blog 73: In which I look back over October.

In a recent blog I out-lined some of my high, as well as a number of my medium-to-low, lights of July, August and September this year.

But that wasn’t the end of it. Ooooooooooooh no.

As soon as September finished, OCTOBER started up almost immediately! It’s been that sort of year. Just one month after another, with absolutely no let up in sight. Crazy!

So anyway, for what it’s worth, here’s a rambling account of my October, interspersed with plenty of pictures and videos for those of you with short attention spans.

I wonder what’s on TV tonight?

Do my toenails need clipping?

Look, a birdie!

  • October started with a couple of school visits in and around Brisbane, including an enjoyable trip out to Kilcoy (The home of the Yeti!) where my wife and I stayed at a hotel unit that featured a cow sporting two artificial legs on the roof. As you do.


  • On one memorable day, I mowed the lawn. NOTIFY THE PRESS!


  • Joe completed the final illustrations to the second Derek ‘Danger’ Dale book due to be released in February 2015. (He’s about to start work on DDD 3 drawings. When he’s finished those, I have promised to unchain him from the desk.)


  • My wife and I spent two very pleasant weeks down in Melbourne, house and bunny sitting (Basil and Luna) for my daughter Meg while she was away in Japan. Luna was a big House of Cards fan.

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  • During a day trip to the Melbourne CBD, Ard and I discovered that the authorities take fare evasion very seriously.

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  • While in Melbourne I had a lovely visit to St Mary’s Coptic College and I also flew to Sydney to talk to the Year 8 boys of St Aloysius College Milson’s Point. It’s also known as ‘the school by the Harbour’ because … … … well you figure it out.

School terrace at St Aloysius College Sydney.

  • While I was at St Aloysius I attempted to call in on the Prime Minister at Kirribilli House which is just down the road from the College, but I was turned back.


  • Back in Melbourne I drove to Hillcrest Christian College for the YABBA Awards ceremony. Eric Vale Epic Fail was shortlisted in one of the categories. We didn’t win but it was a great day and I got to catch up with plenty of lovely author colleagues, including Krista Bell, Sherryl Clark, Nicole Hayes and Felice Arena.

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  • Eric Vale Epic Fail was also awarded an Honour Book at the KOALA awards in Sydney which was exciting news. Joe and I sent down the following video.
  • A stage version of The Running Man began a 25 performance run in ULM Germany.

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Back: Vikki Wakefield, Kirsty Murray, Matt Ottley, Lucy Christopher, Anthony Eaton, John Marsden. Front: Melina Marchetta, JC Burke, MGB, AJ Betts, Lesley Reece.

  • While I was at the Conference, I managed to further enhance my reputation as the World’s Worst Selfie taker. (With Lucy Christopher, AJ Betts and Tony Eaton)

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  • But of course, it goes without saying, that all the other writers were always besides themselves with excitement at the prospect of having their photo taken with me!


  • I’ll just finish by saying that while my accommodation for the Conference was delightful …


  • … the transportation to and from the venue left a little to be desired!


  • And finally, another thing that happened during the month of October, was that the man I consider to be one of the greatest ever Australians, passed away at the age of 98. Thanks for everything Gough.

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Thus endeth the month.



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