ACCO Twinsteer

Journal: 099

When I decided to stop being a cadet journalist at $44/week – and when my father gave my address in New Farm to the Federal Police – I hitched up the Bruce Highway intending to find a driving job and got one at the first place I tried, Marrs Carrying in Nambour, just 100 kms up the road. I got a flat, single bedroom, one of four in a row along a short driveway, and in a couple of days I was given a trip to Brisbane in one of Marrs’ old C-series International furniture vans, picked up the Young Bride and our little furniture, and brought her back to our new home.

Alan Marr was a big, angry man, a former POW on the Burma railway, and he got through employees pretty quickly. But his sons, big like him, weren’t so bad and luckily Danny, the older, took a liking to me and YB and so I got on ok.

A lot of our work was bringing building materials up to Maroochydore where they were just beginning the process of digging the canals and putting in subdivisions. We brought up all sorts of freight to Nambour; did furniture removals throughout the Sunshine Coast; and three trucks, the elite, carried fruit from central Queensland to Sydney and Melbourne.

As well as home base in Nambour, we had a depot in Eagle Farm and every night the last truck out of Brisbane would load up all the bits and pieces off the dock and take them back to Nambour to be delivered. Then, in the morning all the drivers, sometimes as many as 10 or so, would turn up at 6.00 am. All of us would line up beside that ‘last’ truck and sometimes shoulder to shoulder to fit us all in, would pass items from hand to hand until the truck was unloaded. No man could be seen to be unemployed!

If there was a flour truck in from Dalby, one or two of us would be deputed to go down to the bread factory to unload twenty ton of 120 lb flour bags. The driver would drag each bag to the edge of the trailer, tip it onto our shoulders and we would run -yes run – it inside and lay it on the stack, running up the sides of the stack as it got higher. Grown men would wilt and walk away, but I was pretty wiry then and once you got into a rhythm it wasn’t bad work.

Soon anyway I was promoted to a long-distance job running beer and and building materials to the new mining town of Mooranbah, inland of Mackay and about 600 miles or 1,000 km north of Brisbane. My truck was a ‘butterbox’ ACCO towing a single axle trailer, with a carrying capacity of 12 ton. That’s an ACCO pictured but a twin-steer, which I’ll get to later. Mine was single steer and single drive. The engine was a trusty old Perkins diesel putting out 130 HP. By then, 1972, American trucks had 240 – 300 HP motors and even the Europeans, mostly Mercedes at that time, had 205 HP. So progress, with a top speed of 48 mph, was slow. But on reflection it was a good truck in which to learn my trade.

Well, except for the brakes! Sadly, after a few pumps, the old ACCO had no brakes at all. You learnt to approach corners and other difficulties slowly. And usually, halfway down a long decline, you would let her rip, while you revved the engine and built up brake pressure again.

YB and I had the second flat along. In the first were a couple of guys, Spot, who was a barman at one of the hotels, and a tall awkward guy, Nebo. One night we had all been drinking around our kitchen table and I had gone to bed. After a while I could hear tall, awkward guy trying to persuade YB – 18, friendly, and good looking – to come next door with him. I chased him out, and we all stayed friends.

Still, she always came with me on trips. I liked being with her, and it was amazing the friends we made along the way because people liked talking to her. If we had to, we’d sleep sitting up, our heads on pillows in the corners or leaning over the engine cover. But often I would arrange the load, especially if it was beer and soft drinks, so there was a space on the deck where we could stretch out on furniture packing.

The coast road, the Bruce Hwy, was pretty primitive back then, narrow, barely two lanes, and all the river crossings single lane ‘bridges’ just above the water, with a log along each side to stop you driving off.

Summer of course is rainy season, and the water coming off the coastal range would flood all the creeks and cover the crossings. You’d check the level wasn’t above two feet, aim at the road on the other side and head right in. Going into Rocky there was a long stretch of river flats and the road had a big curve, so if it was under water there was nothing to aim for and the police would close it, or sometimes guide us through.

Towards xmas, YB and I went up on a Sunday. There were roadworks north of Gympie and they were a quagmire. There should have been a grader to tow the tucks through but the driver had gone to the Sunday session, so we had to wait. Eventually he turned up, not particularly worse for wear, and we got going, up to Moranbah, unloaded, and home without incident. That should have been our last trip for the year, but the boss had loaded up another ACCO, a petrol-engined twin steer tray with ten ton of beer, for us to take straight back. So off we went.

We got to Gin Gin, outside Bundaberg, that evening and there was a queue of cars and trucks waiting to cross the river which was a bit over two feet. Eventually, a couple of trucks came through southbound and we set up a convoy heading north. I was about third, tucked in behind the truck in front so I wouldn’t splash water on my engine, and particularly the distributor. We got through ok but no-one followed us. The truck behind had run up on the log side and was stuck there. I heard later, up the road, that it was 24 hours before they got a crane to lift him off and re-open the road.

There was more rain on the way, so YB and I made a run for it. The Bruce Hwy between Rockhampton and Mackay was then inland of it’s current route, as the map shows, running north from Marlborough. There were some good roadhouses along there, derelict now. We made it as far as Boyne River where there were already a couple of trucks pulled up with huts and another with oranges. The river was at two foot six, so we went inside to have breakfast and wait for it to go down. That evening it was at eight feet and we’d all backed up, and the next morning it was sixteen and rising. We were stuck there three days, eventually about 50 trucks and a heap of cars. The roadhouse tried to ration what food it had, and otherwise we lived on oranges and my beer, resting in the shade of the huts and playing pontoon. I was selling the beer at 50c a stubby, hot. People would keep coming up to me and YB giving us money. Another guy up the back in a Peters Ice Cream truck told me later he was chilling the stubbies and selling them for 60c. I wish he’d told me at the time!

When we finally got to the Moranbah pub, the publican just laughed and charged us Brisbane cost price for the shortages, so we made a whacking profit. Back in Nambour, friends, a couple from Moura where we also did deliveries sometimes, had arrived to spend the break with us. The guys next door broke a louvre and let them in. YB and I were back by Xmas Eve and we all went to the drive in, at Maroochydore or Caloundra, I forget now, and sat on the ground on rugs and drank the night away.

Welcome, Ms 19

Journal: 098

The pictures I take are mostly of my truck, because that’s what I’m mostly doing. If I’m with the grandkids I take pics of the grandkids. A week or so ago I did a couple of trips for Dragan, to Roy Hill, Gina’s iron ore mine 1300 km north of Perth; wide loads, the first with my own trailer and the second with Dragan’s four axle float because he wanted me to bring home a mobile crane which was too heavy for my (3 axle) trailer. So here I am, ready to load, at Tom Price (a Rio Tinto mining town) with Mt Nameless in the background.

When I say, that’s what I’m mostly doing, I mean that’s what I should be mostly doing, I spend a lot of time sitting at home thinking about working, or thinking about what I might write about for you guys. I told (texted) Kevin, my mate whose paddock I park my truck in, that no-one had phoned me with work, and that also I hadn’t phoned anyone to let them know I was home, and he said: You need to put your hand up like I used to Pick me Pick me, at which we fell about laughing, LOLing probably, thinking about being schoolboys 60 something years ago, and pens with nibs and inkwells, and collecting sticks to light a fire in the fireplace. Meanwhile, the crane’s on.

It wasn’t so hot up north, mid 30s mostly (C), a bit higher sometimes, but I took it slow, tried not to build up too much heat in the tyres, which on these low trailers are a bit smaller than a standard low profile tyre. Had a little bit of excitement getting off the road for 8m wide loads coming the other way, and there’s always a few, 200 tonne dump trucks being carted to and fro between Perth and the mines. I had a lot of weight up high and in places the shoulders slope away pretty savagely, so it’s hard to pull far enough off to make room. I think on one of these excursions a rock may have damaged the sidewall of my left hand front trailer tyre, because coming down the hill to the outskirts of Perth, it blew.

On the last Sunday of summer Perth was having a bit of a hot spell – zero 40 deg days this summer – and I was tired, and the wheel nuts were stuck, and the wheel nuts securing the spares were stuck, rusted in place, and Dragan said he’d send out a tyre fitter in the morning, so I dropped the trailer at a truckstop and motored bobtail (sans trailer) the last 50km home, to sleep in my own bed and have a leisurely breakfast. Of course Dragan being Dragan there was no tyre fitter when I made it back out to the trailer, but another guy got the nuts off for me, and by lunchtime I was on the other side of town at Dragan’s depot.

Where he asked, nicely, if I would deliver the crane the following day to a site (Manjimup) 300 km south, which I did, and a very pleasant drive it was too through lots of touristy towns with windy, tree-lined main streets. I might take Milly that way next time we go down to Gee’s place on the south coast.

By then it was Wednesday, so I went over to Milly’s and we walked to the little Thai place nearby which is only open weekdays, and is cheap with really nice food and you get your own grog at the bottle shop across the road (Hay St, if you know Perth) and sat out in the street where I won’t get Covid, Milly says she has stopped worrying. She had Gee and the kids for the weekend while I was away so I missed pancakes. Ms 19 comes up from Freo if her mum’s in town and they all fit somewhere in the spare bedroom and the lounge. Gee has always had the babies in bed with her anyway – the last two are 1 and 2 now – I wonder if she thinks she didn’t get to sleep in our bed often enough. She is a thoughtful mother and her parenting is a mix of things she’s thought of, read about, that Milly tried out on her, and of course occasional exasperated shouting that she learnt from me. Milly never shouts. She was mad at me the other day, before I went away, and I know why, but I’m still shocked thinking about it. I mean she told me why, after, but is that the whole story? Not likely.

Ms 19 has just discovered I write a blog. She told Milly: Nanny, Poppy writes about a family. Is it us? I think she must have followed the link from a facebook post where I mentioned her by name. So, Hi Ms 19 and happy reading, though I’m afraid most of it is just ordinary old book stuff.


Recent audiobooks 

Jennifer Armentro (F, USA), From Blood and Ash (2020) – SFF
Katherine Scholes (F, Aus/Tas), The Beautiful Mother (2020) – Family Drama DNF
Victoria Hannan (F, Aus/Vic), Kokomo (2020)
Dervla McTiernan (F, Aus/WA), The Good Turn (2020) – Crime
JD Robb (F, USA), Secrets in Death (2017) – Crime
Max Barry (M, Aus/Vic), Jennifer Government (2004) – SF/Crime

I recommend Kokomo, which I think was a freeby from Audible. Set in Melbourne, a daughter dealing with her mother dealing with … stuff. It deserves a review. I hope I get there. (more here). And the Fay Lee SF below, I am half way through and have promised the author I will review. And I will.

Currently Reading 

Fay Lee (F, Aus/SA), Empathy (2023) – SF
Haruki Murakami (M, Jap), Sputnik Sweetheart (1999)
Miles Franklin & Dymphna Cusack (F, Aus/NSW), Pioneers on Parade (1939)

AWWC Feb. 2023

Wed 1Elizabeth Lhuede“A clever and pretty blue stocking”: Ada A Kidgell
Fri 3Stories FTAAda A Kidgell, The triumphant candidate (short story)
Wed 8Jo-Anne ReidKylie Tennant, Tiburon (review)
Fri 10Stories FTAKylie Tennant, Tiburon (novel extract)
Wed 15Bill HollowayKylie Tennant, Ride on Stranger (review)
Fri 17Stories FTACamden Morrisby, A novelist I know: Kylie Tennant (extract)
Wed 22Whispering GumsLouise Mack, Teens and Girls together
Fri 24Stories FTALouise Mack, In a country school (short story)

Nellie Melba

Journal: 097

More farewells then Nellie Melba. Maybe, I can’t see how many that was (here), but I am unloading after my third or fourth ‘last trip’ across the Nullarbor from Melbourne. I don’t plan to do any more. I don’t wish to do any more. But I find myself strangely attracted to loads to north Queensland, and then I have to get home.

This trip just concluding, I hooked up at Moama, found my way across southern, recently flooded, NSW on broken and dodgy roads, finally became free of the Murray via the ancient Paringa Bridge, traversed the Flinders Ranges by more country roads, till at last I reached Highway One at Port Pirie, the last remaining bitumen link to Western Australia, arrived at Northam, 100 km out, Friday morning, three weeks and a day away, brought my trailers in one at a time, got some unloading done.

Got some more unloading done Sat. Just settled home to the idea of lunch and wine, no sandwiches cut or wine poured, no body showered even, when Milly called to say there was a family emergency and I must come at once, pick her up then head down to Freo to pick up Ms 19. I dragged on a clean shirt and headed for the door when – you know it – phone rang, the emergency was sort of over, but Ms 19 was still upset and we should go and get her anyway, and yes I had time for a shower.

I can’t tell you all the story, but at 10.00 am someone, in a Victorian country town, was dead of an overdose, then he wasn’t, and by the time we picked up Ms 19 at one-ish, he was sitting up in bed and asking for dinner. Country town gossips and third-hand information!

And so, by mid-afternoon, we ended up at the Perth Fringe, participating in – ‘viewing’ is not strong enough – a comedy pub crawl, which resulted in me Ubering home and cycling back this morning to retrieve my ute and run Ms 19 home.

Ms 19 had ordered me for Christmas, from Lebanon, PA, the book-ends above and of course they arrived the day after I left, so yesterday I finally got to unwrap them. She wanted a Mack, everyone’s sexiest truck, except (Australian) truck drivers who go for Kenworths, locally made, indestructible, noisy and uncomfortable to drive. I’m going to say this new acquisition is a 1950s Reo Speedwagon. It might be, and Diamond Reo trucks were manufactured in PA up till a decade or so ago.

This post in this timeslot is meant to be my AWW Gen 5-SF Week summing up. Thank you all for taking part. I think I reposted everyone who put up a review, and I’ll update the AWW Gen 5 page as soon as I have my business bookwork out of the way. This is what I got from our discussions: that dystopian and SF were important themes throughout the three decades, driven of course by climate change, and although we didn’t discuss it much, by the rise of the surveillance state. The more fanciful SF of Jane Rawson and Elizabeth Tan, say, comes not just from CLi.Fi, but also from a playfulness always latent in SF and in postmodernism. Indigenous writing became important and incorporated SF in both its dystopian and more fantastic streams – think back to Ellen van Neerven’s Water, or to the innovative SF of Claire G Coleman.

There are other themes. Perhaps only I worry about Grunge, which flared up in the mid-nineties then went nowhere. But I see elements of it still, both in Indigenous writing and in the work of some new novelists. Brona suggested another theme in dysfunctional families. Feel free to expand, Bron. If the discussion continues, I’ll make space for it somewhere.

Next year, I want to cover Gen 0, the writing which however hard it is to trace direct influences, predated and to some extent parallelled the Independent Woman theme in early Australian writing. I’m thinking in particular JS Mill and Mary Wollstonecraft on whom Bron has already done a great deal of work, and then Aphra Benn, George Sand, Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell, an American woman recommended by Melanie/GTL whose name has slipped my mind (I have it in writing somewhere, sorry Melanie). Even Moll Flanders and Tom Jones, ostensibly written by men, have far more anti-marriage sentiment than was allowed later, post Jane Austen.

After that we can redo the Gens, AMWs this time.

I of course have had plenty of time to listen to books. Those from the library were mostly mediocre, and that includes the fictional biography of Elizabeth Macquarrie, Elizabeth & Elizabeth (the other E. is E. Macarthur) by Sue Williams. Probably the best of the library books was Into the Darkest Corner (2012) by Elizabeth Haynes, a really explicit account of a single woman who hooks up, unknowingly, with a predator. Warning: there were instances of physical abuse which I skipped over.

On Audible, where I only buy books I really want to listen to, apart from the occasional freebies, I listened to Love by Elizabeth von Arnim; and to Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins, which I am attempting to inveigle Melanie into co-reviewing with me. I sometimes re-listen to my Audible books, or listen to them twice in a couple of weeks to get my review right, and it’s never a hardship.


Recent audiobooks 

Elizabeth Haynes (F, Eng), Into the Darkest Corner (2012) Thriller
Tony McCarroll (M, Eng), The Truth: My Life as Oasis’s Drummer (2013) Memoir
Anthony Johnston (M, Eng), The Tempus Project (2020) – Crime
Sue Williams (F, Aus/NSW), Elizabeth & Elizabeth (2021) – Fictional Biog.
Joy Fielding (F, USA), She’s not There (2015) – Family Drama
Karin Fossum (F, Nor), Bad Intentions (2010) Crime
Helen Hardt (F, USA), Follow Me Darkly (2020) – Romance
Charlene Harris (F, USA), Real Murders (1990) – Crime
William Gibson (M, USA), Agency (2020) – SF
Elizabeth von Arnim (F, Eng), Love (1925)
Tom Robbins (M, USA), Even Cowgirls get the Blues (1976)

Currently Reading 

Martin Boyd (M, Aus/Vic), The Cardboard Crown (1971)
Martin Boyd (M, Aus/Vic), A Difficult Young Man (1957)

AWWC Jan. 2023

Fri 06Stories FTAAlice Guerin, New Year’s Eve – December 1901
Wed 11Elizabeth LhuedeFarewell 2022 – welcome 2023
Fri 13Stories FTAMiles Franklin, Alice Henry (newspaper story)
Wed 18Bill HollowayCatherine Helen Spence, A Week in the Future (review)
Fri 20Stories FTA
Wed 25Whispering GumsLouise Mack
Fri 27Stories FTALouise Mack, My quest: London book shops (nonfiction)

I’m still here

Journal: 096

Just when I thought I’d done enough long trips, and just as AWW Gen 5-SFF Week was getting under way, I was given a string of jobs which has kept me away from home two weeks to date with another week to go. Luckily, I had some posts ready, but though I had a break last Mon-Tue, and again this weekend, I haven’t done any writing and thought I had better explain my absence.

First, I took a couple of road rollers from Perth to a mine out from Laverton, north east of Kalgoorlie; the maiden outing for my new road train dolly. 1,300 km

From Laverton I ran empty to Cape Preston, on the north west coast, south of Karratha. 1,700 km

The reason for this was that a contract I had expected for January had fallen through and so I accepted a road train load from Cape Preston to Peak Downs in central Queensland, inland of Mackay. 6,000 km as the shorter, northabout route via the Northern Territory is closed until the bridges swept away at Fitzroy Crossing are replaced, initially with a low level ford in three or four months. And yes, there are only two made roads east-west across Australia.

A week or so in, in the night, crossing western NSW towards Cobar, the truck started to run slow and a check of the gauges showed I had no turbo boost. For a while I had a top speed of 80 kph until I discovered that by revving the engine really high the turbo could be persuaded to resume working. This problem persisted for a couple of days but is currently in remission.

However, I woke in the morning to a big pool of oil under the front of the truck. Crawling underneath I discovered that the dipstick tube had come away from the sump. I blocked the hole and put a couple of litres of oil in and drove the 200 km remaining to Cobar, the next town. I didn’t seem to be losing much oil, so I bought some more and turned north towards Bourke and on into Queensland.

The days were beginning to blur. I had left Kalgoorlie Tuesday morning and was due in Peak Downs during working hours on Saturday, which I thought could manage by doing 1,200 km a day.

I fuelled in Charleville in western Qld on Friday and was persuaded there by some resting Western Australian drivers to take the shorter dirt road from Tambo to Alpha – which they had just taken in the opposite direction – which I did Saturday morning. It was ok, not boggy, but very narrow and poorly signposted. Soon I was in Emerald and on the phone to my contact in Peak Downs. His directions to me were to go half an hour north to Capella, turn east 75 kms to Dysart and then come up the last short stretch to Peak Downs and I’d be there by lunchtime. Which I was, but Capella to Dysart is a mostly dirt farm track through a mountain range. Next time I’m going the long way!

Still, that was the load done and my money – supposedly COD – earned. The poor old truck desperately needed a service and repairs. There is a Volvo dealer at Mackay, but a phone call to my truck driver cousin in Toowoomba (a major regional city near Brisbane) got me a booking with his mechanic, so I used Sunday to run empty there. 1,000 km

Two days rest for me. A refreshed truck. A part load from Brisbane and here I am in Melbourne (via the inland route for road trains) 2,000 km.

I loaded one trailer Friday, spent a day at B4’s farm near Bendigo where mum was also, and tomorrow (Monday) I load the second and I’m heading for home. 4,000 km

Have you been doing the maths (well, arithmetic really)? That’s three weeks and 16,000 km – about the same distance as Melbourne – London.

On the real business of this blog, I was really pleased with the response to the Gen 5-SFF theme, though I had hoped to get a second author interview. She might still write. I hope I didn’t inadvertently write a question that offended her. I’ll write up the summary when I get home. Thank you all for taking part.

Meanwhile the family message service is running hot. Lou is back in Tennant Creek for another year. The last photo I saw was of him camping at Coober Pedy. Psyche is due for another round of treatment; and as I write, Gee’s bush block which featured in my last Journal post, is threatened, though not seriously at this stage, by bushfires. She and the kids are camping at a friend’s place in town, just in case. Time I was home.

EOY 2022

Journal: 095

What is the best book I read this year. Undoubtedly the most important was Chelsea Watego’s Another Day in the Colony whose publication, in my opinion, marks the moment Aboriginal ‘public thinkers’ took control of the debate over Australian Black-white relations. I should say the ‘best’ was Voss, but that honour probably goes to James Baldwin’s Just Above My Head. And the most exciting? undoubtedly Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson.

I never read many new releases but was very pleased this year to have new books, new SF! (as was the Hopkinson), from Jane Rawson, A History of Dreams and Claire G Coleman, Enclave. I’ve also, belatedly ordered the latest from Jamie Marina Lau, Grunk Baby – I see on searching, it was released 1 Jan ’21, so I’m late!

On the non-fiction side, still in the area of Indigenous-relations, we also had Michelle Scott Tucker’s collaboration with Torres Strait Islander, Aaron Fa’Aoso for his memoir So Far, So Good and Claire G Coleman’s Lies Damned Lies. It is difficult to separate what I happen to notice and read from what is generally available, but it seems to me that both the quality and the quantity of arguments from Indigenous writers have reached the point where it is impossible for white society not to deal with them on equal terms, and I think Prime Minister Albanese recognises this, which is why he is spending so much political capital on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament.

Then of course, still on the recent releases front, there was Nathan Hobby’s important biography of Katharine Susannah Prichard, The Red Witch, and some not so important general fiction because they came out as audiobooks and I happened to pick them up in the library. I wonder what I missed. I don’t really recall any Australian books making a splash, or is that just me not paying attention.

I should not overlook the relaunch this year of the Australian Women Writers Challenge as a site to discuss earlier AWWs – up to the 1950s – and to reprint long overlooked stories and articles from Trove – which this federal government will surely not defund, as is half expected (The Conversation, 23 Dec. 2022). Sue/Whispering Gums’ AWWC end-of-year summary (here).

For the year, I read 108 books, down from 145 last year, and 164 the year before. What is going on! My female/male (author) balance was 75/33; sadly, USA/Aust/UK/rest of world went 37/35/19/12. Category-wise I read Crime 26, SF 20, non-fiction 16, ‘literature’ 18, other 26. Looking along my date categories, a third of the books I read were from the last three years and only one was pre-C20th. My spreadsheet didn’t have a column for audiobooks, which was remiss of me, but the ratio of audio to real books was probably 80:20.

Counting this one, I put up 83 posts for the year, of which 15 were Journals, 4 were reposts of your contributions for AWW Gen 4 Week, and 11 reposts/intros for my reviews on AWWC. I guess the rest were reviews, including 10 for my North America First Nations/African-American project, which I really enjoyed.

For xmas, Milly, Ms 19 and I drove down to Denmark on the south coast, to Gee’s bush block, which is on a steep slope in dense forest. It doesn’t look like it in the top photo, but it is relatively clear around the house, though the undergrowth between the trees needs lots of work. I did two part days of slashing and two days of resting, and on our last full day we went to the beach – the coast along there consists of a series of protected inlets, backed by steep hills – and now I’m back home. Lou came down separately by plane and bus; Psyche spent the week moving house – there was a lot of that this year – with her new live-in carer; and Mum, and her travel companion, my cousin Kay, were in Sydney with Mr and Mrs B4. Hopefully, next xmas, we’ll all be together.

Recent audiobooks 

Deborah Moggach (F, Eng), The Black Dress (2021) – Romance (I think) DNF
Dervla McTiernan (F, Ire), The Ruin (2018) – Crime
Neal Stephenson (M, USA), Termination Shock (2021) – SF (23 hours!)
Toni Morrison (F, USA), Paradise (1998)

Currently Reading 

Jamie Marina Lau (F, Aus/Vic), Gunk Baby (2021)
Elena Ferrante (F, Ita), The Story of a New Name (2012)

Yes, that’s me heading for my chair (and Mr One, getting ready for a lifetime of kayaking). Milly must be holding the camera.


AWWC Dec. 2022

Fri 02Stories FTA“Tasma”, The Rubria Ghost (short story)
Wed 07Elizabeth LhuedeMrs Bode and a Question of Irony
Fri 09Stories FTAMrs J A Bode, Lubra (poem)
Wed 14BronwynMary Gaunt (2)
Fri 16Stories FTAMary Gaunt, Alone in West Africa (nonfiction extract)
Wed 21Bill HollowayKylie Tennant, Ma Jones and the Little White Cannibals
Fri 23Stories FTAApril Hersey, Back to the battling (nonfiction extract)
Wed 28Whispering GumsBush Book Club
Fri 30Stories FTALady Poore, Bush Book Club (letter to the editor)

Getting Old

Journal: 094

Getting old is front of mind at the moment so why not use it for today’s title, though I’d really rather not think about it. Last week my big toe started hurting, then the whole of my left foot, until I gave up and went to a doctor, not my doctor because he has inconveniently chosen this month to remodel his surgery, but a clinic a bit further out, which Milly used before she moved house

I tried a clinic nearer home first, called Walk-In, and when I walked in there was a sign on the wall saying “Do NOT walk in, phone this number” which I phoned a number of times and each time after four rings it hung up. I asked the receptionist what the story was and she pushed a bit of paper at me with a website address. So that was the end of that clinic.

Anyway, getting old. I have gout! How C18th is that? The doctor barely waited until I sat down. He said ‘you’ve got gout’, sent me for tests, and gave me a prescription for a few days pain relief. I was up the bush the next few days so my my next appointment was over the phone. That doctor said, yes, the tests confirm you have gout, here’s a few more days pain relief. And that was it.

Luckily, I have a friendly pharmacist who explained gout to me – acid in the joints. She offered me an extract of rose petals – which I didn’t go with – and told me to see my own doctor for long term treatment. Probably after xmas. It could have been worse, I suppose, I might have been treated with leeches and told to stay off the port.

Wiki says sufferers typically “regularly drink beer or sugar-sweetened beverages or […] eat foods that are high in purines such as liver, shellfish, or anchovies, or are overweight”, so that’s one out of three. The phone doctor said drink more water and eat less protein, a bit difficult seeing as my principle food groups are porridge, and salad sandwiches.

Yes, I know, getting old is correlated with talking endlessly about bodily ailments. I’ll stop now.

But what else have I to write about? I’ve been giving my new trailer a bit of a workout, running around the bush and out into the Goldfields. That’s it above. Filthy, I know, from muddy access roads up north and a machine I carried leaking hydraulic fluid. Spent all Saturday morning pressure hosing it, and the afternoon drinking home brew. So much for gout friendly diets.

I spread the lower deck out to clean the mud off the chassis, but forgot to take a photo to show you how it works.

On Friday I got a text message to say that Neil@Kallaroo had died. I’d visited him recently in hospital, so his daughters must have seen me as the most recent non-family caller on his SMS. Neil was friends with Mr Whispering Gums, I think they had been at uni together and stayed in touch. I got to know him initially through his often wry comments on Sue/Whispering Gums’ blog, and subsequently on mine, and his support and banter particularly on matters SF. Sue writes a little more about him (here). There’s not much us areligious can say about dying. Neil was in and out of hospital, struggling with fluid on his lungs, and therefore with breathing, but he seemed to be leading a full and cheerful life. Getting old is a bitch.

Now that you have all fought your way through the various November challenges, I hope you are starting to think about dystopian/SFF novels for Australian Women Writers Gen 5-SFF Week, 15-22 Jan. 2023. I have a couple of interesting surprises in the works, though I’m not sure what books there are that I haven’t read/reviewed already. I’d better have another look at Kimbofo’s list in Comments for my Gen 5-SFF post (linked above).


Recent audiobooks 

Paula Hawkins (F, Eng), A Slow Fire Burning (2021) – Crime
Patrick White (M, Aus/NSW), Voss (1957)
Tove Alsterdal (M, Swe), We Know You Remember (2021) – Crime
John Green (M, USA), Paper Towns (2008) – YA
Susan White (F, Aus/Vic), Cut (2022) – Medical
Mia March (F, USA), The Meryl Streep Movie Club (2020) – General

Currently Reading 

Kylie Tennant (F, Aus/NSW), Ma Jones and the Little White Cannibals (1967)
Toni Morrison (F,USA), Recatif (1983)
Jeff Noon (M,Eng), Automated Alice (1996) – SFF

AWWC Nov. 2022

Wed 02Elizabeth LhuedeThe Lost Stories of Evelyn Blackett
Fri 04Stories FTAEvelyn Blackett, “For the Sake of Scalby” (fiction extract)
Wed 09Debbie RobsonEleanor Dark, Slow Dawning (review)
Fri 11Stories FTASlow Dawning Newspaper Review
Wed 16Bill HollowayRosa Praed, The Bond of Wedlock (review)
Fri 18Stories FTAM Preston Stanley Vaughan, “Is marriage a handicap to woman’s ambition?” (prose)
Wed 23Linda EmeryElizabeth Charlotte Bingmann aka E C Morrice
Fri 25Stories FTAE C Morrice, “Molly’s dilemma” (short story)
Wed 30Whispering GumsTasma, or Jessie Couvreur

That’s My Truckin’ Life

Journal: 092

Years ago, when Milly and I were young, and I’d gone broke as a truckie for the first time, we, despite already having one child and another on the way, bought a brand new Holden one tonne ute (it wasn’t till a third child came along that I gave in to common sense and bought a car with a back seat). Our first venture was a milk round.

Each night around 10pm I’d load up with crates of milk and drive up and down the streets of Booragoon, a reasonably posh riverside suburb, stop, dash between trees connected by wolf-spider webs, grab the empties from a step or milk box – always home to redbacks – replace them with the right number of bottles, and as I went, tossing the messages and monies left out by our grateful and trusting customers into a bucket to be dealt with in the morning.

Sometimes Milly, advanced pregnancy notwithstanding would be my runner, and sometimes I would employ Bruce, the boyfriend of Milly’s mother’s neighbour’s youngest daughter. Two or three years later I employed the neighbour’s son in a much steadier job at the transport depot where I was manager; and just recently he started going out with Milly’s sister, the little Diva, whom of course he has known since childhood.

The morning Lou was born he had to be transferred from the women’s hospital to the children’s hospital, who, having nowhere else, put Milly up in the flat for mothers down from the country. The next day I came in my old shorts and bare feet, plonked down on Milly’s bed with the aforementioned bucket, and got her to help me count the receipts. The nurses thought we were Beverly Hillbillies. (Lou required a number of hospitalizations, but survived them all).

Once I had the ute and an income, I began building up during the day a commercial travellers round in trucking products and so it came to pass that I ended up as WA distributor for Truckin’ Life magazine, now sadly defunct, but whose slogan as you might guess was That’s my truckin’ life. Which is my starting point for today’s tale of woe.

Two weeks ago today, you’ll recall we had just got into Darwin from an outback station, whose manager wanted me to load up later in the week and head back out with another load of fencing products. The engine felt like it was down on power and an error message was flashing up saying ‘check with workshop’. So the following morning I dropped my trailers at the BP and took the truck into the local Volvo dealer. Who had a fourteen day waiting list.

I got a taxi to Psyche’s and over the next few days we did various seeing doctors and drinking with Lou things, until I, not hearing from the workshop went back to twist a few arms, not to any great effect, though we did decide that rather than fly in a whole heap of new parts in the hope that one of them would fix the problem, we would, sometime during the next week, methodically do tests and swap things around to arrive at a proper diagnosis. This took till the following Wednesday, when we discovered my valves were stuffed – I’d need a new head; one of the six injectors needed replacing (but not the $8,000 ecu which controls them); and seeing as the engine was in bits anyway, I might as well get new this and that, including a new turbo (which is a bit of a relief as they are inclined, as they age, to fly apart without warning).

But. A new head would have to come from Adelaide and would probably take a week to arrive, so let’s say next Friday, and then a week to put it all back together, so that’s October gone.

Psyche has friends to do the carer thing, so I decided to fly home. Which leads us to the next ‘but’. Darwin-Perth direct is so expensive ($1,200-1,400) that it is cheaper to fly via Sydney or Melbourne, which explains why the fine print for some of the cheaper flights says ‘2 stopovers, 16 hours’. I constructed my own dog-leg with Virgin, flew to Melbourne, had a two day layover while I visited mum and did some book shopping, then flew home this morning (Tue), saving a couple of hundred dollars in the process.

If you’ve been keeping up, you will now have in your head that I have in rapid succession purchased a new trailer, so there’s several tens of thousands of dollars; begun an engine rebuild, a second several tens of thousands of dollars; and done one trip in two months – yes, several tens etc. more. Things are going to be a bit tight for a while!

I forget what I listened to on the way up to Darwin, not Son of a Trickster, which I was saving for the home trip so it would be fresh in my mind as I wrote it up, and which, consequently is now another month late. At Psyche’s my heart wasn’t in blogging and I indulged in a couple of SF novels off her shelves.
Corey J White (F,USA), Killing Gravity (2017)
Tricia Sullivan (F,Eng), Dreaming in Smoke (1998)

Since, I have mostly read Twitter and bits and pieces of mainstream news, though this morning I finally made inroads on Dorothy Hewett’s The Toucher which I have been carting around for months.

At the second-hand shop in Warrandyte I bought two hardbacks in beautiful condition, c/w dustjackets – DH Lawrence in Australia (1981) by Robert Darroch, and Pioneers on Parade by Miles Franklin and Dymphna Cusack (1939, A&R 1988 so a bicentenary pub.); plus In a Wilderness of Mirrors (1992) by Ric Throssell, KSP’s son. I reluctantly passed up another lovely hardback, Cuffy Mahony and other stories, by HH Richardson which I already have as a paperback.

Mum makes me cook tea. Here I am preparing a simple vegetarian moussaka.

Such is Life

Journal: 091

Such is Life is a cheeky title to choose, but I feel very Tom Collins, having loaded the wagons with fencing wire and dragged them north to a station in the furthest backblocks – of the Northern Territory in my case rather than the Riverina in Tom’s – taking two and a half hours to cover the last 70 km of dirt tracks in. Arriving just on sunset I got a very Tom Collins reception too, being told to make myself comfortable in the amenities of the workmen’s quarters, dongas on stilts in the approved outback fashion, though I didn’t feel the need to water the cattle at the owner’s expense, nor, not being as gregarious as Tom, rather the opposite, did I spend much time yarning with the workmen coming in from the surrounding paddocks.

And ‘paddocks’ is the key word here. Nearly all stations in the NT are pastoral leases, cattle grazing in the scrub, the only ‘improvements’ yards and bores, but this lease has been approved for cropping. Around 3,000 hectares cleared, the scrub bulldozed into long rows and burned

Probably, it will prove initially viable, but soon the bores will be run down, the poor soils depleted of their last remaining nutrients, distance from market will be a killer and here as elsewhere through the NT, Queensland and NSW, the scrub will return.

I unloaded in the morning (Tues) and came on to Darwin where as soon as I have finished posting this I will catch up with Psyche. And maybe Lou, who left a cryptic comment elsewhere that he might be in Darwin Thurs.

How long since I last posted a journal? A month maybe. Early in September Milly was staying with Gee and the grandkids in their idyllic new home between the bush and the Southern Ocean. I ran down on the Saturday, stayed overnight, and brought Milly home. By Monday, Milly reported she had ‘the flu’. On Tuesday, I had an excellent long lunch with the Gums just off the plane for a flying visit to the west. Thursday I loaded for the Goldfields. Woke Friday feeling crook, but a RAT was negative. Got to my destination mine 300 km north of Kalgoorlie in the afternoon. Another negative RAT but my temperature was over 38 and I was not allowed in. Did a PCR, also negative. Unloaded in a parking bay 100m from my destination but not ‘inside’ the mine and went home to spend a few days in bed. Just a common cold, thankyou grandkids (the babies had very runny noses).

Luckily, I didn’t pass it on to the Gums and they were able to visit Neil@Kallaroo, an old friend of the Gumses. But sadly I wasn’t fit to have dinner with them in Freo before they flew home.

All this not working means I haven’t yet listened to my next North America Project read, Son of a Trickster. Listened to a couple of ‘re-reads’ instead, A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, and Pink Mountain on Locust Island which I was surprised and happy to see on audiobook at my local library. Also an ok Isabelle Allende (it was a long trip!) and now I have on a book about live-in carers, which might be germane as Psyche has one coming, The Leftovers by Cassandra Parkin.

Liz Dexter asked me which McMurtry I listened to last month. It was Sin Killer, a sort of Western farce about an English lord and his family – daughters, wife, mistress – venturing up the barely navigable reaches of the Missouri. But so many of you like Lonesome Dove that I’ll give it a try sooner rather than later.

A truck pic to end with, at the beginning of the track into the station. Not showing the innumerable gates, so you will have to imagine them.

And the new trailer? you ask. It’s in the home paddock, unused, eating its head off on insurance payments. Its day will come.


Recent audiobooks 

Natalie Hynes (F, Eng), A Thousand Ships (2020) – The siege of Troy from the POV of women
Jamie Marina Lau (F, Aus/Vic), Pink Mountain on Locust Island (2018)
Ellie Eaton (F, Eng), The Divines (2021)
Henning Mantell (M, Swe), Sidetracked (1995) – Crime
Isabelle Allende (F, Chile), Daughter of Fortune (1999) – Hist.Fic
Cassandra Parkin (F, Eng), The Leftovers (2022)

Currently Reading 

W Green (M, Aus/NSW), The Interim Anxieties & other poems (2022) – Poetry
Alan Wearne (M, Aus/WA), Near Believing (2022) – Poetry
George Saunders (M, USA), A Swim in the Pond in the Rain (2021) – NF/Short Stories
Kylie Tenant (F, Aus/NSW), Ma Jones and the Little White Cannibals (1967) – Short Stories
Haruki Murakami (M, Jap), First Person Singular (2021) – Short Stories

AWWC Sept. 2022

Fri 02Stories FTAE H D, The Aboriginal Mother (poem)
Wed 07Elizabeth LhuedeGender Unknown: the case of R McKay Tully
Fri 09Stories FTAR McKay Tully, The Power of a Child (short story)
Wed 14Jessica WhiteRosa Praed, Sister Sorrow (review)
Fri 16Stories FTARosa Praed, The Sea-birds’ Message (short story)
Wed 21Bill HollowayErnestine Hill, The Great Australian Loneliness (review)
Fri 23Stories FTAErnestine Hill, “The Strange Case of Mrs Widgety” (nonfiction extract)
Wed 28Whispering GumsCapel Boake
Fri 30Stories FTACapel Boake, The Room Next Door (short story)

Women Who Don’t

Journal: 090

I have just read three books, coincidentally one after the other, for which the title of this post is both relevant and interesting. They were , in order –
Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach (2007)
Sayaka Murata, Earthlings (2018)
Melanie Rehak, Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the women who created her (2020)

I meant, the order in which I read (listened to ) them, but it seems also to be the order in which they were written.

On Chesil Beach is the least interesting of the three. McEwan clodhoppers his way through a typical 1950s marriage/wedding night in which the bride discovers at the last moment that she would rather not have sex, but soldiers on anyway, and the equally inexperienced groom is excited by his wife’s amateur fumblings into premature ejaculation.

McEwan appears to arrive at the conclusion that the husband’s anger at this outcome is justified, and that the subsequent failure of their marriage is of no consequence. I have read other McEwans, but remember none of them, except that they all left me with a sour taste in my mouth, and am not inclined at this stage to read another.

Earthlings I own and failed to enjoy first time round, put off, I think, by the grotesque ending. I’m not sure what made me pick up the audiobook at the library – probably the fact that any work of Literature must stand out in the great swamp of general fiction in which suburban libraries seem to specialise – but I am now a fan of the book and of Sayaka Murata, who is of course the author also of Convenience Store Woman.

The protagonist of Earthlings is Natsuki, who does it once, aged 11, with her cousin Yuu, which causes such a fuss in her wider family that she never does again. In her 30s, wishing to at least seem to be fitting in, she advertises for a like-minded man and so obtains Tomoya, whom she subsequently marries.

Nancy Drew is a slightly different case, in that although she is 16, and later 18, in all the many Nancy Drew books, her originators keep her in a pre-sexual state to maintain the faith with her largely 10-13 year old readership.

That is all I wish to say about my heading.

Well, nearly all. I should add that Natsuki’s disinclination as an adult to engage in sex also stems from her being molested by a cram-school teacher, and being disbelieved by her mother. In fact, her union with her friend and cousin Yuu, whom she only sees at her grandmother’s house in the mountains each summer, stems from her wish to lie with someone of her own choosing before she is forced to lie with her teacher.

Natsuki is able to free herself from the teacher and this ties in with the ending. But the central thesis of Earthlings is that society is a Baby Factory; that ‘earthlings’ are all components in the machinery of the Factory; that free will can only be exercised by refusing to take part, by becoming ‘aliens’.

Murata’s Convenience Store Woman is routinely read as the amusing reactions of a woman ‘on the spectrum’ to having to find a productive a niche in society. But I think now that Murata is trying to say that it is not rational to ‘find a productive niche’. That society is so antithetical to a freely lived life that it is ridiculous to live within it (Convenience Store Woman); and that we should attempt to live outside it (Earthlings). And I don’t think she means just Japanese society, though it is tempting for Westerners to think so.

If I had a paper copy of Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the women who created her I would have been bound to write a proper review. Though I should say at the beginning that Nancy Drew was created by a man, Edward Stratemeyer, a writer of children’s adventure stories who turned to creating series and employing other writers to fill them out. The ‘women’ of the title are his daughter, Harriet Adams, who took over her father’s syndicate on his death; and Mildred Wirt who actually wrote the original Nancy Drew stories from synopses provided by Stratemeyer.

Nancy Drew went on for 50 odd years, and may still be going on for all I know, and the story of her creation and the rival claimants to be her sole originator is fascinating in itself. But Melanie Rehak frames her story within the idea of the Independent Woman in American (YA) literature. She claims, rightly probably, that every American girl’s original independent heroine is Jo Marsh (Little Women); then goes on to discuss the importance of Nancy Drew as a role model for career-minded girls within the framework of a discussion of first and second wave Feminism. Did I make that sound too dry? I hope not. This is an excellent, listenable work.

Actual Journal stuff: I purchased my new trailer a week or so ago, but have been too busy to go and pick it up. I spent the last week up north doing wide loads with one of Dragan’s trailers. The great bonus of oversize work is stopping when the sun goes down. Sadly, on my very first night out, I found my laptop had failed. Battery probably, or maybe the charger. At least I caught up with some reading.

Recent audiobooks 

Melinda Leigh (F, USA), What I’ve Done (2018) – Crime
Christos Tsiolkas (M, Aus/Vic), 7 1/2 (2021)
Phillipa Gregory (F, Eng), Tidelands (2019) – Hist.Fic/Romance
Ann Pratchett (F, USA), Bel Canto (2001) – Thriller (I was barracking for the kidnappers)
Lisa Gardner (F, USA), One Step Too Far (2022) – Crime Thriller
Laura Lipman (F, USA), And When She Was Good (2012) – Crime
Janet Evanovich & Phoef Sutton (F, USA), Curious Minds (2016) – Crime
Kerry Greenwod (F, Aus/Vic), Murder and Mendelssohn (2013)
Ian McEwan (M, Eng), On Chesil Beach (2007) – Hist.Fic/anti-Romance
Sayaka Murata (F, Jap), Earthlings (2018)
Melanie Rehak (F, USA), Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the women who created her (2020) – NF
Larry McMurtry (M, USA), Sin Killer (2005) – Hist.Fic., Western, Farce

Currently Reading 

Aaron Fa’Aoso with Michelle Scott Tucker (Aus), So Far, So Good (2022) – Memoir
Drusilla Modjeska (F, Aus/NSW), The Mountain (2012)
Ernestine Hill (F, Aus/Tas), The Great Australian Loneliness (1937) – NF

AWWC Aug. 2022

Wed 03Elizabeth LhuedeG.M.M. A Novelist at Home
Fri 05Stories FTANetta Walker, The Old, Old Story
Wed 10Michelle Scott TuckerPatricia Wrightson and appropriation
Fri 12Stories FTADaisy Bates, Aboriginal Stellar Myths
Wed 17Bill HollowayAda Cambridge, Thirty Years in Australia
Fri 19Stories FTAAda Cambridge, The Fourth Home (extract)
Wed 31Whispering GumsEliza Hamilton Dunlop

Family Stuff

Journal: 089

My last Journal post had me doing a lap of the country. Well here it is a month later and I’m back in Mt Isa, been sitting here for a week, in a cabin in a caravan park (‘trailer park’, Melanie), waiting for a promised load home which keeps getting put back. When this is posted in two or three days time, I hope I’m on my way.

Keeping me company is a blacky-green frog, about the size of my hand when his legs are spread out, living under the lip of my toilet bowl. In the rush of flushing water he’ll wave his legs frantically fighting to hold his position at the top of the slope; when the water is slow to run it seems he is part way up the pipe to the cistern, blocking the flow; a few days ago he voluntarily or otherwise slid down the slope for a swim, but he doesn’t seem to regard the u-bend as a viable way out.

All this free time is dangerous. I’ve come to the conclusion I should sell two of my (three) trailers, buy a new, specialist trailer, and concentrate on wide loads, mostly in WA. The new trailer will be another drop-deck with ramps but the lower deck widens, like a dining room table, from the standard 2.5m out to 3.5 m, and will be better set up for road train work than my current, old drop-deck.

And why would I spend $100,000 on new gear rather than retire. Well, a) because it’s fun; and b) because it seems old truckies generally prefer to keep on truckin’: “the average age of truck drivers is 57, … 20% of truck drivers have already reached retirement age, and less than one in five are under 30 … women make up 7%.” Victorian Transport Association 28/07/2022.

After my last Mt Isa trip, I sat home for a week or so then did a load down to (daughter & son in law) Gee and Oak’s bush block on the south coast (between Albany and Denmark), with boxes and furniture on one trailer, a 4wd and (unroadworthy) caravan on the other, and grandson Mr 12 in the passenger seat. We listened to an Ian Rankin (non-Rebus) book about an art heist. Mr 12 was very involved and would pause it occasionally to discuss the villain, Mr Hate.

I managed to catch up with Milly for one meal and then she flew up to Darwin to be with our daughter Psyche while she has chemo for what was feared might be rapid-onset MS. (Yes, they’ve said I could blog this.)

So, first of all, the first chemo went well – the second of two treatments is today (Thurs) as I write, and the prognosis for the future seems good. At least, Psyche felt well enough last weekend to have a night on the town. Walking is now a hassle but we’ve been discussing on the family Messenger site whether her cane might be a sword stick. Ms 18 found them on the internet: “You can whip it out if someone takes your parking,” she suggested. “Or if someone takes your seat at the pub,” wrote Ms 18’s mother, getting the family priorities sorted.

On the day of the first chemo, Psyche was high on steroids; Milly tripped over a line and ripped out a cannula, spraying Psyche with blood; and the girl babysitting Milly’s little dog, Jute, rang to say she – the dog – had a broken leg. The Messenger stream for that day is full of concern. For Jute mainly.

We still don’t know if Jute attacked a monitor lizard; a dog got in; Jute got stuck under the couch; or, as the vet suggested, she was running and stepped in a hole. In any case, she has a compound fracture and has since seen an orthopaedic surgeon and had a plate inserted. Milly may be stuck in Darwin for weeks until Jute is fit to fly. Luckily she just sold her old house because most of the proceeds have gone on vet fees.

Just to fit all the kids in. I stopped at Tennant Creek and had breakfast again with Lou, at a cafe in the main street. Very civilized.

Despite all the time off work I take I am not blogging very well, either writing or keeping up with you lot. The AWWC gig takes a lot of time, reading and writing for my own once a month piece and chasing/editing for the one or two guest posts. But I find it immensely rewarding. So I guess this site will have to remain erratic for the forseeable future. A case in point is the North American post due last week. I’ve now listened to the book, Life among the Qallunaat, and I’ll write it up this weekend.

Photos 1 & 3 (Psyche & Jute) by Milly

And yes,I finally got away from Mt Isa on Saturday, came around the top through Katherine, Kununurra, Port Hedland and am on my way down to Kalgoorlie.


Recent audiobooks 

Faye Weldon (F, Eng), Mantrapped (2004) – SFF?
Tea Obreht (F, Serbia/USA), The Tiger’s Wife (2011)
Yrsa Sigurdardottir (F, Ice), My Soul to Take (2009)
Marge Piercy (F, USA), Woman on the Edge of Time (1976) – SF

Currently Reading 

Aaron Fa’Aoso with Michelle Scott Tucker (Aus), So Far, So Good (2022) – Memoir
Claire G Coleman (F, Aus/WA), Enclave (2022) – SF
Yoko Ogawa (F, Jap), The Memory Police (1994) – SF
Ada Cambridge (F, Aus/Vic), A Mere Chance (1880)
Ada Cambridge (F, Aus/Vic), Thirty Years in Australia (1903) – Memoir
Alan Wearne (M, Aus/Vic), Out Here (1986) – Verse Novel
KS Prichard (F, Aus/WA), The Roaring Nineties (1946)
WW Ammon (M, Aus/WA), Wheel Tracks (1966) – Memoir
Jane Rawson (F, Aus/Tas), A History of Dreams (2022) – SFF

AWWC July 2022

Fri 01Stories FTAM.G.B., Her Little Lad
Wed 06Elizabeth LhuedeGender female: “E C Morrice”
Fri 08Stories FTAE Charles, True Till Death
Wed 13Marcie McCauleyKatharine Susannah Prichard, Goldfields Trilogy
Fri 15Stories FTA“Sharp-eyed hussies”, John Dalley
Wed 20Bill HollowayAda Cambridge, A Mere Chance
Fri 22Stories FTAAda Cambridge, A Sweet Day
Wed 27Whispering GumsEleanor Dark’s juvenilia
Fri 29Stories FTA“G.M.M.”, “A Novelist at Home”