Chapter 26

It’s been an amazing year. On my birthday last year I had a day off. I remember a phone call I got at Belfield train station, from a great friend, laughing there on the platform, early evening in the impending Sydney summer.

It was one of my last rehearsals with the Reservations that day, and then I ran off to spend the night with someone lovely. I wrapped up my life, spent good times with my best friends, said goodbye to my family and got on a plane.

26 has been about moving. Moving country, moving on and just moving in general.

To Paris! And others…but it’s Paris that lives in my heart still. Walking around Monmartre, meeting great people. Beef bourguignon and beaujolais. Napping in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. The friends I met here who I don’t think I’ll ever get rid off.

Running in all directions in Europe, seeing Alicia is 5 different countries. Countless loss beanies, boarding passes and public transport day passes. That jumper from Barcelona I lost and I’m still heartbroken about.

Regina Spektor’s Begin to Hope has been the soundtrack to all this. Easily my most listened to record this year. Anything that my life threw up just stuck on her songs. But also a year of rediscovering rock. Arctic Monkeys. Fratellis. The Killers. Muse. Been a long time since I’ve listened to so many guitar bands.

A beautiful Christmas and a snowy London was my home. I walked through Hyde Park almost every weekend. I read The Virgin Suicides, awash with romance. Managed to borrow a copy of Leviathan, but also trying to read and see British things. And god knows how many hours I spent with my head buried in Lonely Planet guides.

Also managed to see a few gigs. My first Fountains Of Wayne experience. London Live Earth at Wembley. Muse, Wilco, the Shins, REM, Amy Rigby, Prince…even managed to see Bob Evans. But really not been doing that too much. Missed all the festivals but I’m promising myself a couple next year.

I am also so happy. I’ve met hundreds of people this year. I got a great job which I love, and the people there are fantastic. I’ve managed any challenge that came my way. Sorted out the red tape, and even survived a nasty accident. I found a great house to live in, and met many a lifelong friend.

Now I have some close friends here, both old and new. And a steady stream of foreign visitors. And also still managing to get away from London a bit too. In fact, I’m back in Paris in 3 days.

It’s amazing how I got here. I wonder what the next year will hold. I don’t feel like I’ve even found my stride in London sometimes. And next year I will go to America. I just have to. There are changes coming. People coming. People going. The cast is changing.

It’s been the best year of my life, easily. Not only have I done so many things I dreamt of doing, I’m actually struggling to think of unhappy moments. Maybe there are none. And that is amazing. Thank you everyone who shared any of it with me. Whether a few days drunk in a strange city, every weekday at a cubicle, or old friends from home who keep in touch and keep me grounded…and all in between and outside and more.

London has dialled up a rare sunny day in October. Happy birthday indeed.

Danny
London

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