… I had to spend my first day as writer-in-residence wandering around downtown Wagga waiting for the exhaust specialist to replace the front and rear muffler on my car.

… I walked around the Charles Sturt University campus and was attacked by noisy miners on several frightening occasions.

… a rabbit-shaped rock outside the verandah fooled me every morning.

… I went downtown and had a haircut which caused me to avoid all mirrors for several days (it’s not such a bad thing to avoid mirrors – at my son’s school, instead of a mirror above the hand basin they have a sign which reads: You are beautiful).

… I had to give a reading at the Historic Council Chambers straight after my haircut, but the audience were so appreciative that I almost forgot how bad my hair looked.

… I caught up with Joan Cahill who I once met at Varuna – I bought her newly published collection of poems and was surprised (and pleased) to see my name in a poem titled ‘Hubris Halved’.

… I felt alone and lonely and happy to be alone – and recognition of these feelings came upon me at various times throughout each day.

… I bought a $3 saucepan at a second-hand shop in Wagga, and later realised it was from Baccarat’s stainless steel range and worth $150 new (this discovery helped me feel a little better about my haircut).

… I went to the Write Around the Murray festival in Albury where I gave a memoir workshop, spoke on a panel discussion and met some wonderful writers – like Sue Gillett, Benjamin Law, and Biff Ward.


… I followed some tracks that ran along the steep hill behind the cottage and came across the largest kangaroos I’ve ever seen.

… I joined David Gilbey’s book group one evening and drank wine and ate delicious cheese and heard many interesting things about The Turn of the Shrew by Henry James.

… I read through a memoir manuscript that I wrote years ago and realised how very hard that time of my life was.

… I treasured the moments the sun shone on the verandah.

… the contracts were finalised on a wonderful old house I’ve just bought in Armidale.

… I heard some sad news about a friend’s daughter which put all my problems into perspective.

… I read through past copies of fourW and loved many of the contributions – especially the work of Alison Eastley.

… on my last day, I gave a memoir workshop and was astounded by the wealth of talent in the room.

… I remembered – once again – that I am a writer.

Thank you Booranga!