Marina Robins


 Like icing on a cake 
Lovely to slip into the lake. 
Home of turtle, goanna and snake 
But show respect to this remnant piece of wild, 
Its predictability is like that of a child. 
A place of life, but death as well, 
Trees and rocks have tales to tell. 



Like a lot of people, I find remembering names a challenge, and often I don’t recognise faces, but I do remember conversations. I’ve realised it is only after a person has shared information that’s aroused my interest, that I retain even a glimmer of their name. I am much the same with books. I am quite happy to start reading a book without looking at the title, author’s name or even glancing at the blurb. If the book is good, then part way through I will read the blurb.

After 1,400km of road, I arrived in Adelaide on a late Saturday morning at the end of February. This trip was about spending time with my daughter. I had taken her to Adelaide Writers’ Week since she was in primary school; one of the festivals that we enjoy attending together. Upon arrival she shared the program with me and one of the highlights she circled was Richard Fidler’s launch of his book about Prague, The Golden Maze. Somehow we missed him. I’m not sure how it happened, but missing events and double booking myself, has become my normal.

So here we are, late February early March at Adelaide Writers’ Week Festival. The weather is perfect, the authors who were invited to attend were very interesting. It is held in the city. Adelaide is an easy city to get around as it is based on a grid, and you can still find free parking spaces, a short walk away. A great place to meet old friends, and not have to invest too much time with them, because there is only a short break between speakers. Absolutely ideal for an introvert like myself.

Fast forward to the Sydney Writers’ Festival, and I am one of the many subscribers to their newsletter which keeps me informed of all the authors whose names mean nothing to me, but I know each of them will give an interesting informative talk about their book. It is in one of these emails that Richard Glover’s name appears. The tickets are for the Riverside Theatre in Parramatta, and on a Friday night. I love events that take place in or around Parramatta, I can get there quickly, and don’t need to rely on public transport (boy have I got some public transport tales I could tell). I can either drive in or ride in on my bike. I organise 2 tickets online for the show.

This order is made many weeks before the date of the show, and of course I have a vague memory that I have tickets to something. I had told myself to make a note in my phone diary, unfortunately I don’t always pay enough attention to my intentions. (Note to self for tomorrow’s yoga practice, the intention for the week will be to pay attention to myself). Not surprisingly I did find that I had double booked, for that same evening, a nocturnal walk at Lake Parramatta. I think after living with Covid for over a year, we are all very used to cancelling events, or being notified that events have been cancelled. As soon as I got the reminder for the Richard Glover show, I cancelled the nocturnal walk (an example of missing out on an event).

It is Friday, finally. I arrive home from spending a day out, with virtually no time to spare. As I mentioned before it is just a quick drive, and then a brisk walk along the river from where I left the car to the theatre from my place. There is a very large crowd waiting to get into the theatre. It is caused by the mandatory QR code Covid sign in. We get into the theatre, and by this time my trusting partner asks me, “Have you got any idea what we are about to see?” I said, “Well, not really, but our daughter said he was very good and we missed him in Adelaide.” It was then I found out from my partner, my daughter had wanted to see Richard Fidler and we are going to be part of an audience for a radio show with Richard Glover.

Panic hits, I’ve made a big mistake, we are going to sit in a theatre wearing masks, not enjoying ourselves, when we could have been on a nocturnal walk, in the park in the dark (well flashlights were provided).

Marina Robins “… has been living  and playing in Parramatta for 21 years.” 

Marina Robins Art Entries to WP21