Saturday, 28 July 2007

one week to go

Bags not packed. Electricity, phone, internet disconnections not organised. Kitchen not packed. Lawns not mowed, gutters not cleaned, pest control not done, palm fronds not cleaned up, contact for services like pool cleaning, pool fencing, council rates and so on not redirected to estate agent. Hmmm. I think I'll have a busy week this week.

On the upside though, a lot was achieved last week. Best of all my 18 year old daughter and her friend finally found a house in Brisbane. They'll be moving out in a few days, thus making the rest of my packing and the house cleaning and letting easier to organise and putting my mind at rest. J will be fine.

The big challenge for this week is firstly to make sure that all the loose ends mentioned above, and those not mentioned, are tied up and secondly to somehow squeeze our worldly belongings into 54kgs of luggage. I keep wondering why the luggage itself has to weigh 4 - 5 kilos per case. Surely they could get it lighter!

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

sand storms

I've read that you can get a great view of Al Ain from the nearby mountains, but the downside is that the city is usually covered in a yellow pall.

I've been wondering just what the dirty air is. Is it pollution? From what I've read Al Ain doesn't seem to be an industrial city. I'm thinking that the yellow may be sand in the air.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

two weeks to go

I've discovered with some amusement that there're at least two stages to solving problems. There's the macro panic and the micro panic. For example:

OMG What'll we do with the cat and dog when we go?
Solution - Stage 1: Ask all our friends and rellies. Finally ... T, our son will take them.
Response: Great! Problem solved.

OMG. T lives 8 hours away by road. How will we get the pets to him?
Solution Stage 2: Make some phone calls, get some quotes. Finally ... send the dog by plane and cat by road.
Response: Great! Problem solved (again).

Hmmm. The transportation won't happen for a couple of weeks. So is the problem actually solved at this point or have we got a virtual solution, or maybe a solution in waiting?

Life must be a bit on the humdrum side when one's waking hours are consumed by such thoughts.

Things are plodding along nicely with lots of problems (mostly employing the two stage panic technique) disappearing and the 'to do' list being whittled away.

The cold here on the GC is unrelenting. It is the coldest winter on record. Usually the highs and lows in winter are 12 - 22. This year they are 0 - 19. What's the point of moving north for the warm winters when the lows are just as cold as in the south?

Sunday, 15 July 2007

three weeks

I wonder how easy it is to upload pics here. I'll give it a go.
This is home on the Gold Coast (to be later contrasted with 'home' in Al Ain.)
Firstly, the beach.

Next, my lounge room.

And a frill necked lizard in my front yard.

And ... it turns out it's very easy to upload pics.

Saturday, 14 July 2007

three weeks to go

Another week has raced by. We've chipped away at the many tasks that need doing. Still need to bring the house up to scratch so we can let it. Lots of little things like smoke alarms and a few big ones like spend billions (okay not quite that much!) on a new pool fence in order to meet safety regulations.

Flights are organised.

It's Saturday night and we just got back from spending the day in Brisbane watching hockey. I'd have liked to have gone to the Gabba to see a game of Aussie Rules Footy tonight, but K and our hockey playing daughter had run out of steam! Pikers!

The local Chinese takeaway is supplying dinner tonight. ... I wonder if there will be many/any Chinese restaurants in Al Ain. They're all over the place in Aus, many dating back to the gold rush days of the 1850s when there were many Chinese here.

Just found out that the Socceroos (Aussie team) copped a walloping from Iraq in the Asian Cup last night! Sigh.

Time to go hunt and gather dinner (from the local Chinese).

Monday, 9 July 2007

four weeks to go

It's sooo cold here on the Gold Coast at the moment. This is the coldest winter in 50+ years. The problem is that winter here usually isn't cold, so no-one has much in the way of heating. We're underprepared for it. I just checked the temp in Al Ain. It's just after 4am and the temp is already 29 degrees. That sounds a bit like the other extreme, but then if there's aircon, the place is equipped for those temps.

I'm sooo ready to leave the cold behind me. I'm over it!

Not much has happened in the last week. There're boxes all over the place and our abode is looking more like a house than a home as pictures, books and knick knacks disappear into the bowels of the boxes (do boxes have bowels? nah ... didn't think so!).

KG hasn't told his workplace yet that he's off for a bit of a jaunt across the world. He works from home and rarely makes the 20 min trip into the office. Maybe it'll be years before they even notice that he's 12,000 kilometres further away.

I'm off to do a stint with the boxes.

Sunday, 1 July 2007

five weeks to go

I'm starting to feel a mixture of impotence and urgency. There's so much to do, but I don't know where to start, so I'm doing nothing. Probably not the best approach.

Australia Post have confirmed that both sets of documents have arrived safely at their destination in Al Ain. However, they haven't updated their online tracking system to reflect this and the college still hasn't confirmed receipt of the documents. But, hey, they gotta be there!

Apparently we are getting a two bedroom apartment near the college. It isn't dog-friendly. I've been apartment hunting with my 18 year old daughter here in Aus (cos we're turfing her out when we go!). She's looking for a 2 bedroom apartment. We've seen shoeboxes for mega-bucks rent per week. And we've seen some that are half-way decent, but aren't in the trendy location an 18 year old likes to hang out in. I'm hoping we find something for our daughter pronto and that our 2 bedroom apartment in Al Ain isn't a shoebox. Our daughter is interstate at the moment playing in the National Hockey Championships, so the apartment search is on hold for another week until she gets back. Time is fleeting - there's a rental accommodation shortage here at present. Worst case scenario she'll stay in our house (which isn't in a suitably trendy location) until she finds something. We'll lose rent money, but at least she won't have to sleep under a bridge!

We've got two possible homes, with relatives, for the dog so hopefully the dog issue should be sorted in the next day or two.

The removalists came in on Friday to give us a quote. We were reprimanded for not swinging into action a month earlier. Sigh! The quote will be back mid-way through next week, so hopefully we can give more serious thought to what to take and what to leave and we can start sorting through years of accumulated 'stuff.'

Sometimes I think that the current issues are kinda fun and keep the old brain ticking over. Other times I wish that I could fast forward a few weeks to avoid the manifold mundane decisions that need to be made.

Looking forward to the drive to Al Ain and the sights along the way.