An author’s adventures in … Balingup

What did I do over the weekend? I put on a dress and boots, and took my cloak (and a daughter) on road trip.

One the last weekend in August, the tiny town of Balingup in South West Western Australia comes to life in a magical way hosting a Medieval Carnivale. Miss 17 and I make the annual pilgrimage as often as we can. Miss 19 and Miss 15 have declined to join us over the last few years.


There is sword fighting, drummers, dancers, dragons, lots of yummy food, folk music, wine tasting, craft stalls, a petting zoo, and lots of other things that people dream up to fit with the medieval feel. Most of the people going dress up in some form or another. Some wear authentic costumes in simply made browns, some go in what I call ‘Disney medieval’ in velvets and rich colours and sweeping dresses (we fit in this category), and some dress fantasy style including fairies and dragons. My favourite costume this year was the guy who dressed as (Where’s) Wally. Brilliant!

My personal favourite traditions include ‘potato on a stick’ (not particularly medieval, but I just love them; check out the picture) and I always buy a dragon for my dragon collection. By ‘a dragon’ I mean at least one dragon, but often more. This year I bought three dragons (two of them pictured below, the third will be featured on Instagram soon). I also bought books, two Harry Potter scarves, and some other random and totally awesome stuff. We drank genuine 21st century Viking juice and watched an Irish folk music group.


From a writer’s perspective, I planned out a new series while on the drive down while Miss 17 slept, and filled her in on the plot outline on the drive home. It met her approval which is always comforting. If she thinks an idea is terrible she will let me know. Plus the general atmosphere reinvigorated my vision for the Dragonslayers series I am currently writing (even though I am now desperate to start  the new project – oh, the trauma!). So many wins. Plus did I mention I bought books?

A day with books is always a good day.

Happy reading,

Cate xx


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