Welcome to Varuna:

Varuna sign

This is my home for the next two weeks. For anyone who doesn’t know, Varuna is in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains. It was the family home of Eric and Eleanor Dark, and since 1989 it has served as a writers’ centre. Writers come to work on their project without the distractions and interruptions of home.

Varuna—I'm in the Ladder Room, the one at the top with the bay windows.

The house—my room’s the one on the top floor with the bay windows.

In the Garden:


Autumn colour

Autumn leaves and autumn sky

Despite the clouds, the sun managed to break through …

Lichen and lace

Lichen and lace

Varuna Garden

Varuna garden

Varuna Garden

I think these are 'Crocus etruscus'. Again, please correct me if I'm wrong.


Varuna Garden

If anyone can name this ...

I had to bring some of it into my room:

I had to bring it inside with me

Varuna FlowersYou can probably imagine how inspiring it might to be surrounded by all of this—and I’ve just shown you the garden! Inside the house, there are shelves of books in every room, photos lining the walls and mantelpieces, fresh fruit and hearty dinners, and the companionship of other writers. And outside the grounds are the mountains and waterfalls … 

It‘s impossible to stay here and not feel the pull of something special. Before I left, other writers who’d been here spoke so warmly about it. I now understand why …

PS/ I’m ashamed to say that I’m very botanically illiterate. If anyone can name the flowers, I would be grateful.