I live on an island. Some people look at me as though I’m mad when I tell them this. They are usually city dwellers or people that can’t equate suburbia with island dwelling. My island, is in fact, less than a mile off the mainland of Brisbane, a popular Australian city. It’s still considered a part of the city infrastructure, which basically means we get taxed as much as the next person for a strip of land surrounded by water and sand.
Sand is the drawcard here. Brisbane was built along a river, so there’s no beautiful harbour like Sydney or nice beaches to go to within a fifty mile radius, unless you want to go to the Gold Coast or the Sunshine Coast. Sand is like gold in Brisbane and waterviews are priceless.
I like my patch. I get to relax and watch the amazing abundance of birdlife from my front veranda. An islander may rattle past occasionally, and weekend holiday makers may cause a three car traffic jam every now and again, but that’s about it.
I’m in danger of becoming a recluse, I’ve been told. This is an odd thing to say to somebody who in a past life preferred the companionship of others rather than the self imposed solitude of recent months. Perhaps I was in need of a change.
It’s all about choices, I think. I chose to escape for a little while to recoup, rebuild, and hopefully reinvent. I’m currently on a mission of self-discovery, which of course is an old cliche, but true nonetheless.
I plan to take some time off from the mundane 9 to 5, to write and to start my portraiture up again. The writing I hope to be good at, the portraiture I’m think I’m half decent. I’m also going back to study something completely different. I will continue to motor on, as I have always done, but I feel the need to stop and sniff the roses along the sidetracks, and take in the view every now and again.
Does the island have its drawbacks? Sure, for the cosmopolitan creature that resides in me, it’s hell. It’s more difficult to have a social agenda when you are limited by ferry timetables and legwork from one car to the other. I’ve become the world’s biggest advocate for internet data download, and I would be lost without my online support system of friends and mentors. I’ve even thought about naming one of my dogs ‘Friday’, but I think that would be too extreme – and probably confusing for my dog. The island has around 800 permanent residents, most of whom are easy to get along with, but like any small community network, you can’t sneeze on south side without somebody finding out about it on the north side the next day, so I try not to sneeze too often. Makes good sense not to spread germs around anyway.
I hope to create a record of the next few months here in my diary entries, and look back and evaluate my progress. I should have done this years ago, it would have made interesting reading in part, perhaps not for all, but for some who can relate.