Well, the Christmas Festive season is upon us. I will enjoy the time with my family, who all assure me that the turkey is ready for roasting, the ham ready for the bourbon glaze, duck fat potatoes and, of course, my favorites, Christmas pudding, trifle and pavlova.

I would like to take this opportunity of wishing all my readers, friends, and family all the very best, stay safe on the roads and keep healthy.

As I write my final blog for 2021, I reflect on the year that was.  2021 has been a year of mixed emotions. Sadly, many of my family have suffered the loss of loved ones and I will forever hold the precious memories of those now gone in my heart.

On a brighter note, I have enjoyed success in what started out over twenty years ago as family research and finally, the writing of mainly family history.

In October, I was pleasantly surprised when my two entries into the Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Competition were long listed. The theme was COURAGE. Subsequently, “Courage” and “Courageous Carl” will now be published in their annual Anthology.

I sent two short Memoirs to the FAWQ, “The Dressmaker” and “The Flower Sellers”. They published these in two separate editions of the Scope Magazine. The Memoir “Qunu Falls” was published in the December issue of The Grapevine.

 

The publication of HARRY, The Legacy of Harry Enstrom, has had excellent reviews. The story of an adventurous fourteen-year-old boy who left his home in Stockholm to enroll as a deck boy on the ship Gallathea. He would bravely roam the deep and dangerous seas of the Antarctic, the Pacific, and Indian Ocean during the whaling era.

As the ship docked in Durban, South Africa, Harry jumped ship and enlisted in the Second Anglo Boer War. Involved in the skirmish which took place at Scheepers Nek on May 20, 1900, he experienced the mayhem and confusion of the orange flashes of Mauser fire and the whizzing and whining of bullets ricocheting all around him as he lay injured. Sadly, wounded in action, he was be taken Prisoner of War but was later released under a Flag of Truce. He would subsequently become the Pioneer of the Enstrom Family in South Africa. What an amazing man.

DEPRIVATION AND ABUSE -Noleen Speaks Out is a hard-hitting and powerful story of abuse written in part by my sister, Noleen. A true story of the abuse she suffered while incarcerated in the Good Shepherd Convents in South Africa.

Noleen tells how she, an eleven-year-old child, was exiled into a life of exclusion, punishment, silenced and fed on a relentless diet of guilt. In her story, she takes the reader through the traumatic court case, the abuse, the barren childhood, her abusive marriage, how she, broken down, was at the mercy of all her abusers.

CONNOR’S DIAMOND, albeit a challenge, was one of the best experiences I have had. I co-authored this fictional novel with Michael Claxton, himself a published author of crime. The story begins when Connor, having served seamlessly endless tours in Afghanistan, was discharged from the SAS on medical grounds.

Traumatized by the brutality of war, he cannot adjust to civilian life in Brisbane, and becomes a drunken, drug addicted brawler. Eventually, having hit rock bottom, he seeks sanctuary at the Clover Sheep Station, the family’s home in North Queensland.

Whilst there, he makes an amazing discovery, which sets him off on an adventure to reclaim the family’s fortune.

Returning to his family roots in South Africa, Connor embarks on a dangerous and action-packed mission spanning two continents. It is a story with many twists and turns which will hold the reader spellbound from the beginning.

 

I look forward to the year 2022 with some trepidation. I have so much planned, but with the spiraling case numbers of the Covid virus, it is a matter of taking each day one at a time.

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all.

 

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