Going out of the city this afternoon was such a relief. The hills roll on into the distance and it is a fiercely freeing sight. The highway winds over them - a flat black licorice strap set amid the green fields dotted with black and white fresians, creamy gold cows and an assortment of horses, sheep and alpacas contentedly sitting or grazing. The cars and trucks buzzing busily over the long freeway seem frentic with the thrum of the race for $ and the brusqueness of living to survive the competition for space and place in city living. By contrast, we get to the small towns, meetings with real estate agents and others we encounter and they are just plain nice. No fuss, just bloody nice people who do not want to bite your head off or read you the wrong way.
My son relaxed as soon as we hit Berwick and could see the environment turn to green and brown around us. He's a bit sick of looking at houses and frankly so am I. I just want one I can call home for at least a couple of years if not more. Who knows? More people might see the advantage of a small town life, yet not too small. We are looking for a place on the outskirts of town. I do not want to live in the town, but on the edge - in the burbs if you could call them that. I want to sit on a deck and see trees and bushland and that is what I can see from one older house which is $80 a week cheaper than our two bedroom noisy and dusty flat in North Caulfield. This house backs onto a creek and there is a dairy up the end of the lane. For my son, there is a shed. It is very important for him to have a shed. for his bikes. Everytime I have arrived back from my forays of house hunting apart from the usual question of 'Can we move yet/' invariably I am asked 'Did you see a good shed? or 'Did you get a shed yet?' The shed is more important than the house. Maybe we could live in the shed and store the bikes in the house. That is a thought. A cheap primus stove in the shed would make roughing it a whole new experience. The cat and the bikes could have the house and we will put a swag in the shed. Only kidding or Joke Joyce!
Saw a lovely house for a bit less than I am paying now. Four bedrooms, two bathrooms, walk in wardrobe in the master bedroom, tiled floors and new. Totally unlived in. Brand spanking new. But it is too big for us. I know what I want and three bedrooms is big enough for us. Even two bedrooms and an office or study will do. The yard was too steep and also what do I need four bedrooms for unless I want to run a bed and breakfast business for people who want a bit of a country stay. Maybe when I am working and have a deposit to buy my own place in a couple of years or more. Then I can have a small holiday place on small farm with maybe a small house for me and two or three cottages. One day. Have to finish my novel first. My first one that is.
Glen Eira Awards on Sunday and I cannot figure out whether I am better off not winning anything and just getting the spurt of jealousy from being short listed and not winning a prize and then writing furiously for few months for another competition and deciding to submit to journals as well or winning something and sinking into that smug sense of self congratulatory satisfaction of 'Oh, well, I am pretty good or that wasn't even one of my best stories or poems' mood and wanting to look over the other entries to see what they were like and thinking about the craft of the whole exercise.
I have to say that I did work on Weep in Silence afterwards and added something which made it a better story. It missed something that explained the relationship between the mother and the daughter better. However it still works without the additional paragraph and I think it was two or three sentences. I have to look at my story about a boy whose house is destroyed by the government in Israel. He lives in a hilltop community. I am dissappointed that it did not even get short listed and will go over it and I will ask Carol Middleton how to improve it. Maybe it was too politically incorrect? Who knows?
Going back into the city this afternoon was an occasion filled with reluctance and a longing to stay in the space and fresh air. we saw the most divine sunset and it just filled me with wonder. Hashem is the best artist, THE BEST EVER. I wanted to weep with joy from the pure mix of colours and the shades of light from the setting sun. Thank you G-D for letting me live this life to see such beauty.