Though a straight line appears to be the shortest distance between 2 points, life has a way of confounding geography. Often it is the dalliances and the detours that define us. There are no maps to guide our most important searches; we must rely on hope, chance, intuition and a willingness to be surprised.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


When I was at school I was a keen student, and a well-behaved one (boring! I hear you shout, and yeah, guilty as charged). My only vice was a tendency to daydream. For example, I remember on many an occasion thinking about the year 2000 and what it would be like to be around at the end of the millennium. This was quite an exotic thought, not least because I would be 25 by that time, an age that seemed impossibly grown-up, and therefore eons away.

The millennium duly came round without the notable passing of eons, and now, by heck, 2009 is here and I still don’t feel that I’ve aged notably, well not mentally at least.

This thought struck me when I was waiting on the bells at Jackie’s party in Edinburgh. And I guess I had a more thoughtful (and less drunken) new year than usual. In fact, the whole holiday season was much less about partying – and much less about ‘me’ – compared to the last couple of years, and that was a really positive thing.

I just got back from three weeks in the UK. This was a time to catch-up with friends and my family and to take a break from work and feel refreshed for the year ahead.

It was a really enjoyable three weeks, the highlight of which was spending time with my nephew and niece, Rowan and Colette, and with Kirsty, Gordon and my mum and dad. I love life in Sydney, but it’s hard being so far from family. And though I’m excited to be back in Sydney, it was upsetting to leave Scotland.

Christmas Day was very memorable, and it reminded me that Christmas is really about the kids. Rowan’s radio-controlled helicopters, flying saucers and insects caused mayhem, while Colette played happily with Peppa Pig DVDs, books and miniature dolls. Brilliant! (And as soon as my internet connection starts behaving itself, I’ll upload a few photos).

Otherwise, my memories of the trip will be of doing plenty of travelling, spending quality time with friends (too often in the pub, which has given me a beer belly to work off in January!), and how inhospitable the UK is in winter. The cold was just as disturbing as I’d feared and what’s with nightfall at 4pm? Some days it was so dull and gloomy that we never switched the lights off!

And so now I’m back in Sydney. January in Sydney is a fantastic time at least. The festival starts today, the 10th, and I’m booked up to see some great acts, including Mr Scruff and Cinematic Orchestra. Otherwise, the main focus will be work. Hope to hit the ground running with some interesting projects in January. More news soon.