City v Country Life

We live in a big old house in the country. We moved here from South Yarra, a part of Melbourne that I'd been living in, on and off, for 10 years. (There were also stints in Europe, but I kept getting homesick and coming home. Australia does that to you.) We moved here to have a garden. And a library. And a house that wasn't frequented by men looking for paid sex, as my South Yarra apartment was after a call girl moved next door. We moved here for the peace. The scenery. And the opportunity to have – luxury of luxuries – a study each. And for the most part we've been very happy. But I have to confess that there are things I miss about my old life. Such a good newsagent that stocks more than the Weekly Times, hunting magazines and porn. I miss a well-stocked bookshop, with architecture and gardening titles. I miss having cute cafes in which to meet friends. (Just one cafe would be great.) I miss Melbourne's atmospheric bars and pubs. The Yarra River running track. Trams. The Tan in autumn. I even miss going to the theatre. Not that we ever went, but I miss it anyway.
I miss the style, pace and cheekiness of the city. I miss its audacity, its spirit and its creativity. Who would have thought that urban life could make a girl so sentimental?
Every now and then I get cabin fever and either drive into town, just to walk around, or look online for a cheap flight. I don't really mind where, as long as it takes us to a place that has noise, people, pollution, and the comforting sounds of car horns at night.
Last year I went to New York. Four times. I stood in Times Square and soaked up the fumes. It reminded me of my old life.

An ode to Melbourne...

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