Welcome to Varuna:
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.
In the Garden:
I had to bring some of it into my room:
You 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.