It’s my last night at Bundanon, where I’ve had a residency since the 4th January – which feels like a long time to be away from normal life, but what a way to start 2018. I’ve loved being in this country again … walking all over the property, swimming in the river, working in my studio in the Fern Apartment, having breakfast on my verandah, and meeting an inspirational group of artists – painter Natacha Mankowski, photographer Svetlana Bailey, singer-songwriter Joe Mungovan, and writer Rosalie Ham. I’ve said it before about Bundanon, and I’ll say it again: How lucky am I?
I’ve seen cows, wombats, echidnas, wallabies, kangaroos, kookaburras … and cicadas. When I first arrived at Bundanon, the local cicadas were so loud I had to put my hands over my ears, but I soon became accustomed to their deafening daily soundtrack. I’ve also seen and heard far too many speedboats on the river – but it is summer, after all.
And the writing? Well, I worked on new material for Tattoo Songs, my next collaborative project with composer Christopher Purcell. Then, on the Capricorn new moon, I worked out the secret ingredient that was missing from my memoir manuscript Yahtzee and the Art of Happiness … a manuscript that has been simmering on the back burner for far too long. And I also put together 15,000 words towards my next major writing project – a biographical work which brings to life the German Occupation of Amsterdam in World War II. Not a bad effort for a two and half week residency.
Huge thanks to Arthur & Yvonne Boyd, to all the staff who make Bundanon such a magical and welcoming place, and to the Aboriginal custodians of this land, past and present.