Up until writing my novel, The Merry Millionaire, I was totally unaware that, for almost fifty years, the entire Middle East had an ongoing love affair with the international singing sensation Umm Kulthum.
From humble beginnings as the daughter of a Nile Delta Imam, she rose to become the greatest Arab singer there has ever been,
Read more ›
I am extremely lucky to have in my possession a souvenir saved by Mervyn Watson after his voyage to Egypt on S.S. Orontes with Captain Fry, my Merry Millionaire character from my novel of the same name. The memento consists of the wallet given to the young chap on his boarding the ship on that bleary January morning back in 1937.
Having had the briefest of encounters with Egyptian Royalty towards the end of my novel ‘The Merry Millionaire,’ by sheer coincidence, on Saturday 27th February, 1937, my principle characters, Ron and Mervyn, in the sequel, namely, ‘Pomp and Circumstance,’ happen to share their return voyage from Egypt on the ‘Viceroy of India’ with young King Farouk.
A sample chapter from Durra Durra by J.A. Wells: One evening, during their exploration along the river, Hume and Hovell happened upon a bend, where the stream was wide and strong, tumbling over rocks and boulders. It looked a likely spot to set up camp and they pitched the tents for the night. In the morning, Hume woke early and went to the riverbank to wash and shave. While he balanced his mirror on a rock, he caught site, in the reflection, a group of aborigines watching him.
Foreword: “But what’s it mean, Di? Where’s the contrast?” said John, leaning over my shoulder in his usual manner, “It just needs a darker green tone in the foliage, and the stone ledges need another shadow within the shadows. Use the burnt umber and the ultramarine blue to make the grey, and then the whole painting will come together nicely.” It was Thursday again, and this time the venue was Sydney’s Botanic Gardens. To be honest I have never been much of a horticulturalist, having been surrounded all my working life by either the security glass of a teller desk, or the sterile environment of internet technology offices, the only semblance of nature being the addition of my friend ………….. ‘s Spider Plant, or Chlorophytum comosum, as I am now aware of its Latin name.
A post-card from the UK: There’s nothing like a new project to get your teeth into as I mention on my latest post on my JA Wells Author Blog: Hi everyone! Welcome to my first post on my new JA Wells Author blog, and my first ever on any blog as a matter of fact, except I’m given to understand that Facebook is one BIG blog, so if that’s the case I’ll be able to breeze around here like a dream. The last few days have been electrifying as my dear friend, co-proofer and mentor, Diane Challenor, and I have been brainstorming in order we get my JA Wells Author website and blog finally live. I’m in the UK at present on a flying visit to my family and since I’m staying at my mother’s house in Kent and consequently without Wifi, all correspondence between Di and myself, she in Sydney and me in the wilds of Kent, has been by text.
Posted in Blog, Inspiration, Musing, The Botanist
Tags: Allan Cunningham, Australia, Books, Botanist, Botany, Colonial, History, J.A. Wells, John Wells, Pomp and Circumstance, The Merry Millionaire