Friday, August 27, 2010

Homecoming

Well, my plan to write a post for each day of my last month in Miyako failed pretty dismally. Things got unsurprisingly busy and writing my blog just wasn't a priority. But I still have a mental list of some stuff I'd like to write about, so hopefully I'll find the time for that once we settle in a bit more here.

The good news is: we made it to Melbourne. Thom made it to Melbourne. We have moved into our third temporary house in as many weeks, but this time we'll be staying put for a month!

We're having a quiet night in tonight and I am very happy to be heading to bed before midnight for the first time in months.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Thom update

After a truly unbelievable amount of emails, paperwork, photocopying and faxing, Thom flew unaccompanied from Miyako to Kansai yesterday morning.

He arrived there safely and checked into the Promenade cat hotel for the night. It looks a lot fancier than what he's used to when he stays in the back room at our vet's clinic.

He checked out of his hotel at 1pm today and had finished his health checks by 3pm. At 5pm I finally got the mail that I was waiting for - everything went fine and Thom was now ready to fly to Melbourne!

I still can't believe that there weren't any stuff ups that prevented him from flying. A conversation with a quarantine official in Australia a couple of days ago had left me 90% convinced that his microchip could have fallen out sometime and we'd have to start the whole process again. I have the very helpful Aya at JTB Cargo to thank for making double sure that all the paperwork was correct.

It's strange having a cat free house for the first time in 4 years. Nobody comes running when I open cans, nobody sits on my chest in the mornings and screams until I wake me up (he really does this), and the little geckos can run around without fearing for their lives.

Bon voyage, Thom!

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Packing up

Tonight will most likely be the last night we spend in our apartment before we relocate to Gary's place. All of our furniture and other bits and pieces will be picked up on Thursday morning, so we're busy cleaning and packing.

There's something about pulling our photos out of the frames - and knowing that someone else's photos will soon be going into those same frames - that really makes it feel like we're leaving.

Booooooooooooooooooooo.

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Thursday, August 05, 2010

Taking Care of Business

Taking care of business every day
Taking care of business every way
I've been taking care of business, it's all mine
Taking care of business and working overtime
Work out!

(You'll just have to imagine me singing, as Stuart has put on a ban on any actual singing of this song.)

So yeah, I've been taking care of business. Every day. Every way. Turns out that there is a lot to organise if you want to pack up the lives of yourself, your husband and your cat and move countries!

Our very first moving preparations began back in April when I packed my sanshin, some winter clothes and the x-rays of my broken back into my Mum's case when she was returning to Australia. Then Stuart and I headed off for a three-week trip to Osaka and Kyoto and I vowed to start thinking about the move properly once we got home.

I've taken a slowly-but-surely approach, trying to chip away at it gradually over a long time. I keep telling myself that it's like a long distance triathlon: totally overwhelming when you think about it as a whole, but if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other then it will eventually be over.

It helps that we decided to stay in Miyako for a month after my contract ended, so it doesn't have to be the mad rush that most people find themselves in. It also helps that a few things have happened to fall into place nicely.

For example, I was told I didn't have a successor to sell our car and furniture to. That was pretty worrying, but then I learned that an incoming ALT was going to need to buy a car and furniture when she got here. Mary Beth agreed to buy all of our stuff in a bulk deal, so that made things a lot less stressful for all of us.

Another Miyako ALT, Gary, is enjoying a long summer vacation back in Hawaii, and he's been kind enough to lend us his apartment and car so that we won't be living on the streets sans car once we sell all of our stuff. My Mum has offered to lend us her car for a while, and a couple of people in Australia have offered us a place to stay when we first arrive.

With all of those big things already in place, I have time to keep working on all the little things we need to do.

Yesterday's jobs were to get an eye test and order new glasses (it's cheaper here), to drop off a shirt at the dressmaker, and to buy a book of Miyako sanshin songs that I've been meaning to get for ages. It wouldn't be the end of the world if I forgot about any of those little jobs before going home, but it's nice to have the time to get them done.

Obviously my immune system is unaware that we're not feeling too stressed, because I have two very big and very attractive coldsores. So today I am trying to avoid any unnecessary human interaction and take care of business from home. I've been making dentist appointments, organising dates for when we'll move all the furniture out of here (maybe August 13th?), finalising the details for my accident compensation payment (!), calling all the utility companies to arrange final readings, doing MORE of Thom's paperwork, and working on the forms I need for my pension refund.

Sixteen more sleeps until we leave!

I'll keep taking care of business, every day. Well, maybe for another 10 days. After that, I'm just going to sleep, eat, drink, go to the beach and ride my bike.

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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Monday 2nd August - Another busy day

It's well past my bed time so I'll try to keep this one short!

Today involved:
  • Throwing out even more bags of trash from inside our many cupboards
  • Phone calls about Thom's trip to Australia
  • Emails and phone calls about the upcoming junior high school speech contest
  • Washing clothes
  • A long session at Laidback Cafe for an iPhone unlocking party
  • Last night drinks at Mosswell for Megan, Buck and Sam
  • Emails and phone calls about the bike frame that I need to send back to the UK
  • Lots of blog updates - this 'post every day' attempt is time consuming!




On the cards for tomorrow:
  • Two airport farewells
  • Sending off one of the two bike frames I need to get rid off before we leave
  • A long overdue return to my Gold Coast Half Ironman training?
After tomorrow, we don't have any social obligations until Friday! Hopefully this will mean more time for cleaning and packing, triathlon training, home cooking, and maybe even some relaxation.

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