I guess I have finally gotten bored enough to get back to this poor neglected blog. So let’s catch up! We’re going way way back to… BEFORE COVID. Whoa.
My friend Pity from weightlifting invited a few of us over to do a still life drawing session. I haven’t sketched like that in ages. It was fun and I liked what I drew and I liked seeing everyone else’s take on the same object. Would be nice to do this again, some day.
I did a picture framing class at a framing shop near our house. Yes I have done this before but this one uses way better tools and once you finish the course you can go back and frame whatever you want and just pay for supplies. Except I haven’t been able to go back. Sigh.
I was supposed to do a weightlifting competition in March. Training was going really well and I was feeling good but then the competition was one of the very first things that got cancelled here in Melbourne. Everyone thought it was so stupid that it was cancelled because at that point I think we were still allowed to have 500 people at events and you’d be lucky if there were 20 spectators at the average local weightlifting competition.
Anyway my coach and I decided to just do a mock comp at Phoenix instead. I snatched 43x/43/45 and clean and jerked 50/53/55 (PB!). I was excited because it was the first time I got to use the blue plates. The 55 was so easy I got to do a Bonus Attempt at 57 but I just smashed it into my sternum instead of getting underneath it.
That same weekend we had Kyla staying with us for a mini break from her family trip around Australia. We took her out for a very Melbourne laneway pub crawl around the city. One of my very favourite things about this city is taking people down weird alleyways like the one in the picture and finding a super cool bar.
There were not that many people out so we didn’t have to wait to get in anywhere. We had parmas in a pub, then went to hidden bars, rooftop bars, bubble tea cocktail bars, speakeasy bars, and even tried to go to a floating bar (but got turned away for being too ugly[??]). It was a fun night.
And then that was it! We went into the first stages of lockdown that week.
I thought I’d just write a little update about how we’re doing at the moment, in case any one was wondering (probably not)/is really bored (probably yes).
We’re semi-locked down here in Melbourne. They’ve closed schools and non-essential businesses, and are encouraging everyone to just stay home if they can.
Scott’s work is suffering because restaurants can only do takeaway. He still has a job but after the next payday all their salaries are getting cut 50%. Theoretically he should only have to work 50% but I doubt that will happen as he is pretty much always on call.
My work is quiet, but we’ve had to divide into two separate teams to try and avoid having to shut down if one of us gets infected. So some days I will have to work very hard, and some days I won’t do very much at all.
Obviously this could all change any minute.
I’m glad we were conservative with our mortgage.
Not being allowed to go to the gym was a huge change. I got bored of home workouts after the first day (6kg laundry detergent is not enough weight!!) and decided to ask my weightlifting club if they were willing to lend out equipment. At first they said no, but then they came around. I did well in the equipment lottery and ended up with squat racks and all the weight plates I need, plus a bar borrowed from a friend.
Last weekend Scott and I built a mini weightlifting platform in the garage and now I’m pretty much set. The platform is big enough to do all the things I need to do, but because it’s against the wall (so we can still park the car in there) I will have to be quite conservative with anything I might miss behind (ie. snatches). I should be able to do about 90% normal training though, which is great for my body and my sanity.
Other than setting up the garage gym we’ve been entertaining ourselves by cooking elaborate foods (cinnamon buns, homemade bread, perogies etc.) and playing A LOT of board games. We’ve even been playing games with Rose and Lauren over the internet.
The house is already pretty clean and organized but Scott’s been working on pulling down the ivy on the back fences and yesterday I cleaned the gutters. I’m trying to be semi productive and not watch too much mindless TV but we’ll see how it goes. Scott got the entire ER series for me which I’m saving for if I have to do full quarantine. Oh yeah we also did pub trivia on FB live the other night with my friend, and this morning I watched Ben Folds do a live show from his hotel room in Sydney, which both may end up being weekly activities. Kinda neat.
Anyway hope y’all are doing OK. I’d love to know how you are keeping busy too.
The week after we moved into our house was exhausting. Working and unpacking and trying to fix things up the way we like, while realizing that we don’t have any of the right tools… the place was a mess.
I wanted to change all the locks in the house, as you do when you move into a new place. So we unscrewed all the knobs and locks that we wanted to replace and did an inventory and headed off to Bunnings. Only to realize that locks are very complicated and they didn’t have the right combinations of what we wanted. And that one of the holes in the door was the wrong size (not the one in the picture).
So we investigate buying locks online (much easier!) and borrow a hole saw and try to cut the right size hole. And fail. And borrow more tools. And fail. And every day the front door is just flapping in the wind while we’re at work (we could lock the screen door at least). After a week or so we give up and hire a locksmith.
A bathroom tap broke off on like Day 3, lol. Lucky real estate agents. I had intentions on changing it to a lever style tap until I realized that there are about 80 million different types of tap spindles. After three trips to Bunnings I ended up just replacing the knob with the exact same type of ugly knob. At least it was just a couple of dollars.
It took us a whole night and some minor fighting to put up a whiteboard (on a hollow door, had to use weird anchors) and anchor two bookshelves to the wall (multiple trips to Bunnings for a drill, drill bits, stud finder (that didn’t work) and drywall anchors). Scott built those two garage shelves by himself one morning though, which has really tidied up the garage.
I went to Ikea three times to get two more shelves, two bedside tables and a stool, then return a stool, then return the returned stool and get a different stool. I was not aware that bar stools came in different heights. Scott built most of it. Good job Scott!
The dishwasher that came with the house was hilariously named Silencio. One night we turned Silencio on before bed and when I woke up in the morning IT WAS STILL ON. Also it was leaking. So we ordered a new dishwasher.
They were supposed to install it for me. Just as the dudes were leaving he was like “So I have to show you something” and proceeded to show me that he had only actually screwed in the dishwasher on one side because the other side was too far away from the cabinet, and that I wouldn’t be able to use it as is. UGH. So I spent the whole rest of the morning trying to get a piece of scrap wood that I could use as a spacer, sawing it in half with a 10cm hacksaw to double it up because it was too thin, unscrewing and pulling out the dishwasher, rigging up the spacer and then reattaching everything. Thankfully it all worked and it’s secure and running very nicely and very quietly now.
This lil’ buddy also involved borrowing tools, and two trips to Bunnings (drill bit was too dull). Scott’s whole body is sore from doing the drilling but the hose reel is nice and sturdy and very handy for watering the garden. Our plan is to get like four big veggie boxes.
A miserable morning of cleaning the exterior of our old house on a unexpectedly cold and rainy day. :P
So yeah, we made a lot of mistakes. The learning curve was steep. I do have a new appreciation of all the building stuff dad taught me as a kid though, thank goodness I have somewhat of a base knowledge of tools and construction and houses from all those days at the cottage. We wouldn’t be able to do anything on our own without that (and Youtube).
Short term plans:
a small shelf in the laundry room to put detergent and stuff on
some kind of medicine cabinet in the bathroom for more storage
new power point on wall with tv OR thread power and tv cords through crawlspace/roof
make some kind of bracket for weather station
go all the way under the house and take a closer look at everything
Long term plans:
fix the water damaged floor in laundry room/kitchen/bathroom
Not sure what’s more impressive… the waterfall or my calves…
Often when I’m camping with Scott I think “This is fun, but this would be even more fun with friends.” So when our new board game friends invited us to go camping with them on Australia Day weekend I said YES!!!!
We drove up on Saturday morning stopping at Platypi Chocolate and a couple waterfalls. I really wanted to see a pink robin, which only live in certain parts of the Otways, but no luck. The waterfalls were nice though.
Scott had a nice time throwing the vortex on the beach with the gang. One of the guys had a killer throw, even against the wind.
I was so impressed with everyone’s food organization. We made tacos and that was probably the trashiest meal out of everyone haha.
Many board games were played, of course. Crowd favourites were Camel Up and Wits & Wagers.
Johanna Beach is a bit rough for swimming (and it was too cold anyway), but has cool tide pools and nice sunset views!
I did not enjoy this cider. It had chunks and was still and bitter and yuck.
We all drove out to Melba Gully at night to see the glow worms. It was amazing!! There were way more glow worms there than at Lake Elizabeth. They are magical.
Plus the sky that night was one of the clearest night skies I’ve seen in my life. There was zero clouds, zero moon, and zero light pollution. AMAZING! We saw shooting stars after looking up for like 3 minutes because you could just see EVERYTHING. You could see the milky way, which I thought was amazing (although when I was talking to my astrophotographer friend back in Melbourne later he said I couldn’t even really see the milky way at this time of the year at that time. I was like DUDE WHAT WAS I LOOKING AT THEN. He said just the edge. I think the full milky way experience would make my brain explode.)
We had quite a busy start to the year! A lot of our spare time was taken up by preparing to move and moving but we still squeezed in plenty of fun stuff as well.
As is becoming tradition, we started 2020 by going to the beach on January 1 for a swim in the ocean. It wasn’t as hot as last year but plenty warm enough to jump off the pier and paddle around for a bit. It was nice to lie under our sunshade and read too.
We went to the local T20 derby. It was freezing. And kind of boring. I do not want to see good bowlers! I want to see bad bowling!!
I can’t walk to work any more so I bought an electric bike from Aldi. :D It is so fun, I really love it. It takes away all the parts I hated about biking and leaves all the fun parts. I can get to work in 20 minutes without getting sweaty! It can go 50km on one charge, and helps me go 25 km/hr (after that you’re on your own).
Noah’s parents went on holiday for their anniversary so he stayed with us for a night. Him and Scott played a lot of Fortnight, and I took him to my gym. One of the coaches showed him how to squat and deadlift and stuff. Jono was in town as well so we met up with him and some friends in the city for more T20 cricket. Which was also quite boring. That’s three times I’ve been recently and none of them have been particularly interesting. I’m really starting to think even big bash is not really that exciting.
We had the craziest hail storm I’ve ever seen. The pictures don’t do it justice because those chunks on the pavement are ones that have already smashed/melted. The hail was the size of pool balls!! I was so worried that the windows of the car would break since it was just parked on the street. Scott ran out to throw some blankets/towels over the car which helped a lot but we still ended up with three monster dents on the hood and one above the door. UGH. There was SO much damage to all the cars in our suburb.
Plus I think it cracked some of the roof tiles (we told the landlords/have moved out now so… not my problem..). We found out about that because Melbourne had BROWN RAIN for a couple days after for some reason (YAY CLIMATE CHANGE). This brown rain really highlighted the leak by staining the walls and carpet as it flowed into the house.
The hail was super localised so our new house appears to be completely fine btw.
I started to feel very sick that weekend but still went to work on Monday because Scott’s January #SMAJ activity was corporate tickets to the Australian Open on Monday night and I felt like I couldn’t call in sick and then go to the tennis. So I suffered through a day of work, then went to the tennis, which was probably a terrible idea. To make it worse it was POURING RAIN and I got 100% soaked from waist down (I did have my good coat on) on the way there.
The tennis was very cool though. Thanks Telstra! We got to have a great meal and then watched Ash Barty’s match and Novak Djokovic’s match. We had to leave before Novak was finished winning though because I was a disgusting snotty mess and I was running out of tissues and felt terrible for everyone around me. I ended up staying home from work and sleeping for two days straight after that.
Settlement day was uneventful. Almost too uneventful. We really had no idea if anything was happening. But eventually in the afternoon we got an email that said everything had gone through and I could go to the real estate office to pick up the keys to the new house. Hooray! Our mortgage showed up in our online banking as well which is very confronting every time I open the app.
We didn’t move in straight away though because we were going camping that weekend with some friends. I really don’t recommend doing that unless you love checklists a lot. It all turned out pretty well though with minimal mistakes. I’ll leave our camping trip to another post.
When we got back from camping I did a quick pop-in at my weightlifting club’s annual bbq while Scott unpacked the car at the new house. Then we packed all the last minute stuff at the old house and disassembled the beds and moved everything to the garage.
Moving day went well! My obsessive preparations were worth it. I used the same el cheapo Gumtree movers we used the last couple times and they managed to fit in 98% of our stuff in one truck load while Scott and I chilled in the garage. It only took 2.5 hours and came out way cheaper than I budgeted. Unpacking took much much much longer.
THREE OTHER RANDO JANUARY THINGS:
1. They renovated the gym a bit and now the ladies have a much bigger change room with a sweet giant mirror!
2. We played a few more games of Castles of Burgundy. It’s pretty fun although we still don’t really know what we’re doing. I would like to try playing with 3 or 4 players. *COUGH ROSEMARIE GET YOUR BUTT OVER HERE COUGH*
3. These bean and cheese enchiladas were quite tasty.