Moving must be like giving birth. The pleasure of having one's own place eventually wipes over the memories of how hellish the actual process is of getting there.
J, of course, did all the bullwork, including our library-sized book collection but there has been more than enough to keep me busy, with unpacking, finding important documents in our files (always at the bottom of the box), sorting clothes and discovering that virtually all the space in my "knitting room" has been appropriated for temporary storage "until we sort everything out". Hmm. My boxes of yarn are too large to store on any of the shelves in the room, so I will have to think of another solution.
Then of course there are all the usual joys of moving house, reconnecting utilities, discovering that the previous owners had loosely glued handles on the cupboards and drawers in the kitchen, buying and changing locks, and putting up with the tantrums of two cats who will not be allowed out of the house until the registration for the new council comes through.
Oh, our new council. Did I mention that we have moved into possibly the "greenest" local council in Australia? Which I agree with in theory but takes some getting used to in practice.
To begin with, our local shops are a plastic bag free zone. We have no choice but to remember the green bags. Or to buy yet another one every time we buy more items than we can easily carry in our hands. The positive side of this compulsory re-education is that we now remember the bags, even when we go to the shops in the larger suburbs/towns that don't enforce this policy.
Garbage collection is also a new experience. Unlike our previous council that frowned on anything messier than garden clippings going into the green bin, we are now encouraged to include all organic waste - including meat scraps - in our gree bin, which is picked up weekly. We have a very large yellow recylcing bin, with also a far more liberal list of products that can be included in it. It gets picked up fortnightly. And we have to use our green and yellow bins to the max because our "other" bin (red lid) is tiny and only picked up on alternate weeks. Reduce, re-use, recycle is the mantra here.
Technically we are still living in Melbourne (including the all important metropolitan train into the city, just a 15 minute walk or 3 minute drive from our house), but the feel and attitudes are definitely that of a country town. In many ways I feel like I have stepped back 30 years in time. Local politics are very big, with handpainted signs supporting one or another - or putting down one or another - of the candidates in the upcoming elections. Even though we are not yet entitled to vote in this electorate, we have received photocopied leaflets deriding the current members for supporting the building of new municipal offices 15km away.
Our new street is filled with families with young children and we have received an invite to the upcoming annual street Christmas party. Although we are nervous, J and I are going.
Travelling to and from work from our new home has not been as dire as some have suggested. The best trains of the day only take an hour to get into the city, and even is a worst-case "stopping every station and pausing 10 minutes to allow another train to shunt into place" only blew out the journey to 1 hour 20 minutes. I knit. I read. I sleep. One advantage of getting on at the end of the line is that I can choose the prime seat.