Irene Mooney

Words in Winter was a great success this year, well organised by the indefatigable Maia Ireland and Kevin Childs. What a treat to be able to listen to authors such as Alex Miller, Carmel Bird and Denis Altman discussing their books and writing at beautiful Bellinzona.

There were also many great events featuring local writers and musicians at Radius.

Being a cryptic crossword lover I turned up with enthusiasm for the Clever Town Crossword Challenge at the Daylesford library. Other towns competing were Trentham, Creswick, Clunes and Maryborough.  Our lovely library staff had set up a big table with paper, pens, blank crosswords and snacks.  “Welcome, you are the first here” they said, but no one else turned up and I was on my own!

The dear librarian said “You can’t use your phone but you can look up books in the library”.  She and her friend tried to help, but what books can you look up for questions such as:

  • What is a shallow enclosure on the sea coast for containing turtles? (Crawl)
  • What are resins used in medicine or varnish? (Elemi)
  • Which son of Odin lost an arm to the wolf Fenrir?  (Tyr)
  • In which Victorian town is the Sugar Beet Museum? (Maffra).

Irene Mooney

I managed to answer two thirds of the fifty three clues in the allotted time, and learned later the winner was Trentham with twenty participants!

One of the best events was held at the Yandoit Cultural Centre.  Organised by the wonderful Nikki Marshall, local theatre company Lab Kelpie and the The Roomers Group the theme was “Winter Solstice”.  We heard readings by local writers and poets, musicians played and sang and actors performed excerpts from original plays.  Over twenty performances solicited laughter and tears from the large audience.

What a great range of artistic talent there is in this area.  I can’t wait for next year.

Irene Mooney read poetry in her first Words in Winter 19 years ago and has continued for several years. This year she read a piece titled “Winter Solstice” at the Yandoit event.