Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Our love affair with Flinders Australia began on one of those Beijing days when the wind and sand blows from the Gobi desert and covers the city in a coat of yellow dust. The streets were mostly deserted, except for an intrepid group of women on bicycles. When the wind filled the diaphanous scarves wrapped around their heads, they resembled bubble-headed extraterrestrials. The world was a sad place, as the tragedy of 9/11 had just occurred, and after 3 years in China, we were once again contemplating a seachange.
I had just settled in with the latest western style magazine brought back from an R&R trip to Hong Kong. There before me on the page was an illustrated piece on a tiny, unspoiled village in Australia on the Mornington Peninsula. I could almost feel the freshness of the cold winds which blew in from Tasmania and Antarctica. I could picture the rocky coast and rolling vineyards and pastures. My mouth watered at the thought of the delicious local food and wine. This was a place where artists (like me), ex-ballet dancers (like me) and ex-prime-ministers (unlike me) have found a safe haven. The more I read, the more it seemed Flinders was our kind of place.
Before I knew it, we had built a house there, and settled in to village life. How wonderful it was to live again in a place where everyone knows your name, (and sometimes your business). For six magical years this was home!