Hello from Melbourne, Victoria! Where one day I’m melting off the couch, unable to perform basic functions or really do anything other than watch 50,000 episodes of Nigella Lawson cooking stuff, and the next I’m digging out two pairs of socks and wondering how I’m actually going to make it through winter if I’m this cold in summer.
I can’t complain too much, I fully knew what I was in for when we made the decision to move. These 8.40pm sunsets are still weird as hell, though.
I am super-in love with Melbourne, and thrilled to bits that I’m actually here. I was expecting a period of adjustment where we felt a bit weird and wondered if we’d done the right thing, etc etc, but so far I haven’t seen a skerrick of that. I’ll wait for winter before I say with any certainty that there won’t be any!
We’ve been here just over a week, and I’ve spent much of that scrubbing this charmingly old house into submission. It’s a huge job, and I’m nowhere near done yet. Once I get over the absolute homicidal periods of scrubbing filthy, disgusting window blinds (they don’t come down to hose, I’ve TRIED) and obsessively washing the ancient, grubby lace curtains, we’ll be almost there. They both give me the absolute heebie jeebies as they haven’t been cleaned in years, and they’re full of dust, and we all know dust is actually dead human skin cells, bug poo, and the nightmares of small children. I try not to breathe when I’m moving them, and wash my hands 42 times after having to actually touch them. I’ve never been so wigged out by this stuff before, and I’ve certainly lived in far more disgusting places. I’m guessing it’s because I’m way more tweaked now that I’m a mum.
Every single room has a different chandelier. Right now, they’re chandeliers that need cleaning, but they’re so beautiful and I can’t wait to get them back to their former, undusty glory. When we were searching for houses online, I kept looking at newer ones (which ended up being townhouses as they were the only new places in our price range) so I would feel a little less crazy if they were messy. My mental health needed clean, clear spaces and a calming environment. I didn’t even open a link to any house that didn’t have a dishwasher.
And then one night I randomly clicked on the link to this house and felt something stir – I had to have it. It wasn’t new, and it didn’t have a dishwasher. It was what I would have wanted six months or a year ago – wallpaper, carpet, chandeliers, lace curtains. Everything I’d been saving my antique and vintage furniture for. It didn’t have a single white wall that I thought I now wanted, nor a modern kitchen, or fancy bathroom, but it looked gigantic, bright, open and airy. It was on a huge block, had a wonderful view, and was just on the upper edge of what we could afford.
It is such a wonderful place (at least it will be once I burn those curtains), and I’m so glad we’re here even with the lack of dishwasher. First world problems or what! I actually don’t mind that it doesn’t have one, but it remains to be seen if I’ll survive. There are beautiful glass doors, fancy ceramic knobs, moulded ceilings and a hilarious peach-coloured ’80s spa with gold features. The best part of all is the space – it’s so big that we can all spread out, the kids can have places to create, play, and go nuts without me tripping over their stuff every two minutes. I felt so claustrophobic in the last place that it was starting to get me down. I love the big, bright windows, and the rosebush-filled back yard here. The yard is severely neglected, but I’m excited to get it looking fancy again. I know nothing about roses, but I plan to be a complete expert very soon – if you know anything about growing them, get at me!
I was very careful to help the kids adjust, so we talked about the move and told stories about two little girls going on a plane to their new house in Melbourne (they’re both under three, so there’s only so much I can do), and they’ve taken it really well. I enrolled them in a new day care so I can do a little work and also so that they could make friends and get a wider range of activities to do during the week. I had to enrol them in a place I hadn’t seen yet, so you can imagine my disappointment when I walked in and didn’t like it at all. It had a weird vibe and is pretty neglected (despite their horrifically high fees), and felt constantly chaotic, like everyone was running to catch up rather than be calmly in control. Well, as much control as you can have with a roomful of snotty babies and rambunctious toddlers.
I wondered if I was just being a bit precious, because we’d been spoiled at the last place with a brand-new facility and wonderful staff. But the feeling never quite went away, and when Abby came home on her first proper day with a vomiting bug, that was the nail on the head. I mean, I know kids get sick at day care, but I think that was probably the sign I was looking for that my gut was telling me this wasn’t the place.
I got a few side-eyes because I insisted on staying during orientation until both kids felt comfortable enough to leave me and play on their own. For Peps that took nearly three hours, and I think they were expecting me to do the drop and run, leaving the ladies to comfort the kids. Which I’m fine with, but only after my kids feel comfortable and familiar in that brand-new environment and with those brand-new people. It’s also hard to encourage them to stay and tell them they’ll have a great time if I’m not feeling it myself. So I don’t make them. It means working at night and wherever I can get five minutes (including letting Pepper cover herself entirely in yogurt while I get shit done), but after all the posts I’m seeing of mums crying over their kids going to school for the first time, and how fast everyone grows up, I’m not in any hurry to have them in day care a lot (although we have found a new one a bit closer to home) – Abby will be at kinder before I know it, and then there’s no turning back!
I’m also working on finding all the best pizza in a 10k radius. This is by far the most pressing of my issues.
Work has been fun, and I’ve been doing as much as I can remotely, but it’s far nicer to be in the same city as your peeps. We’ve got a lot of cool stuff happening on ProBlogger this year (including the conference – I can’t wait for that!) so if you’re looking for a bit of blogging help, do come over and say hello! You’re sure to find something that will be useful to you, and you’re always welcome to ask us for anything specific.
And lastly a huge thank you all for your words of welcome and encouragement as we made such a big move, too. I know I’ve neglected this space a bit, but as I’m sure you all know there was much to be done! I’m going to take all of you up on your offers of cups of tea. Just as soon as I exorcise these curtains.