About Marlene

Katoomba, Blue Mountains from bio of Marlene Lewis

                        With kind permission, Tourism NSW

K  A  T  O  O  M  B  A

When I first came to Australia I couldn’t stand the heat! Air conditioning in those days was a luxury so apart from sleeping with one arm in a bucket of cool water, and having the fan blowing directly on me, there was little else to do but grin and bear it. Until I discovered Katoomba.

Katoomba is a small town situated 3 300 feet above sea level and is roughly seventy miles west of Sydney.  The climate is consistently eight or so degrees less than Sydney and better still, it doesn’t have the high humidity of the coast. It took me a good ten years to discover this wonderfully quaint town with its cool air and four distinct seasons but once I did, I was hooked.

Why go on about a small town? Well, apart from the kind weather, it is a town little changed by the passage of time and retains most of its lovely old buildings. Indeed, any number of establishments will easily coax you back in time by their authentic Art Deco furnishings and architecture. If you ever visit New South Wales, it is well worth a look.

I guess my love of the upper mountains says quite a lot about me. I love living in Australia but there are many things I miss about my childhood in Britain: autumn leaves, cold nights, hot chocolate, open fires, snow in winter and big roast dinners. Katoomba provides all of these and although it looks nothing like the UK, these treats seem to be enough to sustain me. Only last year I took my grandson on a day out in the mountains and discovered a bluebell wood! These I have not seen since my mother and I used to go walking in the woods when I was a child.

So, when I retire, Katoomba is where I shall live. For now, I live in Sydney with my son and grandson. For the last twenty odd years I have worked with the disadvantaged but prior to that, I ran my own psychotherapy practice. I have postgraduate qualifications in counselling psychology and did my Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts with a psychology major. I have travelled extensively throughout Australia and lived in a number of rural locations. Until the last couple of years, the focus of my writing has been poetry. The luxury of more time and less family demands now provides the opportunity to take on more substantial writing projects, such as Ruth.