**I was delighted to be asked to write this piece by Eleanor Black, Fairfax National Books, editor. It first appeared in Your Weekend Magazine, 18 November 2017.
ps. Who knows what 'plant' Alma devoted her life to studying?
pps. 'Fiona' in the Floods had parents who chose to spell her name a weird way just to make life super difficult for her. It's spelt 'FFiona'. Maybe they were stutterers ...