In the Middle of Nowhere
Updated: 6 days ago
If you're not living on a cattle station, then you'll get transported to one on every page you read in Terry Underwood's epic autobiography 'In the Middle of Nowhere'.
Earlier this year in Darwin at the Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association Conference I had the pleasure of meeting Terry Underwood (see image below), the author of 'In the Middle of Nowhere'. I had been tipped off by my Aunt in Sydney that her sister had done nursing with Terry in Sydney, and they remain good friends. As you will find out in the book, the friend was Rosyln Carey who went on to become Sister of the Fransiscan Missionary of Mary - doing some incredible work herself.
Terry kindly sent me a copy of her autobiography and I couldn't put it down - a fantastic and intriguing read. I often get asked what a ringer is, so I also enjoyed reading one of John's early letters to Terry, where he says:
'You asked what a ringer is. He's a stockman, more so a bushie. One of those blokes that even if he was dressed in a tuxedo you could still pick him for a bushie.'
Among her many accomplishments and talents, Terry is also a photographer, many of her images having been exhibited around the country - she says "it was part of my mission to bring the bush to the big smoke". She has kindly shared some of the images from her book and others in this blog.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Terry says: "When "In the Middle of Nowhere” was published on 1 April 1998, none of us could have anticipated the world-wide response. Our mail plane delivered countless heartfelt letters and extraordinary gifts as people expressed gratitude for our love, faith, inspiration etc and then they shared their stories with us."
In the Middle of Nowhere is a story of beating the odds, of the power of love and the strength of family ties to overcome every obstacle.
Terry met John at St Vincents Hospital, where she was training to be a nurse and he was recuperating from a horse-riding accident. They wrote love letters to each other for five years before marrying. Terry's new home on the huge pastoral lease of Riveren consisted of a tent and a newly drilled bore - a tiny spec on the 3,000 square kilometre station, and a 6 hour drive to Katherine - then a relatively 'short' drive up to Darwin of 4 hours. The newlyweds literally built their station from scratch and raised and educated their four children on the station.
It is a story told with warmth and a knowledge of the bush, its people, and the issues facing the Northern Territory of Australia.
Order 'In the Middle of Nowhere' in hardcopy or audiobook: