It is early July and the first frosty morning this winter. The sun is just coming up and it’s distinctly chilly. The weather station in the kitchen is showing the temperature outside at 2 degrees C, but it is always colder at ground level so I’d say it’s around zero outside.
As is typical of a frosty morning here the sky is clear blue and the air is still. The smoke from our chimney is rising in a thin white plume straight into the cold morning air. Despite the cold the camellias are glowing pink and red in the early morning light and the magpies and bellbirds are singing away.
Even the paddocks are still green – although this frost will sort that out, replacing green with winter brown.
In just one week our containers should be packed with all our belongings and we’ll be leaving the Kurrajong district in New South Wales and heading south to Tasmania to our new house in Barrington. We’ve lived here in the lower Blue Mountains above the Hawkesbury River for more than 20 years.
Everywhere I walk in the house I am surrounded by boxes, piles of stuff destined to go into boxes and then other piles that aren’t to go in the containers but are to be packed instead into our cars for the road trip down south. There still seems to be a lot to do.
Did you see I wrote containers meaning we need more than one. I am embarrassed to admit that we need two containers to transport our belongings. As Kim from the television show Kath and Kim would say we are “effluent Mum, effluent”.
Containers that move domestic loads are only half the length of the monsters that are piled on container ships to ply the international trade routes. But that still means we need 40 feet (two lots of 20 feet) of container space. Containers seem to be measured in feet not metres but that’s still around 12m in total. How did we acquire so much?
I blame Jim. I always do. Much of the space is taken up by his equipment and tools, which he can’t part with. Two ride-on mowers, two push mowers, several chainsaws, blower vacs, the fire fighting pump and all the rakes, spades and forks will take up a lot of the space. That’s not even touching on all the car-related tools and machinery and assorted power tools along with his father’s tools inherited more than 15 years ago and packed into mysterious metal containers.
We did sell the old grey Fergie tractor and slasher. It will stay here keeping the place in order. Even Jim admitted there wasn’t much call for a tractor when you’ve downsized to an acre.
As we are moving to Tassie everything we own has had to be thoroughly cleaned to make sure there’s no soil or debris remaining. Luckily we have a high pressure cleaner among all the power equipment.
We also have to leave behind all plants, seeds and fruit. The pugs are coming, but only after they’ve been treated for hydatids (a type of intestinal worm Tasmania is trying to eradicate).
Once the containers are packed we move across the road to stay in our friends’ house (they are away) while we spend the last days here packing the cars and cleaning the house. Then it’s off to Melbourne and then across Bass Strait in the Spirit of Tasmania. We’ve booked an evening departure with a cabin for us and a cage for the pugs, who’ll be down in the hold near where the cars are carried. The kind lady in the booking office recommended taking blankets for the dogs. They don’t know what they are in for…..and probably neither do we.