Narooma to Nowra

For someone who loves the landscapes of other people’s pasts, I’ve been surprised to find that arriving at Bundaon, just outside of Nowra, has felt a little bumpy. But that’s another story which I’ll write about during the next three weeks while I’m ‘in residence’ here and staying in the Writer’s Cottage.

We arrived in Nowra mid-afternoon after a leisurely drive up the coast from Narooma where the Professor and I were lucky to score a very comfortable house (thanks to kind friends) for the past five nights. After a month in the glorious Gloria (our caravan) it was great to be able to spread out under a real roof, especially as it’s done nothing but rain for the last week in southern NSW.

On Wednesday, the Professor took Punch and Judy to perform in a school in Cobargo. I tagged along and spent the misty morning sitting in a beautiful cafe in the main street. Southern NSW has been full of surprises – as well as cheese factories, fudge shops, fresh oysters, and hippy emporiums.

The Professor said the kids of Cobargo were the loudest, happiest audience he’s come across in a while. I managed to knock over several chapters of the new book, in part thanks to the very good coffee. Country towns can render surprises on more fronts than one.

Now it’s late on Friday night and the countryside has fallen quiet. Earlier in the evening we sat on the verandah of our little cottage and watched wombats and wallabies make their way across a neighbouring paddock. It’s a good setting for the list of projects that I have to work on over the course of the next few weeks. But there’s other work to do too, particularly about putting some of my memories of this place in order.

I first came here in the summer of 1974. It was a different landscape back then and I was a different person. But perhaps that’s why we tell stories. To give shape to the complicated landscapes of our past.

Kirsty is an Australian author of books for children and young adults.

“Books are windows into other ways of being.”

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