We’re moving in a week. Less than a week, actually. I get the keys on the 29th. Keys to a new townhouse.
Our future home is warm and full of great things like a dishwasher, which Ben is thrilled about and a bath, which I am thrilled about. There’s a separate laundry room and two (two!) toilets, one upstairs and one downstairs. That’s luxury, right? The shower is nestled into a corner of the bathroom, which is new to me. I’m into it. There’s floorboards downstairs and carpet upstairs in the three (!) big (!!) bedrooms. The oven is new, with five gas burners and although the body is a little slim it looks like it’ll roast vegetables like a demon. And all for only fifteen dollars more a week in rent than we’re presently paying. That’s crazy, right?
Though we’re leaving a community and a beach that has really become ours this past year, we will have ourselves a new beach. And we will be right near a couple of brilliant food gems that serve really really good food and coffee. I can already anticipate intense Sunday morning debates on the merits of staying in vs going out for brunch. Yes, we’ve found ourselves a gem, folks. And I cannot wait for our moving day.
After a trip to Tasmania last week for work (which was really play), Ben and I promptly fell ill and found ourselves working our way through an obstacle course, struggling on the ropes wall and not really winning at life. But we got there, army crawling through the dirt, and now we’re over the other side, jogging to the finishing line. I fully intend on sliding across it, in the mud, on my belly, hands in the air. But back to the move and packing up this home of ours….
Our beach cottage has been (for the most part) truly splendid, particularly during the summer. But now it’s blisteringly cold and we need a house that isn’t so frosty or prone to mould. I don’t think I will miss this house, rather the location. Our beach. It helped me breathe. It helped us both breathe through this whole starting your own businesses business. Which I feel we’ve done really well and, in retrospect, with very little stress. I think the beach has a lot to do with that. Nature, right? It puts everything in perspective.
The first morning we moved into this cottage we woke to orange light coming through the window. My brother’s favourite colour was orange, so sitting under that golden sun stream felt like a sign from him that we were in the right place. Later that morning we went to the beach and while jogging, familiarising ourselves with our new surroundings, some dolphins came to say hello. Six years ago when we scattered David’s ashes in a paddle out ceremony a pod of dolphins turned up and I always felt comforted by that, like it was a sign. A sign that he was ok. One year ago I took it as a sign that we were in the right place. But now it’s time to move. I’m sure my brother will bless this new place too. He would have been incredibly approving of our soon proximity to a deli featuring quality cured meats and cheese. I think I’ll have to up my cheese game, David always loved the stuff. But (again) back to the move and packing up this home of ours….
Last Saturday I dove right into sorting, purging, wrapping, packing. I mean, I tried. We were both still a little NQR. I’ve got a lot to do and today I am determined to do some real good work. Wish me luck. Here are some photographs from this day.
Breakfast was sourdough toast, avocado and cheddar cheese, with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Poor Ben ended up having to eat in bed with a movie rather than discussing packing plans with me at the table because he felt too sick…wait a minute…
Anyway, after breakfast I got started on packing my wardrobe, which was possibly not the most practical move one week before we actually shift houses but hey, I got to play dress up and give a bag of clothes to the op shop. A big bag. Though I have a hard time throwing away any clothes I bought on overseas trips when I first discovered Zara, even if I never wear them because I bought them when I was 23 and I am not 23 anymore.
Two things: 1) when did I grow my fringe out? I don’t recall any awkward phase photographs… 2) my older brother had super big blue eyes. They’re a little crazy eye, here. I have a tendency to whip out the crazy eye too. Speaking of crazy eyes, which Orange Is The New Black character are you? I got SoSo. Really? I don’t know how I feel about that.
Craving fresh air we took a stroll on our beach, one of our last.
And then it was time to warm up with another brew.
Have you heard about Notoxbox? It’s a sweet site that sources and delivers a load of cool products and tasty snacks. You sign up for different boxes (and can cancel at any time) and receive these surprise packages. Don’t you love receiving packages like that? It’s a neat idea. I was sent a couple to sample (thank you, team!) and while I personally didn’t love all the inclusions, there were some really cool products in there. In particular I’m loving the Brookfarm Macadamia Muesli and am super keen to try the green rice (brown rice infused with bamboo extract – madness!). Later on this night we tucked into the Absolute Organic Fair Trade chocolate bar with quinoa flakes for dessert, which I so appreciated.
And now for something super cool: Notoxbox has kindly set up a discount for any readers that are keen. To take advantage of this offer, enter the special code “apples10” and receive $10 off your first Superfood Snack box. You have until August 31st.
Though our appetites were not that great, we still wanted a little something for lunch. Mum had brought around some apple cake she’d made recently (recipe link) so cake it was, which we warmed then served with yoghurt.
Later on I went out for cabbage and came home to a cup of tea. I’m wearing woollen gloves these days, always, as it’s so frosty. My olive oil in the bench is beginning to solidify…yeah, it’s time to move.
For dinner we had beef brisket with cabbage slaw and roasted potatoes. I how I adore this cut of meat, particularly since visiting Texas and waiting in line for two and a half hours at 8am for a serve of the famous Franklin BBQ. No no, that’s not a typo. I was most recently reminded of my love for cut of beef in Sydney when attending a symposium put on by MLA, which spoke about Target 100 and less popular cuts of meat.
To prepare our brisket, we scored the fat side of the meat then sprinkled over some ground sweet paprika, smoked paprika, ginger, cumin and cayenne pepper, plus a generous amount of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, which we massaged into the meat with a drizzle of olive oil. We put this beef of a bed of halved onions and blasted it for ~20 minutes in a hot (220 degrees celsius) oven, before turning the heat right down to 150 degrees celsius, adding some white wine and water to the pan, covering it with foil and cooking it for ~4 hours. We’d check it on the hour and add more wine/water to the pan as required (you could add stock too) and baste it in some pan juices. Don’t be like us, use a smaller pan to avoid excess burnt bits. These kids didn’t think of that…
Removing the brisket from the oven and putting it on your chopping board, covered with foil and letting the meat rest for 20-30 minutes before slicing is pretty key, too. During this time you can make a gravy, if you’d like, and prepare the rest of your food (a fresh slaw maybe?). We added some halved potatoes to the pan in the last thirty minutes of cooking and when we removed the brisket we blasted the heat back up to ~220 degrees again to get them all crispy. It was rather ridiculous.
That was our day. Now, back to packing…