The Marion Chronicles – Chapter 2
Six months have gone by since I last wrote about living in our tree house. Marion’s birthday went by a few weeks ago. She would have attained the ripe old age of 150 on Valentine’s day had she managed, in some magical combination of obstinacy and vegetarianism, to defy death. There are some noises being made out there about “celebrating” her life. So far nothing has even come close to revealing the Marion I have come to know. I had better get on with this.
In addition to the usual excuses — the pandemic, a broken wrist, too much chocolate — I blame my lack of progress on a mental block concerning the topic that is up next. I cannot go any further in telling you about Marion’s life until we talk about her mother, and mothers in general. Mothers. I am still not certain I understand the concept, even though I had one and I am one.
It’s August, 2020. Armageddon is upon us. I know I wrote a mocking piece about the Rapture a while back, but honestly, this is feeling like the real thing. Fires, plague, comets, insect swarms, Donald Trump … sh*t’s getting real. I’m sorry I mocked it, okay? Stop already.
As a bit of an epilogue to the saga of our restoration of the bit of Australian Architectural History, I promised to add some photos.
You can see the professional ones done by the good photographers at the Design Files. Those are amazing, much better than anything I could take.
I have a policy of only putting my own photos up on this blog — very long story involving a copyright troll operating from underneath a bridge in Las Vegas — but I’ll make a small exception here to include some publicly available real estate photos so you can see what changed. Keep in mind they used a wide angle lens, which I can’t reproduce.
At this point in the narrative, I’m a little worried you might think that the restoration of our Priceless Piece of Australian Architectural History was an unmitigated nightmare and that I was on the verge of catastrophic sleep failure.
So let me reassure you. There were many, many things that were going well. Sure, the completion date was moving away from us at a fairly steady pace and our starting budget was only a rosy memory. But with Jane and Christopher on the scene, we were spared the majority of the minutiae.
I left you after the last post about to rip the carpets out of the bedrooms. We’d tried to peek at the state of the floor around the heating/AC vents earlier, but given the presence of mould on the east wall, I wasn’t too optimistic.
You may recall, in the last episode, I was lying awake fretting about neurotoxic mould and wondering if we had made the biggest mistake of our lives.
Well, morning arrived and the house was still ours. We went by to meet the project foreman, Andrew. During the night a large branch from the gum tree in front of the house had broken off. These eucalyptus trees are known as widowmakers, for their propensity to unexpectedly shed branches at random moments and kill people. Fortuitously, this one missed the roof and it happened at night, so no one got hurt. Was it a sign? As in Yes this project is going to be full of scary surprises but no one will die. Continue reading
That’s what the builder said, a couple of months into the Project.
You don’t open a can of worms, and not expect to find any worms in it…
In September 2017 our Australian Real Estate Adventure came to an end. We had signed the papers for Salter House, negotiating a long settlement (January 15) in exchange for fifty grand off the price. That gave us lots of time to think about what we wanted to do. Continue reading
Today our Melbourne restoration project went up on a design blog! Here’s the back story of how we ended up getting the house in the first place. The renovations? A whole other story for another day.
Marc and I are not real estate neophytes. We have bought and sold houses in three countries. I know the sellers’ tricks and the buyers’ tactics. We were flush with cash from selling our Vancouver townhouse and ready to embark upon yet another real estate adventure on a new continent, in a new city. Our stuff was sitting in a storage facility, and we were living out of suitcases. We needed to settle down.