We're the Pommies moving the Gillies
Trip Start Sep 28, 2009
92Trip End Apr 22, 2011
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18th September – 27th September 2010
We have been flat out every day since we came back, the new house still needed a few things finishing before we could move the furniture in and the old house needed packing up and cleaning. On Friday morning before we left Seal Rocks, I tried to put the van roof up on my own and pulled my back, by Saturday I was a mess. Shooting spasms up my back when I breathed meant I couldn't help lift boxes but it didn’t stop me painting, so I spent the whole day sitting on the floor glossing the rest of the skirting boards. Mark had borrowed an open back truck from work and we set about filling it every time we drove from one house to the other. There was a party for Diane’s brother-in-law Saturday night at the bowling club but my back was hurting so I stayed in and watched the TV while Gary, Mark and Diane when out.....Gary made use of the free bar.
We all worked none stop for the whole week, Diane cleared and cleaned the old house while the boys moved furniture and boxes in the truck. I Packed up the kitchen and set up the new one and made myself useful to everyone. Mark was given some cupboards which Gary transformed into a walk-in wardrobe for Diane. By Wednesday night it started looking like a house, by Thursday it was a home. Everyone who came round couldn’t believe it was the same house, anyone who hadn’t seen it previously thought Mark had over dramatised how bad it was. It really did look so different.
Wednesday night we had dinner at Dave and Ann-Marie’s, there was so much delicious food I couldn’t move afterwards. Dave set a huge plate of prawns in front of Gary which he polished off in no time. We all ate so much we hurt. Gary helped Dave finish off a bottle of Wild Turkey which is an Australian bourbon....tasted too much like whiskey for me....which left a few sore heads in the morning.
Thursday night was our first night in Beach Road, in the morning Gary and I got up and walked over the road to Redhead beach. It was a misty morning and there was a grey sky overhead, but we still got some nice shot’s of Redhead bluff and the shark tower. We went over again the next morning with Mark and River, it was a lovely warm sunny day and the surf was good. There were a few surfers down the beach but none of them had ventured in the water yet.
Saturday afternoon we received a phone call from Adrian asking us if we wanted tickets to the Soccer (Football) Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory. Obviously we jumped at the chance, after all we do love to watch a game of footy. After Mark and Di dropped us off we walked through the security gate and into the ground. The first obvious difference was the grass banks behind the goals where everyone sat and watched the game on picnic rugs. The second difference came when Gary bought the beer and then sat in his seat to drink it. By law in the UK you can’t drink Alcohol in your seats in the stadium, this was very novel for us..... it did mean Gary spent most of the game visiting the bar and the toilet. The result was 0 – 0 and the standard was a bit poor but still a fab night.
Sunday was the big clean up day as the new neighbours had been invited round for drinks and nibbles, we were also going for dinner at the Malaysian restaurant at the end of the road with Dave and Ann-Marie. Before any of this could happen, Diane and I swaned off for all you can eat breakfast at a local hotel in Newcastle, they had been given a gift voucher and it ran out that morning. We met Luke and Erin on our way in, they also had a voucher and were just leaving having made the most of the feast. We waited for Adrian and Bonny and we all tucked into a fine banquet. After a quick shopping trip we arrived back at the house to help with the tidy up, Mark had placed pictures round the rooms and I helped him hang them. It made a massive difference having the pictures on the wall and by the time the first neighbour knocked on the door the place looked immaculate and total unrecognisable from the neglected house they bought. After they left we all went to the Malaysian which was delicious, Dave and Ann-Marie are regulars and ordered their favourites for the table. On the way back we dropped into the new neighbour’s house for coffee. Their house is all glass at the front and we all wanted to have a better look at the inside. It is a two story house with the living area up stairs, a big balcony set at an angle so you get the best view of the beach and lovely pool outside with a diving board and underwater lights.
Monday morning and we are preparing to get back on the road again. This trip is for four days in Sydney and then back to Redhead for one night before head up north for good. There is no wifi set up in the new house so we have been visiting Dave a lot and borrowing his. We walk the dog and take the short cut through the bush. This morning we were also going to pick the van up and take it back to Beach Road for a cleanup, so we left Dave’s having checked emails and walked up the suburban street towards their old house. A snake about two metres long slithered across the road and into the neighbours garden. Quick on the draw Gary grabbed the camera and chased after it. When we got back with our tale of the huge snake, we find out that it’s only a yellow diamond python it won’t kill you, no it the brown ones you have to be worried about.......ONLY A PYTHON!!! Is this country serious...the snake was two metres long and in a domestic garden!! We then get told that we should have caught it as it was worth $1000 and used for breading......oh good more of them!!! We had a similar experience with a Huntsman Spider in the new house before we moved in. Again we took River for a walk and called into the house to turn the lights off and lock up. We sat in the back room for a while chatting about what still needed doing when I noticed a massive spider on the window behind Gary. We bravely attacked it with cockroach killer and when it was disabled enough Gary stamped on it. Again we arrive back with brave stories of giant spiders and having saved the day, only to be told Ahh they don’t do any harm they keep the flies down.....this creature was a big as my hand......!!!
At 11am Dave arrived to take us four wheel driving over the sand dunes. There is a seven mile long beach that is only accessible by 4X4’s and has the softest sand in Australia. To keep the motor moving over the soft sand you have to let some of the air out the tires, the softer the sand the more air you have to let out. As soon as the air was out of ours we were off, bumping up sand dunes and bouncing along beaches. The views were wonderful from the higher dunes and water looked turquoise today. The surf is very good on this beach so most of the off roads we met had surfboard strapped to their roofs. We were out for over an hour and had a great time.
We finished the final organise and tidy up of the van before hitting the supermarket for some essential. Luke and Erin came round to lend Diane their internet dongle and we said our goodbyes. It’s going to be strange next week when we finally have to leave, everyone has been so kind and friendly, it’s going to be like leaving home all over again. Talking of leaving home, the first year is now up.....how quick was that! Let’s hope the next year will be as exciting.