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Saturday, 12 August 2006

Interviewing people at Penrith Westfield is not my idea of a great way to spend an afternoon, but that's what I've just done. It's a 40-kilometer trek out west, and I wanted to arrive there around 2:00 p.m.

My assignment is due for workshopping on Friday so I needed to get some material this weekend. I drove out west on the M4, through the Light Horse Interchange, and then turned off onto Mulgoa Road. You drive about three kilometers northward from there to arrive at central Penrith. I turned into Westfield — you get three hours' parking for free.

It only took me about two. In order to avoid being interrogated by the shopping centre's security personnel, I stationed myself on the street at the east exit, between the old and the new sections of the shopping plaza. I think it's Riley Street that crosses between the two halves of Westfield.

In order not to be too conspicuous I only targeted people who were smoking, i.e. who were standing around filling in time. I'd say about 60 per cent of those I approached were willing to talk, which I thought was fair.

So, now I've got 22 short (1- to 2-minute) interviews to transcribe and weave into a meaningful narrative for my feature story. I hope to do a couple more interviews early next week, by telephone.

To add some spice to my visit I also popped into Angus & Robertson and Dymocks bookshops, just to have a quick squiz. Fairly typical, I thought, as I dashed back to my car on parking level 1. Then off back down the motorway, home.

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