Margo takes a Tarago
Now I'm in Melbourne in a Macca's, with madmen wandering in and out muttering - price you pay for free wifi. The Sofitel looms opposite - well, it can keep its $30 an hour internet. Phoar.
I'm doing this Regional Tour with Melina Marchetta, Michael Hyde and David Metzenthen, and Lisa Greenaway is looking after us, and doing a fine job of wrangling us and the various council and school people who've been providing our tech support and general admin - she's also been interviewing us on all the panels (that is, chairing 3 panels in quick succession every day). Sometimes one of us hives off and does a workshop instead of a panel, but still, that's a lot of wrangling.
Lisa and the three other writers are great travel companions - though I can't tell you most of what we talk about in the Tarago, because it's Sekrit Writer Business (meaning scurrilous gossip). But I can say that my eyebrows have never been higher, nor my jaw further dropped, and I haven't laughed so much since I don't know when. It's very healthy to be with people who share the same form of insanity. Of course, by Friday we'll all hate each other, but for the moment it's all sweet.
Tomorrow we take over Frankston with our panelling and workshopping, then on Friday it's orf to Geelong. The panels are on 'Fantasy and Fiction' (Melina and me), 'Writing about the Past' (David and Michael) and 'Creating Characters' (David, Melina and me), and so far we've managed to make each panel just nicely different enough to keep ourselves entertained as well as our audiences. All the school groups have been great, with lots of questions.
The weather has very neatly arranged itself around us. The Big Blow hit Moe just as we'd checked into our rooms, banged and crashed around until we were due to meet for dinner, then died away while we ate. In the night it carried on a bit, but really, Lisa arranged it very well. A bit of sideways rain here and there just to remind us where we were, and that's been the worst of it. Colder than I'm used to, but I've brought enough sox and beanies to cope with that.
I'm going to go and buy some Japanese food for dinner now, then have a bath (okay, Sofitel, I forgive you) and read myself to sleep. Greetings to all the Victorians we've been seeing for the last 3 days, and goodnight.