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Archive for the ‘Insanity’ Category

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.

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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.

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Had dinner with friends on Friday night at an Indian restaurant.  Supposed to be South Indian but it tasted no different to any other Indian takeaway I’ve had here.  Anyway, nice to see them and as we only see each other normally about once a year, it won’t feel like I’ll miss them for some time.  Earlier in the day I applied for a job.  I’m not feeling too hopeful, as I don’t have the experience for everything they want.  Usual story.

On Saturday I headed off over the hills to bro’s place for the last time.  He had invited me to another 4WD event the following weekend, but I had lots to organise, including major items of furniture being picked up, etc.  I wouldn’t have enjoyed it or relaxed.

Packed some plastic drawers and odds in the car for bro.  The weather was foul.  I had had an irritating morning, mislaying things, forgetting stuff, etc.  I left the house and drove through the horrendous road works which have been in the village for over three months.  Got across the bridge and cursed – had forgotten the bottle of wine and that I was going to buy some beer.  Returned home, got the wine, bought some beer, and decided, this time, to avoid the road works and take the hill road.  Ha!  There were road works on that road too and it was quite slippery in the rain.  Barely any visibility near the top.

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Got to Eketahuna and it was bright and sunny and there was a detour in place to go round the Santa parade.  Cute.  I was offered sweets at an intersection but I don’t eat them.  The sun continued all the way to bro’s.

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G was out at a market selling her wares.  Bro was busy “hoovering” (to keep the wife happy).  I had a wander around the garden.  The roses were looking wonderful.

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Had some lunch.  Can’t recall what I did in the afternoon but we did play three games of Siedler in the evening (G winning two games, and I won one).  We watched a Danish movie, The Keeper of Lost Causes.  Quite good.  It would make a good pilot to a TV series.

On Sunday, G went off to her voluntary job in a village store which sold local creations (including her own).  Bro and I took the dogs for a walk over the neighbouring farm, a pleasant walk of undulating paddocks with trees – quite unlike the flat, treeless paddocks in the Manawatu.

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After a bit of lunch, we headed to the village store to see G and have a beer at the local pub.

Another couple of games of Siedler, of which bro won all three.  Some homemade pizza, then it was time to head home, farewelling them both.  I had no idea when I’d get to their house, or see them again – could be months, could be years.

Jasmine was glad to have me home again.  Back to an unreal reality.

Today I contacted people about more items which sold.  Two items had been picked up in my absence, but one of them hadn’t, even though she’s already paid.  Said she’d mostly likely drop by today, but no sign.  Frustrating.  Two more items didn’t sell so I relisted one and made an offer to some of the watchers.  If the three big items don’t sell I’ll have to donate to charity and hope they can pick up.  The computer desk has basically sold.   It’s all so time-consuming and frustrating.

I went into town to buy yet more packaging tape and get some more boxes from the movers.  When I said I wanted to buy some (as I’d been told), the woman at the counter said that it was included in the cost.  This was a huge surprise to me.  The first woman I’d contacted said I could buy boxes at the company office so I could pack everything.  Now I was being told that the movers do all the packing and that they would need to see anything I’d already packed (i.e. unseal all the boxes I’d sealed with expensive packaging tape).  She gave me four more brand new boxes (not secondhand which first woman had said).  I was astounded.  I would prefer to pack my own, but I had no idea that they were supposed to do it!  What the hell?  I felt ripped off.  Continued on to get more packaging tape anyway (which is effin’ expensive) and proceeded to get overcharged by a dollar.  I suspect I had been overcharged by the same amount last time.  Bastards.  Got my money back when I went back to check, but had been ripped off previously.

Next on my list was a mini grocery shop and a visit to the Post shop to get a form about electoral roll changes.  Huge bloody queue so gave up on that.  Headed home, still seething about the misinformation from the movers.  Packed some more boxes, including the rest of the books.  I’m going to have to unseal all the ones I’ve packed up until now so the movers can look in them.  What a feckin’ waste of expensive tape.  Not feckin’ happy.

Felt very tired in the afternoon.  If the birds don’t wake me at 5 am, Jasmine wakes me at 6 am.  Had had enough of packing and all the bloody things I have to think about.  Stressful.  Most people who move a houselot overseas have a partner to share everything with.  But it’s all just me.  If I don’t do it, no-one does.  Just feeling over it all at the moment.  Two people have said I must go to their house for dinner before I go, but I can’t very well just turn up, can I.  They need to invite me.   Will contact one of them, at least, but if the others can’t be bothered contacting me, I really don’t have the time to think about it.  I’ve got too much to think about and do.

On that note, I think I’ll have an early dinner and write the rest of the day off.  Had enough.

 

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Almost a week since I returned from Melbourne, and the realisation I have only two weeks left.

On Saturday an old stereo (and cabinet) were picked up.  Yay!  So good to be able to get rid of crap.

Sunday I had a last lunch near Foxton estuary with friends.  Very windy for bird watching and, of course, I’d left my big camera in Melbourne.  A got some great shots of the godwits with her new Canon.  J and I were jealous.  It didn’t seem real  that I wouldn’t be going on birdwatching trips with them again (certainly not in the near future).

Monday I photographed lots of stuff to either give away or sell and posted them on TradeMe and freestuff.  In the evening had a last dinner with the group I normally meet at Xmas.  One of them had to go to her mother-in-law’s funeral so wasn’t there.  Pleasant, if long, evening.  Host made me a small cake to take home.  Unfortunately, as I can’t bear sweet stuff, and I could smell the sugar wafting off it, I couldn’t eat it.  Nice meal of fish and veges, followed by mini Xmas puddings.  Host had her tree up early especially – she’d gone for silver and lime green decorations this year.  I won’t be putting a tree up this year, unless, by some miracle, I’ll be settled into a new place, with decorations having arrived with all the stuff and I buy a tree.  Unlikely, I think.

Tuesday I had my last dental appointment with the lovely Adam and arranged to have my dental records emailed to me.  (They had arrived by the time I got home.)  I notified Vodaphone and Genesis Energy about my last day for disconnection (yet to hear back from Vodaphone).  Lots of pots, old wooden bookshelf, etc, were picked up.  I got rid of heaps.  I realised more stuff needed to go and photographed and advertised.  I listed empty pots, buckets, breadbin, old chair etc, and they were gone within two hours.

Wednesday I went to town for a mini grocery shop.  I dropped off some crockery, etc, to Red Cross.  I rented a couple of DVDs (as there’s nothing on TV to watch).  I waited for more stuff to be picked up but no-one turned up.  Disappointing.  After some more packing, I watched “Mistress of Spices”.  What a dreadful movie.  Absolutely awful.  I’d give it a 3/10.  Had a break from packing as my back wasn’t happy.  In the evening I watched “My House in Umbria”, which was better but I suspect I saw it years ago and had forgotten.  Never mind.  Maggie Smith is always worth watching.

This morning I woke early and realised I still hadn’t heard from the pet movers and there was less than two weeks to go.  Checked email and finally saw one from them.  The crate will be dropped off next week for Jasmine to get used to.  Phew.  Also phoned vet to organise filling in paperwork.  Sigh.  It’s non-stop.  Now waiting for three more items to be picked up, and advertised yet more stuff that I’d forgotten about, including my computer desk!

Slight panic…

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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.

 

 

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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.

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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. 🙂

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It’s winter, the time of year when I just want to hibernate. I dislike the cold, the dark, the damp.

The only event worthy of mention is the big flood. I feel like I’ve dealt with it already since I added photos to Facebook. I may add later. At the moment I can’t be bothered.

This is the problem lately – I can’t be bothered. I don’t particularly care about anything at the moment. I’ve become grumpy and lacking patience, especially at work. One meeting in particular sent my crazy, but again, I don’t feel like writing about it at the moment. It took me a week to write up the draft of the minutes and the boss isn’t in a hurry to read them over. (She found the meeting impossible as well.)

I finished watching Anno1790 – a very good series and I found the main character very pleasant to watch. Handsome chap, Peter Eggers. I’ve had nothing further to watch. I tried watching the original series of Wallander but didn’t like it and gave up after half an episode. I didn’t care enough. Since then I’ve been watching repeats of “Escape to the Country” and a couple of other shows, nothing gripping, and playing Sims 2. I’ve switched to my medieval neighbourhood and made up storylines as I played.

In just over a week one of my cousins from Brisbane will be visiting. She sent me an email out of the blue (although we are Facebook friends) expressing a wish to visit. I said no problem, expecting her to do so nearer the end of the year – spring or summer. She wrote back saying she’d visit for three days on 12th of this month. How odd! Never mind. It will be good to see her. I’ve only seen her about once in the past 30 years. I know very little about her in fact. Before Facebook we hadn’t said or written a word to each other. It should be interesting.

I had better get back to work, even though I’m bored. It’s Friday, at least, and I can head home and do as I like – probably another round of medieval Sims, which I then blog about. I know, it sounds strange, but I don’t see it as being any different to any other interest or hobby, or different to watching TV all night or writing a story (which it is, basically). The Sims keeps my mind occupied. Winter nights can be long and lonely.

Enough. On with the rest of the day. Later…

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