First night in a new house

I’m lying on a single mattress next to my sleeping baby. Son and husband are on my other side on another single mattress. There’s a table and chairs nearby, graciously brought by a new friend, but the house is more or less empty. My head aches as does my body. I still have a bit of a cold. I haven’t had any dinner.

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Luckily it’s summer here in Canada so it’s not freezing cold. It’s actually a bit like Sydney weather, high 20s and humid. We arrived at our new place today and it’s really not as great as we’d expected. There’s only so much you can tell from photos but while it has a new thermostat and faces south, the place is a bit dirty and tired. There’s some serious shoddy workmanship gone on here. But maybe that’s how houses are built in Canada. Mike Holmes didn’t build an empire on the basis of a few dodgy tradespeople it seems! There are a few things that need fixing and replacing. I think once we get some furniture in here, beds and stuff, it will feel more comfortable. At the moment it is not comfortable at all! But this is the first night.

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We arrived to a totally empty house but that was soon changed when new friends brought some beds, bedding and the dining set. We are really back to basics though. I don’t even have a pillow! Our stuff from Australia is supposed to arrive ten to 12 days after it left our house in Melbourne which was a week ago so it shouldn’t be long like this. Oh and no hot water as the gas isn’t on for some inexplicable reason.

We very nearly checked into a hotel tonight. I know Mr Chewbacca wanted to, and if I hadn’t been so utterly shattered from a near sleepless night last night due to a sick baby, I might have agreed. But it was all I could do to get her changed and lie down on this mattress and feed and fall asleep. The Dude and daddy watched Home Alone 2 on the laptop and then went to sleep on the other mattress.

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The sounds of our new place are different. The air conditioning is on although it seems excessive. There are crickets outside chirping in a very normal-sounding way. There are occasional creaks or thumps, house sounds I guess, or sounds from our neighbours whose houses are attached to ours on both sides. The occasional car sound echoes in the distance. It’s a very quiet place so far.

We met our neighbour briefly, a big, shirtless, red-faced Canadian who greeted us warmly and exuded confidence, saying he’d been living here from the beginning when these places were built. Fifteen or 20 years or so would be my guess. After introducing ourselves, we stood on the front porch and watched the rain come down in sheets. It really rains properly here. And then a few minutes later it was clear again, and humid of course.

The enormity of the task ahead of us is almost overwhelming at the moment, even despite what we’ve already achieved, packing up our entire lives in Australia, leaving so much behind, coming halfway across the world. It’s huge. I’m so tired right now that it feels like too much and I just want to go home and go to bed. But I know it’ll seem better in the morning. And this is the worst night, every night after this will be better.

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Author: curiosikat

Writer, editor, linguist, social historian...

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