Our first week home

We’ve been back just over a week and we’ve been busy. On the Friday we returned, despite being tired from the flight, I was keen to knock a few things off our ‘return home’ list. First up, a fridge, then a bed, and then phones and internet. With the fridge and the bed, it seems that stores are desperate for your business nowadays and offer discounts on discounted prices without being asked.

For example, the woman at the first place automatically knocked a couple of hundred off the fridge (but we didn’t end up getting it). We almost bought a new curved TV with OLEDs for $4000 but luckily, we left the store before we handed over any money, and then laughed in the car that we’d almost bought the damn thing. Shopping tired is a dangerous thing.

We eventually bought a fridge from the place down the road which was even cheaper again. The beds was a hard one though (no pun intended). We tried one shop. I slept on nearly every mattress and finally narrowed it down to one that I liked. But Glen had gone into the store next door to use their washroom (yes, I wrote washroom. Canada still has its teeth in me.) and they also sold beds and mattresses, so after getting one price from the store I was in, we then went next door and got the hard sell from them and eventually got a good deal on a bed frame, side tables and a king mattress. They said they’d deliver by the end of the week (meaning Friday just gone) but it’s Sunday and we still don’t have it, which is rather annoying.

We then went into Subiaco, had some lunch, bumped into Kerrin, then went to iiNet to set up internet and get phones. The salesman was uninspiring and not very good at his job. We nevertheless walked out with a bundle including SIMs for our phone which were meant to work in the next couple of hours. They didn’t and it took me going into the store the next day to get mine to work. Glen’s required another two phone calls after that to get them to work.

We’ve seen a whole lot of family since returning to Australia. Friday night we went out for dinner with members of both families. This was also the first time we’d gotten to meet Glen’s nephew, who is one year old now. He’s adorable, though not yet enamoured with his two uncles. We saw more family on Saturday afternoon, and my grandmother on Saturday night, then went up to Chidlow on Sunday afternoon to see yet more family on Glen’s side. Chidlow was nice as it was the first time I’ve been ‘out in the bush’ for a couple of years. We didn’t see any kangaroos but I did see some 28s (parrots) and some white-tailed black cockatoos. It was a beautiful day too.

Through most of the week, we slept at Dad’s though Glen spent a few nights at our home alone because there was one single mattress that we’d kept. I eventually borrowed another single mattress and moved it home. Driving up and down the freeway between the two houses was starting to get to me. Not that it’s a long drive but it’s not a great drive and I was sick of it after only a few days. I don’t know how people do it every day.

We unpacked everything pretty quickly, I’d say. Considering how many boxes there were. We moved all the boxes to their relevant rooms and then started unpacking from there. Glen couldn’t believe how many boxes were going into his study. It was kind of like Christmas. “And who’s this one for? Glen!” I still had plenty to go through.

I managed to get rid of about six boxes of books, a box of CDs and a whole lot of papers. I’ve still got one bookshelf full of stuff but there isn’t a lot of other things dotted around the place now. My study is pretty much setup, though I’m waiting to move the couch back in there and looking forward to buying a new desktop computer. Glen also threw out a lot (though he’s squirrelled a lot of stuff away into the cupboard). Unfortunately my external hard drive that I brought back from Canada has stopped working and I’m concerned I won’t be able to retrieve what’s on it: namely every photo I took during the past two years. I get a sick feeling in my stomach just thinking about it. Trying to remain hopeful.

We’ve been shopping for more things like clothes horses and rubbish bins (Bunnings), glasses, towels and chopping boards (IKEA) and a vacuum cleaner (Harvey Norman – again, another bargain as they price matched with Myer and we got it for about a third off the original price). We also bought new bikes from the store down the road on Saturday. They’re amazing. So light. It might actually make riding a pleasure now.

Glen’s been working in the garden a lot. The planter boxes that Glen made still have some things growing in them, other than weeds. We have a lot of mint, thyme, parsley and oregano. We even have some rhubarb. The vines along the lattice (which is broken thanks to the builders putting up the new fence which is shorter than the one before) are mostly dead. The rest of the garden is covered with weeds. Glen has attacked it all with gusto and made great progress. He even chopped down an invasive tree that had grown so tall while we were away (it had been planted by the tenant).

Other than that, we haven’t been doing much socialising as yet. We’re a bit stranded at the moment without a car and my headspace has been all about settling back into the house. We’ll be getting the cat back soon, which will be nice.

I’m missing Toronto a lot, probably more than Glen, who’s happy to have his garden back and not to be constantly asked where his accent comes from. It’s particularly hard at the moment as it’s summer in Canada and friends are going hiking, or enjoying the sunshine, or going travelling. I also miss our apartment and the view. And I miss our friends. I return to work tomorrow which will be an adjustment, having not had to work a full day in quite a while. Trying to fit in the rest of my life around that is going to be difficult as well, and I still haven’t been to the gym. Or been writing.

Still, life isn’t bad. I’ll adapt before long and then will have something to compare to. Perhaps Toronto will be home again. Perhaps not. Time will tell. And it has only been a week.

As for this blog? I’d like to keep it going but calling it Two Aussies in Canada and writing about non-Canadian things seems a bit odd to me. I’ll have a think about it and see whether it’s worth setting up a new one or just continue with this. We’ve got some travel coming up (though not in Canada) so it’d be good to put those adventures somewhere.

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