Anna Buckley's Blog

The pictures and stories behind the books.

Category: Architecture

Smithfield and DeeDee Dardens Country Hams.

IMG_8940[1]I’d visited Smithfield, Virginia, 5 years ago, by chance really, we were lost. We found a gorgeous old town filled with decorative Victorian houses, old shops (some empty) and incredibly friendly people. An old guy, with a HAM sticker on the rear window of his pick-up truck, pulled over and asked if he could help. We said we were lost…on our way to historic Charlottesville.

“Why would you want to go there? Smithfield is so much prettier and if you want to buy some good food we are the home of HAM.”

So we picked up some country ham, drove around the streets and snapped pics of pretty houses. But it was only a fleeting visit and I was left wanting to know more. Read the rest of this entry »

The surprisingly gorgeous North Fork, Long Island (part 1).

IMG_8380[1]The sign out front of the quaint white church said ‘Journey to Forever’…. well I didn’t think we were going quite that far but it seemed like a pleasant invitation to come explore the beautiful North Fork of Long Island. Read the rest of this entry »

Clare Valley and maybe the destination of my new heroine?

IMG_4285 I returned recently to South Australia to celebrate both my sister’s birthday and a belated mothers day with my mum. A trip to the Clare Valley would be my treat and a far better gift than chocolates or lavender-scented perfume.

The new book I’ve been going on about begins on a small island in the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, on the East Coast of America. Eventually my heroine ends up in Australia and possibly stumbling across the mansion made famous in the iconic film ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’. The stately pile, above, can be found just outside the historic town of Mintaro in the wine growing district of the Clare Valley in South Australia. Read the rest of this entry »

Easy (small quantity) Berry Jam and the Wine Trip Surprise

IMG_6218[1]It’s summer in Australia and that means lots of fresh berries. At Victoria Markets there were punnets of strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries, cheap and in abundance. I’d walked to the market and, unfortunately, my backpack was now straining at the seams. There was no room or no way I could safely carry the delicate fruit on the long walk home.

It was a shame as the riper berries would make great jam and my supply of homemade Mulberry Conserve was running out. I would take the car next time and buy lots more produce…berries included! Read the rest of this entry »

To tree or not to tree….sorry!

IMG_4925[1]It’s 2 weeks till Christmas and we’ve been debating whether it’s really worth having a tree and here is why… Read the rest of this entry »

Ghost Houses of Kep


After Christina leaves Phnom Penh and the gorgeous hotel  she travels to the seaside town of Kep.
Kep was a playground for the wealthy in the 1960s and 70s.  After Pol Pot it never recovered, holiday mansions remain empty.  Here are some of the vacant sixties houses I discovered when I traveled there. Read the rest of this entry »

The Pavilion Hotel Phnom Penh


I stayed at this gorgeous hotel, The Pavilion, in 2012. It was the inspiration for the place where Christina began her first venture in Cambodia.
This is the foyer of the restored Colonial era mansion.
It was unbelievably good value and think it cost around $55. per night. Little did I know it would be the backdrop for an upcoming novel.

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A Real Mid-Century Modern


My father-in-law was an architect and this is a photo of the first house he built in the late fifties for his beautiful young wife and son. I love the mood it sets, seeing the bike abandoned, the open door, possibly in favour of a more urgent project for a busy little boy. The owner of the bike grew up and is now my husband.

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Discovering Paul’s Family Mansion

Pauls Family Mansion

A funny thing happened when we were driving around looking for examples of mid century modern architecture.

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