A late start to the school visit, so I slept in. The school was Salisbury East High School – a fair drive out from Mariann’s place. The library had a ceiling of packed straw – great insulation, but must be a fire risk, surely? It’s about to be re-done with a more conventional ceiling.
St Ignatius, and an early start today. It was hectic! I have a fair few things to set up – big posters of Worldshaker and Liberator – and the flashdrive for computer and projector. The tricky thing with the flashdrive is that I like to use it as a separate slide show that clicks over automatically from image to image, like visual wallpaper. I know more or less how to set it up to do that on Windows now – Animation, Timer, Apply to All, etc. But there are different versions of PowerPoint installed on different machines, and that creates the problems.
So I had a big talk first up, then moved to a smaller talk in the library; then another move to a different campus of the school, many kilometres away. I was wolfing down morning tea, then zooming through traffic. The second campus was a junior school, and the younger kids for that talk sat on the floor. Many of them had brought their money along to buy books on the spot – I hope Worldshaker is suitable for them. I thought I had plenty of copies with me, but I didn’t expect lot of on the spot sales; now I’ve discovered I have 3 more days of schools and only 7 copies left. Those 7 will have to be reserved for giveaways.
Hopefully I’ve got enough cards – my little business size cards that I use for doing the giveaways. I’ve gone through far more of them than I expected too.
The photo was taken by Sue Reilly, the librarian who did the organising, and got me from place to place in time – just!
Last night was a great finale to my time in Adelaide. Mariann invited a whole lot of people round for a drinks and nibbles gathering. The ‘usual suspects’ she called them, and I was wondering if I’d know any of them – as it turned out, I’d met more than half of them before, at Cons or Mariann’s place in the past. Michael, Roman. Geoff, Damien and many many more – it was wonderful just chatting and catching up. Mariann put me ‘on show’ with a reading … well, doing readings is second nature to me now, I’ve been doing so many of them. A really enjoyable night.
I had the car already half packed and finished packing it this morning. Said goodbye to Mariann and headed for Kildare College in Holden Hill. A small, all-girls school, a pleasure to do a couple of talks there. But then, where hasn’t it been a pleasure?
The drive from Adelaide to Hay wasn’t a pleasure at all. It took me about seven and a half hours – in fact, it seemed like ages before I even got past the Barossa. South Australian roads are very straight, which is good, I guess, but it gets a bit sleep-inducing.
Carol and the librarians had made me up a lunch with seafood sandwich and lamington and juice in a cooler bag – very thoughtful! I hardly stopped except to dive into my cooler bag.
It was strange when the sun got v low in the sky as I was travelling across the very flat plain between Mildura and Hay. I could see tiny shapes like little insects glinting in the light far off on the horizon – shapes that gradually came closer, still glinting, becoming squarer, until finally they were recognisable as trucks. Even then it took a long long time before I actually crossed paths with them.
It was night by the time I arrived. There were grasshoppers in the motel room, but, in spite of a notice warning of a mouse plague and telling me to contact staff to remove mice if I saw any – I didn’t see any. The notice apologised for the ‘convenience’.