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PacificEdge | April 25, 2017

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Memoir

Recollections of the strangeness of life

First brush with poverty

July 31, 2011 |

Back here at 168 Cathedral Street it’s a weekend in 1970 and Yvonne has asked a couple of us to go with her to visit an old woman who lives in the narrow, dingy street that parallels Broughton Lane on its western side.

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To the island

July 31, 2011 |

SOME MEMORIES fade and disappear. Some take on that blurry, swirly character of the incompletely remembered. Others remain sharp. Why? Who knows? In reptrospect, they appear nothing of great significance in life.

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The early 1980s: Life in the Inner West

July 27, 2011 | 3

THERE WERE MANY SHARE HOUSES in the Inner West during the 1980s, eclectic assemblages of people thrown together by chance and necessity. Offering benefits of economy with conviviality, share housing had been a popular way to live since the 1960s.

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Farewell, Bob, and thanks for a life that touched so many

June 19, 2011 |

THE MELLOW, MELONCHOLY SOUND of a sax drifted over the Sussex-Goulburn intersection that afternoon. La Vie en Rose, the song popularized by Edith Piaf, was a fitting sound this fine but cold, late Autumn day in the city and it suited my mood as I looked past the player, down the road to a Korean restaurant that wasn’t there forty years ago.

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Lost in the highlands

May 2, 2011 |

by Russ Grayson. First published 2001.

“TURN 180 degrees to your right now. We are on the other side of the button grass plain. Look for our orange marker”.

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Figure in a landscape—walking the Tasmanian high country

May 2, 2011 |

by Russ Grayson. Originally published 2002.

TO CLIMB or not? That was the debate I held with myself on the walk up from the Waldheim road head.

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To the summit, one last time

May 2, 2011 |

… Russ Grayson. Originally published 2002.

Early summer, 1980…

“Here, take hold of this”. Peter leans out and offers the end of a length of nylon climber’s tape to Robert. “Pass it to Keith”.

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First jump

May 1, 2011 |

Russ Grayson recalls an aerial mini-adventure of several decades ago.

TRAINING WAS MINIMAL, just brief instruction beside the strip on how to exit the aircraft with a couple practice exits while still on the ground. Then some serious sounding instruction on deploying the reserve chute – just in case – and a little practice at a parachute landing roll. Then it was “let’s go” as three of us climbed into the seatless space behind the pilot of the Cessna 182.

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A remarkable book and a remarkable person

April 3, 2011 |

JUST A BED, a wardrobe, desk and chair and my portable record player. It was a pleasingly simple arrangement there in that attic with its sloping upper walls that followed the shape of the roof. There, I would spend time sitting at the desk just looking out over rooftop and hill, not focusing on anything in particular but letting my eyes wander over the folds of the city. Sitting in something of a free-flowing mental state, I again experience that sense of calmness that I had earlier known when looking into the distance from some high vantage point.

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The white aircraft

April 3, 2011 |

A CHILD’s LIFE IN BRISBANE towards the end of the 1950s was prescribed by the particular urban geography its family inhabited. That was usually limited to the route taken to and from primary school and by the social relationships the parents had. Friends in those days were local because there simply wasn’t the mobility that children today enjoy. Life was lived in a territory defined by the immediate neighbourhood and the route taken to school, with occasion forays into the city.

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