It has been already more than two weeks since we moved into our new home. At the moment James, his dog Biscuit, Leo&Natalia (a Spanish couple staying until January) and I are the permanent house residents. Daniel is still staying at his ex-partner’s place for a couple of nights per week to spend more time with Ieva, his young daughter. The rest of the week she will stay with Daniel at our house. Hence “full house” means a population of six persons plus one dog.

Every day we continue furnishing, cleaning, repairing or buying something (most of the time James and I) to transform the house into a cosy place. Apart from the couch arrangement which we discussed for a whole hour without finding a compromise the interaction works well and harmonious. Yesterday we started and successfully finished project clothesline. It seemed to be done in 20 minutes, just installing one additional wood beam and an angle bracket but in the end it took more than two hours because we were lacking in suitable nails, screws and some equipment for the electric drill. The result may look really improvised – in fact it is – but for about 50 kg wet clothes I am sure we achieved a durable solution. Today I tidied up my room and completely unpacked my trolley – for the first time since I arrived in Australia! This felt like my official settle down. I have some ideas how to pimp up my room with minimum effort and costs but it requires another journey to IKEA next week, probably by bus.

What have we accomplished so far? James cut some plants outside and fixed our Fisher&Paykel washing machine (year of construction 1999) which  we picked up for free at the kerbside. A valve had to be replaced and the whole control board, too. Costs in total for a rather modern looking washing machine with futuristic sound effects and programmable favourite button: 230 $. James did a remarkable job by researching all necessary information and interviewing different service hotline guys to find out about the displayed error code and how and where to get the new pieces he installed later on. Now it works perfectly and there is no need anymore for bike tours to the over-priced laundry in Paddington. What else? Together we moved tons of stuff from the garage into the house. The couches were too large for the side entrance so we had to move them from the garage  (which is connected to Patrick Street going parallel to Isaac Street) on the street for 200 m in a big U-turn to get them to the main house entrance at Isaac Street. Furthermore I cut self-adhesive pads for numerous chair legs to protect the flooring, removed the straw blinds at the front veranda and mounted a mirror. In the next weeks I will repaint the dining room (maybe with some help) and construct a simple desk for my room.  Maybe we can replace the louvre doors to James’ and my room by regular door leaves which provide us with some sound insulation. It will not change things much because the walls are thin as a post stamp but a noise reduction of 2-3 decibel will be an improvement though.

We are still searching for a bigger fridge and a flat screen TV. Our cockroach problem has decreased but now and then we still find one. I didn’t know that these pesky creatures are able to fly. We have no fly screens on the windows and doors are open during the day if somebody’s at home. Hard to keep all insects and bugs outside – we better  learn to live with them! James has called the Brisbane Council regarding the enormous acoustic level due to cars and trucks speeding through Isaac Street in particular during the rush hour from 5 am to 8 am. His complain is taken seriously but an answer about potential speed bumps or other actions for noise cancellation should not be expected before March 2013.

All in all we have made great progress although everything took longer than we thought but this is rather typical for me and nothing I have been afraid of. Next week I will try to send out my first applications and see if I can start voluntary work for example in an architecture office or somewhere else…

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