moving house

Well, it's been a week since I got the keys to the new place... and while my initial feelings have softened a little bit (more on that once we get into the meat of the week), I'm still not really feeling this place. It's, to quote Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You, without. Exactly what it's without will become apparent as we go, but that really is the best term at present, it's without. It's definitely without many of the things I had at the old place, like more room, sensible kitchen cupboards, airflow, wall space and a decent bathroom.

And I never thought I'd say it... but I miss the planes. Mostly because I'd trade the occasional plane in for the seemingly constant stream of trucks and cars along the road outside (okay, it's a major highway, what did I expect... although to be honest for all the obsessing, I don't think I actually THOUGHT about this place all that much before I said yes.

There's also a part of me that wonders if I should have held out to hear about the place on Greenhill Road. That had it's own flaws, but storage wasn't one of them, and while it was on a major road, it was set back in the middle of the block. But of course hindsight, or alternative universe sight in this instance I guess, is 20/20

I will say that I've heard or seen even less of my neighbours (not counting on moving day) than I did at the old place. Maybe it's the road noise that covers up neighbour noise, I don't know... but at least it's quiet on that front.

Clearly this is still part of the grieving process... and hopefully once I actually get everything sorted into an actual spot and can start to experience the place as it should be, I'll feel slightly better about it. Unlike last time where either everything had a place right from the start or was unpacked very, very quickly, or was only purchased after I'd moved in and already had a specific spot in mind for it, this is much more a case of trying to rearrange what was a purpose built set of items to fit new purposes. And as at the end of this week I still have about a dozen boxes to unpack, not counting the five boxes that have artworks in them.

It's also a matter of changing every single routine I had to completely new ones (something I wasn't looking forward to during the last move, but which fortunately never actually happened)... I'll freely admit that I'm a creature of routine and habit, possibly to the case of being in a very deep but very comfortable rut (is it a rut if you don't feel like it's a rut and it's just the way you do things?), so all of this change all at once isn't something that excites me.

Also, while the walk home after work is a good substitute for the morning walk I hadn't done for quite a while now, it has lead to a giant blister on one of my toes and to be perfectly honest, it's really boring compared to the old walk. No, that's not completely true, it's not really that the other walk was more exciting, it's more that the other walk was infinitely more picturesque (and, shorter by half)... this really is an ugly walk.

I think I'll feel more human when I have functional internet again to be honest... although I feel like I really need to have unpacked most of the boxes before that happened or I'll get sucked into catching up on internets and not feel inspired to unpack stuff.

So, yeah, that's the kind of TLDNR version, the full version complete with late night dashes across town, utility failure, repeated references to stairs, a cleaning palooza of the highest order and many words of general annoyance is below for your reading pleasure.


Friday

Today has been an ongoing clusterfuck of epic proportions... most of it caused by utility companies.

I got up about as early as usual this morning, after soaking up the very last of my functional internets, I jumped in the shower, got dressed, moved a bunch of stuff from under my bed into the lounge room and then got in the car (after I got the tradie who's working on one of the other apartments in the building to move his ute... which shouldn't have been parked there anyway) and headed down to see my mechanic.

That was easy enough... give him the keys, explain the problem and I was out of there in a couple of minutes. Ma was waiting for me across the street in the car park of our regular Saturday supermarket. We headed into the supermarket to pick up some stuff for breakfast and some final cleaning supplies.

Then it was back here to try and make sense out of the detritus spread from one end of my apartment to the other. Well, after we'd eaten our breakfast anyway.

I really don't remember a lot of what we did, or in what order. I know that I really had no fucking idea what the hell I was doing at various points and I did end up doing some cleaning (which needs doing and it seemed like a good thing to do when I was otherwise clueless). Ma powered through packing various boxes like a boss, making all my kitchen leftovers disappear.

Around 10:30 or so I realised that my modem didn't have all the little lights on it like it should do. But I picked up the phone and I still seemed to have a dial tone, so I was a little confused. Then I tried calling my landline number... "this number has been disconnected". End of a motherfucking era right there... that number has been connected for the last twenty years, give or take... and now it's dead.

Anyway, that meant that I could call my ISP and get them to start the process of getting me connected again. By which I mean I could call the offshore call centre that services my ISP and have them not be as helpful as I would have liked. The main problem is that my old, local ISP got bought out by a larger company and of course the useful and cost effective plans that the old ISP had are no longer in their system. I ended up being on the phone with the guy for about 25 minutes as he tried to help me as best he could... but basically it came down to the fact that he could only do what the computer would let him do. In the space of those 25 minutes I went from an account that cost $50 with 400GB of access to an account that costs $60 with 150GB of access. Now granted I never get anywhere near using 400GB, and they doubled it at Christmas for no apparent reason from 200GB, but it's the fucking principal of the thing. Last time my ISP was bought up by another company and I had to take up a new plan it was to my benefit, not theirs. Suffice to say that I was singularly unhappy about this development. And I made it very clear to the poor call centre dude that I was unhappy. I know it's not his fault, but he is the only contact I have with the company, so he had to bear the brunt. I told him I knew it wasn't his fault... but I just needed to vent.

While I was on the phone the removal company messaged me to say they were on their way to drop off the mobile wardrobe I ordered.

It seemed to take him much longer than the half hour he said, but to be honest, I think that may have been because I was a little worked up about the whole ISP situation. But he was pretty when he finally did get here, so I forgave him (and I think he was only about five or so minutes past the time to be honest).

Like last time though I found that a large number of my coat hangers are just too damn wide for the box... and I broke about three of them, which is never fun. But I filled it up with as much stuff as I could, and like last time, everything else I'll bundle up into groups, throw a garbage bag over the coat hangers and chuck them in the back of one of the cars.

Eventually we reached that point where we had a natural break and it was around lunchtime (well, it was closer to 1pm probably), so we piled Ma's car with a bunch of plastic storage boxes and headed off to the other side of the city to pick up my keys. Did I mention in my last post that my real estate agency has an office just near my new place, however we had to go to their other office, much further away from both my current place and the new place to get them.

On the way there my mechanic called me to say that the brakes just needed a new hose, but that my two back tyres should be replaced. I'm pretty sure he'd been saying that for a while, and given that it's been over a year since my last service, I just told him to go ahead. Part of it is that I'm spending so much damn money this week, what's another chunk.

When we got to the real estate agency, getting the keys was a pretty painless process, go in, sign a couple of things, get a fucking handbook (yeah, seriously, a whole handbook, I'll have to read it later when I'm actually in the mood to absorb information) and get the multicoloured keys in the photo above.

Then we were off to my new place.

Turns out there actually are parking spaces out the front of the building, so that's going to be useful tomorrow and ongoingly... depending on when they're not full of other people's cars to be honest.

And the parking space I have in the block could not actually be any further away from my apartment... like there is no physical way for it to be further away.

But I finally got to set foot into my new apartment (since it became mine I mean, I'm not really counting the open inspection)... and I'm not going to beat around the bush, currently I hate everything about it. I hate the windows (they're hard to open, there's a window that doesn't open at all, some of them have stupid locks I'm rarely going to use, one of them doesn't have a flyscreen and has actually been screwed shut for some unknown reason and the kitchen window inexplicably has curtains that are about fifty times too long), I hate the blinds (the cords are all tangled and I was having trouble trying to open them), I hate the fact that shit was left behind in the apartment when it's supposed to be emptied out (and why am I the only moron who ever actually empties stuff out of a place when I leave?). I hate the giant stove that is completely pointless for a small one bedroom apartment and was clearly bought cheap because it makes no sense. I hate all of the kitchen cupboards which are either painfully skinny, painfully tall or otherwise painful, with far too many fucking shelves in them.

The one saving grace is the fact that while I have no memory of a wardrobe and none of the photos showed a wardrobe (a little bit like the phantom airconditioner to be honest), there's actually a built in robe behind the bedroom door that looks like it will have more than enough space for my clothes. And that means the crappy IKEA wardrobes in the pointless space between the bedroom and bathroom can actually be used as a linen closet and a broom cupboard respectively. So at least that's a plus. Means that I don't have to buy a wardrobe... a chest of drawers to house underwear and socks and all the other detritus I had in the old house, but not a wardrobe.

I really have no idea how the fuck I missed that though... clearly I really wasn't paying attention when I was there the first time. And it's mirrored and everything... so it's not fucking subtle.

Anyway, after we'd schlepped all the boxes up into the apartment, we decided to grab some lunch at Burnside Village. That's kind of when the wheels fell off the whole day.

As we headed past the letterboxes I decided to check and see if there was anything in there... thinking there wouldn't be. Turns out there was... a card from SA Power Networks saying that they'd tried to connect my electricity but couldn't because they couldn't get to the switch box. So that's an issue... it means I have no power, and I move in tomorrow.

While Ma was ordering lunch I sat down and called Origin... long boring conversation ensued. And then I called the stupid SAPN people myself to see if I could get some kind of resolution. The short version of the very dumb story is that they "legally" need to see the switch box before they can turn on the power. Which is so fucking dumb. But of course they can't just say "we'll get a guy out between time A and time B", no, it's essentially "you have to be there between 9am and 6pm".

I did work out a slight compromise in that they're supposed to call me about half an hour before the guy rocks up so that I can get in my car and go screaming down the road to get there before he arrives so that I can let him look at the fucking main switch for all of five seconds (I'm guessing). And there's no other fucking way to do that other than to waste what could be an entire day waiting for him to show up. Plus because I want them to connect the damn electricity today... actually tonight, it's going to cost me an extra $50 and it could be any point between about now (7:30pm) and midnight.
make the comparison to the current place and say that when I moved in here it was all so much simpler and I didn't have any problems at all. But that's both true and completely untrue... I had power and gas, yes, because they were still connected... but then I had to jump through all kinds of hoops to get an actual electricity account sorted out, and I had no idea until the end of my first week that I even had a separate account for my gas hot water. However part of me would take that over this current situation any day of the week. And if for whatever reason things don't work out today, I honestly don't know what the fuck I'm going to do... do I just come back here to steal power? I honestly don't know.
Which I think is why I'm back to that feeling where I just want to burst into tears at a moment's notice. I hate the first look of the apartment, and because of stupid and arbitrary rules that have nothing to do with me and that I do not give a single shit about, I may not have any power when I move in.

Gas appears to be fine, I'm guessing the phone is fine although I haven't taken the handset to the new place to check yet, but it rings when you call it, so I'm guessing its okay. It's just I have no damn power.

Hopefully the guy calls me soonish (or to be honest at all), and that he gives me enough time to actually get there, and while it's a pain to have to drive all the way to the new place for such a small thing, that I actually have power tomorrow.

All of this took me just under half an hour on the phone (thank fuck I don't normally use a lot of my 600 minutes as part of my phone plan, because I've used a ton of them today), at which point I was so fucking angry about the whole damn situation.

And while I was on the phone I got a message from the mechanic to say that the car was ready, so we headed over to pick up my car with now functional brakes and two new tyres. That cost me the princely sum of $660, just under $200 of which was new tyres... so fuck that for a game of skittles. But it had to be done. I just wish it didn't have to be done this week.

Ma dropped me off at the mechanic and I followed once I was done.

When we got back we started the final stretch of packing... but that's when the combination of there not being a ton left to do and my total lack of care factor about life in general really kicked in. So I ended up cleaning the stove some, and bits of the kitchen and then eventually I went outside and washed down the kitchen windows and the windowsill and wiped down the door... not that I really needed to, but it felt good to do something at least nominally productive.

And if I do it now, it means less that Ma ends up doing tomorrow while I'm driving between the two apartments (or that we end up doing together tomorrow).

Once we'd essentially done everything we could, Ma had a rest in the one free chair to watch the end of the DVD I had playing and I sat on the floor in front of the chair... and I honestly had to fight back tears. Yes, it's probably for the same reason that I burst into tears during the last move because I couldn't find a folder of paperwork... it's mostly that post adrenaline crash and a general inability to process what's going on in my brain any other way.

After the movie was over we did some last minute organisation, and then filled up Ma's car with everything that she was taking away before she headed off into the night... well, the afternoon. And now I'm just sitting here with no internet waiting for a phone call that will hopefully come sooner rather than later. And if it doesn't, I honestly don't know what the fuck I'm going to do.

To be continued...

10:30pm

I just came back from a run to the new place... partly because I wanted to check to see if the electricity guy had already been and hadn't called me, mostly because it was better for my mental health than staring intently at the phone willing it to ring.

The run was pretty damn easy, even if it does take me through that most hated of all Adelaide landmarks, the Britannica Roundabout... granted the roundabout is not as bad now as it once was, but it's still pretty complicated. I didn't pay complete attention to how long the run too, but it didn't feel that long all things considered.

He hadn't been, thankfully, but that means that I'm still waiting for him and will have to continue to wait until midnight, at which point I will give up, go to bed and call people to abuse them tomorrow.

I dropped the few bits and pieces I'd taken with me off, and sat around on the floor for a little while. Had I had electricity there may have been a point to sticking around, as it stood, not so much. I did happen to see the neighbour in the building next door... and wow, I need some appropriate length curtains for that kitchen window pretty damn fast, he's not only some sort of crazy hoarder man, he just looks batshit crazy. Hopefully he's the quiet kind of batshit.

But for now I continue to wait...

1:00am

Yes, you read that right... one o'clock in the morning.

I gave up the wait at around quarter to twelve, assuming that if the dude supposedly works until midnight, and that I'd paid extra to make sure he showed up on Friday, then anything after midnight was officially not going to happen.

And technically he didn't call me on Friday. He called me at about 12:03am, just after I'd fallen asleep, so I was woken with a start and was pretty unaware of what the hell was happening, but was paying enough attention to tell him that I was at the old house, not the new one and that I would meet him there. I then threw on some clothes and drove like the devil between the two houses.

Thankfully the traffic was pretty light after midnight (no kidding!), and I caught most of the lights. He still beat me there, but fortunately he was just coming down the stairs, I'm guessing from knocking on my door, as I walked up to the block.

Now, I fully understand that the "requirement" for them to check the meter box is so that they know the power is off, so they don't electrocute themselves (I'm guessing anyway)... however the guy came in, looked at the switch that I'd turned off earlier in the day, just looked. Didn't touch it, nothing. Then he went downstairs and did whatever it is that power company guys to do connect power, then told me it was all ready to go, I flicked the main switch on, and I had the electricity.

He was here for a grand total of maybe five minutes if that. And the fact that he couldn't have damn well done that without me needing to be there is beyond stupid.

But for better or for worse it does mean I have power and won't be sitting around in the dark the after moving in.

I then proceeded to poke around the apartment, switch all the lights off (given that they were all on for some reason), was unimpressed with the fact that the light in the bathroom turns the fan on as well, and there's no way to switch on just the fan... even using the switch marked "fan". I also had a brief attempt at setting the clock on the oven, which is a distressingly large (like industrial sized, cooking for a family of 16 or a professional grade kitchen kind of large) oven, which was largely unsuccessful... I'm going to need to Google the instruction manual for both that and the air conditioner when I get to work on Tuesday.

At the end of all that I was both incredibly hyped up on adrenaline and as I drove home I found that I was suddenly completely starving. I hadn't wanted to go and get any food (since everything I own is packed at this point) since I figured that as soon as I left the house the electricity guy would call and I'd have to abandon said food, and may not even get back to my place in time to make it to the new place in time. If I'd known then what I know now, I would have gotten food. However I didn't, and the general worry made me not even feel hungry. Once the situation was sorted I was suddenly starving.

So I did what I was going to do originally and called into the North Adelaide Burger Bar to pick up a schnitzel pack (yeah, I know, but they're damn tasty and it's potentially my very last one for the foreseeable future. Being there around 1am with all the usual late night clientele was interesting, although to be honest not THAT different from their usual clientele.

That all meant that by the time I'd eaten and let me food settle a little it was after 2am... so yeah, that was a horrible plan the night before moving house.

Saturday - Moving Day

Well, having about four hours sleep was really NOT the way I wanted to start moving day... but it is what it is...

Once I got up I kind of pottered about a bit looking at the crap everywhere in the apartment before I had a quick shower and then starting unmaking the bed... well unmaking it and then deconstructing it so that it was good to go.

When Ma arrived she brought Macca's breakfast with her... just the ticket, although I think I was still a little full of the early morning dinner.

The order that we started doing things has kind of drifted out of my brain at this point (it's been a busy day), but I think we did an early run to the new place with a car load each, and I know I cleaned the shower cubicle at once point (that might have been after the movers to be honest though). And just before noon I decided that I needed to move everything that the movers were going to be taking into the living room and everything they weren't touching into the bedroom. I was most of the way done when the movers arrived... slightly ahead of schedule (only by a few minutes), which is always nice.

They weren't as cute as one half of the last pair... but I think I got my regulation dose of cute from the two guys who came to deliver boxes... one of whom was the cute half of the last pair. And I'm not sure if they were as good as the last pair either, although a) I have a ton more stuff (45 boxes instead of around 30... plus all the extra furniture) and b) last time it wasn't so damn hot. And unlike last time I was actually around for the packing up part. So unlike last time I ended up helping them carry stuff down the stairs... SO! MANY! STAIRS! And so many trips back up said stairs.

To be honest though I would rather carry things down a set of stairs all day long than up the stairs... but even so it was pretty damn exhausting, especially since I was moving more at their pace than my usual pace... and they do this shit professionally.

I also packed up my car so that I wasn't making an empty trip, and eventually they'd packed the truck as packed as it was going to get so we headed off to the new place, leaving Ma behind to get properly stuck into the cleaning portion of the day, bless her little cotton socks.

After some minor wrangling regarding parking outside the new place, we started unpacking everything and schlepping it up the much, much smaller set of stairs (but still, you know, fucking stairs). It did get to a certain point though where I just couldn't do it anymore... mostly because we were down to the really heavy boxes, and I wasn't even going to attempt that.

But finally all the stuff was out of the van and in my apartment... and as always after a move it was piled up any old way, but at least it was in the apartment. So all that was left to do was settle up the bill... and with the supply of boxes, the almost hour and a half it took pack the truck, the almost hour and a half to unpack it again, plus travel time, the total came to $700. Expensive yes, but that was partially because it was a Saturday and that always costs more. And there was literally no way at all I could have done it by myself.

Once they were gone, I called Ma to let her know what the state of the world was, then unpacked my car. While I was doing that I met the downstairs neighbours... I was going down to the car and they were outside barbequing, and I just stopped and said that I'd moved in upstairs and apologised if there were any bumps and thumps. They seem nice... they're from some country that speaks Spanish... I'm guessing somewhere in South America to be honest. But it's the first time I've bothered to introduce myself to my neighbours without provocation or without them introducing themselves first. Almost something an actual grown-up would do. Anyway, once I was done with unpacking the car I headed back to the old apartment. On the way back I stopped off for some food, since it was after 3pm and neither Ma or I had eaten anything since breakfast.

Ma had done a pretty epic job with cleaning, but I had to clean the windows in the bedroom, and we basically potter around getting the old place as clean as possible, or as clean as we could in the time we had. I don't think I did another solo run to the new place (like I said, it's all a bit of a blur at this point), but I know that eventually we'd done everything we could and then we just had to pack up the last of my stuff into both cars (the worst part was the two thirds of my clothes that hadn't gone in the mobile wardrobe box), leaving behind the cleaning stuff so we can come back tomorrow morning and finish up the last of the cleaning.

Of course unloading the cars at this end was almost harder than loading them up just because by that point we were both completely exhausted.

Now at some point during the day I did finally get around to plugging my phone in at the new place... only to discover that I had no dial tone. I could call the number from my mobile and it sounded like it was ringing, but nothing happened at this end. So counting utility companies, that's three out of four (if you count my ISP, which I do) that have somehow managed to screw me around somehow. I sent them a message in reply to one I'd received about the phone, so we'll have to see what comes of that. To be honest I'm not that bothered because nobody has the new number, so long as it doesn't delay my ADLS.

Once everything was in the apartment, it was a little bit like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic... we did put everything away in the wardrobe and at some point I hung my Warwick Rowers calendar on a spare nail just so I'd have something on the wall. I have a lot of spare nails in these walls... more than I need, and none of them in any places that make sense to me to be perfectly honest. I'm also not sure how effective the Command hooks are going to be on these walls given the type of bricks that they are and that they're slightly textured... but I kind of thought that about the brickwork wall at the old place, so we'll see what happens later on.

We also moved everything that had been piled into the bedroom out of there so I could put the bed together, but while I was part way through that we both realised we were kind of starving again, but given that this is an entirely new side of town to me, I have no idea what the hell is actually around and what will be open late on a Saturday night... so it was Google to the rescue and eventually we found this place called Nonna's which was just down the road. Ma headed off to get food while I reconstructed my bed.

Turns out that Nonna's was a very good idea... I don't know if it was just because we were both exhausted and sore and a little delirious, but their burgers (Ma had the classic, I had the chicken schnitzel) were really, really good. I can see that being a good place to keep in our back pockets, especially since they make a whole ton of different stuff. Ma did say it wasn't the snazziest of places, but who cares when the food is good.

It was good to stop and relax, but the main problem with doing that is that when you stop you then have to get started again... and that's not fun.

I think it was around 9:30 or so when Ma left, and I pretty much just threw myself in the shower to wash the day's grime and sweat off. Now, I do have a theory that the first shower you take in any new apartment is generally better than sex... mostly because you're exhausted and it's just a sweet relief. I'm not sure if I'm going to go that far this time... however there was a hell of a lot of water, and it was appropriately hot as it should be, it's more that the shower cubicle is more of a shower square foot. Now I know that I said something similar when I first moved into the last house... but this makes that shower look palatial by comparison. There is literally no way at all that you could have two people in that shower, none at all. They really do need to gut the bathroom, lose the bath (and, for that matter, probably lose the door to the bathroom as well or replace it with a sliding door).

But at least I was all fresh and clean before I rolled into my freshly made (and constructed) bed.

So endeth Moving Day.

Sunday

I slept pretty well... I'm on a pretty major road, and there are trucks, so I think I may have been woken up by truck brakes at one point in the night. A lot of the road noise was drowned out by my little evaporative aircon though. And a lot of it is just getting used to the noises in a new place.

When I did finally get up, I just kind of stood and stared at the post moving carnage... boxes every damn where. So I pottered around moving some stuff around and piling the small moving boxes up into a giant stack by the bedroom door. This is definitely where I miss the additional space of the old place... I'm pretty sure I just piled up the boxes in the "dining area" and slowly worked my way through them over the first few days (I know I did use about four of them as a bedside table for a while there). There's not that much room here, so there's definitely been a lot of moving things from one side of the apartment to the other and then back again.

Also unlike last time, we lost the first half a day cleaning the old place instead of unpacking the new place.

Ma texted me to let me know she was on her way over to the old place, so I jumped in the shower, got ready and met her there. And again she'd brought Macca's. It's not like it was a surprise, both times we'd decided that was a plan ahead of time, but I do enjoy a Macca's breakfast, as junky as it is.

The rest of the morning was spent cleaning. We cleaned the dickens out of that apartment... it was way cleaner when we were finished than it was when I moved it, I can guarantee it. I wiped down the blinds, I cleaned out the aircon filter, I did all the things (okay, Ma also did many of the things that I wasn't doing).

We also ran into my neighbour across the balcony... well Ma was outside when she left her apartment, but I went out there as well. Weirdly though we've never really spoken the whole time since we said hello after I first moved in, and we've heard each other come and go (I've definitely heard her, so I'm guessing she heard me). So it was a little weird to have her sound genuinely sorry I was leaving. I'm guessing maybe because I don't have The Wild Parties™ that some of the other people in the building do, and I don't play The Loud Music™ (which she herself is guilty of from time to time). It was a pleasant chat, but a slightly weird one all things considered.

Then eventually we were done... as done as done can be. So we packed up our cars with the cleaning minutia and I said an interim farewell to the apartment... interim only because I have to go and meet the carpet cleaning guy there tomorrow morning at 9am (and then I drop the keys off to the agent right after).

I will say that I'd never actually seen the apartment looking like it did when we left it today. When I came to look at it originally there were random bits of left over furniture in it... and while they were gone when I moved in, there were still a few other bits and pieces that got left behind which I eventually gave back to the land agent, and as soon as I unlocked the door for the first time once it was mine the movers were bringing my stuff into the space.

I wasn't sad though... I haven't done sad yet. Maybe I won't... maybe I did enough sad before this point and I don't need to... maybe I just haven't had enough energy to be sad yet given how hard I've worked the last three days. Or maybe something completely unrelated will trigger it in a week or so (that could make for interesting Fringe show reactions), I have no idea...

But I locked the door for the second to last time and we climbed down all those damn stairs and headed back to my new apartment in our respective cars.

When we got back I wasn't really in the right headspace for unpacking... I still hate the kitchen storage, it's ludicrously put together... in fact the whole kitchen layout was clearly designed by someone who knows nothing about kitchens (and most of it comes from IKEA, so make of that what you will). But I did decide that what I really needed to do was try and a) work out exactly what additional stuff I needed and b) work out where I'm putting all my furniture.

But both A and B seemed to be part of a self-referencing spiral where one led to the other and I ended up in a world full of apathy. Eventually though we started moving boxes around, and then I was able to get to the phone jack, so I took some time out to call Telstra to try and get the faulty phone line fixed... the woman was actually very helpful (you know, for overseas call centre staff) and ran through a bunch of stuff at her end before organising for somebody to come out and look at it (which hopefully I won't have to be involved in).

Then I put the furniture where I thought it should probably go... then we moved three different items to about a dozen different locations before putting most of them back where they started.

We did toy around with taking a trip to IKEA, but it seemed slightly ahead of schedule since I don't really know what it is I want yet, whereas last time it was very obvious from the word go what I was missing.

Time was marching on though if we wanted to go anywhere, but as weird as it sounds I needed to stop and put the TV and DVD player together before we could do anything else, because I needed to know what I needed as far as an aerial cable was concerned. Because this place has an actual real live grown-up aerial on the roof. Granted, and not to skip ahead too much, I don't know if I wouldn't be better off sticking to the bunny ears given the lack of reception on a few channels, but I'll have to try retuning the whole TV and see what happens.

Once I'd worked it all out we headed off to Bunnings... there wasn't a lot I wanted, maybe three or four things, but it turned out to be a good trip. I got all those things, then we found a shelving unit by the same company who did the kitchen counter I bought for the old apartment... granted we initially saw a smaller, white version, but then I realised there was a metal version too. But the price tag was way too expensive for what it was and the same price as one that was almost twice as wide... so I grabbed one of the passing staff members and asked him if they were definitely the same price... he said they were, I explained that one was tiny and one wasn't, he said same price. I asked if it was because one was metal and one was white, he said no. I was going to give up at that stage, but I think to definitely shut me up (or else because he was now having doubts himself) he scanned the item I thought was the correct price, and it was that price... I then got him to scan the thing I actually wanted... BAM, about half the price.

So when I put it together I'm going to shove it in the corner of the apartment and have a groovy looking "open shelf pantry" going on... things in jars, cans of stuff, that kind of thing. Is it a bad idea? Who the hell knows... but it beats trying to put all of my stuff in the incredibly non-functional cupboards. And I'm happy to be rocking the Food Network vibe (I'm specifically thinking of Chopped, but the theory works for most of the shows) I'm guessing I may very well end up with a large number of empty shelves in the kitchen, but the cupboards just don't make any sense.

On the way back from Bunnings we realised we'd skipped lunch again and needed some real food, so we decided to head past my place and explore the neighbourhood beyond to see what was around. We ended up seeing a few potential ideas, but decided on pizza, mostly because we didn't want to go any further up the road and we'd pulled into the pizza place carpark to turn around.

Wasn't a bad choice to be honest. Wasn't the hottest (temperature wise) pizza ever and their garlic bread was a little average, but it wasn't bad.

After we'd eaten Ma headed off home with my most fervent thanks for everything she'd done all weekend long.


I then pottered around a little bit, took all the junk we'd piled on my bed earlier off, and settled down to unpack all my DVDs... which always takes longer than it should because I want them alphabetical on the shelf, but I've never pack them that way.

Now all my bruises and scrapes and I are going to bed, right after I have a quick shower I think...



Monday

I no longer live at Wellington Square.

This somehow became the official mantra for today... not as a way for me to hold off feeling the feels about leaving this place, but almost more as a touchstone to remind me that I'd done all my crying about leaving before the move and now I'm working from a place of... resignation I guess, that or acceptance.

It also made the annoying things that happened today somewhat easier to cope with.

I got up this morning, pottered around a bit, but to paraphrase what I tweeted, I knew I should be doing SOMETHING but there were too many possible somethings that I could be doing which meant that I really just ended up wandering in circles doing not much of anything.

But I had things to do and people to see fairly early, so I got dressed and headed back to the old place to meet the carpet cleaners. The one thing I didn't consider, Monday morning traffic on the route between the two places... I got there right on time, but it took twice as long as it has done every other run between the two places.

This is my first actual experience with carpet cleaners... I know we did it at the first place I lived in with Ludo, but he was there for the carpet cleaning, not me (I also don't really remember us cleaning that apartment very much when we left beyond the carpet cleaning). And when I left Childers Street I didn't bother since I knew they were just going to rip it all out anyway.

The downside was that because I was on the third floor they couldn't use the vehicle mounted system (I have no idea how that even would have worked), and instead used a freestanding unit. This also meant that there had to be two dudes to carry the unit up the stairs.

The upside... the carpet cleaning dudes were very hot. Like amateur porn star hot... one of them more than the other one, but that's always the way.

I swear that it took less time for them to clean the carpets than it ever took for me to vacuum them... but they are professionals. Also it was really obvious how dirty the carpets were when he got to the bit by the door... three shades lighter between cleaned and not cleaned.

Anyway, once they were done, I couldn't set foot inside, so I just locked the door and went for a wander to the North Adelaide Village to buy some Blutak (long story short, I needed to stick the final gas/hot water metre readings to the door and forgot to bring some), got that all squared away and called it a day.

While the thought at the top of this post really started happening when we left the old place on Saturday afternoon, and definitely kicked in when I arrived back on Sunday, it was the first thought I had when I unlocked the door on Monday morning, and the last thought when I took a last look through the kitchen window after sticking the readings to the door.

I knew that I needed to do some shopping, but first I had to drop the keys off at the old land agent, and after chatting with Ma on the phone I stopped off at Cibo to indulge in an affogato... because it's my jam. It was many a little bit too much caffeine though... I've drunk way too many coffee related products over the last week or so, and I think that may have been the final caffeinated straw. Must cut back.

From there I ended up heading back to Burnside Village to do the little bit of shopping I needed... it gave me the chance to scope out the local precinct. I don't really like shopping at Coles to be honest, but it's what's available... they do have some little stores that could be good for picking up dinner when I can't be bothered. And I went and introduced myself at the dry cleaners, mostly just to ask how much it was to clean pants. But they seem very friendly... which makes a change from the old dry cleaners who were really quite lovely once you wore them down but could be very brusque otherwise.

The final inspection of the old apartment was due at 2pm, and shortly after my old agent contacted me to say everything seemed good, but the oven needed cleaning properly and the cupboards needed to be vacuumed out. I'll give you the oven, but seriously, vacuuming out the tiny bits of fluff and crap that were in the cupboards, give me a break.

But I really want my bond back, so I proceeded to gather up a bunch of cleaning supplies and my vacuum cleaner and head back to their office to pick up the keys before spending a good hour and a half cleaning out the oven and the cupboards.

Yeah, the oven was grotty, and I should have checked it before we wrapped the house, or Ma should have told me to check it, but I didn't, she didn't, it just didn't happen. It may have been better if we'd been able to put the horrible toxic oven cleaner stuff on first thing Sunday morning and then clean out the oven as the last thing before we wrapped. Note to future self, use the fucking oven cleaner bullshit, that's why you bought it.

What actually happened is I sprayed it down, closed the oven, cleaned out all the cupboards then went to work on the oven... and when that didn't work completely just using the cloths I brought with me, I ended up scratching the spots off the door with my nails. Gross, but it got the job done. And also made me lament the fact that I'd cut my nails off earlier that day.

By the time I was finished I was sore, grubby, hungry and more than a little damp. But at least it was done.

And all the time I was there the phrase at the top of this post was forefront in my mind. It was no longer my oven, no longer my cupboards, no longer my apartment, no longer my home. No longer mine in any way.

Of course on the flip side of that the new place doesn't particularly feel like home. Part of that is due to the fact that I hadn't had the chance to unpack anything beyond the DVDs, and the place was crammed full of boxes.

So when I got home I ate the stuff I'd bought for lunch but never got to as an early dinner and then proceeded to start work on first putting together the pantry shelf, which looks pretty good I have to say, I'd like it if the slats on the shelves were closer together and I could probably do with at least two more shelves, but it'll do what I need it to... and then I started on unpacking the kitchen boxes, mostly so that I had stuff to put on the pantry shelves, but also so I can theoretically feed myself for the rest of the week.

Unlike last time where I just threw all of the crumpled newspaper into the giant armchair box and then Ma started uncrumpling it all so that it would take up much less room in the bin (although I did finish that off myself), I did that from the beginning... but that meant that everything took four times as long and I got to an almost pathological standard of handwashing to wash the ink off my hands every time I switched from newspaper to butchers paper.

But I managed to get three quarters of the kitchen boxes open... and about three quarters of that into its location. For the record, my kitchen cabinets are still beyond ridiculous and I hate them quite a lot. And the fact that there isn't a junk drawer... I mean c'mon, every kitchen needs a junk drawer... where else are you going to store all those annoying things that have no other home?

I also made sure that I unpacked the box containing all my breakfast supplies so that I can at least feed myself tomorrow morning before work.

Ah yes, returning to work, which will feel slightly like a holiday by comparison to the last four days.

Tuesday

Today I went back to work... which was something of a relief, but also meant that I left a mostly unpacked house when I could have been getting on with things.

It was also the first go at catching a new bus to work and walking home...

The bus ride, although three times as long as what I'm used to, was pleasant enough, it's not a very high traffic bus, so I think I'll always be assured of a seat which is nice, and the app I downloaded seems very reliable about bus times and locations, so I've been using that to make sure I'm on time.

Weirdly, the bus drops me on the northern side of the city, so I end up walking to work the way I used to walk home from work.

Work wasn't too bad, I will admit that I was slightly distracted by my own stuff at points, but it was good to think about something other than moving and to do something other than unpacking.

Also, it just so happened to be Shrove Tuesday, so around 10:30 we essentially emptied the office and went across the street to the church to get pancakes.

I was definitely interested to see how long it was going to take to walk home, Google Maps said an hour and six minutes or so, but I think I can probably improve on that... it's just that yesterday was a little too warm to really get crazy. Plus there's less shade than I would have preferred on that particular route.

It's also not a pretty walk... the southern side of the parklands is kind of crusty and always feels pretty dead, the pathway could be a problem as soon as it rains (partially dirt, which will turn to mud in about fifteen seconds).

But I did it with no ill effects. And to be honest, even though it took twice as long (and Google was mostly right, I think I shaved two or three minutes off the suggested time), it was all relatively flat compared with the major downhill and uphill sections of the walk to the old place.

I did feel like I lost some time to be honest... since I previously would have been home somewhere between 4:30 and 4:45, and this was just after 5.

I could have gotten straight into unpacking but I really needed a rest, so I sat down for a while, retuned the TV (everything works perfectly now, yay) and then got started on unpacking the remainder of the kitchen.

My plan was to have a simple dinner, but I realised part of the way through one of the boxes that I had no knives and no frypans... so trying to cook something was going to be problematic until I got to that point.

That led to me having dinner around 9:30 I think. Nothing fancy, but nice enough... and I finally got to fire up my new stove (and more importantly my new rangehood... no more smoke alarms going off for no reason). I really unpacked most of the stuff before I started putting a lot of it away, it was better to see what I was working with, and I'm still not sure that everything is in the best place (I pretty much said that last time and never moved anything around in the two years I was there, so I'm guessing it'll all stay like it is). I do know that all of the upper cupboards are essentially only half utilised... the top halves are just too damn high up.

At least the kitchen is both clear of boxes, everything seems to have it's place (other than the box and a half worth of junk drawer contents, since I don't quite know what to do with that due to the aforementioned lack of a junk drawer) and you can actually move around.

Granted that also means that the rest of the apartment is currently a giant pigpen where nothing is in it's correct place, but I'll get there.

Wednesday

I didn't have time to do much of anything house related today... it was work, then walking home, then Ma came down and we headed off to the city for some dinner and to see Welcome to Night Vale.

Thursday

Tonight I finally broke open the book boxes... laid everything out on the floor and went through the photos I took of each shelf at the old house to get most things back in the same place.

I did divert from the previous arrangement in a few places... partly because I had a few books that I hadn't put away properly by the time I moved, and also because I wanted to make the last bookcase less of a "this is where the crap stuff goes because it's just shoved in the corner" vibe that it had in both of my previous apartments. To that end, I put all of my Playstation gamesthere, and reorganised some stuff generally.

The last shelf is still a trainwreck... there are literal piles of books, since there's too much stuff to actually have it arranged properly. I need to revisit the way it's arranged once I make sure that I've actually got all of the books out of all of the boxes. I know there are at least three stragglers, and there could be a few more, we'll see how it goes.

It did feel slightly better to get the books in place. The problem now is that I really don't know what to do about all the tchotchkes... most of them are fine and will go back where they came from, but since I have all of my artwork wrapped up, and I won't be using the two console tables from the old house in the same way... not to mention the small bookcase... so, yeah, I'm undecided.

About so many things.

Friday

Today was another light day as far as house organisation is concerned... I had my chiro appointment after work, and then detoured first to Haighs and then to misbehave slightly, and didn't get home until about 7:30, so I basically confined myself to reorganising my wardrobe and putting everything in the bathroom cabinet. Both important and necessary jobs.

Part of the problem is that I really need some additional stuff before I can dig into the last few boxes and get things organised. And then there's still the matter of what the hell to do with all my art. It definitely seems that the third of an apartment I lose in the move was almost entirely artwork hanging space. It's not completely true, but it definitely feels like it's true.

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