Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Auction competition in the Street

We are keeping a very close eye on the property market in our area as our house will be on the market in 10 DAYS! Our brochure is attached here ... Anthony looked at it and said - it is amazing how it can look when all the animal beds and people aren't everywhere !

Yesterday a sign went up at a house up the road and this morning the 'for sale' sign went up on the house across the road!  Springtime is generally the peak time to sell as the gardens are all in bloom, and punters want to move in before Xmas.

The other 2 houses are both on the flat with nice lawns, so will attract couples with kids, whereas our place is built on a rocky slope with no real lawn so will attract the DINKS .
We have an advantage of being very private and no-one can look into our house, plus being on a hill we have great district views.

Disadvantage ... being on a hill you have to walk up hill to the house which can put people off. (It never gets easier !)

So could be a very interesting few weeks, but we are very positive plus we are realistic with the pricing. One thing for sure we both cant wait for it to sell, then we can really ramp up the plans.

The animals are all ready to go, the cats had their final vaccinations yesterday. However, Geoffrey might have a thyroid tumour so he is having his blood tested to see what is going on with him .. never a dull moment !

The mighty Aussie dollar is climbing against the the Great British Peso again.....its all a bit exciting really.

Elaine has had a week off this week - trying to get all the finishing touches done .. like painting outside and cleaning !  (It was funny last Sunday, we were out painting the front fence .. and so was our competition over the road !! Truly a competition .. mind you their house is worth more than ours !)

We are off to Melbourne this weekend to see the relos down there - we are leaviing the animals in the hands of our trusted friend !  It will be brilliant to see everyone down there but there is still so much to finish off on the house - Elaine might have to keep going next week, instead of taking clients !

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Nearly There

Up early again, and on a Sunday! First stop down to pick up the Ute from outside the skiff club, left it there last night after watching the Aussies beat the Kiwis at Rugby. We then took the doggies for a walk around Curl Curl headland.

Quite a few people out and about enjoying the winter warmth, it got up to 22degrees.

Check out the chap with the full wetsuit and snorkel  gear diving into the ocean.

It was a good day for the rock fisherman with a very small swell

Elaine marched ahead, she was keen to get home and finish off the garden etc.

Back at the carpark even the fire brigade had stopped to have a look at the view across to Manly

We them went up to a landscape company and picked up some pebbles to finish off prettying up the garden, next stop a hire company to pick up some carpet cleaning gear. Elaine and I unloaded 1/2 ton of the pebbles from the Ute and spread them around various spots in the garden. Elaine then starting cleaning the carpets whilst I removed the front screen door and proceeding to spray paint it. After I mowed the front lawn and nature strip I took the dogs and Anthony  and we went down the local car wash to give the ute a good spruce up. There is something very satisfying about sitting down with a coffee and reading the paper whilst the car is washed, vacumned and windows cleaned etc. What would take me a few hours is all done in 45mins, love it.
Back home hang the screen door back on its hinges and  a quick fix of a bathroom tap and another day is gone.
So the garden is now  all finished and looking pretty good.
Elaine has a week off work next week so she will spend that time generally cleaning up and touching up any paintwork etc.
We are off to Melbourne (The Bleak City) for 3 day from next Friday and the Saturday after that is the first open day. I just hope that all this is worth it and we get a quick sale at the right price!    

Front Garden

Elaine and the Bali shrine...Byron our first dog is buried here :-(

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Another day getting the house ready for Auction!

Up early this morning, loaded up the ute with more garden debris to take to the tip. I took the dogs with me and took them for a good walk round Long Reef golf course, treated myself to a large sausage  
and onion roll plus a large coffee for breakfast at the golf course, gave half of the snags to the dogs :-)

After the tip I picked up another ute load of pine chips and proceeded with the help of Bombo....not! to unload them in heaps around the garden

Good place to dig
Elaine then gave me a hand and we spread the chips all over the garden. After we finished the front garden Elaine started to clean up around the pool at the rear of the house. I replaced some cracked tiles leading up to the front door, been meaning to do that job for the past 10 years! We finished around 5 rather buggered.

Tonight Elaine and Anthony (Nephew) are staying in and watching a dvd, I am going down the Manly 16ft Skiff Club to watch Australia vs New Zealand rugby game, they erect a large outdoor screen on the deck. We will probably have a few beers as well, be rude not to.  

Elaine raking the chips

More raking and brushing

Pic of garden from deck

Front garden and garage.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Our First Bit Of Kit For The Boat

Today we ordered our first bit of kit for the boat.......A Laptop...hardly exciting, but we have to start somewhere. I have never really used a laptop but we wont have room for a full PC and I am sure I will get used to it.  
Its a Dell Vostro V130, our computer guy at work has had  one for the past 3 years and reckons its a pretty good tool.

We probably should have waited till we got to the UK but Elaine wanted one now so she can transfer all the how do you say.....stuff from our present PC, plus Dell were having a 3 day sale which finished at midnight tonight! 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Auction Date!

The house goes up for auction on 6th October 2011, which means that the sales campaign will start on Saturday 10th September 2011 and there will be an open house every Saturday till the auction.
So now we are back to sprucing up the house and garden...First we did a fair bit of pruning of the trees and bushes, I took all the off cuts to Kimbriki tip and whilst there got a ute full of wood chipping to pretty up the garden. We spent most of Saturday spreading the chips across the garden, it looks a lot better now, I will get another ute load next weekend and we will finish it off.

Sunday Elaine cleaned out the laundry and spare bathroom and touched up the paintwork. I water blasted the sandstone rocks in the garden and blasted off all the crud and moss etc,  They are now looking a lot better.....not sure that people do blast their sand stone rocks, but they sure do look a lot better when you walk up the path to the house, they are more like bloody great boulders than rocks.
The house is built on sandstone.
We then started painting the railings outside the house till it started raining!
I felt pretty crappy all weekend  and could feel bit of a cold coming on, so today I chucked a sickie, first one in years. So today (Monday) I have spent most of it in bed. Feeling a bit better tonight so could well go back to work tomorrow.
Elaine's nephew has found out he has to get back to Uni in the UK earlier than he thought so we have re-booked his flights and he now leaves us on 6th September, 3 weeks earlier than planned. His dad tried to get the flight changed back in the UK but they said no chance you would have to cancel the flight and rebook it for 1300 pounds!! I spent 1/2 hour on the phone here talking to Qantas, and the flight is changed for 151 pounds.....Result!!

Water blasting the sandstone!

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 20, 2011

It's a Sign !!

This morning when I took the dogs for their walk, I thought I would take my camera with me and take some pics of some of the signs in Manly, as all you thousands of readers know already the anti-dog signs and anti-dog behaviour of my fellow Aussies does my head in. I also included a few other banning-everything signs.

The first usual - not allowed on beaches etc. but also not within 10 Metres of a children's playground and BBQ areas!!

This one is an interesting one, basically if Mr and Mrs Smith want to go down to anywhere in Manly, as in beach, promenade, park or wharf etc. they cannot have any alcohol with their picnic at any time of the day or year - unless of course its the Manly Food and Wine Fair then you can drink as much as you like, as long as its bought from the official stalls.  This happens one weekend a year. Thankfully, most people ignore this rule and do have a drink with their BBQ or Picnic. Why not just arrest someone that is drunk and a nuisance?!  Because its easier to ban everyone from having a drink!  

This one is on the Corso which is a pedestrian-only area linking the Wharf and harbour to the ocean beach.  Basically, everything is banned .. including feeding birds ! It actually used to say 'Please do not spike drinks when in Manly but they actually removed that one as they realised it was pretty stupid ! (Double click on the picture to enlarge it and it is all readable).

Swimming and Diving Prohibited !  Only one comment about this one ... WHY?!

I especially like this one because no fishing is allowed from the Wharf .. even though people have been fishing there for many years !

Here is one we had a protest about a while ago - and won ! (click here to see previous blog entry, for full details). It used to have the 'no dogs' sign on the beach and the grass ... which meant that a dog could only walk (and poo and wee) on the path only - and would not be able to get out of the way for people / prams etc as it would force it onto the grass !

Sign enlargement - they are actually called 'Fairy Penguins' but were renamed 'Little Penguins' for politically correct reasons :)

Standard 'dog prohibited' sign on every beach in Sydney.

It was a nice morning so I took a pic of the Manly Ferry coming in from the City ! Once again, it is very, very rough going across the heads.  Yesterday, one of the Ferries got damaged by a freak wave and has taken it out of action.  Our nephew, Anthony went across to the City on the Ferry today and said many of the poor tourists were screaming!

Last but not least - this was parked on the Ocean Front - and I have absolutely no problem with this sign, whatsoever !

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Its all Go!!

We have been having lots of chats between ourselves as to the timing of selling the house, which was going to happen late January 2012 ... it transpires that there are a couple of problems with this, one is that the housing market is going a bit soft and could worsen after Christmas (who knows) and the other being that if it goes on the market in late Jan, we probably wouldn't get to the UK before late April or early May. We would like to get there before that so we can get out on the canal before the season kicks in and get used to our boat.

So.......we have had a chat with Mr Real Estate and we are going to auction the house early October; the campaign will run for a month starting early September but we haven't finalised the exact dates yet.  If all goes well the settlement generally takes another 4-6 weeks, so we should be all cashed up in November !!

Open house coming again soon !!!!!
Now this is the best bit ... we really didn't want to go the the UK so close to Christmas and be a burden on our  relatives with our various animals etc., plus I would be leaving All Marine Spares right at the busiest time of the year and I really didn't want to drop my boss in the do-do.  I had a good chat with the boss-man about it all and the upshot is that he offered us the flat above the warehouse next door!   It's a huge place,  fully air-conditioned etc.  So now we will move in there after the sale with basic furniture and can leave in the new year at any time that suits us.  The Boss will be happy too .. as I won't ever be late for work !

So this weekend we will start again cleaning up the house and garden, sorting out stuff to sell, store or dump - again !

We both are very excited about all this.....there is a light at the end of the Blisworth Tunnel :-)

Yippee !!!

PS:  If anyone wants to come for an Aussie holiday, you had better be quick !!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Holiday Pics Part 3 (No Canals)

The main reason for the trip home was for my mothers 80th Birthday, which was a complete surprise to her and held at Billing Aquadrome.
The whole family turned up with their respective partners and children except for my eldest brother who for some strange reason decided to go to Portugal!
If he would have been there with his children and grand children there would have been another 10 or so people!
Never mind it was a good weekend and the weather was very kind to us.

Mother and her 5 children (1 missing)

Mother and her 5 grand children (5 missing)

Sisters caravan

Camp site
After the Birthday I went up to the Macclesfield area and stayed for a few days with one of Elaine's friends in the village of Bollington. Lovely village in a very beautiful area with plenty of good dog walking areas and of course some very good pubs. 




White Nancy

Macc Forest

Cheshire Plains 

View from the Hanging Gate Pub 

Hanging Gate Pub

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 13, 2011

More Canal Trip Pics

I would have to say I have just recovered from the worst case of jetlag since I have been travelling to and from the UK over the last 30 years!
I put this down to having such an enjoyable trip on the canal, mums 80th, staying in a nice little village (Bollington) and catching up with old school mates.....then 24 hours later its across the other side of the world straight back to work and all that it entails.

Today I am feeling much better, so it only took 7 days to get over it!

So back to the blog and some more pics from the trip.

The Saints car looking in need of a bit of TLC

Puppy outside of the Greyhound pub at Hawkesbury Junction

Steptoe and Sons Boatyard

That's what I'm talking about

Aussie Aussie Aussie

The Caxton Crew

Arley station on the Severn Valley Railway

Bridgnorth Station

Big Bull with rather large rollocks 

Talking Heron

What chocolate biscuits

Passing a boat in the Blisworth Tunnel

Blogging on the roof in the dark

Posted by Picasa