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Archive for February, 2016

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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