Winner, IP Picks 2007, Best Creative Non-Fiction Chris Dowding lived a quiet, solitary life as an engineer in Brisbane that only began to change when he met his future wife Kerryn who, after their wedding, persuaded Chris to move to Ireland—to a new beginning.
A Few Drops Short of a Pint is the hilarious account of Chris and Kerryn’s Irish experience. Capturing Chris’s fascinations, frustrations and fears (did you know 58 percent of all motor accidents in Dublin occur during the day, in high visibility conditions with dry weather, on a straight road?) in his new surroundings, the story covers Irish lifestyle issues ranging from water heating to violent political factionalism.
While exploring Ireland, A Few Drops Short of a Pint is also a powerful story of self-exploration and discovery, showing that sometimes a change of circumstances is all the therapy we need. Jubilant and demoralised in equal measures, this is a story oozing with razor sharp (and often self-deprecating) wit that beautifully captures the experience of transplanting yourself into a foreign culture.
Chris Dowding studied civil engineering at QUT. He moved to Ireland in 2001 with his wife, Kerryn. Both Kerryn and Ireland had a sense of spontaneity and surprise that Chris had previously avoided in his life. This was so unusual for him that he began writing about his experiences. Chris and Kerryn now live on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, with their cat, Mia.
ISBN 9781876819729 (PB 208pp, Non-Fiction)
The book chronicles Chris and Kerryn’s time spent living and working in Ireland. It is one of the few books about the Emerald Isle that doesn’t read like it was written by Ireland’s national tourist board. It’s an honest account of the good times and the bad.
I’m glad that’s over,’ I laughed as I stepped down onto the footpath. Then I spotted the hand case, still on the bus’ luggage shelf. ‘ARRghhh,’ I yelled.
The hand case was still on the luggage shelf, as the bus roared off. There was no way we’d see it again, or the possessions it carried, if we let the bus get away.
‘Wait here,’ I shouted to my wife Kerryn. I bolted down the street after the bus, leaving her with the rest of our luggage. I leapt between couples, dodged around old ladies with shopping bags and shoved my way through groups of people. My shoes were a blur as I ran the fastest 200 metres of my life. The bus pulled into the next stop, about 100 metres in front of me. I still had a chance!