Killing time at the Tube station on my way home from seeing Tom Hiddleston in ‘Coriolanus’ at the Donmar Warehouse. I’m immersed in my thoughts: a busy week at work, plans for holidays, emails I haven’t returned. I look up and I’m yanked out of my London life. There were two of my worlds almost touching. The ripped poster from the Royal Academy’s ‘Australia’ exhibition of late 2013, was positioned perfectly next to the iconic sign for the Underground. Both places look careworn, imperfect: both places are layered with meaning for me.
I’ve spent the last 10 months sucking as much of London life as I can take. This seething city has a new experience on offer at the asking: from amazing actors tackling Shakespeare in chiseled torsos and leather just a few meters away, to blockbuster art exhibitions that would rarely, if ever, travel to the Southern Hemisphere. London gives me conversations about things other than sport (although just as many about weather), literary connections by the truckload, and a springboard to discovering Europe via budget airlines and hand luggage.
But Australia is my home. I miss my friends and family. At times it’s an acute stab of absence. I long for the conversations which would be interrupted by ordering more flat whites or NZ sav blanc, not by unreliable Skype. Seeing the bright, torn colours of the Nolan painting on a wintery London night reminds me of the expansive landscape that I left behind – one that I hope is waiting for me.
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