Sunday, April 22, 2012

Making the Right Move

Once again, I must apologise for my lackadaisical approach to my blog of late. To be fair, I am sure no one has been holding their breath or going on a hunger strike until the next post came along, but I still feel the need to apologise.

Before I get to the crux of the matter, I think I ought to just go back a few weeks to fill you in on a few odds and ends.

Firstly, I had been through a rather stressful time at the earlier part of this year - something I shan't go into as I respect that it involves others and to discuss it in such an open forum would be distasteful (albeit, wonderfully cathartic!) Suffice to say, I lost weight, was on medication and back seeing a psychologist in order to sort out this silly old brain of mine. Sometimes I think my head is filled with sentient neurotic kapok rather than actual brain tissue. Anyway, struggling to get back to my normal routine and try to relax again, I decided to have a week off over Easter. Well, I had a lovely time! I was baking (lemon drizzle cake, various pies or creating ultra-strength salsa) and taking trips to see friends.

Firstly, the Thursday night I 'broke up from work', I caught up with my friend Tim (who is an amazing artist - he has an exhibition soon - I'll have to tell you about that later!) and we had fun playing with my marble-run (as you do) and watching Clue and The Last of Sheila (two of my favourite films ever.

Here's Tim going back to his childhood... Sorry about the old red-eye, Tim!

Good Friday, I caught up with some old friends and met some new ones at a lovely picnic in the Botanical Gardens, Melbourne.

(Lovely Old Friends)
(Lovely New Friends)

On the Saturday, I was nursing a mild hangover for the majority of the day but I still made a lovely Lemon Drizzle Cake for two of my best friends, Rohan & Vanessa, who came over that evening to hang out, eat and have a laugh.

(I can never get these cakes to rise in the middle - still, it was very yummy.)

The following Tuesday, I went up to Shepparton (four and a half hours on a coach, thank you very much) to see some friends...

...and one of my accounts from work, Collins Booksellers on Maude Street. (That's me in between Helen and Joe, grinning like a fool)

I caught up with my dear friend Nola and met her baby boy for the first time and, oddly, I was quite good at soothing the little blighter with the aid of the Mary Poppins soundtrack. (And don't worry, his head isn't about to fall off, he was only stretching)

Friday was another baking day and I had my dear friends Adam & Louise over for nachos, rhubarb pie and the last two episodes of the wonderful Pushing Daisies.

Now, I am not superstitious. Never have been, never will be (touch wood) *boom-tish* - But it was on this very evening - FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH - that I received a telephone call from my landlady...

Yes, after eight lovely years of living in my wonderful, safe and ridiculously economical apartment, my landlady needs the place back. This came as quite a shock to me as I had this lovely neat little plan laid out. I was going to pay off some more debts, try and find a new job and then start to save up and eventually buy some property of my own - preferably by the time I am 40 (*laughs* then *sighs*)

These plans went out of the window; riven from me like a sacrificial baby from its soul-baring mother's side. It took a while for the horror (yes, a bit of hyperbole used here and I am well aware that there are people being tortured in dark cellars or being forced to watch Adam Sandler movies somewhere in the world, but all problems are relative, right? OK...) to sink in. I was grief-striken, dazed and somewhat unhinged.

Luckily, Adam & Louise were there with me to help ease the burden of the weight of the news and, as always, they kept me sane. However, I still had a lot of thinking to do and a lot of stress suddenly seared through my body like lava spewing from a volcano - only in reverse and, perhaps, a little less dramatic.

I had already planned a trip to Malmsbury that weekend to see my friend Mike and have dinner with Alexandra Tynan (AKA Sandra Reid), a woman who worked as a costume designer on Doctor Who back in the Sixties and basically designed the original Cybermen. OBVIOUSLY, I still went. I had met Alexandra before and we got on incredibly well, so when she suggested to Mike we got together for dinner, who was I to refuse?

So, off I went to Malmsbury and had a lovely weekend staying at Mike's beautiful home and having a superb dinner at a Turkish restaurant, Mr Carsisi in the nearby town of Kyneton.

Mike's beautiful home...
Malmsbury just being beautiful...
Me and Alexandra.

My lovely weekend was marred by this stress hanging over my head - not exactly the Sword of Damocles but maybe the Butter-knife of St Joseph.

Since then, my mind has been weighted heavily to one side, giving me an awkward look of someone perplexed. I have tried to focus on my work since returning to the job, but I have ultimately been distracted. I have scoured the Internet real-estate sites, visited a few possible properties and asked favours from a number of friends who are on the look-out for me.

Estate Agents are liars. Just like all sales people (*knowing wink to the audience*) they are full of bullshit. "Cosy" means "fucking tiny!" - "Refurbished" means "painted over the cracks" - "Spacious" means "We forgot to put up walls". It reminds me of an old Victoria Wood routine (most things do) where she says; "...they disguised a damp cellar by putting in a diving board and a changing room..."

The worst thing of all - and I really mean the worst - is getting all excited about a potential property only to come across the three deadly words of Satan: STRICTLY NO PETS!

Oh, for Bonnie Langford's sake; PEOPLE HAVE PETS! That's the nature of society. Especially for those lonely old buggers like me who repel other humans like Body Shop Ananya Perfume Oil (seriously girls, stop wearing it - it's GHASTLY! - Like garlic to vampires!)

Fizzgig is THE most important thing in my life. If she can't come with me, then I'll live on the bloody street with a pet-carrier. For crying out loud, it's not like she's going to be climbing up the curtains. With her body weight, she has enough trouble jumping onto the bed! (Bless her)

Anyway... that's the situation. I am looking to make the right move. Trying to find the right location, the right space and the right price. It's really not as easy as one would hope.

Wish me luck, everyone, for both me and Fizzgig...