m i a o w

–YOU KNOW YOU KNEAD IT–

Tag: moving (Page 1 of 2)

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…

Moving right along…

I look around me. Our house is festooned with Small artwork, photos, paintings. It’s all got to go. I have already divorced myself from boxes and boxes and boxes of books – many crime novels that I will always be able to find again, should I hanker for them.

Most of my books I don’t keep to read again, but because of a quiet dream of mine to have a booklined room in a house somewhere that the Smalls can wander into and discover almost anything. I remember how intoxicating it was to discover a new author and to scour my parent’s bookshelves, or L’s mother’s bookshelves and find more books by the same person – EUREKA! And to then find a quiet corner, a handful of biscuits, some sunshine…and be immersed.

I may still be able to engineer my ideal book honey-trap. I still have several crates of books that I’m incapable of divesting. But I’m typing this as if the only thing I have to contend with are the books. There is so much more than that.

And there’s this…

[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”322px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Shippy[/dropshadowbox]

I have bought a shipping container – it has been delivered and put in place in the boatyard. It is my fond (but pathetic) lhope that we will only fill half of it. We will not store our whitegoods, they are going. It is so tempting to get rid of every stick of furniture but our dining table. The couch is being absorbed by the boat (well, the cushions…)

I am hopeful that there will be enough room in our shipping container to keep our bicycles and a few other things we might regularly require. I can’t remember if I have outlined what is to happen. So here it is;

Our lease expires on 28 January 2015 – the house, at that point, needs to be scoured and empty. The garden needs to be coiffed and the chickens in their new home in L’s back garden. They will become the Chickens of Bentleigh. I’m sure they will enjoy it after they get over the shock of the move.

We will then move on to the 35 foot catamaran that M has been building for more than seven years. It will not be on the water *groan* but we hope that will be for no longer than a month or so (heard those words before?) Of course I could extend our lease by the month but I am very invested in this deadline – the one that means we are getting out and moving on…

As much as I love our house and our neighbours, it is time to execute then next point of the plan. When you have been living with your head fixed on a future point (finishing the boat), as time progresses it becomes harder and harder to keep focussed.

 Especially knowing that where we are isn’t IT. It is not where we are staying. Other adventures are planned.

So, as a hardy Taurean, I am not enamoured of big change – but I will be jumping into the deep end on this one with my eyes wide open. We already live pretty small. But we are going to be living TINY. So tiny. I hope that we move aboard with only our clothes, laptops, food and a few books. Kindles are perfect for tiny living. From there we can add things…or subtract them…

We will be living in the boatyard. There will be drinking water and electricity. So we will be basically camping at a powered campsite in a boat. Not the worst way to begin. Once we are at sea we will begin dealing with the issue of limited power and water. Did I mention we don’t have a mast yet?

If the weather gets super hot, it will be a problem and we will probably have to take off to the beach in the caravan until it breaks. That is OK. I am enjoying the fact that I have paid the last week of rent on our house. I am very focused on getting back our bond!!

The fact that we will have no electricity, water, gas, and rent means we will be saving at least $200 a week – a third of our normal budget. It won’t make a huge difference while we are still trying to pull everything together to get afloat, but already my head feels lighter.

While we are still in Melbourne I plan to continue working – it seems silly not to have the opportunity to put away some money while I can. I have asked (and received) the whole of May 2015 off and have grand hopes that we will leave on our First Grand Seafaring Adventure. It’s nice to have something to set our sights on…

The hill I’m trying to climb…

A more than minor meltdown happened to me yesterday, triggered by miscommunication, children, a house inspection I had 45 minutes to get ready for…blah blah blah. Things feel extremely difficult at the moment.

Yes, the move should be a positive experience. Yes, the catamaran has taken seven years of fulltime building and at the time we move aboard will be neither afloat, nor finished – but we will be ON IT. Yes, we will be saving heapso money by not paying rent. Yes, there will be more time together as a family.

But actually – I feel as if I am on rails, moving inexorably toward a massive change. With such a pile of things to deal with and two Smalls to try and stay sane for, that sometimes it feels insurmountable. It shouldn’t. It’s just work – packing, trailer loads, cleaning, fixing the garden – but still…

M and I had a moment on the boat yesterday when we looked at each other, realising a vast communication abyss existed between us.

He assumed we were not moving straight on to the boat when we move out of our house, finally, on the 28th of January. He stated he understood that I would be caravanning at friend’s houses with the Smalls – or camping.

I said no. No. We are moving On. To. The. Boat. We are taking our food, our clothes, our craft boxes and computers. We are taking our pillows. We are taking ourselves. And we are moving aboard. I couldn’t understand how we could have completely different ideas of what is going to occur. I think we are now both clear…although I thought that before…

Yes, we will be camping – albeit with electricity and two port-a-pottis. We will not be afloat. But to me, the move (once I get through it) will feel like progress – and that is something I have felt occasional despair about over the last few years.

It is hard being anchored to a dream that has taken so long. It is hard living in a place for five years knowing I don’t intend to stay but have not been able to leave. While the Smalls were babies it was a useful place to be. I had support from the Nana – I met awesome people (eventually). But I am unable to deny the necessity I feel to dismantle the safe structure that we live within, in the hope that I am jumpstarting a new phase in our lives. It is more than time.

I am grappling with the hard stuff here… with the intention of coming out the other side in a new place, with new plans and a bucketload of lateral thinking.

Counting Down

Must keep going, must continue. M is leaving so early and coming home so late that the only place we see each other is when I take a trailer-load to the shipping container and he helps me with the heavy lifting. The house is pure chaos. We have five days to go before we are out of here.

If I stop and start to think of all the things we have experienced in this house – the crazy intensity of a new baby, our neighbours, our chickens, sitting on the porch, sleeping in the caravan, trampolining and lots of lawn mowing. And the amazing/heart-breaking thing is – the Smalls will remember almost nothing of it. Small DB will not remember a bit of it. Small Z will have chunks…

Which, again, makes me grateful for this space – for my documenting, however sporadic. And this is why I am typing here, instead of dealing with the vortex of horror that is our house. Because this is an Important Time. Here’s what’s been happening:

[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”521px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]How I move stuff. 300D plus ancient trailer.[/dropshadowbox]

I have been loading up the trailer with the stuff I have packed, tying it down and driving it to the shipping container – which is about 20 minutes away. The shipping container is on the same property that the boat is. We bought the container outright and now pay a very reasonable amount to keep it there – our very lovely friends had said we could leave our container on their land for free, but the difficulty of driving for a couple of hours whenever we needed to get anything made us decide against it. The money is worth it for the convenience.

[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”521px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Shipping Container. It's like a living box of tetris.[/dropshadowbox]

The container – it is 20 foot long, eight foot wide and eight foot high – is cute. At first it looked cavernous. M was all of a flutter, “We’ll be able to put the two wooden boats in it, no worries!” However, reality has kicked in. I have got rid of a lot of stuff, but somehow, stuff remains. If we fit it all in – PLUS all of M’s tools, that will migrate from his boatbuilding shed – we’ll be doing well.

I am, as always, enjoying the physicality of the work I have been doing. My main difficulty has been in giving adequate attention to the Smalls. I am so distracted by needing to deal with Every Single Thing that surrounds me, that they have been coming second best for a few weeks 🙁 – honestly, I am so distracted that yesterday morning I got lost driving home from my mother’s house. Had to look on Google Maps to figure out where I was. And when I did? I had NO idea how I’d got there. Still don’t.

[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”521px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Where the Very Large Catamaran will be. Tomorrow.[/dropshadowbox]

And that is where the Very Large Catamaran will be, by this time tomorrow night. I pleaded for a spot near the water – and got the best one 🙂 We will be the only ones living in the boatyard (aside from the people who own the property). I am feeling positive about our move – it is progress out of my static suburban existence. Yes, we will be gypsies, flying by the seat of our pants, but it will be an out-of-the-ordinary adventure – and that’s what makes me happy…

[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”521px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Holy shit! The front of the shed is OFF! Ready for relocation.[/dropshadowbox]

M pulled the front of the shed off this afternoon. For the first time in seven years, there is no wall – tomorrow Bella Luna (notice that? how I just used the name for the first time?) will be pulled out by a tractor and manoeuvred into the waterside position. AMAZING!

Of course, then will be the dusting, the cleaning, the bedding, moving in our food supplies – not to mention all the work there will then be to do on the cushions, electrics, plumbing etc. etc. It will remain quite epic – but at least we will be ABOARD. And if it drags on too long (living in a boatyard in sniffing distance of the water) I have a few options up my sleeve.

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