Their trip to the zoo had been postponed due to the rain. She was gutted as it was something she had looked forward to since their arrival roughly five months ago. And it had promised to be such a fine day upon waking: sun without clouds; an average or around 17 degrees, exceptional for winter. Like with so much about the country (and there was rather a lot): it was one long line of broken promises. However, she had learnt early on not to give much credence to the weather forecasts and to trust her own judgement and the colour of the sky, so the disappointment was manageable and only half as harmful as it otherwise might have been. But even that was a tentative art, with uninterrupted sunshine turning into heavy rainfall in the space of a minute. Layers, that was the key; carrying an extra jumper, gloves, a scarf, and always, always, having in one's possession a trusty umbrella. It might not be much use in a downpour, but it was better than nothing and wet was preferable to drenched.

Instead of the zoo they had opted for a small cafe, tucked away and peaceful, warm – hotter, in fact, than the majority of accessible places this time of year. There was an unhealthy obsession with air conditioning and open doors. Few places had walls that completely closed them in. And outdoor heaters were a luxury and not the norm. Strange, given that it was cold for a good four months of the year, but there you go... Many things about the place were strange and made no sense to her at all. Europe was far more sensible and accommodating and she preferred it by far. She was desperate to return. To smell the sea air. To feel that dry heat. To eat familiar food. And she missed the architecture and the culture. The Auzzies were a strange bunch. And the country was far too new to romance her with its past and its narrative. Modern buildings were fine. Skyscrapers were spectacular in their place. But you couldn't beat a gothic church and tight meandering streets. She also missed foreign languages and feeling like you were overseas, on holiday. An English speaking nation was altogether far too confusing for the brain. She was upside down, literally and also mentally, and couldn't figure out how to balance and right her thoughts. She would manage a certain trajectory, move them around the clock face an hour or two, and then something else would stroll in and she would be spun and flipped back. There was no progressing, no improving, no end to the grey. While it hadn't been a waste of time uprooting and relocating, it hadn't worked out destination- and lifestyle -wise and she was ready to be done with it and moving on.


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becsatherton (joined over 11 years ago)
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I have always loved art and drawing has been an important part of my life ever since I can remember. Having creative parents provided me with the right genes and also meant that my naive dabblings were given plenty of encouragement. Growing up, our kitchen walls were lined with huge pinboards which displayed my work. I guess you could say that this was my first exhibition, my audience consisting of family and friends. To date – apart from school and university, where there was always a termly show – it remains the only one. Life interfered with other priorities and stole away my earlier confidence.
Since graduating, I have been a web designer, a graphic designer, a magazine editor, an art director, a copy writer, a literary consultant, a poet, an aspiring novelist, and many other less inspiring things. I have also founded a literary arts magazine called Inside Out, which published two issues before the recession hit.
For the last year, I have been hard at work writing and drawing and would now call myself a writer, poet, artist and illustrator. I use these mediums as ways to better understand myself and find them helpful in exploring and resolving personal problems. This was the focus of Inside Out, which promoted creativity for personal development and emotional well-being. One day I hope to qualify as a creative therapist, offering workshops and retreats and teaching this valuable skill to other individuals.

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