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



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


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


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

how australia calls me, part four

#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


#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.


how australia calls me, part two


#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


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.