All I know is this.
I came home.
The rest, I’m figuring out.
Twelve whole years in London and I did what people say you’re not supposed to. I left. After 10 years, you’re a lifer. I even had the citizenship ceremony: raising my right hand to a lifesize cardboard picture of the Queen and swearing I’d be true to her. I did it partly because I wanted the passport, partly because I knew I couldn’t keep a straight face if I left it too long and had to look at Charles instead, and party because I almost believed I was British.
London was…is…the best city in the world. I didn’t go to travel through Europe like so many of us do (although I did, of course). I went for London. And I was London, in a way.
But Australia suddenly called to me across oceans and continents and told me this is where I was supposed to be. There’s an undercurrent of excitement here, a scent in the air that suggests something tantalising is just around the next corner. People smile at you in streets, shuffle over for you on cafe benches, give you unsolicited tips in the veggie section of the supermarket. Australia is a delight to me, because both it and I are foreign to each other now and every day there are new discoveries to be made.
Whether you’re a local or a ring-in, a homebody or a weary traveller; I hope you’ll join me on my exciting, uplifting, confusing, challenging journey to rediscover home.
More about Michelle
- I’m writing a book. About London, of course. I have an agent: the eminently patient Jenny Savill at Andrew Nurnberg Associates.
- I have worked in a LOT of jobs. Partly this is London’s fault, because there are just too many opportunities if you know where to look. I have led people on sculpture tours in the Square Mile, designed 12 school with no architecture or engineering qualifications, waitressed in a circus tent at Bestival, taught History to teenage girls and juggled 80 writers in a literature festival schedule. I’m currently doing Digital Comms for a very nice girls’ school in Melbourne.
- I am interested in enacting behavioural change in individuals and organisations, and love getting people together for events to see what happens. This is the common thread in my gazillion and one jobs (see point 2).
- I am supremely organised, insatiably curious and constantly tired.
- I am the biggest cynic I know. I cannot fake sympathy for sick pets and believe people give money and time to foreign charities because it’s easier than the hard stuff that really WILL change their worlds like stopping driving cars, sticking with the same wardrobe for a year or more and turning off the lights. I am guilty of not practising what I preach.
- TED talks make me laugh when they are not supposed to. I still really, really want to do something big enough to be asked to do one though.
- I am an eBay expert. It’s only half as good in Oz as England; but I will still scour it for hours to find the best deal on a mid-century sideboard. I have been known to buy furniture for friends and have it delivered from 100 miles away. If you need help, I am your woman.
- I am fascinated by furniture that does more than one thing. Like my mid-century coffee table that flips into a seat. My flat is small, so if someone could just make me a bed that becomes a desk…