Did you ever fall for that as a kid? When someone said want to play a new game? And you say yeah! And then they spray the pack of cards in the air and when they hit the ground they say 52 pick up!
While our whole Northern adventure could never have been described as a lay down misere, for a moment there it appeared our bid was firmly in place and it was just a matter of paying attention and putting the cards out in the right order.
But someone said, hey, want to play a new game?
Our applications for Darwin rentals have been knocked back, despite our impeccable references, because we only want six months and those six months happen to end in the lowest of the low season in Darwin. The only houses we really have a chance with are such crappy locations or so ridiculously expensive we can't feel good about going to live in a really compromised way.
With less than four weeks before our tenants arrive this is anxiety producing. Completely terrifying actually.
So all the cards are back in play.
We are looking at Queensland, which could be very nice (how about this, or this?). For a start it might mean I finally fulfil a life long ambition to live by the beach. That would be nice, wouldn't it? Not as hot as Darwin, but sunny and warmer and a good summer t look forward to.
Financially it would be much better value, and a real draw card for visitors being that bit closer. I have raised with my workplace the possibility of working remotely and they seem mostly positive, so that might take care of one of the major drawbacks to being out of a big city with a shortage of skilled people like me.
But gee, how am I supposed to know if I want to be in Surfer's, or Noosa, or anywhere else on that coast? I can't inspect properties, which is a pretty significant limitation, and while I can locate child care centres on maps, I can't assess how good they are, or how easy they are to get to. I'll need to make about a zillion phone calls to find out about vacancies and schools and search for shops and supermarkets and public transport options.
And if we aren't in Darwin, D will have to make a trip or two up there. Add on the trips he already has committed to do to Indonesia and New York and I could be spending quite a bit of time on my own and without a car - how will that be? And is it better to have an easy walk to school, child care or shops if I have to choose?
It feels very much like I don't have nearly enough information to make any kind of decisions, and yet I am acutely aware that every day that passes closes out another set of possibilities (especially when those agents do not update their websites very promptly). Feel very much that we need to sort this and yet, how can we possibly do that?
We joked for a while about caravan parks but our smiles are fading. The ratio of really crappy options to good ones is staggeringly against us.
And of course with so much pressure and so many problems to solve it is proving quite a challenge for D and I to not completely fritz out at the same time, retain enough focus to remember we have kids and it is school holidays and we need to do more than simply hit the play button on the DVD player yet again, not get depressed into inaction, or blame each other for the freakin mess we've made.
Expect turbulence. And mixed metaphors.