Adjust your eyes. This is the crazy cobble pattern of Rossio Square in Lisbon – a major coffee house meeting place for many decades. It lies near the wide Tagus River at the foot of this leafy avenue – a relic of the centuries-long colonial era, when sailing ships thronged the river estuary bringing wealth from Brazil, Angola, Mozambique and as far as Macau and Timor. Even today, Portuguese is the official language of ten countries, particularly Brazil. An Angolan artist has been commissioned, on a popular vote, to construct a slavery memorial in 2020, alongside a museum addressing the effects of those years – laying out the the truth and helping the healing!
Bangalow, NSW – a name derived from Aboriginal Bundjalung language for a low hill or the palm tree, common in the subtropical forests where Widjabul people lived for thousands of years. Today, the whole community is developing an educational parkland around an old swimming hole on Byron Creek where a concrete pool was built in 1924. It is a peaceful spot, still with tall trees, bubbling creek and memories of countless generations – respect for the ghosts of the past.
Little Luxembourg – 2nd richest in the world by GDP per capita – cherishes its history. Medieval fortress walls look over its picturesque river, gardens and squares while modern skyscrapers rise in the distance over a modern economic leader – foundation member of NATO, initiator of a united Europe. US General Patton, who led the repulse of the WW2 Battle of the Bulge, is buried here along with many hundreds of his soldiers. A taste of so much in such a small area that ‘punches well above its weight’.
Today, Strasbourg in France is the seat of the European Parliament. This is the old town – picturesque, quaint – a memory developed over generations for us to reflect upon. What tales could it tell? All history is told in stories – seen through lenses of the tellers; some written, some by word of mouth, some enshrined in tradition by victors, some whispered within communities by the oppressed – but all passed down with an importance to be remembered, understood, valued and preserved. It is about RESPECT and being prepared to listen critically and to ‘walk in the shoes’ of others.
Pristine Lennox Head. No high rise – just seven miles of sandy beach between headlands, pandanus trees, happy surfers, dolphins riding rolling waves, whales playfully breaching, as well as cormorants and gulls dive-bombing shoals of tiny fish behind the breakers. For how long?
Could we all be content with sufficiency and let natural ecosystems function without strain? Read Chapter 20 of ‘The Most Avoided Questions’ on this website – Should the next generation have life better than we have had?
Sitting in an idyllic Canberra scene, the writer might find it difficult to accept that people actually operate behind a veil of secrecy to do us harm. ‘The Chess Board’, ‘Prime Minister by Accident’, ‘The Guanaco Affair’ and ‘Catching Legends’ each have shades of the world of spies. Read the sample chapters.
Brisbane. This is one of the many urban ecosystems that help this city breathe and provide its people with the tranquility of nature. But not all cities and countries have that benefit. ‘The Most Avoided Questions’ uses Julius Sumner Miller’s famous line, Why is it so? to address many of the moral questions of current world ‘development’. Read it in eBook.
In these difficult Covid-19 times, read Chapter 1 of the thrilling mystery, ‘The Guanaco Affair’. Set primarily in Queensland, it has historic links back into the dangers of Argentina and Vietnam. Available in eBook formats, enjoy the romance and danger, safe in the knowledge that the story will end well. www.jimreaywriter.net
Our post Covid-19 world is unlikely to be the same as before. Read the sample of ‘Prime Minister by Accident’ here. It is an intriguing mystery set in Brisbane and Canberra that shows a different, perhaps better, way forward. Follow 21-year-old Justin Kipps as he rides a social media wave to change the way government works. ‘Prime Minister by Accident’