how so cal calls me, part three

3: I really like my job. I work for a cool company; my workmates are incredibly supportive; we produce interesting and effective stuff. Though I must admit that I didn’t spend the last few days champing at the bit to be back at my desk.

how so cal calls me, part two

2: sunset over the ocean. It’s a west coast thing. And I love it.

how southern california calls me, part one

I arrived back in California this morning. While I go through the pain of packing and moving this coming week, I’ll be reporting with appreciation on the things I love about this place that’s been my home for 15 years now.

1: the weather, especially in winter. High seventies in the middle of winter? Yes please!

Here it is in Celsius, for my non-US readers:

Nice, right?

how australia calls me, part seven

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7: call me dorky, but I love bush dancing. Nettie hired a well known bush band, Franklyn B. Paverty, to play at Dad’s birthday party, and I, for one, had a blast letting loose on the dance floor. Today Nettie, Dad and I went to see them play at an Australia Day celebration, at which plenty of people got up to waltz and polka. It really was a ton of fun.

how australia calls me, part six

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6: my family is all here. Yesterday the clan gathered to celebrate Dad’s 80th with music, song, dance, food and wine. Every one of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren was in attendance. We celebrated more than a birthday; we rejoiced in us all being together. It was a day none of us will forget.

Dad said to me, “I know it’s not a competition or a numbers game, but there are more people who love you here.” He’s right.

how australia calls me, part five

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5: Felix Daniel Hepburn. My heart cracks wide open.

how australia calls me, part four

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#4: I can get a real cup of tea in a cafe. That means tea leaves, steeped in boiling water, in a teapot. So simple. Yet well nigh impossible to find in the U.S.

how australia calls me, part three

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#3: the swimmable, beautiful beaches. Nettie and I left early for the 2 hour drive to the coast; we had breakfast in a Moruya cafe at 8:30 AM. We stopped to stare fondly at the home our Mum used to own in Broulee, site of many family Christmases in the 80s, kids galore having a blast. We walked the beach, up to our knees in the clean water, then circled the island, recalling the time our young daughters made the trek with us, inventing a story about princesses as they scrambled over the rocks.

So many happy memories from the beach. The clean, beautiful, swimmable beaches of Australia.

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how australia calls me, part two

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#2: My sister is my best friend. We love to do the same kind of things, eat the same kind of foods. We work great as a team. Yesterday we walked the dog at dawn, then spent a few hours on yard work and cleanup in preparation for this weekend’s big shindig. This was followed by a visit to a wonderful exhibit at the National Library, and a lovely salad lunch.

A failed attempt to find replacement deck chair seats for sale had us back home in the sewing room a few hours later, selecting fabric to make our own. (Nice use of Anna Maria Horner’s Volumes design, don’t you think?). I cut and pressed, she sewed. We were tickled pink with the results.

Then we made a Lentil Veggie Cottage Pie for dinner and we drank wine while watching Dr Who. I don’t know how that sounds to you, but it was pretty much a perfect day for us.

If I lived here, I could see Nettie a whole lot more.

how australia calls me, part one

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The view from my sister’s door.

Instead of fear being the guiding principle in my decision about where to live next, my sister Nettie wisely suggested that I weigh up the positives instead.

So over the next two weeks, in no particular order, I’ll share some of the reasons Australia calls my heart.

#1: I love the bush. I love the smells, the insects’ buzz, the melodious bird calls, the marsupials, the muted palette. There’s nothing like it anywhere else. It has a ragged beauty that feels right to me. Nettie lives on a bush block, so we’re right amongst it as we step out the door. I love that.

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