A bird in the hand…

3 New Holland Honeyeaters on Corymbia ficifolia

3 New Holland Honeyeaters on Corymbia ficifolia

When we moved into our house, 18 months ago, both the back and front yard were lawn with a few unappealing shrubs. Almost everything (which wasn’t much to start with) in the backyard had been cut right back to almost nothing.

We’re real flora/fauna/nature lovers, but there was almost none to be seen.  We’d get a couple of feral turtledoves and a couple of brown-headed honeyeaters in the yard and that was all. So we started a planting program. We planned out both yards and started planting native plants that would attract birds into the yard.

Our hard work is starting to pay off. The plants are growing and filling in space and the birds have started to appear.

New Holland Honeyeaters on the temporary fence around our rose garden

New Holland Honeyeater on the temporary fence around our rose garden

2 New Holland Honeyeaters in the Eremophila calorhabdos in our front yard

2 New Holland Honeyeaters in the Eremophila calorhabdos in our front yard

2 Brown Honeyeaters in the red-flowering gum

2 Brown Honeyeaters in the red-flowering gum

This morning there was a family of 3 beautiful magpies poking around in the front yard. They were warbling away merrily with their beautiful voices. It’s a joy to hear them after so many years of living where no Australian magpies could be found. Hopefully I’ll get some photos of the maggies soon.

I’ll post before and current photos of the yards soon.

It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it…

You never know just what life is going to spring on you. It’s always full of surprises, some good, some not-so-good, and some…well it sometimes takes a while to figure out just which category some surprises belong in.

Last Tuesday my boss called me into his office. The upshot of our discussion is that I’m going to make the jump (actually I’m being pushed) into freelancing. Over the years I’ve thought about freelancing – often – but have always been put off by the running-my-own-business thing. When I started the job, last September, they had high (and apparently growing) demand from their clients for websites. Now I’ve been told that there’s not enough billable work coming in so at the end of this week my employment will end, but they’d like me to contract back to them. I guess I could see this coming. I know how little billable and how much in-house work I’ve been doing and I know that there have been clients who haven’t been renewing or going forward with new projects. I also know that there’s a good chance that my current employer won’t have much work for me (they do have a lack of billable work for me after all).

On top of all this, and for the very reason that I’m facing this dilemma, is the fact that in the current economy it’s probably not a good time to get into freelancing, though there is the opinion out there that maybe more companies will look to freelancers rather than permanent employees.

I’ve had a look on seek and there’s a distinct lack of web dev work, so maybe freelancing is the way to go for now. I’m lucky I’m not the primary earner in the household, and I do know that there will be at least a small amount of work coming my way.  Even though I could see the way things were heading, it’s still a bit of a shock to the system, but it turns out that maybe it’s come at a good time – if this type of thing can come at a good time.

Stephen got the news on Friday that we’ll most likely be moving to Brisbane for his work. We’ll be here in Perth until the end of the financial year and then there’ll probably be some transition time, but he’ll be expected to start in Brisbane soon after. The details are yet to be finalised. We’re hoping to spend a couple of weeks in Brisbane next month, just looking around at different areas we might like to live. Then we can track house prices in those areas.

I’ll have plenty to do with getting the house ready to go on the market so I won’t be hunting too hard for work. I won’t need the extra stress. I guess there’s not that much to do, really.  A little patching and painting. We’ve only been living here for about 18 months. That’s the hardest part. We’ve made big changes to the garden to attract birds, to makes it more waterwise, to turn it into our little sanctuary. Things are just getting established and taking shape. We won’t see the true fruits of our labours. As much as we quite like the idea of moving to the east coast, we hadn’t planned to be moving again so soon. I’m also having ongoing major dental work with implant surgery (under a GA) in May.

So, what with the dental work, putting the house on the market, taking perhaps a couple of trips to Brisbane, and organising a move with 2 golden retirevers our life will be busy over the next few months.