In another COVID foray into forgotten drawers and corners, in amongst another pile of papers, a letter written by someone called Joyce tumbled out - a letter written to my Dad. I vaguely remember Mum and Dad having a friend called Joyce but I never met her.
In this letter to Dad Joyce had written, "thank you so much for sharing your son's memoir with us. I would now very much like to meet this 'cultural chameleon' son of yours."
I was a little bamboozled by this. I knew I had written a memoir for a university assignment some decades back, but I have no memory of giving it to my parents to read.
Anyway, I eventually found a copy of it on an old floppy disc. It’s kind of like the story of the first part of my life through the lens of culture. I've put it up on the web and amongst other things it offers a great explanation of why I like to travel so much.
I wrote it in 1991 so an upgrade is needed that includes the last three decades.
My professor at the time was one Jerzy Smolicz, a Polish- born sociologist and educationalist acknowledged widely as a major contributor to cultural understanding in Australia. He really liked this memoir and I’m proud of what he wrote:
Michael – I was pleased to read your long and illuminating essay – and I can see that you are only halfway there! Portugal still to describe; Ireland still to visit. I think that you have described very sensitively the array and variety of cultures that have influenced you – while you continue to maintain a strong Australian identity, but of the kind which permits you to adjust your personal cultural system through interaction. A very perceptive memoir.
The memoir is OVER HERE ;)