It’s not often I get taken by surprise.
Even during the birth of my second child, I thought I was having a girl. I wasn’t surprised when the midwife told me it was a boy because the only feeling running through me was sheer relief that he was finally out and in one piece.
But I’m not talking about the little every day things that surprise you, I mean the completely unexpected, unanticipated, blow me away – surprised. The first time it happened, I was around 25 years old. My then partner had challenged me for months about the responsibilities of owning a dog until the day he brought home a pup. I usually catch on to these kinds of surprises and I still wonder today how he pulled it off without me suspecting it. Nevertheless, I was completely astonished.
Today, however, was not the day I was expecting to be taken by surprise. Unless of course you factor in the possibility that Sue may have staged the whole WiA subject for a reality television prank show.
I had previously spoken to Sue on the phone and corresponded to emails and Facebook posts from her and other students. It was wonderful to glance about the room and recognise students from their avatar images and names. It also wasn’t surprising that Sue recognised me from my camera bag and we began chatting.
Then came that blown away, unexpected, taken by surprise moment . . .
“I’ll organise a media pass for you,” she said.
A media pass! Which converts to all access, all areas, everywhere I wanted to go pass in my possession and in the company of so many accomplished authors.
I was so thrilled that eating my salmon baguette at lunch break seemed a difficult task while I was contemplating the endless options of festival access now available to me.
I had spent hours perusing the festival programme in the last weeks, trying to decide which events to attend and disappointed at the ones I would have to miss. Now I would have access to them all.
Later that afternoon, Rosemary Sorenson, Artistic Director of the festival took me over to the Capital Theatre to pick up the media pass. I think she had sensed the excitement in me and offered to take my photo to mark the occasion. (Thanks, Rosemary for the shot!)
I decided to title myself, ‘Official Photographer of the Bendigo Writer’s Festival 2014’, unofficially of course but Rosemary thought it was okay – so I’m sticking with that!
“Hi, I’m Helen and I’m the OPBWF2014. Can I take your photo?”
Yeah, it flows well. Don’t you think?