Patricia - or Pat, or Paddy, or Patches as she finally becomes - was happy at school in England, in her friends, in often seeing her grandparents and in the company of her dog. Having to move to Australia is a real wrench for her. Everything is so strange - the climate, the surroundings, even, she feels, the people. She is desperately lonely, and going to a new school after terms has started makes matters worse. It's a situation that Patches can't climb out of by herself: she needs the new friends that she finally discovers, to her astonishment, she does have.