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Letter # 10

For today's joke

to you all

Well, it has happened:
we have listed "Riverbend" for sale and are relocating! We are moving north, to sunny Queensland, to establish our base in the provincial town of Bundaberg before setting out on some more overseas travel (and spending part of each year in Indonesia). The time to do it is NOW as I don't want to expire before my passport does.

"Riverbend" has become too big for us and ties us down too much so we are going back to something more (sub)urban to improve our quality of life (although I must confess, at my age, quality worries me less than quantity.)

Why Bundaberg which is almost 2,000 km north of Batemans Bay? Well, it has a beautiful climate, offers a great life style with the Great Barrier Reef on its doorstep, and it offers very reasonable real estate prices - for example, a modern four-bedroom brick-and-tile house in Bundaberg can be had for a touch over a hundred thousand dollars; twice that figure buys a luxurious residence with inground pool and all sorts of other features. In short, prices are about one-third below similar houses in Batemans Bay.

The fast tilt train which is now the fastest train in Australia, connects Bundaberg with the State's capital Brisbane. It takes just four hours to reach Brisbane with two departures every day at a cost of $59 one way. The regular QANTAS flight takes 30 minutes to reach Brisbane.

It may take some time before we find a buyer for "Riverbend" and then there is the daunting task of packing up the accumulations of ten years' living at "Riverbend". A friend suggested that we do what the famous painter Picasso did when he moved house: he simply locked up the old place with everything inside and walked away. Sounds a bit drastic and reminds me of the joke circulating in Saudi Arabia during my time there:
   Question: When does a Saudi know his car is due for replacement?
   Answer:   When the ashtray is full!

We shall take a trip up to Bundaberg in late-August to look at houses and, if we find something suitable, to sign on the dotted line. It will take three days' driving up (always provided our old TOYOTA Camry, which already has 334,000km on the clock, gets us there!) and we will spend a week or two in the area before driving back for another three days.

The good people at the Bundaberg City Visitor Information Centre - (thank you, Kylie Burton!) - have been very helpful in sending us all sorts of brochures, maps, and material.

Watch this space for further news!

Best wishes and from the Riverbend Quartet!
Peter & Padma & Malty & Rover
Friday, 11 July 2003

P.S. This being tax time, you may enjoy this little joke.



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