What a good offer - and when I really needed it!!! I've decided NOT to go to China teaching for this semester, but I'd spoken about it so often with another teacher that she has gone to China - to the same university that I have spent three fascinating semesters, and I have moved into her house.
It is at Paddington - not the area I would normally choose to house sit as it is some distance from my normal preference - by the sea. But, it has other features. If she likes it in China I can stay here for 5 months almost. It is quiet. It is in a rather strange area - I wonder if anyone ever comes here to rob a house - because the escape route is up steep hills. I've walked up one and found it tough going. I doubt any robber is really fit enough to scamper up hill with any loot - at least no heavy stuff. And strange cars would be noticed in these parts.
The house is an "old Queenslander" with all that I need. I love the huge kitchen - recently renovated and it has everything and more than I need. The bedroom is at the back of the house and I can lie in bed and see trees, and hear the birds that come around for a feed or a chat with all the other birds. Some are very early risers, but still - better than the roar of traffic every few minutes at Wynnum West.
I have wireless internet - plenty of study places - oh, did I mention that I am studying again?? This time online at Swinburne (Melbourne). It is all a bit overwhelming, but so far I am coping - but it has been only one week!
There is a big garden to care for, some fish in ponds, but no dog or cat or any other critters, though the younger son lives in a cottage on the property - but we will keep well apart I think.
And the big bonus - is a car. Yes, a car. A small Holden something. A MANUAL!!!! The last time I drove a manual car was around Ireland a few years ago - I do prefer an automatic. I drove it around the block yesterday but discovered I could not find how to get it into "reverse". Today I sat with the instruction booklet that I found in the glovebox and worked out how to do it. So off to the supermarket I travelled - which is only a short distance away. I had to get a few things - notably two sorts of paper. Yes, loo paper and paper for my printer.
I remember going to that shopping centre on a regular basis years ago as my very trendy hair dresser was there. Not sure that he is any more.
I managed to master the steep hills here, and when I came home I made lunch and went for a walk. There's a steep hill at the back of the property up to a road - I think there is a bus there. I'm not sure I'll be happy with the hillside walk - might just choose to drive to places rather than use public transport. The heart might give up on me!!
There is a lot of wildlife around here. Birds yes, and today I came face to face with my first bush turkey - as I was walking up the road. There are large skinks scuttling around the garden, and I hope no more of their reptilian friends. You see there are no screens on the windows, and I have a fear of spiders and snakes. I'm sure there are both lying in wait for me in the bushes and trees around the area. I'll have to have a plan about that. I wonder if the son will come to my aid if I shriek "spider" or "snake"? He's a muso - at TAFE, and has a host of musical instruments in his little studio under the car port. I quite like listening to his practice sessions.
There are two fish ponds and one has metal artworks - birds - on the edge. Today the noisy miner birds were shrieking and carrying on and I crept into the garden to see what was causing it. It seemed that one of the metal birds had done a nose dive into the pond - I had to get close to see what it was for it did look like the back end of a rather large bird poking out of the pond. Later I crept down with my camera to take a shot of it but S (son) had clearly arrived home and righted the sorry artwork. I wonder if it will happen again?
I even had a sleep this afternoon - not long - but it was a treat to lie on the bed and shut my eyes without the roar of traffic.
Then it was back to study.