About Pat Wilpenter

Golden Cocker Spaniel, my childhood pet

My childhood pet was a beautiful golden Cocker Spaniel. Naturally we called her Goldie.

Hi there! I grew up in a simpler time with my younger brother, a pushbike and a floppy-eared Cocker Spaniel. And of course a Dad and Mum. My Dad was a hard working chap who was always there to help friends and neighbors. He started life as the youngest of six children in Albany, Western Australia. It’s a small coastal holiday town near the bottom left of Australia if you can picture the map. Dad started his working life as an apprentice tailor. My Mum was a farmer’s daughter from near Wagin, also in the south west of WA. She met my Dad when they were both in the Air Force. After they married, Mum did a stint as a dental nurse during the evenings to save up the money to buy a piano.

Music figured prominently in our house. Mum played the piano for church. And we had many a singalong on nights when friends came over. And yes, I took piano lessons in case you were wondering.

Dad had built a brick barbeque in the backyard. A solid structure with quite a tall chimney. And it got a solid workout over the years because my childhood was blessed with many happy backyard barbeques with the kids scampering around and generally having lots of harmless fun. Those evenings almost always finished up with most of us gathered around the piano for a singalong.

With (or without) my brother, there were many bike rides from our house… over the big hill… and down the other side to Scarborough Beach. We didn’t have the money to buy a surfboard but that’s okay because I could never figure out how to stand up on one of those things anyway. Ah, but body surfing — that was my thing. Loved it.

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And no, I was never bitten by a shark or drowned. Shark sightings were not uncommon. But we felt safe because all through the long beach season, volunteer life savers kept watch from their high observation towers. When the shark alarm sounded, we all swam like champions to get out of the water.

Education? Yes, my folks didn’t have much opportunity when they were young but they saw its value and we two kids were given every encouragement to do well in school. Which we mostly did.

My education has been all over the place, literally… from failing my first (and only) shot at economics at the University of Western Australia, then off to the UK where I completed a BA degree with majors in theology and communications. While living in Sydney many years later, I picked up a Diploma of Freelance Journalism and then a computing degree. We’ve now retired and finally I’ve got time to start writing stories… released under the pen name of Pat Wilpenter.

And I’m loving it!

Thanks for popping in today.

Gary Harvey

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