Category: No Fixed Address (Page 1 of 4)

Running to stand still

We have been in the caravan for a week. Eeep! M has spent the majority of that time at the boat, trying to sort out a million different things – we have seen him two or three times. As I type this, at 6am, I am on the train going to work for a 12 hour day and he is back in the caravan with the Smalls. 

I am sleep-headed – getting up in a dark caravan doesn’t lend itself to any beautifcation. I have bed-hair and an unwashed face, with plans to rectify both those things once I get to the office before 7am. My lunch was locked in the house (I couldn’t find the housekey in the dark), so it looks like a day of cheese, bananas, tuna and more cheese. 

Zen. I have been trying to summon all kinds of zen. Truth is, I am stressed about TATINATM and that is leaking out of me on to the Smalls. The week since our move out of our house has involved committments every. single. day. I am so looking forward to Saturday or Sunday when we will begin housesitting for our lovely friends on their singularly lovely farm. 

We won’t be as central to the shops, library, kindergarten etc as we are in the Front Garden of Excellence, but the trade off is a house to ourselves, beautiful surrounds, quiet, chickens, sheep and some time to kick back. In many ways it is similar to my dad’s place – a little hobby farm with many fruit trees and a few vegetable beds here and there. I am so looking forward to it.

The timing, as far as the weather is concerned, couldn’t be better. There are a few hot days beginning already and I’m thankful not to be totally reliant on the caravan.

038/365 • this is where we are for the next week or so, nestled between two oak trees on our friend's beautiful farm • #038_2015 #goodnight #friends #hastings #morningtonpeninsula #vintagecaravan #300D #tranquility #sunliner #dusk #nofixedaddress #caravan

Small Heaven

Me: “So, DB, what do you think about not living in our old house anymore and hanging out in the caravan and at the farm?”

DB: [shrugs] “Oh, I’m just happy wherever my family is.”

Me: [silent dance of victory disguised by elaborate casualness] “Yeah, me too.”

Looking for fruit.

The house we are staying in is not your average house. It is double brick, designed by the owners, who lived in a shed on the property while it was built about 13 years ago. That was when their first baby was born.

At that time they planted many trees, particularly at the back of the property – and these are all now mature eucalypts – they are amazing. All of the trees have been planted by them – confirming my belief that as soon as you’re living somewhere that you plan to stay for a while – PLANT TREES – because they will quietly grow while you build/breed/renovate – and suddenly you’ll be harvesting lemons/nectarines/pears and be so thankful you did.

On the inside is a World of Books (as well as a World of Toys) and Small Z is like a kid in a lolly shop. You can’t speak to her. She is trying to get through as many as she can before we have to leave.

Yesterday I met my friend Judy in my favourite bookshop. We haven’t seen each other for over a year, so there was a lot of nattering. Small DB wearied of this after a while, but Small Z did not peep for an entire hour. I had no idea where she was and had not a single bit of worry.

When we finished, I found her here. Perfectly happy.

She didn't move for an hour.

A Mitey Housesit

For a couple of days the Smalls and I lived in the caravan on the property of our friends who have 20 acres in Hastings. They had asked us if we would like to housesit while they went caravanning for a week and we jumped at the chance. They were to be leaving on Friday…but that turned into Saturday…and that turned into 3pm Sunday…

I love them dearly, but the temptation of having a WHOLE HOUSE to myself, while they extended their leaving time by two days was a bit of a torment. Once they were gone I finally felt able to stuff our food into their fridge, put the Thermomix on their bench and start doing a load of washing. Bliss…

We are in charge of some sheep, an aged cat and about 20 chickens. My relationship with the latter did not begin well – I had been showed by my farmer-friend how to crowbar a few of the hens out of their nests to check for eggs. She did it in a heartbeat – me? I was poking around, worried I was going to hurt the chicken – the chicken could sense my fear and would not budge… and then I felt something strange.

I looked down and saw (ok, so it might not have been hundreds, but it felt like MILLIONS) of tiny mites crawling over my hands and up my wrists. There were some on the Smalls too – they had been helping me. Small Z, hater of such things, ran inside to wash her hands. I wiped them off and continued with my duties. But I could still feel them. Yuuuuuuck….

Later I bathed the Smalls and took a looooong shower and scrubbed my whole self. But after drying off and sorting out dinner, I was STILL finding them 🙁 They are super-tiny, like the head of a needle (not a pin) and almost translucent. I was so grossed out. I had contacted my farmer-friend, who called me and said that she had not known the chooks had mites – they usually treated them with sulphur – but that it was a very stinky and messy job. 

Our first night in the house was less than stellar. I could feel small creatures walking around on me. Small DB had chosen to sleep in a different bedroom and woke up twice, calling for me. The morning dawned on three very grumpy people – eventually I took us all to meet up with the WildThings at the beach, and that was a welcome circuit breaker. 

On the way home I went into a workwear place and spent $10 on a full body disposable suit – the kind you use for spray-painting. I looked like I worked in a nuclear power plant. But when I checked the eggs, I remained mite-free! The victory would have been sweeter if the suit itself hadn’t stunk like some kind of cheap skanko plastic, requiring another long scrubby shower…

I didn’t check the eggs yesterday – I am hoping that M – who is having a Dadda Day, will do the honours. He continues to spend all his time at the boat, readying it for life aboard ‘on the hard’ (that is the boat-savvy way of saying that the boat is not in the water – it is on the land).  

Other than the mites our two days of house-sitting have been pretty awesome. There are many plums, stupid amounts of zucchini and I stewed some of the peaches that had been starting to look unhappy. The Smalls don’t want to leave! My farmer-friend is a crafting goddess and in a former life used to be an art teacher – there are bountiful supplies for us to get making – I am hoping the next two days will involve some of that.

It’s 6am again. Dark. And I am on a train to work to do an 11 hour day or so – this is working better for us all at the moment – giving M an extra day at the boat. I don’t seem to have found any other time to type! 

Finally. A day at home.

We moved aboard on the evening of February 19th – I had the following day to fling a few things together – and somewhere else I needed to go Every. Single. Day. since that time. Jeeeeez. Today was my window. My island of NOT GETTING IN THE CAR FOR ANYTHING. AT ALL. Broken leg? Busted arm? Wait until tomorrow. Yes, I should have taken the clothes to the laundry. Yes, we should have gone to Small DB’s kindergarten picnic. I did neither. I remain glad.

Pancakes for breakfast. Egg in a hole for lunch. Risotto for dinner. I convened with the shipping container and found the doona covers and matching pillowcases I found for the Small’s bunks about a year ago. But I am anti-doona because of information like this – so a chunk of my day was spent stitching (maybe it is called ‘basting’? big fast stitches that are easy to pull out if required) a woollen blanket and a cotton blanket together in a skinnyish bunkbed shape (one each for each bunk) and then doing the same stitching along each doona cover to make it match the width of the blankets inside it. A little ungainly, but they look good tucked in! Pictures will be added…after we return from the kindergarten working bee tomorrow.

UPDATE: – as promised…

New doona covers and pillowcases

DB. On the big bed.

I made up the queen-sized bed in the other hull – all pretty and waiting for the first sleep-over boat guest or whoever needs some alone time. My fancy mattress has fresh sheets on it. It has begun to feel a bit less like camping somewhere for a little bit and more like a cross between glamping and home. I had my first shower here – the little 12volt pump in a bucket of warm water and me dancing around the bathroom in a novel fashion…

Have you ever spent an extended amount of time in a space that is mostly glossy white? The amount of dust and pubic hairs that will assault your vision in a matter of days is enough to make me want to send us adults for a full body wax and close all the hatches forEVER. The boatyard is dusty. We are hairy.

In less festy news, I finally found our iPad mini which will act as our internet hotspot. Thank the LORD for that. I still need to come up with storage solutions for our clothes – I’m thinking pockets of netting to start with?! The tide continues to captivate us – I am very grateful to be so close to the water – I am also grateful not to be ON the water yet, as doing all the settling in stuff would have been a zillion times harder.

The little cloud on next week’s horizon is that we have been invited to dinner by our landlords – owners of the boatyard. I explained that we are coeliac and they said they knew all about that and not to worry. But my understanding is that people think they know, but they are not across all the dramas – that I cannot eat their butter because they’ve dipped crumb covered knives in it – that I can’t have their salad because they used brown vinegar in the dressing. I HATE bringing this shit up – but I am going to have to go and talk to Lady Boatyard again about it, because the only thing I hate more than sounding like a picky picky pain in the arse, is getting glutened and turning into a coldsore covered dehydrated psycho for a month. Over and out.

057/365 • waiting to see if the clouds bring rain • #057_2015 #catamaran #liveaboard #4yo #7yo #M #nearlybedtime #trampolines #blindbight #carsandboatneedawash

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