Special things that happened at Picturebook Christmas at Dromkeen and Hawthorn Makers Market
With Christmas on our doorstep, book-related events are starting to wind down. But some special things happened on the weekend for me which I’d like to share, at Picturebook Christmas at Dromkeen with Mark Wilson on Saturday and then at the Hawthorn Makers Market on Sunday.
Each time I visit Dromkeen Gallery, a beautiful homestead at Riddells Creek https://www.dromkeen.com.au/ I’m reminded of all the creators who have visited and spent time at this peaceful place, sharing their stories and art and I feel their voices echoing about me.
I had the privilege of reading my Christmas stories to a room full of attentive children, their parents and grandparents. I will never tire of the experience of reading to an audience who remains silent, listening to every word. A mother told me on Saturday that I sent her two children to sleep – I’m not sure if that was a good or bad thing!
If you have time over the coming holidays, drive up to Dromkeen. There are regular storytimes, writing and drawing workshops and the gallery is brimming with Mark Wilson’s beautiful artwork and displays. Of course there are books and artwork for sale and it’s so lovely to just wander through the gardens or maybe pause under the sprawling canopy of trees with a good book, or perhaps search for the mob of kangaroos lazing on the property.
Then on Sunday, at the Hawthorn Makers Market, I was approached by a lady who purchased copies of One Christmas Eve and Subbie and his mate. She told me she was shopping for her 16 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. I commented that she was doing well. Her reply, ‘Oh, I’m not 100 till next year,’ she said, without fuss or bother. She went on to say that her sitting room was full of gifts and she didn’t like the mess but books were always an ideal present.
At the same time, my husband was volunteering at the Camberwell Market for Rotary. A few months ago a mother contacted me asking if I had any copies of my title, Flame Stands Waiting. She told me that her son is a lover of carousels and she’d tried everywhere to buy a copy of Flame. I told her that I had also been unable to find any more copies – the last one I purchased second hand which happened to be the exact copy I signed for Albert Ullin in 2010. At the time I winced a little at having to pay $45 for a second hand copy of my own book but when I queried the cost with the seller I was told it was because it had been signed by the author. Funny.
So the nice thing that happened was that my husband spied a copy of Flame at the bookseller at Camberwell Market. This week I’ll have the pleasure of delivering it to this keen collector who already has a copy of One Christmas Eve. Both of these books are set at Melbourne’s Luna Park which is celebrating its 110 year anniversary this month. https://lunapark.com.au/