M-Day plus 4

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 Halogen down lights have been replaced by vastly expensive LEDs that we’re told will pay for themselves in no time at all.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 …

8 responses to “M-Day plus 4

  1. well done on unpacking all your books already!
    and glad to hear you’ve had friends drop by, and been able to walk to the movies in Newtown. and presumably you’re not too far away from the Gleebooks in Dulwich Hill?

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  2. Congratulations again. It all sounds wonderful! Speaking of Redfern, sort of, my parents spent the happiest years of their lives in Waterloo.

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  3. I think your little man looks very sad. I’m glad the ‘pretend’ dog has a home with you though. Didn’t get to say farewell before we left for Canberra. Things got hectic on our last day in Sydney.

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  4. Deborah: The walk to Dulwich Hill is yet to come. I can’t tell yet how far anything is until I’ve tried it, but I think that might be a car ride.
    Cassandra: Thanks.
    Mary Ann: Those days were hectic all around. I hope you’re safely home, and not too wet.

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  5. Four days must be a record, I reckon – two years on and there’s still unpacked boxes in our shed….

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  6. We did cheat a little on the boxes, Kath. Half a dozen went straight to the attic (a wonderful feature of the house), some weren’t unpacked when I wrote this post (though they are now and have to be disposed of somehow), and one – of which I am very proud – had its contents emptied into the recycling bin when I looked at it and realised I would never look at its contents again, and a fortiori nor would anyone else.

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  7. Congratulations. I am in awe!

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  8. To be truthful, Dennis, all the awe belongs to her whom I have named the Art Student. I would happily have lived surrounded by boxes for months if not years, but she has much more self-respect than that, and discipline

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