Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Back Again

Back in Sydney - the last time we will fly in from overseas and head to this house. I wondered how it would feel, seeing as how it's kind of the beginning of the end for us as Sydneysiders. Fact is, it didn't seem all that big a deal.

Sure, after six weeks of travel it was always going to be a genuine pleasure to plop down in my own chair and fall asleep in my own bed. But neither of us felt a twinge of regret that we will be moving on. Probably two reasons - the big one is that we are really excited to be starting our new adventure in Tasmania, but also we know we will be in Sydney a lot over the coming years. How could we not with so many of our loved ones here.

When we were unloading our luggage from the taxi, a neighbor walked by with a couple of kids. We were standing right next to the sign that announced the house had been SOLD, so it wasn't too surprising to hear her say to LK, "You must be our new neighbors. Welcome to Greenwich!"

LK explained to her that, no, we've been your neighbor for about 10 years and we're the ones leaving in a few weeks. Now, some people might find that a little awkward, but God love the people of Greenwich, our neighbor just smiled brightly and said, "Well, then. Good luck with your packing!" as she shooed the kids down the sidewalk.

Everything was fine in the house, but we did have a few technical glitches that took some of the shine from our return. Only mildly serious, we had set the DVR to record the Top Chef episodes while we were gone, but about half of them had failed to record. So no Top Chef marathon for us this week.

Much more serious, there were hardly any ice cubes in the automatic cube maker in the freezer - just a handful of what I presume to be six week old cubes at the bottom of the bin. It was barely enough to chill LK's Amber Alert. I drank wine rather than have to drink voddie at room temp.

The good news here is that the lever had somehow been pushed up (or down, I cannot recall which). It's now adjusted, and the new ice cubes have been clinking into the bin regularly all day. I can tell by the smile on LK's face that it is music to her ears.

The other technical failure was the car battery. Every time we go away for more than a couple of weeks, we return to a dead battery. Last time, in September, the battery took forever to charge and never registered a full charge.

So, feeling quite proud of myself for being so organized, I carefully removed the connections from the battery when we left on November 21. When I reconnected them yesterday I was not happy that I couldn't even get the radio to start, much less turn over the engine.

I called the NRMA (our version of the AAA) this morning and told them to just bring a new battery because it was obvious my old battery wouldn't hold a charge. Within the hour, the man showed up. He looked at the battery and nodded when I told him I needed a new one.

Then he took out what looked like a coarse wire bottle brush and scrubbed the posts and contacts of the battery. Without a word, he walked to the ignition, turned the key and the car purred.

He smiled at me and said that when there is corrosion, no contact is made and the current doesn't flow. Great, first morning back and I end up calling in Mr Wizard to tell me stuff I am too dumb to figure out myself.

"So, I guess I don't need a battery," I said. He smiled, in that way that is unique to people who know what they're doing when they deal with people who don't know. I didn't even wave to him when he drove away.

I thought LK would be delighted to know that we had saved the cost of a new battery. About all she said was, "That is so typical of you to decide you need to buy a new battery without finding out if it can be fixed first. It's just like when you sent me in to buy a new toaster rather than see if we could fix the one we had."

One thing I've noticed since we got back to Sydney. Not much has changed.

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