You'll remember we've been following the story of our move from Canberra to the "Nature Coast" of New South Wales.  We pick up at the start of 2007.

Selling the Canberra House

Now we've been focusing in this story so far on building the new house, but of course you can't move without having to sell the previous house.  Which we did, not through the usual real estate agent, but by private sale.  We put up a web page and placed only one small ad in the Canberra newspaper, thus saving rather a lot of money on real estate agent commissions and advertising.  But selling the old home meant we needed somewhere to live, and our new house wasn't quite ready!  We were able to stall for a few weeks, but then the new owner was being pressured by the new owners of her former house and we knew the time was up!


So, on the 15th of January, two very large trucks showed up at the old home, and proceeded, with much grunting and groaning, to upload all 100 cubic metres of our meagre possessions.  Grunting and groaning seemed to reach a peak about when they lifted the metal lathe (about 300KG, 660lbs) and the mill (about 400 Kg, 880lbs) into the vehicles.  They and we slaved the whole long day, packing, moving and cleaning, and all set out for the coast, we passing them by late in the day as the trucks toiled up the inland side of the Great Dividing Range.  But the builder had made it clear he couldn't possibly let us into the house for 4 more days, so we'd made arrangements for our stuff to stay on the back of the trucks till then, and we booked into a motel in Batemans Bay.  Our greatest urgency was to make the coast in time to get Her Serene Adjacency, the Lady Tara Fluffybum, bedded down in the cattery by curfew.  We were almost caught out by a small bushfire, fortunately causing delays only to traffic moving in the other direction.

"Of every trade and all trades"

Next morning we visited the house to see every trade represented - "outside" carpenters building the deck, "fitout" carpenters fitting doors, painters painting, electricians and plumbers tripping over each other, all in a mad panic to get the house habitable by the 19 January, the removalist's deadline.

Define "habitable"

Now the word habitable probably has many definitions, but it has to be said that the condition of the house as we took possession on Friday 19 would not fit within the local council's permitted range.  No railings on the decks and stairs, one toilet leaking, luke-cold hot water, painting still in progress, no cooktop, no clothesline, holes in the ceiling where skylights are to be, electricity to the workshop cordoned off, powerless air conditioners drooping off the walls, no fly screens, carpets or curtains and timber floors so recently lacquered that only stockinged feet were permissible. 
Building rubbish surrounded the place; no forms of electronic communication existed with the outside world.  But hey, it looked like home to us!

Moving in

So move in we did.  Three big trucks (we'd had some stuff in storage) descended on the place, filling it with boxes, beds and machinery as startled tradespeople attempted to work through the chaos.

  Since then we've been unpacking both house and workshop, making good progress, although there's much to be done yet.  The builder has managed to rectify some of the shortcomings mentioned above, but again, it's a work in progress, and that's fine with us.  Every day is an adventure, as we add another of the trappings of modern life - a toilet, hot water, some (but not all!) fly screens, carpet.  I can only remain humbled remembering that my aged parents had built their Malua Bay home themselves, with Dad (a carpenter) laying all the bricks, and Mum mixing all the "mud" (mortar) and carrying it up to second floor level on rickety scaffolding.  So, what if our TV reception's a bit poor ....

The workshop

More grunting and groaning as the mill and lathe disembarked and were wrestled into location in the new workshop.  Two weeks later and we're still sorting out the place - getting the dust extraction set up and all the shelving needed to make the place run efficiently taking much more time than I had hoped.  Still, it will be a far better workshop than I had previously, and I've taken the time necessary to make it so.  It will be a pleasure to resume work in the next few days.

I'll add some more photos of the workshop once we have the wheels of industry running again.

On to Settling in...

Back to McGee-flutes Index page...

  Created 2 February 2007

Updated 1 May 2007