“Go on, Anna. Come home. You could get a little house, with a dog for the kids, a job at the local school, Pat could work at the council, so on and so forth…”
You get the gist, right?
I get this phone call at least once a week from my Mum, as she tries to ‘pitch’ why we should move back closer to her.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my childhood home town, I really do, and I am often struck with homesickness for the dairy farm and the quiet life.
But here’s the thing.
At the beginning of last year, we made a pretty wild and fast decision to follow my husband’s work to Sydney. It meant packing up our house in Melbourne, loading the two kids and anything (and everything) we could possibly fit in the car, and heading up the Hume in a frantic, three week turn-a-round.
Now…I consider my husband and I pretty well travelled. Not in a ‘poxy, blah, blah, aren’t we schmancy’ kinda way; more of a ‘we did the whole work and backpack overseas stint ‘cos that’s what everyone was doing’ kinda way. We have both lived and worked in London, Melbourne, Perth, and even did a flashpack (long service leave) six month trip around Asia and Europe before the kids came along.
So now, here we are.
We landed in Sydney.
Just another city, you might say.
It’s just that…it’s not. You see, we landed in a little stretch of heaven.
Here are the reasons why a non-local mumma from the south, has loved her time as an Eastern Suburbs Mum.
- Sounding a bit gushy wannabe so far? Well, let’s break it up and start with the obvious as to why I don’t love the East; THE HILLS. Two el-cheapo strollers had snapped within the first 3 weeks of our arrival. These hills are a nightmare and I for one, fast got over my initial plan to get super fit and healthy tackling the hills with two kids attached. Avoid at all cost.
But…back to the love fest….
- The world’s best playground is right on our door. That beach. So incredible that I can plonk the diva down with a bucket and spade and she can play her little heart out. Fresh air, sunshine and simple pleasures. Nothing better than kicking of your shoes and feeling the sand between your toes, listening to her shrieks of delight and guarding your hot, salty chips from those wretched seagulls.
- Whilst I’m there at the beach, let’s talk about the weather. Yes; I know there is winter and when it rains here, well, it can belt sideways, but who could imagine having a beach afternoon in the middle of winter? Certainly not this little southern duck.
- Whilst I know the tourist factor can swing both ways (especially when you’re circling for a park on a sunny weekend afternoon in Coogee), but how incredible that people travel from all over the world to visit our very own backyard. I love walking up the main drag trying to pick the accents and I love seeing (and remembering) the freedom of youth and backpacking and good times. I love that my kids are exposed to people of all cultures and that importantly, ‘different’ becomes the ‘norm’.
- OK; so I am a sucker for a good celebrity spot…but I am still in awe to see some of our locals are off the telly. I always ensure I point out the Wonderland apartments to all who visit (whether they are interested or not; I loved that show!!) and try to act all uber cool when our very own ‘Home and Away in the day’ star strolls past! Revered sports stars wander our ways (OK; so not the best spotter of these stars, but my husband is eagle eyed where these champs are concerned) and I am undoubtedly certain that all sorts of famous characters from all genres have witnessed my toddler’s very public meltdowns; go me!
- I love the feeling of belonging. We can jump on a bus and be gazing up at the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge in under an hour, yet we can escape the city and come home to our Coogee village. Our son started school this year and walking down Coogee Bay Road will never be the same again, for all the right reasons. Kids are screaming hello to each other across the road, people wave ‘hi’, whilst others stop for a chat. We are part of something special; particularly helpful when my 4 year old diva makes a break for freedom down the hill after school pick up and another parent has stopped her before I have even had to start the humiliating chase of terror.
So clearly my Coogee conversion has been incredibly successful; just don’t expect me to understand rugby…or league…or whatever it is, anytime soon.
However they do say all good things must come to an end and we are facing some incredibly difficult decisions about our future at the moment. We are terribly confused about where we need to be; what is the best thing for our kids and what might our future hold? Mind you, what fortunate complications to have, but they are stressful nonetheless.
So; it seems a return to Melbourne is likely…
Oh…Mum would be absolutely beside herself!