Time flies

It’s six years today since Pauls mum passed away. Whilst it doesn’t seem that long ago since she died, it seems like a long, long time since I as working at the tax office. I was still working there when we came over for mums funeral.

I’m sure these past six years must be about the busiest years of my life so far. The floor was being laid in our Duncraig house extension whilst we were over here. When we went home we finished off the decorating. Shortly afterwards I took a redundancy from the tax office, then shortly afterwards sold that house and bought another closer to Alice’s.

We then bought the land at Busselton, and I found a little part time job.

Then another change of house, plus our caravan. Finally we bit the bullet and Paul retired too so as we could start our travels around Australia. We sold the unit and off we went.

Over the course of the following year we did a rather fast circuit around Australia, sold the land and bought and renovated an investment house in Tassie, plus two trips to the UK. We’re almost on our way home from our second trip, and I must say it’ll be great to get back to our caravan and our travels.

All going well, this blog should return to its original purpose, that of recording, ‘the life of Riley on wheels’. Here’s hoping we can relax into a slower pace and a less eventful life for a good while at least. Relaxing beach walks and swims, happy hours at the day’s end with fellow Grey Nomads, leisurely meandering around that big, big country of ours seeing new places and meeting new people, and also hopefully meeting up with old friends also travelling around. What a pleasure.

A week to go

A week today and we should be on our way to Hong Kong. We’ve done about as much as we can do now, I hope it’s enough.

Dad’s still getting used to things. It’ll take him a while to get used to using the communal laundry etc.

We’ve touched base with the solicitor today, and we’re going to do all the liaising in regards to the house sale, right up to the final signing of the contract. The solicitor will make a house call to get that finalised for the final sign off.

A social worker here suggested dad could have dealt with a move on his own with just the help of a removalist. Seeing what’s been involved, the mind boggles. We’ve done almost everything, and still dad seems to be walking around in a bit of a daze. To deal with it all alone would have been devastating. Although we know we’re leaving him in a better place, we’re still a little worried about leaving him at all. . But I suspect no matter how long we stay here, it’s not until we leave that he’ll find his feet in his new home. Speaking of finding his feet, I’m pleased to see he’s finally using his walking stick. That’ll make a big difference to his stability, and consequently his independence.

We’re going to try and give his kitchen a quick paint freshen up on the weekend. We have been trying to match the paint colour for a couple of spots that needed touching up. We’ve not been able to find a match though, so will give a quick one coat re-paint in the closest match we can get.

Pauls got the flu, so the last few things are really doing him in a bit. I hope he doesn’t pass it onto his dad, or me, and I hope he’s over the worst of it before we fly next Tuesday.

Australia, our home.

Tomorrow week we’ll be on the plane for Australia, all going well.

I haven’t dared think about it in case something went wrong, but all is looking good. In fact, we almost have everything done, and this week have time to spare.

Blue skies, wide roads, sunshine and relatively litter free footpaths. Australia we’ve missed you so much. Did I mention blue skies…..

We’re spending our first five nights in Melbourne where we’ll go to the Eagles/Hawthorn footie match. At footie matches in Australia the fans from both teams intermingle. I remember taken a friend to an Eagles match in Perth one day. He had just returned from a couple of years in Europe and was blown away by the friendly intermingling of fans both at the game and outside the grounds. But that’s Australia, we love our sport, but more than anything we love a laugh. Footy matches are usually places were rivalry is in a spirit of good fun.

Australia, a country of tolerance. A place where, ‘she’ll be right mate’. Australia – our home.

The home stretch

Dad moved into his new flat on Tuesday. It all happened so fast, and initially he seemed a little shell shocked. He seems be settling in now though, and says he’s sleeping better than ever.

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The house sale looks like it’ll go ahead, and our little Yaris has been sold. We’re now in a hire car until we leave, which all going well will be in only nine more days. It’s been like a whirlwind here, but we’re almost at the end now. It’s amazing what we humans are capable of when we set our minds to it. We feel like we’ve been running on adrenaline for so long now, with this house, and not so long ago, our house in Tassie. I hope we don’t collapse in a heap as soon as we get to relax again.

It’s going to feel a lot better going home leaving dad in the flat rather than rambling around in his big old house. He won’t be so isolated, and he’s closer to shops and medical facilities. It’s all strange for him, but I think he’s already feeling it’s a life change for the better.

And another good week

A busy week, but a good week.

Carpet has been laid in dad’s flat. Shelves and bathroom cabinet have been fitted, and we’ve started moving dads things in. New cooker has been fitted, and new fridge has arrived and is in place. Removalist is now booked for Tuesday to do the final move.

We’re well on the way with the declutter of the house. The laundry, which is an unusual feature of houses here was holding more than 40 years of accumulated stuff. We’ve managed to whittle it all down by at least a half including taking apart cabinets which have now been tipped. The room looks twice as big.¬†We’ve sorted through heaps of stuff in the house. I’ve lost count of how many tip and charity shop runs we’ve had.

Yesterday had the potential to go completely pear shaped. Dad had a visit from the district nurse scheduled. They won’t give a time, anytime between 9am and 5pm. Dad and Paul had an appointment at the solicitors, the oven was being delivered, and I was hoping to get some grocery shopping done for a dinner party we’re having tomorrow night. A potential buyer was coming at three to have a look at our little car. There was so much potential for everything to go wrong.

The nurse arrived early, and the oven arrived just prior to the solicitors appointment. Paul dropped me at the supermarket whilst he and dad went to the solicitors. The woman took the car for a test drive and is buying it. She’s due to pick it up later this week.

We couldn’t have timed everything better if we’d tried. We topped the day off by going to the local carvery for dinner. The last couple of times we’ve been there it’s been a bit ropey. The food was still very mediocre, but the waitress was so very,very good at her job that she made everything just that bit more tasteful. She obviously enjoys her job, and made the night an absolute pleasure.

Today the potential buyer for dads house came back with his brother for second look. I spent the morning moving things around to try and show off the houses potential. Poor dad, he’s never sold a house before so house presentation is all foreign to him. I think he was getting a little worried that if he stayed still long enough he’d either get taken to the tip or charity shop, or else he’d get washed from top to bottom with either bleach or Disenfectant.

The buyer is still keen and has an appointment with his bank on Tuesday, so by Wednesday we should know for sure. Once his finance is approved then it’ll be up to the solicitors to draw up the contract of sale. We’re hoping the exchange of contracts will have taken place before we leave on the 29th, but that’s unlikely. Solicitors here aren’t known for their speed when it comes to real estate contracts. But you never know, maybe we’ll get a pleasant surprise. Fingers crossed.

I was sure with so much going well a lotto win was on the cards. That though was just pushing it a bit to far and wasn’t to be. Never mind, I’m happy with what our good luck has delivered so far anyway. If everything continues to fall into place, we couldn’t ask for more.

A good week, including a snowman

Last time I wrote we were very unsure whether or not the decision to return to Australia was the right thing to be doing. It is, it most definitely is.

Good things have happened since my last post, really good things. An apartment became available for dad. Amazing, we’d stopped applying, so this was completely out of the blue. We had applied for this particular apartment at least a month ago. They always notify you within 48 hours if you’re successful – no luck. But the person who had been successful suddenly changed her mind. As part of our soul searching before we made our hard decision to return we had door knocked all of the providers of the supported accommodation complexes, and must have left an imprint at this one. Left us all a bit shell shocked.

Next, knowing we have to get his house sold, we made an appointment for a real estate agent to value the house this coming Tuesday. With only a few days to prepare we’ve gone into head down, bum up mode, full steam ahead, at the big tidy of house and garden. Whilst mulching the front garden I took time out to notify the next door neighbour that dad would be moving and we were preparing the house for sale. She notified a friend that she thought might be interested. He’s looked, and I think he’s going to buy it. It’ll be a win/win for us all if he does. He’ll get the house for a good price, and we’ll get a quick sale. I hope I’m not counting my chickens too soon… Should think we’ll know for sure by the end of the week.

It’s such a relief to know we’ll be going home leaving dad still living independently but with the support he needs. I think he’ll do well in a new environment. A fresh start to give him renewed zest for living.

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That’s not all though. The weather turned, finally the rain stopped and the snow started, a really good fall. I built my first snowman.

And since the snow stopped, the sun has been Shining. A good week.