After rising before sparrow's, and a 90 minute flight, I arrived in Melbourne early on Friday morning.  Leaving my luggage with Karen's neighbour at his office in the city, I fortified myself with coffee, and proceeded to wander the streets of Melbourne while I waited for Sunnie to arrive on the train from Karen's country property.  In my meanderings I somehow found myself in Kill City bookshop, and left an hour or so later with Sunnie ... and a pile of newly purchased books.   From there we spent some time in the Victoria Markets, before meeting the others for the now traditional MWF chocolate tour.   Karen, Adam, Kerrie, Bob, Fiona, Andrew, Sunnie and myself then spent the rest of the afternoon pigging out on all things chocolate.  Then it was home to Karen's where her husband, Adam, in an effort to finally kill off my cold, made me several delicious lime juice drinks - with just a smidgen of alcohol so they told me.  I believe they are called Margaritas.  :) :)  It hasn't cured me yet, so I think I'll just have to keep trying.

Saturday, we headed off to the first day of MWF.  Karen, Adam and I were looking forward to seeing a new German crime author, Juli Zeh, but were disappointed to find that she had cancelled.  We were able to swapp our tickets and joined Sunnie, Kerrie and Bob at the Jeffrey Deaver session.  I have never actually read any of Deaver's books, but he was an interesting and amusing speaker.  After that we filled in the long break before our next session having lunch, and sitting around the reading, doing puzzles in the paper and talking.  The second session we attended featured Leigh Sales, the author of a book about Guantanmo Bay Detainee 002, David Hicks, as well as a professor of law and a well known Melbourne barrister.  It was extremely interesting and thought provoking.

The 4MA MWF dinner was held at a fabulous indigenous food restaurant, Tjanabi.  The evening was filled with wonderful food, freely flowing wine, lots of talking and much hilarity.  I had barramundi with a macadamia crust followed by the most delicious pancetta I've ever had.  It came with a delicious native lime and ginger sauce.  Of course, Sunnie, apparently unsatisfied with the menu choices, chose to have 'crepe serviette', created by throwing her cloth serviette over a candle.   (And she has the hide to talk about my wild hand movements!)  A great time was had by all.

Sunday, Adam and I went to a session on the Creative Commons, which was of interest to us in our professional lives.  After lunch, Karen, Sunnie, Kerrie, Bob and I went to a session where Waleed Aly spoke about his book, 'People Like Us' which discusses the gulf between Islam and the West.  Another very thought-provoking session.  Our next session was Morbid Fascinations in which Jeffery Deaver, Helen Fitzgerald and Geoffrey Cousins talked about what makes them to writing what they do.  We reluctantly left the Festival Marquee while the fantastic singer/songwriter, Rory Ellis, was still playing, and headed to our last session for the day, Winds of Change.  This had a historian, an academic and a journalist discussing policy making in the current political climate.  Quite fascinating and more interesting than it sounds!

Home again to a late dinner and some of our hosts' wonderful apple cider.

Today, Monday, is a day of rest and reading - if you can call any day where you're woken at around 6am by a small pup bouncing on you a restful day.  :)  Karen's new pup, Jedda, is a perpetual motion machine who seems to think I'm her new chew toy.

Books acquired:

Kill City finds:

  • Paul Cleave. The Cleaner
  • Ian Bone. The Song of an Innocent Bystander
  • S.H. Courtier. Death in Dreamtime
  • Aline Templeton. Night & Silence
  • Colin Watson. Hopjoy Was Here
  • Colin Watson. Plater Sinners
  • Colin Watson. The Flaxborough Crab

Festival buys (so far!):

  • Leigh Sales. Detainee 002

Karen's duplicate list:

  • Tana French. In the Woods

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