About the Author
Imagine having a life-changing experience that motivates you
to do something that you have postponed for years, or even decades. David
Thirgood was given an opportunity to work in an Aboriginal school near Uluru in
2009. Living in a place that is immersed in ancient spirits inspired this
budding author with an idea for a book. He has had other career opportunities,
such as working in Saudi Arabia, where the occasional fleeting moment aroused
his creativity, but something wasn’t quite right, perhaps the environment or the
business of work and family. At Uluru, everything came together and he overcame
decades of procrastination and started writing his first book, The Breath of
Uluru. Ask him, and he will tell you that writing is a creative activity
that once experienced, becomes addictive. Living the story and becoming the
characters are part of the experience. David has had three other books published
and is working on book numbers five and six.
If I was your husband, I would love you with every beat
of my heart. I would adore you and worship you. If you were my wife, I would
tell you how much I loved you every day, ten times, a hundred times, a thousand
times. I would tell you that I loved you completely, body mind and soul. I would
bask in your beauty and bathe in your charm and when we were apart, I would
think of you constantly and yearn for the moment that we would be together
again. I would laugh with you, cry with you, care for you and provide for you.
If we were lovers, I would hold you, kiss and caress
you and make love to you. We would travel to exotic places where our love would
grow each passing moment and we would make love together in places that we do
not know exist. We would do what is natural as nature intended and when we
travel to those exotic places, we would seek out nature’s beauty and fortify our
love against whatever may be thrown at us to challenge the love that only we
If we were married, we would have the most delightful
children. They would play with us and learn every tiny piece of the purest
knowledge that we could pass onto them. We would teach them right from wrong and
we would steer them in the right direction. When they grow up, we would be proud
of them, for what they became and for every one of their achievements, large or
small. If they stumbled, we would be there to catch them and if they excelled,
we would be there to honour them.
And when we were old, we would walk along a sandy beach
hand in hand, and joyfully share the beauty that surrounds us and I would soak
up the splendour that is you. If you were my wife, my love for you would be even
stronger than it is now, because every day that passed I would love you a little
That’s what I would do if I was your husband.
Bradley watched the delight on his sister’s face each
time her team scored a goal. Sharon was hiding her disappointment well, having
sprained her ankle in the last practice session before the grand final. She had
the highest scoring rate of all players in the competition and here she was,
sitting on the sidelines watching her team coast to victory without her. To her
credit, she was the youngest player on the team and elected to play for the
under 16’s when she really should have been in the under 15 team. She was
probably almost two years younger than some of the other girls in the
competition. The tantrum that she threw this morning was too much for her mum to
bear and in the end she just threw her hands in the air and screamed, “Please
yourself, Sharon. If you don’t want to go and support your team, then it’s fine
by me. But don’t come crying to me when the coach bawls you out for being such a
spoilt little brat.” At that, she stormed out of the room leaving Sharon and
Bradley staring at her back in stunned disbelief.
“Well, stuff her,” Sharon pouted. “I’m not scared of
him anyway, and besides I’m the best player on the team.”
“You’re the best player that’s not playing,” Bradley
interjected. “And what do you think the other players will think of you if you
don’t turn up.”
“Well, stuff you Bradley, and stuff the team too. I’m
going to play on my iPad,” she said as she sulkily slumped down on the lounge
knocking her iPad onto the hard floorboards. “See what you’ve done,” she cried,
shedding tears for the first time. “You’ve made me break my iPad.”
“It’s not broken Shazza, it’s just the case. Look, see?
Isn’t it time you got a new one? This one’s had it.”
“Yeah, Bradley. As if I can afford it. Where do you
think I’m going to get the money from?”
“I tell you what,” Bradley said slyly. “If you go to
the game, I will buy you a new case. How’s that for a deal?”
“And where are you going to get the money?” Sharon
“Well, Maccas do pay me fifteen bucks an hour. And
besides, I sold last year’s text books on eBay for two hundred bucks the other
“I thought that was going towards this year’s text
“Yeah, it is. But anyway, an iPad cover is only a few
“Thirty-nine,” Sharon added matter of factly.
“Thirty-nine dollars! That’s how much an iPad cover costs.”
“What, a gold plated one?” Bradley felt as if he had
backed himself into a corner.
“No, the beautiful floral pink one I saw the other
Bradley thought for a moment. “OK! The pink one it is.”
“There’s just one more thing.” Sharon was milking her
older brother for as much as she could. As usual.
“You come with me.”
“What? To buy the iPad?”
“No, to the game, stupid.”
Bradley thought about the proposition. ‘It looks as
though I’m in for a late night if I want to finish that engineering assignment
“OK,” he said. “It’s about time I accompanied my little
sister to a game of netball, even if she’s not going to score any goals today.”
“Basketball, silly. It’s basketball. I don’t play
“Oh, yeah! Hey, you know what?” Bradley added
enthusiastically, “I’m glad you decided to go, because the state selections are
on in two weeks and I’m sure that if you didn’t turn up today, your coach would
be very reluctant to put your name forward.”
“Rubbish! He’s just a great big teddy bear and all the
girls are in love with him.”
“You might think that he’s a teddy bear, Shazza, but I
can assure you, nobody gets to be the coach of the Australian men’s team by
being soft. Did you know that the only reason he chose to coach girls’
basketball is because he thinks that they are more of a challenge and he wants
to give girls the same opportunities as boys?”
“Did you just make that up?”
“No Sharon, I didn’t. I saw it on TV,” Bradley said
Sharon pouted. “Oh yeah! As if everything you see on TV
is right. Get real, Bradley.”
“No, it’s true. It was the ABC.”
Sharon laughed shrilly. “Since when did you start
watching the ABC?”
“There are lots of things that you don’t know about me,
“Yeah right. Like, if I was armless and legless I could
count all the girlfriends you have had on my fingers and toes.”
“Ha ha,” Brad scoffed. “When I get my truck licence,
I’m not going to give you a ride.”
“Don’t tell me you’re still on about that?” Sharon gave
him a sideways glance. “I thought you’d be over that by now. What was it? The
Royal Easter show when you were ten.”
“That’s it. If I didn’t do Construction Engineering,
I’d do Automotive Engineering. Tough decision.”
“You’re nuts, Brad. Most kids get over it by the time
they’re fifteen,” Sharon scolded.
“Yeah, but I’m not most kids, am I? Anyway, if I get my
truck licence it means I’m prepared for any situation that requires me to drive
“As if!” Sharon laughed sarcastically.
“Or a mining truck. Do you know that they can carry
seventy tonnes of ore?”
“Sure Brad. Seventy tonnes of Bradley Blackall pipe
“Who’s the girl in the number 22 strip?” Bradley asked
as she ran onto the court to replace another player who had a nasty fall.
“You mean the girl from the other team?” Sharon was
being deliberately evasive but Bradley wasn’t about to play her game and kept
the conversation as straight as he could.
“Yeah, that one there.” He pointed to the girl with
long blonde, braided hair, and striking good looks.
“I dunno,” she replied. “How am I supposed to know?”
“Come on, Shaz. You’ve been playing against these girls
for how many seasons now? You’ve got to know her name.”
“Well, she’s number 22, which means she’s probably the
worst player on the team and it’s little wonder,” Sharon replied nastily.
“What do you mean by that?”
“Well, she’s only about five foot two, isn’t she?”
“Does it mean that she can’t be a good player if she’s
only five foot..?”
“What do you think, smarty pants? Look at the rest of
us. The shortest girl on our team is 190 centimetres and our weakest player is
better than their best.”
“So,” Bradley decided to have a dig at his sister.
“You’re the shortest one then?”
“No?” His sister shot him a sharp look.
“But you’re 190 centimetres.”
“I’m 191, thank you very much. Anyway, who are you to
talk, little man. You’re only 179 centimetres tall.”
“One hundred and seventy-nine and a half,” Bradley
struggled to contain his smile.
“Idiot!” Sharon bumped Bradley with her shoulder and
laughed. “Anyway, her name’s Jenn. Jennifer, I suppose.”
“Did you see that? She just scored a basket.”
“Goal, silly. It might be called basketball, but it’s
goals – not baskets… And only just in time. There goes the whistle and we won by
twenty points. What do you think of Jennifer now?”
“All I can say is that if it wasn’t for her you would
have won by twenty-two points. And I am sure that she is taller than five foot
“OK then, she’s a hundred and fifty-seven and a half
“That’s five foot two, isn’t it Shaz? You already knew
that and you set me up, you little smart Alec. I’ll bet you she’s at least a
hundred and sixty centimetres.”
“She probably is. In her high heels.”
“Yeah, right,” Bradley laughed.
“I’ve got to go down to be with the team,” Sharon
boasted as she hobbled over the rows of seats towards the team of girls huddling
together ready for a victory chant.
“What did the coach say to you?” Bradley was driving
his mum’s car home from the game. Sharon, in spite of her throbbing ankle, was
looking very pleased with herself and was starting to annoy her brother with her
constant inane chatter.
“His exact words?” she asked.
“Damn, Shazza. Can’t you just give a straight
answer?” Bradley was showing annoyance and impatience after waiting by himself
in the empty stadium while Sharon squealed, blabbered and generally carried on
with her teammates. “Yes, his exact words, if you like.”
Sharon gave him a dark look, feeling hurt by her
brother’s outburst. “Well, if you would really like to know, he said that I was
a shoe in for the state team.”
“Sorry,” Bradley apologised, feeling genuine remorse.
“I suppose I should congratulate you then – in advance I mean.”
“I suppose.” Sharon was still feeling miffed. “Do you
ever think about Dad?” she asked as if nothing had happened.
Bradley looked away from the road and stared at his
sister for a short second. He was used to Sharon’s rapid mood changes, but he
wasn’t prepared for this. “Well … yes. Why do you ask?”
“It’s just … ummm! You know! It’s Brian.”
“Brian, your coach?” Bradley asked confused. “What do
“Well. He treats us all like we were his own… you know…
his own family. I guess I have a crush on him.”
“Crush on him? Geez Shaz, he’s forty-five. How can you
have a crush on him?”
“What makes you think he’s forty-five?”