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Category: The House with the View (Page 1 of 8)

The Warming of the New House

Yesterday was a combined housewarming and birthday party for Small Z. The weather could not have been more perfect, and we had a about a ninety percent attendance level! M was a complete whiz, and ran around organising the barbeque, the surfski, washed down the Sunliner to make it sparkle and also spent time hanging with Small Z, who wore a dress for about the second time in her whole life.

The second pussycat birthday cake was very well received…and got completely eaten. I didn’t get one bit!

M, B and Small Z with her birthday cake

There were five babies at the party, and at one point they were all nude in a tiny paddling pool – I will have to dig up some photos of that. Meanwhile, here is Axel with his dad.

Axel sitting on Dyl's shoulders

It was great for Small Z to catch up with some other little people near her own age. She has not hung out with any other babies since seeing the beautiful Marco up in NSW – he is one month younger than her. Her other mate, Elijah, is one month older – and they had some fun together yesterday.

Small E, Ellise, Beth and Small Z

Everybody seemed to like our new house, and agreed it was a significant improvement on the trailer. Because we were in such a tiny space for two and a half years, we don’t really have much furniture and the house was just a huge playground of mostly empty space for lots of screaming little boys! Here’s one of them, Otis, hanging with his parents in the hammock…

Mung, Rach and Otis in the hammock

Although it was one of the best barbecues we have had, it was pretty sad for me, as Small Brother came for a few hours, but then had to disappear on his way back to New York. Stupid old New York 🙁 He spent quite a bit of time with Small Z, and I got some of my favourite pictures of them together…

Small Brother and Small Z.

As I type this he is about eight hours into his 26 hour flight back to the US and I feel like his visit was SO fleeting. (Hello Small Brother, if you are reading this out there, travel well and may your bamboo shoot in your apartment greet you in a robust manner.)

Small Z and her uncle on the fitball

M and I still feel like we have rented this house for the summer – it’s such a change from where we were before that it doesn’t quite seem real yet. Although we’re going to be much more, how shall I put it? Financially challenged – I would rather be living on rice and beans with space around us, a big garden and lovely views than having a bit more cash, less space and not very baby-friendly outdoor surrounds. I now realise I had begun feeling so constricted living in the trailer that I didn’t even really want people to visit anymore. Although we might have moved out of the blue, I think the decision was a good one. Hooray for the new house!

Our new view from the kitchen

The definition of idyllic

It is 10.30 in the morning and the temperature is already 31.8 degrees (89 Fahrenheit). So far, though, it has been an utterly idyllic morning, beginning with Small Z only waking twice in between 11pm and 6am. Bliss. I think it’s one of the first times I’ve been up before her!

At about a quarter to eight in the morning, the house was so quiet and still, that I was moved (what follows is senseless domesticity) to sweep and mop the kitchen and bathroom floors. Why? Because I could do it while unbothered by anyone, turning it into a meditative chore, rather than a somewhat fraught and rushed one.

After breakfast, M told Small Z he would take her for a walk. I suggested that he had a boat to go and build, and I would take her for the walk. Once you say the word ‘walk’ to Small Z, she basically starts panting and runs to get her lead. I smeared sunblock on her and we set off. I knew it was high tide this morning, but I’d forgotten how sublime that is when combined with the trees overhanging the beach, providing shady paddling spots.

I walked over the road, with Small Z in her sling, and paddled halfway to the little park before I couldn’t resist it. I dangled Small Z’s feet in the water. She was enthused. It was irresistible, and I whipped off her clothes and nappy and she plonked herself on the sand in the shallows. I wish I had a picture – she skittered around in the sand and splashed in the water. It was uber-cute.

After a while it got a bit chilly and I dabbed her dry. We went up to the boat house, where there is undercover shady seats and I got her dressed. A little bit sandy, we went over to the swings, and I pushed her on the babies swing, while she looked meditatively at the birds and the sky. Then we went on the bigger swing together before walking home, trying to stay in the shady parts. It had only been about half an hour or so, but the tide had already dropped at least three feet. That’s why you really have to keep an eye on the tide charts – because once it drops, you have to walk out where it gets muddy before you can reach the water.

Idyllic - the definition

We’re having a heatwave…

The air conditioner died yesterday. The air conditioner that we bought twelve months ago on a ‘twelve months interest free’ rort plan. The one that would be still paying off if I hadn’t juggled it over to some other ‘nine month interest free’ plan.

I called their tech support number and said “Our air conditioner keeps spasming and shuddering about every ten minutes or so…” The girl on the other end of the phone, who sounded in no way like a refrigeration mechanic, said “That means it’s faulty. It has a 24 month warranty. Take it back to where you got it from, and they will swap it over.”

I floundered. She hadn’t even delved into any detail. Didn’t care. I said a few times, “But it’s vibrating. Surely it’s something we can fix?” She just kept repeating, “Any vibration means it’s faulty. Take it back. Take it back.”

Gah. M turned into Man of the Match. He not only dug the receipt out of his files (!!!??) but called the shop where we got it and strong-armed the very reluctant person on the end of the phone into saying that, no, she couldn’t guarantee a swap over, but she could ask the manager to call us back. I had absolutely no faith that this would happen, but…sure enough, the phone rang. M had a blokey conversation, and then put the air conditioner in the car and drove to Frankston in 42 degrees, where he had to wait in the shop for an hour. He was then given a new air conditioner!@!

I couldn’t BELIEVE he was willing to drive in that heat, particularly as the car air conditioner is dodgy at best – but he is made of sterner stuff than me – I think he is part lizard. Anyway – for the four hours or so that we were without air con, Small Z and I languished in the hallway. When I say hallway, our hallway is not the usual deal. Think of your normal narrow hallway…and triple it. But still, it was about 40 degrees. We set up the paddle pool on a tarpaulin, and when it got really bad, we put the mattress down with a damp sheet on top. The whole time I was spraying us with water from a spray bottle…and thus, we coped. But it’s not something I particularly want to do again!

Small Z was a total champ throughout, and thought it was pretty fun that she got to hang out with me constantly and have a pool indoors! Obviously she does hang out with me all the time, but usually I’m trying to do things around the house – not something I would even consider in this kind of heatwave. We spent all of it (except the dead-air-con bit) in the back room. It was like being back in the trailer. I still have to post the picture of the thermometer in the kitchen showing 43 degrees inside and 53 outside.

I went walking…

After living on a 50 acre horse farm for two and a half years, unable to walk to anywhere as the speed limit on the road outside the gate was 100km an hour, I now have streets to roam in. This is a novelty. So is being able to WALK TO A SHOP. Not just any shop. This is a shop that sells BEER as well as milk, icy-poles and newspapers. Very soothing in times of need. There are a curious mix of people living here – retirees, young families and those other breed of people whose purpose it is in life to Drive Utes. That’s right. The vehicles that have more often tailgated and weaved in and out of surrounding traffic more than any other. There’s about one for every three people that live here. That’s a lot of utes.

A couple of days ago, I was able to walk to something else. Three minutes away, in the Yacht Club, was a yoga class. Not something I am very proficient in. Yet. I left Small Z with M, and got there as it started, at 10am. There were four of us, plus the teacher. We were on our mats, facing the window, looking out over the water. I was pleasantly surprised to hear I’ll Fly Away from the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack. The teacher, however, was scuffling with the iPod, to try and find something more zen.

“I’ve got this CD at home,” I said, attempting sociability. “It’s great.”

“It’s the Dixie Chicks, right?” said the fiftyish woman with a yoga sinewy body that looked like a serious weapon.

“That’s right,” said the instructor, “It’s the Dixie Chicks.”

I opened my mouth, and then shut it. The music changed to something limp and esoteric.

We began with some lying downy meditation stuff. The instructor was good – she had the soothing tones that I recalled from my until-then-forgotten “Safe Yoga for Mothers To Be” video that I did religiously while being pregnant Minke whale. “Feel yourself loosen, your body is falling into the floor…there are sounds around you…just notice them…and let them go…let the warmth travel up from your toes…let your mind empty…notice your thoughts…and then let them go…”

We’d been going like this for about fifteen minutes; prone, limp and breathing through noses. We were thinking of our spines, loosening and heavy, when the heavy front door screeched open, there was the thunk and rattle of a bunch of keys hitting the floorboards and sliding, and a blokes voice saying, “There’s yer keys.” I think our four bodies all looked like they’d been briefly electrocuted. The instructor, to her credit, merely did an extra deep breath, and continued with her soliloquy. It was a scenario that exactly describes where we live – relaxed, laid back, soothing…with a large helping of BOGAN and BLOKE.

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