Let's kick it like it's 1995...

*** Update ***
I confess, I assumed something about Blogger. That if you commented on a post I'd be able to email you. Alas, unless I'm missing something. If you've left a comment below can you please shoot me an email to mrssmyth AT amykendall DOT com DOT au so we can get this mix tape party started. Yikes. Sorry folks!

In 1995 I was 12, I was in year 7 at school and I was given my first CD. It was No Doubt's Tragic Kingdom and it was the most amazing thing. My sister owned the only CD player in the house so I would sneak in to play it. She would keep a notepad by her CD player with the order of CDs in her 5 CD player so she would know if I'd been in there. She also didn't think that this meant I knew which order to put them back in... similar to the time she put a padlock on her door to keep us all out. She put the padlock on the outside of the door.

But I digress.

16 years on (sixteen years?! What?*) I still own that CD and it's the heaviest, clunkiest CD I've ever handled. Technology has evolved and changed so much since then, and unless you're like Mr S and obsessed with physical CDs and artwork (and as a musician I'm so glad there's still people like him about) CDs are a bit obsolete.

I love a good mix tape. And by tape, I mean CD. I don't have the patience to sit with my stereo and pause and play CDs whilst negotiating the tape deck. Can you still buy blank tapes at any rate? I know you could put some sticky tape over the copyright hole on an old one if someone's flicked the tab off... but CDs are a lot easier.

In 2009 I made a Mix Tape (CD) of my favourite songs from that year. Not songs that were necessarily released that year, but my favourite songs for the year. I burned a copy for a friend and he vowed to send me his... I'm still waiting. Sad face.

I sat down last night and went through my iTunes and found my favourite songs for 2011 and I've compiled a 2011 Mix Tape (CD). And I thought we might like to swap. What do you think?

If you think this is an ace idea, and I really hope you do, leave a comment here and I'll contact you for your postal address. Then we can swap our 2011 Mix Tapes (CD) and all enjoy some new music.

Before I leave you to get commenting and excited about new music I want you to know that the entire time I've been typing this I've been singing Prince's 1999 with the words 'Tonight we're going to party like it's 1995.'

I defy you not to sing it as you read it.

*I'm so tired that I typed twenty six years and had to have a looong hard think about how old I am and how surprised I was that I was that age. After a few minutes I worked out that twenty six years would make me 38. Which I'm not.

On the subject of home...

What I see from the driveway... 

In the middle of a discussion about moving (not us!) the other day, Mr S said to me the 'Could you imagine never seeing Cradle Mountain again?' 
Initially I said 'Well, yes...'
'Like, never being able to go there and see Cradle Mountain again?' and I realised that the very thought made me sad.

I always thought I wasn't that fussed about where I lived, so long as Mr S & I were together (Millie now too). He probed this thought further with questions like 'Would you want to live in <dodgy suburb>?' and 'You say you need to smell eucalyptus trees - you could live in America?' No.

Which brought me to my navel gazing bus ride home musing... what do I need to have that sense of home? 

Really, I'm not sure. When I say 'home' to myself I'm immediately taken to the north west coast of Tasmania, where the seas are rough, mountains green, hills rolling and dirt deep red. That feels like home to me. The briskest of sea breezes. A room with a view of the water.

I always thought home was where my family was, as in Mr S, Millie & our various furchildren. It's a lovely ideal - not needing anything but each other. And if everything turned sour in our lives and we needed to live in one room, we could. But that isn't home. You know, home; the yearning you feel in your solar plexus when you think of going there, or leaving there. 

I understand that home can come in many forms, and you can have more than one. For instance,  Mr S grew up on a rural block that backed onto a national park, and now as an adult, he gets a certain kind of tetchy over the course of a few weeks and I know he needs to go bush and hug a tree reconnect with the rainforest. But I also know he likes to return to his other home. To me, his family.

I get a pull towards my home town every few years. I need to fly back, walk around the town, go for a drive to the sheep station we lived on and smell the landscape that is so unmistakably rural NSW. Crunchy leaves underfoot, a disgusting heat haze, the smell of eucalyptus leaves and an outlook across pastures. But it's not home anymore. I don't want to live there right now. So after three days I like to get on a plane and fly to Tasmania, where I get off the plane and it smells like home. It smells like rainforest even though it's an airport. It smells cool, damp and green and feels oh so good to breathe in.

Mr S & I have been in Tasmania since 2005, and when we moved here it was such a great opportunity for a fresh start. No friends, no family, barely any belongings. We laid on the lounge room floor of our three story townhouse in south Hobart drinking cheap Pinot Noir and looking at the chandeliers hanging from the roof. Because we didn't have a TV or any furniture. We were beginning again. 

Then I got a letter from my mum with two clippings about my relatives. Turns out I'm a Hellyer - Hellyer College, Hellyer gorge etc. Henry Hellyer was my (number of greats unknown) grandfather's brother, I think. And my other relative got a ticket of leave to Hobart & built his house in Adelaide Street. The reason that sounded familiar to us is that it was around the corner from our joint. So, err, perhaps a few ties? Is this why I feel settled in Tasmania -  it's in my blood?

Mr S & I were lucky enough to be able to purchase our first home when the interest rate was so low, it was cheaper than paying inner city rent. We have a large house overlooking a river. It's a large house that is entirely liveable but has accents of Mission Brown on the outside, rotting window frames and  would love a champagne renovation.  Alas, we can't justify that kind of renovation right now, so we give it some cask wine love every now and then. Its a nice house, but still not where I want to spend the rest of my life. When I lamented this to Mr S, he chuckled and said 'Yeah. Terrible. How could you not nail your dream home first go?' Good point, Mr S. Thanks for the perspective.

So since then I've been daydreaming about what an ideal material home would be. I say material, because at the end of the day I recognise that this is a privileged problem to have, and really, perhaps I'm thinking far too much about this.

I spend hours perusing the real estate websites and daydreaming. The things I'd like in an Ideal Material House...
  1. A parents retreat
  2. Dishwasher (or a child old enough to fulfil this duty)
  3. A bathroom with a double vanity
  4. Skylights
  5. A kitchen with tall benches, ample cupboard space, massive benches, double deep sinks, gas cooker and electric oven
  6. Land that overlooks the Huon Valley 
  7. A sunroom and deck that overlook the land that overlooks the Valley 
  8. Solar hot water
  9. Cozy carpets 
  10. Ducted wood fire heating

But I don't think a physical house is what I'm looking for. I'm looking for my version of 'home'. The yearning, solar plexus pulling home. I've narrowed it down to Tasmania... but where to from there?

Is home a physical place or an emotional state? What do you think?