About the Author
Barrie Hopkins' style and method of writing have changed little over the years. But, to his advantage, perhaps, of having enjoyed no formal tutoring in the literary field, has matured uniquely. He has mastered the art of juggling the alphabet to paint clear cut verbal pictures of every day happenings. Which, without doubt, will extend the memory of the reader's mind both far and near, as well as, then and now.
The topical pieces contained herewith present an ever widening scope of the author's talent. He is not a reporter. What he writes he must experience. He feels no comfort in the sophisticated world of the fiction writer. His convictions are strong that fiction was, is, and will forever be, nothing more and little less than literary quackery. This he shares with rare atonement. The duration of life is much too short, to bypass the interest in pertinent happenings, with little necessity to draw on imagination. Truth, foreign to the mind-set of the fantasy scriber is, more often than not, more humble, more humorous, and too, as quite often said, stranger than fiction.
A gardener by trade, tree hugger by choice, with a genetically inherited love of birds, bugs, bunnies, bees, blossoms, bull frogs, and all things common to the natural world, is a direct throwback to his Father's side of the family. This allows, with intimate insight, a world of capably shuffled diction vividly forming, in the minds of readers, pictures of a lifetime of yesteryear happenings, including both the extra and the ordinary. Having been born small-town urban, and grown rural route, during the grasp of the Great Depression, is not a privilege that has done this writer wrong. All those who experienced the times were by far the better because of it. Survival bonded family, friends, and neighbours, as one.
It patterned appreciation far beyond the worship of the almighty dollar. It moved the gifts of the natural world to the forefront. It undoubtedly padded a barefoot path to the nature oriented columns that appeared weekly in The Wellington Advertiser, under the heading of Bits and Pieces.
Though sadly, mid-way of this compilation, the Little Lady, his wife of fifty-two years, quietly passed on, to join the company of angels, as she herself proved to be one on earth, it has not erased or lessened neither his love for her or passion in her memory. The affection and fond memories still linger as though she was still standing, as always, faithfully by his side.
To say there is no enjoyment in the art of rewriting simple columns, would be a statement bordering the exceptional extremity of truth. For they bring back unreturning years of memories as though they were happenings of the week just prior to yesterday, with the one he loves still standing, neither ahead nor behind, but with hand, as before, on his shoulder.
To say that she is not missed would be a statement as equally far fetched from the truth, for missed greatly is the gentle touch of her hand as she often read over his shoulder, having delivered an early, before sunrise, coffee.
Missed too, was the often gentle tweak of a finger and thumb, on the ear, if she thought the wording of a subject needed to be subdued a little. Embellishng a statement, whether happy or sad, good news or bad, was something she felt no comfort in so doing. "A spade is a spade", she would oft' times reiterate, "Keep the tone a little more socially acceptable, and tell it just as it is."
Though her comfort and guidance is no longer by his side, there are three more books, numbering three, four and five, in the series, due to scamper down the escape route of the computer's spell-check, in close tandem, shortly. And, who knows, by the time the last tumbles from the presses, there could well be the accumulation of sufficient for yet another? His subtle, yet simple, historic column, as in years past, is still freelanced weekly.