Let Me Tell You About: Some Wonderful City Stories - Laura Kebby / by Laura Kebby

I recently moved house. For the fourth time this year. That’s a lot of moving. My Dad will probably give you a much more enthusiastic answer than this, especially after the latest feat of climbing three flights of stairs moving many boxes of “miscellaneous crap”. But I kind of like change. Constantly moving and never standing still. But when I walked into this rundown, beautiful old terrace house, I knew I was home. I’m not really big on semantics I couldn’t care less what the bathroom looked like, how much space is in the wardrobe or whether my room had a tv port. These things are not important to me. Much to the frustration of a lot of people around me who asked, “so tell me more about the house”? “It feels so wonderful” I would reply. Honestly I haven’t even unpacked yet, unless you can count me placing my prized vinyl collection into the already existing record cabinet in my room. If that’s not a sign I don’t know what is. In all honesty I didn’t really look inside the entire house before expressing how much I really wanted to move in. I enjoy connecting with spaces, usually because I’m spending a vast majority of my time creating or at least talking to others about what they are creating. This tiny little corner of the world on Watt Street, has becomea real creative hub for me. I can hear the music from 48 Watt Street, one of the most beautiful new venues in Newcastle, and whilst others may be the first to put their hand up and complain about noise, I am definitely not one of those people. It makes me feel alive having people around me who are really living their lives. Even the ships in the harbour, sounding their incredibly distinct horns at 4am doesn’t bother me. To me, this is Newcastle. 

I now walk out of my bedroom door, descend down three flights of rickety stairs and out onto the street, and am met with an incredible rush of ocean air. This still makes me smile. Every. Single. Time. I’ve been somewhat housebound recently. Drinking cheap wine, listening to classic jazz, reading and throwing (lots of) words on the page. It’s all very romantic, or at least it feels that way to me. For the first time, in a very long time, I’ve been truly inspired to write and paint with words, so that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. But on a very rare morning off, accompanied by a book of poems, and nothing but time to kill, I left the house. It was, of course, a proper wonderful day. Even the parking fine stuck to my windshield failed to dampen my spirits. Although, to the patriarchy I say, how many smashed avos does $180 get you?

I made my way down Hunter Street. My stomach rumbling right through my shoes and directly into the cracked pavement beneath my feet. I do have a tendency to throw apparent necessities by the wayside when I’m writing, because all I’m thinking about is putting pen to paper. But the time had come where I actually needed some substance. The streets were fairly empty, and I wandered past many a Newcastle icon, and of course in the process, seeing no less than three people I knew. I was headed, to the Embassy Cafe. The one true place to get breakfast in Newcastle. This is not just because they serve chips with the majority of their food, (yes, even for breakfast), it’s because it’s a place, that to me, is as Novocastrian as you can get. They also serve all you can eat tomato sauce which is essential to me personally. Also correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty certain it’s the longest running establishment on Hunter Street. And for only $8, I had the best breakfast in town. 

Still giddy at the thought of my new location, I made my way to the beach. Another real reason as to why I am always reluctant to leave Newcastle. Herman Melville talks about when he feels like knocking people’s hats off he takes to the sea. Not that I felt like knocking people’s hats off on this particular morning, in fact the skies above me have been that real Fred Astaire blue for me lately. But still… There’s something about the ocean that instills a great sense of calm to my mind. So there I was sitting on Nobbys beach so full and happy and centred and just in love with our town. I took a deep breath and took my time. Amidst the chaos I realised I could now pretty much walk to anywhere I wanted to be. I smiled, picturing many more nights out with excellent company, sharing space and time in this wonderful city.