Thursday, March 19, 2009

WOW - The end, sigh.

Saturday 7th March

Wake up in Cromwell at the Golden Gate Lodge. Eat breakfast cereal dampened with my remaining ration of miniscule UHT milk pottles out of a tea cup with a teaspoon. Well equipped room. The previous evening’s event still bangs around in my head:

Best comedic timing in the face of adversity:

Lady in Red: “… may I introduce Stephen Brawn-eye-as.” (accent on the “eye”)
Steve: “That was a noble attempt at pronouncing my name.”
Lady in Red: “Why, what is it?”
Steve: “Smith.”

All the troops rounded up we head merrily to Queenstown (although find ourselves drawn to a welcome interlude at Gibston Winery and Cheesery)
After the Mountain Scene’s article with its banner headlines quoting Steve as saying Queenstown is “Preposterous and visually offensive” we expect to be greeted by picket lines and hecklers. Instead we arrive to … nothing. The book store venue has nothing set up and we’re thinking hmmmm. There are no highly offended locals, no burning effigies. Steve seems disappointed.

Eventually eight or so locals arrive to hear the authors and I’m related to half of them, so we have an impromptu reading session in the store.

We have our first pang of sadness and glimpse of things to come as our provocative traveling companion Steve has to part our company for another assignment. It’s like a reality TV programme – Steve, you are off the bus – except with hugs and the odd tear.

The remaining survivors head towards Wanaka via the twisty and turny but scenic Crown Range Road. It is no reflection on Kathryn’s driving that we arrive singing hymns. I am amazed at Janet’s and Anna’s ability to remember all of the words.

We get dolled up ready for the evenings do. As we are all dressed up, and early, we head around to Anna’s father in law’s for a drink. Thanks Hugh.

Our last event is hosted by a book group in the home of Lois, owner of Rippon Vineyards. Gob smacked – amazing house, stunning view, fabulous company, food and great Pinot Noir. David pulls out a couple of his plays and enlists members and spouses of the group to act up – they love it. The evening turns out to be a memorable and fun event. It seems a fitting end to a wonderful tour of grass roots readers to finish in someone’s home.

Sunday brings with it the time for sadness and joy – it’s been a fabulous tour and we are all loath to part company after our week’s break from real life, but real life too has its charms and we head off in our respective directions to home and family and the anticipation of seeing little faces delighted to claim us back.

Post Script to this posting, originally on Beattie's Book Blog:

My baggage was slightly heavier when I reached home, courtesy of a few book acquisitions. As well as copies of my fellow WOWers books, autographed - I'm the kind of girl who likes physical mementos of special trips, my added extras included: three Ngaio Marsh books, a NZ true crime book, an antique world atlas, an old Hobbies for Boys book for Mr Nine-Year-Old, an old The Last Battle by CS Lewis for Mr Seven-Year-Old, other sugary bribery for the kids, Northanger Abbey by Jane Austin - a birthday gift from Janet, she called it Jane Austin's girl detective novel, a Jesus pen - gift from my fellow travellers, and a couple of rocks (the memento thing again.)

WOW was a remarkable experience, my fellow travellers were superb company - it felt like being on a creative and fun holiday away from real life with a bunch of mates. What lovely memories!


Kerrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kerrie said...

Well done Vanda. I thought of you when I gave my copy of The Ringmaster away at LCC last week.
BTW There is an award for you on my blog.

In Real Time said...

I love this post and enjoyed 'following' you guys around.

I also enjoyed Ringmaster - and have just seen this and wondered if Ringmaster was the real reason..


(and I'm a mate of Kathryn's - not a stalker-fangirl :)