We trek in dressing gowns for a spa and gossip with locals Murray and Veronica. Gary and Deb – who we met through the gym – rock up for kitchen discos with oysters and a guitar. Our neighbor Lisa lets herself in the side gate for a 5pm packet of chips and to swap one-liners. Our dog Maggie has two BFFs, Rory and Billie.
We’ve also built a professional network including GP, mechanic, vet and dog groomer. Andrea the waxer has a home salon with blue velvet couch and open fireplace. Sports masseur Brad has an Australian triathlon title and incredible fingers. Amanda at Bakers Delight and Stacey at the bookshop know what I want before I say it.
I’m still not sure this is our forever life, but it’s been a gorgeous reawakening via slowing down. I miss impromptu parties, hate that I’ve forgotten how to walk in my (dusty) Jimmy Choos and am freaked out the whole joint is like the set of Invasion of the Body Snatchers after 8 pm. The mozzies are the worst. But two years on, I feel healthy and uplifted and can’t wait, not just for summer, but everything that will follow.