English: North Sydney, Australia: CBD from the air. Taken in 2000 by Sonia Boddi-Kyle The image (taken in 2000) shows North Sydney’s high-rise commercial district from the centre facing south to Sydney CBD in the background. Sydney Opera House can be seen left of the Optus tower. Category:Images of Sydney (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So we’ve moved.
A mere bridge separates us from the city now and we’ve had to change our mindset accordingly . I’ve had to throw out almost my entire collection of co-ordinating Havaianas and replace them with sensible flats, and the teens have been forced into wearing shoes again.
Apparently the stress of moving house is up there with divorce, or gaining a kilo whilst dieting or having a Brazilian (as in being waxed downstairs, not shagging Ronaldo). And I can now concur with that.
The good news, (notice that as we are still in the early stages of the new year so my January positivity remains undiminished), is that we seem to have arrived in Spoodle Central so the (anxious) dog is walking around, tail permanently in a vertical position of spiritual happiness; like she already owns the joint. She’s so damn happy in her own ginger caramel fur that she still hasn’t realized that a) there are two yappers next door vying for ownership of her courtyard and b) we have managed to condition her (without her knowledge) to wee in the one square foot of planted border available in the courtyard.
The other good news is that the new house is bigger than I remembered from that fraught house-hunting period just prior to Christmas (when everyone else was relaxing on the beach while my brain was imploding from the stress of moving, finding schools and packing for the family trip to Europe), and so we did manage to squeeze the hire sofas and fridge through the doors. We have also discovered an eclectic choice of restaurants on our doorstep, including four Thai ones so the old man’s bowels are still protesting from the cumulative shock of three Jungle Curries in five days.
The not-so-good news is that we still have no internet connection, no functioning television (hence no Downton or Masterchef, shock, horror), nowhere to house the drier and without air conditioning, it felt like we were being baked in Pizza Hut’s hottest oven on Friday afternoon when Sydney chose to host its hottest day on record as we were unpacking and cleaning.
I am, of course, still grieving the loss of my beautiful (and long-awaited) Miele dishwasher (that sits alone, like some white elephant in our old house), which had taken me twenty years of sexual favours to attain and which has been replaced by a very sub-standard, vintage offering with a trundling rather than gliding lower rack and no lid on the tablet dispenser, (which means you just throw it in and hope for the best). Primitive. A very friendly cockroach welcomed me when I first prised opened its old food-congealed door.
Nevertheless, the family does seem to be adjusting.
Nerd Queen, still high on her results and offer from university to study Advanced Science (WTF!) is almost as ‘high’ as the spoodle now that we are living in such close proximity to the city with its abundance of libraries (who stock Jane Austen), cool shops and ‘life’, although she has somehow acquired the notion that our house is to become some sort of ‘dossing-house central’ for all her mates who still live on the Beaches.
The ADHDer has been surprisingly calm considering the fact that the world that he knew (and was only barely comfortable in) has been turned upside down within a week; even though it was primarily his needs that provoked the move.
We had a few minor tanties over the heat in his bedroom (or what he excitedly calls his ‘music studio’, the furthest humanly habitable area from our bedroom by at least 3 metres), and the fact that neither the internet and tv were working, and that it took me four hours to locate the nearest Coco Pops supplier.
But thank God for XBOX which saved the day and became the most cost-effective babysitter AGAIN, keeping him entertained and out of my hair for hours on end, whilst I spent hours offering my body (for no return so far) to both Optus and Jim’s Antenna in a bid to get SOME technology functioning before the old man hangs himself from the Harbour Bridge. Apparently, the bargaining potential of my near fifty-year-old body is nowhere near as compelling as the younger model, but Nerd Queen has quite unfairly refused to play ball, in spite of missing at least four episodes of Bones.
The old man has been the most affected by the change. Not only has he had to resort to communicating with the family due to the constraints of no accessible sport on the tv or internet, but he also received the disappointing news that we are not entitled to a parking permit due to our double garage (which would only fit a Smart car and Mini if you didn’t have to open the doors), which has caused him to practically melt down; several times. I have obviously been forced to reserve the garage space for my car, because as the ADHDer pointed out, we do have a disabled child (his words) AND I have the responsibility of carrying the vats of wine food shopping into the house.
So the old man has spent the past few days trawling the streets looking longingly for a parking space within walking distance of his very expensive city pad.
What can I say? No-one said that city living doesn’t come at a price.