Writing by it's very nature is a solitary thing, you get to spend a lot of time by yourself (which might explain a bit about writers!) So I really enjoy the opportunity to get out and speak to groups, it's me out of the house and gives me the chance to meet new people and engage with readers. If I'm really lucky they give me food or wine, or even better, food and wine.
Last week I had the pleasure of going to talk to the West Otago Dinner Club, at Heriot. If you're wondering where Heriot is, it's close to Tapanui, if that leaves you none the wiser, it's kind of close to Gore, if you're still confused, do what I did and look it up on Google maps. Heriot is typical of many New Zealand country towns - it has a pub and a farm supplies store, and that's about it. It also has a great community centre, which was where I got to talk to a wonderful group of ladies. The West Otago Dinner Club is a group of 100 or so farmer's wives and rural women who meet every two months for a catered dinner and guest speaker. The ladies get all dolled up in their glad rags and enjoy an evening of good company, dinner and entertainment. It's a wonderful group, and a great idea, so I felt privileged to be invited to talk to them. They were a great audience, with lots of questions (I love questions) and I came away from the evening with a happy buzz that wasn't just from the wine. I then got handed more wine by my rather gregarious B&B host - but that could fill up another post.
So here's to Heriot, and lots of wonderful country women.