Sunday, June 28, 2009

How to live on top of the world

Taken from the centre of the Welcome Wall in Sydney

‘The wind was now fair, the sky serene, though a little hazy, and the temperature of the air delightfully pleasant: joy sparkled in every countenance, and congratulations issued from every mouth. Ithaca itself was scarcely more longed for by Ulysses, than Botany Bay by the adventurers who have traversed so many thousand miles to take possession of it’ (Watkin Tench, arrived 1788, personal diary)

A short while ago one of my dear friends – the legendary Anita Langley - was trying to buy some stamps during a port stop on a Caribbean cruise. She came out of the post office and being the type of friendly person she is said to the couple going in, ‘You won’t be buying stamps in there. They haven’t got any.’ The couple going in, being the type of friendly people they are, started to chat too and within moments total strangers were becoming friends.

I am now trying to sit in their 19th floor penthouse apartment in Sydney. I say trying to sit because I cannot take my eyes from their view and it is doing odd things to my physiology. Anita called her friends and told them what I was up to on this trip and – magically - they invited me to stay.

Their view is so extraordinary you would almost know it and by that I mean if you have the quintessential shot of cityscape views on your vision board or were even asked to describe one chances are it would look like this. It isn’t just breath taking, it’s jig making. I danced, unashamedly on their balcony this morning, grooving to nowt more than the music in my head and heart and grinning like a kid who has just been told they can believe in fairies again. As I said being here is doing weird and wonderful things to my physiology. My cells are colliding like ants on moshing.

My bed sits at the rear of the apartment and in the morning I only have to roll to my left to see the water of Sydney Harbour. I lay there in the soft, warmth and comfort of partial sleep, watching the sunlight throw a layer of shine on the sea below, feeling a layer of shine grow inside of me. Rainbows of light smooth a line across the balcony floor and lay like a ribbon of warm silk across my face.

I pad into the living room, my travelling feet welcoming the luxury of thick carpet. Their views run the entire length of the apartment. From the living room balcony you can see both the Anzac Bridge and the Harbour Bridge with little more than a turn of your head. In front of me stands the tall and proud skyscrapers of the CBD, glinting in the prosperous sunlight. In daylight it is exceptional, but at night it’s transfixing. As the reds and golds of the sunset wash the day out of the sky, I notice that across the water an empty building stands with an advertising hoarding emblazoned across its top. As if I hadn’t got the point yet it shouts the single sentence ‘WE’RE SEEING THE BIGGER PICTURE.’ Oh aren’t we just. I am travelling with eyes (and heart) wide open.

I could never ever get complacent about this view. I have sat on top of mountains and been less moved.

Suffice to say this wonderful couple (Rocky and Sharon) know a thing or two about success and from their happy countenance that is not just in the monetary sense. I am going to learn a lot – a lot – from these people.

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