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Friday, 3 January 2014

Rodney Dearing has been Under the House

Recently I helped arrange a 50th anniversary of NZ graduates from the Royal Military College Sandhurst. The celebration came about by a chance meeting with a fellow graduate and a realization that a whole 50 years had sped by since what was, in effect, our university days. That realization led me to rummage through the innumerable boxes of family memorabilia stored under the house to see if I had kept anything remotely associated with those halcyon Sandhurst times.

There were boxes and boxes to go through, Old clothes and shoes, books, school reports of my children from their primary school years, technical manuals, old cracked vases, computer bits and pieces, old paintings ( by my father who fancied himself as a modern day Turner), hats and old costume jewellery. A cornucopia of everything useless, time expired and discarded. Except for one thing – memories. Every item had a story attached to it. Little snippets of emotion which offered tiny glimpses on times past. Photographs, faded and with crumpled corners, of people and places long forgotten.
I began to understand why my children were always at me to write an autobiography. Those boxes of paraphernalia under the house meant absolutely nothing to them. Only I had the key to making sense of why each item had been kept. Only I knew the identities of those whose faces stared out from the photos.
But writing an autobiography would require time and energy. I’d have to rearrange my current priorities and do months of research to produce a half decent product. In fact to make the story of my life something that people might enjoy reading, might require the injection of a tiny bit of fiction to ‘spice it up’. In fact quite a bit of fiction! But then the original purpose would not have been achieved.
All things considered I think I’ll just leave everything undisturbed and ... under the house.
Rodney Dearing
Author of 'Brilliant Mr Badger' and 'Cadet Willie McBride' stories.

And from the Officer in Charge - a very Happy New year to all our followers. Make 2014 a great year for yourself!

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