Music writer, bookseller and history buff Robert Brokenmouth paints a picture of the man and the circumstance behind the classic war novel, 101 Nights by Ray Ollis.
The night [was] whirling about them, tossing them easily on its powerful way… Their throttles were open now, straining against the storm. Hyde checked his petrol, checked his watch, and cast a troubled glance over his shoulder looking for the dawn. If this weather strengthened, the day might find them still over Europe. (101 Nights)
101 Nights is, as far as I can tell, the first book, fiction or otherwise, to accurately address most of the issues connected with the bombing of Germany during WWII, issues which became more distorted for decades after the end of the war. 101 Nights tells the story of Ray Ollis’s squadron, 101, and its operations over the skies of Occupied Europe, by night and by day.
In our September newsletter, we ran a giveaway for Ivor Hele and asked entrants to tell us about their favourite holiday destination. We just had to share this amazing response sprinkled with historic family photos from our prize winner, Meg.
A place where I have spent many wonderful holidays is Myponga Beach on the Fleurieu Peninsula. It’s a beautiful blend of rural ‘Southern Mount Lofty’ landscapes along with a crescent bay which can be so calm and benign at times, yet thrilling in its energy when the winds and tides change. As a child I walked to the nearby farm to buy milk, cream and eggs. We were “in another world” yet able to look across the sea to the twinkling lights of Aldinga – now much more extended – and the peaks of Mount Lofty. How privileged we were!
There is a long family history from my great grandparents’ time down there; many photographs; and it is the place where I first gained a childhood awareness of the aboriginal culture – artefacts having been found in the sandhills which were once a burial ground.
One of the coolest things about the Wakefield community is that we get to see the latest that our bright and busy authors are producing – and then we can share it with you! This time we have new work from Geoff Goodfellow, who is in fine form this early (drizzly) spring, with a new poem musing on fashion trends in his beloved Semaphore.
Just a little something to get you through your Monday. Enjoy!
For more of Geoff Goodfellow’s musings on the wonder of Semaphore, you can purchase his selected poems here.