Thank all the gods I don’t ! Stringer and I only ever had two: the first was the house he built for us from the ground up to the roof of the second storey on Dangar Island in the mighty Hawkesbury River, on the northernmost fringe of the Sydney suburban area. The second was the semi-detached we bought in Sydney’s Inner West, a suburb called Annandale, after we sold the Island house. He made astonishingly wonderful changes to that one, putting in a cellar office underneath and a stairway up to the loungeroom, as well as building a new bathroom and loo, that enabled us to sell it when the bottom fell out of the corporate video market.
My favourite blogger and her husband are in the throes of selling theirs so as to move to the kind of area they now seek; and all the usual crap is coming down about their ears. This includes real estate agents telling them what their house “has to” look like – pulling out the lovely poppies that grow along its little frontage, e.g., and adding pretend things to the interior for photographic porpoises.
They are now contemplating parting from large amounts of moolah in order to make their house match what the RE agents reckon it should look like. Personally, I believe RE agents and those companies that titivate one’s house for selling are closely linked – possibly even related !
Writing about all this brought back very strongly to mind that super little house that Stringer built; and I am unable to prevent myself from inserting some photos (taken by moi and therefore mostly ghastly):
It was a wonderful time, back in the late ’70s and early ’80s, when I was working at TCN9 and Chic was building our new house … On my days off I used to sit in an old director’s chair where he was working and sleep amidst the cacophony of his power tools.
I’ve been really lucky in my life.
The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go and not be questioned.
There have been times – many of them, I think – when I have felt strongly that someone was about to hector me about something. Not Chic: he hectored me on so few occasions that I can no longer remember them. This feeling goes back to my youth – to my home and my school. Why it wraps its hood around me at this stage of my life is pretty weird and says a fair bit about me, alas.
But now …? Now I still experience the daily early morning waking up believing myself not alone, just for a second or two; but the – ahh – haunting hectoring :) has gone. Deo gratias (there had to be some usefulness obtained from my Catholic upbringing !). Just as well: it used to enrage me that a woman of my years could allow herself to shrink from being lectured again, just as she was 60 years and more ago. Seems to me that the greater part of my childhood was spent in having fingers wagged at me. Sighh …
The point I’m getting to so obliquely and slowly is that I’m in seventh heaven in my new place. I sit in any one of my recliner chairs with my laptop – once Lui has gone back to bed, this is – with the sun pouring in through the front window and the little side yard that has all my pot-plants in it deriving as much pleasure from this as do I … I put all last night’s dishes into my wonderful little Domain dish-washer and it’s just finished; I’ve had my second coffee for the morning from my totally excellent Breville Dynamic Duo – earlier than usual; I’m amusing myself with inserting all these unpaid ads, sort of; my doted-on handyman is coming this-arvo to hang all my photos and put up towel-rails and hand-towel rails; the MACS handyman has just brought back my rubbish-bins from whatever place they were taken to last evening …
Tomorrow I start taking photos. Be warned. :)
Ah ! – life is good. La vita è bella, vero. It matters not that I am ancient: there is much joy to be found in the most ordinary, everyday things. I am finally home.
The husband is Chic: the mog is Captain Kirk, known simply as The Captain.
So what d’you think of the cardi I knitted for Chic (many years ago) ? – I thought it was pretty ace, myself. And without wishing to blow my own trumpet too loudly, so did he. :)
We were living down in Melbourne for a while, working on a film shoot (for which he was never paid, btw: the 2-man production team were total (_¤_)s and two-faced bastards). A short time before the shoot began, I finished this more than time-consuming knitting – Chic liked yarn no thicker than sport weight – and he wore it on every occasion that the temperature permitted.
Alas. The rented house had open-plan bedroom storage; just shelves to put everything on and no cupboards with doors. So one fine day much later on, one of our other cats was wandering about in cat-fashion and came across the woollies. Apparently the smell of this particular wool was irresistible: The Wooluf set in eating it !
And he did enough damage (although I doubt he actually ingested any) to render it irreparable. At least, it was for me: just the sight of the rips and tears and long lines of stitches dropped for roughly a thousand rows was enough to make me wave my hands in dismissal of the thought.
So much for this finished object …