Monday 8th September.
The most important part of the day almost never happened.
The important item today was the settlement. Supposedly at 10am. Our solicitor had sent the cheque on Friday via Priority Courier for delivery by 10am. By that time the cheque had not been delivered. I started making calls and was promised by midday OR if they failed to meet that deadline, no later than 2pm. Still no delivery and we made several more hurried, frantic and slightly miffed, annoyed and stressed calls. Finally the cheque arrived about 2.30, settlement took place at 3.30 and everybody went home happy.
Annoyed but happy.
Tuesday 9th September.
I dunno why but I can feel a week of drama coming on.
Our appointment with the Tax Agent went well. I dunno about her sense of humour though. We knew we would have to pay the tax office a big chunk of tax from the sale of our house in Mackay last year. Now, me being me, did a bit of mental arithmetic and consulting with others in a financial background and we all more or less agreed on what that large chunk would be. Within minutes of our meeting the agent told the bad news about how the Australian Tax Office (ATO) calculates the tax. Without going into detail about how the calculations are done let me just comment that all the blood drained from my face and all I could think of was a bigger chunk of money going to the ATO. After some moments of heart palpitations and not a drop of humour left in my mind, the agent then explained the resultant tax bill, while still being a big chunk, was a slightly lesser chunk. I could breathe again. Donnis thought the episode was funny. The expression on my face was worthwhile seeing.
Friends John & Lorraine S called around for a final coffee. Who knows when we will catch up with them again.
Wednesday 10th September
We had been told to expect the removalist truck by around 9am. We were not fully packed but theorised that by the time the removalist were ready for those final items we would be packed.
The time came and went. An hour passed and no sign of the removalists.
\Now everything was packed away, even those items we would make lunch and a cuppa.
Another hour went by. Ummm, where are they? I called their base. Umm err they were delayed getting a pickup and delivery to Cairns but left there an hour ago. I was asked how long to drive to Airlie Beach. I did my mental maths and said at least 8 hours and estimated they would arrive in the late afternoon…about 6pm. Hmmm! Allowing two hours to pack and we do a final clean we could be on the road by maybe 10 pm. Not a good time to be on the road but at least we would be on our way.
Mid-afternoon the removalist sent a text message. Will arrive between 8pm and 9pm. WOT THE!!! Later their base called to ask if we had heard from the truck as they had not heard from them for several hours. WOT THE!!!
By 7pm the truck driver called asking for our address!!! WOT THE!!! They then advised a new ETA of 8.30 pm.
They arrived at 9.30.
With Donnis and I working as navies the truck was loaded, the removalists had a shower and were on their way by 1am Thursday. As we had cleaned the rooms progressively as items were emptied, we did a final clean and were tucked in bed in WWWGO by 1.15.
Thursday 11th September
We were up and ready by 6am. We moved WWWGO out of its parking location and finally connected TERIOS to it and were on our way. Well, sort of. We stopped at McDonalds for breakfast. We left Maccas at 7am and truly were on our way with Frank driving and towing TERIOS and Donnis following in RALLYE. Although I am comfortable driving for hours on end, Donnis is inclined to cramp up and or become tired after a couple of hours. On top of that she was not enjoying driving behind while trucks were wanting to pass. She kept dropping further and further behind instead of driving ahead and choosing a place to stop for a break every two hours.
By now I can confirm the tension of the last few days was making us both feel out of sorts.
At last, by 4pm we decided to call it quits for the day. We had driven 600 Klms and stopped for the night at Calliope River where we had stayed on many occasions in the past. As usual this delightful spot was chock a block with probably another 100 campers and more arriving every few minutes. With a little daylight still remaining we had a walk around the campsite on both sides of the river. The bridge over the river was once part of the original Bruce Highway. When the highway was diverted and a new bridge built this lttle area became the property of the local council and they allowed the area to be used for camping. In fact on the high northern bank of the river they cleared an area, put in toilets, fence boundaries and a sealed access road. A few years ago the bridge itself was blocked off to all but pedestrian traffic as it was beginning to deteriorate rapidly.
Mental exhaustion caught up with us and we were in bed by 8.30 with a vague plan to be on the road by 6am to drive the remaining 600 Klms and arrive on the Gold Coast by mid afternoon.
Friday 12th September
Around 4am Donnis woke feeling ill. She had a “technicolour yawn” (Aussie slang – see Google – http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=technicolor%20yawn ) and came back to bed and shivered with cold until we both fell asleep. I was awake by 6am but thought it best for Donnis to remain asleep. We were on the road by 9.30 and this time Donnis drove ahead of me. The trip was uneventful and we crossed the threshold of our new home at 7pm. We had been on the road 36 hours.
The removalists had put some of the furniture in the logical places inside the house. The remainder was stacked haphazardly in the garage. At least we had a table and chairs and a bed for the night. Too tired and mentally fuzzed to try to cook we unloaded WWWGO fridge into the house fridge. Just outside the back gate of our new resort style home is a giant foodie place called Harbourside Markets. We had a nice Indian meal before heading back home to bed.
Another early night of ZZZzzz.
Saturday 13th September
We woke to the reality of all the unpacking ahead of us as well as all the day to day adjustments to a new lifestyle and set of rules.
We started meeting other residents as they walked around. Some are off to Hawaii tomorrow. Our next door neighbours arrived home from a three month trip in their caravan.
In the morning we wandered back to Harbourside Markets for a late breakfast at Tartare Restaurant. Imagine this. Two bacon rashers, two eggs, two slices of toast and a hash brown plus a coffee for $8.90 Compare this to a McDonalds McMuffin, hash brown and a coffee for around the same price. There is NO comparison.
By the way the market is named Harbourside Markets,which is outside our back gate. Our location is called Harbourside Gardens and we are across the street from a large shopping centre called Harbour Town.
We temporarily moved WWWGO into the Treasure Island Caravan Park next door (we get a 20% discount on all their restaurant and other facilities including accommodation. We also get a 20% discount on all food sold at Harbourside Markets – except in the restaurants. The food outlets include a bakery, chocolatier, specialist aged dried beef butchery, fromagery, delicatessen. green grocer, gelatoist, pizzeria and a fish monger.
After a long day of unpacking and trying to store the stuff from a three bedroom house into a smaller two bedroom villa it was time to find all the cables for the TV and tune it in to the local stations. The unpacking continues tomorrow.
Sunday 14th September
Most of the day was spent unpacking and finding storage places. We walked to Harbourtown Shopping Centre to buy milk but decided to stop at Fasta Pasta for lunch. Options for breakfast lunch and dinner will keep us busy for a long time to come. The movie theatre, including a Gold Class lounge will keep us entertained. The Chinese green grocer had a special of 6 punnets of strawberries for $5. Naturally they are now stored in the freezer.
After meeting several residents and hearing their reports on activities in and around the resort and the Gold Coast in general we will be busy for a long time to come.