Monday, June 6, 2011
On the 2nd of July, my fiancé and I are celebrating our anniversary. We’ve been “together” for six years and engaged for one. On our anniversary we usually celebrate by eating decadent French food by candlelight or sipping cocktails by the ocean. Last year, Karl whisked me away to Olinda, a small town nestled amongst the Dandenong ranges far from the drone of Melbourne life. There we stayed in a fairy tale cottage (no, really, it was even called ‘Gretel’) and we strolled through the mist at Cloud Hill. Then he proposed, in front of the fire place, after a beautiful dinner. He slipped the ring on my finger and we toasted with champagne before cuddling on the couch with ice-cream sundaes and watching the remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It really was a beautiful and memorable way to spend our fifth anniversary together. But it makes celebrating subsequent anniversaries difficult. How do we top our fifth anniversary? I mean, we got engaged. That’s kind of a big deal and is incredibly hard to top.
So we’re not going to bother topping it. We’re just going to have an awesome time. And we plan on doing that by having a holiday…in Melbourne. Melbourne? Yes, Melbourne. And, yes, I realise that we do in fact already live in Melbourne. But between work and university commitments we actually do very little “living” in this city.
We spend the majority of our time cooped up in a small, artificially lit office or library reading, and writing and revising. We’re lucky to see the outside world for longer than ten minutes a day and even then we keep our heads down and hurry to where we have to be. We rarely look around, inhale, and absorb this amazing city that we live in. And we should. When we live somewhere as awesome and surprising as Melbourne, we really should. When we know where we’ve come from and don’t know where we’ll eventually end up we really should suck the life out of this city like marrow from the bone.
So, Karl has taken a week off work, beginning with our sixth anniversary weekend, and we are going to take back Melbourne. We’re going to shop and eat and explore until we just can’t shop or eat or explore anymore. Just like you do when you live in any great city, we’re going to sip coffee in damp lane ways; wander through gardens and parks and museums; talk until dawn and sleep until dusk.
It’s going to be the most wondrous holiday we’ve ever had. And we don’t even have to go anywhere.