Sunday 20 February 2022

2022. A new home.

So here we are. Far North Queensland. It's been almost two months. It's gone quickly.

We arrived safely and our stuff arrived kind of safely. We didn't think about the friction that would happen driving 300km on a dirt road with pot holes and the jiggle. Not all the boxes made it in one piece, mostly my books got a bit misshaped and all the furniture have love nudges. 

It's still not quite home yet but it doesn't feel like a holiday. I'm sitting somewhere in the middle right now. A kind of hover. I've started back work which has brought back a little of the pre-baby normality and is nice to use my brain for more than just nap times, awake windows and bottles. Although the juggle is real working from home during nap times with a little one.

There has been quite a bit to get used to here in FNQ. It's very different to Sydney. It's hot. There are no traffic lights, there are no house numbers, there are no letter boxes. It's quiet. And red. Did I mention? it's hot.

We had our first cyclone warning during our second week here which fizzled out to nothing. I was quite excited for the cyclone to pass by us, I had gone and bought UHT milk, candles, 2 min noodles, tonic water, gin, limes... you know. The essentials. It wasn't meant to be bad, but enough that the boats got moored and others lifted out of the water. I thought we'd get a bit of wild weather pass by but nada. There is talk of a low pressure system coming in next week so we shall see.

Even though we are in Queensland, there is no swimming at the beaches. Too many things with sharp teeth. We did go for a drive to swim in a fresh water creek and ended up with a flat tyre. But don't worry, we checked the creek for crocs first... a new normal. Bonkers.

Grocery shopping here is not normal but then with all the shortages I'm hearing about in Sydney, it sounds quite similar. The shelves are kind of empty. During the wet season a barge comes in twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays (I think) which means everything is either reduced with the little yellow sticker but still perfectly fine to eat or there the shelves are bare. Or you've timed it perfectly and all the fresh stuff has been put out. Just a bit of getting used to really. 

I am car-less right now. Well, we are not car-less, I am just car-less as the only car available for me to drive is a manual and after one lesson from Tris, that was enough for both of us. Booking professional driving lessons is on my list of to-do's. Safe to say those lessons won't end in tears and yelling. 

Our home is nice, simple. It's long and flat, on quite a big block with a shed that is almost the same size as the house. We have a big backyard which means there is a lot of grass to mow and holly moley, does the grass grow quick right now. Everyone says it's because we're in the wet season and it slows down when it's dry. It's all so green. We're attempting to grow dragon fruit from some cuttings we got but if it's anything like the papaya tree we planted, they'll be dead in a week. Our kaffir lime tree seems to be doing ok (it's tiny) and we have a mysterious citrus tree which was already here and growing like wild fire. I'm keen to see what that will be when we get some fruit, from my googling I think it might an orange or grapefruit tree. We've also got lemongrass and ginger growing.

We are a short walk to the pool, park, gym and servo which seconds as a chicken shop/deli so I have been going for daily walks. Weather permitting. It's so quiet. I'm not sure if I am going walking during the wrong time of the day which could be quite possible but there aren't many people out and about. One of our first walks was to the local pool. I felt so proud of myself, I'd packed the pram up for a swim and lunch at the pool and walked there in the blistering heat to only get to the pool and find out it closes for 3 hours in the middle of the day. Since then we have acquired a blow up pool for the out the back which we can all fit in and cool down. 

Cooking wise, we've been so spoilt with homegrown giant papaya's, fresh caught mud crabs, prawns and fish, homemade spring rolls and papaya salad. Food seems to be the way people look after each other here. We often go for a walk, end up stopping in and saying hi to people and coming home with a pram full of goodies. We are being well fed which is warming. We've also been cooking more than we would before as there is no local thai or sushi restaurants or any food delivery whats so ever. We've made our own versions of a chicken parmy (don't worry, the bowlo does make a mean parmy), sushi rolls, papaya sorbet, thai curry from scratch with homegrown lemongrass, pizza with fresh dough, burgers and Tris has even made a home brew beer. I need to crack out my cookbooks and share some recipes soon. It's a bit daunting with writing a shopping list for specific ingredients when you have no idea whats going to be in the shops or not. 

I think we're all getting used to the heat a bit more. The little one is still a sweaty mess every-time we are outside or in the car and ends up just in a nappy outside or having a nudie splash in the shell pool. But that seems to be the norm around here. Nudie kids. Oh and his favourite thing right now is the tupperware cupboard.

Lots to get used to but lots to enjoy. 


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