Ailsa wants to warm up by looking at photos of hot things: http://wheresmybackpack.com/2012/11/30/travel-theme-hot/ Here in Canberra the temperatures have been in the high 30s lately, but rather than shooting this summery city for the photo challenge, I’ll draw on my father’s pictorial resources from Egypt. A photo of a kind of swimming competition in the… Continue reading
Contrast is the theme for this week’s photo challenge, but it made me think also of contrasting experiences. The poems in my father’s poetry book demonstrate strong contrasts between the life he had led at home in Australia and the life he was struggling to endure in North Africa in 1941/42. Here are the first… Continue reading
After reading that Shepheard’s Hotel welcomed British Army Officers but not ordinary troops, I thought of this poem that my father wrote. These are his thoughts after an attempt to indulge in a few drinks in a cabaret. The poem is several pages long; here are three of the verses. My transcriptions appear below the… Continue reading
In the old sketchbooks there are four drawings of reclining women on the phone. They all resemble women from Vargas’s calendars. This one is influenced by Orientalism and is the best of the four.
This drawing is from one of my father’s sketch books. You’ll see that the woman in his heart thought bubble is not my mother (see entry for 7th February). Perhaps she’s the woman who was posing in the art class. Perhaps she’s the generic woman that every soldier thinks about in the desert, standing next… Continue reading
There’s no real sun in my city today. Just clouds. So I searched through my father’s poetry book; here’s the beginning of a poem about the merciless sun that Australians often live under. The poem is attributed to M.A.N., 1941; the illustration is by Ron Bruce.
This is my mother, drawn by my father. Years ago, I took it out of his sketch book and had it framed, and now it sits beside my desk. I often focus on the round buttons and the round brooch on her dress. The sketchbook dates from about 1942/43. This portrait is a very close… Continue reading
The title of this poem couldn’t be simpler: Thoughts. My father was thinking and writing and, it seems, regretting his decision to join the volunteers heading for the Middle East. Here’s the first verse:
Like this week’s photo challenge, the following poem and its miniature illustration also have a peaceful theme. My father was in the Middle East in 1941 thinking about the sun rising in his home country. I give you the first of four stanzas.