What? I haven't posted since February?!
Clockwise from top left:
Jack Finsterer, Staten Evans, Caroline McKenzie,
Jacinta Acevski, Felix Williamson and Aimee Horne in Swamplands
Easy to do, when you get off a plane from London and walk straight into a rehearsal for a new play in Sydney - in this case, my new one Swamplands at the National Play Festival, which ran in March.
It's quite a departure from working on a new play about the CIA to continuing the saga of Sophie Morgan and her very complex family in my new novel White Rain, the sequel to Burnt Snow. That is, however, what I've been doing since the National Play Festival ended. Oh, that and devising a musical about a lizard (not joking), writing the occasional article and preparing a new play to start once White Rain is FINALLY FINISHED. Book fans, please note that release dates will CERTAINLY feature on this blog. And then I'll be writing the as-yet-untitled third book. Maybe I should open a competition to name it - what would you think OF THAT?
Unsurprisingly, a lot of deadlines has led to a lot of stress, and to calm myself I've been remorselessly feeding myself on this very special Lavender Cake invented by my friend Jess.
For those of you who haven't discovered the joy of lavender, do (unless you are pregnant or lactating, in which case don't, for a bit!). Long reputed for its relaxing properties, it was so precious to the Romans that they brought it with them to Britain, so precious to the Christians that they included it amongst the holy oils used to annoint the Temple and so precious to insomniacs like me that I spray it as an essential oil on my pillow at nighttime when even warm milk, almonds and turkey meat fail to knock me out (it works! Also handy to dab the oil on your temples if you're trying to fall asleep on a plane).
Lavender sachets in drawers keep away bugs, and a visit to a traditional Korean bathhouse is not complete without a lavender bath. Lavender oil on the temples can cure headaches and its mild antiseptic properties make it a good treatment for insect bites or acne if you mix it 1:10 with rosewater or witch hazel and dab.
Did I mentioned that Jess' cake contains honey icing? Trust me - being stressed never had such a sweet consolation...
Here are some more pics from Swamplands. It was directed by Andrew Lewis, head of perforance at WAAPA... and it was the best fun a playwright can have.