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.

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.


  1. aw the poor little blossom

    they do heal quickly at this age

    wriggling my fingers a bit. ouch.

    glad you seem to be enjoying it and reading more about the superheroes

  2. oh no!!!

    i hope it heals up soon.

    the echidna sounds nice.

  3. Anonymous8:22 PM

    Oh poor baby!!! Both of you! Hope it's all better really soon. I'm glad you're back, echidna and all.

  4. So nice to hear from you!
    Poor Una and her finger.
    See you soon.

  5. Anonymous10:08 PM

    Oh holy moly! I hope the repairs take hold. But otherwise, huge congratulations on your new HOME. xx

  6. Anonymous10:11 PM

    Oh no. Poor Una. I hope she heals thoroughly and quickly.

    Let us know when you want to be visited.

  7. Ouch!!! Poor Una. Hope she is ok. The house and the neighbours sound lovely, perfect even....well except for the cat smell. Is it on carpet or floor boards that the smell comes from? There are lots of tricks out there to try and combat it though.

  8. Poor wee Petunia. How is it going? How long will the cast be on? Poor darling.
    Find the camera. They need homing devices.
    Lotsa love. XX

  9. Oh god, what a dramatic welcome to your new life.

    Hooray for good neighbours. And welcome to our neck of the woods!

  10. Anonymous4:57 AM

    Poor Una! I'd remembered those photos where she looked philosophical about the broken arm last time - hope she heals quick again.

    I'm very jealous over the echidna. I haven't seen one in the wild since I was a kid and have been spening lots of time at campsites since then staring into the bush for one. But I'm glad your new place sounds so great!

  11. Una is a trooper. But she was very sad she couldn't go swimming today. She wanted to wear her 'ladies' (ahem, bathers?) like the other girls. Poor wittle fing.

    The echidna was such a treat. Apparently it comes for next door's veggie garden. It was huge! My only real experience of them is wee ones waddling across the road in Tassie's far south, looking terribly fuzzy and cuddly despite the ouchy spikes.

    In the time it took me to write this I killed 6532 mosquitos.

  12. Oh Una! Poor little darling :(

    There is so much to catch up on Penn - your house sounds awfully interesting. Congratulations on moving and echidnas and cockatoos... and sending loads of superhero healing thoughts to Una's thumb xxx

  13. Anonymous9:25 PM


  14. Anonymous8:24 PM

    Oh no! Must be the month for it, Daisy cut the tip of her index finger off about 4 weeks ago, and she pretty much all better now (minus a fingerprint, which I'm hoping won't come in handy one day).
    I hope it doesn't hurt her too much :(
    JJ xx

  15. Oh poor Daisy.
    She and Una can get together and compare war wounds.

  16. youch - poor Una!

    my Jack broke his arm yesterday -quite miraculously the first broken bone in a household of four wild boys. :)

    hope Una's finger gets all better soon.

  17. poor little Una, hope her fingers mend quickly!

    it's otherwise sounding very lovely up there though...

    I think I commented before but blogger eats my words, or I'm forgetting to save them.

  18. Anonymous3:30 PM

    oh dear oh dear!
    Poor Una!
    Hope it heals quick smart.

    The new place sounds so homely. I wish I could come and visit.

    Jacq x