Friday, 19 June 2009

All online activities stopped after I arrived in Queensland apart from a regular email check. I got the call while staying at a hotel in Glen Innes. It was from the Nambour General Hospital and I was told that mum had fallen over.

I'm not sure how long I'll stay here but I've made a commitment to relocate north, from Sydney. It's 1000 kilometres and a culture shift away, but I'm determined to proceed with the career change. I want to be a journalist.

The Sunshine Coast is a collection of linked towns situated about 90 minutes north of Brisbane. Until recently, the spot was determinedly rural, but tall towers full of gleaming apartments now dominate the skyline of Maroochydore, where I will live, and are encroaching in other areas. But the area continues to have a small-town feel, despite the influx of temporary visitors from the south.

You are encouraged to say 'hello' when saluted in the street. Shopowners chat easily and will become your friends without long preliminaries. There's a bustling shopping centre anchored by a Myer store and lined on all sides with small outlets selling tourists bric-a-brac and mementoes, tasteful of course. There is an Office Works and a Dick Smiths, strip malls with furniture shops, a courthouse and a capacious McDonalds. The RSL is large and well patronised.

It's close to a river. In fact, the apartment I'm currently living in is on the river and the sun sparkles from the direction of the windows in the early afternoon. It streams in the windows and makes you sleepy. I walk to the newsagents in the morning and buy four papers.

The local paper is a daily tabloid. Brisbane, close by, is represented by News Ltd's The Courier-Mail. I also buy The Australian and The Sydney Morning Herald. Interstate papers are not hard to find. You can even buy The Age. Southerners love the area.

For the moment, I'm busy looking after mum post-fall. It's the second fall she's had in two weeks, and it happened only a couple of weeks after she finally bit the bullet and put dad in permanent care. His new home was featured in the local paper yesterday morning. But mum's frail and almost 80 years old and needs some looking after. That's my job.

We can expect to see more frequent posts in future. I expect to move my possessions north in late July.

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