Friday, August 28, 2009

Collin's Thirteen

So the land finally settled….but not without a few dramas. When we bought the land in March ,08 they were advising settlement would be in November but I (not Paul) was smart enough to figure that there would be a few delays so was hoping early ,09, around Feb due to Christmas/New Year, etc. Unfortunately the really bad fires we had in Victoria in early Feb meant that the electrical company caused even more delays as they were so busy trying to fix things for the areas that were affected (can’t complain about that, at least we do have a roof over our heads, even if it’s a rented one). After chasing up with many phones calls to find out what was happening we received a letter from the land developer in early May advising that settlement would be early June so I shot off an email to our girl at the bank (St George….another Pommie connection!) advising that we needed the papers drawn up to sign. Three weeks later I still hadn’t heard anything back so chased her up. “Oh they should have been here by now, but don’t worry we’ve still got plenty of time”. Tick, tock, tick, tock…….then another letter from the developer advising settlement would be Thursday June 11th.

Tick, tock, tick, tock…..still no papers. They finally turned up at the bank on Thursday 4th June but Riley was really sick that day so I couldn’t go anywhere (poor bugger was basically asleep on my shoulder or the sofa all day) and now we realised time was really running out as Monday was a public holiday for the Queen’s birthday (yes Elizabeth II, yes we do get a day off even though they don’t in the UK). Personally I think it’s just an excuse to party as its opening weekend of the ski season here (yes we do have snow, just not in Melbourne city itself). So Paul ended up leaving work early, picking up the papers at the bank, driving home on his motorbike (a Triumph, of course!) both of us signing the papers (after a very quick read to check they were all ok) and then driving back to drop them off before closing time. That meant they would go up to St George in Sydney on the Friday to be processed on Tues and we should still be ok for Thursday settlement.

Our solicitor, Connie, is really nice and was doing all the phone calls to the bank etc, checking everything was ok for settlement which unfortunately it was not. It turns out that our papers got lost!!! (Not sure whether the St George office in Sydney was moving in time and they accidentally ended up in 1977 or something!!) So the bank printed out another copy of the papers on Friday 12th June which Paul bought home over the weekend, we got them back on the Monday and we finally settled on Thursday 18th June. Not without additional costs though. There were penalties if we didn’t settle on time and we had to pay an extra $330 to the developer. Not happy about that and am trying to get St George to pay the costs (a very long story so far and will no doubt be the subject of another blog!) but still the land is now ours. Unfortunately we’d already planned a night out on Friday 12th to celebrate (went to Gold Class cinema to see the new Terminator movie and too difficult to change plans with Gerry, the nanny who was babysitting) so when we finally, really settled it was just over a glass of wine at home.

Of course the downside to settling the land means we have to start paying the mortgage but the upside is of course that now we can get the ball rolling on building the actual house. Our goal of being in the house by Christmas is long gone but I’m still hoping for March. Well early March to be exact…I’m the big 4-0 (yes I know it’s hard to believe…..good genes and avoiding the Aussie sun for the first 30 odd years, what can I say???) and am planning a HUGE party.

We went out to see the land now it was finally ours and took some pics (as you can see) and were really happy to see that the sewage access point was just over the boundary in our neighbours back yard, the phone bit was in a good position out the front (less digging distance for us to pay for when they put in the phone line) and the street lamp weren’t right in front of our block (and hence would shine right into our bedroom!). It was all good news……but still there was that nagging feeling….maybe everything was too good. And then we found out why. I was able to ring the local council ( ) and find out our door number. This is pretty much how the conversation went:

Me: “Hi, I believe I can find out what my door number is going to be, its lot 101. De Havilland Circuit, Williams Landing”
Council lady: “One moment please…….that would be lucky 13”
Council lady (laughing her pants off): “There’s nothing wrong with number 13, it’s been fine for me for many years”
Me: “I don’t care……no, not number 13 anything but 13”

Anyway I then decided to research the number 13. And you know what…’s all to do with those bloody Knights of the Templar (they turn up everywhere, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the Da Vinci Code, oh and the actual Crusades of course). Friday, October 13, 1307 to be exact a date sometimes linked with the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition. There is even has a specifically recognized phobia, Triskaidekaphobia, a word which was coined in 1911. Friday the 13th has been considered an unlucky day since the 1800s, as a combination between an unlucky day, Friday, and the number 13. Of course there are many different things linked to the number thirteen.

In Christianity there were thirteen participants at the Last Supper. Tradition states that Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th to sit at the table. Thirteen was once associated with the Epiphany by Christians, as it is said the child Jesus received the Magi on his thirteenth day of life and there are 13 Apostles in Christianity; the 12 Disciples plus St Paul of Tarsus. In addition to being the 13th Apostle, he is also known as "The Apostle" by the Church Fathers.

In Judaism, 13 signifies the age at which a boy matures and becomes a Bar Mitzvah, the number of principles of Jewish faith according to Maimonides , according to the Torah, God has 13 Attributes of Mercy and thirteen is also the number of circles, or "nodes", that make up Metatron's Cube in Kaballistic teachings.

The number of Norse gods (there were 12) at a banquet that was crashed by the evil god Loki (making 13) who killed Baldr with an arrow/spear made out of mistletoe using Hodr, thus marking the beginning of Ragnarok and thirteen is the sixth prime number.

However the good news is that thirteen is also considered lucky by some. In Sikhism, the number 13 is considered a special number since 13 is tera in Punjabi, which also means "yours" (as in, "I am yours, O Lord"). The legend goes that when Guru Nanak Dev was taking stock of items as part of his employment with a village merchant, he counted from 1 to 13 (in Punjabi) as one does normally; and thereafter he would just repeat "tera", since all items were God's creation. The merchant confronted Guru Nank about this, but found everything to be in order after the inventory was checked. April 13 also usually turns out to be Vaisakhi every year, which is the Sikh New Year and the major Sikh Holiday.

In Italy, 13 is also considered to be a lucky number, although in Campania the expression 'tredici' (meaning 13) is said when one considers their luck to have turned for the worse.

Colgate University (a private liberal arts college located in the Village of Hamilton in Madison County, New York, USA) also considers 13 to be a lucky number. It is said that Colgate was founded in 1819 by 13 men with 13 dollars and 13 prayers. The campus address is 13 Oak Drive in Hamilton, NY and the all men a cappella group is called the Colgate 13. The address zip code, 13346, begins with 13 and the last 3 numbers add up to 13. The number shows up in student organizations such as Konosioni, the senior honor society, which is comprised of thirteen men and thirteen women and the alumni are asked to wear Colgate apparel on every Friday the 13th.

Whether 13 is actually an unlucky number or not will forever remain a mystery. There are many truths about the number 13, though. For example, it is a prime number. That means that it is only divisible by the number 1 and itself. It is also a "Fibonacci Number” (and we’re back to the bloody Knights of the Templar and the Da Vinci Code…..)