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The cold winds of change.

AUSTRALIA | Wednesday, 21 April 2010 | Views [1139]

My drawing of Laura and I from our avo drinks at the Rhododendron gardens

My drawing of Laura and I from our avo drinks at the Rhododendron gardens

I was checking in for my flight from Port Macquarie to Melbourne. The kind lady tagging my luggage assumed that I would happily declare anything illegal or dangerous I was smuggling. I was two hours early for the flight and panting like being the first to check in was a life or death proposition for me. The laughter that followed her greeting illustrated she had just realised that my ridiculous snoozing at the gate story was actually true. Surely that had little bearing on following flights, so I can only assume that it was added to my details for the amusement of all future cabin crew. Instead of being offended, I then proved how necessary such a precaution was when I went and waited for my departing flight in the arrival hall. Before long I realised my folly and was finally able to experience a bizarre sort of life confirming experience just by boarding a plane on time with no additional costs.

A stopover in Melbourne was necessary to help my Nana celebrate reaching her 90th year as the backbone of the local chapter of Legacy and the CWA, the scourge of garden weeds, and the saviour of my deeper descents into destitution. I wasn't expecting it to be celebrated in the same manner as what Adam and Kiara's engagement was, but it was a fine demonstration of how important alcohol is as a social lubricant when it comes to family outings.

The ongoing celebratory mood of my life was tempered somewhat by the departure of my closest companion for the last 18 months. Laura had been witness to, and the voice of reason through some of my more insane moments. Giving Laura a bottle of tequila completely reversed those roles one night in Broome though. Returning home to Ireland to do a Ph.D. in Marine Ecology meant that Laura had finally succeeded in getting her life organised, something she found increasingly difficult the more time she spent around me. We shared a beautiful afternoon at the Rhododendron gardens in Olinda with a bottle of sparkling shiraz and 3 years of long distance friendship to account for. I still miss her terribly one month on so its going to be a long 3 years.

I returned to Hobart knowing that Laura would no longer be there. In addition to this, a phone call a few days earlier had warned me that all aspects of my life would be different on my return. A higher authority at Squires, one that believes his importance rivals that of another omniscient being with a penchant for smiting, had deemed that Trev wasn't the sycophant that he had originally hoped for. With too much flair and creativity to just go along with everything less open minded people demanded, Trev's year long contract was unceremoniously cancelled for official reasons too lame to bother retelling here. It seems that protecting every penny is more important than the long term profitability of the establishment, and the vibe in the place has been changed for the worse.

Had I not just blown every cent I owned on a month of leisure time, my sense of outrage would have forbid me from returning there. Destitution limits ones options and abilities to live in accordance with ones seemingly flexible and ever-changing sense of morality. So I sold my soul to the devil and returned, if only to attempt world records at amounts of liquor consumed while working on the supposedly sober side of a bar. Thanks to the installation of more surveillance cameras, getting away with such unprofitable past times is harder to sneak past the all-seeing eyes of Ebenezer Scrooge.

Trev has since relocated to the beautiful Freycinet lodge in a national park of the same name. His role of restaurant manager retains the responsibilities he had in Hobart, minus the need to moderate my manic behaviour. Abbie is soon to follow him, taking a role in a near by restaurant, cutting short the lease on the house we shared. Any thoughts I had of extending my stay in Hobart are hampered by the additional burden of finding somewhere else to live. As all vestiges of heat slowly yield to the southerly climate, the fondness of my Cable beach recollections are intensifying to be the most significant experiences I have ever had. Each gust of cold wind increases my desire to return to a place where modesty is the only dictate of dress code. As much as I would love to wring every last drop of fun out of Hobart, it may be time to leave on a high and be satisfied that my opinion of the state has completely turned around in the four months that I lived here.

Tags: friends, work

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