Recurrent Dream

“I’ve had a recurrent dream where I’ve moved house to another city, but I’ve still kept the old house in Sydney”, I told a colleague today.

We were talking about my decision to stay in Lismore for a little longer.

We had previously worked together in Sydney, and after many years travelling to and from Sydney, she made the decision to move to the North Coast a few years ago.

She suggested I should move back here also, and continue to work from here.

A number of friends have told me I should look for accommodation here, and I have been looking in real estate agents windows.

Real estate window, Lismore.

But the time isn’t right for me yet. I still want to stay in Sydney for a bunch of reasons.

And the real estate market is quite hot here right now. Nowhere near as expensive as Sydney, of course, but it seems the demand for rentals is probably distorting the market here right now.

So, as planned, I’ll be looking for somewhere more seriously a little closer to retirement in a few years time.

I’m not missing Sydney right now. If, as planned, I were to return home tomorrow, I’d be in the midst of the COVID lockdown, as I both live and work within the boundaries of the City of Sydney.

When it became clear a few days ago Sydney was headed in the direction of a lockdown. I checked my airline ticket. I’d bought one of those “no changes” $49 flights because, frankly, I thought there was no need for a flexible ticket.

So I waited, as I thought eventually they would cancel the flight. In the end, they didn’t cancel it, but the airline announced it was “subject to change”, so I could accept the changed time, or get a travel credit.

So, of course, I took the travel credit. And even though the airline said it could take up to fourteen days for the credit to arrive, I received it overnight.

So I’m here for another week (probably). My family seems pretty happy to have me here. “You can stay for as long as you like”, they’ve said.

So I’m settling into a routine of working from home, but going into the Lismore office two days a week. In the rush to come home, I left my work laptop in Sydney. It’s too much of a hassle to get someone to go to my home, pick it up, and send it up via courier. brought my own laptop with me to Lismore, but there are some things I can’t do on that, and so I need to go into the office.

This is a pretty good compromise. In fact after 15-months of working from home, it’s rather nice to be going in and chatting with some colleagues again, a number of whom I’ve known for a very long time.

I’m also settling into a routine of going to the Lismore Worker’s Club for members draw and meat tray night on Fridays. Sadly, so far, I haven’t won anything.

Friday night at the Lismore Workers Club for members draw and meat trays. “Glass of white wine, thanks”, I said to the barman. “Cask wine, okay?”, he replied. “Sure, no worries”, I said. “That’s three dollars, thanks.” he replied. #fridaynightwinning

While I’m here, I’m also planning to do a bit of family history research, and will head tomorrow to the Richmond River Historical Society to see what they have.

PS. Best wishes to friends back in Sydney now caught up in the midst of the lockdown. Hopefully this will be enough to catch it in the bud.

Author: James O'Brien

Born / Currently : Lismore / Widjabul Wia-Bal - Bundjalung Live : Sydney / Gadigal - Eora Also : Brisbane, Bourke, Renmark, Wagga, Perth Pronouns : He/him/his.

6 thoughts

  1. Enjoy the freedom! Given level of compliance, I suspect we might be locked down here for some time :(

    I’m loving reading along with your retirement rehearsal!

    1. Retirement rehearsal!! Love it! I feel like I’m settling into a new routine today. Had a nice coffee, caught up the bus to the office, and here I am!!

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