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My dad’s beautiful sisters. I love this photo so much!

 

 

I remember the birth of my little sister, Ramona, so clearly. I suppose it’s particularly strong because my dad was looking after me. He spent most of my childhood working overseas, but for my sister’s birth he was home. I was obviously upset at my mother’s absence, and he went out of his way to make me laugh. His main method of eliciting a smile from me was to eat a raw lemon and pull funny faces.

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My mother and Ramona

 

My mother returned from hospital with a beautiful baby girl: Ramona Rebecca. I was no longer the youngest child, and there would be three brothers born after Ramona. IMG_001.jpg_0006

 

I haven’t lived near my sisters for about 26 years or so. What I do have, and am so grateful for, is that my life has been blessed with soul sisters. Sisters who are not connected to me by blood, but by choice. By love.   These are the women who check up on me each day/week. It might be a note in the post, a text message, a PM on Facebook, a card, a walk in the woods, lunch in a café, a phone call, chocolate or love hearts in the mail. These are the friends who I hold close in my heart. The ones who I know are there, through thick and thin. They care about me, and the feeling is reciprocated. In amongst the daily rhythm of life, they are there: like sunshine.   When writing my novel, Sisters of the Silver Moon, I wanted to explore the different faces of sisterhood.

 

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What does it look like when there is an undeniable and deeply loving bond and you’re inseparable?   What is sisterhood when you’re living in ways that are diametrically opposed?   What is it like to be estranged from your sister?   As a mother, we might hope that our daughters will be bonded through time, but life is never that simple! Our daughters are individuals with their own paths to follow which may or may not include a close relationship with each other.

 

 

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My daughter, Bethany

 

 

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With my daughter, Eliza

 

 

I love my sisters with all my heart, but (and I’m sure they feel the same) we don’t have the sort of connection that we might do with a best friend. And it is something I would deeply love.

 

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With my elder sister, Heidi, 1971. I was four years old.

 

I have fantasies of great family get-togethers where we bare our souls and would do anything for each other. Where we laugh, cry, confide, trust and support the other. It’s fairly safe to say this isn’t something that’s ever going to happen in my lifetime. And perhaps it is because of this that I cherish my friendships so much. They fill a void. Needless to say, one of my favourite-ever TV shows is Brothers and Sisters.   As one of eight children, family is important to me. My siblings shaped who I am. We shared adventures on our 700-acre property in rural Australia. We have history. Perhaps it is wrong to want my past to be part of my future. Maybe life isn’t about staying in touch with our family of origin, but moving on.   I was overjoyed to discover my elder sister, Heidi, recently moved back to the UK. Now, we might only see each other once a year, but knowing she’s ‘nearby’ (if you can count a four-hour drive as nearby!) does make me feel happy.

After our vow renewal ceremony in April, my daughter Eliza said to me in the weeks that followed: “You have such lovely friends. You really have the nicest friends!”   For Paul and I it was one of the highlights of our lives ~ to be surrounded by people we cherish. Many of my friends live quite some distance away, and I don’t have the luxury of them on my doorstep. For all the toxicity associated with modern technology, I’m really grateful for its existence, and that in seconds I can connect with those I love no matter where they live in the world. Of course, nothing quite beats a cup of tea with a friend and being able to turn up at each other’s doors…but connection is connection is connection, and I, for one, will commune with my soul sisters in whatever form is necessary for us to be with each other.

About Veronika

Veronika Sophia Robinson is the author of many non-fiction books and novels.

You can also find her on:
Facebook | Twitter | WattPad


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20150525_180337I adore cooking (unless I’m exhausted). Beans and pulses soaking overnight in water, fresh herbs on a sunny windowsill, chatting with my husband or daughters. The scent of freshly ripped basil leaves or ginger or lemon zest invading my senses. Delicious.

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All these things, and more, make a kitchen feel like home. The scents and flavours absorb my attention. It is my creative workspace, and interestingly, it is in my kitchen cooking up meals where I often cook up ideas for my novels.

I dream of a large open-plan kitchen with conservatory style ceiling, and an Aga for those chilly Winter months, with a huge old oak dining table for friends and family to gather around. But even in a regular kitchen, I feel at home with my tools and ingredients.

A few years back, I wrote The Mystic Cookfire. It was meant to be a small collection of favourite recipes I cooked when I was editor of The Mother magazine and hosted annual family camps. The book is anything but small, with over 280 plant-based wholefood recipes, and a whopping 434 pages.

 

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In amongst writing my novels, I have a couple of other recipe books on the go. In My Kitchen, and Cooking by Degrees (recipes for university students). I hope you’ll join me as I share recipes (all trial and error, of course) on my blog from time to time. I’d love your feedback.

Beans are a fantastic source of protein, regardless of whether you adhere to a plant-based diet or not. It’s easy to soak beans (and by soaking them yourself you’ll be unlikely to experience wind like you would with canned varieties). Simply soak overnight, and rinse, then leave to soak some more until you’re ready to cook.

Pinto and Sweet Potato with balsamic rice
Serves 6-8

500g dried pinto beans, soaked overnight (minimum of 12 hours), rinsed
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 large sweet potato, cut into 1 cm cubes
2 peppers, chopped
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 T tamari (wheat-free soya sauce)
4 bay leaves
Olive oil
4 T smoked paprika
700g passata
2 T sea salt
1 T coarsely ground black pepper
2 t bouillon
4 T balsamic vinegar
1 T honey or maple syrup
1-2 cups water

Cook the beans until soft.

When done, rinse and leave to one side. Cook the onion in a little olive oil until soft, then add the sweet potato, bay leaves, and peppers. When softened, add garlic and paprika. After a minute, add the water and leave to simmer for a while until the potato is tender. Add the remaining ingredients including the beans. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Serve with balsamic rice and salad.

 

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About Veronika

Veronika Sophia Robinson is the author of many non-fiction books and novels.

You can also find her on:
Facebook | Twitter | WattPad


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lilac

The lilac is ready to burst into blossom. When it does, that lovely tree adorning the space by the front gate, will release a scent so sweet and delectable I’ll be able to smell it as soon as I walk out the front door. I can’t hurry it into bloom. It will be ready in its own good time.

The blueberry and gooseberry bushes are laden with flowers, as are my fruit trees: apples, peach, cherries, plums, pear. The strawberries are hinting that any day now I might just see a white blossom. My feet bare, I tread gently on the overgrown grass. Here in the garden, I slow down. This is my time. I am nurtured, nourished and renewed.

How many different types of bird song are there, I wonder.

The sunshine isn’t so warm today, but I can feel Spring. Mother Nature is alive.

Each day, about 100 billion emails are flying through cyber space. The same goes for 20 billion texts and 500 million tweets.

Our modern world is fast moving, and there is so much data flying about.

When I was a child, we had two TV stations.

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Me with my older sister Heidi, 1972, Woodridge, Qld, Australia

 

To help us deal with our busy lives, we have labour saving devices. And yet, look around you: people are more frantic than ever. Their adrenals are on overload as they try and multi-task their way through life.

Do we really need to be so plugged in to all that information? What happens to us when we’re ‘buzzing’ with so much stuff, ideas and movement?

The human body wasn’t designed to move much faster than three miles an hour, and yet look at us. High-speed trains, cars, planes and so on. Our body’s force field is interrupted in so many ways, with travel being just one of them.

In my experience, it is only when we truly slow down that we actually have a sense of peace and contentment. This is, of course, easier said that done, particularly if you’re of the ‘just do it’ personality like I am. But soul time, that precious space in between the frantic attempts at hanging onto the merry-go-round of life, is vital if we wish to stay present, calm and not only enjoy life, but celebrate and partake of its rich rewards.

There is absolute luxury and abundance to be found in the scent of jasmine or the faultless purple hue of a lilac flower. I know that when I have honoured myself and made the space to sit quietly beneath the plum trees, with nothing on my mind and no deadlines to meet, I returned refreshed and am able to give more of myself when I connect with the people in my life.

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The constant adrenaline rush we’ve been programmed by our culture to seek, actually uses the same part of the brain that is involved in addictions. So, if we want to live a wholesome, soul-filled life, it means taking a step back. Put the mobile phone down. Give yourself a strict time limit when using social media. Unplug from the NOISE.

Flick your shoes off and stand on the grass. Listen to those birds. Breathe in the scent of pine needles on the forest floor. Lay your face against some fresh green moss. Ah, yes, doesn’t that feel amazing?

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Feel the sunshine on your skin. To live a centred life where we not only cope with what is before us, but thrive in our every day living, means coming back to a sense of place. Give yourself permission to sip a mug of chai tea or watch lightning forks pierce pewter clouds.

 

Lightning, 2011.07.09

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Read a book for pleasure.

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Stop what you’re doing and talk to a friend.

Make love, not out of habit, but because you value your lover and want to unite.

Arrange flowers in a vase. Watch the clouds. Cuddle a child.

Our soul is calling out for these moments where we truly notice life. Less. Slow. Here.

Breathe. Be still and silent. Don’t worry, the world will still be racing by at electronic speed. But here, now, this is all you have. Count your blessings.

 

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Here is the truth: Soul time is deliciously intoxicating. Sip on the sweet nectar of this stillness. Breathe the beautiful air. Listen to the laughter of the insects and birds. This−this−is your one beautiful, precious life. Your story isn’t just about your achievements and successes or who you impress or what grades you get in exams. It’s about what you notice as you walk Home. Did you see, really see, all the bounty She left by the roadside? Mountains, canyons, lakes, rivers, creeks, plains, deserts.

 

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Mangoes, watermelon, passionfruit, tomatoes, basil leaves, a sun-ripened strawberry.

 

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Moss, eucalyptus trees, sequoia trees, pine needles. Rabbits, moose, bees… Friendship. Family. Laughter.

And what about the bounty you can’t hold in your hands, but only in your heart? A smile. Kindness. Fairness. Justice. Compassion. Courtesy. Love.

Are you searching for the meaning of life? Stop. It’s here. Right now. Open your eyes. Close your eyes. It’s that simple.

About Veronika

Veronika Sophia Robinson is the author of many non-fiction books and novels.

You can also find her on:
Facebook | Twitter | WattPad


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A lot of controversy on the internet about whether Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge, used a surrogate to give birth, because, they claim, a woman can not look that good after giving birth!

Here’s the truth: a natural, unmedicated birth can be a time of ecstasy, and for some women, birth is orgasmic. FACT: Women look great when they’ve had an orgasm! Relaxed, sated, joyful. It is the ultimate pleasure elixir. The Duchess did have the benefit of a hairdresser, but nevertheless, there is no reason for her not to be up walking and looking radiant hours after giving birth. Natural birth is empowering. When a woman gives birth in this way she feels like she can take on the world (with or without a hairdresser). In many cultures, women simply squat, give birth, and then get up and join their tribe.

The fuss about how good Catherine looked is just another insidious way of perpetuating that birth is painful, dangerous and difficult. It does not have to be like that. Nature designed us to give birth easily.

There’s a reason my book, The Birthkeepers, consistently outranks my other (non-fiction) books in sales: women, in their hearts, know the truth ~ that a gentle, beautiful birth is what nature intended for us. When we meet a woman’s biological mammalian needs, the outcome at birth is drastically different to the images portrayed in the media.

 

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As a mother, my daughters expect to hear me say, whenever we watch a birth in a movie/tv show, “BIRTH DOES NOT HAVE TO BE LIKE THAT!”

They smile, good humouredly, and say “We know, Mum.”

 

 

About Veronika

Veronika Sophia Robinson is the author of many non-fiction books and novels.

You can also find her on:
Facebook | Twitter | WattPad


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I saw a quote recently that said something along the lines of: when reading a novel, the reader should see themselves in there. It should act as a mirror to some part of them.

 

mirror

I’d like to share this beautiful letter a reader has shared with her friends regarding my books and upcoming author tour.

http://veronikarobinson.com/blog/an-evening-with-veronika-sophia-robinson/

Thank you so much, Kirsten.  ~ Veronika

Veronika Sophia Robinson is a writer I am passionate about. Her books are so interwoven with her life, and my life, and the life I dream of living that I feel like I am simply entering an alternate reality of myself when I read them. I think it could be so for anyone reading them…. if you love deeply, feel deeply, play deeply and imagine life is magic waiting to happen.
When I read Veronika’s novels, it feels like all of me is being welcomed– the best and the worst, and the striving to bring the hidden parts to the light. Through her characters I become a better version of myself. I see grounded, real life happening in a magical way as the human values we all share come alive in real people.
There is a beautiful place for these pieces of art she has written in this modern time when we are struggling with so much suffering in the world, and seeking alternative ways to live and find joy. At last I can truly settle into the world that I enter as I read her books because I know that values I hold dear will be honoured. I know the language will be honouring, I know all creatures will be honoured, I know the earth will be honoured, I know the mystery of life will be honoured. I know it will be a lot of fun along the way.
Mrs. Robinson is a master craftswoman. Her characters offer a rich world of a simple, yet magical life. Please come and meet his wonderful woman and authoress and enjoy an evening of true entertainment getting to know her and her equally amazing husband/musician and the enchanting worlds they create.
All my love,
Kirsten

About Veronika

Veronika Sophia Robinson is the author of many non-fiction books and novels.

You can also find her on:
Facebook | Twitter | WattPad


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Would you be willing to open up your home and be an integral part of my UK & Eire Author Tour?

This Summer, I will be launching my new novel, Sisters of the Silver Moon (book one of The Gypsy Moon Trilogy), and I’d love to read for you and your friends, as well as share a little about my journey as a writer from non-fiction to fiction.

I’m also happy to read from my novels Mosaic and Bluey’s Café. My husband, Paul, is available to sing a couple of sets, too, if you’d like extra entertainment!

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I’m looking for people who have a lounge room big enough for about 15 or so friends.

 

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You just need sofas or floor cushions, a handful of dining chairs, and a willingness to host me, my husband Paul, and our teenager daughter, Eliza, for one night. (If you don’t have spare mattresses, please don’t be put off ~ we can stay at a local B&B).

 

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Lounge room not suitable? Perhaps you’d prefer to have a reading at dusk in your garden, by fairylights or candles?

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Maybe we could do afternoon tea in the garden, or brunch by the beach?

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Maybe a wine and cheese evening is more your style?

 

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I have novels, and will travel!

 

Do get in touch if you’re interested, and let’s set up a date! My plan is to tour the north of the UK from Thursday, July 9th for a week or more, and the London area, and south of the UK, from August 18th.

Everyone who hosts me will receive a free copy of each of my novels, and copies of my daughter Eliza’s The Three Stages trilogy. www.elizaserenarobinson.com

Sisters of the Silver Moon

Azaria Linden, the community herbalist, spends her days tending herb gardens, concocting lotions, potions and tinctures, beekeeping, and being a mother to four grown-up daughters who have left home. Her handcrafted life is the envy of many, but when the lives of her children change in dramatic ways, she wonders if she can keep it all together. Is it possible to still live a heart-centred life when everything around you is falling apart?

Book Two: Behind Closed Doors
Book Three: Flowers in Her Hair

Feel free to invite people from your local herb society, beekeeping group, women’s circle, mothers’ group, vegan or veggie group, etc.

Do get in touch via Twitter @VeronikaSophia

or FB: Veronika Sophia Robinson author

or e: veronikarobinson (at) hotmail (dot) com

www.veronikarobinson.com

About Veronika

Veronika Sophia Robinson is the author of many non-fiction books and novels.

You can also find her on:
Facebook | Twitter | WattPad


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