Blue Shells, White Paint, Black Bags

It feels like we've made progress on the paperwork front recently - K has her Australian passport, and our home-office is now fully legal, displaying the requisite business name licence upon the otherwise bare wall.
When we first looked at our house in Nimbin I can remember that two of the things we said to ourselves were "it's a little bit tired, but nothing that a coat of paint won't fix", and "ooh, look at those lovely exposed beams". During the phase of falling in love with a new place, mental maths about ease of renovation come quite a way down one's list; but, now that we have got to the point where I am perched on a stepladder, applying masking tape and then renewing paintwork 15 foot up with paint dripping into my eyes, the reality has struck home fairly hard - if a room is three metres by three metres, and only a plain dado rail separates the wall from the ceiling, then prior to painting the ceiling, you have to apply 12 metres of masking tape, and then you have 12 metres of edging which needs to be painted carefully. Our lounge-cum-kitchen has eight exposed beams, squiggly dado edging around the beams, and a main beam through the middle upon which all the others rest. It is approximately seven metres long and four and a half metres wide. Even ignoring the squiggles, this results in 87 metres of masking tape and careful edging required - several times as much work, in other words, as edging a plain ceiling.
Prevaricating about painting walls and ceiling has become significantly easier since we bought a second control of the MarioKart. I only have one complaint about the game, which is that C seems to beat me too often. For the occasional gamer such as I (as opposed to the hardcore gamer) the balance, playability, learning curve and fun factor are simply superb.
This week, we are taking a break both from MarioKart and the joys of house painting. We are housesitting once again for a South African who has temporarily returned to her native land to run an ultramarathon. Being in Brisbane next week will be very convenient, as we are flying to New Zealand to catch up with friends in Auckland, and this way we will be able to get the train from the city to the airport instead of facing a three hour drive. Driving up on Thursday though, we had a pleasant surprise - the Tugun bypass is finally complete, routing through traffic behind the Gold Coast airport, and cutting 15-30 minutes (and a lot of stress) from the Nimbin-Brisbane drive, depending on traffic.
Having won a design competition for the town's sports kits a few weeks ago, C has gone one better this week, and has scored a deal to swap some design skills for a weekend yoga retreat in Mullumbimby next month.
I have been tired and grouchy because the side project I took on last month has dragged on, eating into my evenings, and turning out not to have been financially worth the time and effort invested (by a long chalk in the end). If I count in the lessons learnt, it was probably a worthwhile venture - but, being honest, one of those lessons is "never do anything like this again".
In our moving from being full-time employees to forming a partnership for our freelance contract work, there have been many lessons both big and small - and one of the hardest to learn has been that not all chunks of time are equal, and that it is very important to remember that, if the chunks of time when one is alert and wake already spoken for, then any work that one takes on that will have to be done in the remaining parts of the day will have a disproportionate impact on one's energy levels. Yes. That's a roundabout way of apologising for being late with the blog.

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