Varuna - an enchantment! And it begins on that first curve of the driveway, the sunset colours of the house nestled amongst the colourful blooms of azaleas: peaceful. Down the road, a whip-bird calls to its neighbour, the carrolling of the pied currawongs and butcherbirds echoes through the valley, and kookaburras remind you not to take life too seriously.
What ambience! You can feel Eleanor's presence with you, imagine her seated in her studio, pondering her choice of words that will enchant her readers, welcoming her writing friends who now fill her house with words that travel by the speed of light. And her presence fills the very house, it alights on the very air that you breathe: words, word choices, characters, settings, light, dark, journeys, passions, life. And her life is shared in the photos on the walls, the choice of furniture, the glorious garden, the friendly atmosphere.
I am so grateful to Varuna for the chance of a lifetime: A week to write, plan, listen to others, add/delete/rewrite scenes, debate anything from writing to world events over a coffee or tea or wine, laugh. And the chance for that early morning walk from Katoomba Falls to Echo Point and gaze at one of the natural wonders of the world - The Three Sisters and the Jamieson Valley - and, in that quite stillness after dawn, remember that life is beautiful.