First published: 1993
This book was originally published as “Fred and Olive’s Blessed Lino”, which is the title of one of the stories, telling how the Lunn family went to St Stephen’s Cathedral in Brisbane in the 1950s to collect rolls of lino which were being thrown out. It has also been published as “More Over the Top With Jim Stories”. This book came about because “Over the Top with Jim” was serialised nationally on ABC Radio on Macca’s Australia All Over program. The serialisation was so popular that Macca rang up the next year and said “everybody is asking for more”. Macca asked for “an episode on going to the Ekka” and “What about an episode on you and Jim playing cricket” and “what about a story about Easter in the cakeshop” and “what about Christmas in the cakeshop”. So Hughie wrote 26 more stories from the 1940s and 1950s. This book contains these 26 stories plus illustrations by the talented David Mackintosh. David Mackintosh now lives in London and is an international children’s book illustrator and book designer.
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Episode 4. Dima Egoroff’s English
Even though I was having trouble passing English at school, at least I was doing better than the boy sitting next to me: my Russian mate Dima Egoroff who we called Jim. In the four years since Jim arrived at our convent aged 9 I had never come stone-last in English: Jim did that for me.
I’m not just talking about analysing sentences and parsing words and impossible stuff like that. I’m talking about just saying hello. Every time Jim saw me arrive at school he would say: “Hello Lunn, how have you been going these couple of last days?” And if someone corrected his bad English, Jim would say: “Do you think I shouldn’t of have?” I never corrected Jim, because I liked the way he turned sentences inside out and made them different. But it didn’t make him popular with teachers. When Sister Veronica sent him to get “a better dictionary” Jim left school and went to Benediction at the Mary Immaculate Church; and when an inspector asked asked how he found things in Australia, Jim replied, “I’m beside the moon.” .
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