Inevitable blue of Adelaide’s late summer skies
Greetings Those who have been Transported,
THE BOOKWORM REIGNS: it’s the fabulous & free Writers’ Week in Adelaide (well, not quite an entire seven days) but while the flavour for this year is a little different – what isn’t?- attendance is still worth every penny of the price of entry.
Writers’ Week always produces a little magic in sometimes, the most unexpected of ways. There were the lorikeets above my head, cheerful and raucous, discarding their munchies over me in a sprinkle of chewed berries spits, strangers became instant friends able to discuss, share opinions and advice freely while the weather was itself was a miracle. The low hum of conversations which seemed to hover like a wing in motion just above the crowds became an embrace of humanity under the shade and green of the parkland trees and the inevitable blue of Adelaide’s late summer skies. At Writers’ Week it’s ok for loners to be alone in a large company, refreshment tables will be shared with a smile while the volunteers who assist are helpful and friendly souls who are not officious when people move the chairs around – all the time and despite social distancing. The atmosphere is chicken soup and dumplings: good and wholesome, expectant and which, I imagine, translates in some way to the author stars on stage, making it a joy as an experience for them as well.
This year, Victorians were exceptionally pleased to be here.
And, I have to tell you, another astonishment came via a Metro bus driver: it can be tiring sitting in the sun listening and concentrating on what’s being said for hours so fuzzy, in error, my friends and I caught the wrong bus. It wasn’t too wrong – it just meant a longish up-hill walk to get to my house at the end of the ride. So, on the trip I suggested to my friends that perhaps we should decamp in Colonel Light Gardens and wait in the shade for the right bus to come along. The driver heard me. “That’s all right”, he said “I’ll drop you off where you need to go if there is no-one left on the bus.” There wasn’t and so he did! Turned left on Springbank rather than right and delivered us home! (Actually, there was another guy left on the bus but it turned out that route was also closer to his house so he was very happy as well.) I love him!….the bus driver, that is.
Which brings me to some of the joys of being naughty: perhaps our lovely, thoughtful bus-driver enjoyed veering slightly off route just as Sanya the Wonderful and Robert the Musical relished veering slightly off diet to indulge in Aldi chocolate Easter eggs from Germany. Sympathetic to their plight (as I always am), I won’t mention the mini eclairs or the peanut brittle ice cream or how I was force-fed chocolate easter eggs for days in order to save Sanya the Beneficent from being completely overcome by guilt.
Of course, of the two, Robert is without question the naughty one. Recently plying me with yet another Lychee-liscious Cocktail, heavy on the vodka, Robert confided to me one of his dreams, a true calling he had felt early in life – he had heard a voice compelling him forwards along the path towards becoming a mixologist.
Sadly, this was not to be.
Family (all artists), friends (all musicians and artists), educators (art and music teachers – maths teachers had no comment) and Sanya the Magnificent (soul of an artist) all impressed upon Robert that mixing cocktails for who knows who was not a respectable or even possible career. I ask, Did they not recall Moulin Rouge, Toulouse, Hals, Pollock, Manet, Vincent……need I say more? Art, music and alcohol: hands in gloves (if sober) a marriage of the muses! Robert was however, and is, a true and loyal soul – how could he possibly deny his close ones their combined love for him in order to go his own way? The possibilities of colour, passion, aroma, the fizz and the essence all in the hands of a master mixologist was something they could not see. Thus, bound and chained to the conventions of the usual Robert was forced into the slave-holds of art and music and from which ultimately, there is never an escape. The world truly lost a source of great intoxication when Robert abandoned cocktails to the so-designated higher callings of art and music.
However, every now and then with a spritz of colour, a dash of panache, a paper umbrella and shake of the elbow Robert lets his true creative soul have its way….he mixes a cocktail and takes the chance to be just a little bit naughty again!
PS. Writers Week 2021 was heavy on political works. This was an unusual year.
If you have never been to Writers Week make a plan and attend a session next year. It is not an overly intellectual exercise if the prospect puts you off. Catalogues are free and usually available where you buy your books – maybe not in the supermarkets though.
Writers are an inspiring lot and it is always interesting to listen to them speak about their works. With the emphasis on politicians and their writings this year it was fascinating to listen to their opinions on Brittany Higgins and the rape allegation made by an un-named woman against a sitting Federal Cabinet Minister.
Sessions I attended:
Women and Leadership: Julia Gillard
Phosphorescence: Julia Baird
A Bigger Picture: Malcolm Turnbull
Hurricane Season: Fernanda Melchor (Mexico)
Apeirogon: Colum McCann(New York – Irish)
The Insider: Christopher Pyne
The Most Dangerous Man in the World: Andrew Fowler (about Julian Assange)
Video of the Week
Robert Zunic from Les Gitans Blancs performs on a guitar
Play the video or watch it on YouTube
Photo by Pierre-Henry de Soria on Unsplash -Wita Wirra, Adelaide, Australia
Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash, London Fields, London-people sitting in the park
Photo by Natalia Y on Unsplash-Cocktails and Dreams
Photo by Lucia Lua Ramirez on Unsplash –Bus
Robert’s photos –Sanya Zunic