Last time we blogged, we were at Finisterre, the ‘end of the world’. Today, we are on the other side of the world. In Perth, Western Australia to be exact.
During the past year, our concept of what is ‘home’, and what is ‘abroad’ has got a little blurry. Everywhere we go, Clare hangs our prayer flags, so in one way, the flags have come to represent home on the move. England feels like base camp, since we both have friends and much loved family there. On the other hand, Noel has Australian citizenship, and calls Perth home, and we have great friends here too. So we have two base camps. Both, in their different ways, ideal bases to set off for more adventurous travels. Also places where we can earn money for the next stage.
Since we arrived back from the Camino, we have both done periods of work. Clare as a live-in carer in Dorset, which is work she really loves. Noel in strategic planning for North Metro Health Service, a short term post that came up at just the right moment, pairing up neatly with a house sit in the suburbs of Perth.
For this house sit, we are looking after a very sociable little cat called Jasmine. Clare calls her Tiddles, and she seems to respond just as affectionately to that. The suburb of Perth in which we are house sitting is like an Australian legoland. It’s a new build estate on drained marshes. The new residents, of whom there must be hundreds, if not a few thousand, get to pick a plot of land each, then visit a show home to pick a Lego house. It then gets put quickly into place. Together with mature trees lifted into holes in the ground outside each house, flowers and all.There is plastic grass unrolled into place and secured down with clips outside the front doors. There is a small shopping mall and brand new schools. And not much else. You expect to trip over little plastic lugs in the ground with Lego marked on them, to secure everything in place. It is peaceful here, other than the gaudy rainbow lorikeets in the trees, like a child’s play set.
All quite harmless, though slightly weird. The house is comfortable, and it’s providing a great base for getting some work done. Noel leaves for work each day. Clare has papers and articles to write, assisted by Jasmine who has learned to sit on the laptop keyboard. Jasmine gets her photo in the blog as an unofficial coauthor. We have been on a bushwalk, to the swimming pool, and to open heart meditation, and experimented with various events; an NLP group, ‘The Rocks’ (a church that looks like a climbing gym) and a Hillsong event. The weather is cold and wet, but as we are working anyway, this is fine.
We have also been exploring plans for the autumn. These are as yet still to be decided, but having an adventure is high in our hopes. At the moment there are multiple factors to be taken into account. Will be able to say more when we have a clearer picture.
Just now, Clare is getting over a streaming cold with Jasmine acting as a furry hot water bottle, and Noel is successfully organizing bits of North Metro. And there is apricot crumble for supper. Blessings enough.