31 December 2009

Twenty-one today!

When I was a teenager in Perth, I wished that I lived in Melbourne. It seemed that the cooler wetter weather suited me better, and it was a lot more interesting in terms of shopping, galleries and things to do. Once I was in university and then started work, I often came over to The Eastern States by bus (it was far too expensive to fly), to suck up all of that exotic moody Melbourne lifestyle. Then it dawned on me that I could actually move here.

Today is the 21st anniversary of that move. It's completely lived up to my expectations, and exceeded it in many ways. I've now lived here for longer than I've lived anywhere else. So, in the spirit of end-of-year (and end-of-decade) lists, here's my list of 21 observations about my life in Melbourne.

1. For the most part, I love our trams. But our trains suck.

2. I refer to all street directories as Melways, even the Sydney and Perth ones.

3. Well-made coffee is essential to my wellbeing.

4. Melbourne is made up of lots of smaller communities, which connect in interesting ways, across the suburbs and the years.

5. There's a lot of snobbery about which secondary school your kids go to. It can be hard to swim against this tide, and I'm pleased we did.

6. I really do have a lot of black in my wardrobe. And several coats.

7. The CBD has changed a lot over the past two decades, particularly around the QV area where I now work.

8. While I don't actively follow the footy, I do know a lot about the ladder each year via osmosis. This was especially helped along this year by my seven year old son who is into the AFL in A Big Way.

9. Our city hosts a lot of wonderful festivals, most of which I don't get to, as I'm pretty busy just trying to keep the delamare family show on the road these days.

10. In 1989 I moved to a city in which an umbrella was essential item virtually all year. Nowadays it is pretty easy to get caught out without one. Most Melburnians seem to have lost the habit of carrying a brolly about with them as it so rarely rains.

11. These days, I don't find Leunig as interesting as I once did. (Although the 2010 calendar free in The Age isn't too bad.)

12. We really do have loads of great food on offer here.

13. I've only taken my kids to the Myer Christmas windows twice. We've never been to the carols at the Myer Music Bowl. Hope they won't feel like they've missed out something essential in their childhood!

14. I've been through about five serious lots of Melbourne househunting, but only bought property twice.

15. We've bought one house at a Melbourne auction, and sold a flat the same way. It's nervewracking on both sides.

16. I need to get to the fresh food markets a lot more.

17. I can't live without The Green Guide; I even read the letter section religiously.

18. I really miss the way Acland Street was in the early 1990s before it became too touristy.

19. There are always lots of interesting places to discover, and great tracts of suburbs I've not explored.

20. I am still amazed that we have a holiday for the Melbourne Cup.

21. I really feel like this is my home, even though it's not the city where I grew up.

It's been a great move. But these days Melbourne's weather now feels like Perth weather. Today it's a sticky 38 degrees, and windy (can't have everything I suppose).

Happy New Year.


Kath Lockett said...

Very well said, Delamere.

This is my third 'stay' in Melbourne. The first was for a mere year in 1994, then five years from 1996-2000 and then back again in 2009. For me it feels like home and also an exciting new place at the same time.

Like you, we haven't done the 'must do' things like the Christmas Carol stuff, but I still feel as though the vibe of Melbourne has soaked in. All three of us feel like living here has been one of the best decisions we've made.

Happy new year!

Oh and I agree with you re Leunig. Some of his cartoons are a bit 'what the...?' and it's as though it's terribly disloyal to admit that you don't 'get' it or think that he's brilliant 100% of the time. But yes, the calendar is appreciated!

moggy said...

Bless Melbourne indeed!So happy it has turned out as hoped (for one and all).

It helps that today is a lovely, lovely day and my doors are open to the garden with a soft breeze and all that! And a couple of sleeping kitties to top it all off.