East Melbourne 1990
Carlton 2005
And such a lot of world in between

A war in the Gulf was brewing when I first met Andrew. The two events were connected: seeking a means to protest, I phoned a number on a poster and left a message. Andrew returned my call and convinced me to attend a meeting that evening. Afterwards, we adjourned to the pub and talked. His energy was immediately attractive to me – I could almost see the sparks flying from him when he spoke – and his eyes, when he could bring himself to look at me, seemed lit from within.

Over the following weeks, we spent less time at meetings and more time talking at the pub. One night, too late for public transport, we walked home together along Albert Street in East Melbourne. The conversation turned to the songs of Frank Sinatra and we took turns at singing our favourites. Brushtail possums raiding rubbish bins in the Fitzroy Gardens looked up as we passed, singing into the dark at the top of our voices.

The only song we both knew all the words to was Moon River.

Moon River, wider than a mile
I’m crossing you in style some day…

We sang it together until we reached Hoddle Street, where Andrew said goodnight and turned left to Collingwood, leaving me to turn right to Richmond. Leaving me wanting more.

Oh dream maker, you heart breaker
Wherever you’re goin’, I’m goin’ your way.

When Frank Sinatra played the National Tennis Centre three months later, we were in the audience together, as a couple.

Not long after, I announced my plans to relocate to southeast Asia the following year to do research for a PhD. Andrew, studying journalism at the time, decided to follow and freelance from the region. We figured on being out of Australia for six months.

Two drifters off to see the world
There’s such a lot of world to see…

We ended up living in southeast Asia for over six years. We spent three years in the Lao capital Vientiane, living in a Soviet built apartment above a hospital that smelled like an abattoir. We had no TV or phone, let alone internet. For entertainment, we’d sit on our balcony, drinking beers while electrical storms lit up distant hills, an