Sunday, 11 October 2009

Hooray! I'm not homeless!

It's been a tense month or two. Despite all of us having remembered both reading and hearing from the real estate agent that we were applying for a one year lease, with an option to extend for another six months or year, it would appear that it was not actually written into the lease (mind you, this is the very same real estate agent who couldn't bring herself to arrive on time for inspections, even though her office was three minutes up the road. This is also the same agent who somehow managed to not only get the sole key to the house jammed in an internal lock a couple of days before we were due to move in, and therefore had to lock the house without a copy of the key being in her posession, but also took something in the order of a week and a half to find a locksmith who could solve the problem for us). This is why it came as a surprise to hear that our landlord expected us out at the end of the one year lease, with no negotiation about a second year or even six months.

I had been looking at houses in the area (c'mon, you've seen the view out my front window - it's hard to give up! Also, I knew we wouldn't find another place big enough for all of us, so I'd be out on my Paddy Malone, so it might as well be in a nice area!) and was all but ready to start inspecting them, when we got the BRILLIANT news that we will not be evicted until around April next year *sighs with relief* That means I don't have to think about finding another place in Adelaide to live right now, or possibly ever (they may ship me out before that). WHOOOHOOOOOOOO!!! (Also, I kind of don't want to leave my adopted family. I hope they don't mind having me here...)
So, I thought that to celebrate, I would take you on a guided tour of our house by the sea. Note that there are no pictures of the publically-visible exterior, nor have I mentioned the suburb in which I live. I have no-hooooo intention of attracting stalkers!

This is what you see when you come in the front door:

My room is to the right...

...which then backs on to the garage.

This is the inside of the garage, and that back door goes out to the courtyard with the clothes line in it. That's a motorbike under the sheet, not a ghost. No need to be frightened.

This is the wall that Kev, uhm, kind of nudged a wee hole into with the Prado. I was in the car at the time, and I was thinking "hmm, that wall's getting close... well I won't say anything. Men HATE it when you comment on their driving... umm, is he going to brake??... oh, he's not braking..." ...crunch.

I brought it up last night. He didn't appreciate it. I think he's still a bit sensitive about it :) (although, I do know somebody who once ran over his parents' BBQ, and he's still a bit sensitive about that several years after the event. Like how I didn't name names?)

Like me, Kev had obviously thought that it was made of concrete, like the rest of the garage. Apparently this was not the case.

Because this is what plaster looks like...

And this is what concrete looks like.

Did you spot the difference? It's MASSIVE! Okay, so you can see the difference when I take a macro shot from 50mm away, but from a couple of metres the distinction isn't so clear.

I'll tell you what though, it's the weirdest-shaped garage in the history of mankind, kind of like the rest of the house is, actually. Check out how many corners it has on the wall that runs behind my room. Go on, count 'em...

That's right, there's THREE corners where there ought to be one (and while you were counting, did you happen to notice that you can't tell the difference between the plaster bit and the concrete bit from a distance?). I can explain one of those corners away - that cut-off corner is the back of my shower. Yes, I have a triangular shower (more on that later). But it doesn't explain the corner half way along the wall. NOTHING EXPLAINS THE CORNERS IN THIS HOUSE!!! The garage alone has six corners plus a curved wall. The architect was clearly an effin' weirdo who was on some serious hallucinogens. This will become increasingly apparent to you as I guide you through this house, apparently designed on feng-shui principles. Nothing would surprise me. Although feng-shui could possibly explain the lack of regular corners in this house (so perhaps I was hasty in stating that nothing could explain the corners).

Except for my room.

I was blessed with the only square room in the ENTIRE HOUSE. The only other thing that is square is the front end of Kev and Bron's room, and that's only because it used to be a balcony.

*looks at photo* Damnit, I should have made my bed. That looks terrible! Okay, pretend that the yellow sleeping bag (it's been cold at night - I needed an extra layer on the bed) isn't there, and that the doona cover - white with a latte coloured embroidered stripe - is spread out neatly. Ahh, much better.

Anyway, that's my bachelorette pad. Between the white linen, the vase (bought specifically with holding lillies in mind - preferably white or pink, but I like the other colours too), and the fact that I have a fit-ball instead of a couch, it suits this bachelorette to a tee.

And this

is this bachelorette's triangular shower (the highly reflective white thing is the bath mat).

You didn't believe me before, did you.

About the triangular shower, I mean.

It has a super-crappy shower head/unit/whatever you want to call it - it's one of those electric instant hot water thingies. The pressure is appalling, it's far too low for me (washing my hair means leaning over backwards like I'm doing the limbo), and it's taken me nearly a year to master adjusting the temperature. It was broken when we moved in, so I had to have either scalding hot or freezing cold showers. This generally meant angling the head away from me and splashing about in hot water (not at all satisfying, and probably not very safe either - kind of like the showers in Verona, Nessa? Although, at least there's only one person in this one...), and when I wanted to wash my hair (which luckily for me is only a couple of times a week), I had to use cold water. There was noooooo WAY I was going to stand under cold water, except on the very warmest of evenings, so I'd stand outside of the shower and tip my head upside down. Not a very satisfying hair-washing or showering experience in general. Ever so glad it's fixed now!

(Please forgive me if that gave you any disturbing visuals. It was not my intention.)
Oh, and to the final important feature of my room...

... the next-door neighbour's sensor light.

(I hope you like the photo - I risked life and limb climbing up on my beadhead to take it.)

As you may have noted in the photo of my room, the triangular (huh, more triangles) bank of windows above my bed lacks curtains. And the neighbours lack the nouse to trim back whatever the hell shrub it is that blows about in the breeze, activates the sensor light and makes it very, very difficult for me to sleep!!! Of course, I haven't actually asked them to trim their shrub (heh, sounds like a euphamism to me... was I the only one??), and I'm sure they would if I asked, but it seems a bit weird knocking on the door of somebody I don't know and asking them to be more dilligent gardeners.

This is the lawn my room looks out onto.

I use the term loosely. I feel our lawn is more of an ant-infested sandpit, sparsely vegetated by weeds, than an actual lawn. Bindis are the prominent vegetative feature. Stupid spiky little bastards. Between them and the ants, it makes it impossible to actually use the lawn for such relaxing pursuits as pleasant evenings spent eating dinner outside, or lazing away your Sundays reading in the back yard, away from the wind and passers-by on the beach. Although sometimes the passers-by are a bit of alright. Like the surf lifesavers (6-pack is an understatement). Or the footy players. Sigh.
The ants haven't really started invading for the summer yet. I really hope they don't this year, but I won't pin my hopes on it. We do, after all, live on a sand dune. Literally. In an odd-shaped house on a dune. The best description you can give it is "hexagon set into an oblong" but even that doesn't come close. I suppose, though that for such an effin' weird house, it is quite pleasing to the eye.
This is the water feature in our little... I suppose you could call it a foyer?

I had to get down on the floor to take that photo. Tania (daugher of the family, and my ever-willing and enthusiastic Shopping (and other miscellaneous activity) Partner in Crime), wanted to take a photo of me lying on my back, camera in hand, looking like a total minda (pronounced Min-da. It's a delightfully politically incorrect Adelaide-ism). Luckily there was no camera within reach. Mischeivous little wench for considering it *shakes fist*

I am making the assumption that the same effing weirdo that designed our house also threw in that water feature for fun, possibly to enhance the energy flow of the house, or some other such feng-shui principle. As you can tell by the shoes around the base, we don't actually use it as a water feature. It just sort of sits there and looks... well pretty probably isn't an appropriate description! So, it just sort of sits there. And that is all.

The decking in that first photo brings you into the landing between the top and the bottom storeys. I won't take you downstairs, but as you can see there's a TV down there. Basically, the idea is that the "kids" (and again, I use the term loosely, given that one is 17 and the other is 19) can stay down there in their own little world with a fridge and some food, the TV and computer, their rooms and the bathroom. The spare room is down there, too. It's a funny shape just like the other rooms down there, with pokey little windows. Just ask Em - she's stayed in there. All the rooms down there are the sort of shape where there's no clear-cut way that your furniture **should** be arranged. So you put it where it fits, and that don't look right, so you move it, and it still doesn't look right. So you give up.

So here's the kitchen (see Labour Day post for more photos)...

.... and here's the sitting bit.

The master bedroom is to the right. I thought taking pics of that would be a bit weird and invasive, even though the ensuite is SPECTACULAR - super-bright, tiny little aqua tiles from floor to ceiling, including in the shower. Their shower puts my li'l triangular shower to shame. And there's no curtain on it, only a kind of wall setup that reminds me a little of a caravan park, but it's thick and it's tiled with the tiny, bright aqua tiles *shakes head* I wonder if the same effin' weirdo that designed the house also did the interior decorating...

And this is the Mystery Room.

We choose to use it as the fridge/gym room, because the space allocated for a fridge in the kitchen was far too pokey for a fridge big enough for five people. We had a cupboard made up to fit in the gap instead, which works nicely. It's especially good as the kitchen is hard enough to move around in, without a teenager standing with the fridge door open, staring into its depths, hoping something tasty will materialise. This way, if the bar fridge downstairs doesn't deliver the goods, here's a whollllllle other room for Matty to do that in!

We seriously have no idea what this room was built for, though. The best we can come up with is a study, but there's no phone jack in there (unlike my room, which has two phone jacks, six sets of powerpoints AND NO FRICKIN' TV AERIAL!!! I've had to buy one of those crappy digital receivers from Dick Smith, and what channels you can pick up depends on the weather. We are, after all, on the lee side of a sand dune; TV (and sometimes phone) reception can be a little dodgy at times. But, get this - I got sick of standing with the receiver in my hand, stretched out to the left, on a 45 degree angle from the TV, in order to get channel 7 to be anything less than blocky (ABC, nine and ten were all pretty good), so I cracked it and decided that re-tuning was probably a good idea... WRONG! I now only pick up SBS. But I pick it up with perfect clarity. WHAT THE HELL KIND OF ALTERNATE UNIVERSE DO I LIVE IN HERE??!). I think the Mystery Room will remain a mystery, along with why they thought it was a good idea to build a house in such a manner that allows it to leak when it rains for more than forty minutes. But not every time. And not always in the same place. Nope, our house definately likes to keep you guessing!

And this is one of the reasons I stay in Adelaide (besides my workmates, who are like family). It's pretty, even in less than perfect weather.

I hope you understand.

1 comment:

  1. Incredibly comprehensive tour Nessa. Where's my cake?


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