The Bendigo Train

I braved the Bendigo train again yesterday despite my previous, signal-failed, snail-paced, capewearing-denying, launch-missing last attempt.

And it was delightful. Lovely to sit in leisure with Jude Rossell.

We were on our way to Catholic Ladies College in Bendigo for a mini writers’ festival. A small festival of writers’ you understand, not a festival for mini writers, although there were plenty of student writers present. Paul Collins of Ford St Publishing had organised the festival, bringing together students from twelve schools and about 20 or so writers and illustrators. Each of us conducted three workshops, with students from Year 4 through to Year10, sometimes in the same session. Great fun. Being with the students is always good fun, and keeps me on my toes.

And on my return, I found this review of ‘There Was an Old Sailor’.

A good day.

On Thursday, I moderated a panel of writers talking about crime and their writing. It featured Carolyn Morwood, Kerry Greenwood, Nick Gadd and Dr Angus Curry. Photos coming.

Rail and Sail

 Sounds a bit like a meal, like Surf and Turf etc. But not this time. It was my husband’s birthday and he’s a fan of all things steam. Generally he’s also exceptionally difficult to buy presents for. But again, not this time. Steamrail run a number of trips through the year, and this one just happened to be at the perfect time for a birthday present.

We travelled in this train to Geelong, had a leisurely lunch, then boarded the (diesel…although it used to be steam) ferry for a gentle sail back to Melbourne. It is true that some of the younger members of the family found the return trip a tad longer than they would have liked, but we played cards and (lest you think technology stayed away) Fruit Ninja.

The ferry very comfortably seats 200. Although there was plenty of moving around too. 


I snapped these two several times, but only realised later that they were not just flying aimlessly, that one was after the fish the other had caught.

These wading birds were so close to the water, I don’t know how they didn’t dip their wings and topple in.

A-launching we will go…

Today was the Melbourne launch of ‘Squish Rabbit’, a gorgeous picture book from first time writer/illustrator, Katherine Battersby. It’s a story of discovering friendship, told and shown with powderpuff gentleness, in a mixture of paint and collage.

Wendy Orr launches Squish.

The Squish Rabbit Wall

On the other hand…

And this is the most amazing burger, imagined by the guests. Yes, you do see olives and watermelons, traffic lights and fetta cheese!

Katherine and her beautiful book

Katherine and Bren

Lovely also to catch up with Catriona Hoy and Bren Macdibble. Catriona and I will be presenting at STAVCON, a science conference later this month. Bren is just back from Brisbane where she was part of the QWC/Allen&Unwin novel intensive.

Waiting for my boy…

 I’d been faffing around at home, not knowing what to do with a suddenly empty house and some hours to fill. So when my son needed to go to a meeting, I thought I’d take him and wait and work. And although I played with camera, I did also have my laptop and got the words flowing. Love the ocean. Don’t even have to be looking at it for the magic to work!

 A Pacific Gull, I think. Much larger than those at the base of this pole.

We get all sizes and type of boats, sometimes all at once. Listen out though, if you hear a big big boat honk 5 slow honks, it means ‘Your intentions are unclear’ which probably means a little, little boat is way too close. Don’t look at me like that, just ask my husband how big these container ships are from close up!

These look like little doors. 

I was just playing. Seeing how close I could go without a true macro lens. Can you guess what this or the following two are?