First time I’ve been out without an umbrella & it’s raining. Finally! It’s been so hot and humid.

There is so much smoke in the sky from forest fires in Sumatra. It’s horrible. I haven’t seen blue sky since Thursday in Adelaide.

I’m enjoying spending time on my own and I have so much more confidence as a solo traveller than when I was first overseas on my own in 2000. There’s no way I would have jumped on the metro at 7pm at night to see what was at a certain stop.

I’ve met locals, eaten with my hands with Indians in Little India and drunk some dirt cheap beer.

Did I mention the walking (& the blister!!!), there’s been so much walking. Museums, galleries, shopping centres, historical districts, gardens.

Tonight I’m heading to Changi Airport where I’ll be checking in for my Singapore to London flight. 13 hours. I hope I can get some sleep. With any luck I might even get a shower before I get on the plane!


It’s not bloody fair


My Dad’s got Parkinson’s and I feel like he’s accepting it better than I am.

He’s been diagnosed for 7 years now so I should be used to it.

I feel ripped off. He’s a great bloke. It’s not bloody fair and I’m angry and sad and I feel helpless. Sometimes he can’t walk in the mornings and he gets stuck in doorways and he can’t do all the things we used to do together.

I’m about to head overseas (this coming Saturday) on a trip for two months that’s been organised for ages so I’m staying at my parents place this week. It’s really hit me how his condition has deteriorated. I feel selfish to be travelling.

I feel really alone with this. My friends are buying houses, getting married and having babies. I need someone to talk to who understands how I’m feeling. Someone who is in the same boat.

Adelaide Writers’ Week

Adelaide Writers' Week

The 2013 Adelaide Writers’ Week explores secret histories – of the ancient world, the British Royal Family, the war in Iraq, the Balkans, marriage, old age, poverty, childhood, Soviet Russia, food politics, video games, love, sex, both World Wars, folktales, art world scandals, court rooms, locker rooms, school rooms, Australia’s convict past, horse breeding, wine making, country houses, movies, murder, money, Chinese food and afternoons on the beach.

I’m going to be volunteering as a live tweeter with the festival for a few of the sessions on Saturday and Sunday.

The official hashtag for Writers’ Week is #AdlWW so make sure you’re following it on twitter if you can’t get along to any of the sessions.

Saturday 2nd March

At 2:30 pm I’ll be tweeting the session on the West Stage, The Next Generation.

Three of Australia’s most distinguished younger poets will reading their work and keep you entertained with a panel discussion about poetry in Australia today.

Fiona Wright’s (@WritesFiona) first collection of poems, Knuckled was published in 2011. Josephine Rowe (@JosephineRowe) is both a poet and a short fiction writer, her most recently collection of stories was Tarcutta Wake. LK Holt is the author of the collections Patience, Mutiny and Man Wolf Man. Join these poets in conversation with Nicholas Jose.

From 5pm I’ll be back at the West Stage for Cold Cold Ground. You’ll be able to catch snippets of Irish born Adrian McKinty‘s (@unitedirishman) session. He’s been described as a master of modern Noir. Born in Belfast, McKinty read law, politics and philosophy before moving to Harlem, New York City – all of which feature in his clever and violent novels. He is the author of two trilogies, one crime, the other YA, as well as stand alone novels including Fifty Grand. Most recently he has published The Cold, Cold Ground. Join him in conversation with Nick Prescott.

Sunday 3 March

The Secrets of the Ancient World : Tom Holland

From the triumph of the Roman Republic to the Persian Empire, from Europe in the year 1000 to the birth of Islam, English historian Tom Holland (@holland_tom) has explored the epic adventures of our ancient past.

Author of Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic,Persian Fire, Millennium and most recently In the Shadow of the Sword, Holland is one of the most celebrated and best-selling historians in the world. Holland’s formidable histories are as compelling as they are meticulous; they are as remarkable for their scholarship as they are for their readability. This award-winning writer is a must-see for anyone curious about the ancient world. Join him in conversation with Michael Cathcart.

Monday 4th March

Sexual Politics, West Stage, 3:45 pm

This session brings together three writers, all of whom identify as feminists. Justine Larbalestier (@JustineLavaworm) is a YA and fantasy writer, playwright Bryony Lavery is the author of iconic works including Thursday and Chika Unigwe (@chikaunigwe) is the author of the novel On Black Sister’s Street, about a group of African women in the sex trade.


Adelaide Writers’ Week starts tomorrow and runs through until the 7th of March. All the action happens at the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden