Story telling from Australia
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.
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.
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).
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.
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: