Friday, December 16, 2011

From surreal to real

For the past few weeks I've done little else but do stuff relating to the upcoming project, 52 Suburbs 
Around the World. I've been madly packing, sorting, tossing, cleaning - to get my apartment ready 
to rent out - at the same time as dismantling and unplugging our life in Sydney. I've spent hours working 
with the lovely people who are helping me design and create the new blog, finessing and fussing. 
And I've been organising Coco's distance education. It's all been about the project.

But until today the project itself has seemed very remote and surreal. Part of that is due to the fact
that I've been more anxious than excited to be honest. For so long it was about just trying to get
the project up that I never questioned whether or not I could do it. But ever since I got enough
funding to get the project up, albeit on a skinny shoe-string budget, I've started to question,
can I actually do this? 

Because not only is it going to be a very time and labour intensive project. It'll also be done on the
road. And I'll be doing it with my eight year old daughter at my hip. Coco occasionally used to 
accompany me out to the suburbs in the first project. But only for a couple of hours every so often.
This will be 365 days worth of accompanying! 

And not only that, I'm going to be home schooling her at the same time. I used to say quite breezily,
oh, Coco, she'll be doing distance education. What I discovered when we went to the orientation
day at Sydney Distance Education Public School is that we will be doing distance education. While I'm
technically called the 'Supervisor' and there are real teachers at the school, the reality is that I'm
expected to sit with her and teach her for four hours a day. That to me is home schooling, something
I've always greatly respected in other people but never thought I could do myself. 

So. Ha! There it is. All the ammunition my brain needs to wake me at 3am and remind me that I'm
going to attempt to do a project that took me six days a week the first time around, at the same time
as navigating seven new cities and spending 20 hours a week home schooling, unless of course
one or other or both of us come down with some exotic illness and then, well, I'm not quite sure. 
Shambolic comes to mind.

When I sat down to post today I didn't intend to share all this. But I'd hate you to think I've been 

wandering around in a pre-trip state of bliss, just waiting until the 30th of December rolls around.

Oh, and while I'm at it, I've also gone into a decline about leaving Tom and Jinx. Now when I say 
that Tom and Jinx are cats, well, that's not really true. They're Burmese and being Burmese,
they are more like dogs than cats. So in essence we're leaving our two dogs behind - and because
they don't understand English, I'm unable to tell them that we love them very much and have done
since they arrived as tiny kittens two years ago, and we're not abandoning them really and we'll be 
back before they know it.

All they're going to think is that they've been dumped. Too sad. 

But today, finally, all the endless packing has finished and we are now officially living out of a 
suitcase: the tenants move in tomorrow morning so we're off to stay with friends for two weeks
until we go. On the way we'll drop Tom and Jinx off to their new home, some dear friends of ours,
and pray that they don't try and escape.

So although I'll be a basket-case saying goodbye to the cats (and friends and family of course),
suddenly the whole thing has moved from surreal to very real. And finally I feel less anxious
and more excited.

I also needed to post today because this is the last day I'll be posting on this blog from the computer
and room that I began 52 Suburbs on just over two years ago. It's been an amazing couple of years
and for anyone who's been following for a while or since the very start, can I just say a huge 
thank you for coming along for the ride and contributing to the project along the way.

The upshot is that I'm pretty sure the next time I post will be on the new blog so this will probably

be the last post ever on 52 Suburbs. Before we bid it farewell, can I just explain that the new blog
URL will be the same as this old one - And then this blog will have a new URL,

Reason being, it was too long to have the new blog address be, 

so we've decided to keep it short and just change this blog's URL.

Anyway, no need to absorb those fascinating facts as you'll be automatically transferred over to

the new blog unless you tell me otherwise.

So see you over there in the next week or so!

And I promise, this will be the last essay of a post. Back to brevity next time we meet.


  1. we're so excited for you and coco, and so excited to hear and see all the adventures you have in store.

  2. Louisie & Coco........Go for it girls!
    "Bon Voyage" and all the usual pre-trip departure-speak! What a year you both have ahead of you. R & I know you can do it but we just pray that all goes well.

  3. Can't wait to see your new project, and I hope your baby will deal well with the distance education :)
    finger crossed and good luck!

  4. Excited and anxious for you and Coco ... what an amazing adventure it will be!

  5. Safe travels! Clear lens!

  6. Wow! Good luck sweets!

    Myself, I'd forget the whole school-thang (except for math). Elementary school is a total waste of time -- though she needs those bloody times-tables (which my kids still haven't learned).

    Get her her own camera, make her write a journal every day -- best education she could get. Keep up with the math -- when she gets back, she'll ace all the other kids in the class.

    Of course, you never take my advice. That's probably why I give it so freely!

    Buenos Aires.

    xxoo Fistrella

  7. Louise,
    What an adventure.
    You deserve this for all your footwork bringing our city suburbs beautiful aspects to us to enjoy.
    You have gone out and made a difference in so many lives so take it to the world now.
    You certainly lent weight to the tome "from little things big things grow".
    James Allison (Vaucluse)

  8. Hi Louise
    Don't worry too much about Coco she will learn so much travelling, and she has you and this amazing adventure... Fistrel is right, get her to keep a journal you never know they may become her published books in the future....wishing you safe passage ..can't wait to see your new work - NO PRESSURE!!!! love donna x

  9. enjoy every minute girls, it will go so quickly.. What a wonderful experience for Coco and how lovely it will be for you to relive it in years to come. AND you will have some wonderful pictures to reflect those moments. All the very best, Gill

  10. Can't wait to read the blog as you progress around the world, especially as I'll be taking note for our o/s tour in '13. Have a fabulous time & your daughter is going to have an education the Dept can never replicate. Merry Christmas & happy 2012!...

  11. Old saying: you eat an elephant one bight at a time ...

    You have demonstrated your ability to manage an extensive project .. with considerable artistic flair ..

    Happy Christmas ... exciting New Year ... safe travels ... and we all look forward to sharing your experiences

  12. I'm eagerly awaiting the start of my vicarious travels with you and Coco so here's a quote I thought was quite appropriate to send you on your way ... “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” (Mark Twain). Bon Voyage! Libby :)

  13. Haha...don't ever think you are alone as we are all here with you both! Enjoy your wonderful new adventure out in the world with your beautiful daughter!

  14. Dear all
    Thanks so much! I feel incredibly lucky to have people as wonderful and supportive as you all as part of this next adventure. Your comments have made me want to start tomorrow - but will have to be patient. Only 11 days to go.
    Louise x

  15. Lou, I wish you and Coco many many adventures and eyes that will see the beauty in everything.
    Come back safe!!

    Merry Christmas.
    Di xx

  16. Oh Louise and Coco .. you will have many humans sending you good vibes .. What an exciting incredible journey your both on .. how lucky is Coco ..
    bless you both on your journey .. can't wait to hear from you soon again

  17. This is so exciting and scary at the same time! Good on you for taking it on! I will definitely be following you two around the world...

    You have given me photo inspiration from the start but now you're also giving me life inspiration.

    I love the fact that there's people out there that are embarking on big project like yours and I hope one day I'll have a project of my own.

    Good luck!
    Kim xx

  18. Good luck Louise and Coco. And Merry Christmas. Pipx

  19. I am excited for you both........and me..........can't wait for the new blog!
    From RR

  20. safe trip ladies! may all the world colours be your company. Wish you courage, patience and of course health for all 365 days

  21. “when you’re old and frail, you’re far more likely to regret those things that you didn’t do, then those that you did”... Mark Twain

  22. Good luck got a lot of courage!
    Is there anywhere we can see how your funding divided up....I'm interested to hear what percentage was corporate to social (us)!

    Cheers David

  23. Good luck Lou, thinking of you, with a glint of green eyed jealousy. Don't worry about the cats, the schooling or what might happen. Live and enjoy the time moment to moment with the capability and good humour I know you possess; All will be well.

  24. YIPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE im gonna miss this blog but i am still gonna keeep it and visit and look over ur suburbs time to tie and now to join you on ur new journey oh plus r u stillk keeping ur fb page im in there to u ucould answer that in ya new one if ya wanted LOL love uuuuuu

  25. How exciting, looking forward to seeing your beautiful photos from around the world.

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