Saturday, March 22, 2008

275kms closer to the South Pole

Saturday 15th March 2008
We were all up early today in anticipation of shoehorning all our worldly possessions into the car and to make sure that we say goodbye to Sharon and Malcolm before they went to work.
We managed to leave at 10.00am which was the time we had planned and set off towards the Freeway and beyond. We had been driving for about 10 minutes when Carolyn announces that she couldn’t remember bringing in the washing off the line, so after doing a U-turn and heading back we found ourselves locked out of the house because we had to leave the keys behind and too short to be able to see over the fence, Marisa to the rescue, and delighted to help as usual if only to make sure she is not left out of the loop, Ian picked her up, she looked over the fence and confirmed that the washing line was empty and we were able to start our journey all over again, if only life was always this easy!
So on our way again and looking forward to the 3½ hour drive ahead the kids decide it is time to let us know how much they enjoyed their Indian meal last night, the smell is horrendous but the kids think that the sight of their parents retching in the front of the car is great fun. After the fist ½ hour the mist started to abate (I hate to think what their Easter eggs are going to taste like) and the rest of the journey went by quite peacefully and 275 kms and 3 hours closer to the South Pole we were driving into Busselton, the sun was shining, the air was clean and we felt good to be there and starting the next chapter of our adventure in Australia.
We headed straight for the letting agents to pick up the keys for the house that we are going to be stopping in until our house purchase goes through. The agent Kay was very helpful and 20 minutes later we were outside the house, keys in hand. Unfortunately the keys in hand are not the ones that fit in door, so off to see Kay again, she explained in detail how the owners of the property had mixed the keys up when they stayed last and promptly gave us all the keys associated with the property and asked us to bring back the ones we don’t need. This time we’re in and a nice little house it is, a small 3 bed house on the edge of town but tidy and comfortable, we would need a bit more room to be able to live hear permanently but this is just what the doctor ordered until we move into our own place.
We unloaded the car and while Carolyn, Marisa and Kristian were unpacking Ian and Fraser went shopping to get the essential supplies, remember we are getting rural now and if you don’t get your shopping by 4pm on a Saturday afternoon you are in danger of starving by Monday. It’s not that bad really it just feels like it has got its priorities right, and on a Saturday afternoon everything starts closing up early because the people working in these places have got a life and intend to make the most of it. In truth you can go shopping on a Sunday in Busselton but it doesn’t feel like the sort of place where you should.
After Ian and Fraser had dropped off the spare keys with the agent and had returned with the shopping we went for a walk down to the seafront to stretch our legs, on the way we stopped at a park and let the kids run wild for ½ hour or so before continuing to the front and a route march along the Jetty to build up an appetite. Busselton is famous for its Jetty, at 2000 ish metres long and with an underwater observatory at the end is the longest Jetty in the southern hemisphere and by our reckoning which may or may not be that accurate, must be about as long as Southend Pier.
There are however some major differences, this one doesn’t appear to burn down as often although it does look like it has had a few lumps taken out of it over the years, this one only has railings on one side (and it was probably the Health and Safety Executive that made them put those up), this one wobbles a lot more than the one at Southend but only when people are walking on it or the water underneath is washing against it. And alas some similarities, despite this Jetty being a major part of the tourist attraction to the area it does need
$25 million spent on it to restore it to its former glory and the government appears to be doing everything it can to ensure that it isn’t the one that pays. Perhaps politicians don’t like these things to be too long just in case they are ever made to walk the plank for their sometimes misguided attempts at ruling us poor minions and don’t want to have to swim too far to get back on dry land.
After our stroll we went out for dinner, it had been a long day and we couldn’t be bothered too cook, we went to the only Pub/Restaurant in town and had a lovely meal. Fraser finished his meal first and on the table next to him were a couple out for a meal but with a baby that didn’t want to sleep, so Fraser stood there and pushed the baby back and forth whilst singing to it while the couple enjoyed their meal in peace. When we left to go home they gave him $5 so he was quite chuffed as he hadn’t expected anything.
The walk home was a bit slow because by this time the kids were a bit tired but we got there in the end and they all flaked out very quickly.

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