We — that is, Rob Morris, Kristin Hannaford and Belinda Jeffrey (tour coordinator extraordinaire) — set off on a poetry tour of Sydney, Melbourne and Launceston back at the end of September. The trip couldn’t have gone better, but here are my highlights:
- Stumbling across a little red door that opened onto the Cafe Lounge, which led to a strange series of events in which I received a free bottle of champagne, which I enjoyed on the balcony of a mansion – trespassing, having climbed up and over the hotel roof – in Launceston with Nathan Curnow, Sarah Day and Ross Donlon, and later Kristin and Belinda.
- Exploring Sydney with my buddy Clare, whom we in Brisvegas wish we could see more of.
- Getting revved up at Passionate Tongues in Melbourne, and chilling out at the lovely Spinning Room the next night.
- Visiting every vintage shop in Australia with Rob, who is a real groover. Losing Rob. Finding that every vintage shop attendant understood what I meant when I asked, “Have you seen a madly poetic sort of chap in a jacket?” (“Yes. He went next door.”)
- Having a glorious afternoon in Melbourne’s laneways with my old friend Ange from high school, now a med student. Ange and I found (and I purchased) an utterly splendid walking cane (with elephant head), whom I named Oscar. And then we met a witch.
- Accidently using Oscar to get into the short queue at the Dali exhibition at night (which was, in itself, spectacular).
- Haemorhaging cash at Route 66.
- Exploring the park and meeting the monkeys (one of whom I swear was eating chewing gum) in Launceston.
- Meet all the lovely, lovely people at the Tasmanian Poetry Festival. Hanging out with Nathan, Ross, Sarah and Kevin Gillam. I learnt so much from them and from my tour mates.
- Selling books! And improving my performance, I hope. I felt like I was.
- Getting checked over for explosives on every single domestic flight. I must look like a firework, or something. Maybe it’s the hat.
You can read Belinda Jeffrey’s account of our tour here.