Lucy turned 61 in February and now lives a reclusive life in an old caravan in Bulgaria where she cares for abandoned dogs - see here - , an unsurprisingly unconventional sequel to an unconventional lady's unconventional life.
I had first heard of Lucy through my involvement with Pigeon Island in the Solomons - see here - and rushed out to buy her book "Faraway" without even realising that our paths had almost crossed as she, too, lived for a year in the Torres Strait, albeit a few years later.
She and her 'husband-for-a-year', Gerald Kingsland, lived on the tiny island of Tuin (aka Barney Island) - the usual 'your own deserted island, palm trees swaying in the breeze, all the fish you can catch' bit gone sour - about which she wrote a book, "Castaway", which was made into a film in 1986.
What happened after her "Castaway" year? As she writes, "After my farewell to the island I loved – and which came close to killing me – I arrived a few days later in ‘civilisation’ (Brisbane, Australia) wearing nothing but a sarong. My feet were bare and I had a tobacco tin on a string round my neck containing only a few coins."
Gerald Kingsland remarried twice after a painless divorce from her, bringing his total of wives to five. His first post-Tuin marriage was a shotgun affair with a Catholic lass of 19 in Chile. Later he married a Western Samoan girl, when in his sixties. He left behind nine children when he passed away from a liver condition, aged 70. No ordinary life.
To now live in an old caravan in some god-forsaken village in Bulgaria seems an unlikely sequel to Lucy's time on Tuin and Pigeon Island but she's never done the conventional thing. I did by sending her a birthday card.
P.S. You can donate via Paypal firstname.lastname@example.org to keep Lucy's dog refuge going.