Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The 100th Post!

I just noticed that we have written 99 posts so far. If you average that over the days we have had this blog it does not look good really.

Blogger calls each entry in your blog a 'post'. I'm not so keen on the word myself. They are more like little windows really. Windows into our life, glimpses into our world as we try to paint a picture of what we see day to day.

I remember being on the train in London once, it was the DLR from Bank heading to Lewisham where I lived. It was winter, early evening and as the train rumbled along I caught myself straining to see inside the many windows of the houses that lined the railway tracks. All those different lives, separated by walls and doors, all carving out a tiny piece of peace and warmth in that cold, busy, noisy city. I felt like I was looking into a bee hive in some ways where inside each compartment there was movement, industry and life.

Its like that when you correspond with people who live elsewhere. Their emails are like pockets of insight into what they are doing, seeing and feeling. I like the immediacy of email but it does lack substance and I am always left wanting more. I guess that is why I leave emailing until I have lots to say. Then of course, I realise I have lots of people to say it to so I cut and paste like my life depended on it.

While this blog is a good way of keeping friends back in the UK in touch with our coming and going, it still does not feel like enough. We've missed phone calls from friends recently and I overlooked a rather important email from another friend, not reading it for 2 weeks. I seems like my efforts to keep abreast of what is happening in the lives of those in England are sadly falling behind.

I've been thinking about how long it took me to settle properly into life in England. At what point did I stop comparing everything I saw and heard to things back in Melbourne? How long before brands in the supermarkets became more familiar and easier to recall than brands I had lived with all my life? It took a while but it did happen.

I was talking to a colleague today about chocolate and she said that they had gotten boxes of chocolates for a work function from Thorntons. I had to think for a moment before I realised that she had flipped back to her time in London and I laughed telling her as much. We then both struggled to remember what the name of the stores here in Melbourne were called (Haigs & Koko Black if you are interested).

I guess what I am trying to say is that I have to start letting go of the idea that I can live 2 lives in 2 places. The reality is that I have left behind a life, a set of wonderful friends and a fairly good grasp of Englishness that will most likely be harder to relinquish. I do not want to. I just think I need to.

Ian and I actually watched telly for a short while last night. It was all utter crap of course (with the exception of the wonderful world TV station, SBS and the BBC looky-likey ABC) but we actually flipped channels. Nothing out of the ordinary but as we did that I could not shake the feeling that we are here, this is it, home, for good.

It was not a hard thing to come to terms with really. For I do love our life here. But as I said to Ian on the weekend I feel like all the things I loved about and pined for in Melbourne have changed and shifted. I think that is because for the past 6 months I have felt like, heck I have been, a stranger here. But as the strangeness peels away I find myself falling in love with Melbourne all over again. And for different reasons this time - reasons that reflect back to me my life in England.

I love the sun in winter that warms my face. I love the people who smile at you when you meet their eye and, if you are lucky, they say hello. I love that sense of space and light that permeates every fibre of my being and allows me to breathe again. I stood in the middle of Lygon Street on Saturday after we had picked up our brunch from the fabulous, Filou's P√Ętisserie. Lygon Street at that point is so wide - it encompasses 4 lanes of traffic and tram tracks and standing there in the gorgeous winter sun gaping at the clear blue sky I just had to stand there and take it in.

Yes, I can try and give you glimpses of life here in Melbourne. Tell you tales of what we do and where we go. But each time I do that I realise I must surrender a little more space inside me where England once lived. I tuck away those things I have hung onto in an effort to keep in touch and replace them with another piece of life here.

Like the part of me that knows that the last week in January is when the days start to get longer in Manchester. Well, I need to replace that now with the knowledge that the last week in August is when the days start getting longer here in Melbourne. For as I look out the window here at just after half past 5 I am delighted to see the sky is still light and know that I won't be trudging home in the dark.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honey, you'll have a little bit of England with you always - Ian! And the best bit - Manchester!

Just to keep you in touch - sky has just turned black, flashes of lightening, thunder and torrential rain - yes, it's the good old English summer!!


Friday, 18 August, 2006  

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