A Simpler Time

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Subtitled 'a memoir of love, laughter, loss and billycarts' this is a golden book, full of boyhood memories and growing up in a large and happy family. 

Author and former-Wallaby turned broadcaster, FitzSimons, has written 21 books, yet you could suspect this has been the one closest to his heart.

Speaking at a book launch last year at Balmain's Riverview Hotel, FitzSimons said: "It still amazes me what they allowed us to do without their supervision or help while remaining deeply loving parents. Climb trees from the age of four or five? No problems. Drive the tractor from the age of eight or nine? Good luck to you. Haul on the hoist to pull the half-ton bins filled with oranges off the trailer? Yes. Take your bike out on the Pacific Highway and ride to school? Just be careful, but okay . . ."

All this on the rural outskirts of Sydney at the family home, Windhill, in the 1960s. The heritage left to him and his sibling was rich - a legacy of love and laughter.

As the title implies, the joys were salted by loss, but it was counterbalanced by sanctioned risk-taking, aka billycarts - and anything else the youngsters could dream up, it seems!

The book ends - as all good family sagas should - "To be continued".

A Simpler Time, by Peter FitzSimons, Harper Collins Publishers, July 2010, paperback. Now available on Kindle.

 

- Sally Hammond

 

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