Back in December, prior to receiving our shipment from the U.S., I published a blog about Moving to Australia. This blog provides some updates.
Our shipment arrived just before the New Year on 30 December 2022, and for nine days Agnes and I unpacked. Actually, Agnes unpacked and I took care of the paper waste produced in large volumes of boxes and paper used to wrap everything. The movers put the furniture in place on 30 December, and Agnes struggled to find places for everything, and she continues to find ways to get everything more organized. We hired someone to come and put up about 22 paintings and a clock, so the apartment looks lived in now.
Agnes has been planning several renovations since returning, including:
- Aluminum shutters on all the windows including two sliding French windows to replace the either pulldown shades or curtains on the French windows.
- Bathroom renovation since it has been the early 1990’s when the bathroom was last renovated and the style is quite outdated.
- Closets in both bedrooms (actually Agnes’s office and the bedroom) will be expanded and provided with cabinets, etc. for better storage.
- Ikea-style cabinets near the kitchen to maximize Agnes’s ability to store all her baking equipment, spices, food, etc., like we had in our place in Bellingham, MA.
- Under stairs cabinets yet to be planned and designed.
Hopefully the renovations will be done by late March or early April, though the under stairs doesn’t seem to be moving forward yet. I’m surprised how much Agnes is willing to invest in renovations, but I do expect these renovations to significantly increase the value of the house. This is important because we do plan to move out and sell within the next two years, so we can move into our ‘forever’ house. Noting, that ‘forever’ means a lot less to a 72 year old man that it might have meant in his 50’s. The move into the ‘forever’ house will be my 28th and last move.
Other important additions to my previous Moving to Australia blog include my new exercise regiment and weekend daytrips to explore the area.
At the end of December I joined a gym in Toowong Village, a 14 minute walk from here, which in the heat of the summer, can be challenging. I also paid for a coach to help me get started with a good routine. He made some dietary suggestions and provided me with a regular exercise routine with advice about how to increase my strength.
Dietary Suggestions. My coach recommended better management of my chocolate intake, and as a result I started using an app called Calory for keeping track of my calories (or kilojoules). This has probably been the most important for reducing my weight, since without it, I’d be eating as much as I wanted.
Exercise Routine. My coach recommended warm up (rowing), leg push, lunge, horizontal push and pull, vertical push and pull, lower back, crunch and twist exercises, as well as the general idea of cycling while listening or watching something. So I go to the gym around 10 – 11 am and frequently Agnes goes with me, though she goes to a different, less expensive gym. I start with 10 minutes of warm up rowing, then I do the leg and arm exercises he recommends, trying to increase reps from 10 to 15 in each set of three per exercise. Once I have increased the reps to 15 per set enough times, then I move to the next weight level at 10 reps per set. The coach made several points about how I can progress with lunge exercises, for instance adding a weight to the side that is doing the bending and raising. I want to eventually move away from using a support, which is an issue as I start up doing lunges. After I do the sequence of exercises then I do from 15-25 minutes of cycling to get more aerobic exercise, and I push myself to build up a sweat.
Exploring the Area.
Besides the Brisbane suburbs we have gone to purchase things for our apartment (Aspley, Lutwyche, Mango Hill, and North Lakes) as well as the suburbs in which men’s circles are held (Bald Hills and Morningside), Agnes and I have taken several daytrips, some within Brisbane and some in other cities near Brisbane, and I have even taken one with the men in MKP Queensland:
- Walking along Brisbane River in Tenerife and New Farm Park downriver on the Brisbane River from Toowong
- Walking tour of the Brisbane Central Business District guided by a tour guide for two hours
- Sandgate and Shorncliffe on the Moreton Bay on the northern border of Brisbane, where we had a nice lunch and long walk
Other Cities Near Brisbane
- Visiting a potential NWTA site in Landsborough with the MKP Queensland Council members and Leaderbody leaders
- Daytrip to the Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast
- Attending an NWTA site in Springbrook