I've always considered my hometown to be Townsville. My parents moved to Cairns 18 months after I moved to Canberra. My brother lives in Brisbane. And it seems I lost my hometown somewhere along the route and I rarely visit it anymore.
So when I say "I'm going home" I really mean my second home at the Sunshine Coast - the place we spent at least a month in every summer from about the age of 7. And I've been coming here for summers ever since. Alex is now a central place for all of us - my parents spend a month there, we visit for a few days, or stay for Christmas every second year when it's not Bendigo's turn to snaffle us.
We are creatures of habit when there. We have breakfast on the patio every morning, early, before anyone else is awake. This year I brought my own granola, and ate it with fresh fruit, including my parents' homegrown mangoes. Man, they were GOOD.
Mum and dad usually swim at the Mooloolaba Spit, which I think is crazy when Alex Beach is right across the road from the unit. But the first morning we went there too, very early, and you know what? It was good. Lacking serious waves, but good.
(This is not my mum and dad.)
We had fish and chips at the Spit one night. Canberra fish and chips, indeed fish and chips from anywhere, is pretty crappy compared to the Sunshine Coast version of it (sorry but it's true).
When I was at university, I worked one day a week as a nurseryman at a palm and cycad nursery. One of the most fascinating plants we grew from seed was Pandanus. My fascination with them continues to this day, which is lucky as there are a gazillion of them on the coast.
And my favourite part - the seed.
We came back to Canberra very relaxed, but I also came back a bit sick. I've had laryngitis - and absolutely no voice - for two days. It's also slowed me right down in the Christmas preparations - this week isn't my week for being Wonder Woman. I baked my last cake tonight (that makes seven cakes, people), but I don't think there's going to be a 2012 Christmas Skirt.
Unless there's a Christmas miracle and I gain an extra 10 hours sometime between now and Sunday.