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When I think of home, it sparkles
And so brightly shines
– Paul Kelly, 1991

I can’t remember the last time it rained for 24 hours.

That was the Bald Man’s observation about the cold snap of last week. He also said, I can’t believe we’re using the heater in December, but that’s just whining.

A low pressure system brought 50mm of good, honest precipitation to the Berra. It rained steadily, softly, with only the occasional downpour or wind gust. At work there seemed to be an excited undercurrent as we all went about our business. At home, the green tomatoes and seeding rocket bowed under the weight of the water. Rain was falling when I woke up on Friday, and still falling when I went to sleep.

What was remarkable about last week was that rain used to be so ordinary. It used to rain like that all the time when we were children, but now it’s unusual enough to be worthy of comment.

Is that why I felt hollow at the numbers ‘5pc by 2020’ as they passed KRudd’s lips? And positively got indigestion as the big polluting manufacturers still squealed like stuck pigs?

*sigh*

At least the AFL might screw Richmond out of choosing Cousins. Damned Tiges need to be saved from themselves.

The Berra’s winding down for Christmas. I can feel it. Apparently the town empties out at this time of year, as the many immigrants head back to their families in other cities and towns, and locals migrate to their annual destination on the south coast. A colleague taught me how to discern someone who is doing neither: they sidle up to you and say, “What are you doing on Christmas Day?”. A bit of probing will usually reveal some sort of orphan status, as well as either an invitation to a Christmas dinner or the hope one might materialize.

Last Christmas I learned that Darwin also empties out like the Berra, and only partly due to the threat of cyclones. Conversely, people seem to go home to Sydney, or Melbourne, or a myriad country towns. But what is home? And how long can you be away from your childhood place, flying in and out just occasionally, before the homing instinct fades?

Soon I’ll catch up with a friend who grew up in my neighbourhood but who’s flown all the way to Japan and made her life there. She still comes back once a year, bringing her little girl with her – for now. I love to catch up; we had a lot in common and still have a lot to talk about. I’m glad that about once a year or so, our paths cross as I too head back home – for now.

Postscript:
Noooo! They bought Cousins! Hopeless.

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