March – Bendigo

In March my mum came to visit. We had a whole list of things we wanted to do together. In the weeks before she arrived we emailed links back and forth – places we might go and things we might eat. I wanted to op shop. My mum is an unusually talented op shopper. Whenever I go home, there is a pile of finds waiting for me. But I miss watching her rummage through the racks. I miss wandering them together.

The problem is that op shopping in Melbourne, generally speaking, is garbage. I want the shop to be run by ladies so old they need a tea break after every sale. I want some of the stock to have been there for a decade at least. It’s just not the same when you’re in Brunswick. So I booked a hotel in Bendigo.


 It’s funny that mum and I make so many plans. Every Christmas we make lists of things we’ll cook together. We talk about TV we might watch; books we can share. And then we’re in the same place and all we want to do is talk. I talk to my mum on the phone for hours every week. But it isn’t the same as sitting beside each other on a train journey. It’s not like talking in snatches while we weave through the aisles of an op shop. It’s not the same as chatting while we walk between a Vinnies and a Salvos, laden with copper cake tins and polka dot dresses.

I took mum to Bendigo so we could talk in the art gallery, thinking aloud as we wandered from room to room. I wanted to go so we could climb the strange tower on the hill and she could tell me about the trip to Italy she’s planning while we trekked up the stairs. I wanted to talk over pub parmas in a dark corner and then go back to our hotel and talk more over tea.
In March we went to Bendigo. And as the train rattled through the countryside and the horizon unfurled, my mum and I just talked.

My goal for 2017 is to go somewhere every month. 

Preferably out of the city. Preferably to spend time with people I love.

Further reading

December – home

I spent the first minutes of 2018 on the beach. I’ve never actually spent New Year