'Clean Straw For Nothing' traces the journey of successful war correspondent and journalist David Meredith as he abandons his career to live in exile on a Greek island with his beautiful wife Cressida. Johnston focuses on the developing relationship between David and Cressida and David emerges as a complex and reflective character, unable to find the freedom and answers he craves.
'A Cartload Of Clay' brings David back to Australia. He rediscovers his deep affection for his native land after having been so long in exile. It is an affection however which encompasses the country's deep faults and failings as well as its virtues. Here he reviews his life, and finds it wanting. Unable to arrive at any conclusions, he philosophically accepts that the meaning of life is the journey, and is not a prize to be given at the end.