Wednesday, February 24, 2016

House Swap

The Girl modelling the unhemmed version of her going-away dress the evening before she leaves home.

This is The Girl leaving home, with her great grandmother's blue suitcase, wearing the dress that she spent the summer thinking about making, then really got started on two days before she left home. At about 10pm the night before she left home (at dawn the next morning), she finally finished the machine sewing and went to pack, while I volunteered to do the hemming. Oh my. This is how we move forward at Chez Blueday. We procrastinate forever but always come through at the very last minute with the maximum of drama and panic. It is quite tiring, but we have a lovely lot of downtime while we are procrastinating.

The Girl is having a blast far away in her new home (which is the size of a cupboard, in the middle of a great big city), and the rest of us are having little moments of sadness, when we open the mug drawer and all her mugs are gone, or the bathroom cabinet and her toothbrush isn't there. No-one is bringing me spontaneous cups of tea just when I need one... and I need a few right now.

The bank never did give me a loan, feeling that my infinitesimal income didn't warrant one. I was quite despondent for a day, then rang the real estate agent and said, "I would like to put an offer on the tiny house, but will have to sell my house first. Is there a way I can do that without potentially becoming homeless?" He assured me that yes, that is actually a thing, and now I have had my offer on the tiny house accepted conditional on the sale of my large house!!!!!

It is all too, too exciting, or rather exhausting as I run about doing all the 764 little jobs I have been putting off for years but now need to do in a matter of days. Eeek!

Just at this moment, of course, I have contracted a vile sinus headachey cold, which is most unhelpful, especially considering I never get colds, not for more than a day or so. But this time I have succumbed, and am dragging myself around between naps, filling the car with more of my worldly goods every day and sending them out into the universe to find new homes. I have managed to find two lovely handyman types, one who came and did a bunch of jobs last Saturday, and one who is coming tomorrow and Friday, which will hopefully polish off all the big jobs, whilst I continue on with weeding, planting, decluttering and 'zhushing'.

Here is a little peek at the new house:

It is a 150 year old miner's cottage, and it is very, very tiny. We will each be able to take a suitcase, and that is about it..

But first, sell the house! But before that, paint, clean, empty and weed.. No distractions and dreaming about quaint pressed metal ceilings and darling little fireplaces..

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Rain and Pain...ting

Last Friday:
Rain, rain and more rain! After three months of dry.. dry.. hot.. bushfires.. dry and hot, we have suddenly been er, surprised, with double the average January rainfall in twenty four hours. Are we complaining? No. Except for the areas of Tasmania which are still on fire, having missed the deluge. They are pretty stroppy, as you can imagine. This is the tail end of a crazy low-pressure trough that arrived from the opposite direction to most of our weather. We had to run and shut windows on the side of the house that never gets rain blowing in. Then we all sat in a row at the front windows enjoying the lightning and thunder and fell asleep to the comfortable sound of rain drumming on the roof. Folk to the south of us, including my parents and friend Cindy had their vegie gardens shattered by huge hail stones. Weather. The great random roll of the dice..

This week has been all about Getting Rid of Things. Whether we move or not this is always a cathartic exercise. There is a new rule at our place - anyone who visits musts take something away with them. During the week we had a farewell party for The Girl and I did a quick sweep through the kitchen, piled all my excess-to-requirements kitchen equipment on the table and forbade the guests to leave until the table was empty. I must say they were all very accommodating, and I was left with only one ring pan which went into the op-shop bag. This week I took six bags of books and three bags of clothes to the op-shop, and sent mum home with two boxes of jigsaw puzzles for their local nursing home (mum has only lived here for three months, but already she is visiting old ladies at the nursing home. That's my mum for you).

Today (being Thursday): 
Absolutely exhausted. Started work this week, but also started painting Posy's room, which was atrocious, as first we had to move out fifteen years' worth of junk, priceless treasures, as her room has been the children's bedroom since the first day we moved in here in late 1999.

Somewhere I have a photo of Rosy at age one, 'helping' The Man build these bunk beds, and last weekend she actually really helped me to unbuild them, so we could paint the walls. We are donating the bunk beds to friends who have recently returned from far, far away. It is wonderful to see old friends and favourite old furniture get together.

I hate painting. It is a vile and beastly way to spend a weekend, but I am afraid it will eat up this weekend as well. Unless I think of something more fun to do.

In between working and painting I have been cleaning and tidying madly and showing diverse real estate agents through the house, which has never been so clean.. I keep stuffing items into cupboards and then losing them. There was a bit of a panic when I lost Posy's new school shirts the night before school started, and then, after working out how to set up an account on Gumtree and posting a portable CD player on there for sale, we had another panic when a buyer rang and said, "I'll be there in ten minutes," and I said doubtfully, "Well, I hope we will have it here for you. I am almost sure I remember where I put it.." Luckily Posy remembered where she had seen it because I would never have guessed that I would have stored it for safekeeping in a crate under the desk in the downstairs bedroom.. I am clearly losing my mind.

I have been again to inspect the tiny house we are interested in already passionately attached to, and then I went to the bank to see if they can let us have some money so we can buy the lovely small house before we sell our big house, because otherwise we will have nowhere to live.. Fingers crossed. I have assets but very little income. I will need to wait until next week for an answer.

As you can imagine, it has been a rather overwhelming week. In between everything else happening, the girls started their new year at school, and I started back at work as well. Last night I was so tired I fell asleep on the couch after dinner, at a quarter to seven.

On the one hand I am exhausted and overwhelmed and mightily stressed, but on the other hand I am well proud of myself. As someone who has habitually left all of this scary stuff to The Man of the House, I have outdone myself, talking to real estate agents and actually walking into the bank to negotiate a loan. I feel like quite the grown-up (although I would absolutely prefer to go to sleep now and wake up in six months in a new house with everything magically all sorted while I was asleep. Plus, I had a doctor's appointment this afternoon that I completely forgot to turn up to due to the press of other engagements. I am still working on the full 'grown-up, having-it-all-together' package..).

Tell me about your week. Tell me something small and soothing I can do to become calm and zen amid the wild welter..