Up and away

My dear fans, I hope both of you are sitting down as I break the sad news — this little bird has flown the Hills nest and has migrated north for the proverbial seachange.
Now, don’t take it personally Hillsters, and Andrew Jefferies and Co please stop cheering, as I will still be popping down occasionally to check up on you all and will be writing some articles from afar.
Unfortunately, I cannot pretend to be Alive in the Hills — which should always have been named Barely Alive in the Hills — so this column has to go, alas, but I am sure a saner columnist will take my place.
So, why the seachange? Well, there were three main factors. After 40 years in journalism, I wanted to concentrate on creative writing (many would say my journalism was very creative), I needed money to live on so wanted to cash in my Hills house, and the Central Coast provided value for money as well as a lifestyle change.
I like trees but the ones in my yard had an annoying habit of dropping leaves and I have always had a yen for living near the water.
I thought of selling my Tub Hub for garden compost so as to afford Sydney seaside living, but apparently old bones do not make pretty petunias.
Selling the house after 33 years in Cherrybrook was a sad and drawn out affair but I am sure the value of the suburb will soar now I’ve left.
We have happily settled at Ettalong Beach, not too far away, but far enough from stress. After a couple of weeks, I feel like I have always been here.
I am leaving the Hills at a time of great change in the area, particularly around the new rail link stations. I won’t recognise Castle Hill when I visit after Castle Towers is expanded, apartments shoot to the sky and the light rail station opens.
Then again, half the time I have to be reacquainted with people and places that don’t change.
Still, I like to look on the positive side. While Tub Hub was worried about us getting used to unfamiliar shopping centres, particularly the parking, I pointed out that Castle Towers will effectively be a new shopping centre after its planned expansion — so we would just as likely not be able to find our car in Castle Hill as we would in Erina Fair.
He says I am such a comfort to him.

Friendly strangers

Trying to get used to complete strangers stopping for a chat on the streets of Woy Woy, Umina and Ettalong. In the Hills, it only seemed like people who spoke to you were strangers... they were actually acquaintances Tub Hub and I had forgotten.
The same will happen here before long. Sigh…

Hills up here

It did not take me long to find a former Hills resident in Ettalong. Nice businesswoman left Baulkham Hills to run a gorgeous homewares store in Ettalong.
Like us, she freed up enough dosh to follow her dream and has not looked back.
Now, I don’t want to take too many of David “Dimples” Elliott’s constituents from the beautiful Hills, but... ❐

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