Why did we settle here you ask? Well, if you didn't ask, I'll tell you anyway.
I knew that my 6 year old daughter Amber and I were so lucky to be living in Australia. (We had immigrated from S.A. 2 years previously). I was a textile designer in a studio in Melbourne and all was well, whilst the garden door of the studio opened onto Ambie's school playground. How handy was that! But when the studio moved, suddenly we were traveling 3 hours each day. Eventually I said to Amb, "If we have to move - let's really move and look for a different lifestyle. Pack up," I said, "and we will head north. If I find a job and we hou van die plek, that's where we'll stay."
So we did that. We packed up the car and drove north stopping at various places to sprinkle my C.V. around. I thought I'd find several jobs. When I was younger, I could choose from many. I had a Masters degree in textiles, had worked in hotels and ships, including the Q.E.2. and had sparkling references. When you get older it get's harder though. We had driven all the way up to Brisbane, when I finally received the one and only job offer. It was in Port Macquarie. They call it God's waiting room for two reasons. It's such a lovely place to live, and because lots of people retire here!
I'll always remember when we first drove though the town, I could see lots of sky because the buildings were mostly low. This was a novelty because I've always lived in big cities. Palm trees line the main streets and the Alma Doeppel berths permanently at the picturesque town green. Port is special because it's alive, not sleepy, but not too big....yet! One can still bump into friends several times a day whilst out and about.
Ambie loves it here, nice school and friends. It's a good life. We are so fortunate. Amb has been wonderful through the hard times. I'm lucky to have a daughter like her. She's 13 and so capable, funny and clever. She fixes the broken things, and thinks nothing of building new things like our fans and the ready to assemble computer desk. Thank goodness! I've given up my role of being operator of all things technical and electrical - can't keep up with it. But she knows all.
As for me - I'm O.K. Always a bit stressed with this huge mortgage. But at least we have a house. I can't be a textile designer here in Port because the studios are in Sydney and Melbourne. I'm receptionist and sometimes manager at a motel and I clean rooms and cook brekkies too. We deliver brekkies to the rooms. Guests can sit on their balconies and watch the sparkling river flow slowly by. Palms moving gently in the breeze. Town is a short stroll across the Hastings River. I also do a bit of merchandising, and paint the odd mural when a commission comes along. There's only one thing left to make this picture complete... Maybe eendag, our B.K. will come for a kuier! I'll be hanging out for that day!Why did we settle here you ask? Well, if you didn't ask, I'll tell you anyway.