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.
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
We may have a move on the way – I wasn’t going to mention it until we were sure, but our preparations are impinging on my blogging activity, which is why my posts have suddenly dropped away.
I will do my best to post at least once a day and will certainly continue my ‘Wilderness Adventures’, but there will be times (as you may already have noticed) that I don’t make it in at all.
We are still waiting for final confirmation and once we get that, I can tell you more about where we are going to and what’s happening.
Back into the subject of our Wilderness Adventures (with no house and no amenities) in the Top End of Australia – Just getting onto the 250 acre block was proved interesting – the flat bit was too muddy and the steep bit was too steep, and it didn’t help that there was no driveway or any access tracks at all.
Greg had decided that we needed a backhoe. He thought it would be really useful. Personally, I thought it would be a waste of money and basically a toy he would play with, but he was right and I was wrong. The backhoe turned out to be the most important piece of equipment we could get. We used it for everything, lifting and carrying, digging holes (which saved me a heap of time in bodily waste disposal). It proved its worth on our very first morning, towing the caravan up the steep embankment that would become our driveway.
The backhoe was delivered to our wilderness block. It arrived on the back of a truck, which tilted down to allow the large vehicle off, then the guy and the truck left. It never occurred to us to ask for any instruction. Greg had a truck license and I had a semi-trailer (articulated heavy vehicle) license, and we both rode motorbikes. On the flimsy assumption that we “knew vehicles” we thought we had it figured.
On close inspection, we realized that it wasn’t as clear cut as we had supposed it would be. Never mind all the levers, even the pedal was weird – a three-pronged contraption that we’d never seen before.
There it sat on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere, a beautiful backhoe, and neither of us knew how to drive it.