Tuesday 20th June 2017

This house is so big that Troy and I can’t yell from a room and have the other person hear it. Today I had to text him to come into the living room so he could help me.

Benita and Cam came over this morning, which was such a big help. Cam and Troy put the bunks back together and shifted around a few bits of furniture, and Benita unpacked the food into the pantry. Winnie helped me put some towels in the linen cupboard and a few things into the laundry. Poor Dempsey was not feeling well and mostly cried with a very sad face, or strolled around holding bits of cookie or slice or, at one stage, an apple.

The cats also provided much amusement to the children. Actually, I’m pretty amused at them myself. Ootchy (who was not my favourite after he woke me up repeatedly by walking on my head and mewing in the middle of the night) discovered all the window sills, and then spent all afternoon perched on top of a mattress that is leaning up against the wall. Nemesis kept hiding behind mattresses and between bits of furniture and occasionally inside a cupboard, but he did sleep on Soren’s bed for a while and has come out exploring this evening. The most amazing thing though is that the cats are hiding in the same room! At one point I was patting both of them while they sat facing each other on a windowsill, and there was no scratching, hissing, or attempts to injure and maim. I’m not sure how long this détente will last, but I suppose I can live in hope that they will bond over their shared fear of the new house.

Troy and I met the kids in the court this afternoon, which was great. The two from the house opposite were jumping on the trampoline in their backyard when we drove back in from the supermarket – they immediately started jumping higher so they could see us over the fence. I waved back when the boy waved at me, and I guess they took that as a sign of friendliness and came right on over to say hi. The boy and girl from the trampoline are eleven and eight (I think), and they have a five year old sister too. They were with another boy from next door, who is nine, and then his eleven year old sister came along too. They also have a little brother who is five. I asked them about the other houses, and they said that next door to them is another eleven year old and they have a sibling in year 8, but they don’t come out much. Our other next-door-neighbour have two girls, who are in year 8 and (I think) year 5. The ones we met said they all like to come out into the court and play with each other, and they were super excited to have more kids move in. So it looks like Jericho and Soren have some ready made friends. They all go to the Catholic primary school so they won’t be school friends, but in a way I think that’s not a bad thing. It might be good to have school friends and home friends. The high school aged kids go to Ballarat High School though, and the grade 6 boy from today said that’s where he’s going to go next year.

This all feels like a weird, alternate world. This big house and neighbour kids and having a sister nearby to hang out with and this town where everything is so close…I feel like I’m just blinking around me in amazement, waiting for something to feel real.

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