“Let’s get physical,” trilled Oliver Newton-John, in her pop video, while being filmed with gorgeous hunky young men and some others who clearly needed to get a bit more activity that is physical. There was no doubt she herself was in good shape, by the way. But, it didn’t inspire me then and still doesn’t do it today.
Exercise and I have a lifelong, ambivalent relationship.
Like most, I have gone through periods of being convinced I would exercise every day for the rest of my life, because it’s good for you and your body, but found I got bored with it fairly soon. I was never good at sport during my school years, much preferring to read a good book than run 100 yards. While my Dad was very athletic in his younger years, my Mum and I both lean more towards academic ventures.
Except – when there is something specific to be done, a goal to be achieved. You may have read or heard that I am making a sea change and moving to Mandurah. Before we can do that, my Dad and I, there are some modifications needed for the unit into which we will move.
We are modifying the bathroom by having the bath removed and a new, walk-in shower recess created. My Dad is 96, has a gammy leg, and is getting a little unsteady on his feet. There is no way we could have him trying to step into a bathtub for his shower. So, that entails removing all the wall and floor tiles and having them replaced, as well as a new bathroom vanity cabinet and some handrails. First step, find a tiler and a plumber, who are happy to do a small job. Then, I had to choose wall tiles, floor tiles, and cabinet. It is no exaggeration to say I have walked at least five km, up and down Albany Highway and its side streets, looking at tiles. In the end, they have come from Craft Décor (wall), Bunnings (floor), and Masters (vanity).
The wardrobe space in the second bedroom, his, is about 50 cm wide. Asking him to give up his 120 cm wardrobe, with four drawers as well, was not an option. So began the hunt for a spacious wardrobe, with sliding doors, because between his bed and the dressing table he will not relinquish, there was not enough room for a wardrobe with opening doors. After a few unsuccessful viewings of wardrobes on Gumtree, and trawling all the major furniture stores, we bought one for each of us in flat pack. It was finally a matter of walking into the store, where the floor staff recognised me (from my frequent visits) and me putting up my hands and saying, “Please, just take my money!” We have engaged a young local man to assemble them for us and he has proven to be a godsend. Dad has already hung his clothes.
We also have to downsize some of our lounge furniture, so I spent a few days looking at LazyBoy single chairs in the furniture stores; I found an excellent one on Gumtree, at a quarter of the retail price. Fortunately, my son was able to collect it for us and my Dad already loves it. While Warren and I footslogged through the displays, we found a small TV cabinet, that was exactly what we needed, and which is already in the unit. We bought a bed for guests, along with a couple of red bar stools that offer a bright spot of colour and the promise of hospitality. Notwithstanding the fact that he had to collect the TV cabinet from another suburb and Lisa had to get the second bar stool for me, from Midland. A smaller two-seater lounge is already on offer from the family, so that’s taken care of and the existing display cabinets for my cat collection and Robbie’s model cars will finish the lounge, very nicely, with the floor lamps we already have.
The lockup garage is already two thirds full with boxes, shelves, and chests we have packed and transported down there, in anticipation of bringing their contents in to furnish our new home. We will get the removalists to bring the heavy stuff: fridge, kitchen dresser, beds and mattresses, chests of drawers etc – so that’s not too physical except for the final clearing of the rooms. The intensive packing is done and Dad and I are living like squatters in our almost empty unit, except for my office. That is something I haven’t been able to contemplate yet – but the bonus of the move is that Mandurah already has broadband and I will be able to connect to the NBN when we do move the PC.
It really got physical when I decided to refurbish the kitchen, as well. I trekked from IKEA, to Masters, to Bunnings and back again, pricing cupboards and choosing colours and finishes. With those settled, and not being prepared to wait ten weeks for an installed kitchen, I decided we would do it ourselves. Todd knows how to build flat pack furniture! With scaled drawings in hand, it was back to the showrooms, for tiles for the kitchen splash backs and dining / kitchen floor. I have already collected five boxes of tiles for the bathroom walls and four boxes of tiles for the floor, brought them to the garage, then moved them to the laundry to be clear of the flat packs. Masters delivered the flat packs on a pallet; I discovered the basin top for the new vanity was broken clean in half, had them find a new one, loaded the broken one into my car (with the help of a passerby) and drove from Mandurah to Safety Bay to get it changed. I drove from Mandurah, to Cannington, to Belmont, collecting up the eleven boxes of tiles I needed for the kitchen/dining room floor and took them to Mandurah, too.
The curtains were chosen in Cannington, after visiting at least four soft furnishings stores; a second trip to get the rods, a third to return one curtain, which proved to be faulty when unpacked.
Next, I am off to the cabinetmakers, plans in hand, to get the bench tops made. The new stove is in the kitchen, not yet unpacked, with the old one already decommissioned. The measurements for the overhead cupboards have been checked and rechecked. The dining room vinyl is in the skip, which is already full and another one is coming.
So far, I have been able to spend one night in my new sea change home and am commuting from East Victoria Park every day while we are refurbishing. Luckily, all my tradesmen have family responsibilities and want to start after they have dropped the kids off at school, which gives me time to get there.
There has been no time to be idle, especially when making sure the tradies are scheduled in the right job order, but they are all great blokes, and are making it easy for me.
Already, I have walked by the water, up to the supermarket, to the Post Office and the tile shop. I have walked to the locksmiths, the coffee shop and the bank. It seems I am going to be getting physical, after all.
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