Tag Archives: moving home

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 Halogen down lights have been replaced by vastly expensive LEDs that we’re told will pay for themselves in no time at all.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

M-Day minus 4: First mail, last juice

The first item of mail has been delivered at our new address, a parcel containing a copy of Ruth Park’s Harp in the South, from a South Australian BookMoocher, in plenty of time for my next Book Group meeting. Note the artful smudging of personal details in the photo, enabled with minimal fuss by iPhoto.

And this morning, after decades of daily service at breakfast time, our  juicer blew its motor and has been consigned without ceremony to the pile of stiff that will be taken away on Monday by 1300RUBBISH.

M-day minus 6

As we move closer to taking possession of our new house – filling the attic and the kitchen cupboards, we come across little treasures that have been left for us by the lovely people known as The Vendors. There are some small black hexagonal tiles which will come in handy if the bathroom floor suffers serious trauma, several cans of paint clearly marked with the room they belong to, a roll of toilet paper (an act of superb thoughtfulness). And then there are the grace notes: a plastic soldier missing one leg; a dog-suitable tennis ball; and this little putti lyrist on the paling fence:

M-Day minus 8

One house gets itself into boxes. The other lies in wait.

LoSoRhyMo 12: Announcement

I started this month of sonnets with the announcement that we’d sold our house. Read on.

Sonnet 12: Announcement
We’ve bought a house, we sign today,
pay ten percent of far too much
(but we’re in love, so that’s OK).
It’s done up with a loving touch,
it’s near a park  and faces north,
near shops, trains, buses and so forth.
We’re downing size, yes, less is more,
from Three One Seven to Thirty-Four.
Bring us garlands, bring us flowers.
Blow the whistle: end of innings.
Sing a song of new beginnings.
Four signatures, the house is ours.
Soon we fly the empty nest.
We’ve found our home for all the rest.

LoSoRhyMo 2

Oh oh! If I’m to make my modest target of 14 sonnets in November I should be managing almost one every two days. I’m already falling behind and it’s only the 6th. And it can only get worse from here, for reasons hinted at in Nº 2:

Sonnet 2: Looking to buy
Flexible, unique and charming,
spacious, stylish, redesigned,
with northern sun, and traffic calming,
details of the classic kind,
potential for downsizers’ retreat
in much sought after treelined street,
we seek it here, we seek it there,
our new home could be anywhere,
in Earlwood, Petersham, St Peters,
Marrickville or Hurlstone Park,
(Burwood’s too far off the mark).
At each new door the agents greet us.
We turn up, armed  with cheques, not knives,
Buying, not fighting, for our lives

Announcing LoSoRhyMo

Everywhere else it’s NaNoWriMo – [inter]National Novel Writing Month for those who don’t retain camel-abbreviations. I’ve decided that here it’s the much less ambitious LoSoRhyMo, or Local Sonnet Rhyming Month. My aim is to write not 30 but 14 sonnets this month. Hang the quality, I’ll just get them done. I plan to stick with, or at least start out with, the version of the sonnet Vikram Seth used in The Golden Gate, and to refer to current domestic events. If (which seems unlikely) you’re drawn to join me in the enterprise, please avail yourself the comments button: feel free to write any kind of sonnet you like, and to cover any subject that takes your fancy.

Sonnet 1: On selling the family home
Our home for more than twenty years
Our haven, our Three Seventeen,
Where children’s laughter, rage and tears,
And adults’ too, and in between
Have filled the air, where stains and scratches,
Dents and holes, loose threads and  patches
Are records of our history
With love’s abiding mystery
Was sold on Tuesday, seven thirty.
Our shell, our outer skin, alive,
We’ll trade for one point five two five.
It’s brick and wood, some bits quite dirty.
We’ll shuffle off to somewhere new:
New owners, may it welcome you.