I digress though! (don't I always when I talk about men?) The part of the evening that stays with me the most, however, beyond the shameless eyeballing of chunky six-packs and broad shoulders, was my catching sight of what was being played on the big screens in the pub. They were playing a DVD on Taj Burrows – champion surfer and native of Yallingup, the town I have holidayed in each summer since I was born. I miss Yallingup beyond anything else in Perth – I often go entire weeks waking up each morning in a haze of sadness because I dreamt aching dreams of rolling surf, sweeping headlands and endless empty beaches. As each shot of Taj surfing panned out to embrace the familiar bush covered dunes and arching line of pristine sand of Yallingup bay, I took the unexpected step of physically dealing with my frustration – I stamped the ground and moaned 'goddamnit I want to go home.'
My last photo of Yallingup beach before I left Perth.
Cave's House gardens in Yallingup.
I am so homesick right now it is like my skin barely contains a raging collage of beloved faces, places and moments that crashes against its container with a fury fuelled by stress and loneliness. As in Thursday in the Slug, sometimes I can barely breathe for my longing to step into that crisp Perth air, see my parents faces, hear my siblings drawl, laugh with my friends. I can only find an escape in immersing myself in my passions – clinging to an entrancing book, gorging myself on exhibitions and lectures, monopolising the most interesting people at a gathering. I organise events to the point of never having a night free so I have no time to whine inside my head. I deflect my now constant need to belittle England in general with comparisons with Perth, by discussing only the very best of my London experiences. I find that dealing with the loss of a life I never hated is harder than I ever expected.
And yet I still have those incredibly smug moments when, whether it is comparing the armor of Eric Bana and Brad Pitt from the movie Troy and sniggering to myself because our Eric is obviously built far better than their Brad, gazing enraptured at Jack Vettriano's latest exotic exhibition, or being verbally guided around Antarctica by the lively writer in residence of the American Science Programme, I sit back and mutter 'Still, I'm in London ...'