“The area I’ve grown up in has always been of great interest to me. I have lived, for most of my life, in the the Eastern Suburbs of Victoria. Many of my happiest childhood memories took place among its grassy yards and tree filled streets.
As a small child the rows of houses, surrounded by nature, wildlife and traffic always held so much mystery for me. As soon as I was able I set about to discover its secrets. Backyards were for climbing trees and peering over fences, building cubbies with left over bricks, playing games and keeping pets, however obscure. While grassy front yards were for pulling weeds and planting trees, hiding behind cars, talking to neighbours and watching the world outside. Wide streets were canopied by Australia’s bushy trees, creating a shadowy wonderland.
As I got older, freedom to embark on solitary explorations of this wonderland outside was granted, yet the magic of the suburbs never decreased. The more I knew, the more there was to learn. I wandered down noisy roads, so wide they made my childhood streets look small, and climbed the highest trees. I explored parks and reserves, creeping through storm-water drains and straying off paths, I discovered new mysteries and my interest increased.
I learned new ways to explore the landscape’s hilly terrain, jagged pavement and well placed trees.
I found that huge expanses of grass lie just behind the factory buildings and deafening roads. And that some of these are homes for animals I once believed lived only in the country. I began to realise that some places would be suspended in a state of FOR SALE for many more years to come.”
“Now I live in the Eastern suburbs. It’s quite different to where I came from and It doesn’t feel like home.
The streets are so loud, I’m sure no one sleeps at night. And I’ll admit, driving in the left is confusing me a little. The lanes are the widest I’ve seen in my life, they just go on and on. How does anyone cross more than one?!
Yet, while there is so much concrete and traffic, the presence of nature is overwhelming. There are spots of grass and trees everywhere. There must be at least twenty trees, on every street, planted in a bank of grass, called a ‘nature strip’. It makes a bustling city suburb look like a Forrest.
The weather here confuses me to. Yesterday, I pegged my washing to the line expecting that the sun would stay out, but the next thing I knew it was so wet and rainy I couldn’t even go outside to bring my clothes in. But the people here seem to know just what it will be like.”