Updates from the past week

20 12 2006

Since we accepted the offer on the house last Wed (13 Dec), things have been moving at a fair clip. The purchasers have agreed to a later settlement date (‘closing date’ for those of you in North America) of Feb 20, 2007; the building inspection was done last Friday; the bank valuation was done today; the deposit was paid today; and my other half purchased some 50 packing boxes from a removals company yesterday, as well as making calls to the cable company about what to do to get satellite when we move, etc.

I’ve been in contact with the Property Manager in Bridgetown to arrange for maintenance and repairs to be done on the investment house we’ll be living in after Feb 20, and she told me she may have found another house for the current tenant. If that’s the case, then all these things look like they may dovetail in nicely with us moving down at the end of February or thereabouts.

Oh, and somewhere in there I had a birthday, continued going to work, attended one client’s Christmas Party, and in my spare time did some work for an ad hoc client, and did quotes and draft contracts for two potentially new small clients (one to edit their geological reports, the other to do their newsletter template and edit the content), and sorted Christmas gifts!

We celebrated my birthday in style at the Bluewater Grill in Applecross. The venue was suberb – overlooking the Swan River and the city on a balmy summer’s evening (and with daylight saving the sun didn’t go down until well after 8pm); the food was fantastic (I had the grilled swordfish and a to-die-for warm fig pudding with a butterscotch sauce; hubby had the fillet steak); the service was reasonable to good; but a lovely evening was let down by a couple of small things.

First, the bar was full of Xmas party people when we arrived, so we had to have our pre-dinner drinks at the table. That was OK, except for the fact that our drinks took an age to arrive. Mojitos weren’t on the cocktail list, but I asked the waiter if they could make one – he said yes, and took the order + my husband’s beer request. And we waited, and waited, and waited… We’d also ordered a bottle of red to have with dinner and asked for it to be opened now to breathe. So there we sat – open bottle of red on the table, waiting for our pre-dinner drinks. After about 15 minutes (and asking where the drinks were) someone came over to apologise and say they “didn’t have any mint for the Mojito” (it’s a bar for heaven’s sake!!!) and would I like a “<blah>” instead. After explaining the ingredients (lots of lime!), I agreed, and asked where my husband’s beer was as he could’ve had that while we waited for my drink. So the beer came, as did my drink – eventually.

The other disappointment was the tables and chairs themselves. This is basically an outdoor venue, but plastic tables and chairs with NO covering at all was a bit too much like a cheap cafe. And the Bluewater Grill ain’t cheap! With the bare placcy tables and chairs, brick paving/concrete etc. there was nothing to absorb the sound, so even though we were outside, it was very noisy. The large umbrellas over some of the area just seemed to capture and bounce the sound around. For the price, I’d have expected cloths on the tables.

Despite all that, it was a lovely night.

The following day (Friday) I had my 2-day-a-week client’s Christmas Party. They’d chosen to go to a lawn bowling club – and it was the one around the corner from where we live! How cool was that! After last year’s experience of waiting 2+ hours for a cab that never came, I wasn’t keen on repeating that experience, so was mightily pleased that I could just walk 50m and be there. We had great fun – most of us had never bowled before, and we had a small tournament with the staff from the sister company upstairs. Lots of laughs and cheers and fun. And a bit of sunburn too!

The weekend was super hot (38C on Saturday, from memory), so I did packing and Christmas present wrapping early in the mornings, then did paid work in the air-conditioned study the rest of the day. Oh, and I purged a HEAP of clothes from the wardrobe. To give you some idea… the boot (trunk) was full! and I ended up with THREE shopping bags of wire coat hangers to give away! I thought of selling the clothes ‘on consignment’ to a recycling boutique, but they were very finicky about what they wanted – “summer dresses, current fashions (yeah, right!), strappy sandals, no skirts, no tops, no trousers”. So I decided that these good business/work clothes in good condition could go to a better home! I contacted the Belmont Clothes Library [which has now closed down], and they put me on the YWCA in Osborne Park who are setting up a similar thing for the unemployed. The whole idea of a clothes library is that unemployed people can borrow clothes for attending interviews etc. I figured my clothes would fit that market much better than the recycling boutiques! Sure, I don’t make any money on them, but they’ve gone to a good home where I hope the classic (not fashionable!) jackets, shoes, tops, trousers etc. can help someone get a job. (There was even a Louis Feraud blouse and a Giorgio Armani suit amongst the throw-outs… the recycling boutique missed out on them, ‘cos they were so finickety!)

So that prety much brings me up to date. We’re off down south for Christmas with the family (Busselton area), so I doubt I’ll be posting much/at all until early January.

Have a wonderful Christmas season wherever and however you spend it. And for those of you in North America, it’s expected to be 36C here on Christmas Day – that’s about 100F in your money!