Saturday, August 08, 2015

Wishes do come true

Absolutely nothing to do with this post but I would build a staircase to nowhere just for the mice.

I was reading an article by Clem Barstow, a blogger from the good old days when writing a post was an art and comments articulate.  She was recalling all the things from her youth that she wanted in her house when she eventually bought one.

I looked around my House of Havisham and decided that I had everything I ever wished for when young except for a huge all around the house verandah.
My life started in a tackroom/bungalow, moved to a house in Ferntree Gully complete with rats and snakes in the year it snowed close to Melbourne. Then it was back to Mentone to a converted part of a garage complete with rats.  In 1950 something we moved to Ma's dream house. Half bush, half swamp with no drainage and a backyard dunnie.  These properties are now selling up near the million dollar mark.
Now comes the start of my wish list.

Floor coverings.  With swampy bits under the house, lino doesn't cut it for warmth and I never was a human that could do without warm.  When the first carpet went down, I found mother lying flat on her back just enjoying the feeling.  I did the same when I moved into my home.

Heating.  Open fires never reach more than two feet in any direction.  So we lashed out and bought a briquette heater.  My father loved mod. cons. and would have been in heaven these days.  But what a pest it was trying to work out how many bricks one would need to get through the midnight spook movie on Fridays.  Believe me there was no way I was going out in the dark and up the side of the house to fill the bucket.  Then came the gas heater.  I was warm in winter.

Cooling.  Fans, open windows, sometimes a block of ice in a tub in front of the fan.  That was it.
As much as I hated the cold, I hated the hot heat of what seemed an unending summer.  We did have a swimming pool made of canvas, the Christmas we got it, the rain fell for two weeks. The trouble was the water was too cold and I was forever putting in a jug of hot water to warm it up. Talk about the Princess and the Pea. I only liked the beach in the mornings or night, any other time and I burnt like a sausage on a bbq, had blistering headaches and usually nosebleeds.
Now I have indoor air-conditioning, lovely, tick that off the list.

I have an indoor toilet.  I feel sorry for every tree cut down for making toilet paper but I so appreciate their sacrifice for my comfort. I still have the memories of banging the toilet seat to scare away the wildlife that lived underneath. The slightest whiff of Phenol opens a Pandora's box of horrors that was an outdoor dunny.

But I do still wish for an all round verandah. I'd still get the north wind up my nose but I'd be in shade, in a swing or a chaise lounge with pillows and maybe a few pot plants that I'd actually water.
And out the back, a simple clothes line strung up so I didn't have to stagger down the yard to wrestle with the Hills Hoist.

And could I please win Tattslotto so I can employ a housekeeper.  

Clem also wanted chandeliers.  I have chandeliers, I love my chandeliers and I'll love them better when the housekeeper is here to polish them.



13 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

I hope you can fulfil your very restrained wishes.
I would like enough bookcases.
And a view of water. Moving water for preference. Saltwater or fresh.

Andrew said...

"when writing a post was an art and comments articulate". Are you having another go at me?

I am with you about an all round verandah. Our farm house had two sides of verandah and one side was always shady and cool. Unfortunately an odour wafted up from the ground from where we kids used to p*ss off the verandah at night instead of traipsing down the muddy track to the outdoor model where there was more than a faint whiff of Phenol, the occasional spider, snake and the ubiquitous hanging pink pages.

Ann ODyne said...

oh Andrew ... 'the pink pages' - the luxury of colour bogroll. My 1956 school had squares of newspaper hanging from a nail via a string loop which some poor BA, Dip Ed., must have had to make for us all. and yes the Phenyle, about the same as Dettol.
Yes Clem's blog and the old days ... 2005 was a golden year for the Melbourne blogs gang.
JahTeh my wishlist also a verandah and trees too and a view over green rolling hills.
Does dunny-lid banging scare the snakes away too? My wishlist really only has one thing: peace. May you all get yours.

River said...

Oh for a wrap around verandah! there'd always be a shady side or at least one spot out of the wind, so the paper could be read without bricks holding down the corners.

iODyne said...

"started in a tack room" - jeepers I hope there was a pony there somewhere. I get my wishlist jollies over on Pinterest looking at boards full of 'Tiny Homes'

JahTeh said...

Andrew, never but you realize we are becoming dinosaurs in this social media age. I mean look at your photo, you're taking a selfie with a real camera.
I too was guilty of the verandah pee and I had good aim for the only broken edged board. We did not have occasional spiders, I swear the place was arachnid central.

Annie, banging the lid did get rid of the earwigs and thank god for no snakes. Nowadays your house doesn't even get eaves to keep the sun off the windows let alone a luxury verandah. You do have a smallish verandah but not big enough for a lounging with cushions swing.

River, These days I could have those heavy plastic Cafe roll down curtains to keep out the wind. There you are Annie O, a Cafe curtain for your smallish corner. River, have you noticed that these days houses don't even get the full brick build, it's all gray stucco, miserable looking in winter.

iODyne, not only a tack room but asbestos walls. I love those tiny homes but I would have to have a whole one for the books. I'm all in favour of the 'She Sheds' that are becoming popular, in my case a craft shed.

iODyne said...

She-Sheds? ah, last night in The Politician's Husband he found all his stuff in what had been her she shed before she became a Cabinet Minister.
Are there Pintrst boards of them? right, now to waste another hour ...
[love from today's windswept paddock]

Ann ODyne said...

This is my Yoga Shed ... where I drink in my yoga pants"

iODyne said...

Hello dear Readers my house needs the roadside water drained away and last week the plumber said we need a chaindigger to make a trench. I had to look them up - like an army tank hay baler hybrid, who knew? so I sent the pic to Copperwitch by way of miserable conversation and that led to her making me snork my tea when I read her reply -

"Very funny the other day in the taxi. We had to pull up at the lights and huge truck in front of us and the driver was trying to get a good look at the machine on the back. I looked up and could tell him it was a chain digger. Absolute blank look from driver and I was tempted to tell him I used to drive one."
and that dear lady is why we all love you.
You should be on TV. on one of the good shows.

iODyne said...

just a 6am Sunday report from the trenches: El Chi posted 9 minutes ago and has 9 comments already. Maybe she's awake because her cat jumped on her sleeping chest like mine did.

Elephant's Child said...

He reached under the bed-clothes and slashed. Bleeding is such a wake-up call...

JahTeh said...

Okay iOdyne, shed no.1 is a winner says me who can't clean a house.
You poor people with wake-up cats, mine just sits and projects mind control until I realize I'm dreaming of empty kibble bowls.
That taxi driver's face was just priceless. I should not do something like that when someone else is driving.

Middle Child said...

Been such a long time since I used Blogger and am going to work my way back - it was always good to read your's and Ann o'Dyne and High riser's posts - life just got a bit out of control as it does...I always wanted a verandah right around my house - actually Don said once "You'd put a verandah right around the shithouse if you could" he was joking I think...wish I still had the verandah we had in the old house...