Sunday, August 31, 2014

Denise Covey: Where I Live and Why I Like It

My guest today is a world traveler if there ever was one. Denise Covey is often on the go to foreign countries. Her blog posts about her travels are always entertaining. With over seven hundred followers, I'm not the only one who enjoys her blog. Her posts, especially about writing, generate many comments. She definitely knows how to run a blog. So, here is some information from Denise about where she lives and what she likes about it.
My Place – Paradise in Australia.

Geographical Information:
Country: Australia
State: Queensland
City or Town: CITY – Brisbane. VILLAGE – Peregian Beach
Neighborhood: West End
1.     Is there any place in your area that’s considered a pilgrimage site, such as a religious shrine? 
The closest you get to a pilgrimage site in Queensland is the Suncorp Stadium just up the hill from my place. Here is where the mighty Bronco’s Rugby League team thrash all comers in gladiatorial contests. Another religious site is The ‘Gabba, where the mighty Aussie Cricket Team thrashes England in the Ashes test.

suncorp stadium

2.     Is this where you were born and/or grew up? If not, how did you come to live here?
I was born in Outback Queensland, but moved to the coast as a child. My parents chose the Sunshine Coast (100 kilometres north of Brisbane) and this is where I grew up. My husband and I built a large beach house at Peregian Beach when we settled down after travelling all over Australia. Now we work in Brisbane, so we live in the Big Smoke (as the city is referred to over here) and spend the odd weekend/holiday at the beach. Best of both worlds.

No problem finding a private beach at Peregian

I love the koalas in the trees near the beach house

3.      What do you like best about where you live?
We bought a Heritage property terrace about a year ago which we have renovated and finally found a home for all the antiques we’ve collected over the years. We love living in West End, which is an avant garde suburb, just across the Brisbane River from the inner city (where we used to live). West End is peopled with alternative-lifestyle characters, health shops, indie bookshops, street music and fresh-food markets—a heady mix—and just a five-minute walk from our door. We rarely use the car!

West End style

Markets along the Brisbane River

4.      Do you plan on living here the rest of your life?
Probably not. It suits us while I tutor English at the State Library of Queensland which is also close by. Our plan has always been to move back to Peregian Beach and live the bohemian lifestyle in between overseas’ trips…eventually.

One day I'll get back to my sunset-watching bench again

This says it all - Australia = Beach. Walking to Noosa National Park

5.      Do you have family in the area, or have you ventured out on your own?
All of our four children live in Queensland, which is always a bonus.

Peregian Beach at That is Coolum Beach township you can see - Peregian Village is over the dunes behind the fisherfolk

The people along the sand
All turn and look one way
They turn their back on the land
They look at the sea all day.

6.      For tourists, what would you recommend seeing?

Film and Television students along the river this morning

The Cultural Centre, which includes both a traditional and modern art gallery, a museum, the State Library, the Performing Arts Centre which puts on world-class theatre and plays, the South Bank which is a fantastic collection of restaurants of all persuasions, funky people exercising along the river, wonderful views of the city…I love My Place! And do take a CityCat up and down the Brisbane River. It is a fantastic thing to do, day and night. Plenty of neighbourhoods to explore along the way.

The Cultural Centre in the background. Here is a recent Night Noodle Market on the river

7.   If you’re a writer, have you included where you live in the settings of any of your stories?
I’ve set my first, unfinished novel in and around Noosa, which is an iconic beach community ten minutes from Peregian Beach. I’ve used Brisbane as a setting for some short stories (one a very recent post). Outback Queensland is great for setting tall tales of the bush as even though I’ve never lived there as a grown up, I’ve travelled the length and breadth of its vastness and feel a deep affinity. This is my favourite flash fiction on the outback I wrote a few years ago if you'd like to read it.

In Noosa, surfing is king

8.  Would you recommend others to move to where you live?
To me, this part of Queensland is paradise, but the pace would be too slow for a New Yorker, for example. The heat and beach make for a relaxed lifestyle. Most hyperactive Australians choose to live in Sydney, Melbourne or Canberra, all much more upbeat, or they escape to New York or London. But…if you like the lazy, laid-back lifestyle, rather than the crazy lifestyle, South-East Queensland is the place. Downside: it’s about 20+ hours in a plane to access the hubs of the world—Paris, London, New York.

Thanks for inviting me, Richard. It's been a pleasure to share a little of my life. So there you have it. My Place. Sure, travel is my passion, but I always return home.

Thank you, Denise, for allowing us to see where you live.

And please take a look at Denise's blog: Denise Covey
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