Mildura Weekly : Friday August 22 Vol 8 No 42
NEWS 09 FRIDAY, AUGUST 22, 2014 MILDURA WEEKLY.COM.AU Harsh reality ENGLISH-born Author Deb Hunt admits in her recently-released book ‘Love in the Outback’ that she knew virtually nothing about the Royal Flying Doctor Service before travelling across the world to start work with them. But subsequent archival re- search uncovered some extracts from RFDS founder Rev John Flynn’s original magazines that Deb found fascinating. One was from a dog-eared pamphlet, ‘The Bushman’s Com- panion,’ dating back to 1910, in which Flynn gave the following advice in the event of snakebite... .”without delaying a fraction of a second, in the case of a leg or arm, put a twitch on upper arm or thigh...if finger, put a twitch on joint. Don’t chop it off. “If bite is from a poison- ous snake, stab with a knife all around bite. Quarter of an inch will be deep enough. Suck for dear life. Do not swallow any blood.” • Continued Page 12 Book review, by ALAN ERSKINE LIKE most children, Deb Hunt con- tinually lost herself in a world of fairy-tale books while growing up in the typically-English country vil- lage with the unusual name Framley Coddringham. She grew up to believe the world was a magical place, full of Knights in shining armour, damsels in dis- tress, beautiful Princesses - and handsome Princes ready to ride to the rescue. But reality for this shy young girl, especially through her teen years, was vastly different. She admits that in her close-knit family, she was the odd one out when it came to relationships. She congratulated close family and friends, neighbours, nephews and nieces as they gradually found friendship, love and then marriage, but said there was no passion or ro- mance in her life. No real friendships either, not even with a dog or a cat! As she continued her journey through life, Deb did have many experiences and adventures...she thought she had found love on sev- eral occasions, but was let down time and again. Even the Tarot cards were against her. This was a pattern that contin- ued throughout her growing up years, and well into adulthood un- til, at the age of 49, Deb decided it was time to stop dating. It was just too painful. The men she loved didn’t love her back. When she found herself ‘stalk- ing’ her last boyfriend, who had be- come engaged to another woman, Deb knew it was time for a change. She picked a place on the world map as far removed as she could from her native England...applied for and got a public relations job with the famed Royal Flying Doc- tor Service, working in Sydney and Broken Hill, and moved countries to see if it made a difference. It was a different life all right... heat, dust, flies, droughts and story after story of outback medical mercy missions, but it was in Broken Hill that she was to meet a man like no other - a Royal Flying Doctor Service legend....deeply practical, reason- able, steady, conservative...in other words, her complete opposite! He wanted a relationship. Deb wanted to flee. But as she reflects, when you finally decide to ditch life-long dreams of romance, some might discover, as Deb did, that re- ality is not such a bad place after all. As a child, then a teenager, Deb Hunt was not unlike many girls of her era, burying herself in the pages of books, starting with adventure stories, and later, romantic fiction. The endings were always the same - lovers falling into each other’s arms, and living happily ever af- ter. Her own experience in real life though, was very different. Deb goes into considerable de- tail in the book about her history of disastrous relationships, from an entanglement with a Greek Cypriot musician twice her age who turned out to be married, to series of quick fixes that, in Deb’s own words, “... were as satisfying as instant mashed potato.” • Continued Page 14 Deb Hunt has been a librarian, theatre producer, English teacher, speech therapist, telephonist, event manager, PR executive in England and Australia, an actress and a journalist. She has worked with the ‘Shakespeare in the Park’ production in London, Australian House and Garden magazine in Sydney, and has travelled the globe, living for varying periods in France, Spain, Saudi Arabia, London... and Broken Hill. She now lives in Sydney with her partner and their dog. “I spent most of my adult life looking for ‘Mr Right.’ In the end I gave up, and moved to the other side of the Earth, apparently destined to live the rest of my life as a single woman. But then along came Captain Considerate...” – Deb Hunt This is a love story with a twist. A few twists, in fact. It’s a story that began in a picturesque little village in England several decades ago, moved across the world to country NSW, and more recently to ‘The Big Smoke.’ It’s not your typical ‘boy meets girl’ story...this is more a gripping ‘where have you been all my life?’ tale...told warts and all in a book that only recently hit the shelves. As the former Broken Hill-based author states, it’s all about... Love in the Outback Outback Outback • RFDS CONNECTION: If it hadn’t been for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, author Deb Hunt would never have met the man she calls ‘Captain Considerate,’ RFDS legend Clyde Thomson. That’s Deb again, BOTTOM, soon after her arrival in Broken Hill. 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