Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Filing through the old stuff!

It's been one of those nights when my bests laid plans of productivity have floated away, but what has entered in their place was both unexpected and valuable. 

As we ate our dinner of chewy steak, home baked potato chips and crunchy garden salad, my daughter started to talk about how much she is missing her boyfriend, who is currently 'chilling out' in New York, a long way from our home town of Frankston, Australia.
Sympathising briefly, I stated 'Imagine what it would have been like for the wives and girlfriends of the men who were sent to fight overseas for years in the 2nd World War'. It probably came out just as pompous as that too, in the way only an annoying mother can do, no doubt rubbing salt into the wound.

Suddenly inspired, I pulled out from my filing cabinet an old assignment I'd completed when I finished Year 12 in 1990, it was an interview I'd done with my Grandmother, Lona Birrell. I read it out to a captivated (at least they pretended to be interested!) audience of two, and in doing so, my Grandma's voice came back to me in some of its character and cheeky charm. What a treasure! I'm determined to scan the docs tomorrow night or on the weekend and make sure they never get lost. 

My Grandparents' experience helped shape my views of the world, as I grew up with Grandma's stories about her own experience and some of my Grandfather's experience, from her perspective. He himself never spoke of war. 

My novel, A Justified Desire, has a war theme which has been inspired by their stories and of my fascination and interest in how the Australian war experience may have contributed to our current societal dilemma of family violence.

In my next blog post I will share my Grandma's interview so you can experience it yourself and here her story told in her own words, transcribed as accurately as I could way back in 1990. What sort of written treasures or photos do you have tucked away?

I'd love to hear about them! Here is a link to an education site which talks about some of the Australian history of women during war-time. CLICK HERE

You can also purchase A Justified Desire and some of my other works here!  

Sue :-)



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