Thursday, August 30, 2012

An update to end all updates!

So today I learnt that this blog format doesn't allow me to post-date my entries. Poohy. I find this particularly annoying because I liked the idea of creating posts in the past and making it look like I did, in fact, update regularly, and you just missed it. Alas, no such luck! How dare they make me appear as slack as I truly am?!

So here it is - take a walk down memory lane with me (over the last few months)!

(You have no idea how long I puzzled about which way to put this post. Newest first, newest last? Who really reads this crap anyway?!)

18th August - FLOORING!!!!

You have no idea how long I have been staring longingly at my boxes of flooring (in a totally creepy way), itching to start laying them down!

After a rocky start (read: Jess and her mum having no effing idea what they're doing), the first boards are laid!

Zed assesses underlay for softness and comfort!

LOVE how they look. So happy. Now I just want all of them down in an instant. Nice wish.

4th August - My Cats are Finally Home

You can buy this on stuff from here.
 Today couldn't have come quick enough, despite knowing I was going to spend 3 hours in the car with two cats. Yowling. And crapping and peeing - probably. And although they have been living in the same "temporary" accommodation for over a year, I should have had more faith in them, as they both travelled amazingly well in the car for the trip! I didn't even have to clean up half a car of cat spew!

Have you met my fur-kids before?

I present you with Zed. Zeddy, Zeddy-mister, Get-off-the-bench-you-shit-head. Male, tabby, on special from the pet shop. They told me he was the last of the kitten season, and if he didn't sell soon they'd have to take him to the RSPCA. Don't get my started on what I think of pet shops and the places they get their pets.

Zed came home to me in June 2008. His birthday is 1st April! He is an outgoing cat that's not scared of the vacuum, loves sleeping under the covers, and has the solid belief that everyone loves him. He launches himself at me and hangs over my shoulder like a big scarf, completely oblivious to the fact he weighs 7kg.  He's my little buddy, my source of solace and great irritation.

And this is Luna. Looly, Loony-Loo, Princess Pants, Fuzzy Guts.  Female, Turkish Van, rescued from one of the worst things I've ever seen in my life.  Having been to third world countries, and K-Mart on a Thursday, this is saying something. You can read about her, and her sister's story, here. I consider her birthday to be 21st February, as that's the day her new life started with me.

Luna is my aloof princess. Her tail constantly sways from side to side, and I'm convinced all that is in her head is rainbows and butterflies.  Her affection is reserved for a select few. Luna plays with toys like she's only 6 months old. She has one gold eye, one blue eye, and she has me totally wrapped around her delicate lady-paws.

Words cannot describe how happy I am to finally have my fur kids home.  Who cares if you don't have floor coverings, or curtains, or can't remember which box the Tupperware is in, when every day you're greeted by purrs, your every move is followed by three golden eyes and one blue, and you can't eat a single thing without also consuming cat hair. Bliss.

22nd July - Cat Pen Home Stretch

We held our breaths as we walked the freakin heavy cat pen walls, put them in place, and checked to see if things were going to line up or if it was going to be one big disaster....

Oh look, he's smiling - gotta be a good sign, right?
... and thankfully, it all came together with much awesome!

So in two weekend's time, while I'm driving down with two yowling, excreeting cats, my lovely man will pop the roof and door on, and we'll be ready to go. So. Excited.

Oh, and eventually my little fur faces will have platforms, hammocks, and either painted floor or tiles out in here, as well as bed boxes, viewing decks, and a tunnel into the back yard! One thing at a time though :)

9th July - Hello Hobart

Borrowed from Pintrest:

Why have I stolen a picture of Hobart, despite living here for over a month now? Because I haven't had time to scratch my own butt take my own half reasonable photos of the damn place yet! Yes I will get there. Don't hold me to that.

Anyway, I am finally here. My thoughts of the place? Here's a note I jotted on my iPhone on my second week of being an official Hobartian:

On my trial run to work, it was surprisingly smooth, and the traffic flowed as I carefully followed my given instructions to the Domain - rewarded with an easy park.  I enjoyed the walk through the city more than I expected. Despite the hisses of peak hour, there's a kind of peace in the Hobart CBD, a steady thrum of energy, the feeling that the place hasn't quite woken up to start the working week.  There's a balance of new and old buildings here, colour and concrete, and I find it quite appealling really. Joining the commuters makes me feel like a "real" city dweller, walking to work, the smell of traffic and winter all mixed together. The sky is grey but the light of shop window displays, street lamps and headlights dispels any sense of dullness, and as I round the corner with work in clear sight, in perfect time, I can already feel in my bones that this place is home.

S0 there you have it. As I kinda always knew I would, I like it here.

2nd - 15th July - The Break that Really Wasnt and The Weekend I didn't want to Stab Myself in the Eye

The break between jobs, for most people, means a relaxing transition from one thing to the next - time to kick back, relax, and ponder one's life and wardrobe. But no, not me. Two weeks to move, rennovate, reorganise and establish myself in a new place, sounds like a long time. "A whole two weeks!" I said to myself. The "To Do List" in my mind grew to unnaturally large proportions. Apparently, in my mind, I'm Wonderwoman and wear my undies on the outside.

I painted. I sanded. I scrubbed. I played Plants vs Zombies (Mum, I'm joking... really...). Well come on, I really did need to discover the Yeti Zombie. Ahem.

Thankfully I had help on the weekends from my lovely man, and Mum and Steven even took time off for one last 4 day long stint. The result?

Well I'm not going to take any pictures of painted walls and ceilings - you're just going to have to use your imagination on that one. Here's some help - imagine a lonely and irritable Jess, ruggedly dressed without makeup and h- actually no. Don't imagine that. It's way to scary.

Just imagine an annoyed Jess (not so scary) going over the same walls again and again and struggling to see the difference and the point of it all andwhyareweheredammit?!?!?


At this point, writing this from the future, I wish I had of been able to tell my past self, in real time, that I was only going to nock and mark the crappa out of those walls in the first few weeks anyway. Hrmph.

The good parts are the parts other people helped with!

I present to you, my mum's piece of awesome - the NICHE!!!

Also, bath is looking fabo

and my flooring has arrived *squee!*

The oven and benchtop are in (have I showed you this part yet?)

and Mum tiled up the wall

while my lovely installed these awesome downlights


In the meantime, the cat pen is coming along really well! Planning the frames went something like:

Jess: "I'm going to write down every individual length of timber we require, then I'm going to calculate what we can fit into each length, to minimise the wastage. So we need three of those and two of these... what was the measurement of Wall 1 again?"

Bird: "Which wall is Wall 1?"

Jess: "You know *hand signals* that one?"

Bird: *wince* *cringe* "Can you explain to me again what you're trying to do?"

All in our favouritest place ever, Bunnings. On the weekend. Where the pain is tripled and the people working there would rather be on the moon.

It worked out okay in the end, and we're still talking. Bonus!

For the record, despite being cheap, fence paint is a right pain in the arse to work with - its runny as and messy and needs a trillion coats!!

And then the final stint has made the house almost livable!

Mum and Steven finished off the tiling in the bathroom, and man does it look good! My crappy iPhone pics (yes, I really need to learn how to use that damn DSLR!) hardly do it justice. I am in love with my bathroom!!

My range hood is also in. Wow, that makes it sound so easy! Mum and I vacated while the boys swore over this thing. Seeing it mostly up made me so excited I took a pic before the cover was on.

Also, I was very stoked to kiss my old laundry door goodbye. Well, I didn't actually kiss it. No way hosay, it was sticky and still stunk of old man. And made my laundry dark.

Welcome, lovely new glass panel door!

And while everyone else was completing these epic tasks, I painted architraves. I justified this by telling everyone for at least 5 minutes about how nice the paint was (Dulux Aquaenamel, thankyouverymuch), and how it just finishes off all the damn painting I've been doing. See? SEE?! SEE HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS?! Eh.

The last thing we did was unpack and set up my new bed! Looks pretty flash in a room with no curtains, doors or floor coverings!!

Wow, are my photos getting shitter or what?!

Despite all this effort, I won't be living in the house straight away. The cat pen still needs to be finished, and the fittings and silocine sorted so I can have a shower. So next week I start my new job, and camp at Bird's in the meantime. Luckily he's happy to have me!

1st July - Farewell Devonport

I've taken to jotting my thoughts on my iPhone when I'm on the run. Pondering leaving my hometown, here's some reflection for ya. And yes, I know it's poor writing to start a sentence with "and":

It's been strange, living a life stretched across the State. 

Moving back home never felt like moving back to Devonport. However, there's a certain comfort in spending time in the town you grew up in. 

At first it can be a little hard to pin point, what it is exactly about a place which changes when you're not looking, yet somehow remains the same.  I can't say that I've ever considered Devonport with much affection, yet as I cruise around the emptying streets on a cold mid week evening, I realise I'm subconciously loyal to the supermarket I always went to with my Mum, at an age when it was still fun to ride on the outside of the trolley and ask for sweets even though you knew the answer was always no. And I know instrinctually how fast I can hoon around Maccas corner, and that the light turning left is always green - only locals understand what that corner meant as part of the local initiation of getting on your P Plates. Before the rennovations. I've probably driven past a million times.  

And when I'm spending time with an "out of towner", I still have my favourite Bluff parking spot, even if the old car park with the nasty speed humps has gone. 

And even after 10 years or more, its still easy to grumble about the loss of "The Chicken Kiev Bar", and recall tales of walking the streets as an underage binge drinker with a crew of 20 and a weekend of mischief in our heads. No-one else really understands that the potato cakes really were that amazing. 

I realise that even though I don't love this place - as I take the back street short cuts home to avoid the silly new Formby Road development that seems to think right turns are the enemy - that sometimes it takes leaving to go somewhere new, to realise what it means to grow up in a place.

Because I haven't just grown up here, I've grown with it. The good and the bad, just like family.

I never really reconnected with Devonport, and I'm still not sure if I'm sad about that. A small part of me is sad to leave though, I think. Farewell Devo! No longer a resident, I will be but an occassional guest. But that's okay - I never missed you in the first place.

The Lighthouse Carpark is still one of my favourite spots in Devonport

30th June - The Big 2-9

Buy from here.

Happy Birthday to the love of my life! I promise to continue to buy you crappy things for years to come, if you keep me :)

29th June - Last day in Launceston

Stolen from the ABC (yes I purposely picked a miserable picture)

My final day at my old job was fairly uneventful, with the usual drinks and farewells.  Launceston as a place has its charms, but for months I've wandered along its dreary streets knowing this place has nothing for me now but a host of fading memories.  Farewell Launceston! There's only a few who linger there who I'll miss.

25th June - Our 1 Year Anniversary

I have to say I was more than a little excited to celebrate our first year as a couple. Partially because I still can't believe I've managed to not only score, but also keep, such a wonderful man, but also because we had planned an amazing get away which was exactly what we both needed. To not kill someone. Or run away and live in a tree.

Eagles Nest Retreat was the place we chose to spend a good few days doing very little in the company of each other.  My lovely found the spot, that just so happened to be nestled amongst the farm land, rolling hills and in the presence of the lovely Mount Rolland, in the area I grew up in. And when I say grow, I mean the first 6 years of my life.

Once we remembered how to do "nothing" again, we enjoyed good food, sleep ins, strolls in the country side and testing out all three spas that Nest I had to offer. It was a magical time away, and it's safe to say that an outdoor spa has made it into our plans for the future!

23rd June - Not the Slab we'd have preferred!

Did you know that making concrete is very similar to making cake? A little bit of this... a little bit of that... how does the mixture look? Like scones or like custard? I shovelled like I'd never shovelled before (have I ever shovelled before?).  After a while the rolling sounds of rock and grit in the mixer is almost comforting. Or perhaps that's just the insanity creeping in!

Regardless, the cat slab is down and looking awesome! Unlike us. We look like people who have been concreting all day. I will be in trouble for posting this!

The folks have been working tirelessly in the bathroom in the meantime, and it's looking flash! I absolutely love the big white tiles. They reflect the light and make the room feel  bright and lovely.

With Steven...

...and without!

10th June - Tiles UP THE FREAKIN WALL!

The heat pump is working!

Have I ever mentioned to you that I have an amazing sexy electrician? Who works for free?!

The tiles are going up the walls of the bathroom!

The footings of the cat pen are down!

This is not the vision I had for my kitchen sink!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Showered in Love

Thanks to my lovely man and his handy dad, I now have a shower!! Which is a very important and wonderful thing. Obviously.

Now gather round and let me tell you a story, so you can learn from my mistakes and also join a special club of people who don't believe in the lies that the-box-something-came-in tells you. TRUST NO-ONE, MY FRIENDS. That is the moral of this story.

Once upon a time there was a naive young lady who thought it might be fun to buy a shitbox house and renovate it. Part of this renovation was redoing the bathroom which of course means replacing a really bad, old, tiled leaking shower with a lovely new one.  Assessing the size of the bathroom and the size of her budget, naive young lady purchased a 900x900 shower screen.

LIES. The overall space required to fit the screen is 900x900, but not the screen itself, BECAUSE IT HAS BRACKETS THAT HANG OUT. WAT. 


Anyway, luckily it didn't make a huge difference to me in this case, but now I shall forever tell, harass, shout from the hills and look any renovating nutter I know straight in the eye even if they don't want my advice and say.... buy your bits and pieces, open the boxes, measure yourself, and then, and only THEN, make plans for where all your stuff is going to go, because to you, the difference between a true 900 and a real 860 might make all the difference.


I have a new shower. Aint it pretty?!