Goodbye Gladstone, you're the city that got under my skin

The Observer's sections editor Beth Young.
The Observer's sections editor Beth Young. Brenda Strong

GET ready, Glad Vegas - I'm about to Love Speech the heck out of you.

Quick definition: A Love Speech is exactly that - a declaration of the Big L. Gushing and over the top, yes. But genuine, I promise. So here goes, Gladdy. I love you. I really do.

If you see a sweet, navy station wagon roll past this morning, give us a wave. Lady Lancelot and I are out of here. And while a European adventure awaits, expect the tear explosion to end all tear explosions.

You, Gladdy, sure do know how to weasel your way under a gal's skin.

My very first week here, my eyes were leaking for a much different reason.

Up and move to a strange town where you know nobody - good one, Beth. Excellent move.

But then something happened. Head-first Youngie fell head over heels.

Yep, as I'll tell anyone who'll listen, this is a beautiful region. It's stunning. I even love the bloody power station.

But it's more than that. It's the folk who live here who make this place so darn special.

Our newest recruit at The Observer looked at me the other day and said: "You are one strange unit."

Spot on. But you know what? The entire motley crew that provides your daily news is a bunch of wackos (albeit very professional). Yet while we are odd, we certainly do make a solid unit - a team I'm so proud to have been part of.

I've made friendships here I truly believe will last the distance.

As for the rest of the town I've had the pleasure to come across, there are too many to give everyone a shout out. Some honourable mentions go to:

Chief letter-to-the-editor writer Geoff Breslin - your chirpy chick already misses your daily phone calls.

My biggest fan (not) Nicholas Demchenko - I'm really going to miss trying to shock another disgusted email out of you, fella.

And you, too, Aunty Gail. Our wonderful mayor - who I have a lot of time for - sent a note this week that said my oversharing often left her cold. "Farewell, enjoy and, if possible, please return - ALL GROWN UP," she wrote.

Gail, I love you but I think we both know I'm a lost cause.

And to Gladdy's most handsome emergency service legends, Fireman Harry and Sergeant Mooney: If your lovely wives let you, come find me!

Just joking - my exotic new boyfriend Ricardo/Manuel/Fabio and I will be pretty busy in our Tuscan villa.

Later, Glad Bags. It's been an absolute blast.

OPEN INVITATION: Oh, Ricardo and I would just LOVE to have you at our Tuscan villa.
OPEN INVITATION: Oh, Ricardo and I would just LOVE to have you at our Tuscan villa. Thinkstock