Jan Martin - A Voice from the Past
(bio, also published as an essay)
I was a friend of Beryl's at Telopea Park High School, Canberra, eons ago in the mid-1960s. Miraculously caught up again via Facebook, very different paths travelled and half a world apart, but with shared school day memories of us in blue blazers and red waratahs [the floral emblem of New South Wales, although Canberra is in the Australian Capital Territory] that I value greatly. I have dabbled a bit in creative writing in the past and have the few odd writings in the drawer. Have been, variously, closet poet and unpublished short story writer in the 1990s, horse-rider and Riding for the Disabled coach, urban fox ecologist, Mother, Grandmother, fiddle player and bike rider and have lived in Canberra, London, and for a short while in Ireland where I went to ride the famous Irish horses and fell in love with the Traditional Music and culture of Ireland. Currently I'm a burnt out middle-school/special-school teacher and beginner photographer/audio-visual maker in Alice Springs, Central Australia. I count myself as a "Starving Artist" at the Craft Council across the street on Sunday evenings and have a stall in The Gap Bush Markets once a fortnight selling photos and fridge magnets of lizards I have encountered in my travels. Love the panoramic semi-desert/desert landscapes around here and the wildlife I encounter in them. Also love driving and the expected and unexpected photographic opportunities that present along the way. Particularly love encountering Wedge-tailed Eagles. Although I see them quite often soaring above the ranges or perched in trees near the roadside, I have yet to capture their wildness sufficiently on camera to do them justice. I love the idea of The Writers' Drawer. I have bookmarked it and intend to contribute and comment from time to time when you'll have me. Thank you Beryl.
Tiny juvenile Black-headed Monitor (Varanus tristis tristis) on rocks beside the carpark at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station
All photos taken by Jan Martin