Thursday, October 25, 2007

And hello St Andrews

Things to love about our new house
The bellbirds. 
The flocks of cockatoos (what's the collective noun for cockies? A quarrel of cockies? An obnoxious of cockies?) They might be loud and kinda bossy (I don't know what they're bossing me about but they really mean it), but they are so beautiful. Oh, I just looked it up - it's a crackle of cockatoos. Lovely.
Rain on a tin roof, greenness, trees.
Seeing an echidna on our first day, in the backyard. He hung out.
Neighbours with children who are also superheroes (more on that later).
Fred has seriously never been happier. 
The veranda. I love them anyway, but ours is especially nice. It's a great place for the girls to play or to drink a cup of tea.
1/3 acre of big rambly garden.
Bush tracks across the road.
Sleeping in a mudbrick room in hot weather.
Rain filling the water tanks.
Catching the train from the city to Hurstbridge and for the last five stations or so winding through meadows, past horses. 
Learning to drive on country roads.
The market.
Finally being here. 

Things to unlove
It smells very catty. For the first few days it was beautifully sunny and warm so we had all the windows open, but it's been a bit cold and the house is more shut up and there is a definite pong. Ah well. we're here now. We will just have to train ourselves to like it. Or hope it fades. Or paint the house and polish the floor boards with the most toxic substances we can find.
Mosquitos. They are everywhere, army thick. A scourge of mosquitos.
Accidents.

Let me explain. About five minutes after we moved in, the in-laws drove off (they'd dropped the girls off who had been with them all day), we said goodbye to the echidna and went in to have dinner. Una sat up to the dinner table, it's one of those tables with leaves, to extend. Martin pushed up one end and Fred and I pushed up the other. Horribly, Una's finger was caught, she screamed, pulling her hand away. It was pretty shocking. Her finger was dangling off. I took one look and said 'she needs to go to hospital'. We ran outside, but our car was full of stuff, the baby seat wasn't in. Martin grabbed Una and ran next door while Fred and I waited - I emptied the car half expecting them to come back. Because we'd shut the front door behind us I actually thought we were locked out, luckily we weren't because Martin and Una didn't come home that night. As we waited I had a little cry and Fred stroked my arms saying 'I will protect you. I will comfort you.' Martin called half an hour later and I found a way into the house and he told me he was at the medical clinic and on his way to the hospital. The next door neighbour was driving them. His wife came around and invited me over for wine. I gave Fred dinner first then we set out in the - oh my god - PITCH BLACK dark and I sat down, drank wine and started to calm down a bit. Fred and the next door kids played beautifully together. Martin rang to say that Una was having surgery. She was lying on the operating table with two anaesthetists, two plastic surgeons and a bunch of nurses, holding up her bandaged hand and saying 'My finger's broken' very crossly. They sewed it all back on (ew) and now we have to wait and see. She has a cast on her hand that goes all the way to her armpit just about with only her thumb sticking up. She walks up to us, to strangers and says 'wook at my wittle fumb' which is both incredibly gorgeous and very heartbreaking. I feel terribly guilty because this is not the first time we've broken Una. Strangely though both her injuries have happened at the dinner table when we were all sitting around together. Which goes to show something. I'm not sure what. But something. Una has a follow up visit next week and we'll find out then if her finger is okay. She's little so her powers of regeneration are superior, which makes her sound cool, like something from the future. And we heart our new neighbours. I don't know how much they'll heart us if Fred doesn't stop standing at the fence calling out 'Tom! Tom!' at 7am. But at the moment I think we're all loving the toing and froing between the kids, and Fred and Tom's earnest conversations at the back fence. This is what childhood is supposed to look like. But without the cast. Or maybe even with it. Part of Una's landscape now. Or bodyscape I guess.

p.s. No photos yet. The camera is MIA.