Saturday, February 24, 2018

45 Woods Street - 37° 50' 45" S 144° 52' 37" E


I bought 45 Woods Street back in 2002.  Angus was an infant.  Today he is a strapping lad of sixteen.  We decided to sell for a number of reasons including changes to the Australian tax laws and our desire to buy a house in Canmore so we can live in the mountains rather than just play there! 

Since living in Canada, Woods Street has been rented so was in need of some spit and polish.  The tenants vacated prior to Christmas so we had some time to get her ship-shape and presented to her very best.  It was most convenient if we moved in whilst we carried out the work but our lack of furniture was a small conundrum.

This was solved by the brilliance of Gabby who over dinner and a few wines remembered that Mark and Monica were selling their house, had decluttered and as a result had a garage filled with furniture.  Remarkably, the furniture fitted the colour and style of our house perfectly.  So, we hire a removal van, loaded up and with a few additional items from The Croziers, Mum, Dad and Gab and the Op Shop*, we had a furnished home to live in! 

Our work list was not too onerous – redeck front porch, paint, clean, tighten, plug holes, fill gaps and tidy the garden.  With some help from our family and friends, we plowed through the list in time for the photographs.  The photographer did a great job and we think she scrubbed up rather well. 

We kept her shiny and mown and were pleased when auction day rolled around.  We endeavoured not to play the mind games, stressing and pondering as to whether anyone would bid, would we get enough, what if we didn’t sell…  Needless to say, it was a relief when the bidding went over our reserve and continued.  A strong result – not quite a $1m more than I paid but close enough for big smiles and champagne!

Now Canmore, what have you got for us?

A big thank you to all who contributed. We could not have done it without you.

Thanks to:

  • Mark and Monica for half a house of furniture, goods and chattels,
  • Andrew and Lynda for the other half, the tools and the trailer,
  • Dad and Gabby for the tools, decorative items and some serious sweat,
  • Nancy for the tools, decorative bits and bobs, the gorgeous flower arrangements, keeping the pots of petunias thriving, horticultural skills and manual labour,
  • Frances and Allan for painting (seriously, who volunteers for painting??!)
  • Eliza and Elaina for styling
  • Hilary for tools, ladders, Tupperware, knives and a number of things not yet noticed missing,
  • Susan and Simon for the lawnmower (yep still got it!)
  • Nancy and Michael for doing up the chairs,
  • Sue for the car - we would have been lost without the CRV,
  • Our neighbours for access to spare wheelie bin capacity

And to all those who helped create ambience by drinking on the front porch - Elizabeth!
We thank you all.

45 Woods St
Front Hall
Master Bedroom
Bedroom #2
Bedroom #3
Back deck
The Floor Plan

*Op Shop, short for Opportunity Shop is the equivalent of a thrift store in North America.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Melbourne - 37° 48' 52" S 144° 56' 14" E

One of the joys of being back in Melbourne is getting out on our bikes and exploring.  We have ridden sections of The Capital City Trail but never the whole thing.  So under a gorgeous blue sky, we set off.  The trail is not very well signed so we had a couple of wrong turns.  Not all bad when we ended up on the Moonee Ponds Trail and popped in to visit Tamie and Vince! 

It was particularly confusing around railway stations and we had a taste of cycle-cross having to carry our bikes up a walking track with stairs in Yarra Bend Park but we found our way back each time and conquered the full circuit!  Easy and flat with urban riding under freeways, meanders along the river and through wild parks with the illusion of wilderness.

A fabulous ride.  Well done Melbourne!

Our 65km ride - click for more info about the route

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Rhyll, Phillip Island - 38° 27' 53" S 145° 18' 33" E

The Grayman

Almost as shocking as it would be him taking up snowboarding, Dad has gone to the dark side and bought a stink boat!  Who would have ever imagined this? After more than three decades, three sailboats, an uncountable number of Bass Strait crossings and multiple epic return cruises between Flinders and Cairns, he has been seduced by the throb of a 225HP outboard.

As children, we were brainwashed to be sailors.  From the little Quickcat, Arafura and Hobie catamarans we sailed off the beach to the grand adventures aboard Western Rambler (Brolga 33), Nova Vida (Duncanson 37) and Francis (Morgan 43), we could always look up and see a mast and sail.  Even our near-death experiences; in particular the memorable Christmas Cruise of 1988 in a Bass Strait squall, 70kn winds and towering seas; was under sail.

In what we can only imagine to be an old age crisis, the whole axis of our world has shifted and we now have a power boating father. 

Our power boating father - looking rather pleased with himself!

We found ourselves heading to Phillip Island for the sea trials of the new acquisition - Arvor 755 Weekender.  Described as:

The sporty and spacious model which is built on the cornerstones of safety, comfort and style. Designed for 9 people you can take it out to sea, explore your local rivers or head out to your favourite fishing spot.
  • Length overall (m) – 7.76
  • Length of hull (m) – 6.99
  • Beam maximum (m) – 2.85
  • Fuel Capacity (L) – 300
  • Water Capacity (L) – 80
  • Maximum number of people – 9
  • Maximum Load – People, Gear, Engine (kg) – 1235
The boat that adapts perfectly to your plans. Equipped for serious fishing, flexible enough for cruising fun.

Fishing?  No mention of draft?  What is this strange world we are entering?

All aboard!

So off we headed, Dad at the wheel, zipping along at over 30kn.  The time to get from Rhyll to Sandy Point was measured in minutes rather than hours.  This baby can fly! We dropped anchor metres from shore not having to worry about a keel.

She goes like the clappers - beats the hell out of Francis and Popeye!

Music blaring (we are power boaters after all), we lounged around the huge cockpit and ate lunch. It was great to be back on the water, we have been feeling very landbound. The wind picked up from the umm, who cares where the wind is coming from? Back we flew bouncing over the chop with a satisfying roar of the engine. 

The proud owners
The happy crew!

Not quite ready to hang up our own sailing boots, we understand how this works for Dad.  I reckon there is going to be a hell of a lot of fun had on this little baby!

Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing... about in boats — or with boats. In or out of ’em, it doesn't matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that's the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not.


- Kenneth Grahame, Wind in the Willows