Saturday, July 24, 2010


I am interested in how people decide where to live- did you choose your place or did it choose you.
I am writing from my friends living room. In Preston. It's early (ish) on a Saturday morning and I have just strolled over to the Preston market, had a coffee, bought some flowers (cheap and fresh- how novel) and done some people watching- so much history, tradition and diversity in the people and the produce they are selling. The cheeses, the coffee, the baked goods, the breads. Ahh, you can take the girl out of the deli but you can't take the deli out of the girl! (Yes, deli chick from way back, here!)
I was enjoying my own company and felt a deep sense of contentment.

I love Melbourne, I was in the city yesterday and felt that very same 'heart ping' of happiness and contentment. I feel at home here, comfortable here but I do not live here. I think it is a good place for be to be when I am alone- Mr Apple doesn't enjoy too much Melbourne (despite the fact that he used to live near the corner of Collins and Russell Streets in the very city!) and Miss and Master Apple love the novelty of getting around on public transport, buskers, eating fresh store bought nori rolls and other excitements.
It's my place rather than theirs, though, I think it's fair to say.

Then I start thinking about home.
I admit,  I don't love our house. It gives me a bit of a headache! 
But I do love our country. It is silent and fresh and green (at the moment). It is big and wide and we are free in it.
We don't have ready access to shops and entertainment but then we don't have massive billboards and the constant onslaught of advertising to navigate.

I know I have talked about this before, but 'sense of place/ home/ community' really draws me. Some people seem better at moving house. I had the same bedroom for 18 years and don't think I cope with stress or change very well (I am noticing this more as I age). My brave friend Kate upped and left Australia with 3 children under 7 at the time and still hasn't returned from Chicago (hmph!). 
And then there's me, 20 kilometres from the farm I grew up on- from that bedroom I spent the first 18 years of my life in. My parents are still there (obviously I am not from gypsy stock!) and my children now sleep in that bedroom when they visit.
I feel connected to, and like my roots are firmly planted in that area, and I love that and feel thankful... and I hate that because I don't feel like I could even consider saying 'let's go live in, hmm, say, Broome, for a bit of a change!'

Edited to add-Home now and how nice is that? Very very nice!


  1. i am now sitting at my mum's houser in preston reading this on her laptop.
    i almost went to preston market this morning, but decided against it as i know how busy it gets on saturdays.
    we moved around quite a bit when we were younger but now my mums place is her place, where she's been for the last 14 yrs and where i lived until a couple of years ago.
    i love the sense of community i feel in the northern suburbs of melbourne, the markets, the cafes and the local shops where you see familiar faces.
    hope you enjoy your weekend Tanya.

  2. Although I now live in Melbourne - and don't plan on shifting from our house ever - my parents still live in the same house in the country that they built when they first married. When we visit I sleep in the same bedroom I was brought home from hospital to. My daughters use the bath I used, they play in the same places I played. I love the continuity, although in some ways it freaks me out a bit. I now have a community here where I live - I run into people I know at cafes, at the shopping centres, etc. This is definitely home. Like you, I'd have trouble moving anywhere for a bit of a change!

  3. By the way - have a great wekend in Melbourne! Yell out next time you're down and we may be able to coordinate a visit.

  4. I had the opposite upbringing. I've moved house at least 23 times, and went to 11 different schools. There's not really one place that I consider home. I only ended up in Melbourne as that's where I found work after uni. I've ended up living in the suburb that I could afford, but I guess that even though nothing was really planned, I'm still happy with how it turned out.

  5. I find the whole idea of sense of place interesting too and it is something I have been thinking about quite a bit lately. I used to consider my childhood home (in the country) as 'home'. When people asked where I was from I would always answer that I live in xxx but I'm from xxx. When that childhood home was lost a couple of years ago it forced we think about where home is. It made me realise that although I still feel incredibly connected to the place where I grew up I am no longer a part of that community. I have lived in our current house for over 10 years and it is only in the last year or so that we have started to make major change to the house to turn into something that is more our taste, style etc and I think it is because until recently it never felt like home to me and somewhere in my head I had unconciously decided that were were just borrowing it so it didn't matter what it looked/felt like. When the other house was destroyed it occurred to me that the people at the supermarket/post office/ local shops all know me and welcome me. I am familiar with the surrounding streets and am part of my daughters school community. I bump into people I know when out in the local area and that this is now my community and home. It is just different from the small close knit community I grew up in and that just because I don't know the names of everyone in my street doesn't mean that I don't belong. However having said all that I still yearn to return to the country and probably will at some point in the future, just not anytime soon.

  6. well mrs apple , now i know what you got up to while carolyn and i enjoyed the morning at vic market! lol

  7. I love to go to Melbourne for a day or two (and am off there again this weekend for the third time in 2 weeks) but it can become a bit much. Like you I get quite nostalgic there and love having so many friends close by but.... Beechworth is so lovely and we are almost in the new house...almost! I think it's a bit of the 'you can take the girl out of the country but not the country out of the girl'! I reckon that if the kids grow up in the country they can live anywhere but no so in the reverse (as easily anyway!).


  8. I feel happy and content in places I know I love the city i grew up in, was very sad when we left our first house for the country, but then now i miss that house and property we had there too. Still in same state but in the suburbs.
    I miss my childhood and wish i could give what i had but is just different times and circumstances.
    I love going on holidays (not enough of them!) when we get the chance but always love coming home.
    It will be nice one day to be in our own home hopefully and no rent inspections!

  9. I think my attachment to place is rather different, and I guess that's no surprise, given the fact that I had lived in 30 different houses by the time I was 30 years old!

    I usually love where I am at any time, but I also always have a strong wanderlust ... I would pick up and move to a new town, city or country at the drop of a hat, if only I could convince my (very-risk-averse and very-Brunswick-nesting) husband to take the plunge.

    It's nice to read all these stories though :-)


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