The Lead-up to the Big Trip

Friday 8th December, (Launceston).

This chapter wasn’t going to start until we headed off on the big trip, but I feel as though I have to start now as the last week and a half since we have been home things have not been normal.

When we arrived in Launceston, before we reached home, we both said to each other that we really did not want to be back, we had enjoyed our time touring so much that all we want to do is go back. We then realised that we weren’t going to be happy going back until we had sold the house and had no hang-ups or ties to what was home when we finally return to the mainland.

Our first concern was to sell the house. I was a little concerned that the agent we engaged to sell the house while we were gone wasn’t doing enough along those lines for us as we had heard nothing at all from him while we were away. The first thing was to read the agreement that we had made so that we could decide what we could do in regard to employing other agents, then it was to our amazement to find out that we were tied to the agreement with this agent for 120 days which is at this stage only half over. The fault is mainly ours that we let the situation occur but I feel we were coerced into signing the agreement at the time by the agent who was telling us that there was no need to read it because it was only a standard agreement, and as we were in a rush to leave for the mainland we did not think about it any more and just signed. We were then led to believe that it was only a 30-day agreement. This discovery put pay to any ideas to employ any other agents, especially when the agent refused to release us from the agreement when I asked.

Then an amazing phone call from Jason and Angie, a couple we know through the church that Linda attends, basically suggesting a rental of our house for a lengthy period on the basis that if we didn’t sell they could house sit while they saved some money for a deposit for a house. I didn’t think much more about it until I spoke to Paster Rob at the church while I was discussing other matters with him, but that is another story. He suggested to me that after hearing about the arrangement, and the fact that they were very sincere, he thought it was a good idea, on the basis that we have trouble selling. Further discussions with Jason and Angie had them coming up with an idea of rental purchase on the basis of a standard contract arrangement that he learned on one of his jobs as a real estate agent himself. It appears to work on the lines that they will pay a predetermined amount per week as if renting for twelve months, and then pending raising finance, guarantee they will purchase the house. They will be responsible for all maintenance on the house, including payment of rates, during the period of rental. The rental payed will then be refunded to them and become part of the deposit and they pay us a predetermined amount for the house. In the event they cannot raise finance the amounts payed as rental become ours. This whole idea seams to be one where we will lose over the 12 month period, but I see it as no different to the original idea of theirs of renting for 12 months and then staying in the house until we sold it, and we can now return to the mainland basically knowing that we have a sale and all our concerns having hassles at home will be non existent.

I have made bookings on the ferry to Melbourne on the 15th of January and can now only look forward to returning for our epic journey.

Further discussions with centerlink since we returned home revealed details of what was required of us, or me, to be eligible for the “New start” allowance. I would not be required to look for work as was previously thought, but instead I would qualify if I undertook part in voluntary work of a total of 32 hours per fortnight, hence the discussions with Paster Rob. I thought that it would be appropriate if I were to work for the church. As it turned out the church did not have any work that I could partake in and in any event I started to consider that these requirements were for me to work almost half the time I did previously for only about a quarter of the pay. My idea of taking the redundancy originally was to never have to work again, so I will have to give serious consideration to what actions I will have to take to try to make Linda eligible for her partner share of the allowance if I don’t partake in the voluntary work as her payment is dependant on my making a claim. I am only going to be eligible for the allowance until we return to the mainland anyway but seeing Linda does not have any other requirements to receive her allowance I will have to investigate if there is a way for her to receive her allowance without me having to claim.

I am at present camping on my own at Devonport for the weekend to test a modification to the suspension of the panel van and enjoy some fishing with A. Ray before going home to finally pack up the house for departure. The suspension test didn’t really prove anything because of a high head wind but the car did appear to tow the caravan in a more economical way even with the wind. The weather is not real good so I might even miss out on fishing anyway, not that I am going to miss Andrews request that I join him on the boat at 5:00 AM in the morning, but we will see what eventuates.

Andrew rang back later in the evening cancelling the 5.00 AM fishing due to the weather so we will see what eventuates and I will visit him later in the morning to see what happens.

Tuesday 19/12/00, (Launceston).

It has been a while since I have sat down to write more, but we have been busy preparing to vacate the house, which we have almost achieved. Another trip with gear to Paul’s place should just about do the trick and then we will live from the caravan. All going well with emptying the house we might get some local travelling in over the Christmas- New year period so that we can sit back and relax after all the work up until now.

Andrew and I did get to go on a fishing trip while I was in Devonport and we actually caught a decent catch of flathead. We visited what Andrew called a new spot he had found and it proved fruitful as past trips had not proved as successful.