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by Meg Crawford (subscribe)
I'm a Melbourne based freelance journo. While I mostly concentrate on music, I'll write about anything else that grabs my fancy.
Published May 28th 2014
Welsh discusses obsessions and getting older in Miami
Irvine Welsh, The Wheeler Centre
Irvine Welsh
Last night, the Wheeler Centre played host to Irvine Welsh, the larrikin wit responsible for bringing us Trainspotting and a myriad of other tales now stuck in the viscera of our memory (Marabou Stork Nightmares, Filth etc). Michael Williams, the super smart and highly entertaining Director of the Wheeler Centre, interviewed him Q and A style at the Athenaeum Theatre. Both Welsh and Williams were in fine form.

The Wheeler Centre is self described as "Melbourne's home for smart, passionate and entertaining public talks on every topic", focusing primarily around the central themes of "Books, Writing and Ideas". It's calendar, which can be accessed at, is impressive and most events are free. Coming events include conversations with authors John Marsden (Friday, 27 June) and Nick Earls (Monday, 7 July) and a clever line-up of international Jazz luminaries during the Melbourne International Jazz Festival (which runs from 30 May until 8 June).

As for Welsh, he was everything you'd expect - irreverent, funny and sharp. It's hard to believe, but Trainspotting is now 21. Since then, Welsh has released eight other novels, including the recent Sex Lives of Siamese Twins. Since writing Trainspotting, some things have changed substantially. No longer UK based, he's now a Scotsman living in Miami, with a 33 year old wife, and works out 5 times a week - partying and drinking is at a minimum.

Rather than a sign of reformation, he puts it down to circumstance. "When I'm in Miami, I'm at a boxing club five times a week, but when I'm in London, Scotland or Dublin, I'm getting f'ed up every night," he laughs, in light of which he's come to the conclusion that "I'm very easily led." He also describes himself as obsessive-compulsive. The passage of time has some advantages though: "I like to think that you're picking better obsessions as you get older."
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Why? The best place for discussions about books, writing and ideas
When: Ongoing throughout the year
Phone: (03) 9094 7800
Where: 176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne 3000
Cost: Depends on event (many are free)
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