Friday, 20 July 2012

The "Perfect" House for a homebody

(please excuse the formatting errors. I can't figure out how to sort the iPad to blogger thing...) "How'd you go?" she asked. Um. Counterclockwise. Out to the courtyard and back? Oh! I mean, "Good." I went good? Did good? It was good? I settled on, "Love the shop! The recycled teak is so gorgeous!" So far "How you going?" is my favorite colloquialism. Everyone asks me, and I have to try hard not to giggle every time since it totally catches me off guard. It feels a bit weird to be "going" again since I've discovered I am a bit of a homebody. Funny enough, I don't seem to mind home being in the far stretches of the globe, but once I'm there I like to be home quite a bit. I got a clue of this the first time Scotty and I traveled. I believe I've mentioned this before? We had planned a backpacking-through-Europe excursion after graduating from university. First clue that we were clueless? We thought we could see Europe in two weeks. Well, teaching English in Ukraine for two weeks and then traveling for two. It was going to be awesome. Just fly by the seat of our pants. Go where the wind blew us. Chill out. Adventure. I was so excited. Then I discovered I am fine flying by the seat of my pants if I know where my pants are going to rest in the evening. I need a home base. It's no wonder then that the 'home' question has torn me up a bit the last couple of weeks. House hunting is kind of insane here! We viewed 14 properties total. Ten in a Saturday marathon that saw us viewing all ten in a little under 4 hours. Each house only open for 15 minutes and some of the best places we were viewing with 20-30 other people. My understanding is that you can double and triple those numbers during the Australian summer when most of their turnover occurs! Whoa! It came down to two favorites. One with loads of natural light and a great kitchen and one with doors on all of the bedrooms that was two blocks from the beach. We heard back from the doors-on-the-bedrooms place first and went with it because places go fast and we didn't know when or if we'd hear from the other place and didn't want to be out both of them. In the end we did hear back--"our application was successful." Shoot! I obsessed and obsessed until I found out we couldn't get choice #1 anyway. Ah who am kidding? The obsessing did not stop just because we found out we couldn't have it. Then instead of obsessing about which one was better I was obsessing about whether we blew it or not. Sigh...I think it's the homebody thing. I want it to be perfect. But what the heck does perfect mean anyway? In England we did the whole house hunting/school locating marathon and viewed tons of properties and chose the "perfect" house only to have it fall through 2 weeks before we were set to leave. Our last minute seen-in-internet photos only house was just fine though it wasn't a great location and we had a break in and our car stolen and the neighbors weren't nice. Many a night I cried and cried about how bad I felt it was. I was so bummed. Then we got a lead on a little house in a village we had considered "too far" from London at first. It was without a doubt the perfect house. Crappy carpets, tiny bedrooms, mold in the bedroom, only one bathroom, perfect. Why? Because it was two doors down from the best neighbors ever who introduced us to the best group of friends ever and took us all over the local woods and areas and generally made us never want to leave. I am obsessing about location and size and natural light and kitchens and whether a master bedroom door is all THAT important (I think yes don't you?) when in my heart I know that it mostly boils down to factors I have no control over whatsoever! Deep breaths. Let it go. Open up to the crazy new fun (and hopefully new neighbors) that are on their way. It's going to be great.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Okay. So. I love it here. Yep. I've decided. It's so beautiful. Not in the English countryside way with loads of woods and farmer's fields and country pubs. Not in the Colorado outdoor mountainish adventure sort of way with hikes and skiing and biking. It's this whole other way. This the-ocean-is-right-THERE sort of way. This guys-riding-their-bikes-carrying-their-surfboards sort of way. This national-parks-with-brush-and-sandstone-rocks-and-kuckaburas-laughing-and-cockatoos-screaching sort of a way. The coffee is wicked good. The wine is yummy. The fish is so fresh. The people are lovely and friendly. Asking my name a lot (something they don't do in England!). Asking me 'How I'm going." Love that. I'm looking forward to seeing how the boys get on here. I think they're going to love, love, love it.
The talk with Kay was soothing. Standing in our tank tops. Breathing in the scent of eucalyptus and saltwater. A total stranger excitedly pointing out all the coves and beaches and bays along the seafront for me. We talked primary schools, extracurriculars, politics, the economy, and the weather. The sentences peppered heavily with the stereotypical "no worries" and "Look..." (as in "Well look, you know you're going to want a North or Northwest aspect to catch the sun and the breeze just right." or "Look, there'll be lots of mums to meet up with at school or at Little Nippas and..."). Whether it was the mom-of-four-grown-boys authority she carried or just the laid back way in which she talked I found myself obeying. Looking. And not worrying. There's just something about a walk that cures all ills. Or at least clears the head a little. Kelly taught me that. Traipsing around the English woods and farmer's fields stomping out all our worries. Today's walk was along the beach and then the cliffs and then through the scratchy brush. The briny eucalyptus smell filling my nose. The sand exfoliating the bottoms of my Birkenstocked feet. The crashing waves and the crazy new bird sounds. The gorgeous flowers and being startled by what I'm sure was only a medium sized spider by Australian standards but pretty stinking huge in my book. The more I looked, the less I worried. The less I worried the more I saw. Sea Dragons. Bright colored birds. Turquoise waves. Loads of smiles. Everyone smiles a lot here. This is going to be okay. Good even. I'm getting excited!

Monday, 9 July 2012

The blahs

Maybe I'm too tired? Maybe there's just been SO much that it's hard to think about another trip, another set of decisions, another million things on my to-do list. Maybe it's that I just did this about 5 minutes ago? Or maybe I don't want to go? Surely that's not it. I'm not sure. I actually have no idea. But it's kind of alarming me. This total sense of blasé. Surely I should at least be stoked by the moments away with my husband and a Business Class international flight?!?! Instead exhaustion reigns, and a strong case of the can-we-just-get-this-over-with-already-ies. I'm pooped. The unknown looms. My boys don't really want to go. It's completely on the other side of the world. It's going to be a ton of work. I don't know what we're going to do for school for the boys. I'm just...I'm...blah? I'm also feeling a bit embarrassed. Maybe I'm acting a bit like an entitled brat? I'm probably going to love it. Plus I'm very aware of what a blessing this is. I think mostly just need some sleep. Some time to write. To reflect. To explore a bit. Read an adult book. Have some adult conversations. Thankfully I'm about to get to do that. Phew. I need it. Going to try to locate my adventuresome mojo.