Recently I turned my life on its head and left the comfort zone of home town, family and friends in Wellington (NZ), to start a new chapter in Western Australia. As I adjust to my new surroundings, I find myself thinking in the shape of stories and letters home. Feel free to take a seat and read on..

Monday, July 16, 2012

You are Here

The process of packing up to move to another country was all sorts of things:  challenging, liberating, irritating, frustrating, heart breaking, terrifying, exciting, confronting, and so on..  
I had lived pretty much my entire life in my home town, and while I had moved house many (many!) times, had never really got to grips with the concept of off loading stuff. After all I had a van and could carry it all, and secondly, more often that not I would reach that stage of "screw it I'll sort it out at the other end". Many times I paid someone to carry a bunch of stuff I didn't really need but couldn't face dealing with. Perhaps I should have changed countries sooner.  
It took weeks. I sold some stuff, gave other stuff away, threw more stuff out.. and more than once told the engineer "sometime in the future when you ask me 'what happened to the thingummy stuff?' I am not going to tell you - so don't ask".  (He was already in the new country - I got the I'll-follow-when-the-stuff-is-sorted end of the bargain).
Eventually I whittled everything down to two suitcases that were going with me, and a few boxes of I-really-want-to-keep-it-but-it-can-stay-here-for-now stuff.  Which, of course, then had to be stored in a wardrobe at my mother's house, because that is what children do. 
Subsequent trips home have seen me sifting and sorting through the boxes, working out what to take this time and what to leave for next time..  and yes, each time some of it got pushed back into the wardrobe for later (sorry Mum!)
Last time I brought back, wrapped up in my clothes: six glass dishes - a birthday present from my mother; six enamel dishes that belonged to my grandmother; some silver forks from my aunt; some coffee spoons from my godmother; a couple more recipe books that survived the grand cull; a little wooden bowl hand turned by my sister.. to mention a few.
And this: a painting by my very talented youngest brother.  You might be forgiven for thinking it was something we bought since coming to Western Australia, but this was painted in Wellington, New Zealand. 
It's called "You are here".  Yes, James. I am here.  And I have little pieces of all of you with me.

You are Here, by James Harcourt
(To see more of James Harcourt's art work click here)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Flame Trees on a Winter Afternoon

Winter's grip has left the trees in the park over the road bereft of foliage, in perfect time to highlight the blaze of colour from the flame trees which are flowering copiously; and proving to be a magnetic drawcard for some of the local birds - not to mention amateur photographers..
Red Wattle Bird
Rainbow Lorikeet
Rainbow Lorikeet doing Chameleon Impersonation