1st January 2010

This is the year that we’re heading off on our awesome adventure !!!

 

13th January 2010

Today we celebrated our last round of immunisations for the trip.  YAY  !!!!  No more needles.

 

16th January 2010

Cheryl went off today to St Johns to get her Senior First Aid certificate, as when we do the ARC in November, they require at least one of the crew to hold a current First Aid Certificate.  Our good friend Michelle came up to help me for the day.  She was such a huge help for me – she looked after the kids for the day so I could get all my outside jobs done.  Then she made drinks and snacks throughout the day.  At lunch time, she made meals for all of us, and somewhere in the middle of all that she even found time to clean our bathroom!  We are so blessed to have such great friends.  All the help we’ve been getting over the weeks, makes me realise just how privileged we are to have such great friends.  I know we are going to miss David and Michelle so much.  We keep having “one last dinner” or “one last night out” or “one last cards night”  It’s only when you know you’re going that you really start to miss your friends – especially the special ones.  David and Michelle are friends we will really really miss – over the last few years they have become like an extended part of our family.  Saying goodbye is gonna be hard!

 

18th January 2010

Spent the whole weekend working from dawn till dusk and beyond, putting up a retaining wall in the back yard, to make it easier for my parents to look after the property while we’re gone.  We had some great help from our good friends David and Michelle, as well as from her brother Darrin.  I had this delusion that with all the help, we’d have the retaining wall finished around 4pm when we’d down tools, relax with a beer and then have some pizza with friends for dinner.  Reality was that we didn’t finish the first part of the retaining wall until sometime around 10:30pm.  We worked the little excavator hard all day and we only stopped work from exhaustion when we were called in for Pizza (yeah … a kind of late dinner)

We have the best friends – Despite the horror day Saturday, everyone came back again Sunday to help some more.  The wall was finally finished sometime late Sunday afternoon, at least to a point where is could be left for me to complete the backfilling and capping work.

19th January 2010

Today was my good friend Hana’s birthday.  Life is so busy right now that all I could manage was a quick telephone call to wish her a happy birthday.  Between my work and all the jobs at home, life is pretty hectic.  In some respects is seems so far away still, but in other ways it seems so close.

 

22nd January 2010

Today was my last official day at work.  It was sad saying goodbye to all my friends and work colleagues, but the consolation I keep reminding myself is that I’ll see them all again in a couple of years.  I could be hypothetical and say that you really only appreciate how good you’ve got it once you leave, but throughout the whole time I’ve worked there, I’ve always enjoyed the company ethos and have been privileged to work with some of the best people in the industry.  Although I was only on contract there, I really feel like part of the family, and I enjoy the culture of the company.

 

23rd January 2010

If I had any misconceptions about how life would slow down when I finished up, I was totally wrong – so so totally wrong!! Starting today, yes Saturday of a weekend, the real work has started.  The list of all the things needed to be done before we leave is now very real and is staring me in the face every moment of the day.  It’s only when I finally get to sleep at the end of the day that I can be free of the myriad of jobs that circle around me, waiting to pounce and consume my every waking second.  As for Cheryl, I’ve given up on trying to tell her to “put them on hold until tomorrow”  She is routinely waking up in the middle of the night stressing and worrying about jobs that need to be done.

 

26th January 2010

Today is Australia Day.  It’s a public holiday where we “Aussies” normally get together with friends, enjoy a BBQ and a cold beer in a park somewhere and generally enjoy a relaxing day remembering “Australia Day”.  This year it was cancelled – at least for our family and our good friends.  Our ever increasing but seldom diminishing job list is lurking on the wall, reminding us that we can’t take a minute off if ever we are ever having a hope to complete it before we go.

We had a wonderful surprise today in the form of some special friends that we haven’t seen in a while.  We’d been meaning to skype our good friends, the Richmonds, to have a catch up chat.  Actually, we’d been planning to call them for about a week now, but never quite found the time.  Today we decided our catch up was well overdue and Cheryl sms’d them to arrange a time, so they could be in WI-FI range and all set up.  For the last year they’ve been traveling around Australia on a two year camper trailer holiday.  While it was our idea first to take a couple of years off and enjoy life … they beat us to it, hence why they’re half way around Australia now.  We got a reply saying they would be right to talk in about 20mins.  That was fine by us, so while we were booting the computer and getting the webcam setup, there’s a knock on the door.  Our friends are standing there with a goofy “got ya” look on their face.  We were in stunned disbelief – they had driven all the way from Perth to spend some time helping us get ready to go.  We’ve been blessed with the most amazing friends anyone could ever ask for.  The girls sat down and had a good chat over a cup of hot brew, while us boys … we started grouting the bathroom together and while we didn’t exchange as many words, it was great to work and chat and catch up on the activities of the last year or so.



30th January 2010

Life is crazy here right at the moment, but there's was one anchor of sanity about – if I can call him that. My good mate Keith Bourne arranged a farewell BBQ party for us at his place. This meant that we could say goodbye to all our friends and family, without the stress of having to host a farewell at our place. Now if Keith really knew what my relatives and friends are like I'm sure he'd never have offered, but he did and I accepted, so we've had the chance to escape our maddening grind for a little while, chill out and hang with some friends and family. I so appreciate you Keith. Thanks Mate !!!

The party was excellent and we had a chance to say bye to everyone. In case you've never moved away, saying goodbye can be a logistical nightmare, let alone worrying about the emotional side of it. Even 10 people who want to drop in and say goodbye at the least would occupy 10 hours and 10 cups of coffee and 10 packets of biscuits. We can handle the biscuits and coffee, but 10 hours out of our precious little time we have is too much. No offense to anyone, but just the thought of having to down tools to say goodbye to people, when I can't even find the time to sleep is a bit overwhelming.

So to enjoy a BBQ at Keith and Janet's … what a blessing. The night was a huge success as we got a chance to say goodbye to everyone, thank everyone for all they have done (believe me everyone has done so much for us we are forever in debt) and then enjoy the simple pleasure just to chill out at the end of the night with a glass of port and some good company. What a great way to finish.