The Other Direction

I felt a genuine sense of excitement as my name was called out as a winner of a “meat tray” at the Lismore Worker’s Club last night. While part of the excitement was, undoubtedly derived from being a “long time loser, first time winner” (when it comes to meat trays), I also felt slightly “neanderthal”. The hunter-gatherer deep inside my DNA was showing itself, I thought, as I was able to proudly take a larger offering of raw meat home to my family. We cooked some up for dinner last night.

It was certainly a nice way to bring to end to my current trip home to Lismore. A trip which has been a little different in some ways to previous trips. In stark contrast, this Christmas our family has had the joy of a new baby in the family (with all of the wonderful things that involves), as well as the trauma that can often be associated with rebellious teenagers in the family (and all of the drama that involves). In both cases, I’ve done my best to be supportive to the ones I am closest to and love. It hasn’t been an easy Christmas, let me just say that.

Once again, this trip, I’ve caught up with long-term friends again, people I’ve known since the start of high school. It’s hard to comprehend knowing these people for thirty-five years, but indeed it’s true. A group of us had dinner at the newly opened restaurant Club Saffron the other night. Despite the rather dodgy sounding name, and the newer-than-new service routine, the food was good, and we enjoyed each others company. We discussed the pros and cons of a school reunion, as next year marks thirty years since we finished high school. If someone else is happy to organise, I’m sure I’ll be there. My friend Sue and I also pretty much confirmed details/plans for our trip to Europe in a few months time.

Also once again, this trip, I worked from the office here in Lismore. With a job with a national remit, it’s great that I have the flexibility to be able to work from pretty much anywhere. It’s meant that I’m able to work in the office when I’m needed, but also be able to come home to visit and see my family on Christmas Day. The three work-related phone calls on Christmas Day were a bit of a pain, but it’s all part of the job I guess.

And so as I prepare to make my way back to Sydney, the excitement has just begun in Lismore. The Tropical Fruits Festival (which includes a film festival, a dance party, and a swimming pool party) commences tonight. So as I make my way back to Sydney, I can imagine Ballina Airport will be full this afternoon with arrivals from Sydney making their way here for Tropical Fruits. I think it’s fitting that I’m headed back in the other direction.

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