Wednesday, 10 October 2012

it's OCTOBER 9 and i'm still updating  -  sorry if this seems out of whack,  blogging here is tricky, photos are taking hours to upload,  groan.

continuing on from september 19 till today, hopefully from now on i'll be able to add
entries every day

so here is the wisteria, one of three that have been just superb - they were out when sunny and i arrived.

heaps of lilies in bud, no idea what they are, irises everywhere, three wisterias and a couple more just beginning, other bulbs that i have to wait for.  i’ve made bird baths out of terracotta pipes and hub caps i’ve found around the place



i knew i'd meet a snake here sooner or later but i expected to see it on the ground.  but this one decided to drop out of the ceiling. 

an early knock on the door found me half dressed. Pulling on a big jumper i ran to the door to find a man and his son – here to repair leaks in the bungalow roof.  His brother and nephew arrived  soon after and they set to work jacking up one end of the building.

tanner, steve (who's given the snake a home)  coby and rodney,  snakecharmers

when i went out to offer them a cup of tea they’d been greeted by a 4 ft carpet snake that dropped out of the ceiling when they removed a panel, causing mayhem and a scream from one of the men,  big grins from the boys as they told me.   here it is, a beautiful thing, i’m going to use it in an etching.  


i’m feeling really cut off here – finally i’ve got telstra booked for the internet and to fix the landline, i’ve been without the net since i got here and its going to be at least the end of the week till it’s on – and now that i’ve changed my mobile phone to telstra i’ve lost reception, can’t ring anyone but ‘missed call 101’ messages are coming in and i can’t access them.  frustrating!  maybe i need an optus mobile after all

The river -  how can i describe it -  this beautiful body of water constantly moving past – i can see it from most of the windows in the house so it’s always with me. in summer the sun will rise in the east over the loch end of the river and set in the west right over the water too.  occasionally a small tinny will motor by,  over my fence on the crown land people camp and it’s a popular fishing spot, always someone sitting there from early morning.  campfires glow on the opposite bank at night reflecting in the water and the loch is lit up with red lights.  the sky here is a mass of stars and now that i’m finally getting the house sorted i’ll be able to enjoy it all properly. 

Gail and denise arrive today. they’ll be here for a week and i can’t wait to see them.
gail arrived with the new chandelier i ordered on the net, it’s arrived in a DIY form, so there are about 70 individual bits spread out all over the dining table with instructions in chinese.   hmmm
gail and denise in the front yard :0)

it’s been great to stop working so hard  and to spend time just being here, enjoying the outdoors and cooking on the barbie down by the river . 

this is a beautiful eucalypt i'd like to
plant in the middle of the circular drive

Only three more days here and i have to return to melbourne to fly out to bali for the ubud writers festival. i can’t find my bathers anywhere – no idea where they could be – there’s still so much sorting out to do.

today the weather suddenly changed to hot – about 36 deg and so windy last night the sound of the trees kept me awake.   we had some huge thunder and lightning in the afternoon but it only lasted about 15 minutes then the threatening rain didn’t eventuate. so i’ll get to try out all the new hose fittings i bought at the irrigation shop in mildura. i’ll plant my lime and lemon trees before i leave.

next day . . .

job done :0)  the soil is fantastic.

sunday september 30

we’ve had a week of eating and drinking basically -  looking around mildura.  denise found the lagoon, somewhere i’ll have to go and do some drawing,  it’s just a short walk down the road.
it’s been wonderful watching the birds, a lot of different honeyeaters, a whistler (i think), the waterbirds, always the pelicans, kookaburras and the beautiful little orange rumped grass parrots

the darter - what an amazing bird, it swims mostly submerged so it looks like a snake in the water

The house is getting sorted, i love it – so much space and room for lamps and soft lighting, beautiful views from all the windows, and the full length glass in the lounge means that birds come right up close

 gail in the large living room - the windows reach the floor on two sides, so you look out on to a wide
sweep of the river

It’s been great have denise and gail here, using the house just to be in, rather than the frantic moving, unpacking and putting things together and throwing stuff out – the few two weeks were so much work, now i’m getting ready to head off for three weeks, to bali for the ubud writers festival, then a week in melbourne, geelong, torquay and pt lonsdale catching up with everyone before i come back to settle in properly. 

Just a few pics of home before i travel on to the writers festival in Ubud, Bali

Tuesday, October 3
WOW!  i’m just waking up in ubud after arriving late last night – the flight got here 1 ½ hours early – don’t ask me how that happened, even the pilot sounded surprised

i’m at the pitamaha hotel and it’s absolutely magnificent, beautiful big individual bungalows set along winding paths that hug the side of a huge green gully – it’s just after 6 and i’m going for a walk. i can hear roosters and all kinds of birds as the sun comes up.  isobelle is here already, we’ll catch up today and i hope to meet a lot of the others who are here to be part of the ubud writers and readers festival

young isobelle carmody getting used to the life at pitamaha

these strange little characters are the bolt on my doors

Later that same night -  a day of feeling overwhelmed and in awe of the size of the festival, quite spun out really.  i didn’t really see anyone during the day that i had hoped to see (people i knew i.e.),

But tonight – well the gala opening was huge, jose ramos horta, nick cave – i caught up with isobelle at last, great to see her after so long.    hopefully we’ll catch up for some quiet time tomorrow, tonight was a full on evening of speeches, wonderful balinese dance, dinner and music.
Beautiful balinese dancers - they're gorgeous 

there's that carmody girl again, with a friend

jose ramos horta on opening night -  i didn't get to see him speak when he did his session, it's always a shame that at festivals you're often working when
there are people on that you'd like to see, or you're simply too tired to get there.  terrific for the festival to have him here.

thursday oct 4
up at 6 for a walk around this amazing cluster of stone and thatch buildings, decorated paths and turreted fences, all so steeply situated on the lush green side of the valley.

      these squirrels are leaping from tree to tree in the mornings

first session today at 9.30 with libby hathorn, kathryn lomer, sue mcpherson and dub leffler.    ‘the kids are alright’ – narratives for the younger readers, the evolution of children’s publishing

the sessions were both great -  it’s good to get together with people who are on the same wave length and the panel discussions were animated and well attended, dub, libby, sue and kathryn are all terrific, diverse careers – and libby brought it all together easily.

 thursday night dinner at warwick purser’s magnificent contemporary home down dark winding pathways (i have no idea where i was) was so beautiful, the pictures tell the story

heading off on the bus - writer and poet kathryn lomer in the blue - we met at NSW premiers awards and
it's been lovely to re-connect

friday – my one session for the day, a drawing workshop with local kids, expats and students from sunshine school.   great fun  -   i actually got to draw on the wall!

i did the workshop at Villa Kitty, a cat rescue organisation run by Elizabeth Henzell - they care for street cats, restore their health and find them homes.  

fabulous drawings, as usual

isobelle and i had a long swim in that spectacular infinity pool then off to drinks held by the australian embassy and then a huge dinner at Honeymoon Guesthouse 2, given by janet de neefe, director of the writers festival.  another lavish treat of a night

janet de neefe, director of the festival - i don't
know how she does it and yet remains so calm

saturday      another shitty day in paradise

a day off – nothing to do but indulge myself and just be here.

isobelle and kathryn came over at midday and we hung out in the pool for a while, i sorted out a few ideas for my panel session tomorrow and had lunch with kathryn.

isobelle headed off for a three hour workshop – her last for the festival.   it’s been so good being here, after the big move, so much upheaval during the year i’m really unwinding – how could you help it in this beautiful place?

The fabulous infinity pool at the Pita Maha hotel in Sanggingan 

Beautiful decor at Indus Restaurant - a central part of the writers festival

†uesday oct 9

the festival’s finished –what a week.  i had no idea the ubud writers’ and readers’ festival had become such a huge international event.  the program was extensive and varied with writers, poets, illustrators and academics from all over the world.  we really enjoyed nick cave’s interview on the last day – he was down to earth, low key.  i liked him a lot.
now we’re all in the middle of ubud at the ubud inn, kathryn, isobelle and me. it’s shopping, swimming and talking time and we stayed up late after dinner and swam in the dark surrounded by the calls of what sounded like monster frogs.   even saw a frog actually spawning on the side of a small water garden.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you're having a marvellous time! Your descriptions are bringing back lots of wonderful memories and familiar sights and sounds. Great that you're staying on for extra time to unwind a bit.


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