SIX MONTHS ALREADY.
It’s now six months since I left Indonesia on the 4th April, and it is 4 weeks since I arrived on Badu Island in the Torres Strait. After a 2 week holiday, tomorrow, 5/10/21, I return to my Grade 1/2 classroom and will teach my delightful group of 19 students for the next 10 weeks. I’m loving this experience.
My home for 10 months.
Badu Island is my home until the end of June, 2022. I have my own two bedroom duplex with open plan kitchen, dining and living room. It has a veranda along the front that faces a very natural treed garden and beyond this the school.
I feel very spoilt to have my own space. With good wifi, it allows me to keep in contact with Bali and my friends and staff there. It is also an idyllic space to create short stories and my latest memoir. I really have landed on my feet.
BADU ART CENTRE – BADHULGAW KUTHINAW MUDH
Last week, I visited the Badu Art Centre and met with Joseph Au, the chairman of the board for the centre as well as being one of the artists. I tutored Joseph on Thursday Island 30 years ago. There’s a huge number of works on display and they are predominately lino-cuts and screen prints. All are of a very high standard. If you are interested in knowing more about the centre or to see artworks, just click on the link below.
I received good news a few days ago. Here it is.
Dear Stephen, We have pleasure in informing you that your short story My Mum, My Genealogist has been shortlisted for the 2021 E.M. Fletcher Writing Award.
I’ve entered four short stories in competitions this year, and this is the first time I’ve made the short list. Next Saturday, I am on a ZOOM presentation with the 130 people who entered as well as the judges. Ten of us made the short list and they will announce the winner and the runner-up. I sure would like to win the $1,000 prize, but I’m not counting those chickens yet. Here’s hoping.
I’m still walking an hour a day and loving the scrub land that lines many of the tracks. It will enjoy a good wet season. Not sure about weight loss, but I’m still being careful with my eating. I’ll buy a set of scales soon and hope I’m not in for any surprises.
Whenever I go to the shops or coffee shop, I’m greeted with smiles and conversation. Sometimes it’s friends from twenty years ago, welcoming me back and other times its people interested to know what I’m doing here. There is a genuine warmth.
Last week, my neighbours dropped me in four fresh Coral Trout fillets. They’d been fishing and I was one of the lucky recipients of their excess catch. They were delicious. The same neighbour baked a few days later and I was gifted two chocolate eclairs. Yes. I am spoilt.