I’m off to Melbourne on Saturday! Two years ago my last visit to the UK was carefully timed to coincide with Impact 6 in Bristol… and this year I’ve been lucky enough to get a grant from Regional Arts New South Wales to enable me to go to Melbourne for the conference’s first visit to the Southern Hemisphere.
I’m excited for all sorts of reasons: I’ve never been to Melbourne before; I get to meet up with Ronnie, Caren, Amanda from BookArtObject (two of whom I haven’t previously met); I will be able to catch up with Sarah Bodman from UWE in Bristol AND Tim Mosely from Southern Cross University; I’m staying with my mate Willis and his family in an apartment at “Hotel Alto on Bourke” which I now discover is a swanky carbon-neutral hotel (v. posh) AND the programme looks really exciting! I can hardly take it all in… And did I also mention that BookArtObject are exhibiting AND that I’ll get to see some fabulous art AND for once in my life I don’t have to worry about the cost of getting there and back again? That has been such a relief… thank you, thank you to the wonderful people at RANSW who had some faith in me and were kind enough to give me a Quicks grant. Phew.
The past few months have just flashed by: first the intense effort of getting the show at Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery off the ground, then adjusting to the fact that dearest husband is now away A LOT (probably won’t see much of him between now and February, *sniff*), then straight into a full-on recruitment process at darling daughter’s school to recruit a Principal while at the same time applying for my TAFE job… and then on into the school holidays and Impact 7 in Melbourne… and so on. It has at times been a bit hairy, and I wonder whether that’s the reason why I came down with a stomach bug on Monday and feel as if I’ve been run over by a bus. I NEVER get stomach bugs: the occasional bit of feeling off-colour, yes, and I do have IBS (not a lot of fun when that hits), but this is something else – completely debilitating and energy sapping. I’ve spent the last two days somewhat disconnected from reality and feeling rather sorry for myself, but I’m pleased to say I ate something this evening and feel heaps better!
Tomorrow I’m having my hair cut and have one last, big meeting at school and then… I can relax a bit and move on in my head. There’s a bit of packing to do, some printing out of tickets and programmes etc., and I’d like to buy myself a little Melbourne map of some kind since I don’t have a clue where I’m going (or how), but then dearest husband is catching an earlier plane home than usual on Friday and we’re going to enjoy a nice dinner here with friends coming over before I hop on a plane on Saturday.