Finally, after a few dysfunctional walkless days I ventured out for my beach walk this morning. It's a peerless autumn day and great waves curl in, breaking in a chaos of foam, spray blowing back with the force of their tumble. The ocean has been busy uncovering ridges of rock near the boat ramp and unloading sand to cover rocks that were exposed at the north end of the beach last time I walked.

Somehow, walking my home territory released excitement about leaving it for three months in Eastern Europe, excitement that has been sadly lacking in the frenzy of researching, planning and booking. At last I'm beginning to feel that pre-departure tug-of-war between love of here and desire for there. Up till now love of here has triumphed, leaving me in a state of abject fear of there and all its logistical challenges. At last I can think with glee “This time next week …”, even in the face of beach beauty.