Sleep… sleep….

This is not my bed… but man… I wish it was.

Still, I’m in love with the bed I’m currently sleeping in at my friend’s house. Its a big old cast iron and brass bed, very romantic and oh so comfy…

But its not the bed itself I’m in love with. Not really. I’m in love with sleep right now. Not hard to understand really. I’ve been going flat out since I returned to Australia from Greece in June.

First it was working flat out to groom all the dogs I had put off while I was away. Then it was the beginning of the move to Greece – all the sorting, the selling, the packing, the complete wrapping up on one life to start another.

Not only was that physically exhausting, it was mentally and emotionally draining. No wonder I can’t seem to get enough rest right now.

Hopefully I’m on the mend now though as I was able to stay up till midnight last night and sleep till 10.30am instead of falling asleep over my dinner, waking up at 6.30am and needing a nap in the middle of the day.

I unloaded the car (mostly) in installments as even the smallest effort wore me out. Now I’ve cluttered up my friend’s house with all the odds and ends of my life… still so much considering all I sold and gave away!

I have all this stuff to sort through and a million poodle items to list on ebay. I’m still at that place where I look at what I have to do and am overwhelmed by the enormity of the task… even though the biggest is finally over.

I still have to sort out homes for my dogs. I had lined up potential homes but as with so many things, people change their minds so now I have to start over.

That’s the hardest part of this whole adventure for me. In fact I try not to think about it at all if I can help it, I seem callous at times, discussing it like I’m taking it in stride, but trust me… I’m broken up over it. I just need to keep it objective or I will cry. My dogs are my family. Both of the were born in my bedroom. They are the biggest part of my life. Leaving them behind is the hardest thing I will ever do.

Today I plan to find a local gym I can visit while I’m here so that should help me get back my energy and a more positive outlook in general. Nothing like a workout to help you out of a dark mood.

So, no more wasting time… up and at em girl. Get a move on…

the final countdown…

Well, its the home stretch now. I’m ready to go. One more night at home and my last night in Tasmania. Perhaps forever. I don’t know if I will ever be back.

The house is bare but for the very few basics I need till tomorrow.

The purchasers from hell came through for a final inspection before settlement yesterday and they made demands. Why am I not surprised?

They complained about a broken window in the shed, claiming it wasn’t broken when they looked through. We didn’t break any windows since we moved in but I’d really like to know how they could tell if a window was broken since the shed was stacked so high with all my junk.

They complained about the grass being long. They had the option to buy the ride on and didn’t want it. So I sold it. I mowed the lawn 2 weeks ago. In fact the guy who bought it had to wait for me to finish so he could take it. But they also complained about the grass in the paddocks being too long!!!

Sheesh. Do these city dwellers have a rude awakening coming their way when they move here. Grass grows. And when it doesn’t you have a problem.

They wanted to know what we were doing about the tree that fell across the driveway. Um… nothing. We moved it out of the way. Thats all we needed to do. Its firewood people. Firewood.

And they complained about the stuff left in the paddock, which was Waynes department to clean up. I believed him when he told me that area was cleared out. Seriously, I made sure everything else was gone or cleaned up. That was his job.

Now apparently they can hold up settement till they at least get assurance in writing that we will take care of it.

And last but not least by any means… they demanded I vacuum inside the air conditioner cause the filter was covered in dust.

Unbelievable.

Soon they will no longer be my problem. Soon they will no longer be my problem. Just keep repeating that…

So how am I feeling? Tired. Sore. Busy. Alternately depressed and excited. But the excitement has been dampened lately by the reality of this move. And having to rehome my dogs being the next big thing i need to take care of.

I try not to think about any of it too much. The friends I’ll miss. The dogs. Those things make me want to cry. Instead I concentrate on what needs to be done now. And what needs to be done next.

Baby steps as Bob said.

https://youtu.be/fA7LGqwjhYs

Its not like I don’t still have a ton to sort and do and figure out and organise and just get through.

This is the biggest move I’ve ever made in my life. And I’ve moved back and forth from Greece a few times, I moved from Canberra to Melbourne on my own, from Melbourne to Tasmania on my own, not knowing a soul in either place, and now I’m moving back to a country I have lived in, where I have tons of family. Still, for some reason this move feels bigger than any other.

Maybe its cause I’m not just going back home, to live in the family home but instead planning to buy my place (if I can afford to!!) and live on Paros where I’ve only ever spent summers before…

But Paros is in my heart. I feel more for that island than anywhere in the world. Its hard to explain.

I love Australia. I chose Australia as my forever home more than once in my life. I really dislike Athens. I don’t want to live in Athens. I hated Greece and Athens for half my life – because I was taken away from the only life I knew in Griffith, a small country town in NSW, and taken to live in Athens when I was 10.

At that age I was convinced I’d never see my friends or cousins again. Ever. After all, we never saw anyone from Greece.

I went from country town living to city living and I hated everything about it. Except Paros.

Paros was where we spent our summers and it was all sun and sea and places to explore. Sure, they were holidays and everyone loves holidays, but Paros is under my skin. I feel such a strong pull to it. And its been getting stronger every time I visit. Not to mention that I have longed to be there in winter for a very long time!

Greece IS Paros to me.

So despite my fears and the odd panic, I know I’ll love it and be happy there. I know I’ll manage and find work cause I’m resourceful and have the energy to do anything.

I just need to keep reminding myself of that and concentrate on the positives.

z

it will be over soon…

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Yep. That’s me. Passed out on the floor next to the bed.

Or more like curled up in a fetal position in the middle of the kitchen (where most of the chaos remains).

I’ve found a way to keep track of things and its kinda working, even if the main thing it achieves is to make me feel like I have some kind of plan.

I got out 3 sheets of packing paper, taped them to the living room wall and wrote the days of the week remaining on them and what is meant to happen on those days. That way I can look at one glance and see when something is being picked up. Or what I have to do that day.

Genius.

In theory.

The problem is there is still a mess around here and its doing my head in. I look at all the small things piled on the table, on the floor, in boxes that ‘need sorting’ and my brain freezes.

Thank goodness for my friends who turned up here this morning and walked over the place and got everthing that needed to go into the skip for me. Now the skip is almost full but that still has enough space to put in the last minute rubbish I’ll be adding to it as I go through those boxes that ‘need sorting’.

I think the worst of it is the piles of stuff. Or the need for piles. Or designated areas:

This needs to be picked up by xxx.
This needs to be taken to Melbourne
This needs to be packed for Greece by me
This needs to be packed by the removalists
This belongs to Wayne, he needs to pick it up
This needs to be picked up by xxx

…and it goes on and on.

Sometimes I feel like all I ever do is move a box from this room to that room, then to the porch, then back.

It will end soon. I have to keep reminding myself. Less than a week to go… it will be over soon.

z

i need a break

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I have been so busy lately that I really don’t know whether I’m coming or going. I have so much on my mind that I often forget what I’m doing.

Ok, that’s not necessarily a new thing… I have those tendencies anyway, but lately its like I put one thing in my brain and another two items fall out the other end. There’s only so much stuff a brain can hold!

So, what’s been happening since we last spoke?

Well… we had 3 garage sale weekends. They went great, good and not so great respectively. Still, we did sell a heap of stuff. The problem was we had SO MUCH stuff that we still had tons left after 3 weekends of sales.

That’s when Plan B kicked in: friends who have shops and do markets have been picking up stuff to sell for me on commission.

And Plan C: giving stuff away to anyone who wants it.

Right now I’m in that place where there are still things to be picked up but timing is of the essence here.

For instance… do I really want the washing machine and fridge to go till at least 3 days before I have to go?

What about the bed?

The couch is going tomorrow as are the kitchen table and chairs… but I’m holding onto some non-matching chairs and my blow mould table so I have something to use in the kitchen and something to sit on other than an air mattress on the floor!

So… between now and Monday I have to sort, pack and see things off the property.

Monday my stuff gets picked up for the long trip to Greece.

Pre-settlement inspection is on Wednesday so I want the house and yard looking as empty and neat and tidy as possible.

On Friday me and the dogs are on the ferry to Melbourne where I expect to sleep a LOT before starting the next adventure (stressful episode) of finding my dogs a new home…

Only then will I be able to book my ticket to Greece.

Stay tuned for more chaotic news from my chaotic life.

It will get better.

One day.

z

ouch

lastgaragesale

It had to happen.

I mean, how can something like a huge move to Greece go without a hitch?

I’ve been packing and moving boxes and furniture for weeks and NOW my back gives out.

Now. A couple of days before the last ever garage sale. The day I’d planned to take all the bits still in the house down to the casita for the garage sale. The day I planned to move everything from the porch so that tomorrow we can put all the furniture out there for the garage sale.

Perfect timing.

I’m really hoping that its better by tomorrow if I’m really good and take it easy today.

Yeah. Cause I’m all about taking it easy.

Uhuh.

Yep.

Well… a good night’s sleep maybe…

Let’s hope for the best.

z

oh boy!

packing

Yes. Its hectic around here. People coming and going all day long… Piles of stuff to move to the casita for the garage sale…

I have notes on top of notes cause there’s so much happening I can’t remember it all. Lists of things for sale online, lists of things people have bought but yet to pick up, stacks of stuff to go with me to Melbourne, stacks of stuff to still pack for Greece…

My brain can only cope with so much… You know how it is… you put too much IN something has to go OUT to make room.

What’s my name again?

Luckily among the last things to be picked up are my bed, the kitchen table and chairs, the fridge and washing machine and the couch. My desk is gone. I’m now working on the laptop on the coffee table while sitting on the couch that no longer belongs to me.

Time is moving fast. Two more weeks. Then I’m outa here.

Better book a ticket for the ferry for me, the dogs and the car.

Better make a list of things I need to do before I go.

Better get back to packing.

I need a drink…

z

ups, downs and boxes

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I’m so tired.

I begin my days early… I get up around 7am but I’m usually awake by 6. That’s when I actually sleep.

At this rate I may not need to buy another suitcase to travel with… the bags under my eyes should be big enough!

I have a coffee and something to eat and then I start working on something. The secret seems to be to just start something. Anything. Once you start its easier to keep going.

So I keep going. For some hours. Then I suddenly wind down, tired.

If I make the mistake of sitting down, having a cup of coffee… and I look around at all that still needs doing and suddenly I’m overwhelmed and paralysed again.

Sometimes I remember to have lunch. Most of the time I just eat a late lunch/early dinner. Then I usually watch TV to stop my brain a while.

We’ve had two garage sales so far. You never realise how much stuff you have till you try to put it all in one area and display it for sale. Getting ready for a garage sale of this scale is like nothing I’ve ever done before.

Last week I cleaned out the casita (that’s the original house on the property which is now a shed). That meant clearing out the storage room, the laundry room, the workshop room, the horse feed room. Then bringing in tables and other surfaces to put things out on.

It never seems to end.

It will end. I know it will. Its all that keeps me going. When I get to Melbourne I plan to sleep for about 3 days straight… getting up to eat occasionally and living in my pjs.

Meanwhile, what have I managed to do? Well, sell about half or 3/4 of my stuff. Still tons to go of course. This weekend will be the last garage sale. After that I’m concentrating on the final packing and cleaning up the property.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel…

So. Keep me in your thoughts and send positive vibes I get through this without too much damage or loss of days from the end of my life. I was planning on those days and want to keep them.

z

moving right along (no pun intended)

boxesontop

This is not me… but it sure feels like it is!

Don’t they say moving house is one of the biggest stresses a person can go through?

Add to that moving across the world and you have some idea of what I’m going through right now…

The house looks like a hurricane went past, scattering things all over the place, taking some things with it as it ripped through – there are gaps where bits of furniture used to be, boxes of stuff everywhere, piles of stuff to sort through and pack/toss/sell, confused dogs walking in circles… and me standing in the middle ‘lost sheeping’* as a friend used to say.

Overwhelmed by all the things that need doing.

Luckily I get spurts of energy and purpose and I go crazy for a few hours at a time. Once I am no longer working I hope I can put those spurts to better use and really get things moving.

We had a huge garage sale on the weekend and it barely made a dint in the things we need to sell before we leave here. We’ve been here for 8.5 years… things accumulate.

On their own mind you… I had nothing to do with it!

As if you’d believe that!

One of the best things about this move is that I am finally able to look at my stuff and let a lot of things go. Things which I collected and loved for years no longer seem so important. Its time to move on. What’s more important is life itself and family and friends. Things are just things… replaceable.

Part of the decision to move wasn’t just to be with mom and other family while they’re still here for me to be with them, but the realisation that life is short. I know we say it all the time, but its true. You never know how long you actually have…

I’m winding up my grooming business tomorrow, my hydrobath and the other grooming tools (the ones I sold) are being picked up the very next day. Its hard to say goodbye to a business I’ve built up from nothing to a full time job… but I’m taking my basics with me, who knows… I might do some grooming on Paros.

My power tools are coming with me, I can’t live without those! So are my art supplies and most of my craft supplies. Not to mention the mountain of dolls I collected to repaint and remake.

I’m really looking forward to spending my first few months on Paros creating art and crafts and finding myself.

Watch out world… here I come!

No, seriously, I really want to reconnect with the artist in me. Its been buried for too long. Sure, I’ve done commissions over the years but I haven’t painted for the sake of creating art. I’ve diverted all my creative energies into making STUFF. Not that I plan to give that up, it gives me too much pleasure… but I really want to try do some real art too.

Maybe.

We’ll see.

Can’t make a living off art…

z

*lost sheeping: the act of standing in the middle of a paddock with a blank expression on your face cause the herd is gone and you have no idea where you are or where you’re supposed to be.

 

its true. i’m moving

I haven’t been on the blog for ages. Some of you may have noticed. For those that didn’t, not to worry. You didn’t miss much. Mainly cause I didn’t post for months.

Well, I’m back. At least I’m sort of back. In a whole new direction.

While I was in Greece I realised that my heart was on Paros, with my mom and my family. I missed them and I missed Paros. I’d always dreamed of living on Paros and now I’m ready to make it a reality.

I’d always planned to retire on Paros, but I realised that I really didn’t want to wait that long. I want to spend quality time with my mom and more time with family. I chose to live far from my family from the age of 23… its time to be back with them.

I knew I was in trouble when I didn’t hate Athens the way I usually do…

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When I got back from Greece I had to make some really hard decisions, have some really hard conversations with Wayne, and look into my heart and make the decision which would be best for me.

Its been a really stressful and difficult time, hence the blog silence. I just didn’t know what to write. Things were confusing and I couldn’t plan anything since every single move depended on something else to fall into place first. It was like the goalposts were constantly being moved. Exhausting. Depressing.

Yet also exciting.

I love Paros. My heart has been there for years. Paros IS Greece to me… to all of us in our family. So the prospect of living there full time is like a dream come true.

Most of my family and friends in Athens have their doubts… Paros? In winter? There’s nothing to do there! You’ll be bored and lonely!

Ha. They obviously haven’t lived in the country in Tasmania…

I look forward to spending a few quiet months ‘finding myself’… making friends, reconnecting with my creative side… living quietly and just being. I believe its the right decision for me at this stage of my life. A new life.

Of course it won’t be easy. I need to earn a living so I’ll have to find a job. I’ll do anything till I find my place.

Then there are the heartbreaking bits to moving. Mom doesn’t want me to take a dog over. Montana is too old for such a trip but I had planned to take Romeo – my living, breathing, poodle security blanket. My support. My very own family.

But with mom not wanting a dog in her house, with me not having my own place (yet) and no job (yet) and not knowing where I’ll be for the next few months… I had to concede that she has a point. It will be better for the dogs to find a new home in Australia and not have to face change after change.

I’m heartbroken. I never planned to be without my dogs…

Ok. Well. I’m trying very hard to think positive right now.

We sold our house. That in itself was a horrible experience. It was quick, but it wasn’t without a ton of stress. The buyers from hell. That’s all I have to say about that. But its done now. And we have a settlement date of November 16.

30 days.

Can you say RUSH?

Can you say exhausted?

I’ve been photographing and listing stuff for sale for weeks but now I’m stepping it up a notch. Or four. I’m having a huge garage sale on the weekend (part of the garage sale trail) and of COURSE today its been thundering and pelting down with rain.

Always happens. I’m a weather system all of my own. Need rain? I’ll move there and bring it with me. All I need to do is plan an outdoor activity. Guaranteed to bucket down.

So… I have 4 weeks to pack up, sell up, clean up and move out.

I’m getting there but there’s still so much to do.

The plan is to move out of here, find a home for my babies (the poodles!), go to Melbourne for a while, visit family and friends in Canberra, maybe even Sydney, sell the car, go to Greece.

You know what plans are, don’t you? Those things we make which we have to change again and again.

I’ve moved back and forth from Greece to Australia and back many times but it never seemed so hard before. Maybe its cause this time I have my own home and years of accumulated possessions to sort through. The last times I’d been a student or living in rentals so never had so much.

Whatever.

Its happening.

Stay tuned for the new adventure.

z

 

beautiful decay

Its been a while since I last posted. I’m back home in Tasmania, back at work (flat out) and up to my elbows in chores to do… There really is no rest for the wicked – I must have been very naughty in a previous life!

So while I catch you up on everything that’s happening in a suitably vague way, I’ll share these photos I took on my last day on Paros.

As part of the Paros Festival there was the opportunity to visit a few of the old mansions in Parikia. Absolutely gorgeous… yet falling apart from lack of maintenance for most of them.

You know how much I love old places and old things.

You’ll notice a lot of window shots. There’s something extremely beautiful in these old windows with their damaged timber, chipped paint and the sunlight streaming through.

Not to mention the floorboards… I’d adore those floorboards in my home…

Even the old concrete sink. A bit more shallow than anything we’re used to these days, but so big and wide.

So, what’s been happening in my life?

Well, its cold… Got back from 30 plus degrees on Paros to single digits in Tasmania. A bit of a shock to system.

Meanwhile I’m mourning my tan, which is fading fast. By the time the weather is warm enough here to expose flesh I’ll be pastey white again. Sigh.

The dogs are all well and happy to see me. The horses, turkeys, ducks and chooks don’t care if I’m here or not, as long as they get fed.

Ungrateful sods…

Work has been flat out. Grooming daily. Of course that means so much less time to do housework and craft projects.

I miss the crafting.

Not so much the house cleaning…

Its good to be back home though. There’s nothing like being in your own space, surrounded by your own stuff and poodles!

Though I would seriously love some free time to create.

No worries. It’ll happen… one day I’ll start something and then I’ll start another thing and before you know it I’ll be sharing new projects!

z