Liv Hambrett

Germany + Australia + Culture + Motherhood + Home

Back in Sydney


The weekend was full of the old and new. It was a house party at a well-loved place that has reshuffled its inhabitants twice since I left. It was familiar routes driven in brand new cars, these shiny things a sign of everyone trading up, moving on, growing up. It was a long conversation with a friend whose marriage came to an end while I was away. It was coffee with an old friend who fell pregnant with and gave birth to a little baby girl while I was away. It was a weekend where the concept of ‘time’ came up a lot.

Something happens to time, or your ability to process it, when you leave for a little while and return. Lying in bed and thinking about what was, or sitting down with friends and filling each other in on the time you have been apart, that period within which you – or they – were away feels like a collapsible bubble, packed full of colour and impossible adventure. It feels as if you fell through a door into a parallel universe and all of these things happened, all of this time passed, crammed so full you almost feel like when you find that door again and push it open, everyone on the other side will have reported you missing, assumed you’d run off for the rest of your life. Or at least have just gone home.

And when you find the door again, push it open and step outside, back into the world from whence you came, a funny thing happens. You find yourself back in the cafe with your old friends, talking for all the world as if nothing has happened, as if you didn’t just disappear down a rabbit hole, into a world of fawns and white witches, for what felt like forever. Indeed, the only clue a whole other world took place parallel to this one, a whole other life, is a baby on someone’s lap and an email in another language from someone professing to love you.


  1. annaindeutschland

    6 August, 2012 at 1:03 am

    I am often amazed at how I find my thoughts and sentiments put so eloquently in your posts. (I am an American who has spent time living abroad in Germany – and who happens to like taking pictures of doors…) Thank you for expressing your experiences in such a relatable and open way. 🙂

    1. Liv

      6 August, 2012 at 10:53 pm

      I am so pleased to hear it! And what is not to love about doors?

  2. dianasschwenk

    6 August, 2012 at 5:02 am

    That’s the thing with friends, time and distance can separate them but when they get back together, it’s like they were always there, don’t you find?

    1. Liv

      6 August, 2012 at 10:53 pm

      Absolutely. We’re just cracking on, sure with a baby or two and a couple of new cars, but apart from that, business as usual!

  3. davidstrachan611

    6 August, 2012 at 8:35 am

    ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’…’Out of sight out of mind’ – ‘Time’ is so full of contradictions.
    Effective writing!

    1. Liv

      6 August, 2012 at 10:54 pm

      Thanks David, appreciated!

  4. Truth and Cake

    7 August, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    That last sentence is perfection. I can totally relate.

    1. Liv

      10 August, 2012 at 12:32 am

      It is utterly bizarre, isn’t it. I sort of found myself holding the baby thinking ‘all this happened? But everything still feels the same.’

  5. Catherine

    8 August, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Hi there I’ve just found your beautiful blog. We are a husband and wife living in Amsterdam the last 3 years. Originally from sunny Brisbane. Your writing style is so beautiful and particularly meaningful to me as an expat here. This is the first time I felt like someone has truly described the thoughts and emotions that go with uprooting your life . We’ve not been home for all this time and planned a trip back in September. Your post really gave me a sense of clarity and food for thought, thank you from Holland. 🙂

    1. Liv

      10 August, 2012 at 12:31 am

      Thank you so much for such a lovely comment. I can imagine you’d relate perfectly to almost everything on this blog. Good luck with it all and I hope it goes swimmingly.

  6. vegasmike433

    9 August, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Sometimes reading your blog makes me feel like crying, because you capture with words, so precisely the extreme fragility of Life in many sectors, and also you convey your own emotion so excellently well, it is impossible, if one reads your posts with an regularity, to not feel as if one knows you.

    Without knowing you, to be invited into the inner most thoughts and feelings of your Life, is an unusual feeling. It is with a certain reverence that I read certain passages, always with admiration and respect for the sheer confidence and courage that is required to do what you do so tremendously well here.

    Thank You, Kindly.

    1. Liv

      10 August, 2012 at 12:32 am

      Mike, I love your comments, they make me feel great. And it thrills me, always, that you get so much out of this blog. Thank you.

  7. Decisions, Decisions | A Big Life

    10 August, 2012 at 12:35 am

    […] I have been home two weeks today and since emerging from jet-lag’s clutches, I’ve renewed my driving licence, got behind the wheel of a car again, seen my GP, applied for a million jobs, cleaned out my wardrobe and donated three bags of old clothes, become highly asthmatic because that’s just what happens in an environment such as Australia’s, visited the beach, been two two job interviews and caught up with family and friends. […]

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