ALL DONE WITH MIRRORS!

Those who grow up only knowing the sanctuary of their true parents often find it difficult to comprehend why others search frantically for parents and family they have never known. The lucky majority fail to realise the importance of heritage: of knowing our past; of identifying who we really are during our short moment on Earth. For those seeking the truth nature often wins out over nurture (even though the nurture may have been impeccable). Blood it seems is thicker than any other substitutes.

TRAVELS WITH A TALKATIVE LADY

The love of my life (to that point in time) appeared out of a dance club melee, shortly after arrival in Adelaide. I was scouting ahead of Tom on my first real work assignment. Impressed by her miniskirt and sculptured 60s hairdo - which hurricane winds could not have shifted - ours was a remarkably short courtship: just a few months, ending with marriage vows in front of her Catholic altar. I was too young, and she was too naïve, but it worked for a turbulent decade or so.

THE HALF-TIME TURNING POINT

Returning to Australia and to the stark truth that I was in literal terms a bastard, came as a sledgehammer blow to the balls! But what seemed at that moment of realization a debilitating below-the-belt delivery, began to wane in significance, given the detachment of time. There were other things to worry about, which revolved around trying to claw back an earlier existence that I had known, before leaving those sunny antipodean shores for a lengthy stay north of the equator.

UNEARTHING THE TRUTH

In 1984 I returned to Britain. It was more than ten years after receiving the extract of my birth certificate telling me that I was the son of the person whom I thought was my eldest sister, and that my father was unknown. At the time, the news hit me like a thunderbolt; the family I thought I knew was suddenly re-formed into a new shape and I was thrown to the fringe. But slowly the feeling of rejection (and deceit) subsided, and I became more rational, even seeing some aspects in a positive light.

ON TO AFRICA ... AND BACK TO INDIA

It was a strange looking humanoid object, carved from dark wood with stretched neck and bulging eyes: E.T. for the classroom! I never quite worked out its purpose (past or present) but the kids adored it. This was a mysterious item from faraway Africa, unlike anything they had ever seen before. Was it a centuries old voodoo doll? We will never know. But it did lay unused in my attic for several years, presiding over family strife and financial disasters.

A BRUNCLE WITH NINE LIVES!

The dust was still coming back to earth as we scrambled from the wreckage. There was a discord of voices in panic. People lurched from the mangled, still-smoking mess of a car and hugged each other, thanking The Almighty and whoever else was in earshot, for the fortunate continuation of their lives. I had struggled in an upside-down fashion to release myself from the seatbelt, then crawled through the shattered glass window, to safety. Bleeding and in shock, I was otherwise okay.
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