Being back in the town where I was born and where I spent the first 27 years has at times been quite surreal.
Even after 22 years, I still love this town. I still have emotional ties here. With my aunt and uncle, my godmother and the fact I went to school and had my first jobs here. Driving around I enjoy seeing the old buildings, the beautiful heritage buildings in town, the old wool sale yards which are the facade of a modern Westfield shopping centre. Parking is cheap and traffic is light. Along the esplanade is as beautiful as ever calm waters with expensive yachts lazily bobbing upon them. This area is again being upgraded and it's a lovely place for visitors and locals alike.
Were I to drive around here I would still be confident. Actually with a population of over 200000 it's an easy place to get around in. Low traffic, great road systems, make for a more navigable area than home.
My aunt and uncle where we are staying is just down the road from the last place my parents lived before moving to Qld, so this area is especially familiar to me. I was saddened to see the church that Ricky and I went to when we were kids is gone. This church doorstep was also where I landed 32 years ago when I had a head on with a car. It was a Baptist Church. A very conservative one but filled with lovely people. I spent many an outing, from progressive dinner to singing hymns in Melbourne and to the weekly youth group and Sunday Church. I loved it there. Sadly the building isn't there anymore. There's a house there now. I've asked my aunt and she doesn't know what happened to it. I've emailed the council, I hope they can tell me what happened to it. It would have been around 1977 the last time I went there and I can find no reference to it on the web.
I've spent lots of time talking with my aunt and uncle. It's funny, I've spoken hardly any German in the last 30 years and yet it's still there. I guess one never really loses one's first language. It won't matter how old I am they remember me speaking German as a child and therefore I still can. They even speak to Sammy in German. It wouldn't take long for him to pick it ip either, but four days isn't quite long enough for that.
Flying home tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing my boys, friends and family. Love it here but there's no place like home.
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Location:Waurn Ponds, Geelong.