I was of two minds about doing a house tour – although I love looking at other people’s. But my house is rarely all clean at the one time, so it sounded like a “one day” project. If at all.
Today I was outside with the girls when an older lady neighbour popped her head over the fence and warned me that it was on its last legs. “The fence has become terribly unstable now after yesterday’s wind,” she said. “Just be careful of it near your children”.
I told her that I would inform the owner, as I poked three rusty nails back in their holes. “Oh he won’t care about that!” she said. “Don’t you know there are seven three-story apartments going up on your block?”
I didn’t. But I suspected. It’s a huge block with amazing views. The elderly owners died and a builder bought the land. It was only a matter of time, but disappointing nonetheless.
We chatted a bit longer, about the weather, about my move, about the townhouses blocking the views. She called my daughter “young man”, and wore a slick of bright red lipstick.
She told me the residents around the area have contested the plans, and it has gone all the way to a tribunal. It’s pretty much our amazing backyard tree that is keeping the build from going ahead.
I came back inside the house and started taking photos. A lot of love and care and expense has gone into this house, and although it’s dated, it’s packed full of charm. The neighbour lady talked about the old man’s love for his garden – the money he poured into it, the time and care he spent in it, keeping hedges trimmed and roses fed. It’s looking a little the worse for wear these days, but the tree is still commanding the space from its corner of the garden. Majestic even without its foliage.