I'm a children's author, wife and mum in no particular order. I perform these jobs simultaneously and I love them all!

Monday 25 May 2015

Sydney Writers' Festival Family Fun Day 2015

My son and I caught a train at 6:42am on Sunday morning and headed down to the SWF Family Fun Day.

I couldn't drive as I currently have a broken arm and I didn't want us to miss out so the train sounded like a fun way to enjoy the day together.

First session with Andy Griffiths started at 10am. This was the main reason were we going. Andy is the reason why I now read and enjoy books. He is the reason I write humour and love it even though I don't think I'm that funny. I may have already heard him speak at Sydney, Byron Bay (twice) and Canberra and spoken to him personally on several occasions (plus a few photos), but I just can't get enough of this amazing, talented man. My son was also sick of hearing me talk about him and wanted to see what the fuss was about.


By the time we trained for two and a half hours to Central Station and then made our way to Walsh Bay, the session became booked out.

As we stood in the overflow line, our hearts sinking as we heard a thousand apologies from Andy's publicists, I just couldn't believe it. I was cold, caffeine deprived, tired from a family event the night before, and dumbfounded. I had my son looking at me hoping for a miracle.

Hole in the wall

Soon we were invited to join the front of Andy's signing line as compensation. At least we were in front of all the little mites who did get into that talk and listen to those inspirational words come out of that legend's mouth.

After waiting for an hour we got our moment. Andy asked me how my broken arm was going and how I did it (I told him I feel out of a treehouse). Andy told us Terry finished the illustrations for The 65-Storey Treehouse two days ago and it will be out 12th August.

Aidan and I got our photos and we were happy. Aidan wore his 'Just a stupid T-shirt' t-shirt especially for this photographic moment.  Afterwards we realised he forgot to take his jumper off! (I told you it was cold). It was 11:30am by this stage. It had been 6 hours since the day started for us and all we had done was get to the front of a signing line. But look - so worth it!

After a quick lunch we attended Tashi's 20th Birthday Party (and missed out on birthday cake as there were hundreds of children), a drawing session with Leigh Hobbs (evidence below), and the festival's big backyard before heading home.

Leigh Hobbs
Old Tom
Mr Chicken
We enjoyed crossing over with Tony Flowers, Belinda Murrell, and Serena Geddes in the big backyard.

Later we heard the SWF Family Fun Day was at capacity - and it felt like it was too. Andy signed for over an amazing 5 hours. We left with a pile of new books and experiences to share with others.

signed by Tony Flowers
signed by Andy Griffiths

signed by Serena Geddes
We were glad we made the effort. I got some great ideas for the Newcastle Writers Festival next year. Aidan and I had such a lovely day spending it one-on-one as this doesn't happen as often as we would like. A treasured day for us!

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