Tall And True Short Reads

Some Things Change – Perth, Western Australia, 1979

Episode 79 (26 September 2023)

It’s a hot summer afternoon, with no sign of the Freo Doctor. Despite the heat, I’m climbing the tree in Gran’s backyard with my brothers and boy cousins while our girl cousins chat in a circle in the shade of the back veranda. Like the other boys, I’m in shorts with no shirt or shoes. Our tomboy cousin’s up here, too. And though she’s wearing a dress, she’s also barefoot.

Some Things Change – Perth, Western Australia, 1979

Show Notes

Season Four: Episode 79 (26 September 2023)

Some Things Change is a short story from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead.

Read the story on Tall And True: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/fiction/short-stories/some-things-change

Podcast website: https://www.tallandtrueshortreads.com

Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads

Buy Robert’s short story collections online:

Story Insight

Some Things Change was my submission for The Big Issue Fiction Edition 2023.

The Big Issue’s brief was broad: Stories of all kinds – literary, comedy, romance, sci-fi, crime and everything in between, from 500 to 3000 words.

I regularly submit 500-word short stories to the Australian Writers’ Centre’s Furious Fiction writing challenges, and the temptation was to write a shorter-length story similar to my Furious Fictions.

But I wanted to stretch myself and my writing. So I wrote a longer short story (just over 2700 words) consisting of three vignettes, set in different locations and times but with a common thread: two protagonists, a pair of cousins, exploring Australia’s history and relationship with Indigenous peoples.

Perth, Western Australia, 1979 is the first vignette. There are elements of autofiction in this story. I grew up in Perth in the 1960s and ’70s and supported the East Perth footy team. The “Freo Doctor” is the late afternoon sea breeze that cools the city and suburbs on hot summer days. And I was exposed to casual and overt racism towards Indigenous Australians as a boy when Aboriginal people were called “Abos” and worse.

I also have a cousin named Jenny, who has fair red hair and freckles. And after sharing this story, she reminded me that we climbed trees together when we were younger. But (please forgive me for revealing this, Jen), she’s one year older than me. And we never overheard the conversation between the dads and uncles at the family BBQ.

So, while this story draws on my life, it’s mostly my imagination. Except sadly, for the parts about the discrimination and lack of understanding endured by Indigenous Australians.

I hope you enjoyed the first instalment of Some Things Change. You can read this and all my short stories, blog posts and other writing at TallAndTrue.com. You can also buy my short story collections from the Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, and Kobo online bookstores — links are available in the show notes.

The second vignette of Some Things Change, London, England, 1992, will be released shortly. In the meantime, check your feed or the podcast website for earlier episodes from Seasons One, Two and Three. And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite app — doing so helps me share my storytelling.

You can support this podcast financially by making a small one-off or regular donation via the Acast Supporter Page.

Finally, please tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.

Podcast Theme and Sound Effects

Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.

Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:

Production Notes

Tall And True Short Reads is produced using Audacity.

Podcast episodes are recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the traditional lands of the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.

Acast Podcast Supporter Page

Support this show: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads.

Contact Us