The Doust Files – Albany Advertiser 12/10/2010

 We’re not big on anniversaries in this house. We never remember the wedding. Good reason too. It was a stinking Perth day, the groom was somewhat bruised from the previous night, the witnesses turned up late and the marriage celebrant was drunk.
But this one, we know it well. We love it. It’s our second year in the Great Southern.
 It was not easy making the big move south.  First we had to sell our house in the city and then we had to buy another house by the sea.
As usual, we didn’t do it the right way around. First we bought the house by the sea and then we tried to sell our house in the city.
I know what you are thinking: “Clever, innovative, imaginative”. Not really, because we chose to buy just before the market began to scream, kick and fight its way into a dive and we chose to sell as its plummet gathered momentum.
We are not, you see, the classic Baby Boomers.  No, indeed, we sold our city house to a Y-Generation couple who didn’t have enough money to complete the transaction and they still don’t.
What’s more, we were not cashed up after years of real estate manoeuvres, or share market profits and I had not decided to retire from my advertising agency after selling it to a multi-national.
In short, we were a couple of late-starters who met on a communal farm in Israel during the hippy boom of the early-middle 1970s. Oh, don’t get me started on those stories.
Indeed, we belong to that group of Boomers who will have to keep working until the man in the suit comes to measure us for the box.
That’s ok with me because I’m one of those blokes who has difficulty sitting still and if there’s nothing to do I’ll find something and do it, or re-do something already done, or undo something so I can do it again. Or even write a column for a local newspaper about it all.
Oh yes, there are benefits.  The beach is only three steps and one jump away and on a good day I can be there for three hours, walking one length, picking up human debris as I go, body surfing, then running back to the steaming hot showers like an old man who loves to run but his body wishes he wouldn’t.
Fishing is something I promised myself I’d get back to one but I haven’t yet. I’ve had offers, plenty, but they never confirm. What is it? Have they heard? Have they spoken to members of my immediate family who remember well my lack of patience and inability to sit still for ten hours on a dead flat ocean, only to come alive when the wind picks up and the ocean tosses us about like sardines doubled up in a tin for one layer only?
All this is because I grew up in a family that only fished or played tennis and when I hit eighteen I changed them for activities more in keeping with a young man who thinks he’s in the prime of his life.
I was wrong, the prime was up ahead. I’m in it now, I’m excited, I’m two years old.

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