While noodling about the internet – er, I mean researching – the other day, I discovered that what I am experiencing is not a treechange. Apparently, moving out of the city to a place with more trees does not a treechange make. In an article in The Australian last year (I told you I was noodling) Bernard Salt, social demographer, demanded that the definition for treechange be tightened.
If the community to which one moves is not cute, it’s not a treechange. If it does not have a heritage-listed main street, it’s not a treechange. If there have been no celebrity sightings in the area in living memory, it’s not a treechange. There must be low unemployment, and not too many old people or kids.
Fibrotown is a little too big to be cute. The main street is charming, but there's no heritage listing and few chi-chi boutiques. Last time I checked, Kylie had not been spotted shopping at the local Rockmans. Unemployment can be a problem, and the place is chockers with both grey hair and little feet. Fibrotown fails the treechange test.
Apparently, what I am experiencing is the Clayton’s treechange – you know, the one you’re having when you’re not having a treechange.
Interestingly, there are several treechange capitals within spitting distance of the Fibro. Lovely places to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there.
Before I moved out of the city, I had dreams of acreages and views and endless green grass stretching as far as the eye can see. Then I remembered that I am not a person who wants to drive 10 minutes for a carton of milk. I like to incorporate exercise into my day by walking everywhere – which saves me gym fees and the need to find time to exercise. The Builder does not want to spend every Saturday on a ride-on mower, keeping the grass down, and neither of us wanted to buy a cow to do the job instead.
Speak to me in a few years, and I might be complaining about the ‘traffic’ in Fibrotown, where more than six cars in a line constitutes a jam and where parking can be ‘impossible’ on a Saturday morning. At that point, you might find me eyeing off the ‘lifestyle properties’ over in the valley or out by the beach.
By then, I might be needing a real treechange, to escape the rat race, you know.
For now, it’s Clayton’s all the way for me.