it’s been nice knowing you…

It’s a fine line between pleasure and pain“… lyrics matchlessly sung by Chrissie Amphlett of the Divinyls, run through my head; soundtrack to the dwindling days of our city life as I conduct a mental retrospective; some of the hits and misses curiously similar. Then I’ll say farewell in my usual style… humming Don Henley’s Boys of Summer Don’t look back. You can never look back.”

In no particular order…

Will miss:

Customs House Library… the building is a landmark but the interior holds the real treasure: books and more books.

Neighbourhood cats with whom we’re on a first name basis… Davros, Ruby, Frank, Zac, George Junior, Ted… and freely share therapeutic pats and fur.

Local markets… bringing real food from the country to my city doorstep, and nice people too.

The dishwasher… I love its wooshy lullaby sound as cleans the dishes while I sleep.

Air-conditioning in February heat and humidity.

Public transport… inexpensive and convenient.

Paid employment… the comfort of a monthly bank deposit.

Gratis internet, phone and postage courtesy of aforementioned paid employment.

Sense of walking among living history of old buildings, laneways, streets and gardens.

Its intangible and random gifts… kindnesses, street art, buskers, footpath recycling…

Ten minute cab ride to airport.

Walking distance to lots of interesting and useful stuff.

Sitting at footpath tables outside cafés & pubs people watching.

The denizens, all the permutations thereof.

Soy chai lattes at Tramezzini in the AMP Building.

Won’t miss:

Air pollution, grime & noise.

Air-conditioning except in February heat and humidity.

Paid employment… working 5 days, 9 to 5.

Car parking congestion.

People congestion.

Traffic congestion​.

Living in a shoebox apartment in a street of shoebox apartment complexes.

Apartment complex strata rules…no smoking, no parking, no balcony railing plant pots, no…

Public transport… unreliable and crowded.

Workplace bathrooms… oh, the horror stories I could tell you.

Workplace kitchens… patronised by apparently normal co-workers with annoying at best unsavoury at worst habits, and refrigerators harbouring food turned science experiments.

Riding in lifts (elevators)… that might get stuck between floors but people risk limbs to enter or leap into like lemmings* and crowd like sardines… Why? Because another might be as long as a whole minute away.

The vagaries of home delivery pizza… hot & crisp, late & soggy, great, not-too-bad, inedible, how much did we pay for that?

Our favourite local haunts that have become too busy/popular/hipster.

Henry Ford “as long as it’s black” corporate attire… I’m keeping a couple of ensembles in case I need to attend a funeral… says it all really.

[*leaping lemmings – popular misconception but the metaphor endures.]

38 thoughts on “it’s been nice knowing you…

  1. Won’t miss: sweaty public transport armpits, baking pavements and platforms on sore, train-waiting feet, being shouldered aside in the lemming* rush to cross the road when the light changes, “how much!?” for very ordinary cups of coffee, knowing that that perfectly beautiful morning is going to waste because you have to go to work… Will miss: being able to find whatever you want, and where, meeting places for any event and combination of friends, interesting, reliably delicious food…. On balance, I’m positive you won’t regret the plunge – we have much in common, and I never did!


    1. I was out recently in the middle of a work day, the sun was shining, and it was sublime. I thought… this is what I’m missing. Thank goodness I’ve been practising my online shopping skills… there’s not much we will want for in that regard.
      On balance we’ve had a good life in the city but the time has come…


  2. Thanks for the ear worm, or song plant as I prefer to call these musical suggestions. I’ll be sing pleasure and pai all day.
    A wonderful look at the dichotomy of inner city living- the good, the bad and the downright ugly. I guess the countdown is on now.


    1. On the whole inner-city living has merit but by way of executing our plan we’ve haven’t necessarily embraced the lifestyle over later years as fully as we would if we were planning to enjoy it long-term.
      It’s interesting how songs take up in our heads… if only my recollection of facts and useful information was as good as song lyrics.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, its odd how lyrics stay with you. Perhaps educationalists should consider turning things into songs? I know the repetitive rhythm of the times tables stuck in my head, and I can always hear myself chant the various conjugations of Italian. irregular verbs.


  3. We only moved to Melbourne’s fringe, but even that was enough to remind us how awful inner city/suburban living is. Now when we do a day trip to town [almost an hour by train] we smell the pollution, feel the gut-tightening stress of push-push-hurry-hurry and wish it was over. In fact, the only good thing about said day trip is that lovely moment on the way home when the suburbs fall away, and we feel as if we’ve passed through an invisible force field holding all the bad stuff inside. Suddenly our shoulders relax and our hearts lift.

    Contrast is good for the soul so make sure you immunise yourself against the city at least a couple of times a year. 🙂


    1. It’s as you describe when we drive back into the city after time at Taylors Arm, yet there is part of me that loves the glimpses of the skyline, bridges and harbour. I can still recall 25 years later the thrill of moving and living in the city when I first came here.
      We have family & friends here and nearby on the Central Coast, so we will not be strangers.


  4. I can but agree with all your observations, having lived in cities and getting frequent reminders when we travel. But the supreme observation is of the disgusting behaviour communal workplace kitchens seem to attract. We were discussing this only yesterday…Don relating the story of their University (presumably intelligent people but obviously not wise) refrigerator became so disgusting they just threw it away and bought a new one. Shame people, shame. We are with you on your countdown and very impressed that you can find time to write and take us with you on your journey. Very best wishes! x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly the current workplace kitchens are not the worst I’ve experienced. At one place they similarly tossed the microwave after it became a heath hazard. I always wonder if the culprits behave the same way in their homes.
      I’m enjoying the company of sharing the journey and making the most of the opportunity to blog and Instagram, knowing soon I’ll be busy with the moving process and offline somewhat for a while.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. And there is, of course, the third column of all the things that you will welcome when you move out of the city. You might miss the farmers market, but you know that there is good food to be had at TA. You might miss sitting, people watching, but soon you will be greeting everyone you see by name and asking after their dogs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The third column I’m looking forward to sharing after the move, after I organise internet at TA, after I come up for air 🙂 There is good food at TA but it doesn’t conveniently converge in the one place from all over NSW every Saturday morning. I would love to be closer to Melbourne’s Queen Vic markets… I do love them so.
      The locals we’re familiar with, there are a few dogs at TA, we know them all and a goodly contingent of cats but not quite so civilised as the city kitties!


  6. I really miss people asking me for a dollar every time I walk down the street and gripping my handbag in laneways because someone got robbed there the day before and nearly being mowed down by commuters rushing to work. Oh, and the smell of petrol during Summernats. Ahhhh – the good old days 😉

    Looks like your countdown is closing in (now I’ve got the Countdown song in my head) 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll begin channelling Countdown after our next trip to TA early December, as upon return to Sydney it will be our last week…
      Being at Circular Quay I generally avoid the worst of the commuter crush although a couple of afternoons recently where I needed to divert via the CBD on the way home were a battle. And being at Erko/St Peters the foibles of other of the inner city areas aren’t quite so evident.
      I never did get to the Summernats… but it’s always a possibility.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I just spent five days in a metropolitan city and it was fun but I ‘m ready to get back to my small town. I think you made the right choice and will find happiness in your new home.


  8. Oh, for a minute there I thought the cons were about to outweigh the pro’s and you’d consider staying in the city but in a bigger place. Not long to go now and you’ll be able to get your fresh country produce at home. They should even cost less because of the reduced transport costs. Of course you may just grow your own which will taste better still.
    You’re heading for Paradise and the occasional city visit should be plenty to make sure you don’t miss it too much.
    xxx Sending Massive Hugs to you both xxx


  9. I recently purchased a small wooden plaque, which i placed in my kitchen, with the words, ‘Don’t look back. You’re not going that way.” Selling my house will mean giving up many, many things. But traveling, without the burden of paying taxes, heat, elec. etc. etc. etc. – plus the idea of ‘heading out to place unknown’ – offsets the pain a great deal. Looking forward to traveling along with you as you continue to change your life! (I’m hoping to be able to blog ‘as I go’ as well !!)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Exciting times. If your experience is like ours, it will take a while, but eventually you’ll settle into a new routine and as the your new surroundings become more familiar the memories of the old ones will begin to fade. All best wishes from the other side of the world!


  11. Ella, you made me laugh when you mentioned your black wardrobe. I have no idea how many black trousers I took to the op shop when I finished working – maybe 10 and then there were the jackets to match. How different can black gear be? I still have a cupboard full of jackets that for some reason I thought I may wear. I think I have worn one once.


    1. Black clothes are very versatile, but I’ve been trying to add a bit of colour… the G.O. is pleasantly surprised when I buy something not black but I suspect despite ditching corporate black, it and denim will remain a mainstay. I don’t do red, and white is definitely not a practical choice for me.


  12. This post should come with a warning, EllaDee,”May cause time travel”. Reading your observations, I was transported to my last day of work. Eager to move forward, I knew that I would miss some bits of my corporate life. Now, it seems like a different life entirely. Miss it? Not really and certainly wouldn’t want to join that race again. There was an adjustment period for me, to be sure, but a fulfilling life awaited. I’m sure you’ll discover the same.


    1. I understand… last time I finished in a role -at the end of a long-term contract- I took 3 months off and knew in all likelihood I had a role to go to (the one I’m leaving now) but it didn’t stop me spending the first 2 weeks with a morning routine of coffee, emails and job ads convinced the corporate world would not survive without me!
      I’ll be interested to see what, if anything I miss, other than the income. Already it’s been wonderful being able to plan a trip to Melbourne in late Feb without having to fit it around work 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Print out these lists and go back and check them in a couple of months then revisit annually. You will love, hate, miss, cherish, grieve, celebrate every part of your move. That is good, keeps the blood flowing! All the best, great to make such a dramatic move every now and then, new opportunities that you may never have considered may just jump up and bite you. I’m teetering on cutting right back but just can’t mentally let go of the pay packet yet. I can hear the smile in your words. Cheers! Maree


    1. Thank you. I’ve leapt in the past, and we had a small unplanned city apartment move four years ago which has in effect served as a practice run in shifting our stuff. I’m looking forward to coming out the other side 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. It’s funny what you miss as you are leaving and then 5 years later. For me, I was so sad to leave the culture of the city, but now I really miss the convenience of having sushi or thai food delivered to my home. I love your lists. 🙂


  15. It is a journey for certain when we hang up one career to “retire”..paved with surprises, new options while letting go of past life. Exciting for sure. I will enjoy reading about your journey.


    1. Thank you. We’re living it now and aren’t missing anything from our city life at all. But our country life settling in phase is currently busier than we anticipated… two months has flown by.

      Liked by 1 person

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