Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

I could’ve sworn I wrote a draft about my trip to Brisbane, but it appears not.  I won’t split this up, so it will be a long post.

It was a wet day when I left home.  I caught the train to Southern Cross, arriving about half an hour before the bus I had planned to get departed.  My original plan was to have something to eat at Southern Cross.  Instead I just bought a ticket and caught the next available bus – a double-decker one.  I had allowed an hour to get to the airport, but we were there in 30 minutes.  This meant I was even earlier than I needed to be.

I printed out my boarding pass (I had checked in online), and went in search of food.  I ended up having a muffin and a ginger beer.  Then slowly wandered down to the departure gate, idly looking in book shops.  I was pulled aside for a scan to see if there was an “explosive residue” on me.  For fuck’s sake.

Waited for the Virgin airline flight, gazing out at the rain.

airport

I had been able to choose a window seat for free, but all I saw was cloud – featureless white cloud as far as the eye could see.  It was so featureless that there was no sensation of movement – just the noise of the plane.  It was as if we were stationery.  Quite weird.

Finally we descended into Brisbane, beside what looked like a huge cloud statue of an elephant lying down.  Brisbane was grey and threatening rain, but it was warm.

brisbaneairport

I wish Melbourne had trains to the airport.  It would make things so much easier, and there wouldn’t be the worry of traffic jams.

brisbanetrain

My cousin, H, was arriving from a work trip to Sydney, so I waited for her.  Together we got a taxi to her place in Chermside.  I was introduced to her lovely cat, Molly.

20160910_073921

After a meal and long chat, we headed to bed.

Saturday was a bit grey and windy, but we walked to the local mall.  H bought a few things at the supermarket, then we had a coffee.  Thankfully, we share the same views on politics and religion and could chat away quite happily.

H rang her mother, J (my father’s sister) at the retirement village to let her know we were coming, then drove round to see her.  She’s 95 and recently recovered from a fall and mild stroke, but she was as active and talkative as she was at her 90th birthday.  Amazing.  It was good to see her looking so well, and the only medication she takes is a blood thinner.

20160910_113830

We only stayed an hour, but I hoped I would be able to see J again.

We returned to H’s place and made lunch, then set off for the beach at Sandgate.  It was very windy.  The seagulls just hovered.

20160910_131331

We sat on a park bench and ate our rolls.  There were quite a few parasurfers, if that’s the right term.

20160910_140746

Lunch finished, we went for a wander along the beachfront to the pier.

2623255640_5904a1c1e1_z

Shorncliffe pier, image from Flickr

We walked to the end of the pier.  The waves were very choppy.  Quite a few fishermen were trying their luck.  On the way back we saw what looked like blue plastic bags floating in the sea.  They were jellyfish.  I didn’t take a photo as I was afraid of dropping my mobile phone into the sea in the strong wind.  This is what they looked like.

jelly-fish-in-moreton-bay-2

I can’t find a name for them, other than “blue jellyfish”.  A kid showed off a few fish lined up on the boards.  A few were quite small – too small I thought, and I felt sorry for the fish.

We returned to H’s place.  There was a loud thunderstorm which continued for some time.  We watched “Beck” on SBS on Demand on H’s TV.

For dinner, we got an Uber ride to Nundah and ate at a pub which served Italian food.  I was amazed at how quickly the car turned up.  It was raining but we sat outside the pub under cover.  Lovely meal, cooked and served by real Italians (a rarity in NZ).  It was wonderful to hear the accents.  After dinner, we headed across the road to a small bar called Village Social.  There was a band called Heads Hands and Feet playing – a three-piece band made up of a bearded guy in dreads on keyboard and vocals, a Maori from Chatham Islands on guitar and vocals, and an old English guy on drums.  They were good.  I enjoyed their music.

20160910_201541_lls

H used her app to get another Uber ride home and it showed up almost immediately.  I was impressed.  H said that the drivers are much more polite, and if you lose something you can contact them.  This contrasts with an experience that a friend of J’s had – an elderly woman with a walker trying to get into the back of a taxi and the driver not getting out to help at all.  If taxi drivers are complaining about Uber they need to up their game.  If I ever need a taxi, I’ll download the Uber app.

H likes to go to bed early (and gets up early) so I headed to bed and watched episode 3 of “Southcliffe” on my mobile.  I didn’t sleep well that night (not as a result of the programme I might add).

Sunday dawned bright and sunny.  H headed off to her gym.  When she returned we drove to Nundah to check out the market.  Lots of stalls but H didn’t seem interested in any and walked past them all.  We sat and had a coffee (she loves her coffee), then walked back to the car.  A pointless exercise, I thought.  Not that I was interested in buying anything or watching the entertainment, but even just a browse…?  Oh well.

dscf9315

dscf9316

It was nice not to have to wear a singlet or jacket.  You can see from the photos that all you needed was a short or sleeveless top.

H’s idea was for us to go to Southbank and meet her son who was going there with his wife and young baby.  However, he was unsure when he was going to be there and sounded reluctant to meet us, so instead, after lunch, we drove north to Bribie Island.

map

20160911_130232

20160911_130530

It was a very pleasant drive.  It was wonderful to see the countryside.  I had never been north of Brisbane before.  I spotted a pelican as we crossed the bridge to the island.

We found a carpark by the beach and wandered down in barefeet.  It was so pleasant and seemed like summer.

dscf9317

In the distance is Moreton Island (and a container ship)

H and I walked south along the beach, me careful to avoid stepping on the many bluebottles washed up.  No-one else seemed to care about them.  I spotted some seabirds and later found out they were greater crested terns.

dscf9318

20160911_140611

I had taken a camera but didn’t have a zoom lens on it.

We returned from our walk and went into the surf club for a drink.  I had a nice cool beer and H had a lemon, lime and bitters.  I found out later that there was a bush walk nearby that we could have gone on, but H seemed keen to head back.  Her son wanted her to babysit but hadn’t given a time.

So we drove back to H’s and waited for him to drop off they baby so they could go to the gym.  In the meantime, H made roast vegetables with lamb, which we ate in a bowl for some reason (and without gravy).  Eventually, H’s son and his partner turned up about 7pm!  They said they’d be an hour but it was more like two.  The baby slept for a bit, cried for a bit and H fed it some milk.  Then it cried again.  H put some kid’s programme on TV and it watched, fascinated.  Unfortunately, we had to put up with the “Wheels on the Bus” song about four or five times.  It was just after 9pm when H’s daughter-in-law showed up to collect the baby.  You may be able to tell that I don’t particularly care for babies.

Monday was another sunny day.  Unfortunately for me, H had decided to go to the gym again, so I was stuck at her place without a key.  I think it a little selfish if you have a guest (surely you can forego the gym for a day) but that’s my opinion.  We could’ve spent the morning at Southbank or something, or I could have gone for a walk.  Oh well.  I ended up watching the last of “Southcliffe” and thought the last two episodes were a complete waste of time.  H returned about 11 am and we talked for a while.  Then she took me to the airport about 12.

The plane was delayed for half an hour after we’d boarded, so we sat waiting, looking at the blue sky.

brisbaneairportret

The flight was full and I had been called to the desk for a new boarding pass.  They had changed my seat to a window seat, which suited me fine.  At least this time I would get to see something.

20160912_141926     20160912_142051

As we neared Melbourne the temperature dropped and the clouds got thicker.  It was ten degrees colder than Brisbane – not a surprise.

skybusview

I sat upstairs in the double-decker Skybus this time.  I tried to get a photo of the CDB as we neared it, but the bus was too bumpy.

At Southern Cross I waited for a train back home.  Again a delay but I finally reached home about 6pm, to a very happy cat.  She purred non-stop on my lap.

Back to the cold and wet.  Roll on summer.

Save

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

I’m back!

Finally, I’m settled enough with the PC up and running to be able to update this blog.  I couldn’t before now on my tablet as I’d forgotten the password, and on the PC the password is already there.  I still have no idea what it is.

Well, where to start?  I’m surrounded by boxes in the second bedroom of a unit.  It’s just chaos.  Any photos I’ve taken for the past nearly two months have been on the smartphone, apart from a handful on the DSLR, so I can’t illustrate much in catch-up.

I guess I should start where I left off.  The movers took about three hours, including packing leftover stuff I hadn’t done, and wrapping the furniture in cardboard.  Fascinating.  The two guys talked to each other and said “bro” in every sentence, I think.  While they were there I cleaned, and afterwards, vacuumed.  I took any remaining rubbish and bits and pieces to rubbish and recycling bins.  I had a last look around the house.  I probably took photos.  I haven’t uploaded any yet, so may return to this post to insert a couple.  I lay on my bedroom floor and laughed and cried, so mixed feelings you might say.  I knew I’d miss some aspects of the house, especially the private garden at the back, but I wouldn’t miss all the things that needed doing to it, the damp and the cold.  Home is where your stuff is, and my stuff (and Jasmine) were no longer there.  It was an empty shell.  It had served its purpose (when I needed a place for the kids to grow up and so I could have dogs).  I’d been there nearly 22 years.  It was time to move on.

dec15 230

I dropped off stuff like cleaning materials and the vacuum cleaner, etc etc, then got dropped off at (ex-)colleague’s place.  She had a nice little semi-detached unit, and I was thinking I’d be happy with that, with a second bedroom to use as an office/study/hobby room.  Funny how I had 2 extra bedrooms in the house but they were always the girls’ rooms and I somehow couldn’t adapt them for my use.  I had a nice meal with R, and her bed was very comfy.

We headed into town before driving south.  She wanted to get a picture framed and I wanted to pick up a netcode thing so I could transfer money from my NZ account to my Australian one.  It hadn’t arrived.  They were very apologetic and said they’d courier it to my Australian address.  So, onward to Wellington, stopping at Otaki to look at shops, and Paraparaumu to have lunch.  Once at the airport, we had a (overpriced) cold drink each and a chat.  I was very grateful to her for taking time off work to take me to the airport.  I had chosen a civilised afternoon flight to make things easier, and it certainly did.  It was a relaxing day on which to be flying, rather than stressing out at catching the flight on time.

An unremarkable flight and it was a cold wind at Melbourne airport as I waited for C and W to pick me up.  It was good to see them and I smiled as I got in the car and said “I’m homeless and jobless!” W assured me I wasn’t homeless, which was sweet of him, but their apartment is small.

Now, my initial plan was for Jasmine to stay with them once she was picked up.  Unfortunately, I was told that W is allergic to cats (even though they used to have a Siamese – different type of fur I suppose).  A fairly fluffy cat in a small apartment wasn’t going to work, so after a couple of nights she was put into a cattery.  So I didn’t see her on my arrival.  I was upset about that – basically it was like she was in quarantine, and I was encouraged to take Jasmine over because there was no quarantine.  There was nothing I could do except hope I found a place fairly quickly to rescue her.  The poor girl.  I felt really bad, but C assured me she was fine.  It’s not as if she hadn’t been to a cattery before but she must have been very confused.

To cut a very long story short (at this stage), I started looking for accommodation immediately and pretty soon cut out living in an apartment.  Mostly they were too small, too student-like, or close to very busy roads.  I focussed on units which were not so numerous.  Christmas came in between so there was about a week or so when I couldn’t look at any.  It was a time-consuming process.  You’d see a place you wanted to visit but had to wait for an inspection time, which could be up to a week later.  Often I’d go all the way there and not even see the place for various reasons: the agent didn’t show up, the agent hadn’t brought all the keys so we couldn’t get in; the place had been leased that morning.  Hell of a time-waster (and money spent on trains getting there).  I was getting very depressed with the whole process.  It was apparent that I’d have to spend a fair amount a week to get the sort of place I wanted.  Some of the units were in a dreadful state, with nothing having been done to them since the 70s (it looked like).

Finally, I saw a unit which had had new carpet installed and had been repainted, so it looked ok.  The area was nice and it was big enough.  I applied and, relief, got it.  I might update the trials and tribulations in that first week in the next post.

Was it a good decision?  Absolutely.  I regret nothing.  More later.

Read Full Post »

Already well over a week since I went to Melbourne.

C picked me up from the airport and we arranged to meet H at her place.  From there we walked to Fairfield shopping area and walked down to a Thai restaurant.  So many good eating places along that street.  Nice food, then walked back, and saw a cute little ring-tailed possum looking down on us.

Saturday, arranged to meet bro at aunt’s place.  C drove us there.  At first I didn’t recognise aunt J, as she’d aged so much, and was with a grey-haired man I also didn’t recognise.  Then saw cousin R and got out to greet them.  The man was R’s husband, of course.  They were all in the garden tidying it up during their visit from Bairnsdale.  K and G arrived shortly after while we were about to have a cup of tea, then cousin H arrived, having flown down from Brisbane.  Walked to a Japanese restaurant nearby for lunch.  After we returned, decided to drive to one of the vineyards up the Yarra valley and did some wine tasting at Rochford.

nov21SLR 013

nov21SLR 017

I found all the wine a bit dry for me.  Continued to Healesville and finally settled on another vineyard cafe for dinner.

nov21SLR 027

Very pleasant.  H couldn’t join us as she finished work at 7pm.  We headed off to our respective “homes”, C and I following K and G to their place up the valley.  We had a cuppa and heard kookaburras.  It always makes me smile to hear them.  C and I drove back, reaching home about 10ish.

H did meet us (C, K and G) the next day at the convent at Abbotsford.  R and G returned to Bairnsdale but H joined us as well.  We had lunch at Lentil as Anything (wonderful food and said to be closing because people weren’t giving enough money for the food – payment by donation).  Wandered around the grounds afterwards and then along the river.

nov21SLR 042

From there we made our way to IKEA and had a look around.  H and I liked the day bed so I think I’ll have to get one of those for the second bedroom.  Spotted potential candidates for the couch.  C was sick of driving so she took the car home while the rest of us caught the train into the CBD.  H had drinks with colleagues to go to, so the rest of us made our way to the Munich Brauhaus on the South bank.  It was extremely noisy and unpleasant (architects never seem to get the acoustics right for cafes and bars).  We waited for C and then continued onto the Belgian bar, where we ate dinner.  At Flinders Street station we all went our separate ways.  H would fly back to Brisbane the next day.

Monday, I took the train to Fairfield to meet H.  We had lunch at one of the Mediterranean cafes along the main street then went for a walk to Northcote.  Very pleasant neighbourhood.  She found me a pet shop where they sold a spray to calm cats.  Very useful for Jasmine’s upcoming trip to Wellington to catch the plane over.  It wasn’t cheap though, but worth it if it helps, and apparently it does.  It was quite hot, so we wandered past a pub which didn’t look very inviting on the outside but it was nice inside, if empty.  We were even offered a beer tasting before choosing one.  Then we took the beers out the back to the outside part and found lots of people there chilling and reading books, etc.  It was wonderful.  We returned to H’s place where she made dinner.  I caught the train back.

nov16 018

Tuesday, H and I had arranged to meet K and G and caught the same train (great organisational skills there) for the one hour trip to where they were staying.  They picked us up from the station at Lilydale and we headed into the Dandenongs.  G wanted to go to the William Rickett’s sanctuary.  I’d never heard of it and didn’t know what to expect.  I thought sanctuary might involve animals but it was a path around the man’s sculptures.  They were a bit samey, I thought.  Pleasant walk though.  From there we stopped at Olinda and had a pie.  Well, we didn’t think much of them.  Bro and I ordered a steak and bacon pie and it was just like a normal mince pie.  Didn’t see any bacon.  We felt ripped off, and H even more so when we had to pay $3.20 for a small bottle of water.  G’s next desire was to go to the rhododendron gardens, even though I knew the season was pretty much over.  Lovely tall gum trees at the entrance though.

nov21SLR 058

As I suspected, there were few rhododendrons still in flower, but the gardens were nice to walk through, with many other different plants and trees to see and a lovely view from one spot.

nov21SLR 064

The gardens would be stunning at their peak.  We did the loop around the gardens and were heading back when bro spotted a snake on the path.  I had never seen one in the wild but was almost too late to see it as it turned and slithered into the bushes as soon as it sensed us.

nov21SLR 077

I figured out later (from bro’s superior photo) that it was a lowland copperhead snake.  From the gardens we headed to an area where we could walk through the gums on walking tracks (Ferntree gully?).  I kept a lookout for snakes in the undergrowth, while also trying to look up to find birds – tricky!  I did see some little black birds flitting around but couldn’t get a photo.  K didn’t hear his favourite whipbirds.  After the walk we looked for somewhere for a beer and something to eat.  We did have a beer at Coldstream but decided not to stay to eat.  It was still quite early.  We continued to Yarra Glen but places were either closing or were not serving food until 5.30 or 6pm, even if they sold beer (you’d think they’d offer snacks, but no).  After looking at the one-dish menu at the beer place we settled on the remaining Grand Hotel, avoiding the kids and the pop music.  The food was average.  We returned with K and G to their place and this time saw a kangaroo and its joey.  She wasn’t too concerned at our presence nearby.

nov21SLR 120

H and I missed a train so had to wait an hour for another at Wattle Glen.  H could get off at Fairfield, but I changed trains at Flinders and got another to Prahran, arriving about 10.30.

Wednesday was a right-off, as I woke with stomach pains.  C had left for work and I had to make do without pain meds (she’d run out).  Diarrhoea for most of the day and vomiting.  Not pleasant.  I couldn’t leave the apartment as W had the spare key and he was in China.  H said she’d head over with some panadol and food, although I wasn’t hungry.  I could only put it down to the chicken I’d eaten the evening before.  I napped while waiting for H but then as soon as I got up to let her in, I had to go to the bathroom again to vomit.  Not at all pleasant.  We’d arranged to meet K and G at a Burmese restaurant that night, so I was pissed off to miss out on it.  H left to meet them and C, and I stayed back, feeling rather sorry for myself.

Thursday was my last full day so I was determined to get out.  My stomach felt a little achey still, but I headed out, making my way to the zoo.  I chose the wrong time of day to go – when there were scores of school kids, and mothers with their screaming toddlers.   Some animals might have a little more room to move and had dirt and grass, but the enclosures were still too small and I was angered at the noise – not just from the kids, but from pop music playing and recordings which no-one listened to and even the constant clicking of an electric fence around the gorilla enclosure.  The poor animals.  I felt sorry for all of them.  Zoos like that are not about conservation – it’s all entertainment – for kids.  They breed simply to replace the inmates with younger ones to grow up in enclosed misery.  These kids should be taught about the diminishing environment of the animals’ native habitat and how their consumption is affecting them, not shown around cages with little extra play activities.  I was annoyed and saddened.

nov21SLR 170

My sandals had not been up to the task of walking all day, so I headed into the CBD and walked (slowly) to DFO and bought some flat, comfortable shoes.  Then I could comfortably walk along the South Bank to Fed Square, which I hadn’t yet been to on this trip.  I people-watched for a while, then met C at the corner of Swanston and Collins Streets.  We had a look at the Myer shop windows (a cute animated story about a lost dog at Xmas time) before walking further to eat ramen noodles at a Japanese restaurant.

nov19 149

Friday was the day of flying back and I met H at Southern Cross station.  We had pho, watched by seagulls, then I caught the skybus to the airport.  It was now raining (but cleared up later).  The traffic meant the skybus took twice as long to get to the airport, which made me panic a bit, trying to find the check-in, not being able to get the automatic machine to work, trying to find somewhere to fill the departure card in, queueing up in the wrong place and being told off, then finally getting to the gate, only to be told the flight was delayed half an hour.  Oh, the joys of travelling.

Arrived in Wellington at 11.45 pm local time.  People took forever to retrieve bags and get off, ages to line up at the few smartgate queues, but even then it was another 15 minutes before the bags even started appearing at the baggage claim.  People were not amused, someone nearby comparing it to a third world country.  I then had to wait ages for the shuttle to take me back to the long-term carpark and he drove at about 30 kph.  One hour after landing, I was finally able to drive home, arriving at 2.45 am.  I never seem to have a pleasant experience returning to NZ.  Perhaps it’s just as well that next time I won’t be returning.

 

Read Full Post »

I’m bored.

I’m stuck at home, having hurt my back just as I was getting ready for work on Monday.  I bent down and felt a twinge and thought, “ow that hurt”.  Stupidly ignoring the warning, I bent down again a short while later and the pain was phenomenal.  Collapsed on the floor unable to move.  Well, that was clever.  I eventually managed to get myself up and thought, “well shit, I can’t go to work now”.  I wondered whether to rest or keep moving.  Googled and stupidly took the advice of some idiot to rest until the pain subsides.  Ha ha.  Like a fool, I lay down on the bed and read a book for a while (having phoned work to explain my predicament).  Then I needed to go to the toilet  and found I couldn’t move.  That was really bright, wasn’t it.  I  imagined myself stuck there without a phone nearby, unable to eat or go to the toilet for hours on end.

With determination and a hell of a lot of pain I got myself upright.  I called the nurse’s number at the doc’s for advice and only got an answerphone.  I then called a healthline and she reckoned I should see a doctor within four hours.  Well that wasn’t going to happen without someone taking me.  She called an ambulance!  I thought that was a bit extreme and felt a bit  of a fraud but it least it got me in to see the doctor a lot sooner than normally (the waiting room was packed).  My first ride in an ambulance and I got to suck on the gas which makes your voice go deep – haha.  Very nice understanding medics.  Lots of pain meds, and a ride back home from a kind colleague.  I was dead tired and lay face down on the couch and fell asleep.  Couldn’t get up again without heaps of pain.  I don’t learn do I.  In the afternoon the nurses’s station called back -a bit bloody late.

Following day it was still painful to get up from sleeping but it was a bit quicker than the day before.  I called a physio to see if I could get in and did so.  With the help of Voltaren pills I felt able to drive there.  For the rest of the day I felt absolutely fine but took the advice of the physio and have taken an extra day’s sick leave.

It was much easier getting up this morning.  But now I’m completely bored.  I can’t do anything except sit for a while, stand for a while, move around for a while, ad infinitum.   No housework or gardening allowed, naturally.  I have so much to do and think about.  I did get rid of a couple of items which were picked up – a mere drop in the ocean.  I can’t even give stuff away.  No-one, it seems, wants free camp chairs or a free stereo or an ironing board, for example.

My resignation has been officially announced at work.  I received emails from three people which was nice.  Shock from them all, and all calling me brave, courageous, bold (probably privately thinking I’m completely insane to give up a house and job for an uncertain future, and especially at my age).  I can’t even think of that at the moment.  I just want this bloody sore back to bugger off.  On top of being bored, I’m feeling tired, frustrated and anxious.  Stress, anyone?

So November is rapidly approaching.  Last November I set three challenges for myself:  writing a novel of 50,000 words (Nanowrimo), doing a sketch a day and also taking a photo a day (all of which I accomplished).  This year I might just do the photo one.  It can be like farewell shots of things I will miss, without getting too sentimental.

 

 

Read Full Post »

So, at work, I wondered when to break the news to colleagues and figured I’d leave it to Monday because a couple of them were away.  We heard news from one of them that she’d just had an offer accepted on the house of her dreams and on her birthday, so didn’t want to interfere with that.

Then by chance, the woman near me asked me casually “So, have you ever thought of selling up and moving into town?”  Silence from me and another colleague noticed and came over.  Then I had to tell all.  They were sad, but excited for me, calling me brave (don’t I know it!).  Then word got around within the department, except for M, who I  have morning and afternoon teas with and enjoy his company.  I told him at the first opportunity and he was as shocked as the others but said if I had the opportunity to take it.  He’s lived in Melbourne and said he loved it.  I will miss some of them.  Others I won’t.  They were all sad, though, which is touching.  I’m sure many will think I’m nuts.

It may be the stupidest thing or the best thing I’ve ever done.  I’ll be homeless and jobless come December.  But I’ve wanted to live in Australia for so long.  I wanted to move five years ago and waited while I did the house up.  Then H said she’d move over and I prepared myself.  Then she said she had to work for another year at her workplace so, disappointed, I prepared for another year’s wait.  Then she was gone and it’s been yet another year.  I’ve waited too long.

I’ve had many sleepless nights and a bit of sadness to leave the buried pets at the back of the property including the best dog in the world, Zara.  I’ll probably never be able to afford to buy a house again (certainly not in Melbourne).  Financially I could be worse off, or maybe not.  H has saved $20,000 in one year.  It’s taken me a much longer period to save that much.

I’ve been following a Facebook page called “Old Sydney” because it brings back memories of the many trips we did as a family in the 60s and 70s.  Someone had put up a video of a ‘doco’ about Sydney taxi cab drivers.  I watched it and loved the accents, the humour, and in the background the sound of the birds.  It made me cry.  I have always loved Australia, felt more affinity for it than I have ever felt for NZ, even though I’ve lived here basically my whole life.  I think that is the ultimate answer to any dilemmas I’ve ever had about this decision.  I’m going with my heart, not my head.

I will document the whole move when I’m able – the trials and tribulations and, with any luck, the successes.

Read Full Post »

Today, two things happened.  I got word that my house had sold unconditionally, and I resigned from my job.

I made the radical, and very scary, decision to put my house on the market and move to Melbourne.  I don’t have a job to go to.  I have been applying for a year and got one phone interview.  I found that the positions advertised were either short-term, or they wanted someone to start within a month, and I believe that others were put off by my need to give a month’s notice at my current work and selling the house – for them there was no telling when I would be available.

So, I’m taking the risk.  I made the decision a couple of weeks ago to put the house on the market.  I got a couple of appraisals and decided on the better one.  The house got advertised on Wednesday last week.  I had two offers presented to me on the Saturday.  I was signing papers on Monday and got the word that the sale was unconditional today!  It’s all happened so fast!

As soon as I heard, I spoke to my boss and wrote my letter of resignation.  I finish work mid-November.  The house needs to be empty in the first week of December.  I will be in Melbourne by Christmas.  Naturally, my beloved Jasmine will come with me.

I have never done anything this daunting before.  I’m both elated/excited and terrified.  Absolutely terrified.  But I didn’t want to live in this house anymore, and didn’t want to go to the same job until retirement (and end up like the sad-looking 70-year-old in my department).  I wanted change.  I wanted excitement.  I’ll certainly get both.  The alternative was to continue living here, alone and lonely, isolated from the world, being bored at home and at work until retirement – a slow death.  I couldn’t bear the thought.  I have now outlived my mother, so anything more is a bonus.  Life is too short for regrets.  And if I don’t go, I will regret it to the end.

The boss wished me luck.  I will need it. 🙂

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »