As a few of you might have known, before I vanished off the Internet radar for a week or so (What? Drum Chat without that Drumble waffling on? What is the world coming to???.....I hear you gasp), I was looking at a number of rental properties still within my area of Sydney. Tell you what, it is getting crazy with house prices. Anyway, the reason why was that unfortunately the nice little three bedder that I was sharing, well, the land where that house, a granny flat that was behind me, plus the house and flat next door that the landlord and his wife owned was all going on the property market. Sonia and Brian, my landlords, a great couple who I've known for years and years (family friends), sadly had to sell up in order to raise money to help out their various (grown-up) children with their mortgages. I managed to rent the house next door to them, sharing it with a friend of mine for well around five years. The block that the two properties made up, by the way, went for auction last Saturday for AU$2,811,000!
Anyway, the few months prior to the sale I went around looking at various rentals, hoping they would be somewhat ideal to keep my drum tuition business going. Plus there was another thing to factor in....had to consider sharing a place with my parents once again (bit hard to do when you've been away from them for a number of years), but I had to, not just for the money factor, but the fact that they're getting on a bit, and unfortunately my sister is unavailable to keep an eye out as well (long story there, won't bore you with that). So, after weeks and weeks of scouting around, managed to find a great rental. A three-to-four bedder (the small study room's become my bedroom away from the front bedrooms), a nice large lounge, smallish but okay kitchen, laundry....the usual. Oldish sorta house, but it's comfortable. However, the biggest advantages are:
1) Double carport. So if we get the dreaded Sydney hailstorms, Dad's and my cars will be fine.
2) A huge brick double garage. So far, been spending quite a number of hours opening up storage boxes, taking stuff to the house and back. Plus sorting out my "shop's worth of drum and percussion gear"....without the garage, it would have been a logistical nightmare making sure everything had been moved and accounted for.
3) A largish room built within the garage (divided from the rest by a wooden wall) which has become a self contained drum room, with a small workbench area in the corner. This place in the garage has at least 10 power outlets, plus a loo and shower stall. The shower isn't working, which won't matter to me, as it's become at the moment an ad-hoc storage room for some percussion and unpacked boxes, plus some flattened storage boxes that will be either kept, thrown out, or made into something else. And the best thing about this part of the garage? There's no-one living behind us.....the back faces the football and cricket fields, as well as tennis nets, of a private school, plus there's a little nature reserve. The back ends of each neighbour's house on either side of us is roughly over 100 metres away from the garage (that's my guesstimate)....which means I can make noise without annoying them. The two garage roller doors are fully lockable, plus the door to the drum room is locked, and the door inside that is a heavy bar-grill door that's locked as well. Two small windows with bars over them. No one can get in, should they be tempted to jump over the fence.
4) Apart from the security of the garage, the carport has a chain and lock, and each entrance to the house has it's own security door. The windows all lock, and there's a security alarm. The place is like Fort Knox. Besides, my neighbourhood is not exactly a hotbed of crime.....it still has a small-town kind of feel, and everyone sort of knows everyone.
All of this for only $10 more than where I was sharing rent before. Not a bad bargain at all. Plus I won't have to worry too much about the folks. Their lease at their place was going to be up in a few months.....now with pooling our money together, they can take it a bit easy.
Oh, and the Net problem? Yeah, talk about frustrating. I told Telstra about a week prior to the move that I'll be relocating. Yeah sure, they reassured me, do your move and we'll get it happening within a few days after. Then I ring them on the Friday, two days after I'd moved on the Wednesday 11th. "Oh sorry sir, are you still at the old address?"...."Umm, nope, I'm at the new address....I thought this was updated on your system?" Turned out that my phone line was changed, but not my Net. "So how long will this take?" "Four days." "Oh well, guess I'll have to wait till Tuesday".....which meant that a band who wanted to send me mp3's via my email had to send me a hard copy, no other choice. "No sir, four working days" Which meant at that time I was speaking to them....the next week! Not good. At all. I had a rehearsal lined up for the following Tuesday (the 17th) and whilst some tunes I knew already, there were six new ones I had to learn. And fast! Ended up getting the band to email them to a mate nearby, who then burned me a CD (.....thanks Sim!). By the time I had other errands, a few students and things to see to, I ended up only having one day to learn the songs....the Tuesday itself! Was in the garage with the headphones on at 8am, and didn't leave it until 3:45pm....had enough time to pack a basic acoustic set, shower and a fresh set of clothes and then an hour's drive to rehearse! So it's been a "heads-down-and-see-you-at-the-end-of-the-gig" kind of week, for sure!
Anyway, can't keep yapping like this, these boxes don't unpack themselves you know? Don't worry, once the garage is more or less looking like a bomb's hit it, I'll get some pics happening.
Cheers from Down Under....