“Leave Sydney Alone!”

One thing I was not prepared for when I moved back home was the Sydney bashers. Never having been one myself, even before the ill fated tree change, I had forgotten what it was like to sit at my café and have to listen to some interstate guest or worse, a resident (shame on you!) banging on about how much better it is elsewhere. Of course we are all entitled to an opinion, but one doesn’t want to be made to feel like a goose being fattened up for Christmas on your negative vocalising of our home.  Being the Lady that I am, I have never worked up the (courage) perfect comeback to give it to them straight, but I can tell you the cracks are appearing dear reader, especially under our eyes and one day soon I just might snap!

It seems every second house on this little peninsula has a pram sitting on the verandah or just inside the front door as it does at our place. To the mummy set that whine about their homes being too small or the lack of a big backyard I say to you this. Isn’t it wonderful that you live somewhere so blissfully safe that you can leave your belongings hanging about and no-one would dream of taking them? You can get outside into the fresh air everyday and not visit the same park twice in a fortnight should you so desire.

It’s a wonder the village hasn’t emptied itself out, what with the amount of mamas that are “moving up north in two weeks, oh I just can’t wait for the fresh air and space”. Yes we did it ourselves way back when but never because Sydney was the stench pit some would have you believe. It was a choice we made to lift a fledgling company off the ground and return to our country roots. And I can tell you these things for sure.

You will spend most of your day cleaning your “bigger house”, you will still go to the park rather than hang out in your “huge backyard” because its lonely there and better the neighbourhood kids playing hospital than you right? (One makes no apology for the over use of quotation marks here, for what is a whinge without them?).

Please believe that I’m not criticizing a life change, just the reasons for it. Our short year in the country was a wonderful experience, one we will always treasure. But we get so tired of defending city living to people who have neither tried nor appreciate it. Yes in the Highlands we had long walks, wood fired pubs and a sprawling farmstead. We also had rain 325 days a year, crappy farmers markets with blokes driving food all the way from Flemington to try and pass it off as locally grown and third generation locals not willing to give us a chance. It isn’t all romance and you have to prepare yourself for that.

Back home we with take the bad with the good. We begrudgingly handover our rent each month and are at the mercy of ever increasing costs and flighty landlords, but we accept that this is part of the parcel. Our children have access to uncountable education opportunities, many of them free, a life by the ocean with our country friends only a short drive away. I have never felt that Sydney is “soul destroying” or that it “sucks you dry”, words I hear bandied around the very playgrounds that are tirelessly maintained and groomed by the council for our use whenever we please.

I love hearing people’s stories about their life elsewhere, such adventure in the everyday exploration of a new town but there is always something they miss about their old home. So what I say is this. Live your best life wherever you are, take none of it for granted and suck out every bit of fun like its mango season. That way you can look back with no regrets, nothing to miss, and relish each day afresh in your new home. Or, if it doesn’t work out, you won’t feel like such an idiot returning with your tail between your legs. We’ve been there…..

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