This is a very human story that touches the hearts of many. Jim’s childhood memories are of family life in a gritty inner city suburb of Sydney, then, as pioneers in the bush. In his teens he goes to live it up in the exciting night district of Kings Cross. He meets artists of all kinds and discovers his own artistic sensibilities. After graduation from university he makes a career as an architect, retires, goes to London, and then in 1990 settles in Paris. From Paris, for the next 25 years, he discovers the world through the lens of his camera. He writes it all down.
Jim’s story begins with childhood memories of his life in a gritty inner city suburb of Sydney. It was wild and exciting for a five year-old but for his asthmatic mother the toxic environment was intolerable. They move and become the pioneers in a new outer bush suburb. In teenage he finds a room in the night district of Kings Cross, mixes with artists and discovers his own sensibilities. He goes to university, graduates, and makes his career as an architect. He retires in 1989 and then takes residence in Paris. This begins a second life of travel and writing. His story is enriched by his wonderful, keenly observed descriptions of places, as exotically various as the Zen Buddhist temple he sojourned in Kyoto; Maharashtra, where he photographed traditional farm and village life; the slums of Calcutta where he nearly died; Havana, where he learned what living under communism is like; Moscow and St. Petersburg at the fall of the Soviet Union; Manhattan during the first Obama election, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Krakow, Florence, Hong Kong, and small provincial towns in France. But it is other people that interest us most. He meets with so many types, each remarkable in their own ways.
His story is easy to read, not without humour, and lyrical in style.