Saturday 8th September 1990
Caroline Blake had lived with an expectation of the day the call would come to say her father was dead. She had imagined herself hearing the news with equanimity, thanking the caller, saying she would not be attending the funeral and that her stepmother, Rachel, and half-sister, Judith, were free to make whatever arrangements they wished. Instead, she found herself asking the solicitor for details and agreeing to Judith’s plans. She hadn’t realised she was still a beneficiary of the estate until the solicitor, Gilbert Ross, told her so. He said he would fax to her a copy of the will and a personal letter written by her father. Given her long-standing resistance to family contact, it would be possible for her to believe the sole purpose of planning a five hour trip to Arajinna was to start negotiations for an early sale of the family property. The unexpected but much needed inheritance and a feeling of release from the past were insufficient reasons to expose herself to the uncertainties of such a visit. Face to face consultation with Judith was not legally required. Nevertheless, she felt an urge to go. Perhaps it was her parliamentary conditioning, the advice of her first political mentor: if you think there might be trouble, be there.