I escaped from Italy. Packed suitcases with folded summer dresses and threw in this year's green plaited massive heels from Milan. The Mango dresses I think I'm still young enough to wear. Bikinis (plural) and Paul Smith's Rose perfume (the Summer Edition). A huge pair of beaded blue earrings.
The plane drumming through the night. Awful plastic meals. A glutton for film after film after film (do women like Angelina Jolie? Please tell me). Watching trucks trundle over the tarmac in Abu Dhabi at dawn.
Every two years I travel back to my home city which is Sydney. I think. After twenty-four hours in jet-fuelled limbo I cry over the Blue Mountains hunched against the New South Wales coast and check for the suburbs. My kids laugh at me. Mum! You are crying! Mum's crying! What are you crying for!
And this time no jet lag, a big beer, cawing birds in the morning.
It was a fast, windy, salty month. It is never long enough, hot enough, lazy enough. But going home is good. Even when the old gaps and doubts spring apart - where am I? Where is home? Who the hell am I playing at? - it is good to go back, smell the harbour, hug Mum, jump off the jetty.
My kids pretend they are Australians but they are not, they are something else, something hardier and layered, but they lap it up, the sun and the flipflops, the water skiing, the camp fire under the rockface. I devour books - La Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver, Haruki Murakami's stories, Junot Diaz - and feel a little dizzy, my heart is in my suitcase under the bed. Perhaps it wants to stay.