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Every other year or so my critique group goes away for a long weekend to do a writing retreat. We work on projects, brainstorm where required, eat yummy food, drink some bubbly and generally chill out. In the past we’ve headed down to the Mornington Peninsula but Keri, being intrepid, stumbled over a lovely place in Castlemaine (which is up near the old gold fields part of Victoria for non Aussies, about an hour north of Melbourne) so we decided to stay there this year.

We had a lovely time. We walked and wrote and poked around the stores, including a couple of lovely bookstores. I do love a good country town second hand bookstore. I even found a book by Susan Cooper (of The Dark is Rising fame) that I never knew existed, so am looking forward to reading that. My cranky knee was relatively happy with the walking, much silliness was had, the rain held off (mostly) until we left on Sunday and we even achieved words. So all in all, a good way to spend the weekend.

I didn’t take heaps of photos as, frankly, pictures of writers staring at lap tops aren’t that interesting, but here are a few random things that caught my eye when we were walking.

Old church (abandoned now)

Old church

Interesting garden ornaments


Pretty flowers (I think this is some sort of Hakea)


Spooky night shot when Keri and I went out walking Saturday night because I wanted to hit 10000 steps (in the end nearly did 13,000)


And then these intriguing things which we spotted in a garden on Friday. None of us knew what they were (other than cool looking).


It took the greater wisdom of the internets to tell us that this is a Medlar. Medlars are a old old fruit apparently. One that needs to be bletted before it’s eaten. So there, education as well as a mystery solved.

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