Monday 7th April 2008
We were up early this morning because apart from getting the kids to school we have to get a few things for the house so that we can start decorating straight away and we don’t want to waste any time after settlement, we just want to get in and get going as we are already 3 days later than we planned and the removal men are coming on Friday.
We did Coffee and emails at the Café as usual along with a bit of shopping for the kids packed lunches, then we loaded up the car with all the decorating stuff that we have already bought and went to Bunnings to get the paint. You cannot buy coloured paint off the shelf over here, the only things you find on the shelf are White or Natural whatever Natural is, if you want coloured paint you have to show them the colour you want from one of the cards they have, they put the code in the computer and it tells them which colours to add to your White or Natural. When we told the girl behind the counter that in the UK you can buy virtually any colour off the shelf she was amazed, she said “the stores must be massive” we didn’t have the heart to tell her that actually the stores are virtually the same size but that in the UK they were in fact just better organised. I suppose we should send Gordon Brown an email and let him know really, I’m sure he would be pleased to know that British industry is still better than somebody somewhere; after all he is having a rough time of it at the moment and could probably do with cheering up. Unfortunately for him it is not likely to improve the economy, but hey every little helps and if the truth be known we don’t really give a damn.
By about 12.30 we had loaded the car with paint mixed specially for us in the super duper Hi-Tech paint department of Bunnings and were now waiting for settlement to take place at 2.30.
We decided to check out the opposition and went for lunch at Dome Café while we were waiting, Carolyn ordered a Salad and Ian asked if he could have Chicken, Cheese and Avocado on Turkish Bread and was told that he couldn‘t, the girl showed him the picture in the menu and the Chicken, Cheese and Avocado was most definitely shown sitting perched between the two halves of a Focaccia Roll. Silly Ian, fancy ordering a filling that he wants in a bread that he wants when it shows a picture in the menu of the filling that he wants in a bread that he doesn’t want, and not only that, there is another picture in the menu that blatantly shows the bread that he wants but with a filling that he doesn’t want.
Now Ian is not normally one to make a fuss about things like this, but the way he thinks is, if you have a kitchen, and in that kitchen you employ somebody with enough intelligence to make a sandwich, and if you have all the ingredients in that kitchen that you could possibly need to service that menu then there is no possible excuse for not being able to serve a customer with the meal that they have asked for. Ian thinks that there are only two reasons why this could happen and that is either they buy in the sandwiches already made, God forbid, or the staff and management are too lazy and are unwilling to step out of the box to keep a customer happy. Ian said that he would fire off an email to their head office, but he can’t be bothered, so he just won’t bother going there again. Also the bowl that they brought out Carolyns Potato Wedges out in was filthy, we did make a point of telling them about it as we left, but then, who cares.
After that we still had a bit of time to spare so we went for a walk along the seafront and had a look in the Jetty shop and Museum, there is some lovely furniture in the shop that has been made out of old Jarrah timber that used to form part of the Jetty, but it is being sold at lovely prices so we didn’t look for too long in case we were tempted to buy.
The Museum is only small but quite interesting and they have TV footage showing the Fire that left a big hole near the end of the Jetty and has never been repaired, and also footage from when the Town was hit by Cyclone Alby which took out about a third of the Jetty from the Foreshore end and again, has never been replaced. The pictures of the Jetty as it was before Alby are amazing, it really was a playground for the locals with diving boards and slides dropping people into a sheltered area of sea that had been netted to keep anything unpleasant out. Obviously we have seen the remnants of the Jetty and the netting which is still there to this day while we have been on the beach, but until today we didn’t realise how it all fitted together. This Town does quite well out of the tourists as it is, but if that Jetty and all of its amenities were still in place you wouldn’t be able to move down here for them and then it probably wouldn’t be the nice little Town that it is, and that would be a shame.
After that we still had time to spare as the settlement agent had told us that although settlement would take place in Perth at 2.30pm we probably wouldn’t know for about 30 minutes, we were hoping to be able to pick up the keys before going to pick the kids up from school so we just did a bit of window shopping and picked up our first win on the Lottery over here, we don’t know how many numbers we got right because Carolyn was so astounded that we had won that she forgot to ask. We won 23 Dollars and 35 Cents which means that we are now in the position of having lost less on the lottery since we have been here than we had last week, still $19 Million this week so that’ll be our chance to get in front.
We hadn’t heard anything from the agent before we had to go and pick the kids up so we went to school to do that, they were not impressed that we still didn’t have the keys but Marisa has found out where the local Brownie troop meet so she is happy and that means the world is a happy place.
We drove into Town to find out where we could find a Locksmith so that we can arrange to get the locks changed at some point, but also because it was close to the agent and as soon as we got the call we could pick up the keys and start decorating, this is now 4 days lost due to an antiquated system. There is only one Locksmith in Busselton and he is mobile, he doesn’t have a showroom where we can look at locks and safes, where we can find out what everything does, presumably you order blind from a catalogue and hope you get it right. We think when the time comes we will have to drive to Bunbury where they do have One showroom and two Locksmiths, we think the problem is there is not enough crime down here, so people don’t have to change their locks often enough. I bet they didn’t think that would ever happen 150 years ago.
Still no call so we went home and got the kids started on their homework and at ten to four we got a call from the Settlement agent informing us that the settlement didn’t take place because when he was adding up how much money he needed to send to Perth he got the sum wrong and sent up a Cheque for Two Thousand Dollars less than he should have. We are assuming and hoping that the reason we didn’t find out until so late was because he was trying to find a way of getting the money up to Perth today, unfortunately now that Ned Kelly’s old horse has been put out to grass things don’t happen quite as quick as they used to.
Why couldn’t they transfer the funds electronically? Why couldn’t they take the cash out of their account and walk round the corner to the vendors’ bank and deposit it in there? Why didn’t the agent acting on behalf of our settlement agent notice the problem before they arrived for settlement? Why didn’t that agent lend our settlement agent a couple of grand until he could transfer the money? These are just some of the questions that need to be answered. The settlement agent has said that it should go through tomorrow but he could not give us a time, bearing in mind that to settle this deal will involve at least 5 people being able to sort out their diaries so that they can all meet up again we are sceptical and think that Wednesday is more likely.
We had to throw some leftovers together for an evening meal tonight because we had planned to be decorating and then treating the kids (if you can call it that) to some greasy chicken and chips from one of the local takeaways, fortunately we hadn’t told them that so we had no complaints.
Hopefully the agent has got it right and it will go through tomorrow, but it is out of our hands so we are not going to worry about it, we still have somewhere to live and everything has fitted into place at the right time ever since we started the visa application a year ago, so we have no reason to think otherwise now, and it will all come good in the end.