Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 The Year of the Great Move

Here it is on all its glory. I know that it is about 231 sq.m. and that the colour scheme is "light" as opposed to "dark" and that it has the extra room which is NOT a bedroom and that it has one bathroom less than the four bedroom apartments but the rest will be a mystery until I am allowed to go in with a measuring tape after the 'hard-hat' stage is over.

I hope that all my readers (I suspect that I am the only one who reads these pages) have a very happy and prosperous New Year.

Some reflections on the last year

Looking back on 2010 I see it as a year of losses. In September I had to have Boy-Kitten put down after what appeared to be some sort of stroke which paralysed his tail, and to a degree, his back legs. He didn’t want to be picked up and wasn’t eating or drinking. He was euthanased at home which saved him from even more trauma but I spent a bad night waiting to see if he would improve. While waiting for the veterinary team I put him onto my bed and he gave a very brief purr and a quick lick to my nose. It nearly broke my heart.

My house is to go onto the market in a couple of weeks and I no longer feel that it is entirely my own. The garden has been raked, weeded and mulched and the house and paving bricks pressure cleaned. The senior elf told me that by the time that they all finished there would be no spiders left but I suspect that was a promise like the one Bob Hawke made about children living in poverty because the box beams in the shed and carport are covered with cobwebs and I have bought some special spider spray. They are also starting to make their presence felt again in the weatherboards.

Himself finished his thesis yesterday, it has been bound and, along with a CD of the whole thing, it is off to Malta tonight. He certainly cut it fine and I had him over here a few days ago because his printer was insisting that it only wanted to be a fax machine and I offered the use of mine. He printed out a draft of Chapter 4 and I proof-read it. Then sense prevailed and he took the whole thing to OfficeWorks to be printed which happened much faster than my printer could have managed; he needed four copies. (Note added later - I have seen the consignment form; it is on its way to Malta via courier.)

I’ve not seen a lot of him this year while he worked on the thesis. Thursday mornings at COTA, of course, but little else. COTA has moved back to the city and although it is all rather crowded in the new place, at least it is more accessible and the shopping is better. The main problem at COTA is that people are buying new computers loaded with Windows7 and the COTA computers still have XP (which I prefer) so I have to take in my Win7 laptop and dongle.

Settlement for the new apartment is supposed to take place next April and I have spent some time trying to get a postal address, to no avail. Somebody, somewhere, must know what it is but the Claremont Council ignored my query and then the council offices burnt down. However, Oldest Friend said that postal addresses are usually allotted when a development is approved so I can’t understand why it is such a dark, dreadful secret. The apartment looks very uninteresting from the outside but can only be seen from a small stretch of the highway and a small part of the Hungry Jacks car park so I probably won’t need curtains. Herself is going to help me to measure it all when we are allowed in. Until then I am not sure how much of my furniture I will be able to fit and how much I’ll have to sell. D3’s husband says that it is more than twice the size of their house but the problem is going to be a lack of solid walls to hang pictures or put things against.

This time next year I will be in a different place. I have lived in this house for 47 years and it will be a big change but hopefully next year will not be as disruptive as this year has been.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Peace, perfect peace

No elves today so I went out and trimmed the coprosmas in front of the front room which were pressing hard against the wall and totally blocking the window. The head elf is going to have a fit when he sees it - I cut it back hard but not as hard as I would have liked because the two bushes were getting very straggly and untidy. Now the wall will have to be polished - it is very grubby.

Then I gave a haircut to the creepers on the outside of the back fence. Much easier to do it now while the honeysuckle is tender. I didn't cut it right back to the fence as I usually do in May or June and hopefully I won't be here when that needs to be done.

I lived on chicken broth and lemon jelly today and both Oldest Friend and himself dropped in so we drank Iranian tea which is quite sweet and doesn't need milk, which I am not allowed at the moment.

Tomorrow I go into hospital to be prepared for my colonoscopy and hopefully I'll be home again on Thursday in the late afternoon.

D1 is arriving on Friday evening and is being collected by D2 so I don't have to drive out to the airport and attempt to park there. The treadle sewing machine is being collected on Tuesday by D3's niece who wants if for some reason so I need something to put the TV onto. D1 can help me to shop. D2 is taking the worm farm when there are enough of us to pack it up and transport it.

It is all go and I am still not sure when I will be moving and exactly when Mr Realty is putting the house on the market. The oven is being cleaned on 10th January so hopefully it will be after that.

Hopefully Himself will take the chainsaw, the hedgecutters and the mulcher and then I will have to wait until I can measure up the apartment before I will be able to decide which pieces of furniture will be coming with me and which will have to be sold.

I am so glad that Boy-cat is not here to see his garden and his house so disrupted; he would have hated it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My house has been taken over by Christmas elves

I haven't had the heart to add to this blog since Boy-cat died but so much has been happening that I am going to lose count of what is going on if I don't get it down in cyberland.

Firstly, my hip, which I injured last year, flared up again and having it re-injected with cortisone didn't help so I had it done again under ultrasound which has been moderately effective but not perfect. Before the second injection I was on crutches which is very limiting so I tended to sit around and feel miserable. However, that is pretty futile so I went to see my physiotherapist who has given me some exercises to do to build up my gluteal muscles on the right side to make up for the fact tht there is one less muscle in working order on that side.

Then there was the estate agent!

The date when the house is to be put onto the market seems to be creeping closer and closer to the first week in January as he gets things organised. He gave me a lecture on the psychology of screwing the last possible cent out of any hopeful buyer who puts a hand up and it is really quite scary. Fine for the seller but the buyers should never be told these things or they would opt to rent instead.

Anyway, on Friday morning (today is Monday), at 7.30am the elves arrived to tidy and polish the house and garden. The garden has been raked, weeded and mulched within an inch if its life and actually looks very nice ... except that leaves are already falling onto the mulch and there is no way I am going to go around and pick up every individual leaf.

Now they have started pressure washing the walls of the house and i have been rushing around with a towel trying to catch the drips before they destroy the curtains and carpets. Opening the curtains seems to have modified the spraying, at least around the windows and I hope that they will be careful up in the eaves because I don't want the ceilings to fall in.

All is well - the chief elf is here ...