Most of you who know me might think the reference to the Cloud is about the innovation potential of virtual infrastructure and exponential technologies.
But today, I am writing about the infinite beauty and exponential potential that living close to nature…ie in the real clouds, next to water, with a landscape that changes in seconds from beautiful one minute to gobsmacking the next, from calm to crazy, from sunrise to sunset and throughout the night, can have on one’s life and creative consciousness.
This place has been my home for the last 10 years. Probably the 10 happiest and most creative years of my life….so far.
And that is not to diminish the creativity I enjoyed whilst living in rural Zululand in Africa from 1984-1998. But this was a very different kind of experience .
Feng Shui guidelines suggest that this location is very auspicious….and for me it has co-incided with a time of spiritual and financial healing, family stability, career success, personal happiness – but always a sanctuary despite a very busy life. In my heart, I always believed my direct view over the Heads of Sydney Harbour opened me up and connected me through the vast Pacific ocean to the wide world beyond- something that has always mattered immensely to me- this yearning for connection to something bigger . I am also told that studies prove the mental benefits of nature; living in an environment close to water, trees or mountains. I feel I have lucked-out with a trifecta even though I am just at the top of one of Sydney’s steepest hills- not quite a mountain.
The other thing about this magnificent space that really supported my work as an edge-dweller and visionary, whose work is to look to the horizon and beyond to anticipate what might lie ahead, was the 270 degree views I enjoy everyday, with the sound of the waves kissing the Balmoral sand with a smack!
In business, change can build slowly or it can overtake you faster than you can imagine….and Mother Nature and her forces are viscerally experienced in this space like no other place I have ever lived. Don’t ever think you have enough time to run out and gather the washing or the kitty litter tray without getting caught in an invigorating gasp of a cold front or pelting rain. And then, just when you think you’ve seen it all, out comes the most spectacular rainbow to delight you afresh!
I can safely say that I have taken more photos of the sunrise, sunset, moonrise and Sydney to Hobart race from my deck than all the selfies the Kardashian sisters must have taken since the invention of the smart phone. And still I am surprised by the changing landscapes of each day.
Now you may be thinking that all these gorgeous views may not have an ROI in practicality. Let me reveal the very practical considerations that made this my best-ever investment:
- A built-in gym:
For the record: I am an overweight and mostly unfit 54 year old female executive, overworked-sole parent, single breadwinner and couch potato intellectual. And, I have been climbing the stairway to my personal piece of heaven daily for 10 years…..and not once have I found it a drama. NOT ONCE! Au contraire, it’s been a BONUS!
I accept that some people may regard stairs as a detractor, but from the outset I saw it as one of the strongest plus points to buy this place given my sedentary life!!!
Fact: The average office worker does only 3000-5000 steps a day (As a busy executive whose work life involves sitting…driving to work, emails, meetings, more emails, more meetings then driving home after 10 hours of sitting, Fitbit says I average only 4000 steps a day) vs the required 10000 steps a day to maintain health and just basic fitness!
Here’s why I embrace stairs as an integral part of my day and you should think of stairs in your day literally as God’s Gift!
All forms of exercise have similar benefits but stair-climbing has very particular advantages for those leading busy lives. By avoiding lifts and elevators, you make a SIGNIFICANT difference to your health over time. Here are the facts:
Scientific and medical benefits
Lifestyle, cost and time-saving benefits
- It is seamless to weave stair-climbing into your daily life and make it an unconscious exercise routine ( the best kind!)
- It does not require membership,m credit card, special skills, training or sporting prowess
- You don’t need to get dressed up in Lycra and worry about embarrassing yourself in front of others
- It makes use of the world around you and resembles the way sophisticated Europeans live
- It saves you time – up to 15 minutes a day – as taking the stairs is almost always quicker up to about five floors AND you dat have to find non-existent time to go to a stupid stinky sweaty gym
2. Go hipster and save the planet and your capital
With level walking access to boutique designer shops, Sydney’s finest fresh fruit and veg, European delicatessens, sports fields, restaurants of every culture under the sun and the best public schools in Sydney ( Mosman Primary School and Mosman High School) and if you must, a 500 metre stroll to Queenwood or bus-stop practically at the door to deliver you and or your offspring via bus to anywhere in Sydney, you could have it all….the career and the kids! Raising 2 teenagers as a sole parent and bread-winner- this convenience and latitude has made it possible!
And if you want to be really cool and live sustainably- you won’t even need a car. Go-Get cars have a permanent spot on the next block and Uber covers the area with never more than a 5 minute pick-up even at midnight!
3. Safety in numbers
I know Sydney is a safe city….but given my South African genes, I have just never been comfortable leaving my kids alone in a house while I was at work, or often travelling for work…many times internationally. If you have EVER worried about the safety and security of a loved one, there is NO better solution than living in a small ( not large!) apartment block where every neighbour is someone you know and someone who gives a damn.
I can vouch for it: 12 is a perfect number. Not too big to be anonymous, and small enough to be intimate and personal – with great sound-proofing and privacy! It’s up to you to decide how close or detached you want to live. For me, the community became a source of safety and security because I could ALWAYS count on every one of them as a back-up in case of emergency. I’ve only needed it once in 10 years- when my 14 year old daughter was run over by a car whilst cycling on Military Road and my neighbour took care of my younger daughter ( 9 at the time) while I rushed to the hospital. And a few other non-life-threatening times when my neighbours offered to feed my cats when we were away a few days. Bless them. And I in turn took care of someone’s plants another time – that’s how we roll….we’re a community!
Back to the poetic! It is this ever-changing landscape that has also communicated to me the need for change when things are not constantly evolving and growing in my life and career. And, to nudge The Universe and explode my own life into a different dimension and orbit, I have decided to move on from this paradise when my youngest daughter finishes school at Mosman High in a few weeks. Viva, the eldest is moving to Berlin in January, and Iola is taking a gap year travelling through Europe. So instead of sitting still in my comfort zone all by myself, I too have decided to go seek adventure. After all, 50 is the new 40 so I can have my naughty forties all over again.
Selling “The Dream”
I will be selling this slice of heaven to a very lucky person who I know will find infinite pleasure from his/ her decision to live here. If anything like me- it was love at first sight. Once I got up here and saw this view, it could not be “unseen”….and every other property I compared to this one simply couldn’t hold a candle to it. I HAD TO HAVE IT and it nearly killed me in the beginning….but so worth every cent!
I hope my Balmoral Castle will pass into the hands of someone who deserves to be happy, and who will apply the creative inspiration that this place will imbue him/ her with to great effect for the betterment of mankind, and who will be generous in sharing this place with friends and family so the magic can touch everyone!
For more information on the sale of the property, or to arrange a site visit, please contact the lovely Jonathan de Brennan at Century21 Mosman via http://www.realestate.com.au/property-apartment-nsw-mosman-120970726.
And should you know someone who might be looking- please feel free to pass it forward. The good karma may travel along the network!