Ok, despite what it says on the date above, today is actually 2 January 2006, and as usual, I have left finishing telling the story of my trip to Australia far too late, so I’ve forgotten most of it (although I’ve still got my list of books I released, which helps a bit). But I’ll attempt to piece together a few memories, and at least upload my photos…
Saturday started off with a walking tour through Brisbane. We’d arranged to meet in King George Square, but when we got there we discovered it was also the meeting place for the Pride march taking place that day. So most of us ended up with Pride stickers and balloons, and many of the Pride marchers ended up with books and Bookcrossing stickers in return.
Skyring up to his usual tricks, releasing a book into the fountain.
First stop was the Queen Street Mall, where Skyring led an impromptu class in “how to release books into fountains”. I didn’t release any books into the water, but released a few nearby in the mall:
Spanish Disco by Erica Orloff
Seeing the Earth from Space by Irving Adler
Metamorphosis by David Saperstein
Merlyn’s Magic by Carole Mortimer
We walked past the casino, and the wide steps and fence in front of it seemed like an ideal place to release books, so most of us did (mine were: Casino by Peter Baker and The Dying of the Light by Michael Dibdin). We then moved off across one of the bridges across the river, leaving behind a few stragglers who were still releasing their books. When they caught up with us, they had a sad tale to tale – a security guy had come out of the casino, told them off for “littering” and was about to throw all the books in the rubbish. But luckily our intrepid stragglers were able to collect up all the books again before that happened, and released them elsewhere later in the day.
Meanwhile, the books we were releasing all over the place were attracting attention.
Around South Bank I released:
The Winter Players by Tanith Lee
The Blue Bedroom and Other Stories by Rosamunde Pilcher
All on a Summer’s Day by Judy Gardiner
Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees
Orielton: The Human and Natural History of a Welsh Manor by Ronald M. Lockley
As is rapidly becoming traditional at antipodean conventions, a flash mob had been arranged. This time we lined up along the lawn in front of the food courts, and each released a book onto the grass. Almost as soon as we’d put the books down, people were gathering to look at them, and some of them went very quickly. We retreated to the food court for lunch and to watch the rest of the books disappear.
No Place to Hide by Ted Allbeury
We had a the afternoon free, so a few of us headed off to explore the markets and release some more books. I gave two away to stall-holders: Hearse of a Different Colour by Tim Cockey to a man selling decorative clocks and placemats (there was a cat set which I was very tempted by, but financial practicalities intervened), and A Summer Affair by Ivan Klima to a woman who had a nail-painting booth after I asked her to paint a ballycumber (the running book mascot) on my thumbnail.
On way back to Palace, I released a couple more:
The Boys in Blue by Rebecca York, Ann Voss Peterson, and Patricia Rosemoor (a themed release I was rather proud of: I left the book outside a police kiosk!)
Reasonable Doubts by Joan Lingard
That evening, there was a Quiz Night. My team were more interested in the food and drink than the answers to the quiz, but we didn’t embarrass ourselves too badly, and a great time was had by all. And of course, many books changed hands:
The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. Le Guin
Indecent Exposure by Tom Sharpe
Are You Experienced? by William Sutcliffe
Nuke Hill by Steven Spetz
Cross Stitch by Diana Gabaldon
The Idea of Perfection by Kate Grenville
The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett (which I’d found in the bookcase of the Palace when I arrived, so nabbed it and registered it)
There’s Got To Be A Catch! by Michael Ryan
When we got back to the Palace, we retreated to the roof garden for more drink and talk, and the Adelaide contingent started planning their bid to host the next BCAUS convention (they won the bid, by the way, and are hosting the convention in October 2006 – and if I can just scrape the money together, I’ll be there!)