Archive for March, 2016


March 5, 2016

I have been a huge devotee of Nevil Shute for all of my adult life. Every story he ever wrote has been magic for me, so perhaps I have an unrealistic opinion of Australia today.

His tales weren’t just about Australia, he was also besotted with aeroplanes. And so was I. And he wasn’t all that enamoured of Britain during the days of my childhood. And nor was I.
I felt as though I had a kindred spirit.

I still have all of his books beside my bed, and I still drag them out when I need a lift.

Nothing ever quite grabbed me as his tales did. Not least, “In The Wet” and “A Town Like Alice”, although there are many others.

And now Doctor Blake is back, which so much mirrors my thoughts. Not least that I lived in Singapore during the 60s. A bit after his time, but things were still a bit Post War in Singapore even then.

Wives, daughters and loved ones still being found after nearly two decades.

There was a particularly distressing case of a Dutch child who had been loved and nurtured by her Malay Amah throughout out The War and long after, and was about to be married when her mother suddenly reappeared and demanded her return, although I don’t want to go into the morals of that.
Suffice to say that it caused the most dreadful riots during which it really wasn’t safe to walk the streets in some areas if you were white.
I did, as it happens, and never received anything other than courtesy. But sometimes so speak the brave and the stupid. And I learned a bit about the real poverty that Lee Quan Yew fought so hard to eradicate, although not always for the better.

So I hope that Doctor Blake will go on for a bit yet. He, along with Nevil Shute are my Australia. Somewhere I still wish that I had gone when I was young.

In the meantime, poor Jean.