Thursday, September 9

Here I am in Paddington, Qld.

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.

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