Next of Kin

Life sometimes has a way of chewing you up and spitting you out. After eleven years in Singapore and Hong Kong, I made the curious decision to move back to Australia. I left my home in a seething metropolis for a new home in a sleepy seaside village, and my world shrank to the size of a postage stamp.


Pearl Beach is a pristine strip of coast nestled beside thick bushland, an hour and a half’s drive north of Sydney. There is nothing here but a café, a general store, an upmarket restaurant with limited opening hours and a community hall offering seniors’ yoga, seniors’ stretching and seniors’ Pilates, depending on the day. The neighbouring beach towns offer little in the way of attractions, but each has a shop selling motorised scooters. Then there are the funeral parlours, each with slight variations on the same shopfront display: a vase of white flowers standing on a wooden coffin, set behind a wispy white curtain. I did not come here to die, but in the short time I have been here, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it.


To read the rest of this story and everything else in Issue 32, visit our eShop to take out a subscription or buy a print or digital copy.

Already a subscriber? Then please sign in!

More Non-fiction

Please Register or Login

Register now for full access to News and Events, Web Exclusives, Blogs and Comments.

If you've already registered, please login.