Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Volume 7, Issue 8

Wednesday 11 May, 2011

Greetings from Penrhyn Avenue, Melbourne, site of the ancestral de Araugo family home and presided over by my mother Mary The Indomitable.

Four weeks in Melbourne have zoomed by. Not quite sure how. We seem to be eating a lot. Partly that’s because we are staying at my mother’s still. Partly its because we are resuming a life and catching up with friends, typically over a meal.

We are making progress I guess. The Poto Road sale has settled and the money is in the bank. Wring side of the ditch but we’ll get to that. Crumble’s Beemer sold quite quickly but my Merc has been hard to shift. It finally went just yesterday – so great joy on that score.

We have bought one car. Wait for it – it’s a 2002 /3 black Porsche Boxster. Rag top. Manual gear box. Yippee. I don’t think I have stopped grinning. I thought Crumble was joking when we stopped at a Porsche shop after trawling around Melbourne in search of BMW Z4s. Turns out he was serious. The drive way at Penrhyn is long, narrow, uphill and rose bush encrusted, so I have been relieved that I have been able to negotiate that successfully. And using the mirrors. I had another back episode on Good Friday so twisting is not an option for me – still.

Crumble’s transport will come from the balance of the car budget allocation. He is nobly considering unicycles as his transport mode, in an effort to make me feel guilty. It’s not working. I have been amused by Porsche reactions from members of my family, by the way. I am certainly the odd one out in the set.

We have consciously decided to rent for ourselves and continue to view Locke Street as a rental property (which we will probably be selling, but that’s another story). We have travelled probably 600km around Melbourne, looking at places we might live in. We have gradually got our act together and become clearer about the marriage between what we want and what is possible. Two cats impose some constraints and secure parking for the Porsche another with three very large pieces of Blackwood furniture completing the set of issues for us to accommodate. The furniture led us to rule out heaps of great places in South Yarra and Toorak, which was a pity. Anyway, cutting to the chase we have finished up in Kew. Still on Melways Map 45, but only just at B3! It has ticks in all the boxes except for trains /tram access. But we don’t live in a perfect world I guess. 4 Cremin Close is the address and having signed the lease we are set to move in on Monday 16 May. Next task is coming to grips with internet connection and how to achieve that speedily. The information available is soooo confusing.

The cats by the way are greatly enjoying their stay at Mary’s. It’s to do with the gas heater. Moneypenny thinks this kind of heat source is the best thing invented. She stretches out on the floor hogging the space immediately in front of it. Luxury.

The tabby from over the back fence continues to have our two bluffed by the way. James Bond in particular is very reluctant to venture outside. Moneypenny is not so bad, but she does take refuge up on the garage roof a bit. So avoiding the issue one might say. We discover that we have to get them registered with the local Council – which involves compulsory micro-chipping. That might have to wait until we have access to their vet records.

I am relieved to report that the Bunnings visits have subsided. Charles Street is now let (the cause of the multiple visits) and we have been focused on getting ourselves sorted. I suspect that when we get up to dealing with the upstairs bathroom issue at Locke Street we will become Number 1 Ticket Holders. But not yet…

Ah, the autumn sun to which I referred in the last Quake and the cotton T-shirts? Well winter approaches and Icebreakers are back on the agenda. It was nice while it lasted.

Well – that’s all for now


Dr Quake (Jill) & Dr Crumble (Neil)

Volume 7, Issue 7

Monday 25 April 2011

Greetings from Penrhyn Avenue, Melbourne, site of the ancestral de Araugo family home and presided over by my mother Mary The Indomitable. Hard to believe that the last Quake was sent from Poto Road the day before I finished up at Chilton. Seems like a lifetime ago in a number of ways and only a heartbeat back in others.

You will realize that, being in receipt of a Quake, we have sorted temporary internet access! Other contact details are:

Dr Quake (Jill) +61 48801 8797

Dr Crumble (Neil) +61 422 9191 22

With our email addresses as previously.

My last day at Chilton was a very special one. The short version of this story is that we had an absolutely fantastic whole school assembly which was a feast of music. Three girls (Azmarah in Year 6 and Mikie the Head Girl and her Deputy Lucy) spoke really well and presented me with a marvelous album, which I will treasure. In the evening there was a cocktail function for the adult groups – staff, Board, parents, Old Girls, colleagues. My 2-i-c, now Principal Elect, spoke really well and the Board Chair also. All in all it was as informal as it was possible to make it while still being “appropriate”.

Recounting logistical details, the sale of Poto went through without any real hitch in the end, with settlement on Maundy Thursday. The money is in the bank, as they say. We recovered the cost of purchase and the cost of sale, which is the good news. Lost on the perishingly poor exchange rate – but I guess that’s a case of c’est la vie. Crumble’s Beamer has sold, both beds, so it’s just my Merc to go. I am amazed it is proving so hard to shift. It is a lovely car and a great buy. I guess an indicator of the NZ economy.

Our stuff (and believe me when I say there is lots of it!) was uploaded without incident. Our program of planned red wine consumption, combined with strategic ferrying courtesy of my two trips for Leadership Victoria, saw a grog free container in the end. We were absolutely delighted of course - ha ha Mr Swan – no duty payable by these little black ducks! The shifting guys were rueful about the number of boxes of books they had to ferry up our quite steep driveway. Poor devils. Not to mention solid blackwood furniture.

Now we are on the ground in Melbourne and doing some reconnaissance on apartments/houses to rent, our resolve to down size stuff is re-affirmed. We’ve done a preliminary skirmish across a wedge of Melbourne’s suburbs from East Melbourne, St Kilda and Elwood through Elsternwick and Caulfield up as far as Balwyn and Kew. That has helped us refine our thinking a bit and we are off to see the accountant in the next day or so before really throwing ourselves into the rental fray in earnest. We start paying for storage from 2 May, so no mucking around. An issue will be that we actually need some space to get things sorted into keep or sell piles. Very tricky.

Another after Easter treat will be the Car(s) Decision. Zero, one or two? Roofless or not? Back seats or not? Stay tuned on that one!

The cats travelled over on the same plane as us and have settled in at Penrhyn Avenue pretty well after a prolonged dram at the QANTAS cargo terminal. Very unimpressive. I let them venture outside as from last Sunday and they have subsequently struggled a little to carve a niche from under the feet of the tabby from over the back fence. A small puss but feisty, and importantly, with unclipped claws. Our two are at a bit of a disadvantage in that regard and both are licking wounds currently – literally.

Some of the Quake readership will be amused to learn that since our return to Melbourne we have spent quite a lot of time at Bunnings. A bed-sit we own in St Kilda is untenanted at present and in need of some TLC. We have been painting and doing some repairs. With no power connected of course, we are confined to working only during daylight hours and pick up after ourselves by hand rather than vacuum cleaner. Very efficient! We keep on not having the tools we need (they are in the container), hence multiple trips to Bunnings. Torture. I think Crumble has been doing it deliberately!

We have been enjoying Melbourne’s autumn sun and I have worn cotton T-shirts every day since our return. Believe it or not but I have been an Icebreaker free zone!

Well – that breaks the back of getting you up to date. That’s all for now


Dr Quake (Jill) & Dr Crumble (Neil)