my head is an awesome place to live

For Bunny.

by Lori Dwyer on September 21, 2013 · 4 comments

I wrote this before I left the TinyTrainTown, and haven’t published it until now.

Because now… I’m missing my mates. All of them. A lot.


“It’s a big bad world full of twist and turns, and people have a way of blinking and missing the moment.”


There are so many people I will desperately miss.

I know… it’s only a state away.  Only an eight-hour drive. A one-hour flight. 800 odd kilometres. 500 or so miles.

But people have a way of slipping away from each other. Friendships have a way of stretching and threading into fragile strands of fairy floss.

I know, with a dread deep in my gut, that nothing will ever be the same again as it is right now. It’s not that things are fantastic… they’re not. I have tried my best, been optimistic and hopeful and I’m proud of that. I’ve made the most of what I’ve got at the TinyTrainHouse. It’s only looking back at it that I realise how much I’ve been struggling to be content. How much I’ve been faking it, hoping I’d make it. For the sake of my kids. For the sake of myself.

But in between the sadness, there are people. People who’ve loved me and held me. People who have made me laugh, caught me and held my hand and showed me that good things- really good things- are still very possible. And while I’m sure I will find my people in Melbourne- truth be told, I already know so many of them that I doubt I’ll be short for company- my heart is breaking to leave the people I love.

People like my mum. People like Princess Boofhead, and the Mother Of Princess Boofhead, who’ve been in our lives since a week before my son was born; who have been our best, most unconditional friends.

People like Kristabelle, who I’ve known since I was 15. She’s like a guardian angel- the two worst times of my life, she has been there for me, allowed me to sip from her strength.

People like Tinks and The Doc, who loved me broken and bruised, and made me feel worth something again. People like my Katie Kitten, who walked me through the dark numbness of the weeks After, and who I have let down and neglected to thank, over and over again. People like Faerie Saerie, for all the reasons I’ve listed a thousand times over. And The Bear and The Pixie, who just help, with no wish of thanks or favours returned.

People like Auntie Mickey, who has been my best mate for twelve long, awesome years; who took me in when my own home exploded.

And people like my Bunny. The best bloke I know. He’s the reason I love Melbourne as much as I do, because he introduced me to it with such enthusiasm. He has a heart bigger than everyone. He understands me.

I’m sitting in his lounge room as I write this, listening to him sing and play guitar. He amazes me, and he only taught himself to play six months ago. He doesn’t know I’m writing this- I’ll ping him once its published.

He will miss me, and I will miss him. He texted me not long ago, asking “Who will be my best friend when you go?”

I will be, Bunny.

It’s only an hours flight. An eight-hour drive. 800 or so kilometres. 500 odd miles.

I’ll never be far away.




by Lori Dwyer on September 19, 2013 · 2 comments

Softly, softly, softly. That’s how we do it here, every day, for now.

I watch my children adapt and warm to living with a new person in our lives. I watch with amazement as they take things in their stride, as they assess what goes on here and assimilate it into their tiny frames of what life is like.

As those of you who’ve done this before me know, introducing a new parental figure to the family mix is done with care and trepidation, and a definitive sense of not pushing things too far. 

Softly, softly.

Small invitations to intimacy are made. The Most Amazing Man offers the Chop a hug before bed, and he responds with his arms wide open. I see the hesitation more with my son than with my daughter. My Chop is hesitant to trust too much, to get too close. He remembers what it’s like to be left behind.

“I will leave you!” The Most Amazing Man says to me, taunting and joking, and I poke my tongue out in response.

Neither of us realised my son had heard that exchange, until his head pops up with shock and he asks “What? What did you say?”

“Joking, baby. We were joking, I promise. The Most Amazing Man is not going anywhere.”

Everything is done in tiny pieces, tiny increments of trust and discipline. Tiny offerings- a hug, a bedtime story, a family day out. All those ‘normal’ things you do with a dad, that my children have been missing for years.

Softly, softly. One tiny baby step at a time.



Urban Bliss.

by Lori Dwyer on September 10, 2013 · 16 comments

I’m a little bit in love with the suburb we’re living in. It feels like all neighbourhood-like. We’re at the point where I’m singing Sesame Street melodies in my head whenever I leave the house on foot.

It’s just nice here. People are friendly. I smile and nod hello to everyone I pass. Old men say “Good morning Bella!” to my daughter as she cruises past them on her way to daycare (which is called ‘kindergarten’ in Victoria, I’ve discovered. And what was kindergarten is now called ‘Prep’. Colour me confused)


Walking to school, Melbourne-style. Which translates to 'with an umbrella'.

Walking to school, Melbourne-style. Which translates to ‘with an umbrella’.


This area is filled with young parents, and there’s that aura that is everywhere in Melbourne– we’re all in this together- and most strangers are defaulted with trust rather than suspicion. My son takes a spill on his bike, riding 10 metres ahead of me, and another mum picks him up and dusts him off. I find myself doing the same thing for a little boy who’s fallen from his scooter. And the cycle continues.

We’re within a healthy walking distance from main roads and trams. Tiny corner shops- bakeries, milk bars, the odd bizarrely placed speciality store- dot the streets surrounding us. My car hasn’t left the driveway in days and I’m saving a fortune on petrol alone.

I’m also healthier, and feeling it, after just two weeks of this new, suburb-specific lifestyle. So are my children. They’ve taken to riding their bikes to school and kindergarten every day while I keep up a brisk pace beside them. The majority of food in our house is healthy and simple, and the Most Amazing Man ensures I eat a proper meal every night. I’ve given up Coca-Cola (it’s day four. My head hurts.) and I’m drinking water instead.

I soak up the aesthetics of where we are living. Houses in this area of Melbourne all seem to have the same basic structure. High ceilings. Wooden floors. Ancient light switches and electricity meters. Ducted heating and oddly-shaped backyards. Despite their sameness, they’ve all been here long enough to be quirky and inherently different, with years of lives lived, and changes made, tacked onto them like their typical  two room extensions.

I love walking around, soaking up the goings-on around me. There were a lot of shops along these roads once, it seems, small boxes with a house behind. And so many of their new owners here have incorporated both the shop and the house as a living space, designed around it rather than tearing it down. The concrete storefronts have become the back ends of houses, or airy front entrances hollowed out with a garden hidden between the front walls.


Clothes by Not sponsored- I just adore them.

Clothes by Not sponsored- I just adore them.


And the flowers. There are flowers everywhere here. People’s gardens are magnificent and diverse. Veggies grow in small front yards, daisies and roses are planted on nature strips. On the days the Bump and I walk to her kindergarten, we stop and admire everything in bloom, and I pass on to her what my Gran taught me. “These are hibiscus. These are geraniums.” And lilies and paper daisies and lavender and jonquils.

It’s difficult to miss the TinyTrainTown when I take full advantage of being where I am right now. I love it here. It’s all tiny lane-ways lined with blue stone, happy people and urban farmer’s markets. It’s diversity and it’s acceptance and it’s Melbourne.

This place, it speaks to something in my soul.