Friday, January 25, 2013

packing and unpacking

I probably ought to be packing but I'm waiting for some photos to upload to Flickr so whilst I'm at the computer I may as well be doing something useful...

I've got two lots of packing going on at the moment - firstly we're getting the house re-carpeted, all the carpeted rooms at once except the (newer) sunroom. It is probably the first time the carpets have been replaced in the best part (or worst depending on your perspective!) of 40yrs if not more. Apart from the fact that they are worn thin and thus not very insulating (nor attractive) in places they are worn out and thus not very safe either. So we've been busy packing things into bags, boxes and suitcases etc so that furniture can be moved around more easily. We're not quite sure when the carpets are going down, but I'm going away on Sunday for a fortnight hence doing what we can now whilst I'm here to help. If we end up living with empty shelves for a few weeks then so be it, the plus side of that being if we then only put half the things back the shelves will still look full rather than empty! As Granny Weatherwax would call it, that is good headology (and a lot less dusting!)

So rather obviously the other packing I should be doing is my rucksack for going away. This ought to be easier given the substantially smaller quantities involved but my trip is to Melbourne where they are currently sweltering in the mid 30s, followed by a few days most likely in the Bay of Plenty where the temperature is more likely to be anywhere in the 20s. Not quite as extreme a range as autumnal Dunedin to Kenya in the one trip last year I'll admit, but still a challenge. I guess there are always op shops if I get desperate for something I don't have.

Last time I went to Melbourne was in March 2004, after my first trip ever to Aotearoa NZ. I arrived absolutely gutted at having to leave this place behind and for the first time I experienced the strange sense of being 'homesick' for the land I'd known for only two months. I still hate flying out of the country and when sitting by a window have yet to manage it without at least a tear in my eye even if I'm only going for a short trip, it just feels wrong seeing the coastline slip away. But as with any other trip overseas it is knowing who I'm going to see at the other end that gets me on the plane.

Luckily when I get back to these shores the catching up isn't over as I'll have a few days with an old friend from (UK) uni days and then the bonus of catching up with a Wellington friend who happens to be up north on my route home. You know I could get used to this redundancy malarkey and not having to be back for work on a Monday morning!

It seems like good timing to be going to Melbourne again. Last time I arrived still not quite knowing how life, or even the rest of the year, was going to pan out - I had some ideas (like emigrate!) but no firm plans or knowing if or how I could make it work. This time I have even less idea what life holds, but know I'm heading towards people who are good for working things through with, even if in Kylie's case she's probably thinking oh no here we go again...!

Being somewhere so different last time really made me appreciate how much this land had come to mean to me, not just the people. I have some wonderful and dear friends in Australia (which is why I'm heading over!) but the land doesn't call to me at all. I don't do extreme heat very well, I prefer my land masses to be crossable by road in one or two days rather than weeks, I tend to be allergic to bitey things and I can't stand lager... I must admit though they do produce some rather nice wine. We'll just not mention the cricket though eh?

The Tom Waits song San Diego Seranade talks about needing to go away from something to see it more clearly, hopefully this trip will help with that again and who knows I may come back with some answers as a souvenier. But just to be on the safe side today I've made sure my name and phone numbers are on the kindergartens' relieving lists ready for when I get back.

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