• Peter Ramm

Blue Mountains Residency - Daffodil Cottage

Updated: May 6

Day 1: Today is the start of a week long residency at Daffodil Cottage in the Blue Mountains. This morning there was some reconnoitring of the area—Echo Point, the Three Sisters, the Scenic Railway and Jamison Valley.



The clouds were low over the valley which gave a spectacular feeling to the morning.


A butterscotch latte from Frankly My Dear on the main street and a little visit to a couple book stores and its back to the desk and into the main work.


I also stopped by the Kingsford Smith Memorial Park, on the way to the lookout this morning as well. A bit of a hidden treasure. No one around, a little neglected—just the birds and fallen leaves.




Day 2: Today I ventured back to Frankly My Dear, their smashed avo and butterscotch lattes were too hard to pass up again. I may have to try something else next time though.


On the way back I dropped into the Little Lost Bookshop on Hapenny Lane and met the gracious Karl Grice (Owner) who writes poetry as well. He was cleaning up from a poetry collection launch from the weekend. What a beautiful bookstore he has there! Everything you'd want; warm charm, a wonderful selection of books, a leather lounge area, ceiling tall shelves with ladders, a jazz piano! I picked up a copy of Kirli Saunders Bindi which just won the ABIA Book of the Year Award last week. I had promised to pick it up much earlier, so hopefully Kirli doesn't read this.


After that excursion it was back to the desk to send off the manuscript to a publisher and to get down to the writing at hand.


The weather turned, no more sunny photos, but nothing a throw blanket and a warm heater can't fix.


Oh, I think I forgot to mention the art exhibition that was in its final day on the Jamison Valley floor. This artwork below, Bucket Loads by Stephen Short, was designed to call to our attention the amount of plastic waste we produce each year.





Day 3: A trip to Winmalee High School was the morning's highlight. I presented a writing workshop as a part of the residency with the Year 8 English class. I had the privilege of reading a couple of my poems and imparting some tips and tools of the trade to the students. We shared some of our writing—some of their work was exceptional, and looked at metaphor and the potential for place and setting to reflect ourselves or characters.


More writing today after lunch.




Day 4: The weather set in and COVID found its way out, so it was a day at the desk and some work editing my manuscript and sending it off to publishers. There was some reordering of the structure, some writing of the abstract, the cover letter and amending some poems with edits from a mentor.


Day 5: A full free day to write some new poems and then the drive home. The rain clearing and the autumn leaves about half way through their fall.


Thanks as always to the team at Westwords and to Rach and Katy for offering their lovely Daffodil Cottage for the residency.