Everything is quite surreal at the moment. As well as being manic at work, extremely happy where I'm living and quite excited about what I'm about to begin doing; I’m also going through a period of intensely missing the people and the places, the experience of my time in London and Europe last year. I know that, in the whole scheme of things, I wasn’t there all that long, but I miss it as though I was there for years.
The people who I miss, I only knew for a short time – the lanky midlander for 6 months, the crazy bedouin, 4 months, the german girl for 3 months, and the aussie girl and german boy for just 1 month each– not even, really. [Not to mention the loads of other ace people I met]. And for some reason it feels like I’ve left some soul mates over there. And 'over there' is such a long way away.
And in terms of place, as the weather turns cold and blustery, every corner I turn in Melbourne reminds me of Hamburg, or Paris, parts of London and sections of Vienna. It drives me batty.
Dan Hill and I were recently discussing Australians’ pride in the tyranny of distance, as such a huge part of our psyche and I’m starting to understand an element of it: that which is an almost physical craving of places elsewhere. Kind of like when you get a song stuck in your head and you just have to play it and play it until you exhaust it. Right now, I've got the geographical equivalent of the intro to Slayer's Raining Blood going around and around and around.
And then, in organising a mix cd swap, lord of the ad-pit, rob mortimer, asked me to describe some of the things I did while I was over there. Obviously, in the interest of providing him with some material (and not as some self-indulgent outpouring), here's my list:
Shit I miss from my time in London and Europe:
• dancing to the kooks, pidgeon detectives, the holloways and other brit-pop indie kids in nina's bedroom, eating dumplings, while getting ready to go out.
• megabus. several journeys up and down the M1: leeds, manchester x 2, plus a trip to cardiff to see the arctic monkeys - you can't make those kinds of journeys for so cheap here.
• €1 for an espresso.
• H&M. I didn't discover the true joy of H&M until i was on my way out, but it's something I wish we had here: clean, simple, basic.
• speaking in languages other than my own. there's something really satisfying about having to use a whole other part of your brain - to have to think completely differently. Perhaps that's why I feel like I've changed, because I had to think completely differently and according to Cartesian Philosophical Theory, it means I was completely different.
• The National Gallery (and the regular cups of tea in the Cafe) and the permanent collection at the Tate Modern.
• The number 19 bus and the Victoria line. (Which is why I packed it in my suitcase, but it's not much use here, unfortunately). And my Oyster card.
• Coffee mornings at the Breakfast Club and the Berwick St Markets.
• "Die nächste Haltestelle, Ramersdorf"
• Non-alcoholic beer in Germany and Austria and the baklava in St Germain in Paris and near Perrache Metro in Lyon
• The Lourve, The Pompidou, The Castello Di Rivoli, ArkitekturZentrumWien and the MAMOK.
• Running up Crouch Hill to the sounds of Banquet by the Bloc Party (the perfect running song).
• Reading properly famous people in the newspapers: Tracey Emin in the Independent, Antony Gormley in the Guardian, Nick Hornby in the Observer and I think even someone like Van Morrison in the paper one time. Oh, and Time Out.
It's a weird list, but hey, that's the nature of the beast sometimes - general and specific, expected and unusual.