I was staying at my mates place in Scarborough and it reminded me of beach holidays as a kid. I was sleeping in the ‘sleep out’ – a boxed in verandah and I can recall being in similar spaces when I was a small child – the nostalgia was wonderfully comforting. I have had the best summer.
I’ve had nearly three months of languid warm days moving between the coast and the bush of the Perth hills spending time with parents and siblings and solid friends. I have been a beach glutton – those west coast beaches are sublime and having had my inaugural swim in the Southern Ocean over the weekend I look forward to returning to my cherised Pacific when I hit Byron in the next few days. Piscean Pete is one happy camper.
Last weekend I went down South to Albany, Denmark and Walpole – Linda was determined to show me the beauty and cultural diversity of the South West in an attempt to lure me to remain in WA – it certainly put a new option on the list – the coastline and timber forests were sublime and Denmark was appropriately left of centre – I did indeed like the ‘rainbow coast’.
Four of us went – Nadia, Shiralee, Linda and I were best mates and a gang of four in our late teens to early adulthood before wanderlust, marriage and motherhood sent us all on different paths. They all abandoned spouses and children for a lovely four day road-trip – it was a fine reunion and I can’t quite fathom it had been 21 years since we last hung out.
I spent my last evening in Perth watching my nephew’s punk band, 44th Sunset, play a gig in a crusty North Freo bar – felt like I was handing over the baton. The band of 16 year olds have just won a national school competition with a recording contract and a place on the main stage at the Perth Big Day Out – check ‘em out.
So I have left WA and the family behind to forge the lifestyle I have been aspiring to in the North Coast region of NSW. I move to Lismore this afternoon (I am currently holed up in a hot, humid and soggy Brisbane) where I hope to finally stop and set some firm roots. It’s about the region – Byron hinterland, those rolling green hills that stretch from Ballina to Murwullimbah and make my heart sing – there will be a place for me here.
I am on the precipice of a major life phase and whilst completely terrified (I keep breathing in deeply and exhaling with ‘f**k’) I have every confidence that the universe will be kind and things will fall into place. I have been working towards this phase for the last ten years and can’t quite fathom that the time has come for execution – I wrote last year that I was pondering what the next phase would look like and this has always been the preferred plan – just need job, house and mate. Thanks in advance to the beautiful Maya who will be lending me a hand in getting on my feet.
The last few months (since abandoning Qatar) would not have been possible without the kindness of mates and family. I feel blessed to have such an amazing support network and thank you all for sharing your homes and families with me – it’s been a long time since I have been surrounded by so much fondness and am humbled by the generosity of my amazing network of friends. In the words of my beloved Candide ‘you must cultivate your garden’ and the years of tending and nurturing friendships has born a fruitful harvest this summer.