Poetry, Norfolk Island and Bob the Railway Dog Launch
I had trouble deciding what to write about today – the 6000 Dorothea Mackellar Poems I was working on up to the last moment when I left on holiday, the wonderful holiday on Norfolk Island or preparation for the Bob launch for ‘Bob the Railway Dog’ this Saturday. Perhaps I’ll cover them all!
The Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Competition
From what seemed a slow start, Lower Primary poetry submissions picked up speed enormously from, yes I’ll say it, the last two weeks in June. Given that the comp opened on March 1 and there had been 4 months submission time, the deluge which came from about the middle of June was . . . . breathtaking and yes, overwhelming. The biggest worry was getting through them fairly, terrified I’d miss a gem if I read too quickly. And, as was the case last year, there were the gems, the earnest, the funny and the heartache ones. The funniest – I can say in a blink – was a poem about a traveling spider which brought tears of laughter to my eyes. I left for my holiday, not quite finished, but managed to get 5 peaceful hours to myself on Sunday afternoon to verify decisions and go over final comments and reports. Phew!
Although we’ve had several short breaks over the last few years, the last ‘longish’ holiday was in 2012 when we went to America. I attended the SCBWI Conference in New York and my husband and I then took off for a wonderful trip through some highlight places of the US. This time we felt like peace, relaxation and time to do nothing so we decided on Norfolk Island – 2 1/2 hours flying time from Sydney, yes, we did need our passports but no visas, inoculations or complicated travel timetables. We stepped into a world of bliss and a much slower pace. The island is 5 x 8 miles (not sure what that is in kilometers) and we spent 11 days walking the hills and through the national parks, having picnics on cliff-sides, wondering the winding roads while greeting the cattle who also wonder and have right of way (along with the chickens and roosters) and of course catching up on some sleeping and reading. Then of course there was the history. Hard to imagine such a perfect place having such a cruel history but it did, and the ancient buildings are still there as a reminder of that. It’s a lost-in-time place – the photos to say the rest.
Bob the Railway Dog Launch
The last few days have been spent fixing up last minute details for Saturday’s launch, so I’m on a run. My friend, wonderful author and publisher, Karen Tayleur will be launching, the Railfan Shop are set ready to go, members of the Association of Railway Enthusiasts will be attending and special guest ‘Smithy’ the smithfield will be driven down all the way from Mansfield to welcome pats and cuddles, especially from children and dog-lovers. If you’d like to join us it’s at 11.00 a.m. this Saturday, 1st August at the Railfan Shop, 4 Churchill Street, Mont Albert.