In the past, every time I’ve visited Melbourne I’ve incidentally ended up with 4-5 new pairs of shoes, a hangover/extra kilo and declaring its infinite superiority to Sydney and resolving to migrate there. Immediately.


This time was so, so different, and not just because I hadn’t seen the inside of a house for 3 weeks.


It was Joe’s first visit to Melbourne and outnumbered by boys (we had the effervescent Andrew Laery in toe) the score of events was skewed in favour of drinking and talking about surfing, surfboards, surfers and bad Mexican food (why we ended up in an Austra-Mex restaurant for dinner after Andrew had just spent 6 weeks in Central America is still in question).


It was so luxurious to be back in the big smoke again, the buildings, the super-mega-duper-markets, the showers, oh! Not much was done but chilling out, catching up with my local Tassie posse (I keep a troupe in every town you see), perusing the courts at the Australian Open and of course (drumroll) acquiring a rooftop tent!


The deliberation for days beforehand had been harrowing. Research studies, focus groups, cost-benefit analyses. Finally we caved. The childish temptation of having to climb a ladder to get into bed every night overcame both of us. Andrew didn’t say so but he was sooooo jealous when we arrived back in the apartment with the new room installed (which took all bloody day thanks ARB, I fell asleep in your store, although I’m sure I’m not the first woman to), in a flurry of excitement the boys immediately went to the bottleshop and found enough space on the banks of the Yarra River to erect it (the tent). Everyone was happy.


Too soon our days of cosmopolitan/vagrant mooching and basking in the glory of the A-Man came to an end, and we boarded a sailing vessel for Van Diemans Land.