Saturday, 4 July 2009

52 pick up

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.


ginevra / red_swirl said...

I understand it's totally frustrating and scary.

The only help I can give: as a confirmed non-car owner, try to be closest to grocers or supermarkets with long opening hours. You'll have to carry all your shopping home by hand, and perhaps shop more frequently.

Kids can complain for hours if they're missing their favourite food (even though there's plenty of other food in the house). They rarely drive you nuts wanting school or childcare.

Also, some days you may just need to pop out (with the kids) to buy yourself some emergency chocolate!!!

trashalou said...

Hahaha! 52 pickup, now that is ringing some memory bells.

The thing to cling to I think is that one day these will all make great travel stories ;-)

Emma said...

I wasn't going to comment on this post because I'm still relatively new to your blog and didn't want to impose, but your comment about hitting play on the DVD player hit home with me...

I have very little advice to give because I'm stuck in a limbo-like predicament at the moment - where it feels like I have so little control over my life and my family's life. We are planning to move back to Canada but don't have a date set so we're living hand-to-mouth and making sacrifices with little payoff. Add to that there is 4 days until our 2nd baby is due to be born and it's a little scary! Plus, I'm charged with the responsibility of being the positive person in the house!

What I can tell you is that I still manage to find joy in the small things, even when times are tough. Blogs like yours, my daughter's belly laugh, sewing and baking and licking the bowl. You will get through this.

And I totally agree with ginevra, being a non-car owner myself, put yourself close to supermarkets first and foremost and public transport as well, of course.

Jodie said...

Oh Sooz, so many trailing leads and decisions. Perhaps bloggers could give an understanding of at least the noosa v's surfers part.
Hard not to go mental with indecision and time running out though

cristy said...

Personally I wouldn't live in Surfers it is so built up. What about far northern NSW?

Tania said...

No one can say you aren't living life (on the edge). Yikes. But I am in no doubt that you will find a way to fall on your feet. (Nearly ready to hit delete here - it's certainly not my intention to come over all trite).

Any bloggers with excellent location and logistics advice?

Bianca Jae Makes Stuff said...

I feel you pain! Darwin is incredibly difficult to get housing. We rented what ever we could get for the first 12 months and now we have moved to a wonderful house/area.

Is there anything I can do? Have you though about living out in Palmerston? Really it isn't like people say! Perhaps we could help you find something? Even short term.

Sucks to be suck. Sucks to have so much pressure when all you really want to do in enjoy this time with family and friends. xox

justinamaria said...

gosh, such big decisions for you to make. very exciting prospects though!
the only thing i feel at all qualified to comment on is the gold vs sunshine coast part. as a girl who grew up in brissy we had many wonderful family holidays at sunshine beach and noosa (i imagine it's changed a bit now though) so i would say north of brisbane rather than the gold coast.
i wish you all the best on your adventures :-)

Kate said...

I find it very hard to have faith that the universe will turn something up - being more of a 'what bastard drank my drink' person than a half-full...

But it usually does. It might not be ideal, and it's bloody FRUSTRATING not to mention scary to have to make all those decisions with not nearly enough info. But don't forget the people in play and how less than perfect situations can turn out to be wonderful - don't understimate yourselves!

Leonie said...

With all of the decisions on your plate it's no wonder you have moments of losing it. I have no knowledge of the north east coast area apart from my brother who lives and works in Brisbane (suburbs) and loves it, don't know whether Brissy is an option for you but it is lovely.

sewjourn said...

I hope you can look back on this time in about two months and laugh! Meanwhile, I hope each day opens doors and shows you answers. Sounds like close to an airport would be a bonus. Good luck.

Lisa said...

I had a holiday in Surfers last year with my daughter and no car...whilst Surfers is like living on another planet (built up & thousands of tourists) the public transport was, I felt, amazingly good. Especially if you can live near the train line to Brissy. The buses seem to go almost everywhere, we had no trouble at all doing whatever we liked. Had a couple of days touristing around Brisbane too, and I must say, it seemed a great place to live, if that's a possibility...lots to explore, loved the kid friendly fake 'beach' in the middle of the city. Good luck!

greatbalancingact said...

Hey Sooz,
Sorry to hear things are so topsy-turvy - I know it's not your preferred state ;-)
I reckon the place in Surfers looks gorgeous and you will definitely be better off there in terms of public transport. Sure, it's OTT & more than a bit tacky, but it's very kid-friendly, you're only there for 6 months AND Byron Bay/Brunswick Heads is only a 2 hour drive...
If you're thinking about Brisbane, I could put you in touch with my sister-out-law who I reckon would be a great resource on all things child-centred. She and Roo's bro live on Stradbroke Island.
I also have contacts (aunt & uncle) at Sunshine Beach if this would help. Just say the word.
Good luck,
Ang x