Moving across the world for Docklands

Moving across the world for Docklands

By Katie Johnson

After leaving the UK in 2008 in search of a more modern landscape, Tony Bryer found himself falling in love with the idyllic harbour views of Docklands.

Now, after 12 years of living in Docklands high- rises, he doesn’t plan to go back across the pond.

“I came from a London suburb, Twickenham, which was built in late Victorian times and was steeped in heritage and history,” Tony said.

“But I really fell in love with living in the 21st century.”

When he first moved, Tony purchased a Victoria Point apartment he intended to live in for the rest of his life.

But despite the stunning views, soon after moving in he realised that Melbourne homes aren’t built for the cold weather.

“I’d been to Melbourne lots of times before I emigrated, but one thing I got wrong was how much winter Melbourne has,” Tony said.

“I couldn’t use the balcony for most of the year because it was too cold or too windy.”

As a result, for the past three years he has been living in the north-facing Dock 5 apartment complex, which provides more warmth and an unbeatable lifestyle.

“I believe where I live now is as good as it gets,” he said.

“There’s so much within easy walking distance; supermarkets, pharmacy, GP, eateries, free trams, library, and Southern Cross station.”

The ability to have things within walking distance became particularly important to Tony after he underwent brain surgery a few years ago and was barred from driving.

But because of Docklands’ convenient layout, the loss of his licence didn’t affect him at all.

“In other suburbs it would have been like house arrest. And as you get older, there may come a point where you don’t want to or can no longer drive, so this will be an absolutely brilliant place to live in the future too,” he said.

Having worked from home as a self-employed software developer for the past 30 years, coronavirus has barely altered Tony’s work routine.

But the cancellation of face-to-face meetings, as well as living alone, has made the past few months quite isolating.

“In normal times, I’d be involved in various community activities at my church and volunteering at the Newport Railway Museum, all of which have come to a halt,” he said.

Aside from attending Zoom meetings, the Docklands community has also provided him some solace amid coronavirus restrictions.

“Last Friday we had a residents’ dinner where 30-plus of us all got together, so it’s a friendly building to live in” he said.

In his spare time, Tony runs a personal blog where he covers everything from his cruise ship experiences to computer hardware reviews.

Last month, Docklands News featured his one of his pieces about the history of Victoria Dock.

“Since living here I’ve discovered that Docklands has a long history of its own, which is why I wrote that piece,” Tony said.

“It’s really a wonderful place to live.”

You can read Tony’s blog at tonybryer.com•

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