When is a treechange not a treechange?

Allison Tait blog
Posted on February 16, 2010

While noodling about the internet – er, I mean researching – the other day, I discovered that what I am experiencing is not a treechange. Apparently, moving out of the city to a place with more trees does not a treechange make.

In an article in The Australian last year (I told you I was noodling) Bernard Salt, social demographer, demanded that the definition for treechange be tightened.

If the community to which one moves is not cute, it’s not a treechange. If it does not have a heritage-listed main street, it’s not a treechange. If there have been no celebrity sightings in the area in living memory, it’s not a treechange. There must be low unemployment, and not too many old people or kids.

Fibrotown is a little too big to be cute. The main street is charming, but there’s no heritage listing and few chi-chi boutiques. Last time I checked, Kylie had not been spotted shopping at the local Rockmans. Unemployment can be a problem, and the place is chockers with both grey hair and little feet. Fibrotown fails the treechange test.

Apparently, what I am experiencing is the Clayton’s treechange – you know, the one you’re having when you’re not having a treechange.

Interestingly, there are several treechange capitals within spitting distance of the Fibro. Lovely places to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there.

Before I moved out of the city, I had dreams of acreages and views and endless green grass stretching as far as the eye can see. Then I remembered that I am not a person who wants to drive 10 minutes for a carton of milk. I like to incorporate exercise into my day by walking everywhere – which saves me gym fees and the need to find time to exercise. The Builder does not want to spend every Saturday on a ride-on mower, keeping the grass down, and neither of us wanted to buy a cow to do the job instead.

Not yet.

Speak to me in a few years, and I might be complaining about the ‘traffic’ in Fibrotown, where more than six cars in a line constitutes a jam and where parking can be ‘impossible’ on a Saturday morning. At that point, you might find me eyeing off the ‘lifestyle properties’ over in the valley or out by the beach.

By then, I might be needing a real treechange, to escape the rat race, you know.

For now, it’s Clayton’s all the way for me.


  1. allison t

    I think it goes without saying that to be a true treechange you need the pretentious cafe latte – that’s one area where Fibrotown actually comes through. Not in a sandstone building. But there’s definitely a decent coffee to be had. Which is a very good thing, given my, ahem, addiction to it.

  2. RubyTwoShoes

    And what about coffee? Did the article mention that, like, does the place have to have atrocious coffee to be a bona fide treechange? Or did it go for the pretentious slant on treechange and demand there be a just gorgeous little locally roasted and brewed coffee house tucked off the main street of town in a delightful sandstone building…?!
    Either way, your treechange sounds nice to me

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