A rush of blood to the head!
“A rush of blood to the head” is an interesting expression. “Seeing Red” is a different thing, usually associated with anger … wanting to lash out. In this case a “rush of blood to the head” occurred on the arrival of the new year. An idea arose so strongly with both of us that it simply couldn’t be ignored.
And that idea? Well it seemed quite strange at first, but we thought it might be time to move from our sub-tropical paradise in Noosa and return to our old haunts on the south coast of Western Australia, namely to go and live in Albany.
What a bizarre thought it was! It soon has us scanning the real estate sites for possibilities and with houses selling so quickly, when we find a red brick “castle” that hadn’t yet sold we quickly make an offer subject to sale of our current house. (I should say at this point, friends David and Elizabeth were kind enough to visit the house and give us a report before we made the offer). So when the offer is accepted on the 23rd of January (oh dear we’ve done it now) we have to put our house on the market asap.
Wow! The whole thing quickly takes on a life of it’s own and it feels like we are just along for the ride. Another three weeks with one home open and we have a contract for the sale of our house, luckily with a 60 day settlement. And so we begin packing, packing, packing. The eleventh of April is the settlement date for both properties. Pack, pack, pack we go!
In the middle of all this, when we are firmly committed to the move, the results of some routine blood tests come in and show that both of us are going to need procedures involving short periods in hospital. Jacqui goes first and I decide to wait until we are all packed up before making my visit. In the end we book an AirBnB for a month in Caloundra immediately following settlement to give time for me to recuperate before beginning our 5,000km trip to Albany in our lovely motor home.
Don’t forget to mention the floods
SE Queensland and Northern NSW have had very serious flooding this summer and many people have been left homeless as a result and some of the flooded houses will never recover. Gympie, to the north of us and Lismore in NSW were particularly badly hit and having recovered from one flood event and started to clear up they were each hit by a new flood. Some places are having their fourth flood of the season as I write.
Of course, it’s nothing to do with climate change say the politicians. Some are still saying that there is no such thing as climate change and that we should be building more coal and gas fired power stations. What will it take one asks?
The Noosa river has a relatively short catchment area and so although we get some flooding it is usually not too serious.
The Apartment at Kings Beach
The apartment overlooks a park and then the Pacific ocean. The constantly changing face of this small stretch of ocean relieves the static nature of our stay. Sitting watching the passers by; dog walkers, families having picnics in the small park, mothers pushing prams, electric scooter riders weaving along the pavement, sitters on benches watching the ocean.
First thing in the morning, the body surfers arrive, heads bobbing in the surf. Later as the junior surf club puts up it’s flags the swimmers arrive with the board surfers on one side. The ocean is always rough.
On some days the wind gets up and it rains. The windows blur with the salt spray and need cleaning. And all the time the ships pass in the channel just off shore. Mostly container ships with the occasional oil tanker, general cargo ship and LPG carrier.
And so the journey begins
The good thing about the journey down to Melbourne, where we intend to visit Max and Nickee, is that it is freeway all the way to within 10km of Max. The not so good thing is that it is 1,800km.
Our first stop is in Lennox Head where we have a couple of days credit from our pre Christmas visit. (see A Happy New Year and our Escape from Queensland). Although it is still cold and windy with the occasional shower, it doesn’t keep us away from the local coffee shop. Unfortunately the cold wet weather is to stay with us much of the way to Melbourne. At times it is torrential and parts of Queensland, NSW and Sydney are flooded again.
Until we get off the coast, the weather stays wet. Onto the Hume Highway and a night in Wangarata, and the rain has finally stopped and the sun has even popped out.
We reach Melbourne and spend the next day catching up with Max and Nickee. Both are doing well and seem very busy. It is great to get a chance to see them in person.
And so westward we go
We had hoped to visit friends down on the Mornington Peninsula, but the time is passing, we are feeling the cold and it is time to get going. We aim for Port Augusta, passing through small communities in fine sunny weather – the drive is a pleasure.
The Final Stretch
Here we sit in Ceduna with another 1,800km to go and the Nullarbor Plain before us. We have made this crossing many times in both directions. Maybe we will again at some point. It has been an interesting journey, from the lashing rain of the east coast to the wide open spaces and sunshine of South Australia. We feel as if we are going home to a house we have never seen in the flesh, as it were.
And so to That Red Brick Castle”
This will be an altogether new experience for us. We really like new experiences. This one has a view.
Oh yes, on another matter … we are also very happy that Scott Morrison’s reign has ended in a rout. He has led an extremely divisive government and we are glad to see him, and his fellow ministers, go. Fingers crossed for the future. Maybe Australia will finally attend to the issue of climate change and stop mining all that coal and gas. Lots of sun and wind in Australia to do the job!
May you all be well and happy.