Monday, April 03, 2006

The Berry's have moved!!

Firstly, profuse apologies for the slackness in blogging but we have good reason. We have moved into our own apartment (can you call it your own if you rent? Discuss.) much closer to the city and we are pretty damn excited about it!

Looking for a place to live is a pretty exciting prospect if you are Claudine. If you are Ian however, its slightly more fraught. I had complete faith that we would find what we wanted, where we wanted and that it would all work out. Ian, was not so full of faith so relied on mine which was just as well.

We spent Saturday before last viewing a few places and found one we liked. It was not open for viewing but we drove by anyway to see where it was. We happened upon the owner who was moving out and she kindly let us look around. It was a ground floor flat in a secure block which had been completely renovated.

Ian fell in love with it but I have to confess I was not that enamoured. I mean it was lovely but being on the ground floor while Ian worked late shifts was not comforting. We applied for it on Tuesday but I kept looking.

I had circled an apartment on a busy road not far from the city centre. It looked okay but the main road location put me off slightly but I decided to give it a go. So, on Wednesday lunchtime I hopped on a tram to inspect the apartment. After I got back to the office I applied for it on line. Later that afternoon the estate agent called to speak to my boss to confirm I did in fact work where I said I did. She also informed me that the owner was quite 'keen on us'.

I had a momentary panic for Ian had not seen the apartment and was going entirely on my recommendation. Now I was fraught! So, long story short, we found out on Thursday we got the place, on Friday we collected the keys and took our friend Anna around to see it. Ian loved it by the way and my fraughness dissipated.

My neice, Lucia, turned 1 on Sunday so the family gathered for a loud, chaotic although somewhat comforting afternoon tea (sans Ian sadly who was working a late shift) then all hopped into cars stuffed to the roof with more of my belongings that my parents carted from their place that morning, and we convoyed to the apartment, only a 15 minute drive away from my sister's place.

I'm sure the neighbours thought 15 people were moving in as Dante (4.5yrs), Harrison (1.5yrs) and Lucia (1yr) ran, squealed and tumbled down the corridor to our new home. It was hilarious. My brother Stephen and brother-in-law Steve (yes, that does get confusing) carted boxes, an ironing board, telly and our recent IKEA purchases while Nan, Lisa and I unpacked some of the scariest crockery you have ever seen.

Let me explain. I had left a load of stuff at my parents place when I left for England six years ago. As my sister and I unwrapped glasses, plates and bowls I had to ask myself What were you thinking?! Let's just say I'll enjoy getting rid of that Mexican wine glass and thank the Lord I only ever had one!

So tonight is our first night in our new home. It is a lovely 1 bedroom apartment on the second floor in the original warehouse section of the complex. This means it is set back from the main road, it is solid brick, it is quiet, elevated and light. We have no outside space but we are surrounded by parks, restaurants, cafes and the city is a 4 minute tram ride away. And when we feel fit, a 20 minute walk.

We still need a fridge and a washing machine and we are still waiting for our stuff to arrive which we know has cleared customs, so is not too far away. In time we will be completely set up and at home. It was worth the wait.

We enjoyed living with Stephen, Lisa and Harrison and I was quite teary leaving Hurstbridge this morning. I looked in on Harrison just before I left, who sleeps on his face with his bottom in the air, and whispered good bye.

Although we are only moving half an hour away from them, the wrench I felt surprised me. And it made me realise that I would probably not have been able to say goodbye to my family again had we only come for a holiday this time. My thoughts then turned to all the friends we left behind in England and how hard it was to leave them.

As we sat in our favorite haunt, The Terminus Hotel (which I am sure will become our 'local'), with Anna on Friday night she declared she would love to drag her entire family, and all her friends from England to Melbourne. We all heartily agreed that if they all moved here - they would love it.

So, I am left wondering... if all the people we loved lived in the same city - would the world be a better place?

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