Life is a dirt highway

Apr 2, 2013 by glennji

Lots of work for Dee and I this month. I’m in Sydney every week until the end of the month, by which time we hope we’ve got our own place over here and we can just do the move. My deployment here is going pretty well, in that I don’t feel like I’m drowning quite so much (except for the weather — lots of rain this morning, and looking that way for the rest of the week), but there is at least some chance that I’ll be working back in Canberra sooner or later — so the travel may not end just yet. Shame it’s not somewhere more interesting (although I do like Sydney).

So naturally I switched off the laptop and phone on Good Friday, determined to spend the long weekend at home with Dee and Jules with no cyber-augmentation or connectivity. Dee had other ideas, about the location at least, and had been looking for a place for us to get away for the weekend — and at the last minute she found the farm-stay at Neriga. Perfect for Lucy, as you may have seen on Facebook. Less perfect for us but still good: the whole place is on solar power, so our “tea and coffee making facilities” were a camp-stove on the verandah (very cool). A tiny (!!) little cottage on 2000 acres of mostly bushland, and an owner-farmer with an interesting history and pretty good cooking! There was one other couple, so we even had grown-up conversation one night (we brought Jules’ crib up to the main house so he could snooze and we could enjoy a glass of wine or 7). The next night I put the fire on (and then turned it immediately down when it was waaaaay too hot) and collected dinner from the house, navigating the tricky path with a torch.

Relaxing, in other words. Jules had fun walking around the place with us, but it wasn’t somewhere you could take your eyes off him for a minute! Also glad we got the Jeep back, since it was at least 15km of dirt roads to get to the farm — not to mention the dirt “highway” between Neriga and Braidwood, the next town over. Even the bitumened parts of the road were pretty rough. “Les wouldn’t stand for this,” condemned Dee.

We’ve decided to put Baker Street back up for sale too: we’ve had a valuation done, and if we can achieve the high-end of the suggested price scale we’ll be able to pay off the mortgage, pay off our not-insignificant tax debt, and maybe have some left over for a holiday and/or the start of a new deposit. We still have tenants in the house so we don’t need to rush, but we also know these things take a loooooooong time. It was great to hear that Dee’s renovation work has added some value. (“What about that aerial? Add any value?” “I dug a hole, Dad!”) We’re a little disappointed we weren’t able to finish the place up the way we wanted, but getting it off the books (and us back into black) will be a great psychological relief.

Slowly getting ourselves together, but still some way to go. Really hoping we can find a great place to rent in Sydney for a couple of years, settle in and dig some roots. But we still haven’t found “home” yet!!!

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