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Momentous thing #1 – We took possession of our house! It has been a whirlwind few days as we moved all our stuff from the Airbnb to here, got a pile of deliveries of the stuff we didn’t bring on the container ship, and did a bunch of running around to pick up other odds and ends that we needed. Will post more photos later once the chaos settles down a bit, but will share some today to tide you over.

In a fun twist of fate, the front of our house faces almost exactly the same direction as did the back of our house in Stoney Creek! So we get to see both sunsets and sunrises, just like we did at home – another one of those silly little things that makes me feel close to everyone back home. No sunrises for the 2 days we’ve been here in the morning – very foggy out early in the morning this weekend (not to mention that sunrise isn’t exactly my preferred time of day :)). But I did catch a Friday night and Sunday night sunset for you:

Here is a video showing the daytime view from the front of our house:


Here’s Hugh next to the sold sign when we arrived on Friday morning:

The previous owners were great and when we mentioned how much we loved this sign near the front door, they said they would leave it for us. Hugh is forcing me to write that he didn’t think I’d want to be described as old…

One of the funny things here is that many houses have their laundry facilities in the garage! I guess when the garage doesn’t get below zero and the floors aren’t covered with salt and slush dripping off the car, it becomes an option :). I didn’t really like the idea and looked into turning one of the spare rooms into a laundry room, but it was going to be a massive job ripping floors out to install a drain (no basements here) and I really didn’t feel like doing that. So we put our new washer and dryer into the garage, next to Hugh’s golf clubs 🙂

The previous owners also left some planters and a fabulous bird bath in the front. I heard a ruckus yesterday and went to see what was going on – we have some magpie larks and blue-faced honeyeaters enjoying the deep bath and splashing water everywhere. Hugh thinks I make a mess at the sink – pfft, I’m nothing compared to these birds! This blue-faced honeyeater is looking a bit scruffy from his wet feathers (not the best photo, they were skittish, so I was in the house 10 feet from the window taking this picture):

The birds here are UNBELIEVABLE. There was a pink one sitting on a lamp post on our street the other day. Couldn’t tell what it was as we were driving by, but I’m thinking either a Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo or a Galah. The Lorikeets are beautiful – but brutally noisy! They congregate en masse at dusk and make quite the racket (in fact, many birds make a racket here – if you had the sound on playing the video of our new view, what you hear in the background is birds – and some of them, especially the crows, sound quite human!). Here’s a guide to Australian parrots to give you an idea of the amazing colours we see here (I promise to get photos one of these days!). And then there’s the ibis. Doesn’t that sound lovely? They are EVERYWHERE here and I thought they were lovely. We had one land on our neighbour’s roof today:

However, when I was talking to some of the gals at work about birds, I discovered that people here call them “bin chickens” because they rummage through garbage for food :). I really love Aussie slang!

Today we picked up some of the plants we bought at last week’s plant sales. Will have to do some thinking about the plan for these, indeed the plan for the whole yard, but check out some of these fun ones. I particularly like the Elephant Tusks aka Sansevieria and the Ghost Cactus (even looks like he’s got his arms up to scare you :)):

We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our friend Rob! He knew we didn’t have any tools or a ladder or anything while waiting for our container ship, so he packed up a bunch of stuff he thought we might need and brought it all over on Friday. On top of that, he spent a pile of time on Friday and Saturday here helping us install TVs, set up the BBQ, fix the garage door opener, figure out what was wrong with the TV antenna, connect our washing machine to the drain, you name it. There is absolutely no way we could have done all that without him! He and Hugh were taking a well-deserved break on our patio here:

OK so that was momentous thing #1.

Momentous thing #2 – I drove for the first time today!

Much easier having had the opportunity to be a passenger for the past 7 weeks – nice to get accustomed to being on the left side of the road before having to get a feel for controlling the car from the right side. No one was injured and I drove from Yeppoon to Rockhampton and back and only accidentally turned the wipers on 3 times! (the turn signal is on the right hand side of the steering wheel here so after 40 years of driving with it on the left, there’s a bit of a tendency to turn the wipers on instead of the turn signal :))

Unrelated to any momentous thing this week but related to our car – check this out. We went to a restaurant for dinner on Thursday and saw a car with an almost identical license plate:

Momentous thing #3 – our container ship arrived in Brisbane!

If we’re lucky, we might have all our stuff in 2 weeks, but most certainly within 3-4 – I can’t wait!!

And now for momentous thing #4 – we stopped by the bakery close to where we now live (of course we stopped at a bakery, have you met Hugh??) when what to our wondering eyes should appear…

Drumroll please… Yes folks, we found an apple pie! I feel like one of these babies will join us for our Canada Day celebrations next week :).

Well, I need to sign off now and do a bit more tidying around here. We have the pest control folks arriving at 7:30am to do the annual spray – one of the very few downsides of living here is trying to keep the cockroaches and termites out of the house!

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