From Bass Strait and a boozy BBQ farewell with my old old crew in Van Diemen’s Land to Torres Strait, my life has gone from one polar opposite to another, from the deep south, or the arts end of the world (but I’m no MONA) to the top of the top end, as far north as you can go. The degrees of separation are about 20 (Celsius), nice to pack away my thermals and break out my board shorts – permanently.
The place were nobody worries about the sharks (because the crocs eat them all) and nobody can spell beer (four X’s will do).
Prior to the Strait, and in between writing freelance for magazines, journals, universities and whatever else I could pitch my copy to, I was also scratching out an existence as a self-proclaimed tradesman (or blagger that would give anything a go). I can’t complain, it kept me at the level of poverty I had grown accustomed to.
Then one Monday morning I saw a job online for an editor of a newspaper. It said they wanted someone with 3-4 years newspaper editing experience – I had none. So I wrote an unconventional job letter, broke all the rules. I opened with. “to be frank, I would chew my right arm off for this job” (I’m left handed).
Two days later my ole faithful shitter died, a 1987 Holden Shuttle van, known as ‘off Centre’ (it had previously been the Coffee shop, Centrepoint, but most of the other letters had eroded away, leaving only its title.) This had been my tradie chariot, but with a blown head gasket and only the grime of three years reglect holding it together I could not afford another.
Two days after that I had a phone call to say I had the job. Serendipity or just bloody lucky…
A fortnight later I was on the job.