Three men and a van took our worldly goods from Annandale to Marrickville on Wednesday.
We were very unsystematic about telling our neighbours we were moving – it’s been just one incidental conversation at a time. Mostly people say they’re sorry to see us go, and seem to mean it. One man told me that when he was young and needing move out of his parents’ place, his wife came home one day saying she’d found a place for rent in Marrickville. ‘Marrickville!’ he replied, ‘Why not just go to Redfern?’ Just in case I didn’t get it, he paraphrased: ‘Why stop halfway? Why not go straight to the bottom?’ He went on after a beat, ‘It turned out we had the best two years of our lives there.’ So here we go: on our way to the bottom, or heading for unexpected bliss?
I’m going to need a new masthead image. This isn’t it, but here’s a quick phone snap of what the view above shot had become midmorning Wednesday:
The little man from our front door elected to stay in Annandale as a piece of public art:
The move was no more nightmarish than you’d expect. Nothing broke – though we did discover that a little Balinese soapstone sculpture in the garden had been knocked into the pond by an enthusiastic little dog and lost its head as a result. A dab of glue restored his head and a day in the sun removed most of the swampy smell.
Four days after the event, the new house almost feels like home. We’ve enjoyed the kindness of friends: one made us dinner and brought it around on the evening of the move; three lots of friends who live on this side of Parramatta Road have just dropped in, a brilliant way to make us feel like part of a neighbourhood. We live much closer to the street here, so I’m entertained by the passing parade as I sit at my desk– many family groups, as the Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre is close by. Penny’s dog sculpture is now much more obvious to passers-by: a schoolgirl offers her a lick of her iceblock; a small child tells her father, ‘It’s only a pretend dog.’
Gas and electricity are on. Mail and phone redirection are working. The floor has been restumped. Rooms have been painted. The moving boxes have been taken back by the removalists. Halogen down lights have been replaced by vastly expensive LEDs that we’re told will pay for themselves in no time at all. A sp[ace is well on the way to becoming a studio for the Art Student. Pictures are going up on the walls. Books are in bookcases, though will need some re-ordering. Settlement on our old home, now an empty shell smelling of cleaning products, was scheduled for Friday but because of a bank stuff up will actually happen tomorrow. Last night we walked to the movies in Newtown. We’re being urged by our younger son to have a house warming, and perhaps we will …