Lots to say about the recent past most of it not what we wanted to be able to tell, of lost house sales, insulting offers to purchase, knockbacks by the social security system on the basis of our valuable assets! Ahem!! and of dealing with inefficient bureaucracies.
We had a supposed firm offer on Thomas St. which was considerably lower than we really want (or need) and decided to take it. That was on a Friday. Come Monday we had not heard from the agent, so we rang and were told that the person had bought elsewhere. Astounded we decided to ask what happened and after a week of chasing the agent we were informed that (a) the buyer was a prick, (b) he strung the agent along all weekend to ensure he got the other house, (c) our agent was sorry.
Then on the same weekend we had 2 “serious” lookers through Safety Beach. The advert states offers OVER our price so the first one offers 100,000 less. Our agent laughed at this person.
The second one was very depricating of the house, saying things like “It looks like an unfinished project, done on a budget” … which is very true if it was not meant to be an insult. We extended our budget to the point we had to move out to afford the payments and we had not fully completed the job of course. The offer was just as insulting as well so we told the agent to tell that one we were selling both the house and the land and we were unable to split them up. Not much has happened on the selling front since.
Now for Centrelink…… It turns out because we “own” three properties and get an “income” from them, we are not eligible for the dole (Newstart). Never mind our “assets” cost us three times the dole to keep topped up each month, or that neither of us can really expect to get gainful full time employment again, or that we have all houses up for sale in order to get out of debt but have no serious buyers as yet. Rules are Rules.
My question to the last of 5 people I have talked to in the last 2 weeks was ” How can we live if we are not earning enough to pay our bills or even eat?” The answer was .. maybe you will have to bankrupt yourselves… It seems you have to be totally devoid of any potential to pull yourself out of the mire in order to get a couple of hundred bucks a week out of this wonderful system we have here. I even offered to pay it back when I sold our houses but was still fobbed off. Now I am appealing to higher authorities. More news as it happens.
That is the hard stuff.
The good stuff is the drive through Kosciusko National Park, steep and winding up and down and the most wonderful views. Please use this link https://picasaweb.google.com/105183160149035139526/Walkabout32AdaminabyBonsaiAndCold to see some of it. I was so entranced by the snow gums and the alpine vegetation that I took many many pictures, I have not uploaded them all – would be too too many. We loved it. Then to Albury via the Corryong showgrounds. We stopped at every op shop and dump on the way and missed out on all the dumps, they were either closed and open at a different time than we were there or else have guards who send you away. The op shops were good though and we bought some nice stuff using all the money we took at Queanbeyan. Anyway Albury was lovely, camped in the street outside my niece and her husband’s place and had time with my sister and brother-in-law and the little people. It did make us a bit ‘verlangend’ for our own little ones. Still it was lovely to see them grow and develop.
What has been noticeable is the drop in temperatures. We are back to a duvet on the bed at night and slippers for me and winter dressing gown! Then hot by midday but very cool in the early mornings. Very different. I remember how cold we were in 1999 at Thredbo in the ‘snowfields’ and climbing Mt Kosciusko, at the end of December, and then when we visited Al’s sister at Philip Island in 2001 towards the end of the year again we also froze, had completely unsuitable clothing. Neville Curtis and his foster son joined us from Tasmania and they laughed at our surprise and complaints! They were pleasantly warm!! So we have to learn to be flexible and prepared!!
You will enjoy the bonsais and the shots at the Arboretum in Canberra. This is a fabulous showpiece – they are replanting forests destroyed in a devastating bush fire and doing it so well. I have a new sense of bonsai and shengin trees as works of art, used to think it was just a way of mutilating trees… but they are beautiful and people add to them in such interesting ways. When we settle down again sometime in the misty future we will have a very small place and bonsai trees will probably be all I will have in the way of trees!
This has been a long one, thanks for reading to this point.