Category Archives: Books

Happy Birthday to the National Library!

The National Library of Australia, on the edge of Lake Burley Griffin here in Canberra, was opened by Prime Minister John Gorton on this day in 1968.

Happy 50th Birthday!

Enlighten Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 11th March 2017 National Library of Australia Canberra Women's History Reflection Night

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Dear Canberra Writers Festival: Barnaby Joyce is NOT a writer, and you bloody well know it.


To begin: for those of you who don’t know, Barnaby Joyce was, until recently, Australia’s deputy prime minister (think vice president). It was then discovered that he – a married man with four daughters – had been having an affair with a younger staffer, that she was pregnant, and that he was leaving his wife.

When he got into trouble professionally because of his actions, more than once he threw his pregnant girlfriend under the bus to try and save himself.

Since then, both his wife and his daughters have heavily campaigned against the man, which tells you all you need to know about his character.

Additionally, Joyce is a Bogan with a capital B. He screwed Canberra over by stealing many, many government jobs and moving them out to his country Australia electorate. His greatest career “achievement” (unless you count his infamous, international fight with Johnny Depp and Amber Heard over pet dogs) is doing terrible things to Canberrans.


Now? Joyce is a headline act at the Canberra Writers Festival.

Hey, guys: you know Joyce isn’t a writer. You KNOW this. I doubt he could have got a single sentence down on the page without the help of a ghost writer. His “tell-all” book, haphazardly slapped together in recent months to cash in on his infamously appalling treatment of women, does not make him a writer any more than his trashy “current affairs” show appearances he’s making big money off do.

The only reason he’s been invited alongside REAL writers is because you know it’ll bring the people in. It’s like putting someone from the Kindergym program on the Olympic gymnastics team. It’s nominating the Relief Wrap infomercial cast for Oscars.


What are you trying to achieve by inviting a rabid misogynist to a writers’ festival in Australia’s most progressive city? (Those aren’t empty words; we, for example, legalised same-sex marriage four years before anybody else, and had by FAR the highest “yes” vote at a federal level last year.)

Your belligerent defence of yourself on social media – arguing semantics to try and get out of hot water – only makes you look like arses.

You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. And I wouldn’t touch your festival with a ten-foot pole.


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Filed under Australia, Books, Canberra

Enlighten Canberra

The National Library of Australia in Canberra tonight, on the first night of the Enlighten festival. It was a gorgeous night, and I have never seen crowds like this at the event before.

I will post more (better!) pictures in the next few days.

Enlighten Canberra 2018 National Library of Australia First Night Sonya Heaney 3rd March 2018 Night 2

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Filed under Australia, Books, Canberra, Photography, Travel

Winter Flowers


Winter Flowers Queanbeyan near Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney Oksana Heaney 5th June 2015

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Filed under Australia, Books, Garden, Photography

Canberra Sunset

I think I posted something similar recently, but here’s another sunset shot from Canberra.

Sunset Tuggerarnong Canberra Australia 2nd April 2015 Sonya Heaney Autumn

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Filed under Books, Canberra, Garden, Photography, Travel


Russia’s attempt at the Olympics is here. In fact, some events started well before the official opening – would have been nice if that had been advertised better! My first hope is that English-speakers actually learn how to pronounce Sochi at some point (a hint: don’t over-stress the vowel sounds!). Some of the pre-Games dramas (packs of rabid dogs roaming the sporting locations, unfinished hotels etc.) are reminiscent of the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, and everyone forgot about them almost immediately there.

It’s not the worst by far, but my current favourite “Sochi is a disaster before it even begins” picture is the woman painting the grass green:

woman painting the grass green in sochi russia 2014 olympic games

The Winter Games started on the 7th of February in 1998, too. I know this because it’s my birthday!

On a scary note, it’s looking like these Olympics are going to be a smokescreen for the situation in Ukraine. The Ukrainian president is meeting with Vladimir Putin TODAY – the day of the opening ceremony. In other words, Putin’s going to send more Russians in to attack the Ukrainian protestors while everyone is focused on Sochi.

I don’t know how Putin will find the time for the meeting, seeing as he’s still busy doing the He-Man thing for the cameras.

If the leaked opening ceremony pictures are anything to go by, there looks to be a bit of glorifying of the USSR that’s going to happen. That’ll be fun.

I’ve got to say, I’m rather fond of this gay rights poster:

Demonstrators Protest Against Russian Anti Gay Laws Outside Their Embassy

As for the Olympics, I share my name with a three-time Olympic figure skating champion, so I’ve always had an interest in the sport. I’ve been asked so many times whether my parents did it on purpose (the answer: NO).

Sonja Henie three-time Olympic Champion

There was 1994 champion Oksana Baiul who – frustratingly – is still called “Russian” even though she is Ukrainian, trained in Ukraine, represented Ukraine and had the Ukrainian flag and anthem on the podium!

1994 Olympic Champion Oksana Baiul of Ukraine

There’s Tara Lipinski, who won four years later, becoming the youngest ever champion.

Tara Lipinski 1998

There’s 2006 silver medallist Sasha Cohen, a Ukrainian-American who skated to the Ukrainian song Dark Eyes – and was credited (both her and the song) as being Russian.

Sasha Cohen ukrainian-american figure skater 2006

It’s never-ending and extremely frustrating how nobody can differentiate between one country, their nationality and their culture and achievements, and the other!

Ukraine Tryzub EU Flag Kyiv Protests

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Geode Necklaces

Geode Necklaces by Pamela’s Desert Rocks

Geode Necklace

Rough Ruby Drusy Necklace

Geode Cave Leather Necklace

Turquoise Drusy Geode Cave Statement Necklace

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Filed under Books, Craft, Design, Fashion, Jewellery