By the Bay
Over my dead body!
It is quite funny now - but I've never forgotten the story. We had been renting a house for a while and we'd saved up some money - and I'd had enough of the house and the location. I wanted to move.
Quietly without any fuss I did my research, and decided that the Wynnum Manly area would be a good place to settle. The children had gone their own ways, we did not have schooling to worry about, and MM was working on the south side of the river that divides the city of Brisbane into two. He whinged about the heavy traffic that he had to endure each morning and afternoon,and the heat of summer was not diminished by any cool sea breeze as our northside home was "trapped" between a high ridge.
Just before MM's 50th birthday I raised the issue with him. I suggested that we research living in the Wynnum Manly area. I told him I'd like to move there and there some positives.
"Over my dead body" was the reply. It was late January 1994. I remember it well.
Reluctantly he did come over and we spent one whole day, just after his birthday in February, looking at houses. I had a list of things I was seeking in any house, and we found none on that day that matched that list. I had to agree that at that point I didn't feel enthused about the houses we had seen.
The following day I had a phone call from the real estate agent who had shown us around. A house had just come on to the market and I think meets all the criteria on your list he said. So the next day in my lunch hour I drover over to the area, and was most impressed with the house. Needed some work, but it was doable, and if we managed to get it at the "right" price, we could do it.
MM was unimpressed. He refused to look at the house, refused to contact the real estate agent, and announced the matter was closed.
On the Wednesday I went to work trying to fathom out how I could change his mind, but thought it was unlikely. He's a "bloke" and doesn't like change. Maybe I would have to bide my time.
At lunch time I was called to the phone. It was MM. "Guess what???" I could hear that he was excited but had no clue about his enthusiastic tone.
"We've bought the house!" As one can imagine I was shocked. I mean we didn't even get to discuss it. But he acknowledged it had most of the points on my list.
We did move in just over a month later, with the plan that we would "do it up" and sell it within 5 or 6 years.
We love the area - in winter it is warmer because of the sea, and in summer it is cooler because of the sea breezes. Our daughter and her family live close by, and it is convenient for travelling to Brisbane city, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine coast. We can catch a river boat from nearby, and the airport (domestic and international) is a short drive away.
And that has been where we have lived. Still live. My plan to move on has been discarded. Not by me, but by MM - who, as I mentioned, does not like change. Sure he was unemployed for a short time, and we had a business that did not do well, but far from being the quiet semi rural area when we moved in all those years ago, it has become "the main drag" and more, it has been the popular road and corner for the hoons, speeders, and idiots that seem to think that they can do whatever they like on the roads.
Now I don't care if they kill themselves, but, as an ex-nurse I have been on the scene of the many accidents that have been on this corner - usually as a result of speed. I'm over it. I am over the constant traffic noise on an almost constant basis, and being a light sleeper I am woken every hour or so, or indeed often lay awake for hours as I endure the endless traffic noises. I can hear MM snoring - with not a care in the world.
It is not just the noise that bothers me - I've aged a little in the last 16 years and have a gammy foot - and I do not manage the stairs as well as I used to. I cannot escape the struggle up, and down several times a day. The pain is too much.
We haven't done the renovations originally planned, and the house has become my prison to some degree, although I've managed to cope by "running away" and being an ESL teacher in China or South Korea.
I love this area, though not the corner of the world that was our dream home all those years ago. My dreams have come apart.
(I've included the map - and the area pinpointed is not exactly where we live. About 2 kms away from the sea.)