books, unread novels, cookbooks etc

A title on a box not to be be put in the shed. One of two boxes of books I'm allowing myself to put in the house. Not that I'm sure where there will be space. In the kitchen maybe. A whole day of packing and waiting on the phone to speak to telstra, gas, water, electricity providers and telstra again. Received the worst service ever from a customer service officer who couldn't a) tell me when the internet would go off at this end and b) when it would be connected at the new house. Despite me explaining at the outset, that manging this process with the least amount of downtime was really important to me. Obviously, he does not organise  half his life via email. Or blog. You would think that someone working for bigpond would understand that such things are important to their customers. Then he had the gall to tell me that a plan I requested didn't exist and then when I turned into the politely snarky customer from hell and starting reading the details from the bigpond website, he told me it was unavailable, and that his computer was crashing and then put me back in the queue. I was impressed. NOT. Anyway I ended up speaking with a lovely man, who explained what would happen, that I was likely to have only one day offline and that I could upgrade the plan once the move was completed as the move order prevented any further action. And that it was a really popular plan. Far more pleasant.  He took note of my comments about the previous service but just to be sure that it gets through where it should, I have complained officially. Fancy telling a customer that a popular plan didn't exist!

Anyway, moving is hell. I'd be more sentimental about leaving this place if I had time. Talking to the woman who is moving in, kind of brings it on a bit and makes me want to go through my old photos of this house and the people I've lived with here. It'd make a great moving post, for sure, but the scanner has gone and like I can be bothered. Packing is shite. I have far too much stuff. More fabric and books than I ever imagined. There is nearly a complete car load on the front verandah to go to the oppy. And boxes are piling up everywhere. I have only one more full day and two more nights of packing (and a day of work) before the truck with the burly men arrives (oh thank goodness I don't have to physically shift any of it). Eeek. But I'm strangely calm about it all. Yay for mood stabilisers. We spent the weekend finishing up the work on the house we're doing before we move in. There's still lots to do but it's so much better. The floors look lovely and I've warmed to the paint colour. I've cleaned the old paint work in the kitchen and washed all the windows.  I'm looking forward to being in our new house. And unpacking. Resting. Maybe lying on the couch reading a novel.

halfway there, but time is speeding up

Today I'm 45. Yikes. How did that happen? I still feel pretty much like the me that moved into this house nearly twenty years ago. But a few months ago, I ran into an acquaintance from university and he remarked that I had changed, and was no longer the the vibrant, colourful young woman he remembered from those days. My memory of the same me is different, I remember a certain loneliness, relationships that were doomed before they even began, the bright clothes and wayward behavior masking a terrifying social awkwardness (and possibly a nascent mood disorder). He didn't mean to be tactless or unkind so I held back the comment that formed in my head, that he hadn't changed a bit. The old me might have taken it up, been abrasive or confrontational and then proceeded to get trashed. In twenty odd years, off course things change. Sure I'm fatter, stiffer and have a few more grey hairs. But I'm also calmer, more confident, more assertive and generally happier than I was back then. And can summon a degree of authority when required. And I've been in the same job for more than a couple of years. And I have a lovely little family. None of that comes without change. Although every now and then I do get this sneaky urge to go out really late, smoke cigarettes and get really, realy trashed. But only without the early start the next day (hah!) and without the hangover (double hah!). Having my cake and eating it. All in all though, I think I quite like middle age.


We spent the day working on the house. Moving day is two weeks away and approaching like a truck on speed. I think we'll be ready. Well, we have to be ready because I've booked a truck and there are people moving in here the weekend after. Gerard kept saying it was a bummer to have to work on your birthday but actually, I quite liked it. And as I said to him, I didn't think we'd ever be in this position, you know, doing up our own house. So I feel fortunate and well loved. Like I'm doing what I'm meant to be doing and as far I'm concerned, that's a pretty good way to spend a birthday. And I got to go to the big Bunnings with the helpful staff (as opposed to the useless local Bunnings with the"I dunno" staff, who apparently are in for a big shock when they move to their new warehouse) and the Reece shop where I talked taps with a very nice young man and then on my return to the house we had take away for lunch before launching into a good afternoon's work.

The renovation itself is going through the dramas that such things do and I think I've made a few mistakes. The wall and trim colours are different to what I expected (but they're growing on me) and the wooden window sills would look better stained a darker colour and with an oil based finish. But that can be fixed later. I think our slack arsed method on the floors is going to work and that the bathroom will be finished in time. As for the packing, well can I just say that the first two weeks of this month just zoomed past in a haze of nasal congestion and other stuff and that I am now at the must pack stage. There will be some throwing of unbreakable belongings in garbage bags and boxes. And probably a good purge of things to the opshop. It will be quick and decisive. Someone at work told me that when you get really old, that time starts to pass really quickly. So much so that it might seem logical to start buying presents for next Christmas now. Which kind of makes sense in a way, because when you're three, next year seems like an eternity away. I'm in the middle, so I'm just going to have to try and hold onto the next couple of weeks and make the best possible use out of them. Which obviously means that I should try and keep away from the computer... we'll see how that goes.

not just another day at work

Work today was intense. Owing to the Melbourne Cup Day holiday on Tuesday (which I didn't get because I don't work on Tuesday), there were three days work spread over two. Endless queues of anxious, stressed,grumpy and some downright belligerent customers. I can still feel the knot in my shoulders. But it wasn't just any old double lodgement day. It was one of those important days in history and there were some big moments that transcended everything else. Like when I was on the phone to our translating service and the woman making the booking stopped mid sentence as her office broke into a big cheer, Obama's just won she said. I looked across to the waiting area in my office and all eyes were glued to the telly. A big moment indeed. I mentioned this to the customer who I was booking the interpreter for and she smiled a big smile.

   Pictures from UK Telegraph.

Later I snuck away for my break and sat in the tea room to watch Barack Obama give his acceptance speech. Looking at the faces in the crowd, I found myself tearing up. Funny how a good election result will do that to me! And on the way home tonight, a tram driver was punching the air with happiness. Not just another busy day at work.

Congratulations America!

excited mummy moment

Last week at playgroup, I sat down at the table where Grace was drawing a circle with the textas and asked her what it was going to be. I expected scary monsters, but she said, it's me, this is my head and this is my hair and it's black. I watched quietly, holding myself in (feeling this weird almost teary sort of proud, privileged moment that I might have missed seeing, this is really new and fabulous, sort of emotion) and being very excited. The playgroup teacher came over and asked Grace about her picture and Grace took us through all the components, body, eyes, ears, mouth nose, fingers, toes, legs and hair. Then she wrote her name on the side. It looks like a scribble, but there's a good attempt at a G and definitely a concept of what writing is. Now I'm not at all interested in teaching Grace to draw or write at this stage but it's thrilling seeing her come out with these things. Very sudden and most exciting.

 I'm glad I took a photo of the picture later, because Grace kept taking it off the fridge and back into her room. It was being carted around the house for a while but then when I wanted to show Nana after lunch today, it was nowhere to be seen. Lucky I have my camera and the internet!

Once again I am behind in my blogging and photos, but I expect it to become even more sporadic as moving day draws closer. Gulp. So much to do. And a website I'm building for another project to complete. Have just realised how much I love typepad after wrestling with blogger for over a week. I knew I'd have a bit of a learning curve with a new platform and some ambitious ideas but I never realised how good the typepad help is and how much I appreciate the last resort of the help ticket system (the one where a live person corresponds with you until your issue is resolved) as a opposed to a google group. Oh well, I guess that's what one pays for. And blogger does have other advantages. Like being able to use downloaded skins and customise the css without paying a premium. But why doesn't it have pages? This malarkey of having to set up a different blog or use a post as a de-facto page has evil whiskers on it. Never mind, at least if the Australian dollar sinks to such a level that typepad becomes unfeasible then I'll know a fair bit about blogger. And it is better for team blogs. There, whinge ended. Now must do some more tweaking before the energetic whirlwind that is Grace at 3 and a half arises from her nap.