Australian Celebrities

Denise Drysdale: ‘I’d be hard to live with…’

When it comes to family, it’s good to be close – but not too close!
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I moved states to get away from my family, not to move closer! But then they followed me, and now I couldn’t be more thankful.

I was in Neerim, Victoria, for about 20 years, before deciding to move to Merimbula near the Vic/NSW border.

It was a four-hour drive and I still saw everyone when I was in Melbourne, but they didn’t visit me very much then. Plus, it was too cold, so I decided to head to the Gold Coast, Queensland.

Keeping busy

I’m the kind of person who will always cook, or do the washing, or clean the cupboard – not that it’s asked or expected of me – and I wanted to have a rest. But they all came with me! My eldest son Pete came up a couple of months after I moved and stayed a year when I was renting on Hope Island. Then when I found land and built, my other son Rob and partner Jamie moved up. How lucky am I?

Denise Drysdale
Denise Drysdale (Credit: Supplied)

No empty nest for me!

We live close enough to call in easily and the grandkids come over regularly. At 17 months, little Heidi is a toddler, so I have to hide the ornaments and be ever-vigilant, otherwise it’s a free-for-all. Expect havoc!

Bodhi and I make popcorn and have movie nights. I have suggested they could move into my place, which has separate areas, but they didn’t seem keen! I’d be hard to live with – I’m set in my ways and like things neat and clean.

Building a granny flat would be the best way to do it. You’d get invited in on the understanding you don’t outstay your welcome. I think if that was to be a permanent situation, you’d definitely need ground rules. I’d want to remain independent. I’d wait till they were out then go and use the kitchen. I’ll be cooking for a long time to come.

Help at hand

There’s lots of pros to living nearby and no real cons. One good thing is being able to drop off our dogs with each other when we are working or away. Buddy has moved around with us all and he’s 18 now. He’s a dear little thing.

Especially in the last year, when I’ve had serious health issues and brain surgery, I’ve been truly fortunate to have everyone so close. Rob took me to appointments and the hospital. I’d have been in strife otherwise. And I think COVID really changed everything.

When you can see someone any time you want, you take it for granted, but COVID made us think about what’s important – and that’s seeing family.

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