The Wilderness

It’s happened. I’ve moved back in with the parents. The parents who live… in Kalorama.


From the city to the country, civilization to hick-town, instead of waking up and heading to Brunswick Street for my morning coffee, I now live in a place where one of the major highlights in the area is a rather large stump, affectionately referred to as “The Towns Big Stump”.


When it rains the roads disappear and on my very first night at home a wombat tried to get into my room. Yep. A wombat. However I should at least be comforted by the fact that the wombat wouldn’t have been high, wearing see-through underwear and asking to borrow my hairdryer- a regular occurrence with my former housemate Phil.


I feel like I’ve accidentally stumbled onto the set of Heartbeat. To the extent that I actually live next to a Farmer Bob, the local police know everyone by name and when I walked into the news agency I was greeted with a pleasant “You must be Carolyn’s daughter. We’ve been expecting you”. WHAT?


Initially, I decided the only way I could handle being so far away would be to drink myself into a stupor. So I hopped in the car and sped to the nearest Bottle-O for supplies. Unfortunately, as soon as I got there the man behind the counter took one look at me and went “You must be Carolyn’s daughter. We’ve been expecting you”, and I ran. 


But it’s nearly a whole sober week in and I’ve realised things aren’t as bad as I’d first thought. Yes, it’s negative a billion degrees, the Internet works for about 30 minutes a day and there’s no chance I will ever be bringing a guy back to my house because:

a)     My parents are upstairs

b)    They’d have to be willing to drive for an hour or hop on a train, then a bus, then hitchhike up a mountain for 30 minutes

c)     I’m worried they’d scare off my wombat and I just want to see where things go with him first.


But my parents- who do have a tendency of straying into the realms of downright crazy- have been nothing but accommodating. I mean sure, Dad did bog my car within 40 minutes of me being home on my first night and Mum perhaps wasn’t aware that I‘m no longer keen on having a 12 year old Daniel Radcliffe plastered above my bed, which is now the case after she took the liberty of decorating my room with all of my old stuff.

But other than that, I’ve been fed, watered and generally unbothered. They even bought me a new bed. So at age 24, I may indeed be back at home with the parents…but guess who’s not sleeping in a single anymore? HOT!


I’ve also realized that perhaps there’s a little more going on up in the Dandenong Ranges than I’d given them credit for. For example, did you know that there’s a Big Cat running loose? Much like the elusive Tasmanian Tiger or the rumored Honest Politician, The Dandenong Ranges has it’s own Big Cat that’s said to resemble a Black Panther, measuring over 2 meters in length and 1 meter high at the shoulder. So convinced are some people of its existence, that up until this week the Baillieu Government had actually assigned staff from the Department of Primary Industries to hunt for the Mammoth Moggie.

My Dad, a Tradie who gets up so early I think he’d rival the Milk Man, is 100% convinced he saw it. Not kinda sure, not “I saw something in the bushes and that could have been it”. He saw it. And what did he have to say about this exciting phenomenon?  

“As long as it doesn’t mess with my Pumpkins, I couldn’t give a rats arse”.



Being up in the hills has also given me a chance to indulge the fantasy that I’m not an impoverished comedian who writes occasional blog entries in between episodes of Spooks, but that I am in fact… a writer.

I wake up with the sun and go for walks in the brisk morning air to clear my mind and ease my tormented soul…because I’m a writer.

I drink tea with bits of lemon in it and wear droopy sunhats indoors…because I’m a writer.

My name is no longer Tegan Higginbotham but T.M.Higgins…because I hate my last name.

As someone who needs to be in the city nearly every day for a gig, work or an opportunity to hound people like Justin Hamilton with pointless questions…


Me: Heya Justin! What you doin?

Justin: I’m just a little busy. Trying to get some of this work done.

Me: Yeah right. Hey, do you think I’d be funnier with brown hair?

Justin: You’re an idiot.


…this foray into the wilderness can’t last long.


But for now I’m going to enjoy some home cooked meals, a working television and the knowledge that if I ever get bored, I can busy myself hunting for Panthers.