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Al builds a Formula One Car. Badly.

After really getting into Netflix's F1: Drive to Survive, I've decided to make a formula one car. Which as it does in the show, presents its fair share of problems along the way..

Live from high up in the hills - the hills are alive with the sound of moving vans..

Dear brand new neighborhood,

Rest assured that we are not a dodgy bunch of con people like the previous residents...

Kind regards

This story has many parts

So maybe fix yourself a stiff drink and line up some smooth tunes while flashing through? For tonight's latest update I'm drinking Label 5 and dry and I have Dave Brubeck playing Take Five on repeat. I would be getting through a tasty bottle of red if I had one handy..salute.

So where am I now?

Highland Park Queensland. Much closer to work without any travel on that car pinball machine and occasional parking lot known as the M1. It's a place of big hills to scale and gorgeous real estate and in the week and a bit that we've been here so far, truly nice people. We bought a cheap desk for my wife to use in her sewing room (spare bedroom) and the lovely seller invited my kids in to watch Scooby Doo and play with her son while we dismantled our new bargain. I'm sure our invite to their next cocktail soiree is only a week away.

The place we're in is not the newest (it may have been in the late 80s maybe?) and there's a few things on the fix it list for the agent (leaking tap, now dead dishwasher, the garage door struggled doing...anything) but being next to a block of land we've got some natural neighbors:

Hello Gary and Gary 2!

We've also seen a couple of kookaburras out the back and some tiny lizards climbing on the outside of our bedroom window. Oh and some guy screaming at someone further down the street but lets ignore that one shall we?

Also the views of the surrounding city are nothing short of incredible.

How'd we end up here in Highland Park Qld?

As previously explained, the house owner decided not to renew the lease forcing us to find a new place to live.
What we've discovered recently is that the house owner has decided not to renew our lease because low and behold it's up for rent again and they've tried to organize a couple of inspection times in our last few days for potential renters. (There goes our theory of 'divorce+selling everything).
The reason why we haven't been asked to continue on? We haven't got one. 'No reason specified.' And between my wife and I we've been racking our brains to work out why after paying over $40,000 in rent in our time there, the landlord has decided on someone else's money.   
Did I not mow the lawns enough?
Were the kids too loud?
Was my Stagea too Japanese?
Was it because we requested permission to get a cat, received permission and bought a cat and then they suddenly decided they don't like cats?
We never had the police around, never burnt the place down, weren't con people (more on that in a sec) and never missed any rent. So...the things you didn't enjoy were? Radio silence.

Whatever the reason they've decided that it was time for us to go and so our plans of moving slightly closer to work so I'm not going on a daily 70km round trip have moved forward by a year..thanks I guess?

Keep on trucking

Moving everything we had would have incurred debt levels of a third world nation so in my logic...I hired a truck myself! Well a pretty decent sized van. I figured that if I moved all the small stuff that one person could pick up and move about and left the bigger back breaking gear for much stronger lads then that should do nicely.  
A great idea in theory. 
The guy who ran the hire service also plays guitar on weekends and after accidentally mentioning I work in radio, I got the full run down of every single muso he has ever played with. Impressive yes but I had a house to move. He then attempted a really dodgy French accent while trying to explain the controls of the Renault which was slightly less impressive than his muso black book. With a quick lesson in Renault Master controls, we were off. 

Now I don't speak French and this thing sure as hell didn't speak Almigo. The controls were back to front and it took most of the week to go from zero to any speed. But credit where credit is due, this thing has to be one of the most stable things I have ever driven. My experience with moving vans is pretty limited but in terms of feeling stable from least to most stable the list now looks like: 

Ford Transit < Wild ocean storm < Mercedes Sprinter < flat balanced concrete < Renault Master

Nothing in the back made a peep. Nothing shifted. I went up hills and over bumps and nothing changed in the position in the back. It's as stable as the most stable of stable tables. Glorious. 

We made three back and forth trips in it in my 24 hour hire and we still had tonnes of stuff to move/get rid of/burn. But we'd be stuck without it so thanks to the Master!

Call in the big guns

For the ball breaking back breaking bits breaking heavy stuff, we got in Kruzy Moves and two blokes rolled up and made things look stupidly easy. Even the twenty tonne (feels like it) solid TV cabinet seemed to weigh next to nothing when these blokes carted it out. No complaints whatsoever when they got to our new place and saw it came complete with a tonne more stairs...

(I should have got them to move our Queen size mattress too but silly me tried to take that one on myself. You can just imagine how impressive I looked trying to get that bastard up three flights of stairs - by the end there was a swimming pool of sweat and a pulsing vein trying to explode out of the side of my head. Red hot mess? Melted sweaty ruin really...but I got it up there...eventually.) 

Wagons ho!

For everything else? It was Nissan Stagea time! Two and a half wagon loads of rubbish, dirty clothes, an over sized dolls house, too many tools I no longer use, toys, toys and more toys, green waste, cleaning products and everything else you could possibly cram in there I crammed. It'll be a sad day when I part with this beast, it's been an absolute workhouse and a half.

We have a garage and if you squint, you can almost see a car or two in there!

So many boxes. Soooooooo many boxes. Haphazardly stacked on top of each other and falling down around me (That sounds like a lyric to a really deep song really..) and of course the kids have been constantly demanding things that I have no idea where they ended up. Your barbie hair practice head? No idea where that is sweetie. Put the giant trampoline up again? Well I have to find the bolts first and they are somewhere around here.. 
My wife put in a request for the ironing board and her sewing stuff so I turned the garage upside down trying to find both...only to discover them already put inside the house..

Here, have the keys back

Well almost. Got to clean the place first and after so many back and forth trips simply to fill up the wagon time and time again with more of our junk, I decided to call in the pros. Enter a bond cleaner who scanned the place from top to bottom and then gave me a price that punched a great hole in my credit card. 
Thankfully he also gave me a couple of quick lessons in quick fix cleaning that I could do that dropped the final price and since sharing is caring, here's what I learnt: 

For fly poo on blinds

A small amount of detergent and water on a sponge with a scouring pad (ie the yellow sponge with the green top). Light scrubbing should get the poo off. Too much scrubbing will get the color out of the blinds, go carefully.

For dye on walls

Wait, how did we get dye on the walls? By leaning a couch on it and the dye from the new couch leached into the white wall leaving one very obvious line. The sponge trick above didn't work so we had to go extreme...and repaint the entire wall. Luckily it was a small wall and given how cheap the house was made, the white turned out to be ceiling white with half a can left in the garage. A couple of coats latter and the dye line has gone.
Funny enough I didn't put too much effort into it because my patchy paint job actually matches the patchy paint jobs right throughout the house. I don't know how much the house painted originally cost but he can't have been expensive..

We hand back the keys on Wednesday so fingers crossed we can get our bond back with a minimal of fuss.

Everything new, everything fresh!

My son is now happy in his new school, my daughter loves her new Kinder. My internet connection loves my new modem because an Archer D7 doesn't like Fibre To The Node NBN. I'm typing away on the same computer but on a new desk I bought from a millionaire who lives up in the hills. It's cost us a small fortune to get here but we're almost settled in. Hoo freaking ray.

Now about those con people you mentioned earlier Almigo?

Yes, them. It's amazing what you learn about the previous residents after you sign a lease. Like the fact that they didn't like paying bills, child support, the utilities and/or rent. According the mail bulked up in our mailbox, they went through a few variations of first and surnames. And they weren't asked to leave, the police arrived one afternoon and politely escorted them out. 

(One of the letters was a new credit card and of course another was a pin number. What could possibly go wrong here? Yes we did send them all back.) 

So you could imagine the wary looks we copped on day one of moving in. However knowing the strength of first impressions we introduced ourselves immediately including the kids and promised not to have the riot squad around anytime soon. It hasn't taken long for our neighbors to come around to the fact that we're not likely to set fire to the place, piss in their swimming pools or steal their family Mazda's. Things are looking good so far.  

So in a nutshell, what did we learn?

-Renting sucks, moving sucks even more
-Landlords can be dicks (not all of them obviously, our new one seems pretty cool so far)
-I took the week off to move and I should have taken two. One to move, one to recover.
-Stagea's can carry just about everything
-Cleaning fly poo off blinds can be expensive if you're not doing it yourself
-You'll never find what you're looking for until you check the very last box. 
-Save your sanity: Pay someone to move you and someone to clean up after you.

Right, anyone else moving house at the moment?


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