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A Simpler Time : A Memoir of Love, Laughter, Loss and Billycarts - Peter FitzSimons

A Simpler Time : A Memoir of Love, Laughter, Loss and Billycarts

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A memoir of love, laughter, loss and billycarts

It still amazes me what they allowed us to do without their supervision or help while remaining deeply loving parents. Climb trees from the age of four or five? No problem. Drive the tractor from the age of eight or nine onwards? Good luck to you. Haul on the hoist to pull the half-ton bins filled with oranges off the trailer? Yes. Take your bike out on the Pacific Highway and ride to school? Just be careful, but okay ...

Their rough reckoning was that if we thought we could do something, we probably could - and if we thought we couldn′t do something, we probably still could, if we applied ourselves.

Peter FitzSimons′s account of growing up on the rural outskirts of Sydney in the 1960s is first and foremost a tribute to family. But it is also a salute to times and generations past, when praise was understated but love unstinting; work was hard and values clear; when people stood by each other in adversity.

Above all, in the FitzSimons home, days were for doing. In this rollicking and often hilarious memoir, Peter describes a childhood of mischief, camaraderie, eccentric characters, drama - and constant love and generosity. The childhood of a simpler time.

About The Author

Peter FitzSimons is a journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald and Sun-Herald. He is the author of nearly twenty books - including Tobruk and biographies of Nancy Wake, Kim Beazley, Nene King, Nick Farr-Jones, Steve Waugh and John Eales - and was Australia’s bestselling non-fiction writer in 2001 and 2004.


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A Simpler Time : A Memoir of Love, Laughter, Loss and Billycarts

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A good read

By Phil

from Kings canyon NT Aust

About Me Everyday Reader

Verified Buyer


  • Easy To Understand
  • Inspirational
  • Relevant
  • Well Written


    Best Uses

    • Older Readers

    Comments about A Simpler Time : A Memoir of Love, Laughter, Loss and Billycarts:

    The best thing about this book is I related to it so well as I grew up in a similar way,in the same era, not that my parents were farmers, however they built their family home and made it what it is from the virgin bush and we watched the local township develop around us

    Comment on this review


    As good as it gets

    By speedread

    from sydney

    About Me Bookworm


    • Deserves Multiple Readings
    • Inspirational
    • Well Written


      Best Uses

      • Gift
      • Older Readers

      Comments about A Simpler Time : A Memoir of Love, Laughter, Loss and Billycarts:

      I couldn't fault this book. Having been disappointed with Mawson, and not a fan of autobiographies, I was blown away by this candid, funny, sad, intuitive, naive youngster. This is the best childhood memoir since Gerald Durrell's My Family And Other Animals, and in my opinion surpasses that in all aspects.

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      Peter FitzSimons

      Peter FitzSimons is one of Australia’s most prominent and successful media and publishing identities.

      His busy professional life involves writing weekly columns for the Sydney Morning Herald and Sun Herald newspapers, appearing on Foxtel's The Back Page television show and, when time permits, authoring best-selling books. A correspondent for London's Daily Telegraph as well, he is also in high demand as a guest speaker and presenter.

      For the past two decades, the much-traveled former Wallaby rugby international, who masters four languages, has interviewed some of the world's most famous figures, including former US President George Bush, Mother Theresa and football great Diego Maradona.

      Writing is his passion. He is the biographer of World Cup winning Wallaby captains Nick Farr-Jones and John Eales, former Federal Opposition Leader Kim Beazley, war heroine Nancy Wake, former Australian Test cricket captain Steve Waugh and magazine queen Nene King.

      In 2001 he was Australia's biggest selling non-fiction author with just under 250,000 sales. He duplicated that feat in 2004 with his book on Kokoda and had similar success in 2006 with his book on Tobruk.

      Born on a farm in NSW's Central Coast, Peter FitzSimons attended Knox Grammar School in Sydney before accepting an American Field Service Scholarship to live in Ohio for a year. He returned to complete an arts degree at Sydney University, majoring in government and political science.

      A second-rower, he won Wallaby selection in 1984, later moving to France and Italy where he played rugby for the next five years. On his return to Australia he again played for the Wallabies going on to play seven Test matches.

      He launched his journalistic career with the Sydney Morning Herald in 1989. Two years later he released two best-selling books, Basking in Beirut and Little Theories of Life and signed a contract with the Nine Network that resulted in him presenting current affairs and sports programs for the next four years. His association with Foxtel commenced in 1995 and continues to this day.

      Considered one of the ten most popular after-dinner speakers in Australia, Peter FitzSimons is married to Nine Network personality Lisa Wilkinson and they have three children.

      To read Peters’s revealing answers to the Booktopia Book Guru’s TEN TERRIFYING QUESTIONS…and to leave a comment - CLICK HERE

      Visit Peter FitzSimons's Booktopia Author Page

      ISBN: 9780732288044
      ISBN-10: 9780732293086
      Audience: General
      Format: Paperback
      Language: English
      Number Of Pages: 384
      Published: 1st July 2010
      Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
      Country of Publication: AU
      Dimensions (cm): 15.3 x 23.2  x 2.8
      Weight (kg): 0.53