Google maps indicated our trip to our new house would last in the range of 7 to 8 hours each way, depending on which route we took, so we figured with an early start we could turn it around in 16 to 18 hours – a long day, for sure, but possible (we have two cats and didn’t want to leave them alone for 2 days) – but it turns out Google doesn’t take into account road conditions or restrictions to speed limits, such as tight curvy dirt roads up and down mountains and the round trip took a whopping 25 hours.
I can’t believe the many wonderful changes happening in my life at present, on more than one front, some personal (all good, though) – Above and beyond packing and moving, things are still tremendously busy, and I still need to leave my desk and go into town for a day occasionally (this time to look at a car), and there are a couple of long weekends upon us.
Right, you got it, that means more delays in blogging from me.
It’s been an interesting couple of weeks – as a sci-fi writer more in sync with a solitary lifestyle and ensconced in a silent office at home in a rural setting, it came as rather an aural shock to spend several days in the full hustle and bustle of city life while we got our signatures witnessed and various official forms lodged in our quest for a new house.
Getting up early is not problem, we rise between 4:00 and 4:30 a.m. on weekdays simply because my husband prefers to be at work by 7:00 (so he can finish earlier to gain us some semblance of an evening together) and needs to travel two hours each way into the city and out again. So, we were out of the house by 5:00, dodging kangaroos in the predawn light and admiring mist in the valleys and various town lights as we drove through them. I don’t often get to see this, so all of it was wonderful, but at 7:00 a.m., I was released into an unfamiliar shopping mall to find my own way and to wait the day out (ten hours).
It was interesting and different, although I admit it grew into a field of noise and distraction. I hunted out quieter zones between coffee and pit stops as I bided my time without turning the whole into a shopping-fest. I’ll have you know, I did very well. I know it sounds like a Whoopie moment with much shopping and merriment, but it was not that sort of visit. I bought a bunch of crossword books (Killer Sudoku, Kakuro and Cryptic Crosswords) which kept me quiet and mostly out of harm’s way.
What a time to fall ill! A lot of things are happening, there’s an interstate move coming up (any minute), which means packing and sorting, and then there’s the third book in my science fiction series still to finish.
I’m not a tablet-taker, outside of coffee and alcohol (only occasionally now), I don’t take drugs at all until I catch a cold or a flu and my nose is running and I can’t sleep for choking on the stuff going down the back of my neck. So I hit the cold and flu tablets and the side-effects give me extra symptoms, mainly sleepy and queasy, although the lack of energy is more likely to be the bug itself and not the medicine.
Where was I? Oh, yes, out on the 250 acres of wilderness block in the Northern Territory, aiming between two trees in a backhoe I’d only taught myself to drive that morning, putting a road in down to the flatland below the steep hill.
Fortunately a backhoe is a fairly slow-going machine, although it does speed up on a steep incline, and this was steep. The bucket down and scraping along the surface acted as a brake and I was able to keep between the trees. It was a job that needed repeating several times to scrape down to clear earth, but that first time through the maze and all the way down the hill to level ground felt good. I hadn’t taken out a single tree (I like trees and our intention with the block was to enjoy the wilderness).
Turning around, of course, meant I had to come back up again. That was actually scarier. I kept everything low because the feeling was, if the bucket had been up, the whole lot might have tumbled over backwards.
That night, Greg returned home to find the backhoe missing. Fortunately, I wasn’t missing with it, and I could show him what I had done with the road down the hill – and point out the backhoe on the way. :D
As it was after dark when Greg got home, we drove the length of my road by car with the headlights on. Greg was quite impressed. The road stretched almost one km (about half a mile). Returning up the hill to our campsite, Greg noticed the same issue I had with the steepness of the hill. Knowing I had run up and down several times, he asked the obvious question.
“How did you get the backhoe up each time? Did you drive it up backwards?”
“No,” I replied.
“Bloody hell,” he replied, “I would have.”
So, where was the backhoe?
It has all come together beautifully – and we’ve landed something special, a house at the Southern tip of the mountain range that runs down through New South Wales and into Victoria, incorporating the Snowy Mountains, Kosciuszko National Park (Mount Kosciuszko is Australia’s tallest mountain) and Alpine National Park and others, with many mountains along the way.
On the NSW side, Mount Perisher’s Ski Resort reports that the 2014 snow season has seen some of the biggest snowfalls in decades with over two metres of snow falling in a two week period and has extended it’s skiing season all the way to Oct 10 (Australia is officially in Spring now). We’re moving beyond Perisher, further south (away from the sun) and into the next state, Victoria, so let’s hope it’s not snowing during any part of our move!
The house itself is three bedrooms in glorious isolation, with a romantic open fireplace and a combustion stove in another room which will probably be my choice of office. I’m not sure, as yet. Why am I not sure? Because, although we intended to, we haven’t actually seen the house. It was a snap decision and a leap, and that makes it even more exciting. :D
Sturn grabbed at her shirt as he reached her, ripping it open with his left hand, his right swinging into action with the knife even as Aleisha gave a squeal of terror.