Friday, November 25, 2011

Wintour&Guinnss: On A Melbourne Summer And Making Friends

As I write this looking out the window of my Port Melbourne apartment, all I can see is rain, rain and more bloody rain. Whats going on here. Saturday mornings for me are the best time of the week - usually its sunny and everyone is out and about and well today it's a completely different story. Yesterday however was a fantastic day and finally it seemed like Melbourne was well on its way to letting summer begin.

I've lived in three countries throughout my life, Ireland, Britain and Australia....and after living in Australia for just over nine months now I think its fair to assume that its much easier to meet new people here than it is in London. London was a bitch of a city to live in. My Aunt G refers to London like its a drug....She herself moved there and left....only to return a few weeks after initially leaving. She missed her life there, found the allure of the city too much to ignore and well after a few decades of living there and bringing up two children (with three grandchildren to boot) she really has made London her home and not a bad word can be said about the place in front of her.

As I lie here on the floor of my new apartment here in Melbourne, I feel safe to say that the allure of London is slightly wearing off me. The terrible pay, high price of living and the large scale of the city meant it was hard to really find ones place. I was working for an amazing that was owned by Warner Bros. and although the prestige of working for one of the UK's biggest magazine companies would usually make me sacrifice that thing people call a ''social life'' I just couldn't build a life there. It was too hard and well we moved back to Ireland. That decision was one of the best we made. I worked for another great magazine, built better friendships than before we left and we built a beautiful home for ourselves in the Louth countryside. Now that I am living in Melbourne, I've really been thinking about how different life is over here. Its strange to think you are so far away from the place you grew up, you're family and the life that was so familiar but slowly over time I have come to see that the way of life over here and the life I can build over here is of a much higher quality than back home in Ireland and definitely better than London (however it does come at a price - distance from family). Making friends in London was a full time job in itself. People are busy, always on the run and making eye contact with someone you don't know is like having a warrant put out for your arrest. It's simply not the way.

How one makes friends in London is a mystery to me. I tried, I was more than nice and even tried to nudge my way into a few groups but over time it never felt authentic. however here it seems to be different. With Melbourne saturated with people from Ireland - its rare not to hear an Irish accent on the tram to or from work and having some folks you know from back home around is truly a blessing. But making friends from Australia is much simpler than we had anticipated. One must really push oneself when it comes to meeting and befriending new people. I have had the opportunity to get to know various new people over the last few months and it was only when we were adding up the list of those we want to invite to an upcoming event that we sat back and thought, wow this is a very different experience to the one we had in London......


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