I fly home from Canberra tonight feeling both exhilarated and tired from my four days away. My nephew’s (picking the cutest photo from the hundreds I took may take some time yet) first birthday party was a grand success; my Auntie making the most over-the-top birthday cake(s) you’re ever likely to see at a party where the majority of guests can but crawl (at an alcohol free party anyway). They were beautiful. My dad and I did mountains of dishes and helped prepare mountains of food (hence the tiredness) and managed to drink our body weights in coffee.
During my stay I found out some great news – I got a job I applied for a while ago as a Reviewer for Australian Stage Online. I’m very pleased about it, not least of all because there’s nothing so good as free theatre!
The other great thing that occurred was that I realised on the flight over here that the Canberra Writer’s Festival is on. I only managed to get to one thing, but this particular thing seemed most timely indeed. It was a free event called The Light from the Dark House. It was a discussion of the programs offered and the books that have been created at Varuna, and Peter Bishop, the much talked about director of Varuna, was there from Sydney to head up the discussion. Hearing that 120+ published books have come as a direct result of the programs and residencies at Varuna brought tears to my eyes, as did hearing the published authors sitting next to Peter tell their own personal tales of how much Varuna did for their careers. Peter Bishop spoke with such passion about speaking and working with writers that I fairly got goosebumps! I did manage to break through my shyness long enough to introduce myself to him afterwards and the for the first time in my life was filled with pride that he couldn’t place my name… he placed me through the title of my book; “Ah Beat,” he said, “Yes, I remember that one.”