Flashback! It is one am on a Saturday Morning. I am on the dance floor in the Midnight Shift - one of Oxford Streets busiest clubs. My dancing partner could have easily have passed for a member of the Village people.
He was dressed in jodphurs, big black boots and a cowboy hat. He was topless, and he was gorgeous! We shimmied the wee hours away to Kylie, Britney and Wham.
And then the Oxford Street Cowboy suddenly shimmied off with a policeman in hot pants!
At that point I realised the only "Man Drought" that existed in Sydney was for the women.
All the gorgeous men were dancing for the other team!
How was I going to meet the man for me if I continued spending my partying time with fake Cowboys in a gay club on Oxford St?
I left the club en route to my Darlinghurst apartment. On the way I passed an array of drunk and souped-up party people screaming down the street. I was chased up the road for money by a homeless lady and was nearly run over by an irate bus driver.
For years I was convinced that dining in fancy restaurants, spending half my wage on taxis, partying all night and sleeping all day was the lifestyle for me.
I was convinced if I led a highly social existence I would meet Mr. Right on the way. It was not the centre of my universe to find him, but secretly I was getting frustrated he wasn't appearing before me.
I envisaged he would be a funky man from one of the "cool" suburbs in a creative line of work. We'd meet for cocktails after work on Thursdays, buy a shoebox flat in the Eastern Suburbs; jog through Centennial Park on Saturdays before cooling off at Bondi Beach; we would race dragon boats under the Glebe Point Bridge; attend fancy gallery and museum openings and every second Sunday we would meet our friends at a groovy cafe for brunch.
Perhaps I had watched one too many episodes of Sex and the City.
I was beelining towards my 30's and although I was having fun, I was not at peace with my place in the world.
For me, Sydney had become all about spending, looking good, being at the coolest venues and always striving for more, more, more. Quite frankly, I was exhausted.
Increasingly, the people that I met were on the same treadmill and it was hard to get off.
Something had to give, and it probably had to be me. Perhaps I needed to find my place and my man somewhere else, outside Sydney?
Fast forward one year.
It is seven am on Monday morning, on a property 10kms from Hay in South-West NSW sitting opposite a real Cowboy.
A world away from the vibrant and sleep deprived charms of Oxford Street. The only sound on the farm is the distant snorting of an angry bull.
THe air is clean and the only beggars in sight are the trees thirsty for rain.
The only Cowboy hat in this scene is an old akubra used for deterring the sun.
I look over his shoulder to the vast flat landscape and realise the drought that exists here is the real thing, not the city whinge of "man drought".
Out here in the country it is dry, it is hot - and when the men wear wide brimmed hats it is practical. They keep their shirts on to protect themselves from the burning sun.
NO longer for me the Oxford Street brasseriel I am having a cup of coffee on a porch with the real cowboy I have managed to snag!
He possesses al the qualities I have been scoping out in Sydney all those years ago - but what the Sydney men appeared to be, my Country Cowboy really is, inside and out.
So now I find myself in the country with a man. I'm living with limited access to fine restaurants and the closest thing to designer shopping is at Go-Lo and little in the way of commercialised entertainment has allowed us to find creative ways to "date". I've swapped dining in the fine eateries of Crown Street for a picnic on the Murrumbidgee River or 'paddock bashing' in the ute! I've been taught the differences between Rams and Ewes, and have learnt first hand how stupid sheep really can be.
The Cowboy keeps telling me that it is time to swap the stilettos for a pair of practical farm boots. I can handle the quiet life, the hot weather, the lack of ocean and life without a cinema. But the day I start wearing farm boots is the day I hope the Village people will come to Hay and whisk me back to Oxford Street.