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.
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.
It’s been quite a month! There has been absolutely no interest in the property since January so I bit the bullet and had my huge 8m square studio divided into 3 large rooms. On and off for three weeks I had carpenters, plasterers and painters doing their thing to make it all match in with the existing house. This will hopefully move the house into a different set of buyers – a 3 bedroom house compared to the one bedroom house that it was originally. I’m also going to list it with all the real estate agents in town to get a wider spread, that will hopefully happen this month.
The studio served me really well when I was teaching and creating patchwork quilts. I had the floor where I could lay out a 3m square quilt top to prepare it for quilting. Not many houses have that sort of space! Since I am no longer quilting (yes the fabric and threads are gradually going) I no longer need that huge space – hence the 3 rooms from one. Two bedrooms and one larger study/playroom/office.
As soon as the workmen finished I upended my round Parker dinning table into the trailer, tied it in, covered it with tarps as it looked like rain, and the next morning drove to Maleny where my friend is now living. Nearly 7 hours and a couple of rain showers later Flair and I arrived. Quickly moved the table into the new home with only a few water marks and settled in for a few days visit. It rained on and off the whole time!!! But as you do with friends, we talked, walked Flair when we could, ate, hung a few large pictures on the walls, went to a big woodworking Expo in the local showground and generally caught up with each others lives.
So although I’ve been home most of the month, nothing much has been culled from my life/possessions, with the workmen here all I did was move things from one place to another and cover them with sheets so the workmen could ‘work’. A hectic month coming up (May) with a trip to Sydney, a lot of photos to sort through for another book, and more learning from videos for the Photoshop Artistry Course and the AWAKE Course.
Any comments are appreciated and come back on the first Friday next month to see what I’ve been doing and where I’m heading in this journey I’m undertaking to Change and the Challenges I’m facing.
The beginning of November and so much has happened and yet so little! The house/property has had very little interest since going back on the market in September so I’m beginning to think I’ll be here for a while. All I need is the one person who loves it 🙂 So I’m just doing the maintenance around the place and getting on with life as I see it panning out for the next little while. Because I can no longer walk easily over the rough ground it make it very hard for me to do any real work and I no longer have my heart in doing the work, because I can’t 😦 The main reason for selling up and moving on.
Otherwise I had a very busy month in October. We (Flair and I) had 3 nights at Arrawarra Beach in ‘The Little House’, literally the caravan park was right on the beach. Beautiful beach and headland and although the sunrises weren’t spectacular the light in early morning was.
A couple of weeks at home sorting through more stuff and donating a bootload of quilt tops and historical quilting books to the Queensland Quilters Guild. I’ve also decided I will never finish a lot of the quilt tops I still like and have kept, so am getting a professional ‘long arm’ quilter to quilt them for me. Then at least they will be finished and useable and I can give them away to family and friends as I like.
The last week of October I had a photo workshop with World Photo Adventures at Lamington National Park. Brilliant! It is a wonderful world heritage area of rainforest and birds and waterfalls at the end of a long narrow winding road (single lane in parts) up to the top of a mountain. It feels like a bit of an initiation just getting there 🙂 I attended the same workshop 2 years ago as my first introduction to World Photo Adventures to find out what the people who ran it were like. I’ve now been on many of their Tours and Workshops and I could see on this latest workshop to Lamington just how far my photography has improved and my knowledge of Lightroom has gone from zero to competent. It was a wonderful week, and I am posting some of the shots on the Blog in the next week or so.
Although nothing is happening with selling the property as yet, I am quite content that someone will come along, sometime. I am loving getting away and travelling to new places with new outlooks and taking Flair with me. So that seems to be the pattern for the next little while. I would love to hear your comments on my journey and the big step to sell up, and do come back next month on the first Friday to see what we have done and where we have been and where we are heading.
It was in June 2014 that I started the First Friday – Change and Challenge posting to keep track of my thoughts, ideas and the way I wanted to change my life. See the first post here. A whole year has past, changes have been made, stuff has been given, thrown out or sold, with still more to be done BUT the property hasn’t sold and real estate in the country is at a standstill. So I’ve taken it off the market until August when I’ll try again with a different price tag.
Nothing much to report this month. I was away until the 17 May on a fantastic Kimberley Cruise organised by World Photo Adventures. I still don’t think I’ve properly come back from there yet. I’ve shuffled photos around and played with processing in Lightroom for this Blog but apart from that and a bit of work around the property no major decluttering or simplifying my lifestyle.
The main news is about Flair, my Kelpie dog, who hurt her paw 2 days ago, not sure what happened, think she chased a ‘roo through the fence. Anyway as is always the case when something happens, we were furthest away from home (about 1 km) and she had to learn pretty fast how to walk on 3 legs to get home. It’s swollen and sore though the vet yesterday said we’d leave it a few days and see if anti inflamitories and rest would start the mending process. Otherwise it’s X-rays to see if there’s a broken bone. It is hard with an animal to know what is for the best and she keeps coming to me to ‘fix it’ as I always ‘fix’ everything else. We could be lucky, she seems to be putting her foot to the ground more as of this evening, so I’ll see what the vet says tomorrow morning (Friday).
Looking ahead – I pick up the new caravan (A’Liner) sometime this month and will take it on a week or more’s shake down trip, I’m really looking forward to being on the road again. And more reducing of stuff and cleaning and tidying up around the property before it goes back on the market. I’m finding it hard to get stuck into things at present as the first really cold weather of winter has struck and I just want to hibernate. Cold weather and I don’t do very well together and the house is only heated by an open fire which I light at night and it has gone out by morning – brrrrr.
I have slowiy moving forward over the past year, but at present it feels like I’m stuck in quicksand 🙂 I welcome any comments or thoughts on my journey so far and hope you’ll come back on the first Friday of next month to see how I’ve fared.
It’s been a very busy month. Disaster struck when I lost the link to a large number of my photos in Lightroom. Suffice to say I now have most relinked and only 126 still missing 😦 I then decided to really prune the number of images I keep and that has taken up a lot of time. I have deleted heaps but still have a long way to go.
Then I sold my large framed quilting machine that I’ve had for a number of years and hardly used. With only 2 weeks before I lost it forever I decided to try and get some quilt tops quilted and finished. That incentive had me at the machine most days and I’m pleased to say I finished 4 very large quilts that otherwise would have languished on the shelf for more years or be given away for someone else to quilt and finish.
The 3 cupboards I emptied last month have gone to a good home along with one bookcase. So a bit more headway there. You’re probably tired of hearing me say ‘I’ve got rid of more stuff’ – but I have – more books gone, more fabric gone and most of the teapot collection gone.
The property is off the market for the next 2 months. I was hoping for a quick sale, which hasn’t happened and I’ve only had one lot of possible buyers in 5 months. So time to reassess. I’ll put it back on the market in July in a different price range (more in line with what it’s worth) and be prepared to sit and wait for the right person. The higher price will also cover me for the added expenses that will crop up during that time.
Looking ahead, the month of May will be very different. I’ll be in Broome, Western Australia at lunch time today – three plane flights and two days and I’m still in Australia!!!! The big adventure starts tomorrow, I’ve have more on that in tomorrows post 🙂
Then at the end of May I pick up my new A’Van camper and take it on a shake-down trip to get familiar with all the new gizmos and gadgets that have been added since I bought my first A’Van 15 years ago. So a busy month ahead but not much of it at home.
I am scheduling a few posts for the next couple of days but from then on I will be out of mobile and internet contact for nearly 2 weeks. So will be unable to reply to any comments but do come back on the First Friday next month and see what has been happening and where I’l
Another month has flown by and still no buyers for the property. I’ve ramped up the purging of stuff and although I didn’t get a ‘skip’ (commercial rubbish bin) I’ve been busy taking utefuls of old “should have been thrown out ages ago stuff” to the tip. A ute is an Australian term for a 4X4 with a tray back that can be open or have a canopy to enclose it, mine has a canopy which means I can pack the stuff in really tightly for the trips to the tip.
Although I’ve been giving, throwing and selling stuff for months now, I still seem to have heaps more to go through. Where did it all come from and the money I’ve spent over the years!!!!!!! It’s quite frightening on both counts. Obviously give me the space and I’ll fill it 🙂
I’ve taken another step towards moving and changing my lifestyle, I’ve put a deposit on a new A’Van – one of those caravans with the A’line roof that tows like a box trailer. Will be ready by the end of May. My last one was the smallest there is at 6 foot x 8 foot internal measurements, this one is three foot longer as I now have a dog and on wet days, wet dog doesn’t fit too well in that sort of space. It has been an interesting process to discover that now I can no longer look after my property properly or walk and enjoy it’s beauty as much, I have got itchy feet again and long to be going places and travelling just for the sake of being on the journey. The last nearly 3 years have obviously thrown me in a loop of negativity about what to do, so much so that I couldn’t do anything. Now it’s good to be looking at the positives and what I still can do that I enjoy and have the dog with me.
So now a renewed critical look at ‘Stuff’, mainly all the patchwork fabrics and notions I accumulated over 30 years of freelance teaching around the world. In the past 2 months I have found 7 groups of quilters who make quilts for various charities and welcome the fabrics I have to offer. A big relief to know it is being used to help those who have fallen on hard times. Three of the 3 foot x 6 foot cupboards emptied, only 8 more to go, and that’s just the fabric! But it’s the mind change that is making the difference in how I see things.
Any constructive comments are welcome and do come back on the first Friday of next month to see what has been happening and where I’m heading in this challenging journey.
As I sit in my living area looking out at the ever changing sky, I wonder what my new home will be like? It’s rather an idle thought at present. The property has been on the market for two whole months now and no-one, I repeat no-one has even enquired about it! The cities in Australia might be making chart topping sales but the country towns and rural areas are selling way below cost if at all. Doom and Gloom 😦
I love where I live but growing older with injuries requires a move closer to facilities and people. A fact of life, I’m not giving up on living the life I choose to live, just changing positions so to speak.
From here I look out the doors/windows (floor to nearly ceiling glass on three sides) of my living area and marvel at the beauty of nature. The sky predominates. I can see the sunrise and sunset; the fog in the valleys in winter and the mists rising after rain in the hot summer; the clouds racing across the sky heralding a change in the weather or a violent storm; the moon and stars with no city glow; the clear blue of a cloudless sky beaten only by the layers of colour as the sun rises or sets in that cloudless sky and the ever changing shapes and colours of the clouds. I love watching the changes in angle of the sunrise and sunset from summer solstice to winter solstice and back again – I think it’s about 45 degrees here, the different light it brings to the trees and hills. And all this without moving from my chair, well I do ’cause everyday is unique and I need to capture a part of that sky. I have more sky images in a gallery below.
I will miss this sky scenery and this house I designed in the bush. I do not know where I’m going – lots of possibilities but certain restrictions also. Just browsing the internet, finding suburbs and towns I’ve never heard of and generally biding my time until I have a definite buyer.
I haven’t been idle either – the sheds show a distinct tidiness and any big items left are tagged with whom they are being kept for. The ‘photos not yet in albums’ (these are the boxes of printed photos from the last 30 years) are still being severely pruned, but OMG some of those shots of the kids and family !!! Worth keeping 🙂
This First Friday’s post sees me on Lady Elliot Island, a small coral island off the east coast of Australia. I’m here for a week’s photo workshop with Word Photo Adventures and their guest photographer, Freeman Patterson whose work I’ve admired for numerous years. No internet, no phone, only immersing myself in photos and new ideas in a tropical paradise. So no post for the next 10 days at least.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this months Change and Challenge post and will reply when I get back to the real world 🙂 A Gallery of sky images below, taken on the paving outside my living area.
The first Friday of a brand new year, 2015!
I wonder what the year will bring? Six months ago when I started my First Friday – Change and Challenge posts I was full of the new changes I was going to make in my life and the challenges they would bring. Now the reality has come with the actual selling price being set and my property finally on the market for a lot less than I had hoped for and a lot less than I have spent. The city prices in Australia may have risen significantly but rural/country prices have fallen and are still falling 😦
But as they say ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ so I’ll stay positive and wait for mine.
Some things that are going well –
*my ankle continues to feel good without the terrible pains I had mid year and I’ve decided not to go ahead with an ankle fusion in the foreseeable future
*I continue to remove ‘stuff’ from my life, 3 out of 10 bookcases totally empty and much more whittled down
*the garden and immediate couple of acres around the house are pulling back into shape quite quickly after being away
Australia just about stops for all of January – traditional holiday time for most trades people and nothing gets done, so I’ve given myself until the end of February to have everything out of the house (dumped, sold or given away) that I am not taking with me when I move. These are the so called ‘golden years’ of my life and I intend to live each moment fully with simplicity, joy and awareness where ever I may be.
Come back on the first Friday of next month to find out what has happened and where my life is at in this new year of 2015 and whether the property has sold!