The Welsh hillside was quite peaceful when I was born. The only loud noises were the fog-horns at night in the Bristol Channel. There my grandfather, Captain James, had steered the Pilot Boat, 'The Trusty' handling the coal exports from Swansea Docks. The place was bombed to pieces during the War II and now it is pleasant walks and housing.
I like to feel my life motto is 'Trusting God' and being found trustworthy. I think He's holding me here a few more years to fulfil this desire.
I've had the exciting experience of tracing my James' ancestry back to the early 1800's. My brother and I are still looking for the Welsh poet, William James, who wrote only in the vernacular. His work we found at the University of Western Australia but (shame) I don't understand my own language. Perhaps I shall meet a true(?) Welsh person soon.
Stuart and I celebrate our Golden Wedding soon. He has been in the Christian ministry since the day we met. We have both had a life full of interest. Some very bad experiences, some very good, in fact some quite unusual - all waiting to be written up.
How it Began
Fifteen years ago I went to the Scilly Isles, off the coast of Cornwall. They had it all: shipwrecks, figure heads of ships, smugglers, long boat races, divers, storms, tides, coastguards, well known light house, uninhabited islands, deserted beaches, migrant birds, exotic plants, day trips, sailing, a life boat, swimming, treasure, contrasting climates, long boat races - let's call it Treasure Island.
It seemed to me there must be something written about it. I thought it would be a good exercise to write a holiday 'brochure' for children visiting the island. It lent itself to a tale of adventure. It wasn't easy but I tried to include every interesting feature of that group of Islands flung out in the Atlantic, guarded by the Bishop Lighthouse. I loved the wilderness side of some of the islands with the same love I have for the Australian wilderness here where ears sing with the silence.
I took the name of one of the long boats - THE GOLDEN EAGLE. I started, in my innocence, at what is now chapter 3. A long time later (and another visit) I changed it all again ...and again. It was suggested that I use the idea of a gang. That in itself made problems. The choice of names seemed important. I had to add that any likeness to any living person was purely coincidental. (There were many colourful characters there.) The names of my grandmother's family, so often quoted to me in stories, would serve well. Maybe they would come into fashion again some day. These 'crew' characters interacted in a conflict that resolves in the end. It's now time for revision.
Another purpose emerged from my writing at that time and that was to illustrate Christian love and the oversight of a Supreme Being. I thought there might be readers who knew the darker side of life or lacked joy, who could be reminded that God was there. I liked to think of myself as starting to build a bridge. This is step one.
Now, I'm not happy with the plot. I'm tightening it up. It needs a new look. I shall still keep the theme of tolerance and caring. The message for today it is O.K. to pray. Keeping in mind that words and phases so familiar to youngsters in a Christian home may have different associations to those without a turn-about-experience.