No Living for (or even in) the City for me

Did me best; and the place I liked most – studio on the ground floor in La Trobe Street – had forty applicants and they came down to two, of which I was one. The Property Manager was sure the owner would pick me but no, the other bastard got it.   :(

So I persevered with looking, and have ended up with another studio – but in South Yarra, not the city. And what a terrific little studio it is !! There’s a division between the living-room and the bedroom which is created by a quarter-wall; and the side facing into the bedroom is a set of shelves and a nifty clothes-hanging little cupboard ! The living area occupies almost half the space, longitudinally so to speak, and its glass doors open out onto the full-width balcony that the Boodster is going to LOVE !! – as will I, because it faces south and looks over low buildings to the left and greenery to the right. I shall sit out there with him and crochet. He will regard the world, as is his wont.

This little place is almost in the middle of the Chapel Street|Toorak Road nexus – not quite – and is shops, shops and more shops. I couldn’t be happier !

 Moving next Tuesday. All the usual horrible stuff going on with regard to it; but I have to say that this time it isn’t the removalists but that changes to casual labour have meant Aunty Grace wasn’t able to find people to do my packing – which means the removalists will have to and that’s thrown all the plans for the day into chaos. Doing my best to sort it ..

I would so dearly love this delightful little studio to be my ‘forever home’ (as is said so often in YouTube videos of rescue animals); but of course it will depend entirely upon its owner. I wonder who is the patron saint of tenants of rented premises ? – anyone know ? [grin]

Hokayyy .. Off to do some planning of what (if anything !) I can do on Monday to speed up the packing on Tuesday morning. We’re starting at 0700 – we’re tigers for punishment ..

Moving on up the line

I moved in here in Essendon in mid-April, and was happy. I still am. It’s the smallest apartment I’ve inhabited, but the Boodsta and I manage very well, and exist in mutual satisfaction. My wonderful helper, Luz, comes every second Thursday and cleans and cleans – easily the best ever ! – and that arvo Boodie commences spreading as much beige-coloured litter granule thingies around as poss. Sighhh ..

But. A family member here in Melbourne is not at all well, and in fact needs fairly constant attention. She lives in Kew East: I live in Essendon:

We are not close – in any sense. And yet I must make that trip more than a couple of times a week. Woe !!!

The problem is that tram seats are appallingly uncomfortable – especially the ones in the newer trams ! I now suffer chronic sacroiliitis (horrid word) and am obliged to off-set my daily fibre intake by throwing down Panadeine Forte so as to be able to move freely. What my unhappy gut will make of this remains to be seen.     :(

It can’t go on. You know what this means. I wrote to my favourite man a few weeks back —

(As you see, I managed to turn it into a whinge – I’m good at that.)

Seems logical to see if I can find an apartment in the CBD. Having ascertained (to my astonishment !) that Melbourne has my heart and always did have from the time I lived here for nearly ten years, back in my sinful youth – cf. And then like my dreams – I have also had to accept that Melbourne city proper is co-owner of it. It is, of course, remotely possible that it might have to do with coming into town every so often to morning-coffee with one or other or both of my two gorgeous men .. I s’pose .. [grin]

I went to a viewing of what seemed a delightful little apartment on Friday morning:

It was very far from delightful. That was the entire width, side to side ! The bottom cupboard on the left housed the “European laundry” – meaning there were taps for a very small washing-machine, but no space at all for a dryer; and as the balcony is about one pace wide (Boodie would hate it !), the concept of drying one’s clothes out there was to me ungraspable. The tenants being still in occupation, the bedroom housed a double (only) mattress on the floor, which occupied the space virtually from side to side – no wonder they didn’t put an actual bed in it ! The bathroom storage wasn’t. In fact the word ‘storage’ must have been considered a swear-word by the architects .. I can’t imagine who they had in mind when drawing up their plans. And for this kingdom the landlord wanted $320 a week.

So now you know that it’s true, everything they’re telling you about Melbourne rents.

But although I’ve had to tell my property manager that I’ve given up the search – for I did on Friday – I just came across another CBD apartment, which is a real one, I think. One doesn’t know until one lays eyes.

This is not an enjoyable process. To begin with, it’s one that’s been thrust upon me; and then the expenses are horrific. I guess I have to try to think positively and tell myself that if a CBD apartment that I like comes out of this, it will cut my travelling time in just over half and sacroiliitis will be a thing of the past.

And it might be super, living in the city ..

So much BLOOD ! :\

The other night the fire alarms went off AGAIN – it was just over a week since the last time,

I knew it would be a false alarm, but one has to do the right thing (I suppose). So I sighed heavily, switched off the split system, opened the door to the balcony, turned off the Breville Barista Express (on which I had just made a coffee !), and went into the bedroom to fetch the Boodsta and put him into his carry-basket.

For reasons of which I had and still have ZERO understanding, he decided he was terrified. I will admit that the doleful yelling of “EMERGENCY ! – evacuate NOW !!” was not conducive to rest as it went on and on and on; but we’d done this several times when we were living in Maribyrnong, and just last week, and he’d had no problems at all. So ..?

Whose nose ?, as Stringer liked so much to ask.    :D

I realised immediately that Boodie was distinctly lacking in cooperation, and had to struggle with him right away. The little bugger’s claws came into their own, and as he was absolutely determined not to be put into the soft carrier, they made contact with my right hand. I shouted an imprecation and re-doubled my efforts.

No dice. He escaped and rushed out onto the balcony, from whence he simply walked along the railing into the next unit’s balcony and thumbed his moggy nose at me.

I gave up. Went around to the lifts – yes, wicked me ! I knew it was another false alarm and so couldn’t be bothered going down the concrete stairs – and it was only when I pressed the button that I saw the gore. I see-ed the bleed !! [grin]

In fact I’d bled all down the corridor, and there was a smallish pool of it on the lift floor. My hand was wonderfully dramatic with blood trailing excitingly all down my fingers and dripping off ! When I emerged onto the footpath outside the front door there were gasps of horror. “OMG ! – have you got a big wound ?” – followed by disbelief when I showed what Boodie had done: one small claw-hole !

The firies had already turned up – quiet Saturday arvo – and one of them was delegated to attend to me and my cascading blug, which he did with admirable speed and efficiency. But I was obliged, after we’d all been let back in, to get some paper towels and my Koh spray and clean up after meself.

Blood thinners, of course. I’d forgotten I’m taking ’em. They turned an otherwise boring event into a delightfully awful one.

And they say silence is golden ..

It was an amazing noise.

There we all were in the first floor salon of my very swish hairdresser – I will admit, it was only my second time but I am determined to be able to afford them ! – and it sounded as if everyone was having the most marvellous time. The sound track made me laugh with joy, that babble of voices and laughter and callings-out, all to the background of a music tape someone had dubbed. Hairdressers are delightful – well, this lot is: they make you feel as if you’re visiting rather than obtaining a paid service. And I do assure you that the service is EXCELLENT !

I was sitting at a big table, crocheting while my now extremely short hair (had just had a #4 buzzcut) was getting paler by the moment, in the room that has four basins for washing and tricking up colour. Couldn’t help remarking on how four totally unalike women looked almost identical when lying back with their heads in the basins and their eyes closed in bliss ..

The volume ratcheted up a bit as a late-comer from the staff arrived to general insults and calumny: you get to know them all, not just the ones who actually work on you. (And today I turned out to be quite hard work; as the top back part of my hair – the double crown – was refusing to be bleached. If I remember at all, it took the original 40′ and about four or five more lots of 10′ ! I am happy to say that the end result is, she said modestly, terrific.)

The music was pulsing in the background as a track – and in fact this side of the tape – neared the end; and shortly it stopped. One of those sudden lulls in the vocal row happened at exactly that moment; and not at all loudly but because of the unexpected quiet seemingly like a thunderclap, someone farted.

O.M.G. !

A second or two of frozen silence.

Then someone giggled. And then another person. And within a matter of seconds the entire floor was in uproar ! I honestly doubt that the perpetrator of The Ghastly Deed was ever identified, and nobody cared — it was simply hilarious.    :)

I’ve often wondered what it is about farts that makes them so funny .. I think it’s because they’re kind of frowned on but only a wee bit naughty – like, finger-waggingly wicked and not even worth a cross word. Depending, of course .. [grin]

Sat’dy morning

As the Volvo finally made it ’round the corner she was able to step off the kerb and walk over the roundabout leg, calling a couple of thoughts after it.

Such a day ! – and that nice bloke at the clothing alterations place had taken up the cheap jeans while she waited .. which was just as well, as she’d forgotten to collect the old ones when she left the flat. She blithely stepped up onto the next block of the footpath, a virtuous walking person.

Approaching the next roundabout (Essendon is rife with ’em) she saw a man appear on the left quadrant, fair way away; and as he half-turned to see her, he smile hugely and waved, immediately loudly starting up what was obviously meant to be a conversation but that couldn’t yet be discerned.

“Fuck me !” she said to herself: “do I know this bloke ? – I do not .. At least, I believe I do not ..” and she interrogated her mental gallery of acquaintances. “Oh, hang on !” – as he grew ever nearer – “it’s that fellow from the fresh market – the unfortunate bastard I practise my Italian on !”, and she waved back. “Giorno !” she cried gaily; “come stai ? Fa meraviglioso, no ?” happy in the knowledge that such basic stuff couldn’t be wrong.

They were getting closer, but the very imperfect hearing in her left ear had still not allowed her to make out anything he was saying, so she continued. “Perché sei qui ? – abiti vicino ?” (not nearly so confident, but who gives a shit ?!) and by now they were close enough to make each other’s features out.

Not the bloke from the fresh market. Not anyone she knew.

His face had fallen. “You’re not who I thought you were !” he said accusingly; “for heaven’s sake, why were you talking to me ?” A thought .. “And you were talking IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE !”

Deeply offended, he stalked off in high dudgeon.

She stood there dumbstruck for a moment, then wickedly called after him, vowels flattened, “Whaddya mean, a foreign language ?! – are you quite MAD ?” and watched him stop and turn back for a moment, his face a picture. “Jeez, mate !” she expostulated, throwing her hands in the air.

Then, gleeful, she continued on in her own direction. Very satisfying.

 

A morning in the life

The silence within the room lengthened. Outside, however, could still be heard the infuriating sound of the laundromat’s dryers, rhythmically whining their horrid metallic row.

“Nano-particles ..” she said.

The cat curled tightly between her knees on the recliner chair ignored this pronouncement and merely wrapped his tail more securely around himself. He was used to such utterances and had learned never to be surprised.

She’d just finished re-crocheting all the acrylic yarn already used once this-morning and was making (again) the back of a sweater, this time ten stitches wider than the one she’d been working on for some hours, so the concept was relevant: acrylic yarn is full of ’em.

“I might actually have some real wool !” she told the cat, guiltily; “remember that cardigan I started to knit ? – it’s in the hallway drawers ..” and she put the huge acrylic yarn cake onto the side table, together with the crocheted piece, failing to see that the thread was caught around one of the cat’s back feet. At the same time as she rose she gently pushed him off her lap and, too late !, saw the problem.

It was a shitfight. The enormous yarn cake went flying and she stupidly tried to catch it, not wanting to have to untangle the equivalent of eight balls of yarn; her forward leap meant that the flap of the recliner didn’t shut but opened up and caught the back of her shins punishingly. With loud imprecations she was flung at the couch on the other side of the little room and grabbed at it to stop her fall, managing only to yank all the cushions off and onto her head as she hit the floor.

The cat, meanwhile, had leaped frantically sideways out of her path and onto his climbing tree, knocking it over so that it fell behind her – fitting neatly between her slippers and the open recliner. He landed on her bum, claws out for support, then leaped off and raced for cover in the bedroom: he had a feeling she was not going to be happy ..

She lay there for a bit, shaken by the act of falling. Tons of stuff around for her to heave herself up by. The dryers just went on grinding out their hideous song from below.

“So,” she said to no-one, “what’s my take on THAT ?!”

A couple of seconds of thought, and then she heaved herself up, shedding cushions and kicking the cat-tree away.

Happily she was only bruised if you didn’t count the claw-marks on her arse. Unhappily the acrylic yarn cake was spread everywhere.

“Easy,” she finished: “forget being eco-minded.”

Thinking of writing again

It seems more than slightly egocentric to post about it; but I actually have a question to put to anyone out there who’s written more than once ..

Q: How hard is it ?I don’t want to start out with fanfare and champagne and then pathetically back away because it was too demanding.

So somehow I have to find out about going through the writing process a second time.

As to what .. I’m only capable of writing in the first person; and fiction is something I couldn’t write to save my life.  It would be, were I to get stuck in and Nike, entitled “How to Grow Old and Silly Successfully” – a topic with which I have a very close relationship ..

It would be instances of my more idiotic performances in Life, and how their various ‘audiences’ responded. In my own writing style, of course ..

Does it sound the faintest bit amusing ?

ATLMD was written from a vastly different point of view; but it did contain a fair bit of humour, as anyone who’s read it will (jesus I hope so !!) attest.

So. How hard is it to write a second magnum opus, anyone ?

A day of note (sort of ..)

Yesterday I entered upon my eightieth year.

When I write it like that, I can see what my favourite man means when he says “But the day you turn 80 is just one more day after you weren’t 80 !” when he’s scoffing at my saying I’m scared of that birthday. Birthdays are just .. well, days, right ?

So now that I’m 79 and not looking to the next birthday (well, at least saying that to him) I should be able to shrug my shoulders and say so what ?!

Ah well.

I had a wonderfully enjoyable morning-tea with my second-favourite man; and there’s another morning-tea coming up next week when we’re joined by the absent one, to make up for his not being with us yesterday. I don’t know of anyone in my age-group who gets entertained by two gorgeous and truly intelligent men.

My life with these two in it is full of sunshine (and rain, and cold – it is winter in Melbourne, after all !). I am a singularly lucky old fart.   :D

Well, I went there ..

.. but I didn’t join in with ’em.

Why ? – because never have I seen in one place so many people (of all ages) being really competitive. Competition is not my jam (as one of my two new but already dear friends likes to say); and it’s clear at the Maribyrnong ParkRun that those who run are all competing against everyone else.  As for the ‘walkers’ – I couldn’t possibly even catch them up, let alone match their pace ! Even the people wheeling baby carriages were either running or walking at great speed.

I’d plotted out half a kilometre on Google, and walked at my own speed – not as fast as I used to do when living in Sydney, but not all that much slower – there and back two times without stopping ! AND ! – I could’ve done another pass were it not for the fact that the balls of my feet were on fire.

So I returned home (via the two trams), pensively working out how to afford a good pair of running shoes. Haven’t got there so far ..

Anyway: I won’t bother going on with ParkRun because the poor sod designated any day’s Behind the Last Walker would make me feel terrible (as Debra spoke of the other day) – couldn’t do it. Besides, I’m still not up for 5km, yet.

So I shall simply do one of my 1km local walks every day. And who knows what I might work up to in time ?!

 

Circumstances conspired ..

.. and definitely against me.

So, erhmm .. what do you see as being important in ParkRun’s requirements, eh ?

I had, last Sunday, ordered on-line a credit-card-sized thingy with my name and barcode on it. Didn’t make it here by yesterday’s mail, dammit ! Oh well says I, I’ll just do as they say and print mine off for tomorrow which I would’ve done had my Pixma not had a hissy fit and chosen not to function. It wasn’t the Wi-Fi connection or suchlike but your actual mechanical problem buggerit. No  barcode no participation: the ParkRun site makes that crystal clear.

I was actually relieved on account of having worried myself into quite a state regarding my ability to last anything like the distance. I decided that I wasn’t meant to start today but spend the next week getting in some trial walks: drew up a few Google maps with that in mind.

There’s nice – the delightful little park a few doors up ..

And that kilometres takes in some of the very pretty Bulla Road environs – should be indeed pleasant !

And to replicate ParkRun – were I full of bullets –

So that’s enough practice for a squadron, let alone one old broad ..

I doubt I’ll ever do that 5k walk around my area – it’s not all flat ! But the two single kilometres should be fine for ascertaining my degree of – not fitness, no .. of ability to walk. And then I can go to Maribyrnong without having to be scared because of not knowing if I’m going to collapse or somethin ..