Gotta Love This Country! 

Reviewed By  Grasshopper2       December 17, 2015


Author  Peter FitzSimons

Distributor:       Booktopia/Amazon 
ISBN:                 9781760290481
Publisher:         Allen & Unwin
Release Date:   December 2015  


Peter is a respected and well known author of Australian stories, and one is assured of quality writing from him. Previously he has written about Tobruk, Kokoda, Ned Kelly, Steve Waugh, and the Eureka Stockade. He has also written some light hearted stories, including this book, which came about by accident.

The Sports Editor for the paper Peter worked for was missing a journalist and asked him if he would write the sports column for the day, “A light wrap up of the week’s sporting events”.  There was such an overwhelming response to his column, that Peter continued writing for a few years. He has a keen eye for the quirky, and has many contacts who related sporting tales to him.

Peter’s great love of Australia and the great sporting nature of Australians are reflected in the many times he completes a story by saying “Gotta love this country.”

The stories cover many sports, but also events at meetings and clubs, for example, when Bob Hawke spoke and opened his speech by saying he was pleased not to be “Up to his arse in coleslaw.” There is also the story of the Sydney business man walking up windy Sussex Street, when a wind gust whipped papers out of his bag.

Passers-by grabbed them and returned the entire documents to the grateful man. There are also some local businesses named. “Holy Sheet (homewares),Viagra scaffolding (We’ll get it up for you) and a septic tank driver called Mr Whiffy,” mentioned.

There are stories of courage, camaraderie, and sacrifice, all told with great pleasure. The girl Life Saver is one. They were competing in a race, where the last swimmer was very afraid of sharks and so the girl nearest to her slowed down and accompanied her to the end of the race.

Then there was the day when kids playing cricket in the street were one man short. They hailed a neighbour who parked his car and came back to play with them for an hour. It was Ricky Ponting, who shared their moment, then jogged back home when all the kids were called in. While walking home one day a friend of Peter’s saw a lad, all dressed in cricket gear, being bowled to by his Mum, who for safety’s sake was wearing a motor cycle helmet.

Many stories are told about teams winning who were thought to have no chance, and coaches who encouraged and supported their charges so much that miracles did occur. There is a great sense of Australian men, women and children having fun in sporting and challenging situations. Many stories show selfless examples of behaviour, from the under nines to mature aged sports men and women.

“Gotta love this country” showcases the best of Aussie folk.