02-23-19 – Best Selling Author and RTG Alumni: Christy Carlyle

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Australian Winter Memories


My name is Susan Horsnell and it's my pleasure to be here on the Romancing the Genres Blog. I'd like to thank Judith for inviting me.

I write Historical Western Romance and under my pen name - A.L. Simpson - I write Steamy Contemporary, M/M and Shapeshifter. I will leave all the links at the end of this post but first, I'm here to talk about Winter in the Northern Hemisphere and Summer here where I am in the Southern Hemisphere.

I'm the eldest daughter of British immigrants, a first generation Australian and citizen of both countries. My parents came to this country in January 1957 and to say they were shocked when they stepped ashore in Sydney would be an understatement.
They left England with the snow and cold winds, the rain and sleet, temperatures only just above freezing.

They sailed on the P&O Liner - SS Strathmore on her final voyage for six weeks on the high sighs in some of the roughest conditions the Captain said he had ever encountered. For three days in a row, my father and two other men were the only ones who ventured from their cabins for meals.  

SS Strathmore leaving England
 They arrived in Sydney to be greeted by temperatures of over 100 degrees. Quite the farewell and welcome - from one extreme to the other. My dad loved the outdoors and had been a talented gymnast in his day, part of the representative Gymnastics Team for the British Army and after their sponsor settled them in a flat in the Northern Suburbs of Sydney, he decided to hit the beach nearby in Manly. He was greeted with huge crowds, hot sand, sand flies and blue bottles - Welcome to Australia!
SS Strathmore arriving in Sydney, Australia

Manly Beach
So, while those on the northern side of the planet shiver, partake in coffee or alcoholic drinks to keep them warm and keep cosy by the fire, we on the southern side are wearing as few clothes as possible, drinking down ice cold drinks by the gallons and hiding away in the air conditioning. Spare a thought for the Pioneers of our countries who had to deal with harsh weather conditions with none of the modern comforts we all take for granted.

Eastern Brown Snake - One of the deadliest on the planet and common to Australia

How did the English and Europeans feel when they spent weeks at sea and then put ashore in one of the harshest countries on earth with most of the deadliest and largest insects and reptiles on earth? My mother often says she found it distressing and overwhelming to deal with large, deadly spiders and snakes, creatures she'd never encountered before.
Crocodile - Found in the northern parts of Australia
and common

Our deadliest spider -
The Red Back - Common

Our largest spider - the Tarantula - non-venomous but can grow
to the size of a dinner plate. Mum didn't care that it
wasn't dangerous - Common.

Enjoy your Winter while we enjoy Summer because it's not long before the seasons are reversed. While we don't get the freezing conditions here in Australia (except for a small alpine region in the southern part of NSW and northern part of Victoria) we still feel the harshness of cold, wet and windy Winters. With one exception.....

The northern part of our continent is not subjected to seasons and it's why we live where we do. For us, it either Dry Season - April to November, or Wet season. We are blessed with luscious green countryside and beautiful days.

Once again, I thank Judith for inviting me to come on the blog and hope you have enjoyed hearing about Australia and a small part of my past.


My name is Susan Horsnell and I write Western Romance. Mostly sweet but with knock-em down, drag-em out fights and outlaws. Some have no sex, others have a small amount.

Under my pen name – A.L. Simpson, I write Hot Contemporary – M/M, M/M/F and M/F.

In my personal life, hubby and I have been travelling throughout Australia with our caravan, an elderly Jack Russell dog and our 26-year-old, extremely opinionated, cockatiel. At this point in time we have curtailed our overseas activities as we don’t like to leave our pets now they are so old.

Susan Horsnell Links:

A.L. Simpson Links:
FB:  https://www.facebook.com/alsimpsonauthor


Judith Ashley said...

Sue, I'm with your mom on the creepy crawly and slithery things! Wouldn't make much difference whether it was poisonous or not. I'm not as tolerant of bugs in my house as I am in my yard. Figure they have their space and I have mine and we don't need to share.

And, don't you have a reader service that introduces them to authors and new releases?

Thanks for joining us all the way from Australia!


Diana McCollum said...

Great blog post! I really enjoyed it. Creepy, crawlies and I don't mix!! I'm with Judith, they can have the outdoors, and I'll take the indoors!

Sarah Raplee said...

Sue, I enjoyed learning more about your amazing, if harsh, country. I remember reading books when I was a girl about the wild horses that live in the mountains you mentioned.

I spent five years in Alaska, another harsh environment, and it's the same: most people live along the coastline where the weather is much less extreme due to warm currents. We humans prefer our creature comforts!

Madelle Morgan said...

Hi Susan,

I enjoyed your post and maybe now have second thoughts about visiting Australia, LOL. Does New Zealand have those creepy-crawlies?

What a mis-adventure your parents had crossing the ocean. Fascinating and thanks for sharing.


Lynn Lovegreen said...

Great post, Susan! Your Western books look like something I'd read, will go check them out....

Cheryl Wright said...

Great post Susan. Wonderful to hear about your family and how they came to Australia.

That would have been quite scary back in those days.

I'm so glad they did come to Australia, otherwise I wouldn't have got to meet you, dear friend.

Susan Horsnell said...

I can't seem to reply to each individually so will do here.

Judith, Thank you for having me on this wonderful blog and yes, our "wildlife" gets some getting used to for those who don't grow up here.

Diana, When you grow up and live here, you barely notice them. I live in a rural village in the midst of a forest and don't give them a second thought.

Sarah, Yes wild horses are down south in the alpine regions and also in the vast uninhabited expanses in central Australia. They are called "brumby's" and to see them in full flight as a group is a sight to behold.

Madelle, Haha, NZ doesn't have the creepy crawlies we have. I think Australia has the market cornered!

Lynn, Thank you for showing interest in my Westerns.

Cheryl, Yes, we would have missed out on our beautiful friendship. I will always be grateful to the Australian soldier Dad met when with peace keeping forces in Kenya.

Thank you all for visiting and commenting on my post.