Life, Luck and Liaisons

by John Burgess



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 11/18/2020

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 372
ISBN : 9781664101210
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 372
ISBN : 9781664101227
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 372
ISBN : 9781664101203

About the Book

The fifties in New Zealand were glory days. It was a carefree time for children, whose parents were finally happy that the war was over. Everyone worked together to rebuild their lives and looked to the future. I helped my father when I could, spraying the orchards, harvesting, making hay and I attended a country school and mixed with local Maori families. Aged eleven I went to Boarding School in Auckland. It was a dramatic change and, along with my regular studies, I learnt to be independent and to think for myself. Upon leaving school, my parents had tertiary education in mind for me; I had in mind joining the workforce. My parents conceded and I left school with the intention to go farming. I worked on differing types of farms in New Zealand, followed by a stint in Australia, working on broadacre farming techniques. When I was sufficiently qualified, I began work with my father on the family farm in the Waikato region. After a period on the farm, I found that I was unable to work amicably with my father and I took my leave. For two years I crewed on two different yachts in the Pacific and Indonesian waters. This was a period of adventure and personal development which has provided many of the anecdotes I have related here. When I returned to the family farm, it was obvious that my father and I still could not work together. I left the farm for good and headed to the city to seek whatever came my way. I worked at several casual jobs until I could afford to travel and I flew to London with the promise of a job there. A new beginning, another book.

About the Author

John Burgess is but one of many who have borne that name, however names do not define who we really are and, at the age of eighty, he has looked back on his childhood growing up in New Zealand at the conclusion of WW2. It was a period when post war euphoria gave rise to an era of re-building and optimism. After he left school he worked in livestock management and, later, on a cropping farm in New Zealand's Southland, often in below freezing temperatures. During the long winter nights, before the advent of television and FM radio, he had plenty of idle time and he decided to enroll in a year-long correspondence course with the London School of Journalism. He presented his first freelance effort to the editor of the New Zealand Herald's supplementary newspaper, The Weekly News and was encouraged to submit a weekly article based on his rural experiences in both New Zealand and Australia. When he left New Zealand to join a yacht for a life of adventure, the editor asked him to continue to submit regular weekly farming articles, as well as writing about his travel experiences. Along the way he wrote detailed letters to his parents - that boarding school training never quite deserted him. His mother saved those letters and it was the re-reading of those, as well as some of the newspaper articles written during the same period, that inspired him to set down this narrative of his early life.