Thursday, August 24, 2017


Apparently people in Melbourne are very worried about toilet odors, During our apartment search, I noticed something I thought was rather odd - the bathroom extractor fans were all above the toilet. Not anywhere close to the shower, which is what I would expect when you want to prevent moisture from hanging around. No, it is above the toilet. I finally asked a real estate agent about it, and he exclaimed "to get rid of the smell"! Okay then... There is even a product on the market called "VIPoo" which according to the TV commercial (during prime time!) you spray into the toilet before you "drop your devil donuts" to "seal in the smell".  I am not kidding.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Almost Moving Day!

The Moving Gods are smiling upon us! We have only one possible day to move into our "real" apartment, and we have been able to schedule everything on that day. Everything!
Our very important appliances- refrigerator, clothes washer and dryer, and TV - will all be delivered. Our beautiful container that has spent weeks at sea will be delivered and unpacked. I cannot wait to see my treasured pots and pans.
My Aussie husband will be happy to see the container for different reasons as he will be able to sleep in his own bed once again. And he will have more than 7 changes of clothes. OK - so that is something I am happy for, maybe more than my husband. And SHOES! I will have all my shoes.
We only brought 3 checked bags with us so wardrobes have been limited, with emphasis on work attire for him. Emphasis on clothes that would pad the carefully packed bottles of Madeira for me.  Priorities!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Winter in July? Bah Humbug.

I have only been in Australia a few weeks but already I am thinking that the Northern Hemisphere is a better place to be in winter, especially if you celebrate Christmas. Christmas has lights and presents and parties, and you hardly know it is dark and the weather is crappy as you flit from one cheerful gathering to the next.
In the Southern Hemisphere during the darkest days and the worst weather, you have...nothing.

OK, so there is a half-hearted attempt at frivolity with a few scattered "Christmas in July" activities, but they seem to be held at the equivalent of a Rotary Club and involve people much older than I am.
Not exactly my idea of something to clear my calendar for.
They tell me it is awesome to have Christmas during the Summer as you can have pool parties and picnics on the beach and everyone wears Santa hats with their swimsuits and it is all very jolly. I experienced Christmas in Australia once, but I'm pretty sure I was too jet-lagged to appreciate the finer points as we had just arrived in the country Christmas morning about 6:00 am.
I'm sure it will be wonderful. In four and a half months.
In the meantime, I am scouting out anything that advertises wine and warm food so I can at least try to enjoy being thrown back into Winter. Spring is coming soon, isn't it? Please?

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Home Appliances = White Goods

I am learning so much about appliances or "White Goods" as they are called here. What if you want a different finish on them? Do they call them "Stainless Steel Goods"? Probably not...
We have sorted out the refrigerator issue as the current tenant of our soon-to-be home has graciously supplied the measurements of her current fridge. (which she is taking with her) Yay! Now we can get something reasonably big and be assured that it will fit. As I am an American, I will of course insist on a Big American Refrigerator. So, one appliance down, many, MANY more to go.
Electric plugs and voltage are different here, so none of the dozens of kitchen gadgets we had in the States will work. Sadly we had to bid goodby to the Cuisinart. The KitchenAid. The handheld blender. My beloved rice cooker. Vacuums, lamps, fans, they all went.
Fortunately my Aussie husband understands the importance of getting new kitchen gadgets STAT! We will be shopping this weekend. =)

The other thing that is different here is that electricity has peak usage periods throughout the day and you are charged different rates depending on when you use it. Maybe there are other places that do that too, I have never really paid attention. I will be paying more than just "attention" if I don't shop for appliances that have a high Energy Star rating. I got all excited about the awesome features on a washing machine until my husband pointed out it only had 2 Energy Stars. It has been crossed off the list. I might be down at the river with a washboard at this rate...