Friday, 3 May 2013

city joy

In my previous life - pre-motherhood - I used to work in the city. Suits, heels, big fancy offices, swipey key cards to move from one room/floor to the next, lavish staff dinners and balls, big budgets, bigger egos, train rides to and from work dedicated to reading NOVELS - remember those? I made some life long friends during those years. And I met my husband.

During that time, the city felt familiar. It started out big, and gradually got smaller. I moved to Melbourne after having lived and travelled overseas, and prior to that, left my home town, a small country town where I had spent all my life. Mum and dad made sure we travelled as kids. As far as the old station wagon would take us as smalls, and then piled in - luxury style, where you didn't have to share the middle seat belt - into a tarago. I still remember the day we got our first tarago. Mum and dad had not told us about the new car, and all we heard was a toot ta-toot toot in the driveway one afternoon and we ran outside to see what all the noise was for. There was dad, sitting in our new car.

I have fond and vivid memories of our family holidays each year. As little kids, before stringent car seat laws were enforced, we would travel from the bottom of South Australia to the Gold Coast in one straight run. The seats would be laid flat in the back of the wagon, sleeping bags, pillows and blankets arranged, mum and dad would move us into the car somewhere around the middle of the night, and we would drive. Stopping for a little fresh air and toilet breaks here and there, we would arrive at my grandparents' home in time for dinner. Now, as a parent, I cannot even begin to imagine attempting this.

All grown up and headed for the big smoke (which was really small smoke after living in London and Glasgow), the once unfamiliar city became familiar, as I found my way around - lunch spots, sushi shop, coffee run, Friday night drinks hangouts that almost always ended on a Saturday morning. The ding of the tram bells and rush of the traffic became normal. Gradually losing interest in the beauty that the city holds and everything in it. When you do something day in day out, it's easy to do. Especially once the love for what you're doing begins to fade.

Now when we visit the city, it feels big again, strangely unfamiliar even though I still know where everything is. I see the same shops hidden in alleyways and side streets that I used to frequent from those earlier years. Thinking how the time between then and now for them, must have been constant and routine. And those days for me, the complete opposite. Growing and welcoming three babies is anything but routine. My life is so different and I was so grateful for the timing at which that change arrived. I was nearing the end of my rate race participant patience and news of Ruby's pregnancy was a welcome relief from that life I knew I would leave behind.

I had forgotten how beautiful Melbourne can be. This week, in all it's autumn glory, it made my boys' eyes light up, little fingers pointing eagerly with its sights, sounds and smells - mine too.


  1. beautiful photos! & i love your loafers :)

    hhmm...heels and suits, sounds familiar lol



  2. Now I just want to rush over to Melbourne and sit for a while!

    I know what you mean about 'the city'. We still live in the city, but these days we're about 20 mins from the Bridge and we're surrounded by bush. I used to commute into work each day, but it's been over a year since I did that. Now whenever I go into the city it's a big deal. It feels like an adventure. Foreign. x

  3. I've always fantasized about those fascinating Melbourne city workers wearing gorgeous business attire and going through the motions of the seemingly glamorous working lifestyle that you described. It sounds wonderful! I love to dream but if I'm honest, the city is great to visit but the prospect of working in the city is a tad overwhelming!

  4. Oh, and Melbourne city in Autumn looks spectacular!

  5. I LOVE the city. Melbourne city always holds my heart. I used to live in the middle of it all as a student on a busy street corner. Oh how completely different it looks and feels now when I slowly walk through the streets and laneways with my smalls. Especially in the cold morning sun when all the office workers are tucked away in their holes and the shops are still setting up.

  6. Just gorgeous.

    Growing up in the country, I moved to the big smoke for work almost 12 years ago now... Some days I love it, some days I loathe it (mainly bad public transport experiences help with that!) I love the fact there is so much to do/see/hear/touch/smell in the city, yet often catch myself dreaming of a slower carefree life which doesn't seem to exist in the big smoke. People are always in a rush - somewhere to be, people to see.

    I am glad your children do get to experience the best of both worlds! :)

  7. "The Vengar Bus is coming............" I remember all the Holidays we had - just like yesterday. You (4)were all wonderful travellers, so we just went... or, I would set out on my own to anywhere, as an adventure!Picnic's in the Park (2 hrs drive away) just for the day......BBQ's in the Pines (over the Vic border)Melbourne is 'a beautiful, vibrant, well laid out city' the BEST coffee is in Melbourne!! xxx

  8. I totally get this too. I actually grew up in Emerald and a trip in to Melbourne to visit Grandparents or go to a show or Museum was such an exciting adventure. Your photos make me want to move back to Melbourne!

    Our parents also did the big road-trip thing, always camping or sometimes staying in a caravan or cabin *LUXURY*!!! To this day I still love the idea of piling the kids in the car in their PJs and hitting the road before sunrise. Rarely happens though, and last time we tried a 4am getaway, the kids didn't go back to sleep and were super cranky before we stopped for breakfast somewhere... ;) x Rhi

  9. Your description of the old school car trip is spot on...I remember climbing into the back of the station wagon and sleeping while mom and dad drove and drove.

    I feel like the city life I lead before becoming a mother is a lifetime ago...make up and high heels and client dinners...I don't miss it at all!


I love to hear from you, thankyou so much for taking the time to leave a comment x

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...