In which Alex writes nonsensical, rambling daily blogs about The National Young Writers Festival 2014, several weeks after it happened.
Wake up and realise that the festival is almost upon us. Our Newcastle beach holiday (preparing ourselves mentally and actually for the festival) is almost over.
Drink tea with my mum and dad on the balcony. They’ve been visiting and it’s been nice to see them. A little sad it hasn’t been for longer.
Look at venues, plan logistics, try to think of things that might go wrong.
Get the keys to Staple Manor
Go with Sophie
to Officeworks. A slow decent into madness follows.
A nice old man asks why we are printing so many things then tells us about his wife who illustrates bible passages with paintings of Australian animals (because he thinks this might be relevant to our interests as people who run a writers festival for young people). He gives us a photocopied article about her from his stack of printing.
Sophie and I eat pies at a table near the printers, resign ourselves to never leaving, agree we will probably die in Officeworks.
Have to catch a taxi home from Officeworks, so laden are we with printing.
Swim in the ocean baths despite the cold. Talk to several locals about how cold it is.
Float in the water as the sun sets around us. Bask in how illogically, impossibly relaxed I am in that moment.
makes us all dinner while we drink wine and eat cheese and feel a tiny bit guilty about not helping Geoff make us dinner.
Eat dinner all crammed onto the little balcony, looking out at the sky and the giant coal barges.
Have a production meeting. Sit on the floor going through run sheets and curling lengths of crepe paper into flowers. Dani
Enjoy being in the same room as the rest of team NYWF for only the second time ever.
Stay up far too late gluing all the paper flowers together into a garland.
Wake panicked. Force myself to go back to sleep because I need every moment of sleep I can get before the weekend.
Visit more venues. Talk to people. Organise.
Feel rather overwhelmed. Go to Staple Manor by myself to sit on the floor and craft.
Thread hundreds and hundreds of bunting flags onto string.
Put up posters. Stand on chairs to hang bunting. String paper garland in a doorway. Cut the letters STAPLE MANOR out of felt.
Accidentally become the festival’s resident craft expert.
Realise that the room we are standing in was our
Staple Manor and it is beautiful. Get a bit emotional about that.
Do an impromptu interview with the Newcastle Herald and then get my photo taken
for the paper even though I’m not wearing shoes and I hadn’t brushed my hair.
Sophie shouts “IT’S MY TIME TO SHINE!” and runs over because she thinks the photographer wants her to be in the photo. He does not.
Arrive very late for drinks with the other festivals.
On the way home, staff take an excursion to one of Newcastle’s many sex shop so that Sian
can buy a vibrator for the Scum
launch at the Launch Orgy
. Giggle a lot about the amount of products which use the word “dong” on the packaging and also the extremely helpful man at the sex shop (so helpful).
Send people to buy enough fish and chips for a dozen.
come over and eat chips. Am glad that they are here (Lizzy and Tim have both flown down from Brisbane for the the festival) but also a little scared because them being here means the festival is about to start.
almost gets stuck at the airport because he misses the last bus.
A festival artist also misses the last bus.
Sophie and I talk Alex and the festival artist together so that they can share a cab into town. Sophie and I are very excited at having solved this problem. We drink more red wine to celebrate solving the problem.
arrives and I walk out in bare feet to get him from the taxi.
We drink more red wine.
Fall into bed and am sleepy and happy but also terrified because there is only one more sleep until festival time.
Coming soon – Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday (aka days that were actually part of the festival).