One of the aims that we had for this year's Melbourne Writers Festival was to emulate the tradition that 4MA members have of an opening dinner. We decided to have ours on the first Saturday of the festival and we were keen to find a venue that had something a little different about it. We finally settled on trying Tjanabi - a newish restaurant on the edges of Federation Square - not that far from the Malthouse Theatre. Interestingly enough, next year the Festival will be moving to Federation Square.
One of the big bonuses of this year's MWF is the free events that are popping up at the venue. Yesterday we were lucky enough to be hanging around in the Festival Club when Rory Ellis appeared.
Rory is a local musician that I have heard before, but as with a lot of things, when you move out to the sticks - you lose touch with the old music haunts. Great to hear a bit of the back story of his new album (and some of his old songs) and even better to hear him play.
After rising before sparrow's, and a 90 minute flight, I arrived in Melbourne early on Friday morning. Leaving my luggage with Karen's neighbour at his office in the city, I fortified myself with coffee, and proceeded to wander the streets of Melbourne while I waited for Sunnie to arrive on the train from Karen's country property. In my meanderings I somehow found myself in Kill City bookshop, and left an hour or so later with Sunnie ...
Well here I am. Eating, drinking and reading - 3 of my favourite things. Festivities officially kicked off on Friday afternoon when Karen, Adam, Helen and I hooked up with Kerrie, Bob, Karen's neighbour, Fiona and Brian Kavanagh for the Chocolate Walking Tour. It's amazing how much you can justify prodigious over-indulgence in chocolate by telling each other that walking very short distances will negate the weight-gaining potential of pigging out. Then home to work on curing Helen's long-running cold with most excellent Margueritas with lime juice.
Well the first weekend of our 2007 MWF celebrations has been and gone and we have started again with a bang - or at the very least some desperately sore feet from strolling and sore ribs from laughing.
A link to SOHO Crime's newsletter arrived in my mailbox this morning - and Garry Disher and Colin Cotterill head up the entries.
Have a look at the newsletter: