Tomorrow I leave my paradise at Potato Point to spend a year in Warsaw. This post is a temporary farewell to a place I’ve grown to love more and more since I moved here twenty years ago. 

It’s given me so many gifts. It’s offered spectacular places to walk – on the beach, through the bush, beside lakes. It’s provided plenty of animal life – kangaroos, emus, diamond pythons, plovers, kookaburras, seagulls, terns, black cockatoos, sulphur crested cockatoos, sea eagles, black swans, ducks, magpies, king parrots, orioles, honey eaters, bower birds, even the occasional lyrebird. It’s given me close acquaintance with many native plants in the wild – banksias, spotted gums, eggs and bacon, hibbertia, poison peach, schelhammera, blueberry ash, tea-tree, bursaria, donkey orchids, hyacinth orchids, greenhoods, bearded orchids, glossodia, caladenia. It’s indulged my liking for patterns – braided sand as the sea retreats, intricacies of colour and shape on rocks, the designs of at least a hundred species of shell, textures and markings on the bark of trees, reflections broken up by ripples. It has drawn me out onto rock platforms to peer into rock pools at low tide and to wonder at the ancient geological history represented in the cliffs. And it always offers a cool sea breeze on a  hot day.

Recently it’s enticed me into the sea, at least once, sometimes twice a day. I hang my towel on the minimalist structure surviving since the January floods and walk along the beach in my swimmers, often wet to my non-waist as the waves come in. The dog usually comes too, tearing off after the ball, poised in stillness mid-leap as he catches it, or digging a frantic hole out of which he noses it. When the lead appears he grimaces into the distance to see what other dog is responsible for his leashing. Sometimes we meet acquaintances and stop for a brief chat. Back at the towel, I hang my hat, shirt, camera and specs on convenient knobs and stroll in to meet the waves. Five or six steps in and I’m up to my neck, kneeling down at low tide, where I bob up and down for a few minutes. Only once have I been knocked off my feet and completely submerged, revisiting that salty-spluttering, eye-scrunching, and nose-holding I remember so well from childhood dowsings.

The moment I’ve been anticipating now since the middle of last year has arrived. I’ve wound down my Potato Point life. The bags are packed; the hard farewells to dear friends said. snippetsandsnaps is in mothballs till this time next year; 12monthsinwarsaw is on its rocky path to activation. Tomorrow we get on the Sydney bus, on Saturday we board the plane, on Sunday we’ll be settling into our apartment three doors along from my daughter on the other side of the world.

Thank you, blogging mates who’ve followed me in my Potato Point life. I hope you’ll sign up to join me for my Warsaw adventures. 12monthsinwarsaw goes live on Saturday, if my scheduling works!