Wanting What You Can’t (Quite) Have

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We saw in the New Year in peaceful surroundings. A spontaneous last minute booking had us piling into our car and heading for a couple of nights in ‘The Bush’. Not being a fair dinkum Aussie I’m still not entirely confident in using the term ‘Bush’ (unless I’m referring to a shrub or a politician) but there were lots of trees, scorched earth and a warning from the home owner that snakes are not uncommon.  Max befriended the homeowner’s child who was at one with his surroundings and happy to race lizards and chase kangaroos; Max on the other hand revealed us as city slickers by referencing iPad and Babycino in the same sentence.

The couple who lived there had sold their poky 2 bed apartment in central Melbourne and swapped it for 20 acres of prime Australian Bush complete with two beautiful mud brick houses, a yabby laden dam and a very rustic tennis court. They were the cats who got the cream or in this case the hippies who got the land. We had gone up to switch off, get away from it all and get a last dose of each other before Anna is snatched back by ‘the office’. But I didn’t switch off, I found myself wanting what they had. As well as going up to relax we were also scoping a nearby town as a possible place to take the plunge and buy.


I’m writing this from the kitchen of our own rented, poky, two bed flat in central Melbourne, I’m just close enough to the bin to smell it. We have a small balcony that isn’t quite wide enough to actually sit down on without grazing your knees. People peer in and deliberate why the man never leaves his desk and what sort of content he might be viewing on his computer. We have an overzealous real estate agent who insists on visiting every three months to make sure we haven’t dared to hang a picture.

There is a little surf town somewhere in Australia with our name on it. I will spend most of my time bobbing about in the sea doing an impression of a surfer whilst trying not to look like an injured seal, Max will conquer his fear of the waves and become a champion Nipper (if there is such a thing), Anna will transform the humble little shack we’ve purchased into a groovy retro beach house and we will all live happily ever after…….or something like that. I have this incredible clarity that we would all benefit from this move, it feels very close and my lack of patience is palpable. It’s hard when you want something you can’t have.

In the mean time I’ll continue to despise every squared metre of this poky little flat and there isn’t many to despise.  I will spend my spare time indulging in a particularly painful form of self harm which involves a certain real estate website and an unrealistic budget. Fortunately the mass group therapy sessions that has become writing a blog post seems to do the trick and if you can just put up with a few more I’d be ever so grateful. Apparently if you want something bad enough it will happen, we want this bad and by the end of the year we will be in the place we want to be.


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  • http://iliska-dreams.blogspot.com.au/ Julie

    Move to Queensland. Brisbane still has babychinos, yet Byron and the Sunshine coast are only an hour or so in either direction. The bush about the same distance away. The yards are huge and the sun is intense.

    • daddownunder

      And rumour has it there’s plenty of naked icy poles to be had (private joke and not as naughty as it sounds)

  • http://blog.downthatlittlelane.com.au/ Tessa White

    How far out were you? would your move involve Anna changing job? Can you sense I am excited for you? The line of Anna decorating a Retro Beach Shack had me thinking ‘YES, Do it tomorrow!!’

    • daddownunder

      I can definitely sense your excitement Tessa, we will do it, it’ll involve a bit of commuting but hopefully we can work something out. And when we do we’ll decorate the entire place with DTLL goodies ; )

  • Seamus Curtain-Magee

    We ummed and ahhaed about our move for many months…. A few years worth of months actually, went through a similar phase of looking at realestate pictures, thinking about the kind of money we could rake together and having weekends away.

    Then when it happened it all happened at light-speed. I think that’s the way life happens, and while we’ve given up some stuff, we wouldn’t change a thing.

    Good luck!.

    • daddownunder

      I remember you saying you’d done it Seamus, I must have already banged on about this topic in another post ; ) I’m so ready mate, it’ll happen this year.

  • Neets

    Interesting post Matt. When we made a last minute scramble out of Melbourne to the Mornington peninsula, we also had similar thoughts. Although we bought in Melbourne 6 years ago, the coast seemed that little bit more appealing. I dare not jump on any real estate sites. My impulsive nature could have me doing something I may just regret :)

    • daddownunder

      I think we’ll dip our toes in the water this year Neets, somewhere like Jan Juc, it might not work out but there’s only one way to find out

      • Neets

        Great location Matt. Jan Juc is fab! You can’t beat that part of Victoria. I can just see you & Max directing the next Point Break movie :)

  • Emily Callaghan

    Ah Matt, seems we’ve both been bitten by the Dream Big Bug!

    We’ve been busy designing a new garden for that house we fell in love with last year. I can’t see the owner accepting the offer that we can afford to make on it but that hasn’t stopped us from mentally moving in and planning the renovation in fine detail.

    It’s good to dream and dream big at that.

    Cheers Em

    • daddownunder

      It is good to dream big Em, it just sometimes feels like your punishing yourself when you do little else but dream : ) I have everything crossed that they accept your offer and you get to make your garden happen

  • Kaela5

    I know exactly where you are. I am doing the same thing…well, my daughter and I. We also want to be in the country with maybe 30 odd acres to raise sheep and alpaca…and be as self sufficient as we can be in this day and age.
    Where you are looking at Australia, I spend hours of dreaming on Canadian sites where farmlets come with great old houses and barns to match.
    Whatever happens in the end, the journey is always fun…..ah but i do long for the fresh air of the country and the notion of rolling hills surrounding me rather than highrise buildings and loads of traffic.

    • daddownunder

      Wow Canada, you don’t do things by halves Kaela – it’ll happen for you and you don’t try you’ll never know, it’ll certainly be an adventure. Keep me posted

  • http://www.havealaughonme.com/ Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me

    Sounds blissful! I was born and bred on a big farm in rural NZ and yearn to give my kids that, but then it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, give me acreage not far from the beach and I’ll be a happy woman!

    As for surfing, have you tried SUP’ing – my new love! Happy 2014 to you, Anna and Max (and possibly a new addition ; sometime soon) xxx

    • daddownunder

      Happy New year Em! I’m a big SUP fan, I only discovered it a few months ago and I’m saving hard to make it happen, how good is it? I think we’ve come to the realisation that beach is all important for us, unfortunately every other bugger has too ; )

  • Octavia Vaughan

    I too share your dream of a surf town – however the convience of having in-laws (free day care/babysitting) close and city jobs makes it hard to consider the idea of a sea-change. I hope your dream comes true and I can’t wait to read about it as the adventure progressess. xo

    • daddownunder

      I’d be the same if we had family nearby Octavia, it makes the decision a lot easier. There will certainly be lots to write about if it does happen.

  • Reen

    This is definitely a move that will happen, you’ve written about your longing to do it before. The right place will pop up, you will know when you see it. Can’t wait to read about it when it does.