Sunday, November 28, 2010

A night at the Oamaru Opera House

We recently spent a week in the pleasant town of Oamaru, in New Zealand's South Island, for their annual Victorian Festival.

Fertile land, the growth of pastoralism, and the development of refrigerated shipping (of which more in later entries) made Oamaru a wealthy town in the Victorian era. The easy-to-work limestone found in the area was made into beautiful buildings, many of which still survive and are well-cared for. The people of Oamaru value their heritage.

The Opera House is more recent than some of the other buildings, dating from 1907:

What a gorgeous confection to find in a town of about 12,000 people! And it's well-used. On Saturday night we went to a fine performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Gondoliers. Front-row seats in the Circle, inside this gem of a theatre:

(My apologies for the poor lighting in this photo.)

This theatre will make a small appearance in one of my future books. How could I resist?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Readers are such wonderful motivation

I got the most delightful piece of mail yesterday. A lady who's read all my books on her e-reader recommended them to a co-worker who then bought a set for herself. Another co-worker heard them discussing the books, wanted to try them, and got the full set in paperback. She's now lent the set to yet another co-worker...

They sent me this lovely picture, which I'm posting with their permission:

It's readers like these who keep me going when it all becomes a struggle.