Tuesday, 3 July 2007


After a week of rain and cloud in Sydney, I feel dazzled today by the sunshine. I took some reading materials and many thoughts with me on holiday and return having done gloriously nothing. Walking, catching trains everywhere, window shopping in the “big smoke”, eating huge amounts of Asian food, catching up with friends and family – it was a great holiday. I think the children have sprung up in height in just a week with all the sleep, exercise and food.

In spite of all the eating that took place, I feel light having returned home. There’s something about shedding layers of clothing, remembering what your limbs look like and feeling air on your skin that is decadent. In Minnesota, I was amazed how people appeared with bare legs on the first day above freezing after winter. After a few years there, I realised why people did it although I personally set my exposure temperature around 20C. Simply feeling air moving on your skin is such a treat. Wearing sunglasses on one of the few sunny days in Sydney, a friend commented that my family are such Queenslanders now. Only then did I realise that no-one else outside the cafĂ© was wearing sunglasses.

My father likes to tease me about having become a hayseed living in rural Queensland. One of the great things about this trip to Sydney was that I realised that I do truly feel at home here. I even took the luggage tag off the suitcase and wrote our home address on it. A small thing, but for the last thirty-plus years, I have always had an address in Sydney -- the permanent address of a relative through which I can be reached.

After five years here, I truly feel like it is home. I wonder if there is research on how long it takes to feel at home in a place. If so, the Jaeckels have a long way to go.

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