One of my favourite places is Robe, in the south east of South Australia. It is a historic coastal village that is known these days for its lobster catches, most of which are destined for foreign tables, unfortunately.
At the end of the week I will be travelling to Port Fairy in Victoria for an annual sojourn with friends and on a whim I have taken the entire week off work, and have been spending the preceding days in Robe. Here I have been writing, and walking and thinking and meandering. Tonight, in honour of my impending birthday, which is one of those with a zero on the end, I am taking myself to a highly recommended seafood restaurant, and dining on lobster. This is an extravagant indulgence but this birthday won’t come around again and I think I deserve it.
Robe is approximately four hours’ drive south of Adelaide. When making long journeys by car, I borrow a couple of talking books from the library. Listening to the story makes the time pass more easily. Baz Luhrman’s film ‘The Great Gatsby’ is about to be released and before seeing it I would like to re-acquaint myself with the book. It would be great, I thought, if I could find a digital copy of the book at the library so that I would listen to it in the car. It seemed such a positive omen for this trip therefore when there on the shelf and right in front of me was a copy of Gatsby. It was meant to be. I listened to most of it on the way down and was captivated by the elegance of Scott F Fitzgerald’s writing. It is something to aspire to.
I am staying in a motel, which is a little uninspiring, but is one of the cheaper options in town. Of course I am paying the rate that applies to two people but that is what happens when you travel on your own. In between discovering where the best coffee in town is brewed, I have also been working on a short story which I started some years ago and at that time, reached a dead end. I have circumnavigated that block and finished the tale, in draft form at least. That feels good.
I have also revisited a novel, based in Robe and which I started a decade ago. Reading now what I wrote then, I realise how laboriously written it was and how much needs to be deleted. The story itself, not totally plotted, has merit but the telling needs much work. At least I have developed skill to the point where I recognise bad writing when I see it, especially my own. I will pick this story up again and try to do something with it.
The weather is too cold for swimming in the sea, or even paddling. Great for bracing walks along the beach though. This is the view from the Town Beach.
This afternoon, having finished the draft of my story, I wandered along Long Beach instead (yes, that is what it is called). The tide was going out and I cannot resist looking for treasures that the sea might have yielded, like a perfectly formed fan shell. There weren’t any but I found a shell with iridescent nacre and also a bit of wave-buffeted and encrusted green glass.
Shell and piece of glass found on Long Beach
In a previous post on Slow Writing, I mentioned my intention to acquire a fountain pen again and to write; write letters, write in my journal (as opposed to my blog) and to write those more intimate communications. I brought the pen with me and yesterday, sat in the window of the local library, overlooking the foreshore and brought my journal up-to-date. Sigh. Why would I ever go back to work???
Time to get ready for my dinner. Along with the jeans and woollen jumpers, I packed an outfit suitable for fine dining. I shall wash and dry my hair, pull on my stockings and apply my most sophisticated face. I am surprised that I have reached the age that I have, but fully intend to make the most of it. Bon appetit.