Sandy recently returned from the Williamstown Writers' Festival. He told us the following story about his adventures in Williamstown, which he has kindly allowed us to publish here:
I stayed in the most superb Bed and Breakfast right by the sea in the centre of Williamstown, a boutique outfit called Captain's Retreat, beautifully restored and furnished and, as it turned out, run by the sister of a teacher colleague of mine from the Corio campus. She was marvellous and ran the B&B superbly, with home-made cakes and everything just perfect. I was put in the Captain's Suite where, Hal Porter, the famous Australian writer writing in the 60's, had written much of his stuff. After a slightly dreary afternoon, I settled down to some much needed relaxation, finishing up in a very deep hot bath in the en-suite spa. To really relax, I lit the three little tea-candles, turned out all the lights, switched on the bubbly jet things and lay back to relax in the candlelit darkness. As I lay there, I felt all the tension in my shoulders easing away and my body slumping lower, lower, lower in the water. Then the place exploded and everything went pitch-dark.
What had happened was that I had accidentally dislodged the bath plug so the water was slowly draining out - hence the feeling of slumping lower and lower. This wouldn't have been a problem except that when the water level dropped below the air-jet pipes still going at full-force, they sent all the water rocketing straight up in great fountains of spray like power-sprinklers, extinguishing the candles and hitting the ceiling, the mirrored walls, the window sill and curtains, and hissing like a nest of angry cobras. It was like suddenly turning on ten fire hydrants all at once. Of course in the darkness I couldn't find any of the controls to turn the damn things off or replace the plug or turn the taps on to refill the bath so I wallowed and blundered around getting sprayed in the face before I finally managed to hit the right button and everything went quiet, except for the steady drip-drip of half a ton of water as it descended from the ceiling to the floor again.
After that the mood was lost somewhat, so I called it a night and went to bed, helping myself to half a bottle of port that had been thoughtfully put by the bedside.