The Rambling Rose
Hoping you can follow along with my big adventure…
At the age of 57 and a bit, I decided to bite the bullet and retire from my job as a casual journalist and sub-editor with The Northern Daily Leader newspaper in Tamworth. Iâ€™d been walking in and out of that old building on and off for more than 30 years.
Life is far too short to do something youâ€™re not entirely happy doing â€“ and, although I love writing, I wasnâ€™t happy to stay on as the paper transcended into News Now â€“ a new form of publishing and presentation being rolled out to all Fairfax publications.
At the age of 29 (29 years ago), I was employed by Ann Newling at The Leader as a casual journalist. Iâ€™d had no writing experience, apart from being subliminally taught the ropes by the most wonderful mentor you could imagine, my late husband Jazzer Smith.
Jazzer, a Tasmanian native, wrote The Book of Australian Country Music in 1983, and I was fortunate to be able to assist him with the physical input of those stories and profiles.
He was a wonderful man, a gifted wordsmith, an enthusiastic drummer and vocalist, and the love of my life.
Iâ€™ve always enjoyed finding a good yarn and in 30-odd years of writing for The Leader, I met some incredible people with the best stories.
It got me thinking that if there were that many people around the Tamworth district with fabulous stories to tell â€“ what if I broadened my search area and went much further afield?
So, after voicing the idea to someone I was interviewing in late April, that I could rent out my house, buy a motorhome and drive off into the sunset, thatâ€™s just what Iâ€™ve done.
And itâ€™s been pretty eventful so far. Every day brings a new adventure or challenge. And Iâ€™m up for it. Hope youâ€™ll join me on this ramble around the country.
P.S. Who knows… perhaps I’ll get to meet you on my travels… if you see me, say hello!