ST ALBANS WRITERS' FESTIVAL, TICKETS ARE GOING QUICKLY, DON'T WAIT! This event is on 16-18 September and will feature Stan Grant, Wendy Whiteley, Hugh Mackay, Judy Nunn, Sarah Ferguson, Jane Caro and many others. Crime & thrillers. Novelists & memoirs. Economists, cooks & travel writers --  what a cast of writers. Catering will be by Simmone Logue and her Festival dinner features food from her latest book -- obviously a cook book! Bookings are essential as the venue seating is limited. www.stalbanswritersfestival.com.au

HAWKESBURY REGIONAL GALLERY EXHIBITION: THROUGH 4 SEPTEMBER. Evocative or Provocative, it's your call. Either choice, this is an exhibition that you do not want to miss!  A lion at repose in a queen bed; penguins, a zebra, fawn, fish or fox - each addresses issues from climate change to big game hunting. The exhibition: "Wunderkammer -- The Cabinet of Wonders".  Check it out at:  http://www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/services/places-and-facilities/cultural/hawkesbury-regional-gallery/exhibitions

HAWKESBURY REGIONAL LIBRARY (WINDSOR) BOOK WEEK!   23 Aug - 25 Aug, At the main library (Windsor) 23 Aug; at the Richmond Branch 25 Aug.10:30 - 12 noon, party games and food (Free, no need to book). Come dressed in your favourite costume or your favourite book character -- The Mad Hatter? The Queen of Hearts? Harry Potter? Sounds like fun!

HAWKESBURY REGIONAL GALLERY: ART AFTER SCHOOL. THURSDAYS, 4-5:30PM for school age children, 4 August, 11 August, 18 August. Make, Sculpt, Paint!  Bookings essential 4560 4441. (fee)

CAREY&CO WINTER SALE 50% off all clothing and shoes! Just in time for the really cold temperatures! You won't want to miss this as Carey & Co have truly fabulous selections. 70 Old Bells Line of Road, Kurrajong Village. 02 4573 1920.

PURPLE NOON GALLERY, 606 TERRACE ROAD, FREEMANS REACH EXHIBITS 'MEMORIES OF SEASONS PAST' works of two experimental artists, Madeleine Szymanski and Tony Meskauskas. -- July 16 through the end of August. -- Wool throws and textured scarves are hand woven by Tony. Madeline works in watercolours and print making using miniature techniques.Both artists work with the forms found in natural materials. 

STOCK BAR & GRILL IN RICHMOND CAN MAKE A 'HARDWOOD MENU' for 10 to 100 of your best friends. For those of us with short arms, this is a great way to dine -- a 'long reach' isn't necessary. Steak, prawns, ribs, salmon, 'couthern fried chicken' and lamb cutlets along with onion rings, coleslaw and chips.Sound fantastic? 78 March Street, Richmond. Bookings: 02 4578 7640.

CRAZIES CAFE 334 WINDSOR ST. RICHMOND cooks up a hearty winter menu -- perfect takeaway for dinner when no one wants to cook. Crazies opens early and closes late (7pm) to make life easy for you! 02 4578 3660.

HAWKESBURY VISITOR CENTRE, CLARENDON  (02 4560 4620) Staff are a wealth of knowledge. Drop by for all Hawkesbury information. Books, maps, brochures and guides. 9-5pm Monday - Friday; Saturday & Sunday 9 - 4pm.