The Brisbane Writers Festival program comes out this Friday and my first thought was, oh great!, followed by, gee I wish I actually lived somewhere that had a writers festival. But then, the third thought… I will be living there in just two months time!!!
Dear reader, if you have ever been to this site before (and I feel truly privileged (and surprised) if you have), you will know that I’ve been living that stereotypical renovation nightmare for the past nine months. And if you have ever read my ‘about me’ page, you’ll see that I live on the Sunshine Coast. Except that I don’t! And do you know why it says that? Because when I wrote that page, I believed I would be living there in a few weeks time. And every month that’s gone by since, I’ve thought, oh, why change it now because I’ll be there in a few weeks time.
Well, at long last I will be returning to the land of creative smorgasbords after toughing it out in the bush for five and a half years. Now, you may be one of those ‘born of the land’ types that loves the isolation, the fact that you’ve got no where to spend your money, and that you see more snakes, crocodiles, kangaroos and bunyips than you do other people. But I’m not. And honestly I think it’s a freaking miracle that I’ve managed to write a novel that was accepted for publication in the time I’ve been living here in sensory starvation. Because I need bookshops, cafes, theatre, food festivals, music festivals, folk festivals, drumming classes, yoga classes, dance classes, and some sort of social event that requires me to wear more than track pants (uh huh, yup) and Ugg boots.
And a gym!!! Oh gosh… a real gym with machines and childcare. Oh, and perhaps a supermarket? Yes, that would be great too. A movie cinema. Oh, come on, now you’re spoiling me! Indian/Greek/Thai/Italian food? A multi-million-dollar library (that has an actual cafe in it?!?!!?) Stop!! It’s too much!!!
And what about a world-class beach lifestyle? World heritage national parks? Sailing? Fresh fish? Farmers markets? Mmmm….. that will be me in just two months time.
The date is set. The boxes are packing. The furniture is selling. I’m drowning in a billion admin tasks. And I am saying goodbye to the red earth, the emerald-green grass, three-hundred-and-sixty-degree views, the wallabies that greet me on the driveway, the sound of my horses as they gallop across the open fields*, the pair of red-rumped parrots that come and sit on the verandah and chat away as though they’ve been married longer than we have, the numerous shopkeepers who know my name and what I want (even if they can’t get it for me), the people who sell fruit off the back of their ute on the side of the road, and the first home of our married life and our baby’s life.
I’m saying goodbye, I’m feeling the sadness… but oh gosh I’m getting excited about the creative bingeing I’m going to do when I get to the other side. I’m about to go on the biggest binge you’ve ever seen. You may have to organise an intervention to get me out from under the paint brushes, coconut milk cappucinos and henna tattoo heaven.
(*my horses are coming too, it’s just that they’ll have hills instead of wide open plains and there’ll be far less galloping and a lot more ambling and puffing up the slopes)