In the neighbourhood that we spent most of our youth in, there was a definite shortage of girls my age. Fortunately for me, my brother, Tom, always made the time to teach me the important things in life according to his own experience. These consisted of, riding a bike, kicking a football and bowling over-arm in cricket. I will never forget how patient and skilful he was at passing these abilities onto me, and how flattered I felt that “he”, was prepared to gift his time to me so unconditionally.

For me, this meant I could be a useful member of the “Blackstreet” cricket and football games which were served daily after school. I loved the look of shock on the neighbourhood boys’ faces’ when I managed to knock those wickets down with a carefully aimed bowl (or hit the rubbish bin as the case was back then). These were carefree and innocent times, and when I reflect on these memories, I see a quiet street at the bottom a of a hill, brought to life by well the organised games we played together, and can almost feel the sweet summer breeze on my face and the happiness in my heart.

Tom did well in school. English and Literature were always his strengths as he had immense talent with words – both spoken and written. He had a confidence that I quietly envied and it was often highlighted by his affable banter and body language around his school mates. In High School, I was still welcomed to participate in his games with or without his mates.  Whether it was the backstreet sports we continued to play or the many games of “500” we occupied ourselves with until the early hours of weekend mornings. Jokes and pranks were high on our list of entertainment.

Tom studied literature, Japanese and Spanish at Monash University and later spent his “gap years” mostly in Japan honing his language skills whilst working as a golf caddy and inhaling the beauty of those perfectly tended golf Oasis’ ; all the while writing his beautiful poetry.

Tom has had an eclectic career and now works in dispute resolution. He pursues his true passion of writing poetry and has recently written his own memoirs. He expresses himself with a combination of the beautiful Haiku that he frequently pens and his obvious literary talent. His story reflects the time he spent in Japan; which is delicately interspersed with Haiku, love, humour and his sensitive reflections on our family.