Saturday, July 28, 2007

Just over half way through the latest [and last] Harry Potter. Have shed tears this afternoon at the death of the character I was least expecting to die. Sort of came out of the blue. I guess there are more tears to come.

I am really enjoying the Deathly Hallows. It is by far the best. The last book could have had the first 300 pages deleted and not suffered for it.

There is a certain sense of dread and sadness. I will miss Harry, Hermione and Ron... all the Weasleys really... Fred and George and Ginny... dear Luna... and Neville... and Lupin and Tonks. Shit, better get the tissues.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I really need to clone myself just at the moment.

One Kathy to go about normal life: working, doing the household chores, chauffering the children about, etc, etc.

Another Kathy to do all the organising which our change of abodes entails. It wouldn't be so bad if each and every necessary phone call didn't mean a half hour session of on-hold.

I have also discovered the downside of being in the middle of an economic boom. Every service is full on busy - the carpet retailers, the blind manufacturers, even the removalists. Everyone is charging top shelf prices and availability is at a premium. I feel like I'm asking them all to do me a favour by selling us their goods and/or services and allowing us the honour of paying them our money. Strange times indeed.
The two Mr Blands were evicted from BB last night.

I'm sure both Zoran and Joel are very nice boys but they added as much interest to the show as the wallpaper. This obviously helped to get them through as far as they got but enough is enough and I am glad they have been shown the door.

That god awful new Kan Tong ad brings out my violent tendancies.


Please explain!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Have just returned from my first Pilates class. It's my first step towards improving my back and stomach muscles so that I have some protection from what is likely to be a recurring back problem.

I have discovered I have NO stomach or back muscles, I am a large quantity of jelly in human form. This would probably add to my back pain issues.

The class was really good though. Each excercise only lasted a brief time so I never got to a point where I wanted to scream or cry (well, almost). All I know is it's going to take me some considerable amount of time to feel like this blubber is coming anywhere near resembling muscle tone. Oh well, one baby step at a time.
We've officially sold the house! What a fucking relief. Seriously. I've been a nervous wreck the last few weeks. Not that you'd know judging my cool, calm exterior. Yeah right!

The real estate agent is coming around tomorrow to put the SOLD sticker on the sign out the front. I reckon it's the easiest money that agent has ever made. They get a flat rate percentage commission no matter how long it takes to sell. We would have been better off paying them by the hour. Oh well, they did a good job so we're not complaining.

Now to get on with it. So many phone calls to make. Phone. Internet. Foxtel. Electricity/gas. New carpet. New blinds. Paint. Blah blah blah.

At least I can now relax and enjoy the idea of our new place. You know what, I'm really happy and excited. I've just buried the happy feelings under a thick layer of stressed and anxious. Very unlike me, I know.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Swans are back in the top eight, equal fourth to be precise, after a great win over the below than average Carlton. Whoopee!

It was one of those days at the SCG when being a Swans' member is a bloody good thing. Sitting in the warm winter sun, watching our team play well, enjoying a decent (?!) hot pie and tea out of my faithful thermos.

I don't know what you did today but I wouldn't swap my day for the world.
Yesterday I took Will to see the new Harry Potter (and the Order of the Phoenix [for those recently living under a rock]). I really love the Harry Potter everything... the books and the films. The latest instalment is just one more to love.

I was worried it may be too scary for Will but he's a Harry Potter veteran and loved it all. No scary aftertaste to mention.

Not really much to review. You either love HP or not. For me it's pure entertainment, fun from start to finish. The Order of the Phoenix is a beautiful looking film, like those before it. The cast are perfect in their roles. I think they do a fair job of translating the book to the screen. Obviously it's impossible to do it perfectly, something will always be omitted or otherwise changed.

If I had to be picky I'd bring up the less than elegant editing which seemed to jump haphazardly on more than one occasion. If it was done on purpose I couldn't pick how it added to the film, I found it odd and distracting.

Bring on the Deathly Hollows.

Friday, July 13, 2007

This whole real estate thing has been a roller coaster ride. I can't believe it but we seem to have sold our house. In fact we exchanged contracts on Wednesday (in between The Wiggles and Regina Spektor). There is a five day cooling off period for the purchaser so I'm aware things could still go wrong but I'm feeling really positive.

Is that like a record, selling your house in four days? We had our first open house last Saturday and on Monday I got a call from the agent saying that they'd had many calls about it that morning and had a bid of $610,000. Great we said. Happy with that.

Tuesday we got a call saying we had another bid of $620,000. Great we said. Even happier with that. So it all went through and we signed a contract on Wednesday. Not only is it sold but it's $1,000 more than the advertised price.

I'm a bit dazed and confused really. It's supposed to be a dead real estate market at the moment. I had a horrible feeling it would take us a few months to sell the house (our friends in a different area recently sold theirs after almost five months on the market). Buggered if I have a clue how it all works.

The main thing is, all going well, we'll be able to settle pretty much at the same time on both properties and move into our apartment without the much feared bridging finance. [Insert look of immense relief here!]
Wednesday was a big day, entertainment wise.

Started off at Hornsby RSL with a million other mums and kids for THE WIGGLES!!! Yes, the real ones, live on stage. It was a great show, as usual (I've been to a few). The kids, big and small, had a wonderful time. It's hilarious to see all the adults (yours truly included) singing and dancing along. What have our lives become?

Hot potato, hot potato. Cold spaghetti, cold spaghetti...

This was followed by a brief adult business interlude (see post above).

Then off to the much more hip and with it Enmore Theatre for Regina Spektor with my dear friend C. First we enjoyd dinner at a Peruvian restaurant and it was really nice (I think next time I'll order the goat dish C tried, it was yummy). I think it was nice for both of us crazed mums just to sit quietly, enjoy a nice meal and a chat without screaming, tantruming children.

The surprise of the night was the loud and excited Regina Spektor fans who were just going mental during the show. If you imagine me at a Robbie Williams' concert, on speed, multiplied by 100 you'd start to get the picture. Who knew!

Regina herself was magic. She is just unique. A gorgeous pure performer, just her and the piano (and a guitar) on the stage. Just Regina and her voice and her talent. That's all she needs.

It's not just that her songs are quirky and beautiful and funny; it's not just that she does wonderful creative things with her music and her voice; it's the whole tiny amazing package.

So happy I got to experience her. Another one of life's little gifts.
My dear sister came home from her European escapades on Tuesday night.

She had an amazing time. I'm sure she doesn't want to be home. But I am so very very glad she is back. I didn't really realise how much I missed her until I heard her voice on the phone a few days before she returned.

Welcome home J. Missed you. Love you.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

After yum cha we dropped our friends off to spend time with some of their other Sydney friends and headed off to look at some potential new furniture for the apartment.

We both have a fairly low tolerance level for looking at furniture. It starts off being fun but very quickly, with two pesky children in tow, it becomes a living nightmare.

Luckily our taste is quite similar and it didn't take all that long to choose a beautiful L-shaped leather lounge from Nick Scali. I honestly can't believe I will soon be the owner of a Nick Scali leather lounge. I used to scoff at people like I have become. Life is strange and very unpredictable.

It is also lucky we ordered it now because we have been told it will be a wait of 10-12 weeks.

We also found the most gorgeous dining table, coffee table, tv unit and two storage units called Ocean Road at Bay Republic Leather. It is a beautiful range and perfect for a waterfront apartment. I can't wait to see it all together.

We even found the carpet we like so the list of tasks to complete before we move in is getting shorter.

I just wish the constant anxiety based nausea I am experiencing would fuck off. It really is casting a shadow over the excitement and enjoyment I know I should be feeling.
We had our first open house yesterday. We were finishing yum cha at East Ocean when the agent called to report we had 16 groups through the house (sounds like an impressive number to me) and that 4 or 5 people had asked for the contract (again, possibly impressive?).

On Friday while we were enjoying the dubious pleasures of Scenic World in the Blue Mountains with our friends from Perth the agent called to say a family had been through the house (prior to the open house) and had spent 40 minutes and liked it very much but were worried the back yard was too small (not much we can do about that issue).

I am feeling positive yet uncertain at the same time. This real estate business is nerve wrecking stuff. I guess all the numbers and all the talk doesn't count for much. All I can say is "Show me the money!".

Please let someone want to buy it sooner rather than later.

The first game the Swans have won in weeks... months... and we leave early due to the crap weather and Marianna's particularly crabby mood.

Never mind, a win is a win... even if it is against the woeful Fremantle. We'll take what we can get at this point.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Michelle on Big Brother is insane. That'a strong word but it doesn't go far enough to describe this woman. At first I thought she was good value because she was so up front and didn't just bitch behind people's back, she bitched straight to their often stunned faces.

However she has proven herself to just be plain, garden variety nuts. An aggressive argumentative mad-as-a-cut-snake frustrating foul mouthed moronic nutbag.

During tonight's episode I could barely hold back from launching myself at the tv and trying to put my hands through the screen to choke the living daylights out of this mad cow.

Please, in the name of all that's good and sane in this universe, let her be evicted next week. It's bad enough thinking she'll be in there for another seven days. She MUST GO! I can only feel sorry, so very very very sorry, for her family on the outside. If I was one of them the headline would read "Murder Suicide Family Tragedy!".
To continue a theme...

The Sydney Swans!

Ditto! [insert tearing out of what's left of one's hair HERE]
We are on a ticking clock now to get our house ready for its first viewing next Saturday. We have signed with an agent and all that's left is to prepare it to be seen by strangers who we want to part with approximately $600,000 of their hard earned. It's a challenge to say the least.

I love this house. I loved it from the moment I saw it and I love the new kitchen we put in and the other renovations we have done. There is more to be done but it is a fine family home as it is. However, viewing it with a critical eye I can see that it is not presented in what one may describe as a Vogue Living photo spread fashion. If there was a magazine entitled Clutered But Homey Family Living we'd have the centre spread for sure.

So this week we need to get rid of the unnecessary bits and arrange what's left in an enticing manner. A manner which whispers "wouldn't you like to live here?"... "wouldn't you like to give these nice people a large amount of money so they can purchase their new ostentatious apartment without freaking about bridging finance?". It's probably a big ask... do you think?
We had a garage sale yesterday to try and get rid of the mountains of stuff which fills up this house. We need to downsize in a serious way to fit our lives into an apartment, even a largish apartment.

It is obvious that we own much more stuff than we sensibly need. While we are not hoarding stacks of newspapers along the hallways, we do hoard stuff which we do not use or will ever use. A large house allows you to do that. Neither of us want to do that anymore. Possibly we're kidding ourselves.

But back to the garage sale. I advertised it in our local paper last Thursday (don't get me started on the simple exercise of placing an ad with Cumberland Newspapers, by the way a subsidiary of my husband's employer - relevant people have been whined to). The garage sale was advertised for Saturday 9 am - 3 pm. On Thursday night, with the kids asleep and us in our 'jamas watching tv in bed, there is a knock on the door and an unseen person (Big Jay opened the door) asking to view our furniture. What the...?

The sale was a reasonable success. We made around $600 which is nothing to sneeze at. However, we were left with lots of stuff we didn't manage to sell and now have to store, throw away, donate or sell on Ebay (not the top option). Luckily the ugly rusty trampoline was taken away by gleeful neighbours once we put a "FREE" sign on it and left it on the front lawn. A half dozen boxes of books and videos were dropped at the Lifeline book sale this morning (going to a worthy cause - believe it or not, given my general dislike of the human race, I was a Lifeline counsellor and trainer for five years... I KNOW!).

It's always the things you think no-one will buy that go first. Jason's rusty old tools were fairly popular. As were his Beatles books which were all snapped up in seconds. The beautiful wooden furniture which we acquired over many years and loved dearly and were willing to sell at ridiculous prices are still with us, barely raising any interest. Go figure.