No more eleventh floor

You walk across windswept and perilously stark polished granite to an intercom box. Dial the number. Bells ring somewhere high above you.


Hi, it’s us.

Come on up, eleventh floor.

High above ordinary suburban Canberra there is an apartment. It is all boxes and suitcases. There are only four toys now. The last minute details of a life are being finalised, completed and packed. This apartment has been home to some very special people.

No more eleventh floor


In the very early days of motherhood I met my special Californian friend. A new mum with a bub just a little bit older than mine. Down to earth, pragmatic and a warm and loving mother; we shared some of the toughest times in our lives together. While this lovely family have been in Australia for the last four years, they always knew that they would return home one day.

Like many ex-pats they lived in an apartment, at a slight remove from the rest of the citizens of the city they were inhabiting. It was a fantastic place for a play date. It had the magic of the lift, and hallways with many doors, it had wall to wall carpet and lots and lots of windows with a view to the most picturesque parts of Canberra. We shared many happy moments in that home on the eleventh floor.

Sadly, now, they are leaving soon. Going home to their new house in California. With its own lovely yard and outside space. To the rest of their families, who have missed them dearly while we have been happily hogging their time. We went out for dinner on Tuesday, our gang of four mamas. We have shared so much in the short time we were all together in the one place. Brought together by chance and good luck we have built a solid team of mamas and bubbas. They are not bubbas anymore. They are little boys and a little girl. We are not the same either. We are stronger and wiser. We have endured.

For the last time I heard, ‘come on up, eleventh floor’ and I cried a little bit in the lift. Benedict walked in. He walked all the way from the car and into the apartment. We have all come a long way from our first visit when I carried him. The next journey is set to begin. Bon voyage special friends. We will miss you.