers, one of the wonderful families in our group has a gas powered shower that they offered me the use of one night after it had been particularly hot and I was feeling really sticky after being covered in sunscreen and bug spray all day. It would seriously have to have been one of the best showers I have ever had! The gas powered unit (called an Aqua Cube) heated the river water that was collected (being very careful to watch out for crocodiles) to a gorgeous 29 degrees Celsius, and as it was a lovely mild night, I stood out in the dark in all my glory and showered all the stickiness away. It was such a good feeling to climb into bed all nice and clean. I'm pretty sure I will remember that shower until the day I die!)

It’s funny how things can change.

Now I just wish our trip didn't feel so rushed.

It actually makes me laugh to say that, considering when we left home I wanted to blink and be back there!

Back when I was trying to talk myself into the positives of this trip, I kept telling myself there would be numerous photo and writing opportunities. That maybe I would be finally able to start putting down on paper (or computer) one of the books I have lurking around in my head. Or learn the specifics about my camera and how to use it properly in manual mode.

But I have rarely had the time!

Don’t get me wrong, I have taken plenty of photos.

Hopefully great photos!

And done heaps of reading too, on how to take said great photos, amongst other stuff.

But we are spending most days, all day, in the car, moving from one camp site to the next. Packing up every day and setting up again somewhere else. There has only been twice that we have stayed in the same place for more than one night.

I'm over that too.

I have seen some of the most gorgeous scenery, in some of the remotest places our beautiful country has to offer, but I haven’t had much time to revel in it.

To draw inspiration from it.

And I think it’s a real shame, because it will be a long time before we take another trip like this.

But unfortunately, when you’re on a time limit as we are and have a long way to travel, you have to keep moving.

Rollin, rollin, rollin…..as the song goes.

And shortly we’re about to start heading home.

You would be as surprised as I am by the pout on my face, thinking about that.

So in the meantime, I'm going to sit here writing while I can.

And look out at this beautiful vista I have before me.

And smile.




Some Frangipani at Loyalty Beach.

One of our camps along the Hay River Track.

A sunrise further along the Hay River Track.

My 'office,' at Cape Flattery.

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