Last days

Wednesday: my last day at Atlassian.

Since the news of my departure became public, I’ve been really surprised at how many people have said that I’ll be missed, and commented on the impact I’ve made. I mean, of course, I know I’m awesome ;) but it’s come as a really pleasant surprise to hear from others that I will be missed. Maybe it’s part of a big guilt trip conspiracy?

My last day was a mix of feelings. I’m sad at leaving behind a place that I wouldn’t have chosen to move on from yet, but I’m excited – and a little anxious – about the future and the unknowns that await me there.

In this final Sprint, my team had decided to try not having stand ups, but there was one scheduled for my final day. I was a little suspicious – in fact, I had wondered if they would do something to my desk on my last day, like wrapping it in tin foil or something. I was relieved to arrive and everything was as it should be.

At 9:45 the team gathered, and I was trying to compose an update – why is it that in those few minutes of walking to the stand up, I always forget what I’ve been working on? Luckily this time, I didn’t need to, to my surprise, the team presented me with a gift: a beautiful Wedgewood teapot! I wasn’t really expecting anything (well, maybe some jelly beans!) and I was impressed that a team of guys could choose something that suited me so well and was really pretty. It was so well packed I didn’t want to take it out before it got to Melbourne so I haven’t tried it yet, but I can’t wait to find a shelf or somewhere to put it out in the new place.

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As the day went on, other people stopped by my desk to chat, and I made slow progress on my final work trying to complete an upgrade task. After lunch, a last packet of jelly beans from the lolly bar, and a final check in, I was done. My team lead presented me with a card (so many signatures, I was pretty blown away), I packed up my things, returned my swipe cards and signed out of HipChat: “BAAAAAIIIIIII!”

Leaving was strange, I don’t know what I expected. As I walked to the ferry, I hoped that the upgrade task I’d been working on would finally get through QA, and it was weird to think that there was nothing else I could, or would, do to make it happen now.

Thursday: my last day in Manly.

All week, I’d been saying that if I could go back, I’d have finished work last Friday and had a week off. Today, I was glad that I didn’t, because I really wouldn’t have known what to do with myself.

I spent the morning finishing off the packing, labelling the boxes and tidying up. There isn’t that much left to do, except to stand in front of the stack of boxes, sigh, and wonder where we’re going to put it all. I think that if I’d had a week off to do that, I’d have driven myself insane.

I headed to the beach at lunchtime, and wandered along the Steyne, paddling in the shallow water. It was a little too cold for me to go for a dip – there were loads of people in the water, but I’m just a big wuss when it comes to the cold, I’ll leave them to it. It was nice to just get my feet wet and sandy.

By the surf club, I got a cup of tea – no fridge in our apartment, so no tea for me there – and sat on the beach, drinking my tea and reading my kindle. It was lovely and sunny, warm, comfortable, except for the sand blowing across me.

I met Andrea for lunch in Jellyfish, salt and pepper squid with aioli, yum! And wine, double yum! I had promised myself that on my last day in Manly, I would buy a picture from Saltmotion, a lovely photo gallery that specialises in pictures of Manly beach and waves, so after lunch we headed over – I’d already picked out two that I wanted! The first was a beautiful underwater shot with blue tones that would look amazing in our bedroom, and the other one was a sunrise shot across to Shelly beach, that would remind me of Manly from the new apartment.

Back home with the post-shopping glow, I sat out in the garden reading but it was so hard to relax. In the end I went back into town and found a new “Manly beach” keyring (my old one was rusty!) … and a half bottle of Jacob’s Creek Chardonnay, well that’ll keep me going in the garden for the rest of the afternoon …

By the time Silvio got home, it was too cold to sit outside, but the blogs were almost done – result :) we packed what we could of the things that were left, and headed out for a meaty dinner at Ribs and Rumps …

And that was it, my last day and night in Manly, for a few months anyway. I’ll be back for a visit before too long, providing Andrea will have me to stay! ;) I’m now sitting in the wharf bar on Friday afternoon, whiling away the last hour or so with a glass of white wine. Today has gone from sunny and warm to windy and cold, so I’m the only person braving the jetty bar for once, but it’s nice to watch the choppy sea across the wharf and hear the light rain spattering across the umbrellas.

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Our things are already well on their way, and it won’t be long now until I say farewell to Manly too. It’s been awesome, but now it’s time to find out what the next chapter holds. I can only hope it’s as good as the last one :)

Painting a Rainbow

After our first visit to the flat to start moving things in, it was a looooooong two week wait before we went back, this time to paint the walls, over two weekends. I couldn’t wait! Somewhere in the back of my brain, I knew it was going to be hard work, but I didn’t care, it would be so much fun!

This is fun

This is fun

The first weekend started with a late Friday night flight, it was gone 1am by the time we finally got to bed, and the prospect of jumping out of bed early to start painting had lost its appeal. In the end we got off to a slow start after shopping for breakfast and a delivery.

I like painting, I’m less keen on taping, but it’s a necessary evil. Eventually, we started on the bedroom. This will be our main bedroom, and the walls will be a lovely bright blue. The paint went on pretty easily, and was looking great, even after just one coat. But there was no resting, by mid-afternoon it was time to move on to turning the living room orange and red …

Taping

Taping

From white to blue!

From white to blue!

First coat done!

First coat done!

The orange paint was a bit of a disappointment, it was quite thin and quickly obvious that we’d need at least three coats – as if we didn’t already have enough to do. It was still pretty fun though – and drinking beer whilst rollering helped to make it even better … (I left the edges to Silvio!)

With a lot of hard work, we managed to paint a second coat in the bedroom as well as finishing the first coat of both the orange and red in the living room on Saturday. As we got up after a quick takeaway dinner (from Hooked again – I think I already am …) to finish painting the red wall, I was utterly exhausted – even more so than after the first weekend – at least we’d had time to eat out then! I was so glad to collapse into bed, I don’t even remember closing my eyes …

The first coat in the living room done

The first coat in the living room done

Suddenly, it was Sunday morning, and yet again there was no rest for the wicked. To have any chance of finishing the apartment the following weekend, we had to be up and working hard again early.

By the time we had to go on Sunday, we’d finished a second coat throughout the living room, and the walls were looking much more even. The red paint was starting to run low, I was crossing my fingers we’d have enough to finish it off when we returned.

With so many different colours, and a limited amount of paint brushes, we were washing the brushes several times during the day. I was highly amused when Silvio used his hairdryer to dry them off after :)

Drying the paintbrushes

Drying the paintbrushes

After a long trip back to Manly, I was really tired. It was my last full week at work, and by the end of it I was wishing I had decided to finish that Friday, and had a few days to relax in Manly the following week!

But no, it was back to the airport and on another late flight, Sky bus, taxi back to Prahran. As we walked in the front door to the apartment, I think both of us had the same reaction: “It’s very orange!” And it is – it’s pretty bright, but I love it. It knocks the spots off the old white walls, anyway!

On Saturday, I went off to do one of my favourite things – shopping! I had a list of places to go for various things we needed, while Silvio stayed home to attack the painting for the final room. Dennis would also be visiting to put up our new blinds and drapes.

After a stressful start when the car we booked had a flat battery, I was off – it was a beautiful sunny day and actually pretty pleasant driving along the highway. I forgot my iPhone cable and window mount, so navigating was a bit challenging, but I only got lost once, and that was because Google maps was WRONG!

Out and about in Melbourne

Out and about in Melbourne

I got home to find we had lovely ceiling-to-floor dark blue drapes in the bedroom, and finally a little privacy from the blinds in the living room. They looked great, especially in the bedroom, it made the place feel even more like home.

Bedroom curtain

Bedroom curtain

New blinds!

New blinds!

Temporary bed in the new room

Temporary bed in the new room

Silvio was almost done with the bedroom – amazing! I got started taping the living room for its final coating, and over the afternoon we managed to finish the orange paint and repaint the second bedroom with a final coat of light green. Our apartment is a rainbow of colour :)

Second bedroom all painted

Second bedroom all painted

On Sunday, with the natural morning light filling the apartment and highlighting the inconsistencies on the red wall, Silvio did a final coat, stretching the red paint to last across the whole wall, even with a bit left for final touch ups if we need them.

Morning light in the living room

Morning light in the living room

I sat outside on the balcony with a wooden table that we don’t have room for in the apartment, sanding it and then painting it with a special protective woodstain so that we can use it outside. I can’t wait to see it all finished (3 coats later, with 16 hours drying time, it’s going to be a while …!) – it’s nice to have things that you have to put a bit of effort into!

Working outside on the table

Working outside on the table

The second weekend was definitely a lot less exhausting than the first one, and it was a big relief to know that at least all the painting is done, now all that’s left is bringing the rest of the furniture from Sydney and finding somewhere to fit it all in – that, I am NOT looking forward to!

Moving to Melbourne, part 3: weekend visit

I slept like a kid at Christmas the night before we went to Melbourne to get the keys for the new flat, waking up at regular intervals only to be disappointed it still wasn’t yet time to get up. 5:30 still felt too early when it came, although watching the sun shine pink and gold over the city was nearly enough on its own to make the tiredness worthwhile. I braved a chilly wind on the front of the ferry to take dozens of photos.

Sydney opera house

Sydney opera house

From the quay to the train station to the airport, I was impatient to get to the lounge, where a yummy breakfast of pancakes was waiting! I was so disappointed to find that the machine seemed to be out of mix, until one of the staff pointed out that there was another one – yay, pancakes! I topped off my healthy breakfast with some raisin toast (what? It’s got fruit in it) but failed miserably to get the coffee machine to dispense any hot water for tea, so I had to wait until we were on the plane for that. 

Pancakes!

Pancakes!

In Melbourne, suitcases collected, we got on the Sky bus into the city before finding a taxi to the developer’s office to collect the keys to our new home. It was so exciting (despite being about ready to fall back to sleep again) – Silvio went in while I waited in the cab, it seemed to take forever, but finally he was back with an enormous white box and two giftwrapped packages, which was all very exciting. 

At the apartment block, we buzzed ourselves in to the rather posh looking, clean and sparkly lobby (wonder how long it will stay that shiny?) and squeezed ourselves and our cases into the lift (hope the furniture fits …) On our floor, at the end of the corridor, we found our door and looked at each other with huge grins: our new home! 

Having already seen the photos, it wasn’t a big surprise, but my first impression of the new flat was how lovely and light it was inside. The floors had been replaced since Silvio’s initial inspection when they’d fitted the wrong ones, so the living room and bedrooms were all finished with beautiful light wood. Everything in the kitchen was new and shiny and clean and the entire place was empty apart from our two small cases and the bag of gifts from Caydon (that wasn’t going to last long though!) I wandered through opening cupboards and wardrobes and inspecting everything, while Silvio sorted the keys and unwrapped the presents: two coffee cups and an engraved keyring. I immediately assumed ownership of one of the mugs, which got plenty of use that weekend for tea. 
We didn’t have much time to gaze around though, we had a van to collect, things to buy, storage to empty. At the van rental place, we were told to our dismay that the van was 2.2m high – our basement parking spot has a max height of 2.1, and our internet research had indicated this van would fit! I wasn’t looking forward to trying to find on-street parking in Prahran on a Friday night, that’s for sure. 

How do I get in to this thing?

How do I get in to this thing?

Living out of suitcases

Living out of suitcases

Much needed bed

Much needed bed


In the meantime, we were off appliance shopping – yay! I love shopping, any kind of shopping, although Silvio would probably have been happier with a nap instead. Despite that, a few hours later, our new fridge – complete with a rack for wine bottles :) – was ordered for delivery on Saturday. It was late afternoon when we finally made it to Silvio’s storage unit, where we had to at least pick up the mattress, bedding and bed base to be able to sleep. We didn’t do such a great job of packing the van, I’m sure the rather sour faced lady in the office was secretly sniggering at our efforts as we tried to push the mattress in before remembering there was a side door, then tried several different ways to fit in the bed base before we finally got there. 

No more room in the van

No more room in the van

Back at the apartment, we looked at the height of the barrier in the parking lot against the van, and decided it was worth a try. Silvio inched it forward and luckily it fitted – carrying all that furniture to the lift would have just about finished me off. The building manager set up a lift dedicated to us, which was great – it just stayed where it was with the doors open until we had filled it and took it up to our floor, where it stayed until we emptied it and went back down for the next lot. I just hope we’ll be able to book the lift and do the same for the big move from Sydney …

The final trip of the day was back to the storage to fill the van with the rest of the stuff from storage. It all went in, just about, and we left it in the car park and headed out for dinner, feeling exhausted and grimy, but too hungry to wait any longer.

Hooked!

Hooked!

Dinner was awesome! After pancakes in the lounge that morning we’d survived the day mostly grazing on the go, but Silvio had been talking about “Hooked”, a fish and chip cafe just around the corner – I didn’t need asking twice. They brought us a salty, steaming carb fest, which I doused with malt vinegar – MALT VINEGAR! I don’t think I’ve had that before in Australia – and then we devoured it, with a glass of wine, before crawling home.

I couldn’t wait to try the shower, and it didn’t disappoint – lovely hot, pounding water. Just one minor problem though … it had a major leak, spouting a stream of water on to the ceiling! Hopefully that’ll be fixed before our next visit, but in the meantime we made do with a fix using a sponge and a hairband :)

There, I fixed it

There, I fixed it

Saturday morning, we had time for a lie in since the van was already filled – yay! But then the long job of emptying it via the lift – it was a lot harder than the previous night, since most of the stuff was in smaller boxes. By the end, I was running up and down the corridor between lift and apartment, desperate to get to the end of the pile.

Before we got too into the unpacking, we had a visit from Dennis, to look at some blinds and drapes. He spent quite a while explaining the different options, it was all kind of fun really, like shopping without leaving the house. The rest of the day we mostly spent unpacking and trying to sort through a mountain of stuff, deciding what to keep and what to get rid of, and then trying to figure out how to get rid of it – some things were too big for the (miniscule) garbage chute.

We had time to go out for lunch before the fridge arrived, where we got free drinks (yay) when the food was slow! It was good too, I’m going to be so spoilt when we move here.

Back in the apartment, I got the sample paint pots out :) It was so much fun – I slapped reds and oranges on the walls in the living room, blue in the main bedroom and a light green in the second one.

Painting a rainbow

Painting a rainbow

Later, we headed out to IKEA for yet more shopping, we didn’t end up buying much except a bin, which we definitely needed. When the fridge finally arrived, the poor delivery man had to wheel it all the way through the car park to the lift. As we were walking down the corridor, I joked, “it’s just a few stairs once you get inside …” He didn’t seem too amused though, I think he might have believed me.

Later that night, Silvio set up his keyboard and a retro bar stool, and sat practicing while I drank red wine and squinted at the paint colours, trying to imagine what the room will look like painted. The music was pretty relaxing so I hope he keeps it up :) I’m not sure where on earth the keyboard is going to fit though, maybe on the balcony …

Calm in the chaos

Calm in the chaos

View from the balcony

View from the balcony

Chilling with the keyboard

Chilling with the keyboard


On Sunday morning, we went early to a local paint shop to buy the paints and find another sample while we still had the van, then went to Tusk for brunch. I had a craving for eggs with hollandaise sauce, it was really good, although we couldn’t get a table in the place we’d really wanted to try – maybe next time.

For the rest of the afternoon, I tried to sand a table so that I could paint it with some outdoor protective stuff and use it outdoors, while Silvio played the keyboard again and we tried to tidy up before heading back to Sydney. We both wanted to stay! It already feels like a home. But it won’t be long now, that was last weekend and next weekend we’ll be going back to do proper painting – I can’t wait!

Sunrise from the ferry

Sunrise from the ferry