It was dark when I first crawled along the ungraded road into Hill End in my Hyundai bubble hire car. I walked into the pub to ask for directions to my cottage, which was apparently right next door.
I immediately felt like an irritating city slicker and understood that the artists in residence, blowing in and out of town each month claiming connection and understanding for the place, must annoy the locals no end.
My month gave me just a miniature insight into Hill End but I loved it. The soft sunrises and the fiery sunsets, schooners at the pub each night, Betty's scones, fires to keep warm, the tip & the feral cats, new friends dropping in for coffee and the long empty days...
While having a tiny population of just 150 residents I came away feeling like this town was like a microcosm of life in the big city with all of the same trappings included but just on a much smaller scale.
I understood it as a delicate town with a rich history. And hopefully a promising future.