Bruiser in print

I wanted to share with you some snippets from a little article I did for my friends at the downunder magazine this month…


As usual Tara has put together a great little collection of gorgeous images and amazing Aussie characters, and was kind enough to include…


Bruce of Bimbadeen.  AKA Bruiser.  AKA Pagi.  AKA My Dad.

It was an article that was easy and tricky to write at the same time.  I mean, I KNOW the subject through and through.  But writing about one’s own father?  Challenging.  There is such a thing as being TOO close and caring TOO much what the subject thinks.  Especially when he wants to edit his own quotes.  And version of reality. And list of injuries. Heh.


These are some of the images used – you’ll recognise a couple of them…


The tweetie bird bandaid… a choice of dressing that still makes me giggle on that craggy, partial-digit-missing hand…


I cannot tell you how much I adore this photo – a very rare image of my grandfather and his three children.  That is Dad on the left, standing so straight and tall…


This is my grandmother, who was the most remarkable woman.  Her strength and determination is evident in my father, and are traits also handed on to most of her female descendents.  Especially my sister Jeanie.  And my daughter too.  I see a tiny bit of my Dash in the image of the three-year-old on the trike, don’t you?

I explored some of Dad’s history in the downunder article – of how his life was shaped by a man who would pass away just days after Dad began his first and only year of secondary school.  The fire in Dad’s belly for the cattle and the land were planted by this enigma (my grandfather) – a man I will never know and whose real character I can only guess at, through the tinted retelling of childhood tales recalled by my father.  He gives enormous credit to his mother though too – family has always been key in Dad’s life.  And even when he drives us all crazy with his bull-at-a-gate approach to things, we do know how much value he places on those of us who share his world.


This photo makes me a little sad – the dog in this photo is Dad’s beloved Bernie.  He had to put him down a couple of days ago – old age and the heat caught up to him after many years of loyal service.  Am pretty sure it just about broke Dad’s heart, but (as any bushie knows) it was the kindest thing to do.  The hardest and kindest.  My ‘invincible’ Dad has been not 100% lately, and we have all been very worried.  To have to say goodbye to an old mate on top of being ill must’ve been extra tough.

As I write this, my parents are boarding a cruise ship. Or as Dad likes to call it: The Feedlot. They will spend Christmas somewhere out to sea – eating, resting, making friends and relaxing (I hope).  They totally deserve it.

We will spend the next few days here tidying up cattle work that still needs to be done (don’t fret Dad – the innoculations are almost all completed!) and then having a couple of days at the coast with Mr Incredible’s family…we are all looking forward to just stopping still for a little.  And swimming. A lot. (The heat and humidity are crazy here at the moment!)  And we will have a belated Christmas with my family – where Dad will no doubt regale us with the best and worst of the food eaten and how much weight he has gained!  (And Mum will roll her eyes and tell us about the most interesting people and the shopping highlights.)

How about you?

Christmassing at home or away?

Are you sharing it with any characters of note?


PS If anyone wants to see the full article on Dad, the downunder magazine is at most good Aussie newsagents – or you can subscribe here.

15 Responses to “Bruiser in print”

  1. It must be the year for farewelling our old, faithful friends. Brought a tear to my eye. It hurts to not have them there everyday to welcome you and be by your side all day. Reminded me of a very teary true story, my Mum and I balled our eyes out through the other night – Hachi…have you seen it? BIG tissue box, but worth the couple hours of crying!

    Loved your story on your Dad, can only imagine how tough that was to write, have had some great feedback. My Dad’s words were, “he’d be a bloke i’d like to sit and have a yarn with…”

    Merry Christmas to you and all the family.

  2. A superb tribute to your family. How exciting to see it written and published. Congrats to you. The Tweety Bird band-aid photo is a winner. Says a lot about the man who would let himself be so patched and photographed. Good natured and tough at the same time.

    Hope you get plenty of time at the beach to breathe and relax. Just bring back some pics for us frozen inlanders to drool over.

  3. A fine tribute to your dad. Well done! Hope they enjoy their much deserved cruise as well.

    We always have our festivities right here at home on Christmas Eve starting with Holiday Bingo. Fun for all ages!!

    Enjoy your time at the beach and a very Merry Christmas to you and yours!
    Kelly´s last blog post ..A Christmas Shell

  4. How wonderful for you all, BB !
    Hope your mum and dad have a great cruise and your Chrissy is blessed with plenty of swimming and cooler weather ;)
    Jayne´s last blog post ..We dug an dug an dug and all we got was this lousy pile of pottery

  5. Oh, what a wonderful story. Congrats and well done! I love that photo of your dad’s hand and that silly bandaid. It’s very sweet. I do feel bad about his dog Bernie passing so recently. I know how much dogs are part of our families. It took months before I stopped thinking my old Rosie was just around the corner.

    Christmas is here in a very, very snowy Montreal with 20+ rellies – roast turkey, my apple walnut stuffing, scalloped potatoes, veg and my mother-in-law’s steamed carrot pudding with hard sauce.
    A Novel Woman´s last blog post ..Spiders are like little pieces of death wrapped in scary

  6. Your dad is exactly the sort of bloke the downunder magazine loves. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. We love your dad and love you too! Have a great christmas!

  7. Is there anyway we can read the article BB? I that Dash on the horse with your dad? I hope he has a marvalous time with your mum on the ship and a very Merry Christmas!!May he get his energy up to go back at ‘er when he arrives back home. Quiet Christmas for us at home. It is the “polar” opposite here in Canada as it is cold cold cold with snow snow snow. They only time you see horses is when they are pulling sleds or wagons behind them.

  8. How awesome! What a great article, i can imagine it was quite hard to write.

    I love the picture of your dad’s hand. I love hard-working hands. And those old photos are very cool. I too hope that they relax and have fun on their cruise and that you have a great time at the beach.

    Quiet Christmas at home. Cold and lots of snow!

  9. First of all, loved the story about your dad. Did he know you were writing it, or did the whole thing take him by surprise? I must say that I’ve got a tough time imagining him on a cruise. Where are they going? Anyhow, it was a nice tribute to him. I imagine that it meant quite a lot to him.

    We’ll have a quiet Christmas at home, with the kids who can make it. And we are not going to go anywhere near a beach although I can look out my window and see plenty of white tops…
    debby´s last blog post ..Data Collection

  10. Lovely post and what a wonderful story to share this time of year. Family is so important.
    Cactus Jack Splash´s last blog post ..Quote for the week-Christmas

  11. What a wonderful article to write! I know your Dad is quite proud of you as a writer, as well as his story.

    What am I doing? Looking out at the snow; although it covers the ground with a couple of inches, it’s nowhere near the piles of last year (27F). I had my birthday and Christmas wrapped together when I made my “big trip” from mid-October to the 2nd week of November, spending 6 days of it with Diane and Henry. Can’t beat that!!!

  12. Goodness, you are becoming quite famous, you. I hope you remember us small people when you are worth bajasquillions :) x
    Rhu´s last blog post ..Chicken skewers with kaffir lime leaves

  13. BB, that is a beautiful tribute to your dad and his parents. Your grandmother must have been an absolutely iron-willed woman. It makes me think of my grand-parents and the hardships that made them what they were, and how that legacy was passed down the generations. I guess that is what you are doing for all of the grandchildren you have yet to meet! :}

    My Christmas will be at my niece’s house. We will have a gaggle of people, turkey and ham and all the fixins Then my son and I will take off for two weeks to visit friends and family in Spain.

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