Strawberries in the Desert

Story telling from Australia

The magic of story telling

There’s something magical about story telling and I don’t pretend to know what’s behind it, but I do know I had the best fun in Dubbo and Orange.

Signing books in Orange

Signing books in Orange

And libraries? Don’t get me started. Where else can you find solace and silence in our modern world? I love the hushed atmosphere of a public library and I was lucky enough to be invited to speak at libraries in Orange and Dubbo on Friday and Monday of last week.

With librarians Jasmine and Sean

With librarians Jasmine and Sean

Anyone who braved the gloomy skies and rapidly falling temperatures in Orange received a warm welcome from Jasmine and Sean at the library and from the lovely lady at Boomers Books, and a big thank-you to Angela Owens at the ABC for inviting me onto her morning show and for tipping me off about the fabulous Agrestic Grocer (more of that in the next post).

With Angela Owens at the ABC in Orange

With Angela Owens at the ABC in Orange

In Dubbo I spoke to Dugal Saunders from the ABC and Richard Perno from 2DU, who invited me onto his morning show not once but twice in the space of five days. Thanks guys!

And I was delighted to discover Jane Ryrie came to the talk in Dubbo. When Jane finished reading Love in the Outback she wrote to say how similar our stories had been, from an over reliance on romantic fairy tales down to the chooks and a dog called ‘Dingo’. Who’d have guessed?

Among the many people who turned up that day were Jack and Ellen Stanmore. I met these two wonderful people when I interviewed Nancy Bird Walton, who airlifted Jack to safety when he was a tiny baby. Jack and Ellen are long time supporters of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and they epitomise the spirit of caring that runs through the Dubbo Support Group.

The lovely Ellen and Jack Stanmore in Dubbo

The lovely Ellen and Jack Stanmore in Dubbo

Nancy and Rae from Dubbo’s Book Connection were on hand to sell copies of Love in the Outback, and thanks to an impromptu question from someone in the audience, I ended up selling another six copies of Dream Wheeler!

There were connections everywhere. The librarian in Dubbo (Jocelyn) used to work at the University Department of Rural Health in Broken Hill, so she knows some of the people I’ve written about in Love in the Outback. Then there was Peter, who was setting off on his annual fundraising trek with Destination Outback and heading for William Creek, where they were planning to stop and donate a defibrillator to the local community. Where did Clyde grow up? William Creek.

And the Sydney male voice choir sang at the RFDS Open Day, bringing memories of my Welsh parents and close relatives flooding back. I may be living on the other side of the world from most of my family but I know the love that links us is as strong as ever.

Huge thanks to Terry and Sue Clark for looking after us at Country Apartments and to all the friends we re-connected with at the RFDS Open Day, from the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Dubbo Support Group and Dubbo South Rotary.

You could feel the love in that hangar and it warmed us all.

Follow these links to more about the talks:

Article from Central Western Daily

Dubbo Weekender

Daily Liberal

Orange Library


8 comments on “The magic of story telling

  1. nantubre
    August 8, 2014

    You are a rock star!


    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      August 8, 2014

      Thanks Nan! Interestingly Clyde was featured in a book called Rock Star, about the life of a famous geologist he worked for once… 🙂


  2. Congratulations! Sounds like a highly successful tour.
    The RFDS is one of those ‘unsung hero’ organisations that deserves so much more support and recognition than it gets.


    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      August 8, 2014

      Thanks Helen, I think most Australians have a special regard for the work of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and thankfully most of us never have to use it!


  3. monsoonwendy
    August 8, 2014

    So lovely reading about your tour Deb! And all the press. I can just imagine the warmth and love in those rooms and am thrilled that you could let yourself enjoy it. Noticed the book on the shelves at the RFDS shop yesterday where they now have quite a range of books. Looking forward to the tour embracing here! Hugs, Wendy


  4. debhuntinbrokenhill
    August 10, 2014

    Thx Wendy, I’ll be sharing the love in Mildura on Thursday 28 August and Broken Hill library on Saturday Aug 30! Looking forward to catching up with you soon x


  5. candidkay
    August 18, 2014

    You had me at libraries. I love the energy in a library. It’s as if there are angels looking over each shoulder, turning the page . . .


  6. debhuntinbrokenhill
    August 19, 2014

    What a beautiful image Kay


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This entry was posted on August 8, 2014 by and tagged , , , , , , , .

I'm a writer based in Australia with a passion for gardening, remote places and people with a story to tell.

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