So, I totally should have either brought a camera or bought one. I flew out of Perth for Victoria on Saturday morning. I confess I was a little grumpy because Qantas had changed planes and I found myself sandwiched into a tiny seat. But so it goes. I read some of Daniel Abraham’s The King’s Blood, listened to music and whiled away the three hour flight.

To my great delight I was met at the airport by my dear friend and great pal Jack Dann. We clicked, as we always do, and were chatting away like it had only been five minutes since we saw each other last, and not several years. We jumped in his car and headed down to his gorgeous newly renovated home in Foster. This is where the photos would come in handy. Not for the drive down, not for the dinner we had at the local pub, but for the stunning house with the most perfect library I’ve ever seen, and for the beautiful scenery.

Both Jack and Janeen insist that’s there’s something called “the Prom” just a few miles away. Their home is high on a hill with views over rolling farmland and out to sea – sort of Middle Earth meets Tuscany. It was always, while I was there, bitterly cold and indundated by gale force winds and sleeting rain. I got there at 5pm on Saturday and I don’t think I stepped outside again until I left on Tuesday. That might sound claustrophobic and shut in, but it wasn’t. The company was the best imaginable, the house was gorgeous and got to relax, unwind, chat and just recuperate from the last few months. Rainswept greenery was really all I needed.

What did we do? There was dinner, their wonder beagle Bertie, and lots of talk about books and other stuff. I’ve promised to go back when the weather improves, hopefully with Marianne. Not sure when, but sooner than the last time we did this 17 years ago. If I did nothing else in Melbourne, this alone would make the trip worthwhile.

At noon I hopped on a bus to Melbourne. Got here about three and immediately set myself up in the bar (getting ready for the con) where I tweeted and read and let time pass, before meeting Richard for dinner. We go back 25 years or more, so it was fun to sit and chat and just catch up with what’s happening with each other. I hope I’ll get to see him before heading home again.

And tomorrow? Cindy in the day then Ian and Kirstyn tomorrow evening. The trip progresses! For now, a nightcap perhaps.