I once lived in a small terrace house, in a quiet Cooks Hill street.
I was 22, naive to life and completely hooked on this new found young, single existence from the word go.
A walk to the end of my street revealed book shops and buskers, cafes and old shaded parks.
I lived amongst uni students, street performers, hedonists and elderly cat ladies who fed bread crumbs to birds.
It was a beautiful, special time and it should have been the beginning of a wonderful life, which was bubbling away inside of me.
I was so enamoured with my surroundings that I would constantly soak it all up, take it all in and happily explore people and places around me on my own, discovering the beauty each time I opened my eyes to it all.
Our buttercup terrace houses all lined up in a row, the only way to tell the difference, a pot plant of choice or an old sofa, reflecting those that dwelled inside.
If you walked around Cooks Hill of a night with only moonlight to lead the way, you would often come across two obstacles well known to those who lived there; poorly lit root ravaged foot paths to stumble over, and bats…or bat poo to the dismay of many a stiletto.
Cooks Hill is a special place by moonlight, I think mostly because of the big over-arching fig trees that loomed their giant branches over each of its streets. Faded miner’s cottages to the back drop of crickets chirping, bat’s echoing and the gentle slow thumping of a band playing a gig at a local pub close by. It all just seemed so magical to me at the time, wafting its way through the streets to my bedroom window, lulling me to sleep as a fan droned beside my bed.
In summer, I would spend a whole day riding my bike or walking barefoot and lazy under the sun scorched sky. A latte in my hands as I dodged busy weekenders in Darby street, always ending up at the beach. Excited by a new secret spot - a delicious treat for hot, sticky red tinged skin. The best part of the discovery was having to wade through a cool, sparkly channel of water to reach the secluded spot.
.On days when the sun was too hot to venture out, I would open all the windows and doors of my own little buttercup creaky delight and perch myself at my bedroom window, watching the world go by, pen in hand and note book on my lap.
The late afternoon light as it trickled through the faded lace curtains and onto my blank page, moving in time with the welcomed breeze. It is a feeling and memory that has remained with me always. I can feel the warm sun, see the golden soft sunlight and smell the Cooks Hill scent in the air, Lilac Wine on repeat, drifting down the floor boarded hall.
A sweet moment in time where everything was golden and sparkly and bathed in that soft afternoon sunlight.
I guess I am thinking about Cooks Hill and being 22, and this lovely moment in time because it is the last memory I have before life kind of happened…somehow, so fast.
And now here I sit.
I have become the very worst thing possible. A passenger. I never have time now to notice the magic around me. And I think that is just too sad.
I walked down my old street a few days ago, and it all came flooding back to me.
There are far less fig trees, the pavement is still crackly and bumpy beneath my feet, and the small cottages are all with fresh coats of paint and porches filled with on trend furniture, Audis parked out the front. It still has that certain charm though and I am sure it always will, bat poo included.