THIS is a “flying” post to keep up my Monday appearance and to say thank you to the various people who helped me over the weekend.
I had book signings in Bundaberg and Gladstone over the weekend and while the signings themselves were great, I and the kids were deathly ill.
In fact, before the Gladstone signing my son and I were experiencing a new level of bonding as we were both on our hands and knees throwing up, my daughter screaming “I need you” as she clung to my butt. Un. Pleasant.
So, let’s move on from the horror (did I mention being thrown up on in bed? Vomit stings the eyes.)…
Bundaberg: Big thanks to Teresa at Dymocks bookstore for being such a great host and to Ben, for his help unloading and his optimistic outlook.
For Sue and Russ, Brock and Mitch who all came down – please don’t judge me by the first chapter!
I also got to see long-lost parentals Peter and Jill Menzies who had recently blown back into the country from visiting Europe and the UK. They sent me this pic of OT (occupational therapy) superstar, Susan Menzies, enjoying Wedding Etiquette For Ferals somewhere in Austria.
I also got to meet the very lovely Cheryse Durrant whose writing I have loved since subediting her contributions to the NewsMail’s Our Place section. She is a spunky little writer whose latest endeavour is “one to sink your teeth into”… It’s called Dental Care for Vampires and Other Awkward Creatures. I told her I thought she’d “make a killing” with it … and how we laughed!
So, I wanted to capture the moment “when genres collide” (and get along famously) and I thought I had, but turns out I had the camera set to video, so this is as close to a photo as we got.
Gladstone: Thanks to the lovely manager at Rusty’s Motel who kept us up with a never-ending supply of fresh towels while we purged unwelcome bugs from our digestive systems. To the restaurant staff who gave us a table even though they were booked out. And a huge thank you to the powers that be that decreed seven-day trading ought to start the weekend we were in town! The trip home would have been a whole other ordeal if we couldn’t buy buckets and more towels.
Thanks to the helpful Ashleigh Smith from Gladstone Festival and Events for including us in the Dermotique Wedding Expo, even if we had to bail out after only an hour.
And thanks to Robyn Sheahan-Bright who came along to the expo to meet me after years of email correspondance after she awarded me the winner of Queensland Arts Council’s New Regional Writer Scholarship way back in 2004. I suspect we looked a bedraggled lot – my son and I both sick, and my daughter, passed out with a black-eye in the pram (have I mentioned her face made close acquaintance with the coffee table the night before we left? Yes, we’ve been having a fun time!).
Robyn was the first executive director of the Queensland Writer’s Centre in 1991 and is again on the panel of judges for the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards. I would have really liked to look slightly more professional… sigh.
Finally, thanks go to: my mum for letting us crash at her house not once, but twice. She bats away my thanks every time, but I simply can’t leave her out – she put a blanket over me when I passed out on the couch. Nothing like a mother’s touch, is there? And, though this was not for my benefit, for having the sprinkler going on her lawn when we arrived… for some reason it made me calmer instantly.
And … drum roll please… to my sister who made the trip with us to Gladstone, keeping me entertained with a variety of stories of how creeks got their names. For generally trying to reign in the Mother Guilt that assailed me with brute force as I dragged my sick babies from pillar to post.
The best part of going anywhere is coming home.