Lockdown? Yes, I’m afraid so.

Dramatic news, friends.  I’m going into lockdown.  I tick all the mortality boxes, and this seems the sensible thing to do.  And I do mean lockdown.  House arrest.  I’ll not even be answering the door.  At the end of all this I hope to emerge pale and pudgy, but alive.

I should tell you of the Forgotten Corners launch in Launceston.  What a great bookshop Petrarch’s is, and how wonderfully well it’s run.  In my usual ‘no-one-will-come’ panic I got there early and hid up the back, emerging at precisely the appointed time – to find the shop full.  Foolish, foolish panic merchant!  Lots of dear old friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen in a very long time.  And charismatic Cameron (Hindrum) of course.  Armed with some fiendishly challenging questions that I did my best to field.  I owe him heaps.  And I read from FC, of course.  Would you believe it if I truthfully admit to no longer being able to remember what I read?  But I can report very good sales, sordid little man that I am.

I need also acknowledge the extraordinary hospitality of Huey and Maureen Carswell, in whose beautiful house I slept post-launch, though not before a spectacular meal around the dining table, whereat were also my dear old friends Martin and Polly Flanagan, newly relocated back to Tasmania, dear old Peter Fish, come in all the way from Scottsdale, and Tony Newport, who I’ve wanted to meet for – well – years.  It was a memorable night with a lot of Rosebery on the menu.

I went from there ‘up the coast’ to my home town.  Wynyard.  For a literary house concert.  I’ve never done one of these before!  At the home of Paul and Gerry Plunkett, great friends from my cricket days (sadly over now).  The Crothers were there.  Bruce and Jill Roberts.  I love those great coastal people.  I read longer and better here I think (certainly longer), than at Petrarch’s.  And went to bed tired and content.

That’s it.  Except to say that Forgotten Corners should get a run in the Hobart Murk shortly.  Keep an eye out. And now it’s time to hunker down within these four walls.  There probably won’t be much to say for a while, but I’ll see you all, dear friends, in the sweet by-and-by.