In the early nineties I did what so many Australian’s do in this gorgeous country. I left.
My best friend, an avid writer, travelled with me. She was always writing and her vibrant, interesting stories fascinated me.
It turned out, her passion for writing was contagious.
Email and internet cafes were still a few years away. In Europe and the Middle East, calling home was shoving coin after coin into a payphone and talking really fast or reversing charges. Either way – neither one was a quality catch up with family back home.
So we wrote down our adventures in tiny writing on postcards and aerograms and sent them home.
I recall one time in a McDonalds somewhere in Germany. There were paper place mats and on the underside was a generous expanse of white. Sipping our thick shakes, we filled every white inch with vivid descriptions of places we’d been to, the characters we met and experiences we had.
There was always so much to write about. Always so much I wanted to write about.
Settling in London, day to day life took over and fortnightly calls home took over from the letter writing. I thought the passion for writing, my best friend had inspired in me, was gone.
One Monday morning waiting for the tube to work, I had a thought. More of a ‘what if?’ About a London nightclub, two murders, six suspects, no motive (see May 2016 blog: An idea germinates). It was a ‘novel sized’ writing idea.
It’s been nearly twenty years since I left London. My best friend stayed. I moved to Sydney and writing became a big part of my life. It became something I just had to do. My happy place.
Recently, ten years since I’d last seen her, my best friend came to visit. I found myself in the very unlikely position of inspiring her.
A few days after she returned to London she sent me a picture. It was taken in a small café she was sitting in – to begin writing again.