Six months ago I was in a right state.
I’d already taken a sabbatical from the specialty industry on the belief that caffeine was tearing at the edges of my sanity. So, humming away in Spotswood, learning a few things about food that I hadn’t known before, I eventually got sucked into that too. Babies were had and Duchess was growing at such an enormous rate that I barely had a hold on the reins of the shop, let alone my actual life.
So I stopped. Just packed up my house in Moonee Ponds, with my pseudo wife at the Ladies Lounge. Put everything I owned in storage and shipped four hours up the highway to my parents farm. They grow Hereford cattle on 200 acres just far enough out of town to not receive internet signal. Their place overlooks an enormous valley and from the front veranda you can see at least eight little towns that dot the rolling hills. Being in the thick of it in Melbourne almost makes you forget about how beautiful a place like this really is.
So ensued three months of swimming in rivers, reading books, baking sourdough, doing the crossword and drinking tea. But there had to be a goal to move towards. I couldn’t sit around drinking tea for the rest of my days.
And it appeared in the most bizarre fashion… A friend request on facebook. Now I am pretty dubious about social media from the get go, especially when I don’t recognize the face behind the supposed acquaintance. But my curiosity burned. This Frenchman accompanied his request with a message, telling me all about how he used to live in Melbourne and had since moved back to Paris and opened a spectacular (google proved him to be correct) specialty roastery named “Coutume”. We’d met at Brother Baba Budan a few years ago and he wanted to know… Would I fancy heading to the northern hemisphere and having a crack at lending a hand opening their second shop in the Marais?
It took some convincing from my Mum and sister before I saw any truth in the email… Surely it was some cruel hoax.
Apparently not though because next Wednesday evening at 11:55pm, I’ll be coasting down the tarmac at Tullamarine with one suitcase and one carry on bag. Heading to a continent I’ve never been on before, to a place where I barely speak the language and only know one person. My new employer, Antoine.
Everything really seems to have come together though and I’ve never been more ready for anything in my life.
Wish me luck.