Posted by: jkirkby8712 | February 13, 2012

Thursday, 9 February 2012 – a note about Bryce Courtney

An early morning session at the gymnasium today, which I think I enjoyed.  Oddly enough, later in the day, during an early afternoon visit to the radio station, we suffered a minor dizzy spell which I put down to trying to walk up the hill from the car-park, a little quicker than I   perhaps should have! Feeling a little light headed for the rest of the day, and not in a particularly talkative mood by the time I got to tonight’s General Meeting/Community consultation session for the radio.  That was actually quite a disappointing meeting, with low numbers of members turning up, and no-one from the community to whom the meeting had been especially addressed. These meetings are generated to allow the listening public the opportunity to come and voice their concerns and/or ideas about programming on the station – we are obliged by the industry regulators to undertake this process and obtain community involvement. Well the station has met all of the requirements in terms of  involvement, publicity, etc, and can do little else, other than drag people from their homes and make them participate!! More disappointing, from my viewpoint was the poor attendance of members, and as is probably common to many organisations, it is the members who complain the most about the organisation, who don’t turn up to events such as this and/or participate in  other activities and fund raisers. Oh well, the old story!!!  Not a new phenomenon  to 3NRG!

An interesting documentary on the ABC tonight [which I watched after returning from the radio meeting] about the author, Bryce Courtney, and his family life, his writings, and effect of the death of his son from Aids and the traumatic book which he would write about that time in his life [April Fool’s Day] on the ‘destruction’ of his family. I read that book in July 1994, and commented afterwards that it was ‘A real eye-opener. A very sad story, which offers much in terms of educating and learning about the reality of, and suffering caused by AIDS’.  Bryce Courtney has been having a book published just before Christmas for years now – last year, I noticed it didn’t happen, and tonight’s program explained why. A series of illness and medical treatments during 2011 for the 78 year old author, meant he fell behind his deadline, and eventually because of the way in which that was obviously distressing him, his wife rang the publishers and told them the next book would not be finished in time! Hopefully, we might see it’s delayed arrival  within the next month or so.  Bryce Courtney has usually being my ‘January’ reading!  The ABC program is called ‘Family Confidentials’ and takes an intimte look into the lives of some of Australia’s high profile families and reveals the dramatic private events that have marked their extraordinary public journeys. The following was the synopsis of tonight’s show, as submitted by the ABC.

‘”He’s a great storyteller. If truth is a problem there, well whose truth?” Celeste Coucke, Bryce’s daughter-in-law.  For the past twenty years, Bryce Courtenay has reigned supreme as Australia’s bestselling novelist. It’s said that every home has at least one of his books on the shelf; and every year, he writes a novel for Christmas that generates ten million dollars for the Australian publishing industry.  This is the story of a man conditioned from childhood to win, and who discovered himself in his imagination. But the journey has come at a cost.
For Bryce, a good story always comes first. His work takes precedence over everything. It means there is little time to spare for his family – and even his new bride sees little of him when he’s working. And, when he wrote about his own family’s tragedy, everyone suffered the consequences.  Nothing has stopped him – until now. In 2011, fate dealt Bryce a cruel blow. Ill health has cost him a deadline. For the first time in twenty years, there will be no Bryce Courtenay blockbuster in the bookshops for Christmas, and a man for whom stories are life, faces an uncertain future. This episode of Family Confidential exposes the private side of a man for whom the story means everything’..

Also taped and watched late tonight, was the 3rd episode of ‘The Straits’, rather a dramatic and again, violent episode, with two of the principal characters meeting a violent death.   Vlad, a hired killer, sets out for Cairns with a high-powered rifle. Harry [the patriarch family father] is his target, but who has hired Vlad?  Meanwhile, having wrestled with the discovery of Paddy’s fraudulent operations [as Harry’s accountant], Sissy finally tells Harry [her father] what she has learnt. Harry is deeply upset by the news. He takes Paddy on their weekly fishing expedition to confront him [and get rid of him]. When Sissy learns what has happened on the boat, she has an almighty fight with her father.  Meanwhile, third son Gary who has been bitten by a snake on Zey, and believes he is going to die, makes a confession to his father [he’d slept with the wife of Harry’s  2nd son].  Harry threatens death to the participant, the wife, if she doesn’t leave the family immediately. Before he has time to follow up on this however, Vlad makes his move!!

Earlier this afternoon, the harness racing horse in which Adam has a part ownership of – Dimensions – was racing over at Melton!  Adam never gives me much notice of when it is running, as I would like to try and go and watch it on one occasion. Melton would have been perfect! Anyway, I put a couple of dollars each way on the horse, just in case it got up into the placings  – I didn’t actually find out where it eventually finished in the field except that it was not in the first three places.  I lost my few dollars!!  Will ask Adam the outcome next time we talk.


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