Thursday Doors – home

Today is Australia Day. I’ve actually scheduled this post ahead of time because I’m expecting to be a bit busy that day (i.e. today). Not working though (surprisingly). I’ll be moving house soon, so I have to pack and make preparations and all that. Also need to think about packing for my upcoming holiday. It’s kind of weird trying to move house and go on holiday at the same time…

Anyway, all that’s probably something for another post (or several posts, depending on how well/badly that goes… The moving house part, of course. The holiday part is probably going to get more posts than anyone’d care to read, regardless of how well/badly it goes.)  Continue reading

Thursday Doors – down the road

Just a quick one this time.

The other day (well, almost a fortnight ago now) I went for a run along my usual route through the parks near my place. Usually I run in the late afternoon when it’s not too hot (and also so that I’ve had sufficient digestion time since lunch), and the sun is usually on its way past the horizon by the time I’m heading home.

This time, however, it was still pretty bright out when I finished my run. I decided to take a scenic detour on my way home, and call it a “cool down walk”. My ulterior motive, of course, was door spotting.

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prelude

For the last week and a half, I have been away from home. I travelled down to Melbourne near the end of July, spent a few days in Launceston in early August, and returned to Melbourne for a few more days before coming home today. And now I feel like there’s so much I want to write about!

And not just about my travels and the places I went to – if anything, that’s the least of what I want to write about (well, maybe except for the Launceston part of my trip – it was my first time there, and it is an amazing place!) The trouble, as it is in these sorts of situations, is where to start…

So this post is sort of just a prelude or some sort of introduction to the posts that will follow. Just wanted to say that I’ve enjoyed my holidays immensely, and although I’ve only been gone for less than two weeks, it feels like I’ve been away for two months. And yet, coming home, it also feels like I never left.

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why I’m here

Last week I read a rather thought-provoking post on Campari & Sofa about the reasons why people live where they do, and the things that draw people to certain places. (I was going to just leave a comment on that post, but then realised that I couldn’t do so succinctly, and so this post was born.)

I, personally, have not moved a lot in my life – Brisbane has always been my hometown – so I think you could almost say that I’m kind of just here by default. I sometimes feel like a bit of an anomaly in my generation, for various reasons, but no less because I don’t have a strong compulsion to travel. It’s not that I have zero interest in travel and exploring new places – I think that’d be an amazing experience – and it’s not that I don’t have the means or time for travel; but I don’t daydream about it the same way my contemporaries might. And if I’m not dreaming about holidaying in these far-off places, I’m certainly not dreaming about making a long-term move to a foreign country.

Please don’t misunderstand – I’m not xenophobic or otherwise afraid. I think I’m simply … complacent or content. I am also probably just really attached to my hometown and, of course, to the people in it. I’ve always thought that if I had to uproot myself, I’d probably go to Melbourne, a city where a lot of my friends and family already live, and a city that I’ve already visited many times in my life. The only daunting thing is that Melbourne is so much bigger than Brisbane. I generally think Brisbane is a good size: big enough that there are things to do and places to go, but small enough that it’s not overwhelming and it doesn’t take forever to get anywhere.

In my pondering, I also thought of a conversation I had with a taxi driver in Rockhampton on one of my visits. He was perhaps 50 or thereabouts, and I asked him about how long he’s lived in Rocky. (I usually find it easier to make people talk about themselves than to talk about myself.) He told me that he’d actually grown up in Rocky, had moved to Brisbane for work at one point in his life, but then returned to Rocky to settle down. His children had all grown up and moved to bigger cities, but he thought that even Brisbane was too big a city for him.

For those unfamiliar with Australian cities: Brisbane’s population is about 2 million now; Rocky’s is about 115,000, according to Google. In comparison, Melbourne and Sydney have over 4 million people each. On a side note, but kind of related, Google also tells me that the population of Paris is comparable to Brisbane’s, at about 2.2 million. This actually really surprised me until I did a comparison of land area, and found out that Brisbane is more than 50 times the size of Paris. I suppose our suburbs are just really spread out.

If I ever move away from Brisbane, I reckon I’ll eventually end up back in Brisbane, just as my cab driver returned to Rocky. But I don’t think that I’m impulsive enough to pack up and move somewhere on a whim because I’ve fallen in love with a place, so it’d have to be thought-out and practical. And then, if I do move (after so much consideration), it theoretically would not be impossible for me to fall into the same contented complacency with this new city. And then perhaps I wouldn’t return to Brisbane, except to visit the people and places I’ve left behind. (I almost want to move overseas just to test this theory out. Almost.)

I’ve previously discussed with fellow Brisbane-ites the virtues of living where we do, and one point that was raised was that it makes everywhere else in the world seem more magical. This might have been said sarcastically, but it is kind of valid. I mean, if I go on holiday, I want to feel like I’m on holiday, far removed from my usual life. And when I come home, I want it to feel like home.

 

it’s so good to be home again

For most of the last three weeks, I’ve been in Rockhampton, filling in at our partner pharmacy up there. I can’t remember the last time I was away from home for so long – maybe when I went to Melbourne several years ago (?) but even then, I was with family, so it wasn’t really like I was away from “home” exactly (only in the literal sense).

I flew back from Rocky on Friday afternoon. That morning, I woke up more than half an hour before my alarm, and I felt wide awake. I was so excited, I just wanted to message people about how excited I was about going home.

I did feel a bit sad about leaving Rocky – still kind of feel a bit sad – but jeez it’s good to be home again.

Since I arrived back, I have:

  • attended the staff Christmas party (Friday night)
  • unpacked and put stuff away
  • done various household chores (laundry, sweeping, etc)
  • caught up with a friend for lunch on Saturday
  • caught up with another friend for dinner on Saturday
  • bought a gift for “secret Santa” (it’s not that last-minute… Besides, I didn’t really get a chance to go shopping in Rocky)
  • visited my uncles/aunts (it was only a brief visit, and only had to go to one house, but still…)
  • made fig and sweet potato truffles (this was a challenge set by a friend/colleague)
  • made pecan pie (recipe courtesy of Campari & Sofa)
  • ironed all my uniforms
  • caught up on some blog reading

And whatever I’ve been doing, I’ve been thinking to myself (and sometimes saying to others) “it’s so good to be home again”.

It’s not that Rocky was a terrible place (it’s actually quite lovely for the most part) but I just missed being in my own home. I missed my usual routine, and knowing where everything is. And, of course, I missed friends and family.

I probably should have gone to bed an hour ago (I start work early tomorrow), but I’m pretty sure I’m going to be on an endorphin high all week because I’m back at my usual pharmacy again. (I’m pretty sure I’ve never been away from the pharmacy for more than two weeks in all the years since I started working there.)

It feels so good to be home again!

and… I’m back!

Home, sweet home.

There’s not really much to say about my trip to Melbourne, but I’ll go over a few things. I reckon every time I go back there, I notice something different, or I see things in a different way.

On this trip, it rained every single day. It didn’t rain all of the time, nor was it pouring rain (mostly), but it did rain at least a little bit every day that I was there. This is mainly significant because I can’t remember the last time I saw rain in Melbourne. It usually never rains when I’m there. Just all of my bad weather-associated luck coming out at once, or so it would seem.

Not that that mattered a great deal, since I was indoors most of the time – relatives’ houses, shopping centres, restaurants, function venues… Plus, we drove everywhere. I didn’t get the chance to hop on a tram or catch a train (not that those are particularly exciting if you’ve done them before many times). From what I’ve seen of Melbourne, I think it’d be quite hard to live there without a car, unless you’re really lucky and your home and work were both situated on convenient public transport lines.

I reckon it’s mostly that Melbourne’s so big – everything’s so far away from everything else. There were some days when it felt like we spent half the day just driving. Don’t even want to consider how long it would’ve taken by public transport. I probably did more driving in that one week than I’ve done all year in Brisbane.

As usual, it was cold in Melbourne, even though it’s almost summertime. I think the weather reports kept saying it was colder than usual for this time of the year (?). Still a bearable cold, though. I’ve just come to expect Melbourne to be at least a little bit cold regardless of what time of the year it is. I was quite amused at all of the beach/swimwear shops around the shopping centres. Don’t suppose locals have much use of their wares. Although, I suppose most of their holiday destinations would include beaches and warmer days…

So, the big question: which book did I take? [drum-roll…] “The Book Thief” (Markus Zusak)

I was already about halfway into the book, so it just seemed to make sense to take it. I still haven’t finished it, though – didn’t get that much time for reading. I am thoroughly enjoying it. I even had a dream one night that a friend was telling me what a great book it is, and I told them that I knew because I was reading it.