Meet you back here in half an hour.
What are you going to do?
What I always do - stay out of trouble... Badly.

Friday, August 08


A Different Life

Doing some research.  Moss Vale in the Southern Highlands is very nice, and has a number of houses available.  But while I've only been there twice, I do know that it doesn't have a major shopping centre; you have to go into Bowral for that.  And since I don't drive (hi TallDave!), that's a little inconvenient.  It's only 10 minutes by train, but the trains are 90 minutes to 2 hours apart.  There are buses, too but...

Anyway, I was doing a little research, finding out what I could online before I head down there in the morning.  (Going to try to hit Mittagong, Bowral and Moss Vale in the same day.)  And I find that there are reviews of grocery stores.

Moss Vale Tuckerbag:
i quite like the moss vale tuckerbag store, its pleasant to be in, more so than the competitor down the road. overall staff are quite plesant and fast but one problem i do have is how SLOW the docket machines are! its time to upgrade them!
This supermarket is good, the prices are good and the service is okay, however the docket printer is so slow!!! You have to wait for the docket to print which seems like a lifetime.
Those were posted in 2007.  But now:
There are new checkouts at SUPA IGA Tuckerbag Moss Vale! Much faster.

One of the places - actually, about seven of the places; it's a brand new complex of townhouses - I want to look at in Moss Vale backs right onto the railway line.

The Unanderra - Moss Vale railway line.

I don't think I need to worry much.

I've been on that line; in fact, that's how I visited Moss Vale on one of those trips.  After surveying the timetables carefully, I bought a return ticket to Moss Vale, went the other way, down to Wollongong, and then hopped aboard the train via Mount Murray and Robertson to Moss Vale, wandered around a bit, had lunch, and then hopped aboard a train back to Sydney.*

I don't think I was supposed to do any of that. The line has been closed to regular trains for years, and that was probably a special tourist service I was on.  But I didn't know that at the time, and fortunately no-one was checking tickets.

That's not the only partly disused tourist railway in the area either.  There's also the Picton Loop line, now home of the New South Wales Rail Tansport Museum.

* Which reminds me - do they still run those funny old trains down to Bomaderry, or have they been replaced by now?  I went down there on a day trip once, and on the way back I was the only passenger, and they didn't notice me and turned off all the lights.

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Thursday, August 07


Or Maybe North

I've pretty much been priced out of the rental market in Sydney, it seems.  It's not that I don't earn a decent hourly rate, but I'm only working three or four days a week (I spend the other days on and I also have a lot of expenses.

So, since my boss has agreed to me only going into the office two days a week, the plan is to move outwards.  I'm already near the northern edge of Sydney; where I live now, Hornsby, is the last major shopping centre as you head north.  Used to be quite inexpensive, but that has changed in a major way lately.

I have a few choices:

Move out to the western edge of Sydney, where there's lots of flat, cheap land.  Since I don't drive, that means Richmond or Penrith.  Richmond is quieter and cheaper, Penrith has a much larger shopping centre, a better selection of rental properties, and better transport, but isn't really laid out for pedestrians.

Move south-west, to the Campbelltown area.  I don't really know what it's like out there these days, but it's a long way away, and very spread out.

Move further south-west, right out of Sydney and into the Southern Highlands.  This is a beautiful area, though it gets cold in winter.  Mittagong and Bowral are the two major towns; Moss Vale is also very nice, but small.  The problem here is transport; trains run every two hours, and most of them stop at Campbelltown, and you have to change trains.  There's a convenient train in the morning that takes me straight to Sydney, though.

Move west, past Penrith, out to the Blue Mountains.  Doesn't seem to be much in the way of rentals out there, though I did find a gorgeous stone cottage in Leura.

Move south, towards (or to) Wollongong. Which, frankly, looks pretty blah.  Though there are some nice beaches.

Or finally, move north, past the Hawkesbury River, up towards Gosford or Wyong - the Central Coast.  I found some nice, cheap and extremely well-located properties in Tuggerah.  Still no ADSL2 there, though.

I'm planning to scout out the Southern Highlands this Saturday, then zip up north on Sunday.  And then sleep all day Monday.  Or at least find out how well I sleep on those train trips, which will be useful knowledge.

Update: Or maybe Woy Woy.  Not as cheap as Tuggerah, but closer to the city, and they have ADSL2.  A choice of 12 providers, including Exetel and Internode.  Hmm, decisions.

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Sunday, August 03


Bowral Bound!

Whee!  It's the Southern Highlands for mee!

Spoke to my boss; he's happy for me to work from home some days to keep my commute reasonable.  So apart from being limited to ADSL1, Bowral is perfect.

I'll head down there next weekend to look at the properties I found online, and then things get underway.

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