Little room in fitztoy…

Just one week ago we woke up for the last time in Habitat hostel in St. Kilda. By all means, a decent hostel. For a month, tiresome. We packed up all our goods and left behind this kind of living…

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We got to our new house in Fitzroy, just off busy Brunswick Street, as the previous inhabitants were leaving in their camper van. We saw our room for the second time, now empty and it was bigger and lovelier than we remembered. Floor to ceiling empty wardrobes, a modest window, shiny wooden floors and a big tall ceiling. And a few gaping cracks in the wall. It’s old, I suppose that’s charming.

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After an obligatory trip to IKEA, 2 tram rides away, we returned with a duvet, sheets, a bonsai tree and tea lights. I don’t think I’ve ever returned from IKEA without candles and plants. It took 30 minutes to make the bed and unpack everything we own in Melbourne (2 backpacks and a few reusable supermarket bags worth). I love our cracked walls and this cosy room.

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I am so pleased to have a room and a space that is just ours. I am now obsessing over design blogs and little home improvement ideas, I would love to paint these filthy walls and sort out these cracks! And I look forward to living somewhere a little more permanent with the freedom to do those things. Right now we don’t know how long we’ll be here for, so we’re just enjoying that it’s ours. And it’s no bargain, but the location alone is worth it. And the general quality of living in this city means that I am content most days. I also have a house to scrub and hoover and realise how much like my mother I really am.

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This lovely city!

My journey to work is now slightly longer and more arduous. Since we moved to Fitzroy, just north of the city centre, I take a tram and a train to get to the office. It takes about 50 minutes including a 4 block walk through Melbourne city centre between train and tram. These 4 blocks are so busy, full of life and beautiful skyscrapers, wafts of donuts, coffee, garlic, things frying. It’s the best part of my day.

I love cities and while in Manchester I spent my time dreaming about the next city I’d see. And since then I’ve seen Salvador, Rio, São Paulo, Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Sucre, La Paz, Cusco, Lima, Bogota, San Francisco, Sydney and now Melbourne. I think this is one is one of my favourites. I took some pictures of my lovely new city during my journey home today.

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Stuff to remember…

I have been neglecting my blog, because living in a hostel makes everything tiresome. Not staying, but living in a hostel while you work Monday to Friday, sharing a room, bathroom, kitchen and breathing space with so many people is exhausting. Cooking is a pain and not a pleasure, laundry is a tedious 75 minute affair, standing by the dryer opening and closing the door (I still love cleaning the lint filter), and most days leave me thinking ‘not much longer’ until we have somewhere real. Not our own flat, just a modest room in a house with 2 or 3 people, instead of 70.

I feel bad for neglecting this space because the space is for me and my memories. And when I’m 50 I’d like to remember my first few weeks at work in Armadale, staying in St. Kilda, our first payday, and then finding somewhere to live.

I have pictures to share, from here and there, of the little adventures we’ve had. The most important thing I’d like to remember is that I feel very happy.

Here’s a little picture of my my miserable processed breakfast each morning, peanut butter and jam toasted sandwiches that leave me slumped, exhausted at 11am.

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A picture from a Sandringham commute when we were still staying with Alice.

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Some very good tsukemen ramen from Mensousai Mugen in the CBD, this was our celebratory payday dinner. It was utterly delicious. The noodles and seaweed come separately from the thick broth and you add them in as you go. When you’re done, the waitress brings you a little pot of tasty dashi stock to add to the thick broth, giving you a soup to finish with. I do like theatre with my dinner.

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We were accidentally brought some chips, which is a terrible dilemma, whether to say something or wolf them down. We both ate one, sneakily, and let the waitress take them away when she noticed. That’s perfect, I’d love a spoonful of everything on the menu, that’s my ideal dinner.

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On Sunday just gone we sat in a little St. Kilda cafe, and I figured out how to do a Japanese number puzzle other than sudoku. Had this tasty little soy cappuccino.

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We spent the weekend shopping, since I was in desperate need of a coat that wasn’t a North Face knock off from Cusco. It’s incredible how much better you feel with a new coat, a new dress. I feel like a real person again.
I bought dumplings from Chinatown and on the tram home realised the hostel has no freezer. So I cooked them that night, but half defrosted they all clung together and pork and prawn kind of fell out everywhere. Then I sat opposite all my most hated hostel people and actively disliked them as I ate.

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That’s me trying to charm a possum.

We watched Godzilla in the IMAX at the Melbourne Museum. It’s the 3rd biggest IMAX in the world, it was pretty big. And the film wasn’t great. But it was great for the IMAX. I loved every second. I have always been a fan of the end of the world film. And Bryan Cranston caked in make up on the big screen. Although his screen time found me nervous, in case Breaking Bad was mentioned, even in that environment. I think that means I just have to finish it. As soon as we get a real place to live.

One more thing to remember… on the tram home from our flat viewings tonight we listened to 3 teenagers swearing for 20 minutes. It was almost like Jonah from Tonga, and I couldn’t help but laugh.

Also, I squeezed a lime into my drink tonight and hit a man at the next table in the eye. Priceless.

Adam’s here!

After a lovely weekend we are now beginning a new week. A week that includes our friend Adam. Inexplicably, Adam is on a 4 week trip with work from Manchester to Melbourne. What a happy coincidence. We have very little money left until out payday next week (couldn’t come sooner) so we’re saving it for whatever plans Adam might have. We don’t yet have our own place (till payday) and our hostel allows no guests, so we need cash just to hang out and have a chat with Adam. But I’m looking forward to spending that money!

After Adam’s 4 week stay, the friends we made in South America, Darren and Dermot, come to Australia for 3 weeks as part of their ongoing around the world trip. And after that Alanna arrives, with Jenni too, and we plan on a trip somewhere exotic, assuming that holidays and work all allows.

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Last night we had a fancy bowl of ramen and a beer on a rooftop bar with Adam! It was misty, Manchester like weather, but the view was worth the chill. And the 7 floors of stairs we walked up. It was lovely to be social in our new city, on a Monday night.

In work last week, we won a Playstation 4, which is like Christmas come early for Oliver. They have a monthly auction, using points you earn at work, and somehow we won! There were 2 beautiful Mac Book Airs up for grabs but I couldn’t quite stretch to one of those. So a Playstation 4 is our most prize possession, locked away in our hostel, without a TV to play it on. Pretty ironic.

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Our second most prized possession is this never ending $4 vat of cookies.

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