My heart has two homes: Perth, where I have lived since 2002, and Sydney, the place of my birth and childhood, and some of my adulthood. Three homes, if I count Canberra, where I lived for three years and my father lives now. All three places have a hold on my heart for different reasons and my infrequent visits to the eastern states bring emotions to the surface. I’d like to write about that “feet on two sides of the country” feeling one day.
Last week I visited Sydney. It was my sister’s 40th birthday, and for me, a chance for some much-needed time out. Ever-responsible, I planned to read submissions for Serenity Press’s Writing the Dream anthology on the plane. I didn’t. Instead, I watched Suffragette (and cried twice, to one flight attendant’s concern) on the way over, and Far From the Madding Crowd and The Family Stone on the longer flight back (it’s always longer flying from Sydney to Perth due to headwinds). Suffragette was fantastic, thought-provoking and a movie I will watch again soon; Far From the Madding Crowd was beautifully done – a love story of tremendous depth. I want to read Thomas Hardy’s book now.
I took a break from writing. I packed a notebook but didn’t open it once. But I people watched … and saw, among others, a man with a pink mullet at the airport, a rabbi telling someone off on his mobile phone; I sat next to a woman on the plane who was playing games on her iPad and had a framed photo of a man on her tray table. She smelled of beer and appeared agitated; later, when we landed and she made a phone call on the plane, I realised she was running away from something. I wondered what her story was.
I read Up and In by Deborah Disney on the plane. It’s a light-hearted, funny novel that hit the spot … and reminded me of some women I knew when I lived in Swanbourne. By coincidence, I chose to read Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee on the same day she died (RIP Harper Lee); I finished it in the car on the way to my sister’s house. Now that was a thought-provoking, and at times, challenging read.
I caught trains, ferries and buses, and when tiredness stuck, followed by silliness as is often the case with me (except when grumpiness happens), I took some “Crap Photos of Sydney” just for giggles. You can see them on the Facebook page. The following pictures are probably more of what you’d expect:
I walked along this beach …
and imagined being able to read here like this guy …
I swam in this ocean pool …
… and I took photos of my sister in yoga poses in front of graffitied walls in Surry Hills (but I can’t show them here).
Oh, and I ate and ate, from smoked salmon and ricotta on Turkish bread to veggie curry, from avo on Turkish to French pastries, from a Vietnamese banquet to salted caramel gelato (which, my sister pointed out, should have reminded me of Andrew with the salted caramel voice in The Point of Love). The good food was shared with wonderful, funny people who form a big part of my personal backstory.
Now I’m back on the far side of the country, rested, revived and full of ideas. I’ve got a busy week ahead with the day job, but hopefully I’ll be writing again soon. And while it was fun to visit my “other” home for a few days, I’m glad to be back with my every day people.