Last year, I promised myself to write more in 2015, and ultimately fulfil a lifelong goal of getting a book published. To achieve this, I have been given a twelve-month writing residency by Writers Victoria at Glenfern Mansion, starting from January 1. Since my lease at the Fitzroy studio expired on December 31st, it has all worked out pretty well.
Glenfern Mansion sits on the corner of Inkerman and Hotham Streets in St. Kilda East, close to Carlisle Street, with all its shops, restaurants and bakeries, many of which are run by an established Jewish community. It’s a leafy and wealthy area, comprising of huge, old, palatial residences and new developments.
Since 1857, the creative spirit of the renowned Boyd family, a proud dynasty of painters, potters, poets, writers, and musicians, has flown throughout Glenfern's corridors and rooms, from which this illustrious family has added and contributed to Australia’s rich cultural and artistic landscape.
My room, the largest, is located on the top floor, overlooking the gardens. A vast network of branches from a massive, old Eastern White Pine, stretch towards my window. They almost look thick and sturdy enough for a small child to tiptoe across. In the early afternoons, a curious pigeon sits there and cocks his eye towards me, and I daydream about climbing those branches to sit alongside him.
At the base of the tree is a bench and swing set, where children from the neighbouring flats often come to play. At sunset they wander the gardens, tumbling in the grass and prodding crevices in tree roots with big sticks, and it's reassuring to know that they’re not indoors hunched over a video game in these brief, halcyon moments in time.
Now that I have unpacked and arranged everything to my liking, I sit in front of the open window and contemplate what my first piece of writing here would be.
I think this piece is a good start.