Festivals, Fridays

On Friday, I woke up too early and slightly hungover. Because that’s the required way to start a Writers Festival and also apparently twenty-four is the age I start feeling hungover for more than fifteen minutes at a time.
I missed the tram I was going to catch and was running one tram late, as always. I didn’t even get to finish my tea because I had to run for the first tram, which I missed anyway and in retrospect I blame not finishing my tea for about 70% of the hangover. But I made it to Fed Square and got my artist pass and snuck into Women in Business Writing with plenty of time to hear Elizabeth Redman being very clever for a good forty minutes.
I had a cup of tea (all of one) in the green room and ate some vegan chocolate and some non-vegan Tim Tams and felt a bit better about everything. Then I saw Adolfo and Jessica Yu being clever and eloquent on Voicing Race and felt even better about even more of everything. I felt so impressed to see so many smart young people on panels and so, so lucky that these smart young people are also my friends. I felt so lucky that I get to hear what they have to say not just on panels but across kitchen tables and at parties and over cocktails. So the morning redeemed itself in the end.
In the afternoon, I was on a panel. I was pretty worried that no one would come but figured that the best panel I’ve ever done had more people on stage than in the audience so actually it wouldn’t be the worst no one came. Except what actually happened was that the room was so full my boyfriend had to wait outside for fifteen minutes until someone left (apparently because we said ‘wanking’ too many times). It was stranger than I expected to be on a panel again, after programming them for so long. But it was good, I think? I think I like programming panels more than being on them.
We had lunch with Rachel and Luke, sitting beside the river, watching the boats put up and down. It was quiet and nice. We talked about NYWF issues but in that moment they seemed far away, easy to postpone. I told Rachel to ignore them, to stop checking her NYWF email. We managed to get all the way through lunch before Rachel (who works with MWF, too) started getting phone calls. Then they all came at once and you could almost see the stress rising up her body.
I decided to go home, to tend to the flurry of NYWF emails that maybe weren’t so easy to postpone, after all. I panicked a little, because I was tired and there was a lot of emails and I just wanted to fall in heap. I dealt with the things that needed dealing with and told myself the other things were under control.
At 5pm, I realised people were coming over for dinner and I had no idea what I was going to make. I made a hasty decision, wrote a scribbled list and dashed out of the house for the Greek grocer up the road. I bought cheese and fruit and a tiny chicken to roast with chorizo and leek. I came home, laden with things and threw together a fairly impressive dinner. Fiona and Eric came over and we chatted over wine and grissini in a way that felt very grownup.  

I still have a strange relationship with Melbourne. Mostly because I don’t love it in the way I feel like I’m supposed to, the way that so many other people do. But some days it’s not so bad. Days when I can watch literary events that are half an hour from my bed, when I get to eat lunch by the river and drink wine in the evening with beautiful people, when I can buy all the ingredients for a feast at 5:30pm on a Friday. Some days, I do love it, in my own way.

Further reading

December – home

I spent the first minutes of 2018 on the beach. I’ve never actually spent New Year