Perpetual Tangent

I just know that something good is gonna happen. I don't know when, but just saying it could even make it happen.

An unexpected change in the plan

Okay, let’s face it, there wasn’t really a ‘plan’, per se, more of a general hope on my part and perhaps a bit of dread on the part of Mr Chewbacca. But we certainly didn’t expect to be moving so soon, especially interstate, and not even to Melbourne! The big move to Canberra, back to my old stomping ground, is happening in two weeks! No need to read any further, but if you want to know the story…

Let’s begin, well, somewhere logical. Things have been a bit strange for us recently. How do I explain it? I began typing out the whole story, but deleted it as I was up to 450 words and hadn’t even gotten to the actual change of plan yet. Basically, through a weird turn of events, we ended up without an income between us, buying a brand new car. We got up on a Saturday morning, early, as is inevitable with a two-year-old, and I spontaneously said, ‘let’s do a road trip to Canberra’. We wanted to give our new car a run and we hadn’t been to Canberra since before the Dude was born. So we booked a cheap hotel in the city and off we went for a night.

It was great being there again after so long, and I realised there were so many places I wanted to take my boys. It’s a great city for children, so much to do and so easy to get around (due to lack of traffic, not availability of public transport!) and we had a great time just enjoying the clean, cool air, walking under the autumn trees, playing at the park, eating pancakes. It felt comfortable. In fact we both breathed a huge sigh of relief as we drove down Northbourne Avenue into the simple, clean, empty, order of it all. Pre-child, I felt trapped and bored by it all, but it was a totally different experience as a family. Despite all the goodness, as we drove home on the Sunday afternoon, I said to Mr C that I am absolutely certain that the move to Melbourne is the way forward and although living in Canberra might be nice enough, it’s not where we need to be, and he agreed. It was so nice to have that confirmation.

Fast forward a few weeks and Mr C had come so close to getting a number of jobs but still nothing! I had begun to apply for a few jobs, but half-heartedly. Leaving the Dude would be hard and having to travel in Sydney for work even harder. God I can’t describe how much I hate Sydney! And the city is a complete toilet! I would seriously be happy never to have to see it ever again in my life. There is nothing there for me.

About two weeks ago, I got an email; the tenants who’d been living in our house in Canberra for nearly six years were moving out in a month! Within a few minutes, after completely freaking out, we realised that paying rent and the mortgage would be an impossibility, given we had no income as it was. We’d previously had an agent go through the place (it’s been rented privately this whole time, I got lucky with some lovely tenants) and he’d indicated it would need some serious smartening up before it could be rented out again. It had been renovated a bit before I bought it, but that was nearly eight years ago now. No doubt it was looking tired. We realised that renovating and paying the mortgage and our rent too was impossible and crazy. I think it was Mr C who jokingly suggested we move to Canberra and live in the place while we fix it up. I think I knew from that moment that we’d actually be doing it, but I couldn’t just say it; Mr C takes time to deal with changes like this.

After a couple of days of speaking to friends, getting some perspective, and finding ways to stop freaking out, we agreed: we’ll move to Canberra. And with that, we were excited! Of course, since then, the reality of our decision has set in. We’ll be hiring a truck and doing it ourselves – hopefully this time it won’t be covered in graffiti and six hours late (long story there) – and we have had to recruit some friends to help load and unload. In addition, we’ve discovered, as I feared, that Mr C is unlikely to get a job in Canberra because he isn’t eligible for citizenship until January. So although he’s applying, I am kind of on deck to get something. Which isn’t totally scary. I’ve applied for a few and still have more to apply for, and I actually had a phone interview, which was a surprise. I don’t think I was successful as it was two weeks ago now and I’ve not heard. But still, there is hope if I can get an interview despite not really having worked for two years.

What is totally fantastic about this move, aside from getting out of Sydney which is like a dream come true, is that the Dude will get to have a bit of time in Canberra, kid utopia and we’ll get to enjoy the second half of winter properly. No more humidity, no more mould, no more 20 degrees in the middle of winter! And despite our excitement, we are still focusing on our eventual move to Melbourne in six months. Just in time for Mr C’s 40th… I’m going to have to come up with something good to make it perfect!

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2 thoughts on “An unexpected change in the plan

  1. For some reason, your blog post didn’t update on my reader… weird… lucky you mentioned you’d blogged!

    I think Canberra is a great choice for you guys. From the sounds of things, it all fell into place as it was meant to and you’ll have a the burden of financial issues lightened!

    I’m pretty happy we came back here. Whilst I think Melbourne is a great city and some day I may live there again, I can’t imagine having my kids grow up there. Here they have a choice of really good schools, it’s easy to get around, there’s plenty of kid friendly activities and parks.

    I think you’ll also find, Canberra has changed a lot in regard to good food, cafes, arts events etc. There’s always something happening and I often feel as though I am missing out on stuff out here in the rural outskirts.

    Most importantly, both sides of the family are here (even if a couple of my sisters are floating around the US/NZ/UK). I think one of the important things I have learnt since becoming a mama, is that Anouk thrives with her extended family around. She has a variety of strong male and female role models and has a real opportunity to be a part of a large (and at times) crazy family like I was.

    Obviously experiences differ for everyone, but I figured sharing my positive outcome with you (as someone who has serious wanderlust) can only be a good thing.

    It will be a pleasure to have you back and like I mentioned via FB, the coming months will be in flux for me, but I’ll definitely find time for you guys. x

    • Thanks so much L, I am certainly excited about the move, as is Mr C, and it’s going to be perfect for the little dude. I think Canberra probably has changed a fair bit since I left, and definitely for the better, so I’m really keen to find all the new hidden gems and fun stuff. I’ve changed a lot since I left too, and not just by becoming a mum, so I’ll be seeing it through new eyes.
      I really wish we had family connections or even close friends in Canberra – there are plenty of people there that I know but as far as family goes, none. I know exactly what you mean about extended family, I wish Izzy had that, but it’s pretty much impossible unless we move back to the UK as my family is virtually non-existent. Anouk (and the one cooking!) are so lucky!
      Thanks, will be great to catch up, and keep me updated on when things start happening for you – I can actually come and visit you this time, yay! Take care, hope you make it through these last weeks comfortably and peacefully. xx

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