Being Age Pensioners, we’ve been on a waiting list for many years for low-rent accommodation via the State Housing Department, and finally we’ve got it! Although we have enjoyed being here on the coast for the last five and a half years, we’ll be very happy to move nearer our beloved Tweed River again, and our favourite magic mountain, Mt Warning (so called, we are told, because it was the first thing Captain Cook saw when approaching this coast). In the new home we’ll say hello to the mountain every time we drive out of our street, and again when we drive back.
We saw the outside of the place on Sunday (because we couldn't wait) and the inside today, and we love it! It’s the front unit of a duplex, in a quiet, leafy court. We met the lady in the back unit, who is very nice. She has a huge, thriving rosemary bush. I like having my namesake plant where I’m living, and it’s been a while since that happened. (It’s a sign! It’s a sign!) There are parks nearby for walking, a big local store and a petrol station, and we’re just a few minutes out of town. We’ve lived around the town of Murwllumbah for the last 16 years, ever since we left Melbourne and moved to this part of the country. Our present location is the furthest out we’ve been.
When we moved to the coast, after loving the hills for about nine years, we said, “Yes, it’ll be good to be near the ocean again for a while” and so it has been – but note the “for a while”. Lately I’ve started itching to be closer to the mountain once more; I've begun to miss driving along the river. ( I grew up in Tasmania, a tiny island of mountains and rivers, small towns and villages, forests and rural districts, where you can’t go far in any direction without meeting the ocean. So I love all those things. (I only didn’t like the cold weather!))
We need to be in asap. If Housing Department properties stand vacant too long, people start complaining. We’ll have to break our lease here, though not by much. It was 21st January that we moved in here. The Department has written us a letter to show our landlord, saying we are required to be in before the end of the month. In fact, with Christmas coming up, it could be hard to get a removalist, so they will probably be a little flexible. Still, it’s all about to happen, and I don’t expect to be online much for a while. We’ll hope that our service provider doesn’t take so long over the transfer this time! After that – well, it’s a ten year lease, so we’ll settle down to a new era of stability and security.
Last time all the packing and cleaning half-killed us, and a number of our friends too. We moved in and went to bed for a few days! So this time, with a bit more money stashed away than we had then, we are going to get a carrier who will do all the packing for us, and we’ll have this place professionally cleaned. I still have to wash curtains, and go through my great hoard of papers to see what to chuck out. My darling can’t believe I am finally going to let go of the 15th edition of Encyclopedia Britannica, published in 1977 – but only because I found out I can now get it all and more on DVD.
We’ll actually be only a half hour’s drive from where we are now, and the Neighbourhood Centre here will pay my travel exes to stay on as a volunteer, continuing to facilitate the writers’ group and fill the role of Secretary of the Management Committee. Just when I am about to leave, I am also thinking of starting a spiritual development group and a Mac users’ group! Both have been requested, particularly the spiritual group. For a few years now, people have been coming up to me and asking if I’d start one. Finally, as I’m about to leave the area, I get my act together!
We are also going to keep seeing the chiropractor here: best one we ever found – and we’ve found some good ones. And we’ll continue to see the psychologist here too. Every time I start going into nostalgia about the things we have to leave behind, I stop myself and say, “Hang on, you’ll be coming back twice a week!”