My book doesn't dwell on a crappy upbringing, but sure does tell it like it was. I just saw this - a report that Balquhain at Blackheath has been sold. It was re-purchased by a Fairfax, as that family first built it as their weekender. We had a lovely weekend there a few years ago with our very good friend Cat Strom and her husband Rick. At the time, Rick's uncle owned this beautiful expansive estate, which they had lovingly restored.

The first morning I walked around the garden and had a revelation. I had stayed there before, a very long time ago. The memories flooded back. My brother Tim and I were left there by mum and her lover, the very reverend Douglas Cole with whom she has having an affair. It was at the time a retreat for Presbyterian clergy, and we were put under the supervision of a matronly battle-axe. A miserable weekend ensued, leavened only by being introduced to white bread and jam. That made it worthwhile.

Cole carried on his affair with mum for years, right under the gaze of the upper echelons. He was indeed elected as Moderator, the top NSW role, and he and mum toured the outer regions. It drove me away from faith, knowing that you could do the wrong thing and be protected whilst thus. Eventually I did find faith again, wary that this sort of stuff does happen.