Monday, February 14

Refreshing news

Four weeks after arriving back in Australia Customs remains in possession of our household contents. We heard early last week that it began processing shipments that landed a week before our own. With a little luck our house lot may be released next week.

The delay is proving very fortuitous. It’s given us plenty of time to give the entire apartment a through refresh. Two weeks ago Garry boldly took on the project of repainting the entire apartment; both stories from ceiling to floor. We completed work on the lower floor last Monday, just in time for the carpet layers to install new carpet the following day. It looks stunning.

Attention has now shifted to the top floor. Over the weekend Garry finished the final coat of paint on the master bedroom and today he had a go at putting a final coat on our new feature wall. We’ve painted the stairwell wall that links both floors a stunning terracotta colour; a British Paints shade called Outback Sunset. The effect is impressive. Garry also gave the main balcony a thorough clean yesterday and so this space is also starting to come together again.

Later this week we’ll start work on the final two rooms; the living room and the kitchen. It’ll be a mammoth job as both rooms have high ceilings and plenty of surface area to paint. Tomorrow we getting the windows in this space measured for some stunning modern blinds we’ve discovered. The bedrooms are being dressed in the Luxaflex Luminette Privacy Sheers while the living area will receive a new Luxaflex range called Pirouette. They’ll take five weeks to arrive and are guaranteed to bankrupt us for months.

To complete our refresh I’ve arranged for a joiner to come in on Wednesday and quote for minor cosmetic improvements to the base of the staircase. Garry is also ordering some slim-line light switch covers and new down light covers to add the finishing touches to his repainted walls. Once it’s all in place we can take our time drawing up plans for a more extensive renovation in 18-14 month’s time. We reckon it’ll take us at least that long to agree on the design, secure body corporate and council approval and finally book the relevant tradesmen.

We moved back into the apartment on Friday morning. The move was totally unplanned. The night before our move we discovered we’d forgotten to extend our service apartment booking. A quick check with reception confirmed that the apartment had been booked and none other were available. We were left with little choice but to move out.

We spent Friday morning shifting gear into our apartment and shopping at K-Mart for a list of living essentials. We’re now living in one room downstairs, sleeping on a couple of air mattresses. We’re now patting ourselves on the back for saving at least one week of fees in the serviced apartment, even after paying for cheap crockery and cutlery.

We’ve using a $12 saucepan and frypan set for cooking and even found a perfectly decent good steam iron for $14. Fortunately we’d left an old table in the apartment and our new washing machine had been delivered earlier in the month, along with a TV I’d bought for the bedroom. We have everything we need to set up a temporary home until our household effects are released.

Hopefully life will almost be back to normal by the end of February.

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