a reader writes
Thinking about Qweekend’s 10th birthday, my first thought was, “only ten years?”. It feels as though there wasn’t a time when Qweekend was not a part of our lives. This powerful magazine packs a punch, regularly spanning the gamut of human emotions – with stories of bravery, loss, happiness, achievement, discovery and hardship. And the comedic, in the form of that ne’erdo-well Mike O’Connor.
Bunch of Fives is also unfailingly curious, informative and funny, and the wonderful snapshots sent in by talented photographers (YourShot) never fail to address the subject in a clever way. Then there’s the letters page, granting readers the opportunity to air their opinions.
Stories of quintessential country Queensland, where I was born and raised, are favourites. I particularly liked “Desert highway” in May with its evocative photos of the detritus of human materialism littering the landscape and, further on, the remains of an unfortunate bullock seeping inexorably into the scorched red earth. A future delight for an archaeologist perhaps?
Mary-Rose MacColl’s column in April mentioned a rather prescient truth passed down from a Buddhist teacher: “To die is simple – you breathe out and don’t breathe in”. The wisdom in MaryRose’s columns is sometimes unexpected – human interest stories to which we can all relate along with compassion writ large.
One of January’s stories, “Born to be wild”, helped fill in the gaps for me after seeing Wild, the movie. Cheryl Strayed (she changed her name to match where she was in life at the time) was inspirational in her will to change her situation for the better. At a point where she had reached rock bottom in her life, Strayed undertook to walk the Pacific Crest Trail. She was a total novice at marathon walks, and was weighed down with baggage of both the emotional and material kind. Her efforts proved monumental and paid off. What a woman.
John Tyson’s struggle to survive (“Cruel crossroads”), after losing his wife and son in the 2011 Toowoomba floods, made for a particularly moving article that left me shaking my head in frustration as to how a person could be left so alone and receive such unfair treatment. We can only hope he is able to rebuild and eventually move on to helping others, as he would desire.
The architecture of the homes, units and cottages pictured in Qweekend each week never fails to interest me. As a person of a certain age, I’m always on the lookout for refurbished homes that resemble the Queenslander of my childhood, and this section does not disappoint. It is fascinating to see how owners can give a whole new complexion to a house by virtue of creative reconstruction.
To all at Qweekend, thank you for the illuminating and inspirational stories and photos of the past decade. Happy birthday, good luck and, as they say, may your best years be ahead.