Two things I can do without in my life.
1. Cleaning. Yesterday, a nice man demolished our bathroom. Today, the haze settled to a fine blanket of dust coating every surface in our house. I started Mr Sheening after breakfast, but unfortunately I started with the bookshelves in the dining room, precipitating an avalanche of chaos that has now engulfed two entire rooms. (I am dealing with this by hiding out in my office and writing this very important post.)
2. Camping. I came clean to hubba hubby on our wedding day. I don’t camp, don’t try to make me. I won’t, he promised. And so far he hasn’t.
Not that my last (and only) camping experience particulary scarred me. It was vaguely pleasant, I recall, in a bracing, cold-showery sort of way, in the beautiful Conondale Ranges near Gympie.
I went with a friend from National Parks who came well-prepared with an itemised list.
I’m bringing the tent, the camp oven, a saucepan and frypan, utensils, cutlery, plates, two bedrolls, a hurricane lamp, a torch, a portable table and chairs, an esky, ice, food for two days and a night, a pack of cards, a portable radio-cassette player and earplugs in case the other campers are noisy, she said. What are you bringing?
Um, the red wine? I suggested.
Fast-forward twenty-odd years, and I am about to break my ‘No Camping’ rule.
Yes, I am going on camp for two days over the September school holidays – the Meanjin Young Writers’ Camp at Griffith University. And the good news is that I get to sleep in my own bed at night!
I’m going with the good folk at ALEA – the Australian Literacy Educators’ Association, who are preparing now for their 34th Annual Young Writers’ Camp.
ALEA are bringing the kids (up to 120 keen young writers from Grades 5-8), and the authors (including the awesome Melaina Faranda, Julie Fison, Pat Flynn, Kate Hunter, Mark Svendsen and of course, little old me). And what am I bringing?
Um, the red pens?
Now, you’ll have to excuse me, there’s a tsunami of books spilling out of the dining room that needs my attention. Putting them back on the shelves will be quite enough cleaning for one day. ;)