House Hunting

This is a crazy time of year for everyone and I have to say that ‘house hunting’ is not up there on my Wish List of preferred activities in the lead up to Christmas!

Nevertheless, with Mr D now employed at the same workplace as me, we have been out there looking.

Unexpectedly, we’ve found a house that all 3 of us really like. It’s:

  • 1km from our workplace
  • same number of rooms as current house but each room is quite a lot smaller
  • overall smaller house footprint (= cheaper)
  • older house than current (= cheaper) but very well maintained

new house

The house goes to auction on December 5th. We are in a flurry of paperwork, attempting to organise bridging finance so we can bid on this place.

We’ve had our current house valued and have a very good idea of the expected selling price range.

  • If the new house sells as the ‘minimum’ suggested price, we would comfortably see ourselves mortgage free after our house sells.
  • If the new house sells for the ‘maximum’ suggested price, we’d wind up with a small mortgage after the move (less than $30,000.)
  • If the new house sells for 20% over the maximum suggested price, we’d end up with the same mortgage as we have now but living a few blocks from work, in a smaller, easier-to-maintain home, in an area with much better transport and services than now.

The lure of an outside chance at being ‘mortgage free’ or having a low mortgage is just far too great to resist.

Mr 11 would move schools and come with us if this happens. He is quite ok with that idea – he came to work with me 2 weeks ago and hung out for the day with his grade level, and loved it.

Wish us luck with getting the financial approvals in place in time to bid!

Paris, Melbourne

Federation Square, Melbourne tonight:

About 3,000 people turned up for a vigil for the victims and families of the terrorist attacks in France.

It was a really beautiful night. Speeches were made that mostly focussed heavily on peace and community unity. La Marseillaise was sung a capella, followed by Advance Australia Fair and Imagine. A minute’s silence was held.

After the formal events, the crowd spontaneously joined arms over shoulders and a wave went through the crowd, pushing everyone outwards into a wide circle. I don’t think this planned by the organisers; it just happened.

The crowd stayed in a circle for a long time, arm in arm, in silence. Then people one by one started brining out posters, candles, flowers, teeshirts, banners – whatever they had with them.

(So far none of the families from school have pulled out of the French Exchange trip, nor has the school cancelled it. Hopefully, full steam ahead next Tuesday.)


So sad and a very disturbing and chilling time. The Porte Ouverte hashtag is amazing; that in the midst of confusion and terror, people would open their doors to strangers.


Message to Jamie – a blog commenter (without her own blog for me to visit.) Are you still in Paris? We hope you are ok and not anywhere near the areas of these attacks.

At work, we have had our yearly French Exchange Trip in planning for over a year, organised by the only other French teacher in our school, my close colleague, J.

The school trip is due to fly into Paris on Tuesday week.

I don’t know if the families will want to go ahead at this stage. I hope they will, but I have to be honest…if it were my own child, I couldn’t put them on that plane at the moment.

It’s been an exhausting 24 hours trying to piece together details to work out what happens next.


‘When Paris turned out its lights, the rest of the world turned them on.’ Credit: Mr Finigin, Imgur.

There is a remembrance vigil on tomorrow in Federation Square, Melbourne @ 6pm run by the French Community. As a French teacher, I am planning to attend.


On a separate note, we went out to dinner in Dandenong again on Friday night, just before these events unfolded. It was Mr D’s final day of work in his old job. We were commemorating the occasion and this is one of our local restaurant areas.

It was ‘business as usual’…women were out everywhere in chadors and niqabs supervising children playing in playgrounds late in the evening on a warm, near-summer’s night.

We didn’t buy dessert at the restaurant but slipped through the McDonald’s drive-through to get a Sundae for J. Even the drive-through attendant was wearing a hijab, neatly matching her McDonald’s uniform.

Our new Prime Minister’s comments today about Australia being a ‘successful’ multicultural nation are incredibly welcome. The thought of people stirring racial intolerance and more discord over asylum seekers and immigrants in the wake of the Paris attack chills me.

This is where we live. We can’t afford to have people conflating the need for outrage over Paris with a desire to make ‘strangers’ unwelcome in our homes.

They didn’t do it Paris, even while there was still blood on their streets.