Monday, August 12, 2013

Welcome Bee and Ra

I know, I know. Long time no blog. I’ve left you in suspense all these months. The last time I wrote we were weeping outside the locked gates of Eden. Did they cross Bass Strait alive? you wondered. Did they realise that they'd made a huge mistake, and do they now wish to return to the south island?

Well, yes and no. Yes, we made the move safely, all our possessions and ourselves intact. And here we are, close to our two oldest daughters and their families, ensconced in a rented cottage while across two paddocks our new house takes shape. So no, we don’t want to return.

We arrived to fanfare, goodie baskets and a welcoming committee.

The last couple of weeks back there and the first couple of weeks here were hard. I felt bruised. There was the physical work involved in sorting and packing all our possessions and then at the other end unpacking what we thought we’d need for the next twelve months, and storing the rest. But mostly it was the emotional work of closing a chapter in our lives. We’d been in Tasmania for over two decades!

I spent hours, while I should have been wrapping things in butchers paper, reading over my old journals. I burnt a lot of them. Right now I don’t completely understand why I did that and whether I’m going to be sorry later. It’s just that there were dozens, and they were full of whingeing about long-resolved problems. It seemed like I didn’t even know who that person was any more. I thought if I died (and this move felt like it might just kill me) then I didn’t want to subject anyone else to having to read that stuff. And those books took up so much room. Anyway, there are still a couple of boxes worth to go into my new study, and I'm constantly filling up new ones. It's a habit - or perhaps an addiction.

And now we love it here.

We’re here to cheer up and to cheer on, to help and to be helped, and to enjoy our daughters and their families. We are around to celebrate the small achievements and the huge ones, to bear witness to milestones. We're close to good coffee and a great community, and I'm near enough to my dad to be able to see him regularly.

It's been especially amazing to be part of the excitement of the launch of Vantastic, Kate's wonderful book.

How lucky are we? Don't answer that; I know the answer already. Very lucky indeed!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Recipe For Moving House

Take one reasonably settled existence. 

Add some hopes, some dreams, a dash of ageing. 

Throw together the past, the present, the future, some friends, some family, a pinch of mortality. 

Fold this mixture into a house full of possessions – furniture, books, china and cooking pots - and a shed full of stuff.

Wrap in butchers paper and pack in cardboard boxes. 

Pour into a 20-foot container.

Drive down the driveway, taking in all that you see

Adding slowly that this will be the last time 

Lock the padlock on the gate - with you keyless on the other side

Ship goods across Bass Strait and follow in ute.