I have lived in this furnished flat on the northern borders of Kirribilli for 4 years and that is longer than I have ever lived anywhere, including during my childhood. But I am finally moving out on Wednesday and I really cannot wait.
I will not miss the bed that gives me backache because of a mattress which appears to be made of lumpy soup and essence of sag.
I will not miss the tap that drips incessantly in the kitchen sink.
I will not miss the lack of power outlets, nor the damned inconvenient siting of the few there are.
I will not miss the palm tree full of ravening possums and squawking parakeets that grows beside my balcony and which drops heavy, spike-edged branches onto it in every strong wind.
I will not miss the fact that, no matter what I do, the skirting boards never look quite clean because they are old and uneven and ingrained with other people’s dirt.
However, despite all that and more, living here has been good for me both physically and psychologically. This was the base, the home, from which I found the strength and confidence finally to shrug off the shadow of depression. I am in better shape now, again, both physically and psychologically, than at any time since my early twenties and living here – not just in this particular flat but in Sydney in general – aided that process by giving me a safe, quiet, undisturbed space with plenty of light and sunshine in which to regroup, rethink and relearn.
So, on Wednesday I’m moving to a gorgeous and recently refurbished apartment on the other side of Kirribilli – right down on the harbour with views across the water to the Opera House, in fact – which Ed and I are sickeningly referring to as our love nest since it will be our first home together. And it is unfurnished so I’m off to Ikea to buy a nice firm mattress that doesn’t feel as though it was made by stuffing a giant haggis with porridge and old socks.
But first, I have to pack up all my books, clothes and thingummywhatsits this weekend, ready for Wednesday. I may need chocolate to sustain me. Somewhat fortuitously, I have a supply in stock