Well, we made it.
It’s been a year.
For those of us in Western Australia, we’ve had a temporary reprieve, of sorts, that the rest of the world has not been so lucky to have (and has led to some golden Mark McGowan-inspired comedy, the best of which has been by Jones of ARK.)
Western Australia hasn’t been immune in other ways: we’ve been restricted from seeing our loved ones, mental health presentations have been off the charts, and our frontline health workers are exhausted. But we know we’ve got off (to date) relatively lightly. Splendid isolation comes into its own.
I am grateful to be surrounded by creatives who have made something in the face of all this, or been recognised for what they have done, like my old comedy buddies Nikki Jones (see above and below) and Judith Bridge, who were awarded lifetime membership of the Laugh Resort recently.
Further afield, my oldest friend Nobbly has been creating a series of educational historical videos in the UK, and we managed to dress up in our respective parts of the world and appear together through Magic (see here at 1.30), throwing in an ABBA joke to conclude.
The Literature Centre, the Board of which I now have the honour of chairing, has managed to come through a tough year with support from our funding bodies. The Centre will be returning to renovated premises in the new year, and back into schools to deliver its outstanding range of programs with an outstanding range of writers and illustrators and storytellers. There are also now online programs available that open up the possibilities for more students to explore the pleasures and challenges of writing, without leaving home (or at least their classrooms!) COVID win!
Personally, I was incredibly grateful to that Maddie in the Middle was commended in both the older and younger readers section of the Australian Association of Family Therapy Award for Children’s Literature, as well as its earlier Notabling in the Children’s Book Council Awards. It is particularly cheering having news of this while I’m working the final edits of Mel and Shell (or whatever its final title ends up being!) over the summer, as well as writing what may be unpublishable reflections on the comedy of errors that comprises my life.
Let’s hope 2021 delivers us health (really), contentment, and dogs.