In my heart, I left Tasmania one Sunday afternoon. That morning I'd had no intention of doing so and by sunset I had made up my mind. Sometimes that happens.
And now I am a sixth generation Tasmanian, living in the top of the Top End.
Why did I move? Like a meerkat, opportunity popped its head up and I gave chase, hoping those little guys don't bite.
I chased it in much the same way as my great-great-great grandfather, the Englishman John Townsend had seen an opportunity to work with a farming corporation on the other side of the world, signed up and got on the boat. I chased it in much the same way as my great-great-great grandmother Agnes Turley had seen her neighbours' house door ajar and Goldilocked her Glaswegian fingers all the way to the court house.
Neither of them belonged in Tasmania, but there they were anyway. I don't belong up here either.
Before my northern move, I didn't even own a pair of shorts. When I disembarked from that aeroplane, I shed the second skin that was my leather jacket and it has hung in my cupboard ever since. The humidity here has caused my guitar strings to rust and the ivory on my piano keys to come unglued. Delicate green fuzz started sprouting on the piano lid.
The mornings started out hot and got hotter as the day progressed, without any of the schizoid weather changes with which I'd become so familiar. The skies rumbled every day at almost exactly the same time before screaming rain onto gutterless tin rooftops . Lightning struck and snapped a tree in my back yard. Frogs were living in my air conditioner. I didn't know what any of this meant. I didn't belong.
Two weeks in and I had developed infections in my throat and ears, as if the weather had entered me and was rusting me from the inside, un-gluing and green-fuzzing me.
It is probably not surprising that when I started writing songs again, they were all about the weather, the water in everything, the fire in the sky and the twitchy, lizard green, living-ness of everything.
I had wanted to film a new song today, to complement these few written thoughts, but my camera has stopped working. Like everything up here, it has the weather inside it.
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