From this side of the bay, Melbourne appears tiny – etching itself onto the horizon like the lost city of Atlantis rising from the deep. It’s nice to see the city where I live at a distance without stressing about how and when I’ll be able to return to it.
F’s aunt tells me I look just the same as when she last saw me and I’m pleased to know that this year hasn’t aged me beyond recognition, even if it feels like it has. I tell her I definitely have more grey hairs now.
F’s grandad has lost his wife since the last time I saw him and he tells me that makes us even.
On loss, on grief.
I think for the thousandth time this year of a novel I read once in which the characters consulted a book that told them how long to mourn each family member. Is a father equal to a wife?
We have lunch at a winery: potato bread, oysters, pickled cucumbers, chive waffle with salmon roe, miso eggplant, asparagus and anchovies, salmon, steak, choux bun. Delicious. Excessive. I missed this.
After a couple of glasses of wine, he says, I never met your father. What was he like? and I (inappropriately) burst into tears. But he (appropriately) turns away while I compose myself.
I text photos of food and views to my mum and brother.
I walk on the beach.
I swim in the pool.
In the evening I try to remember the last time I swam. But I can’t.
A version of this post was sent by email on the 15th November 2020 as part of Internet Care Package – a weekly memoir project in the form of a newsletter. It also includes links to the best things I’ve found on the internet each week and occasional updates on my theatremaking. This blog is a select archive of those emails. Subscribe to get them right in your inbox.