Starting a new job in a new town can be testing at the best of times.
Where's the best coffee? Which local club do I follow? How do I pronounce Jeparit?
Add to the mix a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, and you end up with a comedy of errors not even Mel Brooks could conjure up.
While I started my new position as a senior journalist at the Wimmera Mail-Times in late March, this tale dates back to a time before the virus ever reached our shores. Way before most of us had head of Wuhan.
I'm from Portland, the birthplace of Victoria, where I worked as a teacher and then a journalist at the local newspaper, the Portland Observer.
I had a small unit in a quiet court surrounded by retirees that I moved into after my mother moved to South Australia to live with her now-husband in the land of Stobie poles and bung fritz.
While the upside of the quaint home was low rent, restful Saturday nights and a manicured garden, the downside was I inherited most of my mother's unwanted junk, which was hidden away in the garage.
In hindsight, I should have dealt with the issue on day one, but ask anyone who has moved house in their life, sometimes you want to sit on the couch, eat pizza and ignore chores for a day.
About 2500 days later, all of them ignoring that one chore, I decided to move to Stawell to be closer to my partner, which is when all hell broke loose.
Panic buying stripped the shelves of cleaning products, while social distancing meant I couldn't conscript any of my friends to help move furniture.
Fears of catching COVID-19 meant the real estate agent and carpet cleaner wouldn't come into my house unless I were absent, which was never due to working 8.30-5.30pm and then cleaning or packing for five hours.
I also had to clear a garden that I really should have done in the six months prior when I decided to move to Stawell, but I think the common theme is clear by now.
One of the great things about moving is you get to downsize your belongings, and this time I had a swathe of donations for the Salvation Army.
Unfortunately, the Salvos and all thrift stores were not taking donations at this time.
I made the difficult decision to keep the practical goods to be donated once this pandemic ends, but sadly some items went to landfill.
Overall, I made 11 trips to the waste transfer station across the weekend and got to know the staff members quite well.
Each time I pulled up, they wryly smiled and informed me they would love to help me unload the trailer, but council regulations prevented them.
The only upside was I could work in Portland remotely while writing for the WMT. Also, petrol was 73 cents because barely anyone was driving.
News of possible stage 4 restrictions hovered over our heads in a final couple of days before the big move.
We genuinely feared that we might not be able to leave as rumours Victorians were restricting residents to their local government areas.
Nevertheless, my partner and I managed to pack a 12x6 foot trailer after work and make the monotonous drive in just 3.5 hours north.
It's a pleasant two-hour 15-minute drive on a typical day, but when you are towing 1500kgs at night, you tend to take things a bit slower.
We pulled in just before midnight, avoiding all kangaroos until we were 50 metres from my partner's home.
I was fortunate enough to store my belongings in a shed while I looked for a rental in Stawell, which our learned readers would know is harder than finding gold atop Big Hill.
I found a rental six weeks after moving into Stawell, which I am happily still working remotely for the WMT.
What lessons did I learn? Get rid of rubbish sooner rather than later. If you can do it now, you'll feel so much better for it. Don't wait for the next pandemic to kick you into gear.
Also, just pay someone else to do your gardening if you hate it.