18 Hours In My Hometown

I’m very happy to share this photo gallery from an action packed 18 hours in my hometown of Clare, South Australia on Friday & Saturday. I loved every minute.

It began at 7pm Friday with my talk at the Clare Town Hall, hosted by the Clare and Gilbert Valley Libraries. Big thanks to Heather, Charles and Coralie from the library and Mayor Wayne Thomas for their warm welcome (with special mention of Coralie’s handmade, giant-sized version of The Godmothers ) It was so good to do a live stream to Roxby Downs Library too. We had a lively Q&A and then a long book signing session, finishing at 11pm. Thanks so much to everyone who came, local or from further afield, old friends and new, it was great to meet so many of you.

On Saturday morning, I had an early walk along gum tree-lined roads, saw the beautiful new mural in the centre of town, briefly visited the Clare markets, and then made a very special visit to my old family home, the railway station master’s house at 4 New Road. In my childhood, it was beside the Clare railway station, where Dad was the station master. The old station site now marks the start of the Riesling Trail, the popular walking/cycling path that follows the old railway line through the Clare Valley.

My warmest thanks to Di and Geoff Hood for so kindly inviting me, my nephew Dominic and our driver Shane into my old home/their current home. It meant so much to see it again, to know it is still so loved and has been given a new lease of life. Di and Geoff have also created a truly magnificent garden. (Many thanks too for the delicious muffins, Di!)

If you’d like to hear my memories of growing up in that beautiful old house with my parents and six brothers & sisters, I spoke about it during my interview with Sarah Kanowski for ABC Conversations last week, podcast link here.