Future Frogdancer… that wrinkled old hag.

  • I saw this on Facebook today and I loved it. It’s exactly the same reasoning that I use for “Old Lady Frogdancer” and it’s the reason why I’m selling my house and moving half an hour away. Future Frogdancer will need to be taken care of and she’ll be glad that I put things in place to do so… just like my boys were glad that I bought a house near their secondary school (one of the best in Melbourne) when my oldest son was just entering prep and we still had 7 years before we needed to be in the zone.
    The woman who wrote it is the author of “Eat, Pray, Love”, a book I’ve never read but I’ve heard about.

    Dear Ones –

    Whenever my family used to go on a trip, the last thing my mother would do before she walked out the door was to make her bed nicely, with clean sheets and everything. When I asked her once why she went through all that trouble to make a bed that she wasn’t going to sleep in all week, she said, “It’s a present that I give to my future self, because I know she’ll appreciate that, when she gets back home.”

    I think this was the first time I grasped the idea of having a “future self” who is different from the person I was at the moment.

    It was something about my mother calling her future self “she” — not “I”…an awareness that this future self was a totally separate being.

    And it was definitely the first time I considered that you could be NICE to your future self — doing her favors, leaving her treats, making the bed for her…

    We are often told to be kind to ourselves, but it takes a special sort of awareness to be kind to our FUTURE selves. Maybe that’s who we are really talking about, when we say that we should be kind to ourselves. Because your poor, innocent, sweet future self is the person who will have to cope with whatever choices you make right now. (As evidence by the mess I had to clean up around the age of 30, from so many reckless decisions I made in my 20s.)

    I don’t want to be mean to my future self anymore. I don’t want her to have to deal with illnesses and struggles and catastrophes that my current self sets into motion. (I also don’t want her to have to face the sorrows of gum disease, which is the ONLY reason I ever floss my damn teeth. Every night, bored at the sink, flossing away, I’m like, “This one’s for you, future Liz!”)

    When I’m doing preparation to write a new novel (like I am now), it’s such a drag to get myself moving on the boring tasks of compiling research…but as I sit there at my desk, reading dull books, filling out index card after index card of notes I say, again, “This one’s for you, future Liz!” And it totally pays off. For instance, when it came time to write THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS, I had six boxes of index cards filled with notes and research to draw upon in creating my novel. It was so useful! Like some kind of magical elf had helped me so much! I started laughing one day at my desk, as I heard myself say aloud, “Hey, thanks, past Liz!”

    And past Liz sent future Liz a friendly salute across time…and it was a curiously lovely sensation.

    When all your selves — your past self, your present self, and your future self — can make friends with each other and be kind to each other, life somehow seems less fraught with suffering and anguish.

    So what can you do today for your future self?

    Something as small as making her bed for her?

    Something as big as saving some money for her?

    Something as totally life-transforming as quitting smoking for her, or getting out of a toxic relationship for her?

    Whatever it is — big or small — do your future self a kindness today.

    You are all she has.


Thermomix Recipe: Skinnymixer’s Lunchbox Chicken Loaf… The thermomix continues to surprise me, even after 4 years. I never buy this sort of meat, because of all the added fat that ‘glues’ it together, but I remember from when I was a kid how delicious it is. Imagine being able to make this and be able to make quick and (now) healthy sandwiches because you know what goes into them?

Posted in balance, Quality of life | 2 Comments

I have a lot of books.


So this is what I’ve been doing in the holidays. Along with a lot of sleeping, reading and knitting… who am I trying to fool? But in the midst of all the glorious sleep and novels, it occurred to me that we’ve been living in this house for 19 years. There’s nooks and crannies here that probably haven’t seen the light of day in ages. It might be best if I started assembling thermomix boxes and getting things packed.


Daphne decided to help.


But she got a bit shy.


Maris, on the other hand, is content to supervise.

It’s dawning on me that I’ll have to do freakishly scary things like decorate and furnish new spaces. That’s why it was nice to read this blog post from one of ‘The Block’ competitors this morning: It’s ok to change your mind.

Roughly two months to go!

Thermomix recipe: Skinnymixer’s Roast Pork Belly with Caramelised Apple Sauce. The internet is raving over this one.

Posted in decorating | 1 Comment

Skinflint Sunday: Look, but don’t buy.


Last week my friend Megan collected me and we went to an antiques barn in Glen Waverley. It was HUGE. We didn’t end up buying anything but we had an entertaining hour or two wandering around looking at all the stalls. It was like the places Scott and I went to in England, but on a vastly bigger scale.


Imagine adding these to your vinyl collection?


There was stuff everywhere. And I mean everywhere.


Megan even found a ‘Princess Chair.”


This is the closest thing I found to Staffordshire dogs. In England the antiques places were jam-packed with them; here this is all that you get.


No comment.


Nothing like being able to lock your rack.


Mum had a couple of measuring cups like this when I was a kid. I would’ve bought it, except I don’t use weights like this now. In fact, there’s only 3 countries who still use imperial measurements. Liberia, Myanmar and the USA. Maybe I should have bought it for Spo?


And lucky last was a fox. Just what every house needs.

I’ve started packing. Yes, I know I still have over 2 months to go, but we’ve lived here 19 years. There’s a lot of things to go through. I never knew books could get so dusty…

Posted in cleaning, friends, Quality of life, Skinflint | 3 Comments

Here’s the photos.


These photos are taken from the glossy brochure the real estate agent gave me. I’ve always wanted real brick paving in my driveway… now I’ll have it!

Sometimes it’s the little things…


The kitchen is smaller than I have here, but that’s ok. Soon enough it’ll be just me living here. And Poppy and Jeff and Daphne and Maris and the future minature-wire-haired-dachshund Audrey.


No linen cupboard, but everyone can just keep their own sheet sets in their own wardrobes, while I’ll keep towels etc for the bathroom in a cupboard in the laundry, when I put the wall of cupboards in.

Imagine a generous, wide verandah out the back? It’s going to be lovely.

Thermomix recipe: Peach Margarita. Because nothing would be nicer than sitting on an extra-generously proportioned verandah in summer and sipping on one of these. :)

Posted in Quality of life | 5 Comments

So here’s what happened.


Yes, I know this looks like Blogless Sandy bought the house, but I’m the one just to the right of her. The other photos taken by the real estate agent were all wrecked by the sun.

So you know how when you want to move, you have a list of needs and wants? You know that you’ll have to compromise on some of the wants, but basically you know what you’re looking for? Mine were as follows:

  1. 4 bedrooms, or 3 and a dining room/study that we could convert to a bedroom while I still have 3 boys living with me.
  2. Within walking distance of a train station. Ryan21 and Evan19 have no desire to get their licences and they need to get to work etc. This was an annoying requirement, as it cut down hugely on where I could look. People kept telling me to get rid of my parasitic boys so I could live where I liked, but I’m reasonably fond of them.
  3. 2 living areas inside. This is bigger than the house I’m currently living in, but thinking about Christmas brought it home to me that in the future when the boys have families, Christmases, birthdays and the Biggest Day Of Them All (Mothers Day, of course!) will be very squashy unless we have a bit more space to spread out.
  4. A kitchen bench big enough for 2 thermomixes. This isn’t asking for much… the thermomix only takes up the space of a piece of A4 paper. You wouldn’t credit how ridiculously small some kitchens are. I’d be looking at a house on the internet, nodding, nodding, then I’d get to the kitchen shots and see NO bench space. Stupid.
  5. A walk-in wardrobe for me. This was definitely a ‘want’, not a ‘need’, as I’ve never ever had one, but I love the idea of the storage.
  6. A big laundry. Never had one, would love one.
  7. A corner pantry. When I designed this kitchen I currently have, the cabinet maker was able to fit one in. I LOVE it.
  8. A Caesar stone bench top. Definitely a ‘want’, and it’s something I could put in at a later date if the house didn’t have one.
  9. A smaller, more low maintenance garden than the one I currently have. With all the best will in the world, I can’t keep up with the space I have here. I need a block of land that in the short-term will be easy enough for me to manage, but has potential for the longer term for me to start up food gardening on a larger scale when I have more time. Or when the zombie apocalypse hits.
  10. Within a half-hour’s drive to work.
  11. Space enough for the chooks.
  12. A doggie door for the dogs and cats. Never had one, but it’d be an agreeable luxury.
  13. Ducted heating and cooling. Oh my wordy yes.
  14. A single story dwelling. I’ve only ever lived in a two-story house when I was sub-letting in my first home away from home when I was a student and it wasn’t bad, but I’d prefer the easy access of having everything on the one level. However, if the right house came along and the boys’ rooms were all upstairs, I’d consider it.
  15. A pretty house.
  16. A verandah out the back. I want somewhere attractive to sit and have a drink and a chat. If it’s big enough to entertain out there as well, so much the better!
  17. Real wooden floor boards. This started off being a preference, but as I looked at more houses, it turned into a need. None of this ‘floating floorboards’ rubbish! I adore my real wooden floors; so practical and so attractive. Mrs Popplesfield threw up in my bedroom yesterday – imagine the drama if my room was carpeted? Tiled floors are practical but look cold… it’s real wooden floorboards all the way for me.
  18. It should have a lemon tree. This started off as a joke at work, when I kept coming in, saying, “I’ve found the Perfect House For Us… again!!” I kept saying that the only thing I want is a lemon tree. Still, to be honest, I don’t have a successful lemon tree here and I’d like one.
  19. The second most important requirement: I have to spend a sensible amount on it, enough to get a lovely house for the boys and I but also I need to have enough left over from the sale of my block to have enough to make a substantial deposit into my superannuation. This, after all, is the reason I’m doing this. So houses in the immediate vicinity are OUT. They’re all as ridiculously expensive as my current house is. :)
  20. And finally the most important one: the house in some ways is an upsize to where we’re living now, but it’s a balancing act. It has to be big enough to house myself and my remaining 3 hulking sons, but NOT so big that when they leave I’m left rattling around in a ridiculously big house all by myself. (And Poppy and Jeff and Daphne and Maris and my way into-the-future miniature wire-haired dachshund called Audrey.)

Looking for houses is so much easier now. Realestate.com.au is extremely addictive and it allows you to inspect hundreds of properties and narrow down the ones you actually want to physically inspect. I have looked at literally hundreds over the last few months. I fell in love with a place at Edithvale and was going to put in an offer before auction, but my brother in law looked at it for me and warned me off it, saying there was 100K worth of building fixer-uppers to do to it. It eventually sold for 825K, so with stamp duty and the improvements it would have ended up being virtually a million-dollar house. It was a little weatherboard cottage… not worth that. Plus, I’m not made of money!

Then I found a couple of lovely houses in Oakleigh South. Everything done already, gardens smaller than mine but still do-able, only 15 minutes drive to work…. I didn’t end up bidding on either but they both went for just a couple of grand under 1 million dollars each. That’s a lot of money. I decided to look a little further out.

Then I found an Edwardian house in Mordialloc. It was on half a block of land and it was SO cute. It only had 3 bedrooms but we could have adapted a sunroom for Evan19. I went up to 740K at the auction, but then something stopped me. I could have gone higher but wow. It’s on 400 square metres of land, the roof needed fixing, the kitchen needed updating, the floors in the bedrooms would have to be covered by carpet… I let it go. It went for 830K, I think. This auction was on Dec 19, just before Christmas. Blogless Sandy was with me at the auction. On the way home she said, “Just relax over Christmas and give the house hunting a rest. There’ll be a new batch of houses coming in mid-January.” Sensible advice.

So of course as soon as I got home I fired up the computer and went back onto realestate.com.au.

I found a house that had just been listed. It was for private sale. The price quoted was CHEAP. Well, cheap for Melbourne, anyway. In any other city but Sydney it’d be a ridiculous amount of money. It was further out than I would like, but it appeared to tick a lot of the boxes on my wants and needs list. I rang the agent on Dec 22 and arranged to go out there that night and have a look.

OMG. I couldn’t believe it. This house was PERFECT for us. All but 2 of the things on my list were there. Everything else was done. The people who owned the house were planning to live there forever, but then the husband was offered his dream job in the mines in WA. They originally came from there and it was too good an offer to pass up. They had the house on the market 3 weeks before I saw it and a guy bought it subject to finance, then after 3 weeks told them that he couldn’t get it. Then 2 days after they put it up for sale again, I walked in. Fortunate Frogdancer who has her finances in order! I put in an offer the next day and it was accepted that night. David22, Evan19, Blogless Sandy and I were actually at the house having another look when the news came through. It was very exciting.

Before they knew they were leaving, the current owners restumped, put a new roof on it, installed a huge set of solar panels, put a rainwater tank on, replastered the walls, renovated the bathrooms and kitchen, put in a very expensive electric ducted heating and cooling system, (and there’s a gas ducted heating system through the floor as well… I’ll never be cold) and basically made the house totally fresh and shiny and new. It has fruit and nut trees, a back garden that is currently paved (low maintenance) but of course the pavers can be pulled up when I’m ready to garden. The block is 100 square metres smaller than the one I’ve got now, which was just the size I was looking for.

Bonus points: 5 minutes walk to the beach. The beach is a dog leash-free beach for most of the year, so Poppy and Jeff will love it. It’s 5 minutes from the river, which will be another nice walk for us. The laundry is huge enough to swing a cat in it, not that I’m planning on doing that. The station is literally a 2-minute walk, so although the time spent on the train will be longer for the boys, the time spent walking is substantially shorter, so it works out about the same. An Aldi supermarket is just around the corner, within walking distance, and the vet is around the other corner. The freeways are a 4-minute drive away. Turn left and I’m going towards the city. Turn right and I’m heading to the Peninsula, which means I’m closer to my sister.

The two things I’m letting go? There’s not enough space for the chooks. I’ve already found a home for them with a friend from work though, so that’s ok. The other one is that it’ll take me an extra 10 minutes each way to commute. Or I could take the train with the General Public…? Still, as regards the extra drive time, I figure that’s why God created podcasts, surely?

The price? Way cheaper than anything around here, but when you consider its proximity to the beach, I won’t ever lose money on it. If it was in my neighbourhood you’d have to pay an extra 400K on it, easy. This gives me a nice chunk to throw at superannuation and it eases the pressure on what Old Lady Frogdancer will do in her declining years. I couldn’t be happier.

We move in around Easter. This means I stay close to home during term 1 when I’ll be really busy with my Theatre Studies class and their production, and then we move to our ‘seachange’. I can’t believe my luck.

I have pictures from the brochure to show you, but they’re taking their sweet time to upload, so I’ll press ‘publish’ and show you all tomorrow. It’s my nephew’s wedding day today, so I have to go and beautify myself so as not to embarrass the family. It’ll take a while…

Thermomix recipe: Gin, Tonic and Lime. Just the thing for sitting out on the verandah after work on a hot summer’s day. I’m going to have a verandah!!!!! Well, it’s out the front of the house, but given time I’ll build a big, awesome expansive verandah out the back as well. :) I like a good project!



Posted in balance, Fruit trees, gardening, Quality of life | 11 Comments

So I bought a house for myself for Christmas…

It’s the end of Christmas Day and I’m very merry and happy after hosting the dinner and making the Big Announcement to my family. Well, the boys knew but no-one else did. YES!!! We’re moving. I’ll let you know more tomorrow.

A lot of champagne and red wine was consumed and I’m feeling very much at one with the couch.

Just wanted to let you know. It’s been killing me not to blog about it.

I love the house; it’s a whole new beginning. I’m just going to have to get over my feeling that the beach has too much sand.

Posted in Quality of life | 4 Comments

So I clearly need to do more travelling.


So I put up the Christmas tree and I grabbed the Christmas tree ornaments from the box I’d stored them in ever since  got back. I thought I’d bought HEAPS! However, either my tree is too big or I’d been incredibly abstemious in my shopping, because there’s lots of green left on this thing. I need to go on more holidays to really fill this tree up. Speaking of buying things, Pam and I bought this jolly old fellow from the Georgian House in Edinburgh. Now there’s a place that’s worth visiting.


Hamlet holding Yorrick’s skull, next to Henry VIII and his wives, with a red crown from Canterbury cathedral and a soldier from the Tower of London peeping in on the left. Buying these was such a good idea of Scott’s. He has them occasionally… As I was unpacking them I had so many great memories come flooding back. Having sandwiches and timtam fudge with Deana before going in to see the cathedral. Scampering all over Stratford-on-Avon with Scott to see all 5 Shakespeare properties and the graves in half a day. (And the moment where I innocently asked him what the river that flowed through the town was called. Not one of my brighter moments.) Walking through Hampton Court Palace draped in my red velvet cloak, seeing where they all lived. I still remember the hallway where poor Katherine Howard was pulled away, screaming, from the doorway where she could have reached the king.


Santa from Bath with his dingly-dangly legs next to the souvenir from the church where Shakespeare was buried. You can just see the keyring I bought at the place where Richard II was found. It has his signature on it. Well, a reproduction at least.


Wordsworth’s daffodil, the Paris Opera House’s Dracula, a red phone box with robins on top from Bath – it all just keeps going. I’m keeping them up here on their own for a few days and then I’ll drag out the other decorations and make the tree look less green and more Christmas-y.


Another shot of Dracula.


Marie Antoinette from Versailles sits next to a doll from the Black Forest in Germany.


An angel from the Vatican.

IMG_7360Santa from the Black Forest.

IMG_7361Anne Boleyn from Hever Castle. I went there with Deana. :)


This fine gent is from the Tower of London. Irreplaceable memories.


Here’s the tree as it is now. I might throw some tinsel and such onto it on the weekend.

Posted in holidays | 6 Comments

So glad I bought souvenirs.


I walked around the house last night taking happy snaps of some of the things I brought home from Europe. Here are the Staffordshire spaniels that Scott sourced for me, up on the mantlepiece where they belong. There’s also souvenirs from Singapore, South Africa and Bali there too.


The little Russian dolls I bought when Scott dragged me to the shop in Lincoln that sells them. They’re in the china cabinet with some of my other treasures.


I’m slowly working my way through this. She may have been an excellent story teller but her letters are hard going. I’m also revisiting Georgette Heyer. I get excited when her characters visit a part of London I’ve been to. Laughed myself into stitches over Freddy’s description of the Elgin marbles in ‘Cotillion’.


Another china cabinet inhabitant, this time some Delft from Holland. This is what I bought from a little gift shop on the other side of the canal from the Anne Frank house. It seemed to be appropriate.


Deana gave me this and now it hangs from my laundry door. Makes me feel more positive if I open the door and see Mt Washmore waiting for me.


loved this painting when I saw it IRL. It was in Paris at the Marmottan museum and I had to buy a copy as a souvenir. It’s sitting on my dressing table at the moment, though at some stage I’ll have it framed.


Also on my dressing table is this sketch of the Bridge of Sighs in Venice. I bought this in an artist’s studio in Venice, just a block away from St Mark’s Square.


This tv is now gone… out in the hard rubbish collection as we start to clean up the house before we move. The frog is from Canterbury cathedral. I don’t know why they were selling frogs but given the name of the blog and the fact I was there with a blog-reading friend, it seemed appropriate to buy it. He’s filled with beans.


My Scottish teapot. I was with Pam in Edinburgh when I bought it. I was paranoid that it’d break on the way back to Australia, but the girl in the shop wrapped a bucketful of bibble wrap around it and it arrived unscathed.


Nicole, my lovely blog reader from Germany, gave me a massive bag worth of food and nick-nacks. This little guy is clipped on to my computer bag at work, along with the leather miniature wire-haired daschund I bought from Florence. My year 9s used the frog as a rehearsal prop every lesson for weeks, pretending it was a pocket watch, which was a central prop for the play they were devising.


Nicole also gave me these little cough drops. I keep them in the car as a little refresher.


I met a lovely couple from Queensland on the European leg of our trip. Mal and Heather were terrific and we really hit it off. This bracelet was a gift from them in Nice and I wear it every day. I can’t tell you how many compliments I’ve received about it.

Today…. the Christmas tree goes up. I can’t wait to pull out all of those decorations I bought along the way. It’s going to be EPIC!

Thermomix recipe: Mexican Chicken rice.  This also comes with a recipe for taco seasoning. How handy is that?? We’re having this tonight for dinner.


Posted in friends, holidays | 3 Comments

The dance continues.


Poppy and Jeff are the naughtiest, most indulged dogs I’ve ever owned. I’ve never had dogs allowed up on the furniture before, or being allowed to sleep inside and get up on the beds. But it’s hard to resist those little faces looking at you through the window when you leave for work in the morning.

I would never have thought that after writing about my trip to Europe every day for 9 weeks this blog would be so neglected after getting back. It’s been an interesting couple of weeks, culminating in the auction yesterday of the house next door. They were desperate to sell, having bought a place for 1.4 a couple of blocks away. I, on the other hand, have no debts and no pressing need to sell, so the Frogdancer family are in a different situation.

The house next door went for $1,250,000. An absolute STEAL. Tom23 and I were observing the auction, but standing in different spots. He rang me later in the afternoon and said, “Mum”, (because that’s what he calls me),”Don’t you dare let this place go for less than 1.4. Did you see his face when he went into the house after the auction to negotiate. He was smiling.” No wonder. He got an absolute bargain.

Yes, so I’ve had an offer from the developer for the same amount as the next door. I’ve laughed at it and knocked it back. He and my real estate agent are still negotiating. Honestly, I’m happy to sell now if I get a decent price for the developer being able to purchase two blocks of land side by side. I don’t want an insane amount of money, but on the other hand I know darned well what it’s worth and I won’t let it go for less. However, if he won’t come to the party I’m also happy to spend the summer landscaping and painting, then putting it up for sale sometime in the new year. I’m loose like a goose.

It’s been fun looking at houses. So far I see The Perfect House For Us about once a week. The people at work are laughing at me, saying, “You’re easy to please!” How ridiculous. Of course I’m not. I’m a reasonable woman. I merely require the TPHFU to be:

1.within walking distance of a station (for Ryan21, Even19 and possible peak oil doomage situations). *nods to foodnstuff*

2. 4 bedrooms.

3. 2 living areas.

4. It should have a lemon tree. LOL. This was a joke at work… now they ask me “Does it have a lemon tree?” whenever I find a new TPHFU.  A surprising number of them do. What I really want is enough space around the place to have a working garden to feed us. Space for water tanks etc. (I saw a place with a lap pool… now that’d be good. I’d be as fit as a fiddle in no time, assuming I’d actually use it. But sadly, this feature is not essential.)

5. Wooden floorboards. Real ones, not those nasty floating floors. And no tiled living areas. Hate that.

6. Room for chickens and dogs and cats. And a lemon tree.

7. I’d really like a walk in robe and ensuite, but I’ve lived without these all my life so this isn’t essential. I like the storage you could have in a WIR though… I could play hide and seek with Poppy and Jeff and they’d never find me.

8. To not be too far away from work. I’m used to a 2-minute commute by car and a 12-minute commute by walking so any ‘normal’ commute is going to come as a shock to the system. I drove down Nepean Highway to go to a Thermomix business meeting in Mt Eliza and decided that if we move down that way, then Edithvale would be the furthest point. Chelsea just started to feel like I’d driven too damned far. Huntingdale/Clayton/Oakleigh East…. seeing as we don’t have a firm preference I’m casting my net wide. Requirement number 1 is limiting my options somewhat, though. Stupid boys not wanting to get their licences! There are lots of places that would be reasonably affordable but are too far away from trains. *sigh* People are telling me to throw my parasitic children out and go and get something that just suits me, but sadly… I’m pretty sure they’d find me and just move straight back in with me so I may as well get a place that suits us now, as well as suits me later.

Imagine a 4 bedroom house once the boys leave… 1 for me; 1 for an office (god I’d kill for an office!); 1 for a craft room, (imagine being able to have a sewing machine (if I ever track down mine) all set up on a table and never having to pack it away to eat dinner??); and 1 for guests. By “guests” I’m thinking further down the track when the boys start having kids. It’s hard to imagine, but I presume I’d be somewhat fond of them and they’d come to stay sometimes. At least that’s what people at work tell me. Blogless Sandy is now a Gran and she seems crazily in love with the baby. Babies aren’t really my thing, but people assure me that when they belong to your kids you feel differently. So I’d better have somewhere to house the little rapscallions.

9. Speaking of small children, the house really needs a bath. We removed ours when we renovated and added an extra toilet, which has been brilliant, but you can’t really clean a messy toddler off in the extra loo. Something just doesn’t sound right about that.

So we’ve been looking at houses. During the auction yesterday David22 drove off and looked at a house I liked the look of and he came back all excited. IT EVEN HAS A CHOOK RUN!!!! And a lemon tree. What more do we need?

So I’m going to have a look at the place sometime next week. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned already, is that there’s always another house coming along. So if this current place has to be tizzied up to sell next year sometime and I can’t seriously look at houses till then, that’s ok.

I tell you though, realestate.com.au is seriously addictive. It’s worse than Facebook for gobbling up time.


Here’s my cherry crop for this year. It was delicious. Filled me right up, it did.



Posted in Fruit trees, pets, Quality of life | 4 Comments

Now it’s in the lap of the Gods. (In other words, the real estate agents.)


Well it’s certainly been a hectic couple of weeks.

The house is on the market, with a view to selling it in a couple of weeks if a developer likes the thought of two housing blocks side-by-side in the McKinnon zone. I’m hoping it goes quickly… it was a difficult decision to make as I’ve invested so much emotional energy into buying the place, paying it off and raising my boys here. I always said that I’d be carried  out of here in a pine box when I was 120. But at the same time, I’m a typical example of what happens to a woman’s superannuation when she takes 10 years out of the workforce to raise children. Mine was made worse by the fact that before kids, my then husband and I used what I’d accumulated in super to pay off a building block we’d bought. In other words… stupid. When I began work again once Evan19 was in prep, I was starting from scratch.

Ever since I paid off my house 2 years ago, I’ve been looking towards retirement with grim foreboding. Much as I love teaching, I REALLY don’t want to still be doing it when I’m 70. Or 75. I want to be travelling and reading and playing with the dogs. But the $$$ weren’t stacking up. I’ve been salary sacrificing like a demon, but that doesn’t leave much money left over for living. Thermomix certainly makes it do-able, but I’m working 7 days a week.

Two weeks ago I went to an auction 2 streets away, with a house on the same sized block as mine, with a house that was comparable. It went for over one million dollars. This sounds like a lot for anyone not living in Melbourne’s overheated property market, but the amount didn’t really surprise me. Living in the zone, our property prices are even more inflated.

It was when I came home and stared at the “For Sale’ board in front of my next-door neighbour’s house that I started thinking. I always said that this little house would look after me in my old age. I’d visualised it housing me until I was too old to look after myself, then selling it to pay for the old ladies home with the Happy Hour and the pets. But maybe I was right about it looking after Old Lady Frogdancer; just maybe it wasn’t in the way that I’d envisaged. After all, no one’s looking after me except me.

So after a very stressful weekend weighing up the pros and cons, I decided to let the house go, with the view that I’d move a bit further out and get a cheaper house and put the money left over into my super. Old Lady Frogdancer is a demanding woman and wants her quality of life to increase in her declining years. I figure that the boys and I will be happy anywhere, but I have to allow enough time for the cash to compound in super to make a difference to how I live my life in the next decade.

So that’s the plan. The neighbour’s house sells soon, so the real estate agents have been hitting the phones and the emails, letting developers know that this opportunity is here.

Fingers crossed that it’ll be worth it…

Thermomix Recipe: Banana, Raspberry and Coconut Loaf. The teachers at work loved it.

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