Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A house full of memories

Oh hey, guess who is in a magazine this month? Any excuse to get my mug in a national mag, right? Well, not so much this time because it's not an article about blogging. Or motherhood. Or being whingey. The three things most often associated with me. Instead it is an article about property. In a property magazine.

Now I'm no property guru. I live in a 1970s shoe-box sized house on fair whack of land (by suburban Perth standards) in a suburb known for its high proportion of Centrelink recipients. Of which I'm obviously one - ohai soon to be gone Baby Bonus.

But my friend Shannon, who happens to be the Deputy Editor of Australian Property Investor, asked (via Facebook - where all good questions are asked) if anyone knew anyone who had bought a house that had a family connection somewhere in its history for an article he was writing. So I put up my hand. Because it's nice to help a friend and also the whole I'm a MEDIA WHORE thing. Plus I had an idea for some cool photos.

Yours truly is gracing the pages of this month's issue of Australian Property Investor because I bought the house my parents built in the 1970s.

L: Me in the laundry sink 1983    R: Tricky in the new laundry sink 2013.
See the door handle and curtain? Still the same!

Map Guy and I bought the place in 2008 and renovated extensively to de-70-ify it. The archways have all been squared off, the hideous yet groovy in its hey day yellow and brown laundry has been replaced with sleek grey and white, the teeny kitchen has been ripped out and a new sparkly one put in its place and the whole place rendered and painted. Let's not talk about the back yard though.

My little house is full of memories. I remember sitting in the dining room with my grandparents and blowing out birthday candles. I remember my uncle knocking on the front door dressed as Santa... though I was sure it was actually the dude from the North Pole at the time. I remember washing my dolls' clothes and hanging them on a string line under the patio. And whilst almost everything about the house is different I can still see the ghosts of those happy times. I often get extraordinary de ja vu walking around this place.

L: Teeny tiny yellow and brown kitchen (me in my mum's arms) 1982
R: My bigger kitchen with red glass splashback
It is the house I took my first steps in and the house Tricky took his first steps in. I could go further and say we were both conceived in it, but that would just freak me out and give me terrible visuals. And we all know how I feel about that.

It is still a shoe-box but it's a much more modern shoe-box. Right now we're debating whether or not to extend. Every time I think we've made the decision, one of us, who shall remain nameless, spins out over how much money it will cost and how hard it will be being home all day with two children in a building site. Which kinda gives away which nameless person that is. If you can't figure it out, here's a clue:

L: Strike a pose circa 1985    R: Strike a pose 2013
Different front door, carpet and door handle. Same shitty brown tiles though!
What?! I happened to have red shoes and a black silk dressing gown hanging around!!

If you want to read the article to find out why we bought my parents' old house (that we'd moved out of when I was six) then get your hands on the June issue of Australian Property Investor.

Do you have a family connection to the home you live in?

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