Adults With Words – David Astle and Rod Quantock

Mia Boonen gives us her “fangirl” perspective on two of Australia’s finest, at the Willy Lit Fest. Self-confessed gushiness is the order of the day, but who could blame her? Enjoy….

With only my limited lexicon at hand, it is hard to find words that accurately describe Adults with Words – an afternoon with anagramming genius David Astle and Australian legend Rod Quantock. From the very outset, it was clear what would follow: an hour of two highly intelligent men, sharing snippets of their brilliant lives.

It’s difficult not to gush.

We listened to stories about the Captain Snooze ads – Quantock claiming his legs served as but a distraction! Peered in the window of a teenage Astle’s date, and the Melissa/Aimless anagram that made this first date, the last of its kind. My favourite tidbit? Rod Quantock announcing, in front of the creator of the Age’s Friday crossword, that crosswords are “evil” and he loathes them. Bold move. 

Meet your heroes…

It’s simply too difficult to summarise what was, at its simplest, an enthralling discussion and at its most complex, spatterings of banter and fact and anecdotes that could fill my notebooks three times over, if only I had the time.

Astle told us that Shakespeare had a 30,000 word lexicon. I’d be lucky to have half that. Instead, I’ll borrow (and paraphrase) his words:

“This is far too hard a knot for me t’untie.”

An unmissable afternoon of enthralling conversation.

Glad to not have missed it.

Mia Boonen

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