The other week I pictured myself stepping back into the glamorous, highly strung world of fashion, as a fashion editor sitting in the front row at Australian Fashion Week. Result: Grey roots, a pink shell tracksuit and lack of understanding of the uses for handcuffs, did not serve me well.
So I decided to stick to my mission to be a Fabulous Authoress. Your outfit and hair do not matter because you’re always holed up at home, and as for the uses of handcuffs – I can make that all up in my next book.
But every now and then the Fabulous Authoress type must extend her nimble digits and leave the house to mingle with other writerly types. Lucky for me, the Sydney Writers Festival was on the week after Fashion Week. So I decided to take my crumpled style ego, don whatever was comfortable and warm, scarf my roots and toddle out to all of Sydney’s Pier’s to see how I fit in.
Turns out, the saying that everyone has a book in them, is true:
There were all makes and models of humans at this event. In contrast to the all-black, praying mantis’ of the week before, this event was bursting with colour – all on the one body, most of the time.
There were older couples, young grungy students, well-dressed women, and street-cred blokes. There were young mums with babies on their front, some who looked dressed for a wedding, and others who looked as if they’d just crawled out of a marathon Game of Thrones session. Red hair, green hair, brown hair (I hope Dr Seuss was there) and grey which is the new blond. They all had two things in common: bright, wacky eye glasses were on just about every face. And, they love to drink champagne – I imagine Sydney Harbour had a few writerly piss-heads sloshing about in its waters at the end of that day.
I’d been sitting at home all week writing about toilets. Yes, someone paid me to. In a lovely matching coincidence, that beast that is a tummy bug came to visit our house, which gave me endless opportunities to research my topic. “Curvaceous ceramic bowl, pure as the white of an angel… Top of the range is the “Wind Tunnel” with an extraction fan for all those memories left behind…. Recline, relax, the Leatherette seat is as comfortable as your Nick Scali lounge…” I was buried in literal crap, and I looked like it too.
Creative genius at an all-time high, and (bypassing the handcuff trend) bleach-scented yellow rubber gloves my look, the day of the Festival arrived. Sick myself now, my husband rolled me out of bed like a hot dog out of its bun, and sent me on my way. I think I was out of my dressing gown, but I can’t quite remember.
Of course, there is no crappy ending. I forgot I was sick, and suddenly stepped into my element – completely ensconced in the atmosphere, the brilliant authors I was listening to, in taking notes for my own books, and in feeling like I was a part of an industry, a group, some form of the working world which I usually think everyone else is participating in except me. A day of unadulterated inspiration, surrounded by an accepting, champagne-swilling crowd, who’ve all been there done that crap and now wear the wacky glasses to prove it.
I must get me a pair.