Article by Caroline Beecham, author of Maggie’s Kitchen; A Second World War novel about finding courage and friendship in food
This year was a big year for me; not only was my debut novel, Maggie’s Kitchen, published in the UK but I also turned fifty in April. Born in Brighton, but having lived in Australia for the past seventeen years, it was wonderful celebrating my birthday with family and friends back in the UK.
With the launch of Maggie’s Kitchen at Waterstones in August, this was another great excuse to get everyone together but these are rare and very special occasions and the rest of the time, keeping in touch with loved ones can be a bit of a challenge.
When I first moved to Sydney we were still using landlines to make phone calls home, it was before Skype and I used to come home from work and play ‘drink and dial’—a glass of wine or two—and phone my friends and family back in the UK! Staying in touch is much easier now because new technology has given us easier, cheaper and faster ways to communicate with each other through Apps such as Skype, Facetime, and WhatsApp. But there is still the time difference that makes it difficult and this is probably a familiar story to anyone with relatives in another country. In Australia we are nine, ten or eleven hours ahead, depending on the time of year, so when we’re tired and winding down for the night everyone in the UK is getting ready for their day. It’s not always possible to be chatty and interested when you can’t keep your eyes open!
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