I was very brave; finally the opportunity came for me to attend the Perth Writers Festival, all by myself. It’s not the attending all by myself that is the problem, it is how I can become easily lost and disorientated that I am in fact a hazard to others around me, further more I can’t make my way out of a paper bag let alone I have some decision making issues. I had one woman in fits on the Saturday, always good to hear a raucous laugh at my expense don’t you think?
Well a parking debacle follows me wherever I go. I googled, I had a program, I drew a mud map, repeated it all over again the morning before I set of, but still managed to turn down the wrong street. Ho hum!
Spotted a parking spot, near the parking meter, bonus. A queue of woman rummaging around in their bags as we are confronted with a partially broken meter. Won’t take cards only cash. Crap, I too scrimmaged around for $5 in coins. Of course that only gave me till 12.30pm and that was all the coins I had, walking up the street following others into the venue I spotted another machine and yes that one worked, so I bought another ticket marched back to the car and figured that instead of costing me $13.50 it had in fact cost me $18.50, but worth the peace of mind as I had heard of others being fined $40 so to me that’s a $20 saving. This is in fact a way I love to shop, coming to the conclusion that I have in fact saved money not spent it, looking for the positives people.
Walking through the hallowed grounds in the University of Western Australia, I couldn’t see many people (tells you how far away from the event I actually was) but I did spot the most beautiful timber building, a white clothed table, sitting upon it white cups and saucers. Now that’s more like my cup of tea I thought to myself, very civilised. Such a snob!
|So pretty and serene looking|
Then I spotted rows and rows of white tents, something amiss though that I thought was a bit odd, some very very loud music. Then it dawned on my confused mind that it was another event, besides there were a lot of and only young adults.
Meandering on through these beautiful grounds, full of limestone buildings, lead light windows, I spotted the first of the Writers Festival Tents. Not the one I needed to be at though, so I raced up to the information booth to find where in fact I should have been. I mentioned, as I couldn’t help myself that the ticketing machines were broken. She said, ‘Oh parking is free in the grounds’ which is as I could see was a load of rubbish as they have parking ticket machines everywhere, why wouldn’t you make money out of cash strapped students who attend university?
|I’m a sucker for wrought iron.|
By this time I knew I was late, rocked up to the event and no room at the inn; had reached capacity! Pfftt!
So with an hour to spare I sought out the coffee and muffin booth food and coffee makes everything all right doesn’t it? Made my way towards the next event as I had an hour to kill. Trying very hard not to get my knickers in a twist walking through the grounds, which were filtered with dust, sand and dirt. Sat on a bench which are all dedicated to various people, one can only assume great leaders past of UWA.
|Some of the dedicated benches scattered
through the ground.
As I sat under the canopy of a magnificent tree on a bench all by myself, an elderly gentleman on another bench, we glanced and smiled and that was all it took. He shifted onto my bench and we chatted for an hour. I love old people and their stories; he kept me entertained and would lift anyone’s spirits. I learnt all about his wife, daughter, son-in-law, cruising, caravanning, Northbridge and his anxiety about refugees. Which would later prove to be insightful.
|One of the many regal canopies I got to sit under.|
He released me from his story telling so I could attend an event I had earmarked, and this is so ironic, it was ‘Choose your own adventure’. Sitting front and centre next to an elderly petite delightful woman. Who explained that this was the first time she had been out in six months and that she promised she wasn’t wearing a tracking tag, pointing to her neck. I said ‘That’s because it’s around your ankle isn’t it’, we laughed and chatted I asked if I could get her a drink and something to eat but she was good and appreciated me asking. Pay it forward x
We waited patiently, running 5 minutes behind schedule then the last of the three speakers arrived, he had been running, threw his back pack down, shook hands with the other presenters, sweaty disheveled taking his seat on the podium. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was as he was the very person I wanted to see and I couldn’t see where he was on the program. Things happen for a reason don’t they? His name is Xavier Toby, a comedian who has written a book about his six months as a FIFO worker and the material he gained for his stand up routine in the role of OHS on mining sites. Well that’s a topic close to my heart. The other blokes were funny and interesting to. One guy spent a year touring Russia and spent a considerable amount of time particularly in Kazakhstan with a dog. (Tim Cope) Why? The other one has traveled extensively, cheaply and had many funny stories to share (Brendan Shanahan).
|Hope you like reading sideways?|
Each Author was asked about their process of writing, everything Xavier said, I nodded and nodded and nodded in agreement, okay maybe I might have been a little infatuated.
- Do your research
- Know your audience
- Write a book you would want to read
- Find your voice
See I just knew I’d like him, even though he is a bit of a scruffamuggin and disorganised.
Yes as you can see I bought the book.
So much more to tell, so much more to follow.
Think I need to know how to use #PerthWritersFestival