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Notes from Melbourne

Hi from Melbourne!

It’s 7am here and I’ve been up for two and a half hours, thanks to a crying Juliette and the fact that we’re all still trying to figure out the time change. It’s the third day in a row that we’ve all been up by 5am and unfortunately for us, nothing in Melbourne gets started until at least 7. All in all though, things have been going quite well. The plane ride over was remarkably smooth with Vera and Jules both sleeping soundly for the majority of it. Vera even made a sweet little friend who was also wearing purple pajamas, of course.

I guess the truth is that I still can’t believe we’re in Australia. Melbourne feels very European so it definitely feels like we’re somewhere different, but so far it doesn’t quite fit into my idea of Oz. I spent my first full day buzzing around town with my publicist doing a whole series of radio interviews, which was a lot of fun. You can listen to one of the best ones here. Yesterday I did my first reading at the festival and was on a fantastic panel of incredible international authors like C.S. Lakshmi, Asa Larsson and Eowyn Ivey. Sitting on a stage in a square in Melbourne with these other writers definitely felt surreal, but I think it’s the kind of thing that’s only going to hit me later. Like months from now I’ll suddenly be like, wow – I went on an international book tour to Australia, what?


Right now I’m still caught up in the minutiae of making sure Vera is wearing her coat, Jules is going down for a nap at the right time, that Greg and Rita know where they’re going and debating on whether these pre-pregnancy jeans I’ve squeezed into are going to annoy me all day or not.¬†We’ve had really limited internet access which has been both a curse and a blessing. It’s been nice to not obsess over my phone all day like I usually do, but I do wish I were a bit more connected. I’ve managed to post photos in batches to Instagram and Twitter so feel free to check the feeds to see what we’ve been up to. Yesterday Greg and I walked over to the Text Publishing offices to hang out with my editor and the rest of the amazing staff. I never get tired of sitting around with people who can talk for hours about books. We could have stayed all day and I was just so happy to finally sit down in person with the people who have helped bring my book (and me!) to this country.

Today is our last full day in Melbourne. Tomorrow we head to Sydney for a few days and then on to Brisbane. At some point it’s going to really hit me that we’re here in Australia. For now I’ll just keep living minute to minute.

Oh, and for the record (so far), while I’ve had some definite moments of utter doubt and disbelief in my decision to travel with these two little girls, it really is going okay!



  1. Best line of the post: “It really is going OK”

    Three cheers for that, and for the relatively smooth flight over, & fingers still firmly crossed for continuing good going!

    Comment by Carroll on August 31, 2012 at 3:52 pm

  2. So glad that you’re loving Melbourne. It is a great city. You are obviously managing really well, entourage included !!! Just about to get on a tram ( very Melbourne) with the sun shining to catch your Saturday session in Fed Square.

    Comment by Jude on August 31, 2012 at 5:59 pm

  3. Thank you so much for the wonderful update! Enjoy Australia! I have lived in Sydney and Brisbane before.. I can’t wait to hear how you and your family think and feel about it =))

    Comment by Keiko Izumi on August 31, 2012 at 9:48 pm

  4. Hi Claire it was so wonderful to meet you today (and you too Jude). I was on a high after talking to you – you are so warm and wise and lovely. Hope the rest of your trip goes well xxx

    Comment by Eloise Connelly on August 31, 2012 at 11:28 pm

  5. Glad to hear the trip is going well for you all Claire. Melbourne is the best (that’s why I live here!) but I think when you hit Sydney you’ll get to “feel” like you’re in Oz. (I lived there too). If I hadn’t been battling a flu I would have loved to hear you speak at Fed square. Safe travels for the rest of your time down under.

    Comment by Jane on September 1, 2012 at 4:25 am

  6. So glad it’s going well, Claire, and I hope it only gets better. I’m happy for all those lucky readers who get to meet you! Enjoy, enjoy xoxo

    Comment by Annie on September 1, 2012 at 6:23 am

  7. Heard your inspiring interview on ABC Radio with Richard Fidler’s Conversations today. I teared up at times because I suddenly realised that I have been living with grief for many many years and I don’t know what to do about it.

    Comment by Carol on October 4, 2012 at 4:22 am

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