We spent this weekend back in the streets of Elwood. We were there for the 10th anniversary party of our old haunt, The King of Tonga bar. We caught up with so many old friends, and all was the same, but everything was different.

Elwood and St Kilda feel like home to me, and probably always will, after so many years spent living there, in those streets named after writers. I lived in Tennyson Street, in Dickens Street, Coleridge and Kendall, but never in one of the streets named for the nomenclature of oceans and their movements. I love the wide streets, the avenues of plane trees in all of their seasons, the eclectic mix of architecture particular to the area, and the bluestone gutters and lanes. I love it for the memories, 20 years deep, conjured by my footsteps on those streets. I have left it twice before this leaving, both of those times for New South Wales, following men for love, and to return was always the sweetest homecoming.

It still makes my heart sing, to match my steps to those of a thousand of my former days and nights. It is a pleasure to meet good friends again, to make ourselves ephemeral tenants of Elwood. Yet I live another life now, I am not that woman anymore. We have made our home in another place, not only because it takes more money than our fairly meager makings to live in Elwood in a house, with a backyard, which is the least of what we want for Perry. Affordability is one thing, but we also found that, for us, it was necessary to draw a line between one life and another. The first step to that end was to make ourselves a new home.

Geelong West is that place. Our life is very different to that life in Elwood, but at the end of the day I am happy to return here, past the You Yangs and the yellow paddocks of canola, to these narrow, treeless streets full of charming, ubiquitous weatherboard cottages and roses, and our 112 year old house. These are the streets that our son will grow up with, forging childhood memories.

Geelong is full of new friends, and old, and we so look forward to embroidering those days which make a life fondly remembered, make the heart sing.

Linking up with #IBOT over at Essentially Jess http://essentiallyjess.com/time-year-ibot/ because it is a Tuesday