Ho ho ho! It’s that time of year again.  I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy Christmas and the very best for 2018.

My Mother was right. She said that as you get older the years go by more quickly.  This year has flown by –  one minute it was January and now it’s Christmas Eve.  Whoosh!   It seemed that something was happening every minute – for me it’s been a year of ups and downs.   I’ll start with the ups.



The big news is that finally after slogging it out down the coalmine for 10 years and sitting on my story for over 50, my book is just about to be published. In fact, if you are an electronic reader, it is now available on Kobo, Tolino, Apple, Barnes and Noble, OverDrive and Amazon.  However, if you are like me and would prefer to read a “real” book, then your own autographed copy will be possible somewhere between the middle and the end of January.   The publishing world, I have discovered, is hard to pin down.


As a former girl guide I am prepared for when the neighbours read “A Spanish Love Affair”.

My book has undergone a change of title. I think “A Spanish Love Affair” encapsulates the contents and story of my book better than the working title “Escape From Spain”.  Numerous other titles were considered.  Trust me.

I have already made my first speech about my book for a video for the Thomas Keneally Library. I felt honoured.  It is the oldest lending library in Australia having opened in 1833 so it is exciting to think that my book will be on its shelves.   Also, the other writers were impressive e.g. Thomas Keneally himself.  Wonder if he’s related to Christine?  You can look at the video below.  It’s only 7 minutes long.

I’ve also been invited to speak at the Northern Beaches BookLovers’ Club at their March meeting.   So that’s exciting.  The date for my book launch has yet to be negotiated with my brother John Alexander, who will be the MC.  Now that he has been re-elected to Bennelong it will have to fit in with the parliamentary calendar but I will let you know as soon as the date is set.  I’m hoping it will be somewhere between my birthday on 23rd February and Mum’s on 19th March.  So I’ll be celebrating my birthday as well as launching my book.

I’ve really spent the major part of the year working on my book and now that’s it’s published I’m working on the marketing side which many writers say is harder than writing the book. (Couldn’t possibly be) Marketing these days is mostly done via Social Media which is not easy for someone like me who suffers from technophobia and is a luddite. I have to be dragged kicking and screaming when it comes to technology. Just ask my husband, Markus. I think this condition emanated from the time when I managed to wipe off all of the 1,000 tenants at Roy Ross’s real estate office in Manly.  Computers and I are just not on the same wave length.  But I’m pressing on.  As you can see above, I have a Website and a Facebook Page.  But it’s been a struggle.


I’ve done various courses this year – how to build your own Website. Got nowhere with it but luckily was recommended to Zena Shapter who has done a great job.  I also went to a course called Facebook For Business – in fact I’ve done this course twice – and the only thing I got out of it was a bad case of the flu, which I proceeded to give to my husband, Markus.  As you can imagine I wasn’t popular.






The Alexander Family

I find the recent controversy about dual citizenship which has disrupted the normal business of parliament in a country where we are all immigrants,  even the aboriginal people (although they do have 50,000 years under their belts) ridiculous.  I have felt it more keenly than most due to my personal involvement with my brother, John Alexander,  having to resign from parliament because there is a distinct possibility that he may be a dual citizen, our father having arrived in Australia aged 4, 106 years ago.

You may be interested to read an excerpt from “A Spanish Love Affair”.

Chapter 2



When it comes to parents, my siblings and I won the lottery. Mum told me that when she and Dad decided to get married, the only thing they both really wanted was to have a happy family. Both had experienced difficult childhoods.


Dad’s side of the family had arrived in Australia in 1911. My grandfather, John Alexander had been transferred here with Burt, Boulton and Harward, London timber merchants. Florence May, my grandmother, had studied piano at the London Conservatorium of Music. Later she had worked as a secretary at Burt, Boulton and Harward’s London office, which is where  the couple had met. They came to Australia with their three young sons, Jack 6, my father, Gilbert 4 and James 2 .

They were an ill-matched pair. Grandfather John  was a dapper man who had his suits made in Saville Row and his shoes sent out from Italy. He managed to avoid the domestic scene as much as possible by taking extended overseas business trips to England and America. Florence, who no doubt found herself in a cultural wilderness in Sydney, was left to keep the home fires burning, for which from all accounts, she was totally unsuited and very unhappy. Her fourth child, Robert was born five months after they arrived in Australia. From then on , she spent most of her time in bed, I believe to avoid any further patter of little feet, until her husband died suddenly one afternoon, of a heart attack at the age of 44, after a game of golf. Dad and his brothers were mainly brought up by an English nanny they all loved dearly. Florence, who was one of ten children, must have been very lonely here in Australia. Although Grandfather John managed to flit back and forth to England on a regular basis, she only managed to go back much later when her youngest son, Robert, attended Harrow College.