It has taken me a while to write this up and publish it. I feel the weight of memories pressing down on me, but find it difficult to get a good flow going what with University, work, family and friend commitments. I also will not be writing about any aspects of my work during my time there, so much of what I was feeling and experiencing has been omitted. This film diary will be in three parts, so keep an eye out for the others.
I pick Laura up from the post office, after she sends me a text saying "I'm on the corner like a prostitute". She is coming back from seeing P!nk in concert in the city, getting a ride with her Aunt. We head off after packing the car full of things that we absolutely need (curling iron, special porridge, five coats). I feel a tad emotional driving away, knowing that I won't be seeing Mum for three weeks. It tugs at my heartstrings, how much I will miss her and everyone else at home. This is important to me though, I know that I have to do it.
We meet up with the other students and our lecturer in Sale, eating some spring rolls and garlic bread at a restaurant that overlooks the river. The lecturer brings along her son, he reads "The 13-Story Tree House" by Andy Griffiths while we 'grown ups' chat about placement and the places we have yet to see. It is soon time to leave, Laura and I stop in Bruthen, meeting up with Laura's mum who gives us even more things to cram into the car. Laura does handstands against a tree there and we wander for a bit in an antique store. I find myself wishing I had a working typewriter. It is at this moment that I decide to primarily take film photos for this trip. It seems much more fitting to the lifestyle up here.
We arrive in Swift's Creek and it doesn't take us long to find the house. Our host is not home, and won't be till Monday night. We unpack our things into the unlocked house and I take a photo of the view from next to the car. The whole place is so quiet, but it is nice and clean and we explore whilst the sun goes down. I take another photograph of the branches of the tree overlooking the driveway. It seems symbolic of the slightly eerie stillness that I find in Swift's Creek.
Jack greets us as we explore, he likes to jump and 'hug' you and apparently is quite the escape artist. We leave him in the yard while we walk down to the river and the large willow trees with their long branches brushing against the ground. Our host has a large vegie garden, with pumpkins, potatoes, broccoli, artichokes, carrots, and herbs (that I can recognise). The pumpkins remind me of old Halloween films from America, with witches on broomsticks and Autumn colours gracing the trees. It is not Autumn here though, it is the end of Winter so we vow to eat one of the pumpkins before the end of our time here.
Laura surprises me with a new journal she picked up in the Queen Victoria Market. I plan on using it to put quotes in. I realise that I've left the novel I'm reading, Anna Karenina, at home and am dismayed. I fret for the rest of the week over a lack of things to read and end up buying about twelve new books when I get back home.
Laura calls home and so do I. I worry over starting Placement the next day and express excitement to Mum about the town, the school, where we are staying.
After our first day of Placement, Laura and I walk through town. It only takes us about half an hour, this includes lots of mucking about and picking up lollies from the store. We get a few strange looks from people in town, I find it odd till I remember that we are strangers here in a town that does not receive many strangers who like to do cartwheels down the highway.
I wake every morning to the sun streaming in through my window. I have a lovely view of the veggie garden. I think about how nice it is here, but how the absolute remoteness is difficult. We find it hard to find fresh food, and begin to realise why everyone has vegetable patches.
It is national photography day and I do not take a photograph. I find it odd that on the one day dedicated to photography, I have no real urge to take a photograph. Mum sends me a photograph though, of Dad making pasta using his early Father's Day present. The kitchen looks a mess. I feel conflicted, I miss home but at the same have no real desire just yet to return.
Laura and I get all dressed up for Book Week, I am Little Red Riding Hood and Laura is Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. I take photographs of the students all dressed up at their request, but am not posting them here for legality issues. It is fun though, walking around town listening to members of the community read. I find books to be vitally important, I miss not having one to read even more.
To be continued...
Hi! I'm Louise. I am a writer, photographer, traveler, book fanatic and blogger. I love to post about my adventures and the little things I do that make life fun.
MARLEE'S INSTAGRAM: @marleethecat