About zefiart

Blogger, DIY-er, poodle lover, graphic designer, dog groomer, recycler, artist, wonder woman in my spare time.

so… where are we at?

Yes, its been a while since I last posted. I’ve been rather busy.

I know, I know. I said I’d keep you updated on how things were going and I’ve done a poor job of it so far. So how about I try to cover it all in a nutshell?

I arrived in Melbourne safe and sound with two poodles, my car and crapload of stuff.

I started selling stuff on ebay.

I looked for homes for my dogs. I found homes. Lost homes. Found new ones.

I drove my dogs up to Queensland for their new homes.

No, I didn’t find any nearby.

It was a long drive. It took me 2 days to get there with a night in Dubbo on the way up.

It took 3 days to get back. 2 days in Lismore with a friend (cause I got sick). One night in Newcastle.

I only stayed in Canberra for 2 days since I took so long to get there and back.

I had my car booked in to have the rear bumper fixed and a broken tail light replaced.

I’m selling my car.

The poodles are doing well. They settled in with Sue from Qld poodle rescue. They wont be going to their new homes till after Christmas but they are happy and loved with Sue. Sleeping on her bed. Sharing her love with her two poodles.

I’m so grateful to Sue and so much happier knowing she is looking out for them.

I visited my brother, a cousin and my niece and nephew while in Canberra. And met my great nephew… Randal.

Can you see the family resemblance?

I bought my ticket to Greece. December 20 is D-Day. Departure Day.

I fly China Air and get to spend some time in Beijing cause there’s a LOOOOONG stopover. They provide a hotel so all good.

I arrive in Athens December 22 in the morning. Yay.

I found out that I won’t be allowed to leave the country on a one way ticket without a Greek passport (mine expired and I dont have it with me anyway).

I went to the Greek Consulate and got a copy of my birth certificate to get translated.

I already had one. But they said I needed a fresh one. In case something changed I guess…

I’m waiting for the translation. Then I get to go back to the consulate to get it stamped. Oh the joy.

I went in to Vic Roads to change my Tasmanian drivers license to a Victorian one. I had to pay $18 to make an appointment to see someone about it.

I had to pay $18 to make an appointment.

I thought that bore repeating.

No. It was not refunded once I turned up.

I went to the doctor on Monday for a mole check.

Turns out I had to go to the doctor again today cause I needed her to sign a form saying I was healthy enough to drive and can see with my new fake lenses (installed due to eye surgery) and no longer need to wear glasses to drive.

Something I’d have appreciated knowing BEFORE I went to the doctor this week. Like when I paid $18 to MAKE AN APPOINTMENT. That would have been handy. Then I wouldn’t have had to pay for TWO doctors appointments…

I hurt my back. Driving too much.

I spent most of my time in Canberra flat out on the couch and groaning like an old woman. Not to mention walking like I’d shit my pants.

I had a massage in Canberra. It helped. The driving from there to Melbourne didn’t.

Turns out standing and walking isn’t a problem. Neither is lying down. Sitting can kill me.

I had another massage in Melbourne. That helped.

I’m having one more next week. Before the trip. Cause what’s an airplane trip but sitting for hours on end?

I am still selling stuff on ebay.

I am still selling my car.

I have a ton of packing and sorting and STUFF to do.

Always stuff to do.

I write lists. I tick things off and add more.

I can’t wait to go to Paros and turn my brain off for a while. Not that I can do that at any time… but its a nice thought.

Did I mention I can’t leave Australia on a one way ticket without a certificate proving I’m a Greek citizen? I could have bought a return ticket for almost the same price, but they don’t do open ended tickets for longer than 12 months. I doubt I’ll be in a position to visit in a year.

I may have found a job on Paros. Fingers crossed.

Its hot in Melbourne. It was hotter in Qld.

I still have a sore back, so I’m going to go have a swim. Why not take advantage of staying with a friend who has a pool?

z

so, what’s going on?

Well… lots.

In fact too much lots.

Let’s see. I’ve been in Melbourne for 1.5 weeks now. I began listing stuff on ebay. Sheesh it takes a long time to photograph and list things! I found a gym and went every day as soon as I recovered from my sleep disorder… the one where I couldn’t get enough sleep. I did some shopping for cowboy boots. We went out to dinner a couple of times… vietnames and thai. Yum.

I then had a relapse and slept a whole lot again.

Yesterday I drove to a country town to see my oldest friend in the poodle world, spend some time and say goodbye. She’s been like family to me for so long… I’ll miss her and her gorgeous toy poodles who I’ve groomed for years.

On the way back from there today I went past my first house and took a photo. It looks so unloved… its sad.

Anyway, it was part of my life in Melbourne. I’m glad I drove by.

I took my poodles to a friend’s grooming salon to give them a good clean and clip. I’ve found homes for them finally. Thankfully. I had so many people enquire about them, wanting them, but they dropped out like flies. It was confusing and upsetting. I thought I had homes lined up but they disappeared into thin air.

Luckily a couple of ladies from poodle rescue in other states helped me and now I have it sorted in a way that I feel good about. I’m confident my dogs will be loved and looked after for the rest of their lives. I can leave Australia with a clear mind. (So far I’m avoiding even thinking about saying goodbye to them… it will be the hardest thing about this whole move.)

The downside is that the homes are both in Queensland. That’s like a two day drive from here. I’ve been planning my trip using google maps and think I have it sorted. I’ll start out on Saturday or Sunday this weekend. I have the number of a dog friendly motel in Dubbo so I will stop there overnight on the way up. The trip up will take me through Tocumwal – the small town where we lived when I was 2-5 years old! And also through Parkes, which is where The Dish is!!! I loved that film… I want a photo with the Dish!

I might even be tempted to drive through Griffith where I grew up… who knows…

On the way back I’ll visit friends in Lismore, maybe visit Byron Bay cause… well, why not! And then to Canberra to visit my brother, my neice and my cousins.

Then back to Melbourne to sell my car!

I’ve organised a ticket to Greece. Not easy despite the fact that this is supposed to be a quieter time of year to head that way…

But that brought up a whole lot of other things I didn’t realise I had to do, or would be a problem. Turns out I won’t be allowed to leave Australia on my Australian passport with a one way ticket. I’ll need to prove that I can stay in Greece without a visa. So I have to go to the Greek consulate and get a copy of my birth certificate, get it translated and notarised, and have it with me to prove I’m a greek citizen… and thus allowed to stay in Greece. All this cause I let my Greek passport expire years ago…

I mean, who knew I’d actually chose to move back to Greece?

I also have to renew my Australian passport cause it will expire next year and to be honest I’m not sure I have a full 6 months left on it, which is necessary in order for me to travel on it.

Sheesh.

The things that pop up when one decides to move to another country!

So, still a ton to do, but I’ll get through it. I have to.

z

paralysis lifted. mostly.

I went out yesterday and found a gym. The plan was to check out as many around here as I could till I found one which was right for me. On my way to gym #3 on my list I saw a small gym behind a shopping center and stopped in.

Its tiny. Run by a couple, 2 workout rooms – if you want a treadmill you run around the block. If you want a stair master you go up and down the stairwell. If you want to do a spin class you have to book in as they only have 5 bikes. I liked it. It was personal, more like what I loved about Freedom Fitness in New Norfolk. Freedom is way bigger but so friendly and felt like I knew everyone that went.

I did my personal training/intro yesterday and then did a circuit strength class. Today I’ll do a boxing class and a 30min spin class. I need to work hard. I need to sweat. I need it right now.

I felt SO much better after my workout yesterday. I finally felt like I had energy again. You know, the best kind of tired. Not to mention how exercise helps with the positive frame of mind I need to tackle all the stuff on my Must Do List.

You have no idea how relieved I am that I’m finally feeling like myself again. I hated the tiredness and feelings of hopelessness which were dogging me for the last two weeks.

And hey! I got a new, bigger, more user friendly bluetooth keyboard for my tablet which actually has an apostrophe where it should be! Makes all the difference. We all know the importance of punctuation. I saw this on FB and just have to share it:


Back to work. Can’t spend all day on here…

z

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