It’s Kerang, really, but if you live here, you don’t need all those pesky vowels. And I do live here, at least for now. I’m here for a few weeks, on a kind of writing retreat, for some much-needed head-space and novel-writing time, as well as visiting a few schools and some other random bits and pieces.
Yesterday, I spent some time at Kerang Primary, just down the road from where I’m staying. It’s one of those gorgeous old country schools, not unlike the school I went to when I was growing up in Eaglehawk, near Bendigo (I’ll be visiting Eaglehawk North in a few days, which I’m very happy about), so in a weird way, it feels like home. I talked about reading and writing and about some of my books (my favourite boys, Nathan, Ronnie and Weasel featured heavily in the discussions). I also talked about where stories come from and some ways in which you can turn your writer eyes on to see the ideas that are lurking all around you.
In Kerang, for example, not only are there fantastic wide roads and people who greet each other in the streets, there are also some seriously creepy water towers that no-one appears to give a second thought to (who knows what is going on inside those walls? Water storage? I think not.)
And as well as a curiously large number of off-lead dogs roaming randomly about, there are more elderly people on electric scooters than I have ever seen anywhere in my life. When you gather all these scooters together, along with some seriously competitive senior citizens, you get this:
It’s the annual Kerang scooter race, which took place down near the clock tower at lunchtime today – best community event ever, and a story in there somewhere for sure!
I’m having a great time here, and even getting some good writing time in. It’s an unusual place for a retreat, but the air and the space and the relaxing, slow pace really work together to clear my head.