From: Helen Wire

Sent: Tuesday, 4 December 2012 2:45 AM
Subject: Ripples at the end of an idyl

Hello dearest Tony

Sad to say we’re about to get a two-month notice to quit Brown’s Hill Court.
New landlord will be flexible about end date but essentially we have to pack
up and go, so house can be put on the market in the spring, empty. Only been
valued at 2 1/2 million so won’t even pay the c.10 million death duties owing
on whole estate. Grasping government pressures Inland Revenue to claw in cash,
IR pressures decent landowner, landowner forced to turf out 4+ households,
Estate agents gleeful.  A few years ago the IR would have been more flexible.
Now, the philistines rule. Hideous.
70th birthday lunch at Tessa’s next Sunday, if you’re around!
Was going to ring, but mornings escape me.
Hope all’s well in Kuching.
Much love


On 04/12/2012 01:44, “Tony Ward”  wrote:

Sadness. Sadness.Sadness.
The ripples they reach here. Now a new Chapter and a time unpacking Brownshill in memory.

You got to seven oh before me Dearest Helen. Maybe with the  same realisation that is forming for me, that life just can’t go on the way it has been. There are different things that need to be done before the light goes out.When you have the time and inclination we need to compare notes.

What are you going to do ?

I’m back to Melbourne in two weeks to think through loyalties
and contractual obligations. And continue to wonder about love.
My contract has me back here to teach in 2013.
The possibility of returning to Swinburne to live/work in Melbourne in 2014.
The idea that I can strip my assets and return here to buy a house
and live on a remittance is also on the table.
Despite work and some  distractions I envy you a Martin.
Someone in my life to fill the hole where desperation breeds.

I hope you survive what’s happening to your idyl Helen.
You’re not alone. We’ll talk again and
enjoy the moment and savour memories
of Brownshill like the fine meal it was.



Thank you dear Tony.
What am I going to do. Feelers are out for a new paradise, but not yet the final one!
For now, I am up before dawn to work, fulfilling another kind of deadline – a charming booklet for the RA about Manet. If only I could find the right glasses without waking Albert…
I will speak or write to you soon.
Much love


December 8

 Dearest Helen.

I’m as drunk as I ever get in paradise. (no need usually ). It’s been a fun Sathuday during which I buy things and sell myself. The thoughts I’m going to put to you are possibly a good laugh. (don’t laugh)


They are based in a sincere wish on my part to make what’s going to happen/happening  to you  over the next few months a bit more a personal  adventure for you than might otherwise be the case. Here’s my thoughts. Just thoughts. An invitation to discuss.

I’m here most certainly for the next six months. Most likely the year 2013. Probably for the rest of my life. We’ll see. I am drunk and I do have income.

Things may change but not till the middle of or end of 2013. I have a house and will get a new one if this one isn’t available.I may  even buy one. Anyhow. Plenty of  room. And I have a maid. And a driver.And Kuching is a beautiful place in an increasingly ugly world. An assumption (several)-You have  a complex and  generally perfect commitment to your life. With all your children? With your work? With Martin?

I don’t think Heloise does have the same commitment except of course to Albert .What’s happening for her is something maybe I can help with . For full board in Kuching do you think she would consider 6 months or a year as a good break in her life on which to build the next  stage. For her and Albert.

Am I being patronising? I think I could make a damn good uncle. I think Kuching would be a damn good experience for both of them. I think I would love it.Save me from myself. Heloise and Albert living and creating in my home would be a good reason for me to call Kuching my home. And to not  follow my hormones upstream. I’m seventy!

I am in need of someone  to come home to if the next few years are going  to be what I want them to be. My own family tolerates my bohemia but don’t  really want to share in  it.The booze is wearing  off. I better send this before I think twice. You can think about it and  talk to me. Heloise can come into the conversation anytime you think it suitable.  We are inarguably  family after all Helen .

If I haven’t told you recently  – I love you all very much


December 8

What a good idea!
We’ll see what Heloise thinks.
Just off to London
Much love to you, as ever.




My Father Jeff


Darling Margery Anne
Heart Office has received a
pair of emails from my Cousin
MaryEllen Graydon very recently.
One is a link to sixty photos of my
father from very young through to his
40s.Most of which I had never seen. The
other link is to images of objects and books
that were his. She has them for me. The photo
album’s with Mary Ellen’s younger brother in WA.
I’ll be seeing  Mary Ellen for the  first time since her
her mother, Blossom my father’s big sister, died just
before I was there last C’mas. A year after I had first met
with her fifty plus years since the last time. It would be her
album I think. My life could go on without knowing anymore
and caring more about my father. I can’t imagine my life will
be magically enhanced by more deeper reflection on this man.
Already I’m ten years older than he was when he died. What’s
in it for me? Perhaps to get over my disappointment ~ finally ?
Maybe I will discover more out about myself as a son-a father?
Reason enough I guess Annie dearest; the best of reasons for
doing these things that maybe we only see as a duty.
To know yourself as well as you can … I hope
you are managing my dearest girl.
Better than managing
I hope ?






Sathuday In Kuching December 9 2012.



Thank you for all of you Annie.
I paid the old sucker who asked you to twirl…
… but  wish I’d been there to see it.

Your growing together with your mother is going to save you
for yourself I think – from self doubt and blame.
You’re so strong to have made the time for you both, enabling these good things to happen.
I feel an intruder.  Not unwelcome. But an intruder none the less.
An un-entitled user of a rare and finite resource that you hold a lease on.


I’m well. All is well with me.
Getting accustomed to being the supportive companion in your Shadowlands
is harder than I want it to be – please try to be patient with me.
But I am burning brightest as Night closes in Mrs Boon.
Maybe a little out of control?

A hermit’s life sucks.
I’m still uncertain about what to do with myself .
Waiting to be told you love me has slowed me down.
To be told that I can hold you must wait.

I’m a wise old man who doesn’t mistake his good
health for immortality. A curious and a reflective mind for youth.
I am in love with love and want to stay this way forever.
But how long is forever when you’re seventy …

I’m getting used to the idea of going back out into
the world in 10 days.
Packing my precious away out of sight today.
Piling the few items that will make my 20k of luggage.
Packing the bride price of a Princess away in
a metal trunk with padlocks.

A year ago I only had a suitcase and some
clothes – a few books and my computer.
Now things are accumulating. Stuff and some nonsense.
And you.

A virtual middle class courtship ritual has been enacted this year.

Offerings have been made at the temple of the Moon…

Would Annie Like It has been the filter for thought and action?

I love you dear brave girl.
I’m devastated when I distress you.





Broke My Glasses

It’s Not The End  Of  The World

Photo on 2012-12-12 at 17.18 #3

New Glasses!

Life Goes On.

Photo-on-2012-12-12-at-19 copy

On The 12th Day Before C’mas…

My True Love Spoke With Me




Eleventeen More Reasons To Be In Love.


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