We have been moving our possessions three kilometres down the road to a house and 3.4 hectares. But unlike previous moves that have come with the usual stress of packing, culling, cleaning, and doing it all in reverse at the other end, this move is comforting. We are going home. It is a house we rented for six years, moving in 11 years ago almost to the day. When we lived there previously it was a stopgap while we saved a deposit to build our dream home behind the shop. We put up with the dodgy plumbing, slow electric stove, undercoat painted walls and ridiculous rabbit warren layout within an unadorned box because we were on our way elsewhere. We enjoyed the space, proximity to town and coaxed daffodils, lemon balm, lamb’s tongue and bluebells out of the suffocating kikuyu to reveal a garden. The garden has long been eaten by horses, sheep, and cattle or pulled out by tenants seeking less maintenance, but the memories of our Cudgee years remain. As I unpacked a few essentials it was like putting away the weekly groceries, not moving into a new house. I didn’t have to think about the logic of a kitchen and where things should go. My limbs and memory took over and started putting crockery, cutlery, glassware and food where I’d stored them five years before. The ghosts of Cudgee revisit in strange ways. Duncan keeps curling his toes to recoil from a wooden bath mat that we no longer use. We both look to a corner of the kitchen for a clock we are yet to move to the new/old house. At one stage we questioned whether we would have a sinking feeling moving back to Cudgee with all its foibles, worried that we were going backwards. But as owners, not renters, we can change the things that annoy us. Instead it has been a delight to have dinner outside with a view to the sun setting over Sugarloaf to the west and the moon rising over Hanging Rock to the east. There are improvements too in the shade and protection of a corrugated awning and pebbled courtyard off the north facing kitchen and a double garage with a level cement floor. Such a novelty for us. Instead of village noises of cars, trucks, and people walking by we hear kookaburras, cattle, and horses. We’ve been enjoying retracing our steps where we once walked Isabelle to catch the school bus, but this time around it is Cormac. One week in we have started renovating. Yesterday Duncan lifted the lounge room carpet to reveal four layers of linoleum, a yellowed mast head from a 1956 The Northern Daily Leader, and rows of golden cypress floorboards. Already sunlight is bouncing around the room as we have never seen it. It will be a slow process. I have projects filed in my head under 1 month, 6 months, 12 months, 5 years, and 10 years headings. But for now I’m just enjoying turning into the driveway and going home. Today’s project is to restore the clock to its position in the kitchen. It’s obviously a good spot for it.