Saturday, October 04, 2008

Full circle

Househunt 2008 #2 is finished at last, and we finally have a new pad. We have christened it Narnia, not because it is magical or accessed via a wardrobe, but because of this:

Why yes, that is a lamp-post in the back yard, and no, we don't know why.

Less artistic lamp-post shot:

Jungle baby is coming to get you.

It happens to be across the road from our first Sydney house (or rather the McMansion that now stands where the Fifties Dreamhouse once stood). Which makes it quite cute when our lovely new neighbours welcome us to the 'hood. It also means we have come full circle through some of the world's great places - Concord West (Fifties Dreamhouse), Homebush (All Mod Cons Dreamhouse on Highway to Hell), Notting Hill (Pixieflat), Newcastle (Versatile Solutions for Modern Living Soulless Townhouse), and back to Concord West. We are pleased as punch to be back in the old stomping ground. There's a park across the road, and Bicentennial Park is 15 minutes' walk away. We can walk to Rhodes shopping centre in 30 mins or the Bakehouse Quarter in 15, the local shops (takeaways x 2, cafes x 3 and a decent corner shop), our chiro and the station are only two blocks away, Grant can ride to work in under 40 minutes, and I can train it in in about 35 from door to door barring Unforseen Public Transport Incidents. The location, in other words, is wonderful.

The new house - well, not quite wonderful. It has wooden floors for Beth to wee upon without fear of carpet damage, a yard for her to play in without getting third degree knee grazing unlike the previous courtyard (and she LOVES the backyard - see jungle baby shots above), a HILLS HOIST TO DRY NAPPIES ON IN TRUE AUSTRALIAN STYLE WOOHOO! (ETA: unfortunately not as good as I'd hoped, as it has a tree rammed through it so won't turn), a nonfunctional spa bath for ?, three bedrooms, and two bathrooms. And it has bars on the windows, what with Concord West being a hotbed of crime. You have to watch out for those latte-sipping Concord teenagers with their polite manners, I tell you.

It does not have:
-a dishwasher (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!)
-a remotely logical layout
-a reasonable rent, even after we haggled $20/week off, but that's Sydney for you, I guess
-any proximity whatsoever to my Novocastrian mother's group, alas.

It also clearly did not have previous tenants with any concept of house or garden maintenance, as the yard is overrun with weeds and the cupboards HAD MOUSE POO IN THEM, and the floors were v. grimy, but Jan and Paul, Industrial Cleaners par excellence as well as being very nice parents-in-law to have, came the other day and beat the place into shape. And now I find myself kind of getting to like the place. But not its lack of dishwasher, which is inexcusable. Good shower though.

The room that will be Robert's is still full of boxes, but don't tell him, OK?

Beth really wants to stress that she likes the yard:

Jungle baby is getting closer by the second...

We're missing things Novocastrian but really getting into the swing of the neighbourhood. Today we had yum cha with Vron and Fi at Rhodes, and Beth ate a fair few dumpling fragments. Then we went for a stroll around the strangely named Lake Belvedere in Bicentennial Park, and Beth looked at the duckies:

Beth points out that there is no birdy cuter than the teenaged duckling

And I am back in the office on Tuesday, without a single dry-cleaned suit, thanks to the ^%#! public holiday when I least expected it.

Now to get organised with this whole living-and-returning-to-work caper. Wish us luck. Separate post to follow with our farewell to Newcastle shots!

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