May 172012



I have American fans. Meet the Talk the Talk Ladies Book Club from Augusta, Georgia.

They have been blogging my book: lively, engaging, challenging online conversation.

chocolateamethyst, their leader, said last night, when she introduced me to the crowd at the Augusta library – they have been sharing my journey so SERIOUSLY she cried when she got to the last page because the journey itself was over.

The TTT Ladies love my book. And according to my publisher, my talk was a hit with the crowd. Although she coughed, loudly, to drown out the words ‘Hillary Clinton’ as I spoke them. Not that my speech was about Hillary, and all I was gonna say was ‘a certain Democrat woman’.

We were discussing American politics, only briefly, in response to a question.

I laughed out loud when she coughed; we are, after all, in the heart of the Republican bible belt. And it is, after all, her territory, not mine. The publisher’s, I mean, not Hillary’s.

She was being funny, by the way.

I think.

Her father is in his 80s. He has always wanted to walk from Aiken, where he lives, to Augusta. After listening to me speak about the pilgrimage I shared with my son Ben, he’s gonna pull on his boots and make that 20-mile walk.

A couple of days ago I walked Harry and Mee-shu, my publisher’s dogs, down to the Savannah River. On the way home, right at the moment I noticed the sheriff’s car idling in the car park by the river just up ahead, I glanced down and noticed the fly in my shorts was undone – not just politely unzipped, but wide open gaping at the world.

I nearly died! If that cop was lookin’ in his side mirror he would have seen my undies through that circle of zip!

At best, here in the bible belt, I felt slothful. At worst, down by the river, like an weird ol’ lady pervert.

I met a woman yesterday who had 12 brothers. More than this, she was the seventh child – six older brothers, six younger. I pictured her at the apex of a mountain of brothers.

‘No,’ she said before I had a chance to say anything at all. ‘I was not spoiled.’

I was more thinkin’ ‘at least you got new clothes’.

There is old man’s beard hanging from the trees overhanging the Savannah River.

Now I know why it’s called ‘Old Man’s Beard’.

In Australia it should be called ‘Teenage Stubble’.

They have a saying here in Augusta, about worry.

What do we know about worry? It’s like a rocking chair – gives you somethin’ to do, but doesn’t get you anywhere.

 May 17, 2012  Tagged with: ,  Add comments

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