5 a.m. Koala and Other News


No, this koala has nothing to do with writing, or theatre, or…anything really, apart from a moment of optimism in a grey old, mean old world.


We’d heard a bit of a thump late the previous night but then the local mopoke owl made a muted call – not the full ‘Mo-poke!’ – and we thought maybe he’d slid down the roof or alighted on the balcony for a minute. But next morning – still dark, I heard a scrabbling at the window where the bedroom leads onto the deck. It was very determined and accompanied by a series of distressed moan-barks, not the full koala, which is really full-on, but closer to a koala than anything else I could think of.


And it was. It is white-chested, as the photo proves, so a young buck or more likely, given the fluffiness of the ears, a youngish doe. What a sweetheart! She stayed around until early afternoon when I think the rain drove her back along the rail of the deck to our neighbours’ place where there are more large trees closer to the house than on our side.


And can I give a shout-out here to one of our neighbours? Artist Janet Ayliffe has been producing her exquisite work for as long as I’ve known her (which is so many years now!). Check out her website. Buy something. Why not? Christmas is coming and it’s beautiful work.


Writing news? State Theatre of South Australia announced their 2023 season on October 19th. It also includes my adaptation of The Dictionary of Lost Words. And I’ve just been commended in the Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing (Poetry) for a long narrative poem, Six O’Clock that came out of a long-ago workshop for the Sydney Theatre Company with my mates at 7-ON, based on the photographs from Peter Doyle and Caleb Williams’ magnificent City of Shadows. (Another good Christmas present BTW - despite the sadness of some of the images, an excellent conversation starter on a coffee table!)

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