Whirlwinds and watersheds

I’m more than halfway through my blog tour for ‘There Was an Old Sailor’. It’s great fun and has stretched me to look at why I wrote the story the way I did, and how. There were elements I’d forgotten, like the animals that were included, discarded then included. I’d forgotten the challenges of working within a frame.

It also reminded me about the wonders of the internet. I’ve been so flatchat this week with myriad other things that I’d never had been able to make half the visits I had, if they were reliant on me getting anywhere and sounding half-rational.

But along the way, I’ve also discovered a new word and that adventure can be found almost anywhere. The new word is ‘AUDIENT’, as in ‘an audient’, the single witness to a performance. Yano, the singular of audience. A great word, which should be in the dictionary!

It’s a small world. Yesterday, I met an American friend in town and showed him some of our treasures. (State Library La Trobe Reading Room, 333 Collins St foyer, gothic ANZ bank building, zoo, Queen Victoria market, Melbourne weather) We met three people I knew, leaving him with the impression Melbourne is really just a village.

And if you are open to it, we discovered that adventure even includes being offloaded when lightning kills the power to the trains. Even in the rain. It was fascinating to stand in the rain, watching people and process at work. Even though the western links of the railway network were at a standstill because of the power outage, trains kept coming that far and disgorging even more people onto a station and surrounds already overfull. Some people calmly called for rescue via mobile phone. Others railed at the gods. Others railed at the railways staff. Others headed for the bus up around the corner. Some knocked on windows of occupied taxis to see if they could double up. Two people even cadged a lift with a stranger who was going their way. Then ‘contingency plans’ kicked in and orange-coated rail bods shepherded as they could, and frustrated commuters swarmed each time a bus arrived. My American tourist companion and I explored a number of options but mostly just watched human nature in action. And eventually made our way home.

And then last night, I spoke to a local acquaintance who knows Cassandra Allen, the illustrator of ‘There Was an Old Sailor’, even naming his daughter after her. And I realised I knew her. She worked on the local literary festival youth committee with my son. Small, small world.

And Melbourne was wet wet wet. Fantabulous!