Friday, October 21, 2011


So. Here is where I discuss the weather for a bit.  Now I always assumed discussing the weather was the great go-to topic when you couldn’t think of anything else interesting enough to discuss with another human being.  Until I moved to Melbourne that is.   Here, it’s not just small talk; it’s a way of life.  

And I’ve been here, in Melbourne, St Kilda to be exact, for nearly two weeks and I can honestly say, I do not know what in the fuck is going on.  This place fascinates me, scares me silly and makes me wonder if people actually ever sleep. Where ever I look, there is something going on.   I have been able to experience it as relatively single lass, a mother, a consumer, a drunkard and an outsider.  The best part? There is no right or wrong way to do it.

The thing is, apart from about a thousand trips to Bali in my younger years and various interstate trips; I have never known anything other than the Gold Coast.  And I love my home town, it’s part of the reason why I am the way I am today, but to me, right this very minute, it is thrilling to be experiencing something so vibrant.

Having said that, things are different here.  Good different, but different all the same.


There is less fuckwittage on the streets.  Now, I know, I’ve only been here for a couple of weeks, but I have driven an insane amount of peak hour traffic in that time in both fabulous and horrific weather. And you know what?  People are cool. They let you in, they acknowledge you when you let them merge and as a general rule, just calm. the. fuck. down. I have also come to learn that Punt Road is one letter away from being very aptly named. 


The service.  Second to none.  The other day, the waitress brought me a latte instead of a flat white which I was happy to take.   I mean, one comes in a glass and has more milk, one doesn’t.  Essentially.   They gave it to me for free and 20% off my bill because they made “such a shocking error”. Um, no, a shocking error would be leaving a decapitated finger in my scrambled eggs.  It’s cool.  1000 other scenarios have ensued since I’ve been here.  Well not 1000. Sorry, I like to exaggerate a little, but you get my point, 99% of people in this town want you to walk away satisfied.  Hmm.  I’m not touching the adult stores in that sentence. 


The weather. As I mentioned above, and I know Crowded House wrote a song about it but we all know the minute you can interpret the lyrics to any Crowded House song you have discovered the meaning of life and therefore, your life is over,  so this does not help AT ALL. So, I digress, yes, the weather.  So far, in two weeks, I have witnessed, without a doubt, winter, summer, spring and autumn.  One day, when sitting in the Laundromat, I honestly thought the leaves I could see dropping rapidly outside the window was snow.  It got that cold, windy and dark, THAT freaking quickly I started to freak out.  Similarly yesterday, it was about 29 degrees. Everywhere you looked people were losing their shit at the unexpected fair weather.  There were g-strings on grassy knolls, white legs exposed and dudes who had clearly been waiting an entire year to show off their polished guns, getting about inappropriately in their singlets.   We went swimming as the bulk carriers out to sea made their way to Tasmania.  It was insane.  And lovely. 

It isn’t all roses, just yesterday after a tough day, I had my first pang of homesickness and can honestly say I was prepared to pack up, tuck my fluffy tail between my legs and head home.  Partly due to the fact that I miss Maddie like I’m missing a limb, partly due to the fact that it’s all just incredibly fucking hard.  And I’m not one to complain, I just do, but sometimes, like yesterday, I just wanted to stop doing and go back to the easy.

But tonight, as I sit here and type this in the darkness of my 3 x 3 metre motel room with my family slumbering behind me, adjusting themselves from time to time due to the keyboard noise, I realise this is exactly what we need. What I need.  A change.  Will it work?  Who knows?  Is it scary as all hell?  Yep.  Will we ever regret giving it a go?  No.

Aside: Phil and the boys joined me on Sunday.  Was incredibly nice to squish each and every one of them after so long.  Maddie will be down when she graduates.

Squishing the Shit out of Jack.  Clearly he's loving it.


KJ said...

I spent 17.5 years living in Melbourne after growing up in the Hunter Valley where seasons is predicatable. 17.5 years and the weather would STILL take me by surprise.

Wait until summer when it's 43 degrees, you can then smell the cool change (I shit you not, Bern, you can SMELL a cool change in Melbourne) and the temperature plummets 25 degrees in 15 minutes. That smell is one of my favourite things in the entire world.

No-one tlaks about the weather in Singapore. What's the point? It's between 30 to 32 degrees every day. It's either hot and humid or hot and humider.

And now I've just made myself completely and utterly fucking homesick.

Maria Tedeschi (Mum's Word) said...

I applaud your courage to make such a move. And even if it doesn't work. It won't be wasted time because you still get out something out of it.

But Bern, you are tops and I can't imagine why you wouldn't be able to make this work.

Love & stuff
Mrs M

Denwise aka Denyse Whelan said...

I agree so much with what Maria said Bern. Good for you & Phil wanting to see if a new city & lifestyle is what's needed. I thought lots about you yesterday especially after twitchy showed me where you are working & I though, what a contrast this is for Bern after GC living. Then, as with KJ I recall that to move to a new city / country sounds awesome but reality is, your heart is being pulled back a bit, big hugs my friend cxx

Dorothy said...

I feel all warm and fuzzy inside that you like Melbourne. Just about everyone I know complains about it. It's too cold, it's too hot, it's too crowded. They can't wait to leave...

I haven't lived anywhere else since arriving in 1981. I take so much for granted. It's nice to see it from an outsider's eyes.

I hope everything works out well for you guys...

Melody said...

I can point you in the direction where Neil Finn actually wrote that song! (I know the house where!)

Diminishing Lucy said...

So so so glad it is all working. Punts aside.


Kylie L said...

Homesickness will get you when you least expect it... when your kid has a bad day at the new school, but also when you can't find your brand of shampoo (or whatever) in the weirdly laid out Coles that you're not used to. It's part of the journey, but the bouts will get further and further apart.

Lovely blog. I adore my home town Melbs, and I get sick to death of people giving our weather stick. As far as I'm concerned we have REAL weather: we have (mostly) hot summers, cold winters, lovely springs and, with all our big old European tress, beautiful autumns. Sure, all that is liable to change at any minute, but that's interesting too. I adored our own city-change to Broome last year, but as KJ said it actually does get kind of dull when the weather is exactly the same (barring the odd cyclone) every day of the year. Today isn't looking a bit drizzly, but tomorrow is set to be 27 and sparkling. No-one can ever accuse of us being boring.

Good luck- you'll make it. And I am only over the Chandler Highway once you move!

Linda said...

Just a comment for the sake of solidarity. Go you!

When I moved to HK, I knew I'd (nearly, but never completely and that's why I friggin' LOVE living somewhere else... who wants to completely adjust? But I digress) adjusted when I said on the way home from a holiday "It will be good to be home".

Then you start calling home town 'home' when you are talking to people from there; and new town 'home' when you are talking to new friends.

Two towns, twice the fun.

And there I thought I was only going to write a little bit. xo

Smudgeblurr said...

Hey Bern,
Glad to hear things are sorting themselves out - I bet Maddie is missing you twice as much as you are missing her - not that she would admit it :) take care and enjoy the new experiences..

Mum on the Run said...

Good on you - for taking this punt!
So much growth to be had in taking a huge plunge. Or having the balls to take a huge plunge.
Happy squishing!

Naomi said...

Like KJ said above, I LOVE the smell of a cool change. LOVE.

I still get homesick, when I least expect it, it smacks me over the head. Some days I'm ready to pack it all up and move back home. But I love Melbourne and it's crazy weather. I love it.

As for Punt Rd... yeah... what can I say.

4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle said...

Bern - homesickness is awful but the disappointment that arrives from not being brave enough to try something new is far worse.

I've been thinking about you so much. It's very cool to hear you talking about your new adventure. Maddie will be there soon and as Kylie said the bouts of homesickness will get further and further apart.

You rock Bern. Keep going.


Miss Kate Daily said...

Hey Bern, I'm glad your liking Melbourne! I am passionate about my city, and proud of all it's quirks. Amazed you have found the drivers to be courteous?! But the differences between Australian cities always fascinates me. I hope you continue to like my city. When you settle the offer still stands to meet up and have a coffee - of course. I know some great cafes. Lesson 1.

Kate x

Anonymous said...

Hey Bern, I just stumbled across your blog and this post has me hooked - inspirational and hilarious to boot. Good luck with it - I'm sure it will work out! Cheers, K

Anna Van said...
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MaidInAustralia said...

You guys really have balls to make this bold move, and I'm sure it will work out for you. And hey - you're all together, or will be, when Maddie joins you. What a brave thing she is doing, finishing off her schooling on her own too. Be proud Bern, of your hubby, your kids, and you! You rock!

Sandra London said...

You look so sweet both with your little angel, I am happy to see that you manage with both: family and work, I hope that soon I will start work too and I will be able to deal with both!

Faybian said...

I have been there Bern. Some time ago, just in reverse. You will love Melbourne. I wrote about my move at

Bailee Self said...

Such a beautiful photo of mother and child love! It takes a bunch of courage to handle all challenges in life, but seems you are doing great! Kudos!

The Hand of a Jeanie said...

KJ is right about the smell. I love it too. And Punt is a..... bloody nightmare.
Melbourne is awesome. Have fun discovering it. If you need a weekend getaway, come up to Alexandra, and meet a fellow child of the 80s who also loves procrastinating!!

The Hand of a Jeanie said...
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