Sunday, May 15, 2011


Explain to me how a relatively young couple with their first child (he a chef from America who earned a good wage, but used it to pay off his substantial student loans, she an Australian musical theatre performer living in NYC and always having enough money to fly home to be a bridesmaid, but never for much more) is meant to break into the Sydney housing market.
Not that we’re trying, but here’s why – because on Saturday an ugly brick two bedroom house in Lane Cove sold for $925 000.
That’s nearly a million dollars for a house that (if we do what Peter Costello wanted us to do and have a kid for the mother, a kid for the father and a kid for the nation) would probably have to be renovated anyway.
That is mental.
And that is why we’re about to move back into a one bedroom flat above the house of a family friend with a common front door and a narrow staircase further diminished by the moving chair that was installed for the previous tenant – his elderly sister.
But the rent is cheap, its around the corner from my husband’s work, the perfect location for my 10k run, and the small balcony with a death-trap set of stairs to the overgrown back garden, has a view of the harbour bridge.
When my parents got married they had a bed and two hundred and fifty bucks. My husband’s parents started out in a two room hut and renovated in an American winter.
We’re just sticking with tradition.
I often hope that somewhere in my past, I’ve helped an old lady across the road who’s family made their money during the gold rush, and after experiencing such a kindly deed from a stranger, she wrote me into her will and one day a solicitor will present at my door (the communal door we share with our downstairs family friend) and give me a cheque for a large sum of money with a note saying; ‘thank you for helping me cross the road, may this small token of my appreciation help you.’
Maybe she lost my address.
Still, it’s been a great motivator for helping the geriatrics.
Or wouldn’t it be fabulous if you knew someone fabulously wealthy, (you know those people who earn millions of dollars just in interest on their bank accounts) and instead of tithing to the Outer Mongolian Pottery Society for Disadvantaged Llamas, they give it to you instead.
Just like when I pretend the diamond earrings I bought from the two-dollar shop are real, I am excellent at pretending I know how the other half lives.
Trust me, benevolent benefactor, I won’t embarrass you.
Ah buggar it. The bigger the house, the longer it takes to clean. I’ll think of you, rich people in your multi-storeyed, multi-roomed, multi-winged, madness while I’m whipping around our apartment, cleaning it from top to toe in under an hour. You’ll barely be through dusting the front parlour.
What’s that you say? 
You don’t have to clean your multi-storeyed, multi-roomed, multi-winged mansion? 
A cleaning service comes in twice a week and does it all for you?
Oh, gee.
For once, I have nothing to say.

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