I keep meaning to update the progress of our move and by the time I sit down to write I’m too exhausted. So I figure I’ll start now and if I finish it tomorrow that’s okay. I’ll do it in three sections – the trip down, time in Launceston pre-settlement and actually moving in. Otherwise it’ll be a mammoth post.
So I currently write to you from my cosy bed, in my new house! Every day since we moved in I look around and can’t quite believe we live here. This is dream home material for me, without even realising it (ie, I hadn’t been dreaming of another home when we lived in Blakehurst, but now that we’re here it’s like…what is this place? This is ours? Are you kidding me?).
This time a week ago, I was aboard the Spirit of Tasmania with Georgina. We had driven down from Sydney, via Bowral (where we had lunch at a very crowded Elephant Boy), stopping overnight at Wagga. We stopped in to have a cuppa and a wonderful, robust and encouraging chat with Jane Lister (who we used to be at church with at Wild Street before we all went our separate ways), then turned in for the night at our…serviceable motel. These cheap motels always seem to be brown. Brown walls. Brown furniture. Those same brightly patterned bedspreads (brightly patterned for the same reason RSL carpet is always brightly patterned…hides the dirt!). The proprietors were friendly enough though, and advised us to take a different route down to Melbourne the next day to avoid the apparently crazy traffic due to the Henty Machinery Field Day. A good tip!
Once we got to Melbourne and navigated our way through the confusing traffic snarls (discovering happily that my eTag worked on the toll roads), we wandered down to the water at St Kilda, had some fish bites and chips, then met up with one of G’s ex-student leaders, who was lovely. After a chat sitting in the sun, it was time to board the Spirit of Tasmania. The whole process was really smooth, apart from having to wait for a while in the boarding queue. The logistics are staggering, really, when you think about it. So many people, cars and potential for problems.
We found our little berth, put our stuff down and went to explore the ship. It’s pretty well set up. There are big TV screens all over the place and lots of comfy chairs, so you can just sit there and watch TV for hours if you want to. There’s a restaurant, bar, mini mart with snacks, cinemas, and lots of different areas to sit. Of course on a night sailing it’s just cold and dark outside, but if you went on a day sailing you’d get to stand out on the deck too. We watched TV for a while, ate and then retired to our room to read. It was all pretty steady until we got out past the heads around 10pm, then the rolling started. Thankfully it was pretty gentle, though I have heard tales of very rough crossings. I was able to sleep, then spontaneously woke up about 10 minutes before the ship wide announcement at 5:40am to get up and get ready to disembark.
Driving off the ship was pretty cool. I looked up on Google where to find good coffee in Devonport (not a requirement for G, but definitely one for me after that long trip!), and we headed to Laneway Cafe, which felt like any good Melbourne or Sydney cafe.
Rather than driving straight to the airbnb place I’d booked, we went via Grindelwald so I could show G the outside of the blue house. I was relieved to find that it still all felt as special as I’d remembered! Then we headed in to town to the airbnb place and got set up. G went to the aquatic centre for a swim while I went to the Coles around the corner to stock up on food. Then I headed off to pick up my mum and the cats from the airport!
It had only been a few days that we’d been apart but it felt like ages. It was also weird to pick mum up and know we wouldn’t be getting back on a plane and going ‘home’, but we would be setting up a new home here. It took about 45 minutes before the cats were ready to pick up, and I think they were completely traumatised because they didn’t make a peep all the way back to the cattery at Grindelwald (about 40 mins). The owner of the cattery had graciously stayed open a bit longer than usual to allow us to get there from the airport, and then we were leaving the cats again. Poor things probably had no idea what was happening.
We got back to the airbnb place much later than we’d anticipated. G had cooked a yummy dinner (chicken cacciatore in the Thermomix). We sat and watched TV for a while then crashed into bed.