Australia Day

Happy Australia Day everyone! I’ve never seen the day as anything other than a very welcome public holiday really, but today hanging out in Broken Hill I have felt particularly Australian. Coming up here is rather like going to visit relatives for me, the welcome is so warm. I could very happily spend a few months here working on art or poetry sometime. I’m going to investigate my diary and see if I can find a time somewhere to use my cheap train tickets before they expire in April…

This morning I slept in, slept well – my new meds seem to be agreeing with me! I’m using hardly any painkillers to get through the day at the moment, only two or three compared with 16 or so. Then we went up to Silverton a nearby little village with a tiny population. The number of artists, writers, poets and creative people of all types around here is simply incredible. You can’t walk ten paces without running into a studio or gallery. No wonder I feel so at home! We spent an hour or so wandering through the museum there, which was incredibly well stocked with all kinds of paraphernalia, then had a drink and a hot dog at the Silverton Hotel – which has been rebadged for many movies and commercials, the most famous is probably Mad Max.

 Then it was home to the Tourist Lodge for a swim in the pool and an afternoon nap for me. Bliss! This evening the local poets congregated by the pool, had a fantastic BBQ and shared poems, songs, and music together over wine. I found a lovely pink moscato and my poems seemed to go down well. There was a great range of styles; humorous, poignant, observational, melancholy, war poems, narrative, and a few from poets not with us. We remembered Geoff, a Broken Hill poet with a taste for the irreverent and a love of words who sadly passed away last year. A couple of folks had great flair on the guitar and sang us sad or lusty songs. There is such a wonderful Australian tradition of story telling and joke telling and we have such a rich history of talented poets. I feel very proud to be part of that tradition, very at peace to spend time with poets in such a peaceful and intimate setting. There’s just something special about this place. Just what I needed. 

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