I had some Sydney friends, Dave and Caz, in town over the holidays. In the same way that I was enamoured of NZ when I was there, they were taken with Melbourne. Seeing my home town fresh through their eyes reminded me of all the ways Melbourne is great and the beauty of the everyday. I can get jaded about the hipsters and the alternating heat and hypothermia so I enjoyed trying on their rose coloured glasses and seeing the best of it. Oh brave new world with such creatures in it. 

Are you local? My home hood of Thornbury for example I tend to take for granted. But with fresh eyes, it was like tuning into a different sunnier frequency. All the cafes, the conveniently located Aldis, train and tram stops, the smiling bearded baristas, pockets of greenery and graffiti, urban meets gentle suburban. It reminded me that I am so lucky to live here and the Sydney equivalent would be potentially unaffordable and heaps busier. I used to think Fitzroy-or-bust but Thornbury is pretty awesome and only a tram ride to Brunswick street anyhoo. I am now trying new cafes and stopping to admire things like street art and taking photos of railway tracks and appreciating this local area for local people. Welcome to Thornbury. You’ll never leave.

It’s all in the attitude: My friends commented that people were friendlier down here. That they smiled and interacted with you and made eye contact on the street. This too I take for granted and this too I found in NZ. With the holiday attitude of relaxed friendliness, you attract back this attitude of relaxed friendliness. Like attracts like. I must appreciate and remember this. A convo over a coffee, a comment about the weather, a head nod or an acknowledging smile on the street. These things make a big difference to both parties. Shiny happy people holding hands.

On my doorstep: Besides the localness and astounding everyday beauty of Thornbury, there are many wonderful places conveniently located along public transport routes. Taking in the air and miso soup at Abbortsford convent (Maria is not an asset to the Abbey), slurping noodles at Shop Ramen, sharing nachos at ye olde Vegie Bar, carb loading at Mario’s and the everyday pleasures of book shop browsing, park promenades, people watching and street strolling. There was also the opportunity to catch some Midsumma festival shows and I had a gay old time seeing “The Cabin”(bravo David), “Peter Allen Live in inverted commas” (quiet please there’s a lady on stage) and Regan Lynch (somewhere over the rainbow) at the wonderful Hare and Hyena Bookshop. Life certainly is a cabaret my friend.

With my love for Melbourne renewed once more through these fresh eyes of mine I’ve realised beauty abounds and …what good is sitting alone in your room. Come hear the music play (or at least go to a café).

 Love and light and rose coloured hues xxx Yvette