Tuesday, January 22, 2008


We have officially landed at the new house. Point form is required.

1. Mouse, meet new occupant, new occupant, meet mouse. Or if preferred, utter a gutteral yelp while proclaiming to husband that "we never had to put up with any of this shit at the old place" in a moment of panic about what you've gotten yourself into.

2. First day here, I thought it'd be joyous to throw a ball to the girls in their new spacious backyard. Said backyard has two small citrus trees in the middle of it, down the back but essentially in the middle of the grassed area they can run in. What does Old Pep do? Full of gusto (and hellbent on playing keeping-off with Jazz), she sets out after the ball and in her determination to herd Miss Mena from it, looks down and smacks her head square into the lemon tree at full pelt. Out of the entire expanse of grass, she managed to clock one of just two tree trunks to be navigated. I heard the crack from metres away and promptly cringed. My urge to giggle at her stupidity quickly turned to horror as my dear old girl then took a stagger sideways and fell to her bum. She slumped into a lying position and I raced over, calling her. After a moment she did get up and walk over to meet me. But it was a walk. And she didn't bring her ball. Oh deary me. The day is nearing, I'm afraid (she is fifteen, after all, but I do hope she gets some days, weeks, months, even a year to enjoy here after the tiny cooped-up backyard she's been used to for the past ten years).

3. Fresh carpets, half the floorboards laid (made of bamboo! Bamboo floorboards, highly sustainable, harder wearing than timber.... who the hell knew?), the wall we wanted down is completely finished, patched in another door we didn't want or need. We've done stacks in the first month. Far more than I'd hoped we would have done before we moved in.

4. Yet I still cannot shake the niggling doubts that we have made a rather hasty move. Honestly, I am still in a head-spin. Feels like just a week ago, I was sitting in the living room of my home, everything in its place, garden finished, everything done. Not a thing to do. Hmmm... yes, ok. Am starting to recall the feeling of being stifled there: the neighbours who you could just feel watching you through the curtains (and then have it confirmed when someone else in the street would say something). Ick. Yes, it was time to move from there.

5. Note to self: masonite board should not, I repeat NOT, be saturated with a mop. It has a tendency to seep under the attractive linoleum and make the floor rather lumpy underfoot.
In one fell swoop, I managed to produce a horrible-feeling floor and more work for Steve when it comes time to laying the floorboards through the kitchen (so help me, that new kitchen cannot come fast enough - there are a couple of cupboards in this one that I can't even bring myself to clean... so the doors will just remain closed. With police tape over them.). He now has to most likely replace the ocean waves I've inadvertently created in the subfloor. Oh. Whoops. I swear, all I did was try to clean while he and the LGBB had ducked out for moment. I mopped the plaster dust so it would be nice and clean for Lolly to crawl about. A moment later, after stepping back into the room, I noticed a real strong "woody" smell. Got down, sniffed the floor. It was the masonite sheeting that is waiting for the floorboards to go atop. Still, it dried okay or seemed to. Then, standing that night over in the kitchen, I stated that the floor there felt decidedly more "lumpy", rather "crap". "This is lumpy and crap," I believe I said, for I can be quite the stroppy little shit if I am out of my comfort zone. And Steve confirmed then that, yes, masonite probably shouldn't be allowed to get too wet. Well, just what exactly is too wet? Four Weddings and a Funeral wet or Alice getting dunked in the Brady kids' dunking booth wet?

6. Separation anxiety to old house reaching feverpitch. Have not given this place a good chance to welcome me properly yet, we've been so busy. It'll come. It will all work out as it should. For now, the melancholia can be eased with a good coffee and ... more painting out of the insane wall to wall spearmint green old colour scheme.

7. Watched the moonrise over the hill last night. I guessed we would be able to see it, as we used to see it from our old place but it rose on the service side of the house. Here, you can see the hill from all the living areas. Stunning, the moon. Just mesmerising (heh... I am a moon baby, after all!).

8. The LGBB has no flies on her. She knows we can't convince her that her new room is even similar to her old one. For starters, it's L-shaped. That's a first. Second, (did I tell you?) she has an ensuite*. If you don't mind. And third, since when was Angel by the door? Everybody knowwwws she hangs out under the ceiling fan. But not here. For the first night, not everything was right in Lolly's world. We thought she would be okay, with most of her familiar things around her. But she freaked right out once it was lights-out time. I wandered back in and had a chat to her, like I used to when she was just a little brand new bubba in her huuuuge cot, telling her this was her "new safe room" and that all her friends, even the ones she couldn't see, were all there making her safe and comfortable. Told her where Mummy and Daddy would be and that she could call us whenever she needed to. She seemed satisfied with that and by the time I got back up to the kitchen, we saw her on the monitor having a chat to Scraps. She drifted off not long after. I missed that one: I could have saved her a freak-out perhaps. But it was very validating to know that it's not a trick, the method of treating them respectfully and letting them know what's going on. I completely forgot that it doesn't just take a lick of paint and the same curtains (I couldn't part with them, they're the ones I made for Ella so we took them and brought them here to hang) to make a child comfortable.

9. Cockatoos are funny buggers. We have one (is it the same one, though, for they all look the same) who routinely comes and hangs out on the security screen door and peers inside. First one eye, then turns his head and peers in with the other eye. Classic. Mind you, if you hate birds, especially big ones, you may just wee your pants reading this. Sorry.

* We're undecided whether it will stay (the toilet will, that's a given) because the back end of it juts into a sitting room/kitchenette that is really an extension of her bedroom and which she is already most comfortable playing in. Imagine a granny flat under the roofline of the main old cottage part of the house. That back wing, it's all hers. There is another spare room, quite a comfy little nook, but apart from that she has the run - or the crawl - of it. The family thinks it's quite humourous that such a wee person is all set up like any nagging sixteen year-old could only dream of.

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