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Aye, well

I felt I should drop by. Strange, what did I use to blog about? Now I don’t feel a need. Perhaps it’s because H gave me a diary and I’ve been writing there instead.  It is difficult once you get out of the habit.

I am currently unemployed. My contract ran out and could not be renewed much to the disappointment of my immediate boss and colleagues. I applied for a couple of jobs but obviously didn’t have the required experience. It is a worry but the tax refund makes up for a couple of months of unemployment. I do hope something comes up soon. Do I have any regrets? No. The only thing I really miss apart from H, is being able to drive to my brother’s for a weekend of peace, lambs and Siedler.  I do miss that. There are some people I miss from work but continuing seeing most of them meant continuing working there and I no longer wanted to. Nope, I don’t regret my move. It’s just living with uncertainty.

I will spend a weekend in Geelong soon and am planning a visit to one of my cousins in Brisbane. It costs as much to fly there as it does from NZ to Aus, which surprised me. But it is a 2 hour flight. I hope I can visit Sydney soon and would love to go on an overnight train.  The only thing holding me back from lots of travel is the need to put Jasmine in a cattery (and I don’t have a car).

So what have I been doing? Lots of genealogy while I have a sub to findmypast.  I’ve embarked on another blog challenge – this time writing about 52 ancestors in 52 weeks. So far I’ve done the grandparents. I start another genealogy course on Monday through the University of Tasmania.

There have been other niggling things to get sorted: the split-system air conditioning wasn’t working to blow out warm air; a blocked toilet; registering Jasmine’s microchip (which, according to one website, involved a trip to the vet); registering Jasmine with the council (yeah, cats are registered here and I wonder what the money’s for considering she spends most of the time indoors); ringing my aunt; tax return, etc. Of course the real estate agent dealt with the first two problems but it was good that I was home.  The other things niggled at me as they weren’t as straightforward as I’d hope they would be.

I’ve been watching some great TV programmes on SBS On Demand. There is so much good quality stuff to see. I’ve also been playing Sims 2, my only “vice” if you can call it that. I don’t know why I should feel guilty about it. Illogical isn’t it. Why should one feel guilty about a fun pastime?  It must stem from childhood. There were always chores or homework or practicing the piano to do.  Anyway, I have combined my interests in things medieval and non-serious writing by blogging a story of the lives of Sims in a medieval-themed neighbourhood.

I’m typing this on my tablet, which I hate, mainly because there is some warmth by the window here as the sun shines through on this side. My PC is in the spare room on the dark side of the building, unfortunately,  which means it’s cold.  If there are any typos it’s because of the vagaries of predictive text and the need to scroll back to proof-read. I’m now dying for a cuppa so will end here.

Not much to write

I’m out of the habit of writing blog posts.  There isn’t much to write about, or not much that I want to write about.  Been busy with work then come home to eat and watch TV, etc.  I’ve been doing some futurelearn.com courses in the evening and also some genealogy.  Other than that, not much.  Come the weekend, half of it is spent cleaning and grocery shopping.

So, I should make a note of things to write, perhaps.  As it is, my mind is blank.

Til later, maybe.

Belonging

Every work-day morning I enter the building beneath a couple of Australian flags flying, and it makes me smile.  Today when I looked out of the window at work, I saw another Australian flag flying over the Treasury, or maybe Education, building and smiled again.  I can’t explain how it makes me feel.  People say the New Zealand and Australian flags look identical but to me those white stars are so obviously different and they symbolise to me a country I love.

By saying I love Australia and am happy to be here, doesn’t mean that I dislike New Zealand or was unhappy there.  I spent most of my life there and obviously have happy memories.  It’s just a deeper feeling of contentment, a sense of belonging that I feel here.  Growing up in New Zealand, I never had that sense of belonging.  I wasn’t born there.  My parents weren’t born there.  (They actually lived in New Zealand for less time than I lived in my house.)  There were no relatives living in the same country.  There was no ancestral connection, no deeper emotional tie with the land.  I always felt an outsider.  I absolutely loved every minute of every visit to Australia with my parents when visiting relatives.  I never wanted to leave.  Each time I left I cried inside.

New Zealanders often say that their country is the best in the world, or is better than any other country, particularly Australia (often uttered by people who have never left the country).  There is a strong bias against anything Australian and I got fed up with that negativity and outright racism.  It was supposed to be a joke, I suppose, but it annoyed me each and every time.  Not once in Australia have I heard a negative thing against New Zealand or its people (compared to an almost daily anti-Australian comment when in New Zealand).  Is it jealousy on the part of New Zealanders?  I don’t understand it.  It’s like an immature rivalry, as if Kiwis have a low self-esteem and have to attack to make themselves feel better.  I don’t know.  Whatever the reason, it made me regard the utterers of such negative comments as morons.  I lost any respect I might’ve had for such people.

We’re all the same, regardless of where we were born or where we live.  I dislike patriotism.  It divides, creates racism, leads to wars.  It’s fine to feel proud of your country but not to put others down as inferior.  Every country has its good and bad, beautiful scenery, political corruption, you name it.  We’re all on the same planet.  We’re all the same species.  Mother nature doesn’t give a fuck about arbitrary man-made borders.

Anyway, rant over.  I haven’t done a good job of expressing myself.  Feelings run deeper than words.

Umm

The cursor sits over the word ‘Title’ and I never know what to put there as I haven’t started writing yet.  I should leave it til later.

So yeah, I thought I should update as it was February since I last did.  The month of March has been and gone and we’re well into the first week of April.

Daylight saving has ended and the days are getting cooler, and now darker.  It hasn’t been cold yet though, which is good.  Yesterday, however, was a fantastic sunny 29 deg.  I loved the warmth.  I never get sick of it.  Today was wet so I stayed indoors at lunchtime.

Friend F came over at Easter from NZ.  She normally stays with her sisters, but her mother was staying there.  Initially she said she was going to stay from Wednesday night to Saturday night and so I prepared.  Come Wednesday she text to say she was in the country but would be staying over at someone’s place.  She later said she’d come over on Friday morning as family wanted her on the Thursday.  That was fine cos I was working anyway.  Friday morning I waited for a text to meet her at the station.  It was 11.30 before she text to say she was waiting for someone to take her to the station.  Two hours later she said she was at the platform (not mentioning which one).  She finally turned up about 2 pm.  I wasted the morning, not going grocery shopping, etc, because I thought she would be turning up any minute, but anyway.  Turned out she was over for her niece’s 21st and I was invited.  I knew the sisters (had known them from before they started high school) so it was good to see them.  I hadn’t met the niece or one of the nephews before.  Lovely meal at an Italian restaurant in Ivanhoe.  One of the guests dropped me off in her car when it finished, no-one allowing me to take a train so late at night.  F was going to stay at the friend’s house again because she was leaving early the next morning and they were closer to the airport.  So it ended up being only a one-night stay.  However, we went for a walk to the park, walked along Southbank, shopped at DFO, looked in the NGV and had a long chat and glasses of wine.  It was good.

Nothing has happened since then.  C and W ended up buying the expensive house, W assuring C that they could afford it.  I hope so.  It’s a nice house but… They move in next month and then about a week or two later are going to China for a couple of weeks.  I would offer to house-sit their new house but Jasmine would be too unsettled.

Well, anyway, that’s enough for now.  Can’t think of anything.  May do later, typically.  I often think of things I was going to say after I’ve hit “publish” or “send” in an email.

Ciao.

Not much

Not much to add to the last post.  Grocery shopping is still a chore, as I can’t carry much.  I try to buy heavier items closer to home or on another trip, so I can pack and carry more from further afield.  The answer, of course, would be to buy one of those “granny trolleys” but I can’t bring myself to yet.  My mother despised them, but times have changed, and living in a big city, reliant on public transport, they’re fairly common and used by young and old.

Just over a week ago I met a contact from my old job.  We had dinner together at a local Italian restaurant.  Of the three who said they would keep in touch once I came over, she is the only one who has and is a lovely lady.  We enjoyed a fabulous meal and chat and walked back to my place.  She said she’d invite me over to their house one evening to meet the family.  Her daughter sounds a character from the stories she tells.

So, what else?  Oh, I was walking to Box Hill for the supermarket and happened upon an auction for a “Californian bungalow” house.  Pretty ordinary-looking place which needed some TLC.  The advertising focussed on development of course.  I was surrounded by Chinese people.  The opening bid was 1.9 million.  I was astounded, particularly after the auctioneer said that a similar, if a little smaller, property went for 1.5 million.  The bidding continued until a young Chinese man bought it for 2.61 million.  OMG.  (Why are Chinese so rich?)  Just imagine if my old house and property were transferred here.  What a bastard.  It certainly is about location.  I bought in a cheap area and didn’t make much of a profit on it, considering all property had gone up in that time – still in the same position of not being able to buy a decent property, and now not at all.  I envy people on two incomes.  What I don’t like about renting is having to seek permission for everything, and inspections, making you feel constantly monitored like you’re some dirty retard who doesn’t know how to keep house.  Understandable, of course. Some renters are dirty retards.  As usual the fuckwits ruin things for responsible people.

All for now.

Week 2

Week 2 of work and it’s all going well.  During week one we had a tour of the parliament.  This week we went along during question time.  Politicians are the same the world over.  They must get special training on how not to answer the question, how to repeat themselves and blame the other party, how to shout at each other.  Really pathetic.  What a waste of time and money they are.

There was a conference on during the week.  I had been to it two years ago.  However, if I’d stayed in my old job I wouldn’t have been able to go.  I was told I wouldn’t be.  (“Fuck you” I thought at the time.)  How sweet then to turn up and say hello (invisibly raising my fist).  Boss let R and me have half a day each at the conference.  I was just about to eat a mouthful of lunch when Jn and Jl saw me and came up.  They said I looked well and asked how everything was going.  Jn seemed particularly disappointed that I had no regrets and appeared happy.  Ha ha.  Saw M later and then old boss, Ja.  She also said I looked well and asked if I was sick of the work yet.  What a question.  It was the sort of work I was doing less of in my old job and I actually preferred it to the other stuff.  Was nice also to see T, who I hadn’t known was going and she did say it was last minute.  Didn’t get enough time with her but had more time to chat to M.  Chatted to several nice people.  Lots of NZers there.  One said she felt inspired by my move, which was a nice change to “you’re brave”.

Sometimes it gets a little chilly with the aircon in the office, so it’s a delight to walk outside at lunchtime and feel the warmth and be amazed, once again, at where I was.  It always brings a smile to my face.  Even arriving in the morning from the train, I come out into sunshine, often buskers playing lovely music, and feel happy, even smiling at a child who was squealing with delight in her pushchair as it wove through a sea of legs coming towards her.  Apart from some loneliness (which I felt anyway in NZ), I’m much happier.  I won’t be able to buy a house again let alone be mortgage-free, but life isn’t about owning stuff.

20160212_130722    20160212_130648

Talking of which, I went with C yesterday to view a house she and W were interested in.  It was a lovely house with lots of space but C said she felt it was too much.  I agreed.  She doesn’t want to end up like her father, up to his eyeballs in debt.  We went to another, smaller place, a townhouse.  I didn’t like it much.  It didn’t feel homely, with its polished concrete floors and large lobby space.  C seemed to like it and said that W would too (he was currently in NZ on business).  Funny what appeals to each of us.

Time to do some housework.

Settling in

I led a pretty spartan existence for the first week or two.  I made up the furniture from IKEA : a desk, drawers, and bedside drawers.  I needed help with the couch and bed.  The washing machine and fridge were delivered.  The fridge was a smidgen too tall to fit under the kitchen cupboards, but I’d got the cheapest fridge not the smallest (and it was still smaller than the one I used to have).  Electricity was connected ok.  Gas supposedly, although there was no hot water.  Had to get instructions on re-igniting the pilot light, then all ok.  Telstra a couple of weeks later.  Suffice to say they’re a nightmare to try and contact.

I had no TV to watch or music to listen to (the iPod, typically, had run out of battery life – it always does even when I don’t use it).  I bought myself a cheap transistor just for some noise, and joined the local library to be able to read something.  I did, belatedly, remember that I had an ebook reader and read about four old books on it before realising the battery was running flat and hence the visit to the library.  Eventually a guy had to come round to get broadband working, then I could use the tablet to watch SBS TV programmes on demand, including series 3 of The Bridge.  The rest of the time I played a couple of games on the tablet and went for walks to nearby parks.  I couldn’t buy much as I was limited to what I could carry (which wasn’t much if you added just one heavy item like cat litter).

It was a lonely time, but I just needed to go for a walk to re-confirm that I was in Australia: the birds, the gum trees, the heat, then I was happy.  I have always loved Australia from childhood on the family visits to Sydney and Melbourne.  My love for Australia does not mean I dislike New Zealand, but it was always a dream to live here.

Without my stuff around me it still didn’t seem real.  I had spent so much time and effort decluttering and preparing for this move (for at least two years), that I had not been indulging in my usual interests much.  And without the stuff around me, I was at a loss as to what to do much of the time.

However, my belongings were delivered and the place started looking more civilised and less empty.  I am still unpacking boxes.  I have about three boxes of stuff I don’t know what to do with (i.e. where to put the contents); about five of photo albums (no idea where to put them) and two boxes of my parents’ old crockery and antiques (again, where to put them).  I’d moved from a three-bedroomed house with sunroom, to a two-bedroomed unit.  Cupboards were even fewer here than there.  I will have to invest in an IKEA cupboard or some set of cane drawers or something to put family archives in.  I will need to start digitising the stuff or at least better organise it.

I have just managed to empty about another three boxes.  As I did so, I took a critical look at everything (with space at a premium) and have already put aside a bag of clothing/linen I don’t want and thrown out a few things.

There is a space in the kitchen, presumably where a table and chairs would go, although it’s a dark corner, which is currently chock full of flattened boxes and newspaper.  Once that’s gone, I will have room for said cupboard and/or drawers.  It will,  however, take me some time to get rid of it all, as recycling is only collected every second week and the bin is half the size of the one I used to have.  C and W are looking to buy a house so I can save the better boxes for them and put them in the garage.  I’m reluctant to put stuff in the garage as that’s where spiders tend to reside (and they’re not so harmless here).  I haven’t yet seen any (except for a jumping spider) but that doesn’t mean they’re not there.

My stuff came on a Thursday, and I had gone into the CBD to see about a casual job starting the following Monday.  I haven’t, therefore, had much time to deal with all the boxes, but I am finally making headway.  I will need at least those drawers though.  The space has to be cleared if I want to get a single bed in the room.

Anyway, the job is good.  I’m enjoying it and the people are friendly and welcoming.  At lunch I can go to the Treasury gardens or Fitzroy gardens and enjoy the sunshine.  Commuting there is as easy as could be.  A six-minute walk to the train station, a 20-25 minute journey to the CBD, then come out of the station and cross the road.  I am very lucky.  Others who work there have commuting times of between one and two hours.  Wow.  Of course they probably own homes and homes are cheaper the further out you go.

Well, I think I’ve rambled enough.  Oh, forgot to mention the TV.  I was happy to see it delivered and got it out to set up.  Couldn’t find the aerial cable, which really pissed me off as I was keen to see The Bridge on the bigger screen.  I had to go and buy one, but the TV still couldn’t find any channels.  Frustration.  I had no idea who to call, then remembered I had a local rag, picked up from the library, which had trade advertisements.  Rang up a TV/aerial chap and he came round just yesterday.  Who knew that TVs are regional like DVD players?  I just assumed that TVs could be transported anywhere and work, but nope, my TV was only good for New Zealand.  If I’d known that I would’ve made sure to buy a multiregional one when purchasing it, as it’s not that old.  Anyway, the guy had a “set top box” which could find the channels and transfer them to the TV.  A bit of a complex way of watching TV (press this button on that remote, and this button on the other, etc) but at least I finally could.  I had at least been able to watch DVDs during the working week (including “Jeeves and Wooster” and “Snatch”).

And, finally, I was able to set up the computer with the help of a purchased Wifi adapter.  The modem is in the lounge and I didn’t want the computer there so had to get this adapter (computer wasn’t Wifi-compatibile).  Works like a dream.  I had to ask an old mate about what to do.  I had envisaged having to get a very long cord to connect the computer, or having to move the bloody thing into the lounge.  Now all sweet.

On that note, I’ll end here.

 

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