Still trying to Settle In

What a way to bring the new year in… lots of healthy energy consumed on NYE.

So much has happened since our last post. We simply have not stopped.

We got the keys to our new place and did a few trips in the car up to Brisbane to take some fiddly and very weighty items.

There was so much help from friends with packing, sorting, and finalising things on the Gold Coast in the lead up to the big move. This help was so much appreciated and I would never have done it all by the due time, without the help. Thank you so very much to you all – and you all know exactly who you are, xxx.

Saturday…Our move day happened to be the hottest day in history!! Slight exaggeration, but it was 42 degrees at the hottest and unfortunately, Energy Australia failed to connect the  electricity the day before, so we did not have any electricity for fans or air conditioners until after 2.20pm.

Deb and Nell were absolute gems in ensuring we (2 removalists, Kyah’s dad, Kyah and I), were hydrated and kept as cool as possible with ice and fluids. Kyah was in charge of directing furniture and boxes to the correct rooms, Deb and Nell unpacked the kitchen. The removalists, Kevin and I unpacked the trucks. Unfortunately, due to the angle of the driveway, it was recommended the truck stay on the road at both loading and unloading ends. Not good. This meant lots and lots of walking.

Removalists arrived at 7.15am and the job was finally done by 4.30pm. We were all exhausted and very hot.

The next few days was spent unpacking and moving the essential furniture and boxes into rooms. Kyah was to sort herself out and organise her room. She needed to be organised, ready to start her new schedule. Over the following week up until now, I have been unpacking. How much “stuff” do we carry around with us???  I know we have moved “stuff” we really don’t need – so it is going where it is needed.

Kyah had Summer School, with Queensland Ballet, start on the Monday. She caught up with some girls she knew from other workshops and so she had some people to hang around in the breaks. This can be an awkward thing, so that was sorted, which is nice.

Kyah loved the Summer School; working with the teachers, getting back into dancing and socialising again. The end of week performance the students put on, was great. I am always amazed at how fast they learn choreography, for a number of dances, and with pretty good timing.

The first week of school and the Queensland Ballet Academy program was a fairly gentle introduction. Monday was orientation day at both Queensland Ballet and school. Then Friday was a public holiday. 3 of the 5 days were very busy and gave us an idea as to what to expect from the program.

Australia Day was spent racing around catching up with some people, which was lovely. It was a very long day, but also very nice. Kyah got to see her bestie, over lunch, and we thoroughly enjoyed our entire day.

Week 2. The start of long days, busy days, lots on, no spare time. Kyah seems to be enjoying it. There are only 8 people in her year doing the program, so there will be plenty of opportunity for her to learn, and not much opportunity to hide. We are both looking forward to it.

We are still settling in to life in Brisbane. It is very different to life on the Gold Coast in a number of aspects. Fortunately, we are both very open to change and new adventures, so it will be good. The humidity is a bit rude, so we are hoping that will subside very soon.

Isa 28:16-17  So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic. I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line; hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie, and water will overflow your hiding place.




What a Whirlwind Start

Our New Years Celebrations were lovely, we hope they were enjoyable for everyone. We went to a friend’s place in Kirra, Nell. We had dinner, watched the numerous firework displays: being on the border of NSW and QLD you get to see the displays spread over a few more hours – 8pm in QLD is 9pm in NSW. We had 7.30pm QLD fireworks. 8pm fireworks in QLD, which was 9pm NSW fireworks, 9pm QLD fireworks.

After the early session of fireworks, we usually head off home for a relaxing display of the midnight fireworks. Kyah, and dear friend of ours, Anne, and I, sat on the back verandah, and brought in the new year with some celebratory activities involving the neighbours. It is nice to be home for midnight, watch the fireworks and be able to get to bed at a reasonable hour.

We had Anne stay with us for a week. This past week saw us go up and down to Brisbane so many times. Kyah and Anne saw the Yayoi Kusama exhibition at the GOMA (Queensland Gallery of Modern Art), while I went for an interview. They loved it, and my interview was extremely positive.

We went over to the Museum of Brisbane and went through the  “Mao’s Last Dancer” exhibition; a Portrait of Li Cunxin. It was great to see, even though Kyah and I have read his book and watched the movie, there was personal items provided by Li that were very interesting, including photos, video and clothing. A great insight into the path Li has been on to get to where he is now.

We have been up and down the motorway to Brisbane so many times since the end of November, I think we are both quite sick of the trip. In the last week itself, we have been up 5 times. Most of the trips were specifically for house hunting. Well, what a learning experience that is. Hunting for a house as a tenant is very different to hunting for a house as a potential buyer. I have not been a tenant for over 25 years and I am not used to the ways in which inspections are conducted.

It was a very frustrating experience and one in which I do not wish to do again. You would make an appointment, the agent would confirm the appointment time and you would confirm, then after driving for an hour, so you are almost there, you receive a text message saying the inspection is no longer available, because the house has been taken by another applicant. This happened on at least 5 occasions; it was more than frustrating and annoying to say the least. It was also interesting to be inspecting a property only to be told mid-way through the inspection, that the house was no longer available and we needed to vacate the premises.

It was a huge learning curve for us. We inspected a number of properties that were still “available” but the agency was waiting on an applicant to pay their money and or sign the lease agreement. This was why we had such late notice for inspections being cancelled, so many times.

We had a huge day on January 6, with Anne in tow. A list of properties to inspect, a very tight schedule for inspection times, 2 sat navs on the go, food and drink in the car and no time at all to stop for “convenience” breaks!!! Need I say more?? It was an arduous day to say the least. Those of you that have heard first hand what we went through in order to find a suitable place, know the finer details. Let’s just say – 20 plus houses inspected or attempted to inspect (due to last minute cancellations by the agent), within a space of 5 hours! It was tough, no time for rest or breaks of any sort. We did laugh the whole day though. It was a very memorable day.

We managed to secure a lovely place, which is more than perfect.  Natalie from Harcourts in Brisbane was such a lovely person. She was more than helpful and our application was approved in under 24 hours. I made Natalie aware of our very short time frame and the urgency of us finding a place and moving in. She was onto it immediately our application went in. On Sunday early afternoon, our application was approved. We collect the keys tomorrow. This is such a relief for us. Kyah needs to be in Brisbane from January 15.

It was a bit of a stressful time for us, not having somewhere to move to. Finally it has sorted out. We were always hopeful and believing the right place would come up and it has. It is more than perfect. Close to where Kyah needs to be and spacious enough for us to live comfortably and not have to put any of our belongings into storage. It even has a pizza oven!!! We just need to figure out how to use it.

Anne went home on 8/1/18 – she is not silly! The marathon day of house hunting was enough for her!! It was huge. Thanks so much Anne, we know you are a true friend when you can endure that type of torture and still love us! We have been packing almost every minute since we heard our application for the house was successful.

We went  and saw Mamma Mia on Sunday. A fantastic performance. Light hearted, high energy, entertainment. The audience was up singing, clapping and dancing in their chairs by the end. It was great. Kyah and I had been to see Mamma Mia the musical a number of years ago in Sydney and this was just as good, if not better. A very dear friend of Anne’s,  Alex Gordon-Giorgio, plays Eddie in the show. We caught up with Alex after the performance.

Kyah and Alex

Kyah with Nell and Anne


We managed to catch up with Clare, one of Kyah’s dance teachers from 2017. Clare has been such a positive influence in Kyah’s life this past year and we really wanted to see her before we move. We are also hoping and praying for some positive news for Clare with her future in dance.

We have had some very dear friends come around and help us with packing; Charmaine, Mia and Chloe came around on Monday and helped for a few hours. Ruth and Debra come around yesterday and helped for 4 or 5 hours! Isn’t it amazing how much stuff we collect? There is still some stuff to pack but the help has been an absolute blessing for us. Thank you all for your help, it is so much appreciated. True friends are there doing the hard yards with you.

So the next few days are frantic for us. Finishing packing a large house, painting the main bathroom, moving to Brisbane, organising our home to be rented out, starting a new chapter for Kyah.

What exciting times ahead. Kyah is almost ready for school and the dance program. We just need to buy school shoes for Kyah; everything else is sorted. Next week she has a summer school with Queensland Ballet, so it will be a shock to the system. Dancing all day, every day for five and a half days. Then it is into school and dance. We will be ready. I will unpack and sort our house while Kyah is dancing – what a deal. I think Kyah has the better end of it.

My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him. Psa 62:5