March 26, 2008

A house or a home?..

Ok, so if you were wondering what's up with us, we've been busy moving and setting up our new home (and Sean came by and I'll write more about it next time!). This picture could well be an ad for IKEA scandinavian design catalogue. We were overjoyed to find IKEA in Sydney and went a bit crazy over the weekend. Well, the thing is, love it or hate it, if you're trying to settle down and you need a massive amount of stuff, nothing can really beat IKEA. It all is just so useful and cheap! We also stocked up huge amounts of dry cracker rye bread (nakkileipa), pickled herring and kallen mattitahna (not sure how to explain that, it is some sort of roe paste that goes incredibly well with nakkileippa).

This time moving went pretty smoothly, they delivery guys arrived when they were supposed to and only forgot the surfboards (that were dropped off a few days later).

Unpacking and finding places for stuff always takes a while, we still have things all over the place and everything still looks like storage. Hopefully it will start looking like home soon.

The surprise this time was elsewhere - we checked the house only once at a night time and it was raining. By that time we've seen tens of substandard apartments, and were extremely happy to find something that was really quiet, leafy and spacious.

Somehow we completely overlooked the unrenovated kitchen and bathroom. We knew that they were in "original" condition, but we didn't pay too much attention to that. Well, let me tell you that things have really improved since 50s (it is also very possible that our kitchen and bathroom goes back all the way to 30s when they house was built!). Our kitchen doesn't have much storage space and we hardly have a work benchtop. The sink is at one corner, the stove at the other, fridges all over the place. When you try to cook and start dragging leaking messy stuff back and forward all over the kitchen, you kind of start appreciating characterless laminate functional kitchens with drawers that open. I guess we had too good of a life in Coogee with all modern appliances and really nicely renovated apartment. This one has a bit too much of "character", what with shower system where you can have only one temperature shower (and can't regulate it) or a sink where you have to bend under cupboards to wash a cup or a hot water system that leaks 61 cubic meters of water in a year... Will it ever become our home?!?

Well, its not all bad, there are heaps of great things about our place: we have enough space, we don't have carpets (makes a huge difference!!!), it is super quiet (can't hear anything apart birds and frogs), with parks and beautiful leafy streets around, 2 minutes to the train station that takes me to work in 40 minutes (that's great, considering that I travel across the whole city), 7 minutes to shops and heaps and heaps and heaps of restaurants and cafes. I'm sure we'll be fine!

But if you plan to come for a visit, do not expect your usual creature comforts. Brace yourself for 40s style luxury where everything is a bit off and in a slightly different place than you expect it to be!

Posted by gkligyte at 06:47 PM | Comments (3)

March 02, 2008

Ode for the Ocean

Last Friday we finally signed the lease for the Wollstonecraft apartment. So it is 100% certain that we'll be moving there on the 17th of March. A relief of sorts, but I'm secretly happy that we still have a couple of weeks left living at Coogee.

I fell in love with the ocean, you see.

There's something so incredibly magnificent about the raging water and rocky shoreline, waves crashing onto the cliffs, water foaming and soaring upwards, and on a sunny day, staring at the impossibly turquoise water can hurt your eye!... I use any excuse to go down to the waterfront, at any weather. I started running along the shore, rain or shine. Last Friday I even volunteered to pick up pizza takeaways, because it gave me a chance to walk by the ocean for 20 minutes while pizza was baking in the oven!

But we haven't been surfing yet... We still haven't got our boards and wetsuits from NZ (Kaj got his birthday board though!) and this weekend the surf was way too big for us. I'm reaching the state where I want to paddle out so much, that I'm not being completely rational, i.e. I was thinking just couple of hours ago that maybe those waves in Bronte beach were not all that big and maybe the wind is not that cold, so maybe I don't need a wetsuit...

But I do, really. And I must be mad to even contemplate going out when the ocean is like this. The whole Bronte bay was whitewater yesterday. There was so much water pushed in, I don't think I would have gotten much further than some 10 meters from the shore and made a "laughing stock" of myself...

If only I could get out somehow so that I can lie on my board and watch the waves rising, curling and pealing, water spraying back straight into my eyes (well its onshore now, so not sure how much of spray there is). I don't even mind not catching waves, I just want to look. As there is really nothing more beautiful. Trust me...

Our current apartment is really nice and feels like home. Given that the ocean is 15 minutes away, it kind of makes sense that I kind of look forward, but not really, to move to North Sydney.

You see, North Sydney is also nice, but in a very different way. It is tidy, safe and cute. It has parks and the streets are quiet and leafy. There are heaps of cool restaurants and cafes. But it doesn't have even a hint of harshness and elemental beauty that the Eastern shoreline has. It is also a car drive away from the Northern beaches... So... I guess, I have to take full advantage of being here now. I better head off to the beach NOW!

Posted by gkligyte at 10:11 AM | Comments (2)