My book Melbourne Circle: Walking, Memory and Loss was published in December 2020. The book originated in posts on this blog – it is an account of a journey on foot around Melbourne in the years 2014-16 which I made with my wife, Lynne. On the way we observed the kind of things you’ll find in these posts – ghost signs, derelict buildings and lost places – and we uncovered countless forgotten stories and characters from the past.
Update: You can buy the book here, here, here or ask at your local bookshop.
In 2018, after I’d finished writing this blog, I experienced another kind of loss when Lynne died of cancer. Writing the book about our walks became a way not just of exploring the history of Melbourne but of coping with my grief by telling our story. The book Melbourne Circle is a personal memoir as much as it is travelogue or social history. In addition to some sections which originated as blog posts, the book reflects on how our lives unfolded in the Melbourne suburbs, and how we built meanings together through our relationships with these places.
As the title suggests, the themes of the book are loss, memory, connection to place, and regeneration. All of this adds up to what I understand as ‘psychogeography’, meaning a recognition of our connection with place as a key to the meanings of our lives.
Hey Nick –
Have recently received a couple of email alerts about recent activity on your great page which brought me back to the site so have enjoyed trawling through and having a further look – have posted a couple of times but a while ago now.
Great to hear about the forthcoming book – this sort of stuff is right up my alley as I’ve often gone on walks myself in search of the same kind of thing – so I’ll definitely be looking out for your book and grabbing myself a copy as I have enjoyed Melbourne Circle and you write so well.
Obviously don’t know you personally but was sad to hear in the above piece about the loss of your wife. Hope things have fallen (are falling) in to place after such a devastating personal event. Take Care.
Thank you for the kind comments.
I just saw your story on 9 news about Ghost signs.
I think you would be very interested in one in my area of Upper Ferntree Gully that is is Fantastic condition in a shop that has been renovated.
If i could post you a picture I think you would agree.
My name is Ken, should you wish to contact me please o.
And I can send you a pic of it.
I’ve just read your June comments and congratulate you sincerely on the completion of your book. As an urban walker also, I look forward to retracing your steps, with a deeper knowledge of the suburbs you will lead us to. So exciting, thank you. Can’t wait to have a copy in my hand and get some walking friends on board.
However, I am sorry to know this has been completed during such a difficult time, and hope you are doing OK. Thank you again for your efforts and enthusiasm and wishing you all the best for future times.
Thank you, Rosemary – with luck, and COVID permitting, the book will be out before Christmas – so you can buy copies for all your walking friends 🙂