How Brisbane’s worst storm in decades turned my Avid Reader event into a street party

Last Thursday at 5.45pm I set out to Avid Reader bookshop in Brisbane for my conversation with Radio National’s Paul Barclay. My hotel lobby was crowded with people taking refuge from the storm which had just ravaged Grey Street outside. There was no public transport, no taxis, no way of contacting the bookshop. I decided to walk. This is what I found.

Grey Street, Southbank

Grey Street, Southbank

Grey Street, Southbank

Grey Street, Southbank

Russell Street, West End

Russell Street, West End

Avid Reader bookshop

Avid Reader bookshop

Avid Reader is in Boundary Street, West End. At 6.15pm last Thursday night one side of the street was a blaze of lights. The other side was completely blacked out, the power cut. As this picture shows, Avid Reader was on the other side, shrouded in darkness.

But inside were Avid Reader’s fabulous Fiona Stager and Krissy Kneen, wondering if it was still possible to run the conversation as planned, as was the intrepid Paul Barclay, his sound recordist and several people who’d braved the storm for the event. Paul and I ended up recording our conversation in the ABC studios the next day, but on the night of the storm we all stood in the street drinking wine and had a party. It was fantastic, despite the chaos.

And here’s how Avid Reader usually looks.

Avid Reader

Avid Reader

Next up I’ll be writing about natural capital (the new ‘It Capital’) and the Accounting Frontiers Forum being held by the Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand on Thursday 11 December 2014. By happy chance, the conference is called ‘Beyond the Financial: Re-thinking the Capitals in Practice and Assurance‘.

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2 Responses to How Brisbane’s worst storm in decades turned my Avid Reader event into a street party

  1. Chester Eagle says:

    Dear Jane, Most of what I write goes straight onto my website (trojanpress.com.au) but I print some smaller pieces from time to time and I’d like to share a couple of them with you. Would you be good enough to give me your postal address? I assure you there will be no unsolicited visits, prowlers or other forms of nuisance! This flush of goodwill was prompted by your story about sipping wine in the Brisbane storm! All best wishes, Chester Eagle

    • Dear Chester – I like the idea of a flush of goodwill prompted by sipping wine in a Brisbane storm. You can send your pieces c/o my publisher Allen & Unwin, PO Box 8500, St Leonards, NSW 1590. all the best to you, Jane

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