Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dessert Table - farewell Alice Springs :(

Okay, this is going to be a tough one to write. Not just because it is almost three months after the event, but because it is safe to say that deciding to leave Alice Springs was one of the toughest decisions the Workaholic and I have made in our 11 years together.

We love Alice Springs and the Northern Territory. Our lives, values, dreams and a whole lot more changed for the better when we moved to Alice Springs. The outback just suited us. The people suited us. We miss it everyday.

Someone, who had returned from 8 years in the outback said that to me once, that she missed it everyday, before we lived in Alice Springs, and I thought "well, if you miss it that much, go back, it's that easy". Oh, how niave I was, how uneducated. I cringe now at that thought! I wish it was that easy! (I apologise for my thoughts, Jo ;).)

But it's not easy, it's complicated. Complicated by kids and extended families living in other States and opportunities for kids that are completely different to opportunities in Alice. I still haven't figured out which opportunity is best, and I don't think I will ever know. What is good in Alice is bad in Melbourne and what is good in Melbourne is bad in Alice. Or something like that. It is not black and white. They are polar opposites, neither right nor wrong. Complicated!

Alice, the place just gets under your skin, it calls to you. And those that don't live there are going to think I am nuts. But it is magic. The indigenous people of Central Australia know what I am talking about. Many of our Aboriginal friends have said to us in our final weeks, "them ranges will have you back". And I am sure they are right. We will be back, even if it is in many years to come. There is a belief in Alice that if you see the Todd river flow three times you will stay for life. We saw it flow many more times than that. My brother thinks we singlehandly broke the drought when we moved there! We will be back.

Anyway, I needed to farewell the Workaholic's workplace with a bang. They had been so much of our lives for 3 years. They had tasted everything I had baked while reigniting my passion to bake. They had shared our family and my husband. Many of them laughed with us, cried with us, camped with us and will be friends for years to come.

I decided to make the final bake about everything my Workaholic loves as well as the thing that started this whole "Baked by Kate" thing - cupcakes. So, I searched around for lollies, and lots of them. The Workaholic loves them. There was not a lollipop to be found in Alice Springs, so I sent away to Adelaide. I cobbled together trays and jars and lollies from everywhere. Then I made my own fudge for the first time ever. Between me and you, I don't see the point. But the Workaholic loves it.

The office loved it, I even provided lollie bags for them to take home to their families. Sugar highs all round town that day. It was a great send off, our kids where there, as they have been throughout this journey.It took them a couple of hours to come down from the sugar. Poor mites.

Dessert Tables are all the rage at the moment, so I got to experiment again. To be honest, it was hard work. Supplies are thin on the ground. Having been back in a major city, I can see that it all could have been pulled together in a mere few hours here, with much more aplomb.

However, isn't that just the point of the whole Alice Springs experience and why we love it so much -  it's not about having everything you could ever need, it's about trying to make a difference to those who have so much less and that we all muck in and help each other out. It's about community.

At the time of baking for the event, this was just to be a "change of jobs" farewell, not a farewell from town, however during a holiday up to the top end directly after the party, we spur of the moment decided to leave the Territory the way we came - very quickly!

So it is with much sadness and fond memories I say goodbye to Alice Springs.

Thank you, you have made me the person I am today.

See you next time mate!


1 comment:

  1. Kate, that was beautifully written. We miss you everyday here as well. You are an amazing friend to have and I envy those in Melbourne having you near. Thank you for being our friend. Miss you lots.