Any regular visitors to my Blog will notice that I’ve changed its organisation a little. For some time now I’ve been writing a suite of stories. Beginning in 1914 they unfold throughout the 20th century and tip into the recent past. The stories are chronologically related episodes exploring our relationship with Asia and Melanesia. Characters come and go. All of the stories are fact, I’ve made no attempt to fictionalise the episodes despite being tempted at times when I’ve considered the greater licence this might confer.
Growing up in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney has greatly influenced my sense of space and place. There was always the vast Pacific Ocean, or more correctly that comparatively serene side branch known as the Tasman Sea. Added to this, living in the lee of Wedding Cake Island protected us from the Pacific’s ultimate power, although its cyclonic storms at times depleted the beach. Sometimes a particularly big sea exposed the foundations of old Coogee Pier, an early 20th century attempt at transforming Coogee into an antipodean Brighton.
Signs of the Pacific’s power were frequent, yet my sense of the ocean is one of peace, of a benign power I could hear as I lay in bed at night. In the distance it was always lapping at the edge of my consciousness offering rich opportunities for dreaming.
When I started to explore my region it was from a position of peace, with a basic assumption that it would be a safe and welcoming place. This was an exploration that began with stories, from family now long gone, arousing fascination and a desire to engage with what lay beyond the shoreline.
My stories will make far greater sense if read from first to last, although each one stands alone. I’ll gradually add more of my stories, there are some 30 in all. I hope you enjoy the read.