My host parents, John and Anne. John told me he used to have a haircut like mine – now he’s nearly bald!
Will I go like that too?
Anne’s healthy breakfast … muesli, yoghurt, flaxseed oil, oat milk, and more! My favourite: poached egg on sourdough bread with mushrooms and tomatoes – what a feast!
I love coffee! Sometimes I got my own drink (like at Brunetti’s), other times I just got to share Anne’s or John’s. We went to lots of places including: Seven Seeds, Rapture, Madeleine’s, Barclays.
One minute I was sitting at Brunetti’s having a strawberry tart and expresso – next minute the wind had blown me into the hedge.
I love Tim Tams – once I ate a whole packet and it took me two weeks before I could fold up again!
Once, John was reading a book about Israel. He used me as a bookmark. I said, “You don’t need a guide book; my mate Asaf and I can show you all around Tel Aviv.” John said he and Anne would love to visit Tel Aviv next year.
Did I tell you I went to the London Olympics? I just folded up in an envelope and John posted me. I met the Queen and she herself posted me back to John! She is quite nice and not as fierce as she looks.
I met Usain Bolt and he told me, “Stanley Lambchop – you are a legend!” I agreed.
I even got on the front page of the Herald Sun in Melbourne.
The London Tourist Bureau invited me to be part of an advertising campaign – I was up there with a double-decker bus and a tube station! Famous, eh?!
I stopped by France on the way back from London and helped Nick Roche with his story of life ‘Inside the Peloton’. He said I could go on the cover because my colours were the same as his Irish Champion’s jersey. Nick’s dad, Stephen, won the Tour de France in 1987. He is the only Irishman to have won the Tour. He rode 4089 kms in 21 days!
My fame spread. Robbie McEwen asked me to help him write a book. Robbie is a big head; he wanted to be on the cover. But the publisher didn’t agree.
This is Maya, one of my best friends in Oz – she rocks!
I used to say to John, ‘Can I hang around with Maya today?’ Sometimes he took me too literally.
When Maya was little sometimes I would have an afternoon nap with her.
Here’s Maya’s favourite auntie … this time Auntie Emily is having a nap and Maya is trying to work out who is tickling her ear.
She might be my friend but Maya did not want me to ride her bike!
You have heard of ‘Where’s Wally’. Well, Maya has a different game – ‘Where’s Flat Stanley?’ Turn the page and see if you can find me!
Maya lent me her shoes one day when I forgot mine … but I think they were a bit too big for me.
When I was at Maya’s, Damian was working in the back garden and lit a fire to keep warm. It was too cold and wet and muddy for me so I stayed inside and just looked through the window!
To Be continued … look for more volumes in your nearest library!
On the next three pages you can see the inspiration for the book – a meet the author session at the local library (creatively adapted by John); and the original postcard that Asaf sent to his uncle John Carroll, in preparation for his next trip to Australia.
This book was conceived and created in 2012 by John Carroll Jnr as a gift for his nephew Asaf Cohen, who was living in Israel, and had sent him a Flat Stanley cut-out as a gift. John decided to take Flat Stanley on many adventures in Melbourne Australia, and documented Flat Stanley’s adventures in two volumes which he gifted to Asaf on his next visit to Melbourne.
John passed away at his home in Melbourne, on 26 October 2020 after a long battle with cancer. John is survived by his beloved wife, Anne (my sister); Damian (his son); Candice, (his daughter-in-law); their three children, Maya, Harry and Harper (John’s grandchildren); Emily (his daughter) and Dan (Emily’s fiancé)
I have created this digital version of “Flat Stanley in Australia” for John’s family in Australia, and his siblings and family in the UK, to enjoy and remember what a funny, creative, loving and generous person John was.
John Carroll Jnr
30.01.1952 – 26.10.2020
Rest in Peace