We are in the middle of a ‘polar blast’ here in southern Australia. Earlier this morning I checked the temperature online. 4c but feels like 1.5c was the reading. I couldn’t argue with the feels like.
The weather site predicted snow down to 600 metres. I live closer to sea level so we don’t get snow. Instead we get rain – lots and lots of it! The grass is certainly enjoying it – the green is almost luminescent. During the one sunny break we’ve had in days I took some photos of the Ash tree in my yard.
It’s been a while since I took a really close look at this tree and I was surprised to see signs of new leaf growth. Spring must be on it’s way, despite the cold.
I’ve lived with this tree a year now. My lease was up this week and for a wild moment I thought a year would be extent of the time I spent living beside the Ash’s graceful presence. The tree is beautiful but the surrounding area has its problems. It’s very busy and the roads are congested. I am surrounded by building sites. The possums leaping and bounding across the flat tin roof every night have heart attack potential. I installed some motion sensor lights but that only makes the critters run faster. They make even more noise when they do that. The very bad drummer over the back fence continues to bang out the same Green Day tune on Saturday afternoons. And so it goes…
I’ve been looking for a place to rent in a quieter area but can’t find anything. I live on a fixed income and rentals in my price range are hard to find. I’d given up when last weekend I saw a little house in a town closer to my family and one I’d love to live in. Online the place looked ideal. I applied to inspect it and drove across the peninsula to the north side on Wednesday afternoon.
Port Phillip Bay shimmered in clear white light as I drove along the cliff road. Off in the distance I could see the city of Melbourne hovering on the horizon like a dream city. I drove down past the magical beach where I’d seen signs of old aboriginal habitation during the summer then turned up a side street to the house.
Pulling up outside the houss I saw a number of other people were also there for the inspection. Rather than getting out and mingling everyone sat in their cars ignoring each other till the girl from the Real Estate arrived. We then all shuffled through the house barely registering each other’s presence. There was a competitive edge to the whole proceedure.
The house was quite nice. Some of the rooms were very cramped and the place had an odd floor plan. It was situated on a very large block of land with carefully manicured gardens and vast lawns. Mowing it would be a chore but I thought maybe I could employ someone to do that. With the other people hot my heels I handed in my application. The man right behind me was very pushy. He and the Real Estate girl were having an animated chat as I moved away.
The sea was even more magical as I drove out. I tried to imagine living in the house but could mostly only imagine going for walks along the beach. The house and its surroundings felt kind of unreal. Still I kept my hopes up. Maybe it could work – maybe I’d get it.
I didn’t. On Friday lunch time I got an email telling me my application had been unsuccessful. I don’t often get knocked back on rentals so I was a bit disappointed but, deep down, I didn’t mind all that much. There was something not quite right about the place despite the proximity to the magical beach.
So here I am – still living beside the Ash tree. Spring is apparently around the corner. The traffic on the main road still moans and groans. The weekend footy players in the park are hollering at each other and blowing whistles maniacally despite the weather. The town with the magical views of the sea is still a 1/2 hour drive away and the rental situation is still in limbo. Life goes on…