Monday, October 25, 2010

A certain freedom

Kacee and I went for our daily walk this afternoon along the foreshore. She had a ball - running through the sand, chasing the sea birds (they're called terns apparently - I didn't know that, but Mr Bird Expert Rob told me), playing tag with me - and I couldn't help thinking that she truly has become an island dog. She has such a good life here - freedom to run around in the unfenced yard, freedom to come and go to the office, to play with the pilots and staff. And then of course there's our special walks.

How will she get on when we go back home? Do dogs have memories? Will she remember what she was doing one day and how it's different the next?

I've become bit of an island d-- um ..... I mean, I've become accustomed to island living too. There is a certain freedom up here that you don't have in the big city. Freedom from traffic, from crowds, distances are close, people are friendlier - there is a sense of community here that I didn't experience back home.

And it's never more evident than on a Saturday morning at one of my favourite places on T.I. - the coffee shop. A cup of coffee at Uncle Frankie's is a community event - you will always meet somebody :-) be it a fellow church goer, a fellow Rotarian, a colleague from work or someone you met at so-an-so's that night or at the pub.

Uncle Frankie's coffee shop - my favourite place
The next big community event here is the Catholic Church fete this Friday night and I'm looking after the cake stall. I can see my kids laughing and shaking their heads - yes, after all these years I'm back doing fetes. All I did was innocently ask "have you got anyone yet to do the cake stall?" and next thing my name is in the newsletter and I'm being given eggs to give away to any potential bakers.

"Silvana, I found that the more eggs I gave them, the more they'd bake" - quote from Pat Jones, my predecessor and island identity. Pat is the widow of Col Jones, the founder of Col Jones newsagency and all-round island shop. This lady is ...... not young - I hope she doesn't get offended - but has the energy of a 20-year-old. She's involved in the community, still helps out in the shop, looks after her grand children, and does weekly religious education at T.I. primary school. (She asked me the other day about taking it into the high school - I told her to not even think about it. She got it.)

So - what I'm feeling is that lovely freedom that comes with being in a small community. I love it. I love that I can meet people in the street and ask them to bake me a cake for Friday night. They all know what I'm  talking about, where it is, when it is, and most of them have promised me something on the night - cakes, tarts, chutneys and marshmallows.

How will I get on when we eventually go back home? Well I'll have my memories - lots of them. And to help me remember, I'll read my blog, and enjoy the photos I've taken to remind me of places and faces and events. I'll remember how well - and how easy is was - to become accustomed to island living. I'll remember that Kacee and I had a certain freedom, and that up here, on T.I. ..... life is good.

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