Venus and Mars, Australia and Italy, coming home

This swing between Italy and Australia that we’ve put ourselves on means at times we might not feel at home in any one place. But I reckon there’ll be times we feel completely at home in two places as well, and I hope that we can have the flexibility, compassion and generosity with one another, with our families, our friends, and our vastly different but equally breathtaking environments (hello, Western Australia and Tuscany!) to be fully appreciative and conscious of what we’ve been given, and what we have to give. And that’s a lot.

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A (very) little bit about the lady in charge...

When Athanae was five years old, she wrote a 22-page autobiography. Self-interested? Maybe: but they say the first thing you write is always about yourself. She harboured dreams of being a ballerina and opera singer, later abandoned in the more sensible pursuit of studying law, becoming a journalist and then following a career in Federal Politics (perhaps mainstream is a better description than sensible).

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Athanae Lucev
the English rose

He got on the bus at Berwick. ‘Nice view, isn’t it?’ he said, as I was taking a picture going over the bridge. ‘They started building that bridge in 1611.’ For the next few hours, every time we neared a bridge, a castle, a town, a wall, even, Steve would give me a sort of potted history. His mother had been an abstract artist who had spent a lot of time in Italy. We talked about capitalism (he was anti: developers should be hung from lampposts, he said), Mussolini, Buddhism, Thatcher, North Korea, sea snakes, how to raise kids, and worm-eating toads. And we talked about Florence, liked I had yesterday with Ana, the Ecuadorian jeweller, and Brigit, the Canadian with the Irish passport.

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Athanae Lucev
the dawning stages

Peter rolls up in his landcruiser, red-faced, with Tahla the golden lab in the back. Lucky you called when you did, he says. We just got back in from a nine week stint in Cambodia. Had to get out of this bloody cold. The Italian gives me a sideways glance, as if to say ‘owning the Prevelly villas must be a pretty good gig if you get six weeks off a year in south-east Asia’. Yeah mate. 

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Cinque Terre: Suspended between Sea and Sky

Nicola tells me with a degree of resignation that Vernazza, the fourth of the five spectacularly colourful villages spilling off the higgeldy-piggedly cliffs of the Ligurian coast (counting south-north), is routinely ranked as one of the most Instagrammed spots in the world. True to form, we see more than one pair of 20-somethings in designer rags lugging camera equipment, pouting, and strutting along the path from Monterosso, where we started our walk. 

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Athanae Lucev
Release Day

She nearly always drove, except when he did and her head would bang violently against the passenger window, the wheels nearly flying up off the ground on his side as they cornered too fast.

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Athanae Lucev