January has been HOT, one of the hottest I can remember. Many days over 40C and until mid-January – no rain. Then some good rain, but we could do with more, and now I’m watching the grass grow like crazy.
I try not to travel in Jan. because it is the major holiday time in Australia when many people take their 3-4 weeks annual leave (it is 5 weeks of school holidays too) and all head to the coast somewhere. Traffic is bad as many of these people only drive long distances at this time of the year and the traffic tends to hang up easily.
Anyway, I drove to Maleny, Q. for a couple of days to catch up with a friend and managed to miss the worst traffic. Then down to Sydney for a quick weekend for my grandson’s 10th birthday. You only change into double figures once in your lifetime – so a momentous occasion.
Lots of the usual mowing (now the grass/weeds are growing), brushcutting and weeding, etc. outside in the early mornings before the heat and then time spent on the computer learning more Photoshop and trying hard to cull more of my photos. Then when the computer gets too hot, I’d generally take that as a tip to find a cooler place at the other side of the house and read or sleep until evening. I don’t have AirCon. only ceiling fans and on these 40+ days (that’s 104F) it gets quite hot inside even though I shut the house up – lord knows what the temperature gets to outside in the sun. I’m just thankful I don’t have the other property to maintain as well now.
So a fairly laid back January. But starting tomorrow 4th Feb. I drive to Brisbane to start a trip to Japan for 4 weeks with World Photo Adventures my favourite photo tour people. As I’ve rarely been to SE Asia and it was a long time ago, and never been to Japan I’m looking forward to this trip immensely. It will be COLD, very COLD as temps in Hokkiado are around -14 to -2 each day on average, a big difference to home right now.
I will try and post in Japan though it may be a bit haphazard as I’m not sure where we’ll get internet particularly on Hokkiado.
As usual I welcome any thoughts or comments on this my journey to change my life and all the challenges that brings. Come back on the first Friday next month to see what I’ve been doing (in Japan all that time actually 🙂 and whether the house block has sold and where I’m headed to next.
Finally sold the other block of 340 acres, the locked chains on the gates came off the day before Xmas when we exchanged contracts. New locks were on before the day was out, but I haven’t sighted the owners yet! Maybe they came put their own locks on and left! It is such a relief not to have to keep maintaining this property. Now to hope the home block sells quickly.
SOLD – the vacant block (only 320acres) that surrounds my battle-axe block the house sits on. Not quite as much as I would have liked but isn’t that what everyone says? But it is SOLD!!!!! Well the deposit has been put down and they want to settle before Xmas – so do I.
Now an adjustment of the price of the house block (another 300+ acres) and hopefully this will sell soon too. I can’t tell you how much relief it is to finally have one of the titles sold. The maintenance of that other block was getting to be expensive since I can no longer enjoy it and yet had to slash it every 4-6 months (fire hazard) and pay Council Rates plus repair any broken fences.
I had to laugh though, the enquiry for the sale came whilst I was out at Copeton Dam for 6 days. There is no internet reception out there unless you go up to the office and even then it is sporadic. Try talking to an estate agent and conveyancer and make sense of what was being said was not easy. Then I was on the road for the next 10 days in The Little House with Flair. We got it sorted, finally!
Really haven’t been able to settle since I got back from Alaska in mid Sept. so took off again mid Nov. for Copeton Dam south of Inverell, NSW. An isolated dam in beautiful bush country where you can camp with no facilities or have a powered site. I chose the power as it was going to get in the high 30C while I was there. Even though The Little House is small I do have an air conditioner. At my age I like my creature comforts and that is a major one for me while travelling. Sunrise and sunset across the dam waters is a favourite of mine. Flair loved barking at all the kangaroos and wallabies until by the sixth day she just didn’t bother! There were too many of them.
Then on to Sydney to see the kids and grandkids. I now stay out of Sydney at a caravan park right on the ocean at Toowoon Bay. It’s only an hours drive to Sydney and I can walk Flair on the beach before we leave for the day in Sydney and when we get back again. The best of everything. A couple of days there and then off again to Scotts Head which is fast becoming a favourite. Beautiful long beaches, craggy headlands, small village, lovely caravan park and out of holiday time relatively quiet.
We only arrived home again yesterday, and already life is filling up my days again. I welcome any comments on this my journey to change from a rural property to something else?? and the challenges it brings. One property sold, one to go! Come back on the first Friday next month (OMG it will be the new year!) and see what has happened and what we have been doing over the holiday period.
Life has been very busy since I did the last First Friday post back in June. Nearly a month in Mongolia with a photographic group in June saw me arrive home on the first Friday of July with too much else to sort out to even find head space for a post. This post just squeaks in before I leave on Monday for a big Alaska Adventure, photographic again.
Wow, another first Friday already. I nearly missed this one. I have a big trip coming up and have been busy organising everything for the house/dog sitter, plus working on getting my photos processed and creating more photo books of my recent trips. I’ve also had a trip to Sydney to see the kids and grandkids and been through the sheds pulling out things that I’ve kept ‘just in case’ but in reality will never use, particularly when I move from living on a property. When you live on property you have sheds or shedding not garages. Then all that had to be taken into town for the big annual Council clean-up.
The three new rooms are finally sorted out and more patchwork fabric given away. I’ve organised to take the large pieces and bolts of fabric to my old patchwork Group to sell for a nominal price in July, that will give me some petrol money at least 🙂 I finally feel like I’m making a dint in my stuff and that it’s possible to whittle things down further. The less material stuff I have the lighter I feel, and the more attainable is my vision of moving to a simpler lifestyle. I still need someone to buy the property 🙂
Although I have loved my time here, and still love the home I built and the property, today I’ve been getting in the firewood for when I’m away and found it difficult. More difficult than even last year. The chainsawing of the logs into lengths is OK but using the log-splitter to make firewood is very hard on my hands these days. Just need to pace myself on this job, and that’s not something I’m very good at.
It’s been a busy month with a fabulous trip coming up for nearly all of June, more on that next month. I welcome comments on this my journey to change where and how I live and the challenges I’m facing. Come back on the first Friday next month to see where I went on my trip, though if I can I’ll be posting images along the way so it won’t be a surprise by then.