Let Me Tell You About... Change / by Laura Kebby

Photo by @mandownphotography 

Photo by @mandownphotography 

There’s a crane on top of the building across from my house. It's actually really mesmerising, but I’ve always had a thing for heights. It does kind of make me think though, especially at this particular time of year, about change. My Terrace house would have one day been this extravagant building, something that quite literally towered over everything else around it. But now it looks dwarfed by the posh apartments across the way. I think about the people inside them, what they’re doing, where they spend their time and what are they most passionate about. But that’s just because I’m nosy really. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting this week, about the way our town is changing, and the things I really hope will stay the same. 

I still turn right when I’m leaving Nobbys beach. I know you’re not supposed to but I just can’t help it. Also, I live on Watt street so it’s just more convenient to do so. There was a gentlemen with his family, they were all wearing shoes, carrying an abundance of items and looking slightly lost, so clearly tourists. He took the specific time to drop his giant umbrella just to shake his head at me and point at the sign that (apparently) says no right turn. I smiled and waved as I drove away, and resisted the urge to say “Newy Stuff”. 

There are new buildings going in all the time, developers are constantly coming in to ‘redevelop’ and ‘revamp’ and my personal favourite word ‘revitalise’. And some of these have been really successful and have gone a long way to really improve our town. But some of these don’t necessary succeed. I mean, the amount of bright eyed bushy tailed kids with money that have tromped in and out of the Great Northern over the last however many years is astonishing. (RIP Great Northern). As much as I would love to see that hotel brought back to its former glory, I’d also like to see a really passionate Novocastrian do something with the place that’s all about the here and now. The Newcastle we live in now

I’ll be the first to admit, we, as a town are completely resistant to change. No no, cmon now, it’s time we admitted defeat and realised exactly how resistant we really are. Lamar St for example, name changes on popular nightclubs and businesses etc. I think it’s mostly because us, as Novocastrians hold a really significant attachment to the places we spend our time. They aren’t just where we go to get our morning coffee, or have a beer after work these places become a real part of us, and the people that work there surface as more than just employees, they really become the friends we spend time with, chat and debrief with and most importantly, connect with. I love hearing about the places people love the most, and seeing how fiercely loyal people really are. The amount of “it’s the best coffee in town” conversations I’ve had over the past few months in particular makes me extremely happy, but also fiercely competitive as I lay out exactly why Welsh Blacks on Bull Street has the best coffee. Like the best. I’ve got the tattoo to prove it. But in saying that I am always open to suggestions, and really, behind it all, I just enjoy going out for coffee. 

What is it about change we are so resistant to? Not even just as Novocastrians but as humans in general. Why do we pour so much time and energy into scheduling? And why do we lose our biscuits when things go awry? On a grander scale as well, why are we so resistant to someone attempting to make a venue or a specific part of town better. Someone who can see past the peeling wallpaper and low numbers and see potential. At one stage in my life I was really resistant to any sort of change, ever. I think a part of me still thinks that way, in one form or another. But I guess I think I just mentally pushed so hard against any sort of differences or change in routine that eventually my heart and mind just said… enough. I’ve stopped sweating the small stuff, and have started to look forward to surprises and going with the flow. Especially in regards to our town. The new Market Lawn for example, a perfect summer venue for family hangouts and some delicious market food and live music in the sunshine, so props to the individual(s) behind that particular idea. Something like that, which continues to champion our city, and shine a light on the things that are so great, whilst combining it with a dynamic and fast moving improvement. Giving us, the people, space to grow and change as well. So here’s to change I say, or improvements if that’s what you’d prefer to call it. Embrace it kids. Cause times... they are a changing.