I had a really good weekend. It started Friday afternoon when I mailed off the latest draft of my manuscript to a literary agent who on Wednesday responded to a sample by requesting the whole thing. This was very good news. Even if the agency ultimately gives me a thumbs-down, it’s sooo encouraging to have broken through that first round of probable rejection. I’ve only sent a sample of the MS to a literary agency once before, and that was a long time ago – woefully prematurely, sometime in 2007 – so after the Year of Hard Graft, this was a reward in itself and a tremendous start to the year. And I mean that whether they end up wanting to represent me or not – just being asked to submit the MS in its entirety was a genuine high.
Then Llew and I headed over to Darling Point to see a German director friend’s presentation about her latest multimodal creative project, Super! Power! The Rock Opera. S and I went to an international college together in Canada 1989-91, and the last time we saw each other was June 2000 at the ten year reunion, a week-long binge of reconnection that took place on campus, a stunning site on Vancouver Island. The first thing I saw was her curly mop of hair as we approached the Drill Hall where she’s working here developing the project’s launch, and when she turned around, there she was, and it was that easy. I love it when people slide back into my life like that. It was so easy, so seamless. Could it really be that long ago? Certainly S looks just about exactly the same as when we were at college. And I don’t know that I think people ever really change that much; certainly neither of us has. Sure we’re older and wiser and better travelled and better qualified and so forth, but in essence we’re the same two people who met nearly 20 years ago on the other side of the world, in a place that was far, far and away from our teenage homes. It’s kind of nice being able to slot her so effortlessly into the here and now – if we were doomed to keep reminiscing about college days, I think I’d die of boredom, but mercifully there was no danger of that. Anyway, we met her partner, another S, an Australian musician who lives in Berlin with S and has done for years, and watched the presentation on Super! Power! and then ducked over to my sister-in-law’s for dinner.
F’s a photographer, and she lives in North Bondi, sharing the apartment with a cinematographer we met for the first time last Friday night when she staggered in the door late in the night after a long day of shooting, shortly followed by her film editor boyfriend N. Only writing about it all now do I realise that Friday was like being briefly across the entire arts spectrum of Sydney – there are so many people doing such interesting things and we were lucky enough to be talking to a bunch of them. We went to F’s thinking we were going to be reselecting the photos for our wedding album; F’s wedding gift to us was developing the photos and putting an album together for us (we used her friend A for the wedding, because we wanted F to just be a guest and enjoy herself, and A did a really fantastic job), but the file she created years ago (we’ve been married four) of the photos we selected was corrupted, so we assumed we were starting again. But no: F surprised us with the wedding album, plus two boxes of the other photos (A was trigger happy on the day). Llew and I were instantly transfixed; only the smell of slow-roasting lamb wafting from the kitchen managed to rouse us from our engrossment.
Talk about memories flooding back! We pointed, laughed, commented, got a bit emotional, and generally relived the wedding day from start to finish. It was really fabulous. And then we sat down to a scrumptious dinner (just how did she do those roast potatoes, anyway??), a bottle of wine, lots of lovely chat, and then retired to the lounge with cheese and biscuits, which is where B and N found us just in time for a night cap. All up, a great day.
Saturday kicked off with a run and a swim, then breakfast in the courtyard with the papers. Llew went off to hit golf balls and I went off to find sandals to wear that night. Both of us were successful in our missions. Then T and T picked us up, and off we went to Pyrmont’s Flying Fish for L’s 30th birthday celebration. What a gorgeous night. A perfect sunset, a stunning spot, and a range of delicious canapes and drinks that guaranteed a wonderful night was had by all, including the birthday girl (we were impressed just knowing someone who was a mere 29 only a few days before!).
Sunday we lay about going over all the wedding photos. That was really, really fun. Then there was a swim, a late brunch, and a hit of tennis (Llew’s teaching me and I am still stiff as a board in my upper body), a walk around the Fairlight path and lunch on the grass overlooking Sydney Harbour. Then I met up with T for ice cream and a chat (ice cream fixes everything), helped her choose some new sunglasses, and then it was home again for yet another swim before getting ready for a bbq with my German friend S, her partner S, and two other friends, J and O. Llew totally outdid himself at the bbq – gone are the days of the humble carcinogenic chop – and we sat around solving the world’s problems until the wee hours. Needless to say S and S stayed over, and yesterday I showed them around this beautiful place, including throwing them in the surf first thing (I was most impressed with their bodysurfing skills). What can I tell you? There was a whole lot of simple happiness surging through me as I waved off their afternoon ferry and turned for home.