Leap Day (at Writers’ Week)

WW 1

Sunlight shining through the trees above me at Writers’ Week today

It’s the Leap Day today, and I have been thinking about time and how a day slips through life like sand through your fingers. I have been at Writers’ Week for it; beautiful latest of late summer weather, birds singing and squawking in the trees, everyone seeking shade to hear the speakers, and the party-like atmosphere that prevails as you run into folk you see here each year, chatting with friends and strangers in queues and in the book tent, and the pleasure of the books and the writing. This is the third time I have written about WW here (the other two are here and here). Last leap year I didn’t have a blog and WW started in March that year anyway. Five leap years ago I was on a plane to the UK at the start my longest time away from Australia. Two Leap Years ago Pat English (a well-loved Auburn identity) had her 21st real birthday (she died two years ago just after her substitute birthday that year – you can probably work out how old she was). Even the oldest of the writers here (probably the biographer Brenda Niall, who is 85 and to whom WW has been dedicated this year – I love this tradition of acknowledgement that the organisers make each festival), has not experienced more than 20-odd of these dates in their lifetime. Days just slide by, as does life: 29 February gives us a little chance to pay attention to that – to see a regular day in a special light, and savour it as best we can.

WW 2

Poplar trees at Writers’ Week, with a tiny hint of the tops of people’s heads at the bottom of the shot

Shadows lengthening at the end of the day. Photos of writers have been displayed as you walk down to the stage areas.

Shadows lengthening at the end of today. Photos of writers have been displayed as you walk down to the stage areas.

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