They bought a bed … πŸŒ

On Wednesday (31 January 2018) a nice young couple collected the sofa bed. The previous day I had managed to move the 3 seater blue leather sofa (still on Gumtree) up from the garage. As it was still in its wrapping (courtesy of Grace Removals) from a previous move it was quite easy to slide along the garage floor to the lift, but the wrapping was filthy. Fortunately, for the past week there hasn’t been a car parked in the space just by the lifts so it has been great for loading the big items as people buying all our stuff can park there.

Not long ago we changed our bed. We kept to the King size, but this time wanted to get a storage version to save some space. It was the kind that lifted from the front and secured in place by a gas lift mechanism in the metal frame. It needed a good hard push to close. We paid for the delivery guys to put the bed together, so it was all quite easy for us. We hadn’t had it that long before it became one of the many items that went up on Gumtree as part of the moving sale!

I had a little interest. One keen guy, but I think he must have been drinking when he called because he said he had to confer with his partner and I never heard from him again.

Then last Monday I had an enquiry and after a bit of “toing and froing” I struck a deal with James.

We agreed collection on Thursday and I said (because he asked) that I could help load it into his van, but warned him that we may have to dismantle some of it. The main reason being the size of the bed and the fact that it was put up in the bedroom and not delivered as a one piece.

All seemed simple enough.

James turned up with a Go Get van and his housemate in tow. Good I thought, less hassle for me.

That morning Sarah had dismantled the headboard, placed the bolts in a plastic bag and sellotaped it to the headboard for safe keeping. I had also paced out the length of the bed in my attempt to see if it would fit sideways into the lift without taking it apart. I paced the lift and it was marginal, like … I really wasn’t too sure if it would just quite fit, but prayed that it would!

I explained this to the boys and suggested that I thought the best thing to do would be to put the bed on its side and push it along the carpet, perhaps using towels on the bottom to protect the material covering. Seemed easy enough.

Well, it would have been if the gas loaded hinge behaved itself. Every time we attempted to move the bed on its side the gas arm sprung, nearly dislocating jaws. The problem was that as easy as it sprung out, it was as difficult or more to push back in. Consider that the head board had been removed and the frame was now not quite as solid. The wooden frame became misaligned making it even harder to secure the metal mechanism.

It became one of those “Mens Moments’ when we just look at something, trying to look intelligent and think what the f**king hell do we do now. Although silent I was thinking we needed a womans simple intuition, but failing that the 3 men just looked embarrassedly and pretended that we were on the cusp of some great idea.

Alas, no.

So we had another go with the same result. It was at this point that James lost his first chance to say “sorry, but no deal”. I was so surprised when he wanted to labour on. I left the bedroom to search out something to tie the spring loaded bed base to the frame. I hunted high and low and just like a policeman when you want one they are never around. Several pictures of rope and industrial ties burst into my head, memories of things I had used long ago and now discarded. I thought of Sarahs sowing box and quickly discounted attempting to tie the beast down with a thread of cotton.

I phoned Sarah to ask where she had hidden all my rope .. “No idea”, “What rope”. Bugger. Then I hit on the supreme idea of using an electrical cord. A master stroke of male ingenuity. So, the boys now sweating profusely they wrapped the long cord around and around the metal frame securely attaching it to the wooden base.

The “Thing”, that now has a life of its own was tamed .. all be it temporarily.

It was edged on its side as if we were manoeuvring a sleeping alligator. James pushed from one end and nearly knocked himself out on the wooden frame. The beast didn’t move. It seemed its claws were dug into the carpet. Clearly sliding the bed along the floor was not going to be that easy. By now my heart was racing and I was wondering at what point they would just do a runner. But James persisted. Slightly lifting the beast and pushing while his mate (probably ex-mate by now) pulled. With what seemed like an eternity, the beast eventually reached the lift. I called the lift and the doors opened.

Then … James obviously had a thought and realised that they may have a problem the other end, when they got the beast home.

It was at this point that James lost his second chance to say “sorry, but no deal”.

Instead he suggested that they dismantle the metal belly of the beast from its wooden skin to make life easier. Or so he thought. Having come to collect a King size bed with no tools and totally unprepared apart from his mate and the Go Get van, James then asked if I had a toolkit? Me? Well actually no, but Sarah does have a little pink Barbie toolset that I purchased as a loving joke a few years ago. In fact, it has been quite useful even though it does look a bit girlie.

So out came the little spanner with the pink handle and James set to work. The only problem was that as one side of the metal frame loosened, the frame twisted and as it twisted it tried as hard as it could to spring open. By doing this the cord was getting tighter and tighter throttling the very bones of the beast as it struggled to escape. Red faced and sweating James and mate seized control as I hid in the apartment pretending to do something important. From the distance I heard serious instructions being given, then laughter followed by some sort of mumbled warning. I think that was when the beast took one last attempt to strike them down as metal base and frame were separated.

I heard talking and then silence so I peered around the apartment door and there was no sight of them or the beast. They must have taken it down to the basement in the lift, but someone else must have been going that way as you need a security key to get there.

So I went on down to find them looking at each other in dismay. The frame was too big for their Go Get van and clearly refused to get in the vehicle. I think that it must have been a Go Get F**cked van!

It was at this point that James lost his third and final chance to say “sorry, but no deal”. I suppose having taken the beast to bits he was already committed, perhaps felt some connection to the bed?

Sooo … James explained that they would source another van, a bigger one and return for the frame. Meanwhile, they would come back upstairs collect the headboard, wooden frame and bits. As the lift filled and they both stood in it sweating … I asked James for my money. Without hesitancy he gave me the cash, but I sensed a feeling of unresolved regret in his now blurry eyes. He would text when they were coming back.

Released from its struggle the metal frame rested in a parking space near the lift. Its gas filled arms reaching out with a tooth like edge that just looked as though it wanted to gouge out an eye. So for safety reasons I left a note on the beast near the sharp tooth as a warning and placed one of those white and orange cones that I found in the garage near its foot as a warning to any unsuspecting passer-by. I then retreated to the safety of the apartment and slumped onto the sofa.

The boys did return later with a bigger van and collected the now tame beast along with bedside cabinets that I was giving as a bonus with the bed (so generous of me).

About an hour later I received the text message below from James.

“Thanks again for the help today David. I don’t think I can get the frame up the stairs so I’m going to have to sell it πŸ˜‚ you don’t have the original photos from the ad by any chance do you?”

I asked if it was a joke. James replied “Unfortunately not!”

I feel so sorry for him, but can’t help but chuckle every time I think about it.

Until next time … 🌏

Richard sent the … πŸŒ

Richard sent the forms this week that we have to complete to move my Super into Pension phase. After Sarahs birthday in June we will do the same for her. We are doing this earlier than expected, but it seems the right thing to do financially. It means that we have to draw down a minimum amount of about 5% each year, but we can roll it over by paying back in what we don’t need.

Still doing research on the car and started to spread the net. I don’t think its a good idea as most of the Jeeps are too far away to view. Conclusion is that we will have to go for the best of what is available in La Marina Alta region. Its starting to get a bit boring looking for cars online. The stock doesn’t move quickly so just seem to be viewing the same old cars every day. Its amazing how long they stay for sale. Its a lot of money tied up on those forecourts. Found a Fiat Fullback at a garage in Denia,Β Moll Denia. Its a Ute, or what they call a Pickup in Europe. We didn’t think of this kind of vehicle, but it could be quite useful later on so is now at the top of the list.

I had a long walk to Coogee on Sunday and met Sarah for breakfast atΒ MoodisΒ . Not bad, but the set up is a little odd in terms of the large high table in the middle of the cafe. I think they could do better to make it less clinical. Food was good though! Took the 370 bus back home. At least I didn’t have to carry the bag all the way. Weather wasn’t that great so thats the reason why we didn’t stay. In fact the weather has been quite indifferent so far this Summer.

Great news as I passed my TEFL course today so now a fully qualified TEFL teacher.

On Tuesday Sarah took the train to Bankstown for an appointment with a surgeon Dr Vertzyas (a nice Dr apparently!) to get some advice on her hip. He recommended the quartz injection which should last 18 months. So on Wednesday I took her to St Vincent’s in the city. The injection can increase the pain for the first 5 days and thats exactly the case. Sarah’s hip is hurting more and I know she is in a lot of pain. She said she will give it until the end of next week and then call the Dr if there is no improvement as she can’t wait for the follow up appointment in 6 weeks time before we leave for Europe.

Sarah went to a recording of The Voice at the Fox Studios yesterday with Lexy and Larissa. Apparently it was quite good although they had to wait in line for hours. Today (Sunday), as I write, Larissa and Sarah are enjoying Afternoon Tea at The Calyx in the Botanical Gardens. Nice end to the week.

This morning a couple collected the Ottoman that I put up on Gumtree. Much easier than the bed (see my blog about the bed!) and transacted very quickly. Even less furniture and storage now. A sign that the move is getting ever closer.

Until next time … 🌍

I woke up … πŸŒ

I woke up on Monday in severe pain. My ankle was stiff as as a board and I could hardly bend it. I soldiered on to work, marching to the bus stop in the hope it would clear, but I guess I just made it worse. Normally I would suffer the pain until it subdued, but this time is was throbbing and decided I needed to see Doctor Andrew. My ankle was swollen by the time I got there. He thought it was Gout as it came on so quickly and my last test showed high acidity. Because the pain was so bad he has gave me a high dosage of Moxicam and some Dexamethasone. Also a Drs Cert for 2 days. I did a urine test and went back on Wednesday. The test was normal (good I guess), the pain had cleared and he simply told me to throw away the remaining drugs. Thats it!?

I had been dragging my foot around like Quasimodo for the past 48 hours. I was almost starting to talk in a slurr. “Mithtress Slarah, I have yourl tea”. I just didn’t realise gout as an arthritic disease came and went so quickly. Needless to say I have been eating cherries by the punnett, drinking cherry juice, eating grapefruit and supplementing with celery, turmeric and vitamin C pillls. Going to knock this on the head.

The week was intermittent with enquiries about the chest of drawers. They seem to be the most popular Gumtree item at the moment. Most people asking if we can deliver despite it saying collect only in the add. Eventually they were purchased by a young family that hailed from the Netherlands and are now living in Little Bay, south of the city.

26 January is Australia Day and also Lexi’s birthday. So breakfast at Trio in Bondi Beach with the girls followed by a small slice of birthday Black Forest gateaux.

Calculated the amount and timing of our UK pension. The site is actually really good as a ready reckoner for entitlements and recommend it.

Clothes are now starting to be vacuum packed as Sarah works out what will stay and what will go. Looks like there is a market at Glebe on 17 February where the girls will have a stall to sell some items.

Until next time …🌏

Some more tasks …

Some more tasks ticked off the check list. This weekend I listed the car for sale and some of the big furniture for sale on Gumtree. Sarah managed to do some research on shipping a box to the UK. Looks like a standard size box will cost about $400, but only take 4-5 days. I think clearing customs swiftly is the biggest issue. Still, we have a little while to sort it, although I’ll have to do another round of culling. Sarah purchased some vacuum packs so that will help make more space.

The revised quote from Chess if we don’t take the furniture is only $3000 cheaper. Despite that we still decided to sell the furniture as it just won’t fit in terms of style into Senija and I don’t want to pay storage for the next 2 years on stuff that we don’t want!

Our Velocity Amex card has an option to convert to a new country/currency, but we discovered this week that we need a telephone number from the new country, so that means waiting until we get to spain. Still working on medical insurance. First quotes would be about 28 Euros per week. I just had a thought as I am writing and I don’t know whether that is per couple or per person? I’ll have to investigate. What ever … its still a bit expensive, but then health insurance is!

Good news is that it looks as though we have tenant for the Breeze in Melbourne so thats at least one less thing to think about.

Until next time 🌏

Another week closer.

Another week closer. This week we received the quote for the shipping and storage. Box by box it is probably cheaper to ship from Sydney to Spain than it is from Brisbane to Sydney! Nonetheless, despite having sold off a few big bits of furniture the price still came in just over my budget of $10k. I had hoped for it to come in under, but at least 33% is the 2 years of storage. After the Williams & Co board meeting on Sunday we decided to sell off some more of the big stuff as it really won’t fit in terms of style into our house in Senija. Hopefully that will bring some cost down and we won’t be storing stuff that we don’t really want.

We also decided to stay on at Ruby Tower until 31 March rather than housesit. Although we won’t save on rent it means that we aren’t under any pressure, particularly as suitable dates and locations haven’t been forthcoming.

Today we had lunch with Viv and Phil down at El Camino Cantina in The Rocks, a Mexican restaurant. Very funky and great food. Bit of a goodbye. We may see them in Europe, but they are off on their own adventure to Tasmania at the beginning of February.

Until next time 🌏

There is a …

There is a feeling flowing through my blood that the time to leave for Europe is drawing close. As I ready for Monday and my last few months at Primary Health Care, I suspect that people will be racing around with the normal corporate dramas as I focus on preparing for the departure. It is like we are moving in 2 different directions at different speeds.

Anyway, in an effort to maintain my 15 minute daily dose of sunshine, I wandered over to my usual spot in the park. Not entirely secluded, but sectioned off by a few low level hedges. People go about their business as they pass and the occasional dog sniffs around.

I lay a couple of big towels down as the grass is not cut short and so is a bit spikey, plus the long grass hides undesirables. Sarah isn’t keen on sunbathing in a bikini in the park. Not many people do sunbathe so she feels a bit self conscious which I understand.

Today however, an amusing thing happened. As I was on my tummy “doing” my back and playing with my iPhone, a young fella turned up with a towel, said hi and hoped I didn’t mind if he joined me. Taken aback I just said “go for your life”. I didn’t no what to think. he was all muscle and tattoo and wearing a cap and small shorts. Of all the space in the park why on earth did he chose to put his towel down right next to me. I didn’t know wether he fancied me, was going to mug me or was a complete nutcase!

A thousand things were going through my head when he abruptly stood up saying in a slightly embarrassed tone “thats enough, my mates dared me to do it”. I mumbled good for them and he was off. It was quite amusing for me, but I have a sense that it fell a bit flat for the larrikins who egged him on to do it. Basically it turned out to be a bit of a wank. Surely if they wanted to target someone it would be a young babe that they could chat up, not a father figure.

After carrying them …

After carrying them from country to country, city to city over the last 24 years the most travelled stamp collection in the world was sold. With mild emotion. As a young boy I collected stamps. It began when a guest staying at Mum and Dads left with a parting gift to me of a few stamps in a stock book. Later, I subscribed to every First Day Cover from about 1968 through to 1998, when I basically lost interest.

Young people don’t collect stamps anymore as they have other distractions. Stamps are really for those very high value collectors items as an investment or the trail of old stamp collectors that still enjoy the hobby in their retirement. It is because of this that the fortune I thought I held did not materialise. I guessed somewhere amongst my collection and shoeboxes of stamps there was real value. Perhaps there is, but finding it is another thing. The general value of stamps has declined over the years and so I sat in the Fairfield Foodcourt and gave my whole collection away to Bert for $200. Sad in a way. Not just because I had held on to them for so long, but the minor disappointment of their value. I realise of course that the real value in them was the joy and learning that they brought as a young boy and consoled myself that they had gone to a good home.

A week has …

A week has past and much has been achieved. We have sorted most of our stuff. What is going and what is being shipped. All that is left is to prepare the boxes for the UK, Spain and Italy. The buffet, TV Cabinet and a few bits and pieces are sold, but there are still some items on Gumtree. As always Christmas came and went quickly. Lexi and Brit joined us for for our last Christmas lunch in Australia. Lexi also joined us on New Years Eve. We celebrated at midnight in the traditional Spanish way by eating 12 grapes. One at each of the 12 chimes. Sarah had a strategy that paid off. She didn’t put her grapes in the fridge. Lexi and I had nice crisp grapes, but they set my teeth on edge as I bit into them. Warm grapes next year.

Today is the 1 January 2018. This year, in fact in only a few months we embark on our adventure. The next phase of our lives. Thank you God for his gift.

A deep dive …

A deep dive into the basement and found some stuff to put on Gumtree. Rimowa briefcase, crash helmets, old camera showing interest. Other enquiries on other things. Quite a little business going on here. Can’t believe it. Getting emails on Christmas Day for my stamp collection and one of the crash helmets!

The last Christmas …

The last Christmas in Australia starts today as the holiday season kicks-off. Down to business and sorting all our stuff. We are down in the basement after breakfast to go through the 2 storage cages. I have reckoned on at least 8 categories for all our belongings.

1. Pack, Ship and Store until we need it in 2+ years time.

2. Box to send to the UK.

3. Box to send to Spain.

4. Box to send to Italy. Will need the warm weather clothes.

5. Things we will need. Essentials that we can carry around i.e just a couple of suitcases as if we were going on holiday.

Things we will use until 3 February and then:

6. Stuff to sell.

7. Stuff to give away.

8. Stuff to dump.