Category: Hastings House (Page 1 of 23)

A much needed recap

It has been such a hiatus in writing that I hardly know where to begin. The month of January 2010 passed by in a smear of fatigue and bustle. (As I am posting this in retrospect, let me say that if I had to relive the first trimester of this pregnancy again, I would elect to do it in a coma…which would be fairly similar to how I felt the entire time…) Small Z turned TWO! on 9 January – something I hope to write about in a very backdated post, my mother turned SIXTY! (Yes, they are parted by 58 years) And then we moved house.

Ack. I have been quietly envying She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Blogged and her efforts to declutter her life in preparation for a house move that is undoubtedly looming in the near future. How thoughtful! How sensible. Meanwhile, M and I stayed in a state of utter denial as the days ticked by toward the date when we would have to scrape our sorry arses out of Warneet and get them, and all their associated accoutrements, on the road to Hastings.

Let me backtrack for a moment (yes, this will probably be a long, rambling, expositional entry, feel free to skim). On 5 January I got a call from the agent of the only house I had applied for. I can’t remember if I’ve written about inspecting it prior to Christmas, but anyway – Small Z and I went to look at it, and there was another woman looking as well. Our direct competition. She was an older woman who worked as a nurse. She had lots of time to be chatty with the owner and the agent and talk herself up, while I chased after Small Z who was dancing around the Christmas tree singing ‘Jingle Bells’ and begging to swing on the clothesline.

I assumed we had little chance. Chatty nurses without dependents seemed to trump us, even despite my wildly inflated yearly income and excellent references. WRONG! Nurse had dogs. We had kid. Kid trumped dogs. Yay us! It was when they called on the 5th that I burbled that we’d be HAPPY to move in on January 29th. Thrilled! While conveniently forgetting the 60th birthday monolith that was gradually subsuming everything and everyone around it.

The other thing was, M had never seen the house. We picked up the keys on 29 January and went and had a poke through. Both M and I were underwhelmed, and seriously wondered if we had made the wrong decision. I forgot to mention before – one of the other things that happened on 5 January (besides a lovely day of boating in Cannons Creek)? Our current real estate agents had called and said, gobsmackingly, that the sale of the house had fallen through. They offered us another 12 month lease. After a sleepless night, I decided to knock them back. In my head, I’d already moved out.

So anyway, the day after the big 60th birthday, M – with the help of DJ, moved all the heaviest stuff into our new house in Hastings. He spent the following WEEK moving everything else. I felt very impotent, but had little choice as someone had to look after Small Z. Now that we have been here for a little while, M and I are more than happy with our new surrounds. It has been about TWELVE years since I have moved into a clean house. And the difference it makes to morale is phenomenal.

Our house in Queensland was almost a squat in desperate need of renovation, the trailer was, well, the trailer – a dirtier place could hardly be imagined unless…then you moved into the house with the view…and the disgusting walls/carpets/tiles falling off the shower. Anyway, our last house was really enjoyable for a year, and then it got old. This house is brilliant. The open plan means that I can see where Small Z is while I’m trying to do stuff, and, better than that, she can see ME.

I can walk to things. Oh my god. It has been almost FIVE loooong years since we have lived somewhere that I can walk to STUFF. This didn’t matter so much when I was without spawn (oh, all those hours I just took for granted, stupid, stupid, stupid) but one long year with a baby who hated the car, as well as having no friends anywhere closer than an hour away was just… well, difficult. Now we can walk to the library, to playgroup, to the pool and most importantly, to INDIAN TAKEAWAY!! Obviously if we ever get our dream chunk of land, it will probably be isolated, but…it will be ours, and the spawn will not be quite so small…

Bringing down the tone

A telephone call from our new real estate agent a few days ago. How it should have gone:

“Hi Beth, this is Peter. I’m just calling to query you on the caravan in the front yard.”


“Uh, the owner is a little concerned. It has an extension cord running out of it. We just need to know if there is anyone living in it? Also, it would be good if it could be eventually moved around the back, for cosmetic reasons.”

“Actually Peter, I’m glad you called. I was wanting to talk to you about a similar thing. But just to clear up your query, there is no one living in it. It is 14 feet long? M stays in it if Small Z is having a bad night. My mother stayed in it last week. But do I have a longterm sublet going on from which I am profiting wildly? Unfortunately I do not.

”What I wanted to bring to your attention was that I feel that the house itself is bringing down the tone of my caravan*. My 1962, egg-shaped, vintage, restored, fibreglass caravan. I was hoping that the owner might consider repainting the exterior of his very important investment property that was, until recently, his personal home LaMarque White (Dulux) with a blue metal flake finish around the window frames? This would work much better for me than the dark green house and the cracked aubergine and white front door.”

…Of course, what happened was that I spluttered incoherently, told him where the owner could stick his concern about the cosmetics of his property and forcefully informed him that no one was living in the caravan and it was no business of anyone but myself where on the property the caravan was located. Gah. 

M and I immediately felt somewhat violated that someone (friends of the owner – who has relocated to Queensland) had been driving by, perving at our set up. It was this icky, spied on feeling. We felt instantly like we were in someone elses house, not our own. 

Of course, we have recovered our equaminity, but it wasn’t a great start to things.


*Suggested by L, who is good with acerbic responses.


This was our first foray to the closest swimming beach. Next time I’ll pack more snacks…
It didn’t go too badly.
Goddamn! Here I am posting something on the same day it happened! I feel that something has slightly shifted. Is this progress?

Somers Beach, this morning...

Sunny day, everything’s A-OK…

A day that began with me going on a solo bike ride. Down the street. To get some milk and go to the chemist. Most of you won’t find this at all intriguing. But for me, being able to take off, on my own, and ride to SOMETHING that is not the park, the pier or the one shop, left me almost breathless with possibility. Or at least with a feeling of freedom – it felt like I hadn’t had that sort of feeling for a long while.

This is how people must feel when they move from a small, slightly isolated locality? The thing about all the places M and I have lived over the past five years (- or is it SEVEN? Now I come to ponder it…) we have never lived anywhere we have intended to stay for long. In Hervey Bay, it was always…’when the house is finished’…and now it is… ‘and when the catamaran is finished’. There is always a longer goal.

Of course, the longer goal is actually somewhere where we would really like to live for a good long while. Get a black faced sheep. Some chooks. You know, after we, um, win lotto or something. But anyway, for the meantime, Hastings is ringing my bells. The house moving has receded and my fatigue is improving. (Have I mentioned that that other January 2010 venture included nightweaning Small Z for the FINAL time? It was hard, but is now a total blessing.)

Today was our best day so far. My morning bike ride was followed by some noodling around the house, some cleaning, M and Small Z in the garden putting up Oomoo’s sail, and then being visited by Mr and Master H for lunch. We then headed back to Somers beach, all in my car. Master H commented, while settling himself into the back next to Small Z and I;

“This car is very 1980s!”

So sage for an eight year old. I was delighted to inform him it was a 1981 model. Mr H’s head fitted fetchingly out of the sunroof. It was all good. Somers beach was a hit, the water was warm and our beach tent solid. M brought down the canoe/kayak thingy and took Small Z out on it (this is her most favourite thing to do since she has been two. Then we got to watch Mr and Master H cavort with the kayak thing in the waves, while rubbing life back into Small Z’s cold little body…

We headed home to passionfruit gelati and cups of tea. If I could press repeat on the whole day, I would.

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