Welcome home, part 2

So, how the house is looking now…


Lounge room now. Nope, we don’t have a couch. Nope, those chairs aren’t comfortable. But they were free – the brown one was a gift for my 17th birthday, and the green one we found on the side of the road. The mishmash of rugs are to try and stop cold rising up from the floor. (See also: piles of blankets and pillows.)




Dining room.



The fabric curtain is tacked on the bathroom door because the sliding door is really loud, and there wasn’t really enough room for a hinged door.


Yeah, you know, I’m human and sometimes I don’t feel like cleaning the slow cooker pot right now, ok?


Main bedroom. The walls are purple… It doesn’t get great light because the window is south-facing and the neighbours’ house is pretty close next door. (Please ignore the lack of handles on the cupboards and drawers – I still don’t have screws of the appropriate length.)



Devin’s room. I love the louvre windows, but they are not very practical in winter – it gets quite cold in there. (Yes, yes, pile of washing, Dev was staying at Grandma’s house and anyway I was getting around to it…)



The bathroom didn’t change, except for the shelves Dad built for some storage, because he had planned on knocking out the wall between the bathroom and laundry at a later stage.


And this is the laundry, also unchanged. Also where the shower is. Also I’ve been putting off cleaning Devin’s little sofa.

IMG_5478And the backyard. There’s a little pen down the back left where chickens were at one stage, and we hope to one day make it bigger and get some chickens of our own. I’d like a vegetable garden and composting on the back right, but all the work I’ve done up until now has been clearing rubbish, basically. I guess people used to bury their rubbish? Broken glass and rusty scrap metal and such. Delightful. The house is 80 years old, though.

I didn’t have a picture of the second bedroom, which is Jene’s study, but it’s the same dark grey as Devin’s room in case we decide to switch them later.
EDIT: I have some photos now. The window faces east and looks out to the front verandah, hence the funny light.


And there it is.
At Dad’s funeral, the director asked us if we’d like to take a flower as a memento. I thought for a moment, and declined. I’m living in a memento. Mum’s living in a memento – Dad built that house and all the gardens himself. Now I have to do my best to continue what he helped us start.


Welcome home, part 1

I really have never felt so behind in a year. It’s already almost half over and I’m still stuck back in January. But, it’s time for catching up, so I will start where I left my brain – in the sweltering hot summer when we started sprucing up our new house, beginning with the before and during.

IMG_3280Main bedroom

IMG_3286Lounge looking into dining

IMG_3278Third bedroom/Devin’s room

IMG_3323Second bedroom/study



IMG_3283Dining looking into lounge


IMG_3422The tool centre

IMG_3332Scummy kitchen roof

IMG_3337Paint flaking off all over the place


IMG_3338Terrible spackle repairs to be undone

IMG_3352Scraping paint off the lounge room ceiling – it was over 40 degrees Celsius and the ceilings are high.



IMG_3372The aftermath of sanding the ceiling…

IMG_3391… And the after-aftermath. It took a few shampoos before my hair stopped sticking out on its own.

IMG_3360A casualty.

IMG_3384We had lots of help, including from my sisters.

IMG_3411The best centrepiece for a living room.

IMG_3415Erinn and Dad (Mum not pictured) painting Dev’s room while I stood back and took pictures…


…Because I was doing my best to clean the place. The state the previous owners left it in was ridiculous, and had it been a rental, it would not be acceptable. It seemed to burn more because of the fact that they’d had more than ten weeks to clean and move.

IMG_3490Luckily, I had trusty old Gumption on my side.

IMG_3440Just some of the delightful magazines that were left in the 240 litre  recycling bin. It was so full of them, in fact, that we could barely move it and had to half empty it before we could put it out for collection.

IMG_3487A new verandah roof was put on the back courtesy of Erinn’s boyfriend, Sam.

IMG_3509And, finally, we moved in. And I was so exhausted that the house looked pretty much like this for a few weeks.

How does it look now? Oh, the suspense!

Deus ex machina?

“We’re buying a house so that you can rent it from us.”

Imagine all the things that might go through your mind if your average middle-class parents told you that. All the emotions. I’ve probably felt them all over the past month.

For a while, the most glaring one was guilt. I felt (and still feel) awful not only that I struggle so much with life that my parents felt they needed to do this for me, but also that I am clearly so privileged to have such generous and accommodating parents looking after me. (I have long-standing guilt issues with being a privileged Westerner.)

I have always needed a LOT more help than my younger sisters, largely because I… am not good at life.
And I don’t mean in a, “oh, my life sucks, woe is me” kind of way. I just mean, my personality, my mental issues, my disorders… things don’t come as easily for me as they might to others. It’s not something that I generally talk about, because it makes me anxious to think that people might think of me as spoilt and lazy. (But, I also understand why they would. I know people certainly have thought that of me.) It’s kind of a, ‘I wish I could do all these things myself, but I’m glad I have such awesome parents’ situation.

I am also, of course, extremely grateful for this enormous helping hand.
And, since seeing the house that they have signed for, I’m excited.

Tin roof. Wooden floors, carpeted bedrooms. High ceilings. Solar panels. The room that will be Devin’s has louvre windows. The room that will be ours has built-in cupboards covering an entire wall. The backyard is big enough for playing and making a vegetable garden. There’s a built-in display cabinet with sliding glass doors in the dining room and all of the rooms in the house are individual rooms! No open-plan living at all! It’s practically my dream home. In all seriousness.
It’s an old house but in remarkably good condition, and the only thing that needs to be done is painting. (Though, I mean, I guess we could keep the pink and purple walls… )
And, with the mid-January settlement date, it means that I can keep my long-standing tradition of moving house in the middle of scorching hot summer. (When we moved from Armidale to here, it was 42 degrees Celsius.) Hooray!
(All right, that bit may not have been entirely genuine.)

One of the things I’m most excited about is organising our stuff. I’m already having to contain myself, because I just want to pull all our boxes out and sort through them. (Half of our stuff has been stored in the garage for the last two years.) I want to start painting furniture now and buy new hardware for the kitchen cupboards and start packing up the belongings we have throughout this house and, and, and…


I have done something in preparation, though to be fair, I’ve been meaning to make this for months…

I made Devin a doona (duvet) cover using fabric I bought, and an old sheet. Have you seen bedding options for kids? Especially boys? It’s not pretty. An average budget will get you something stereotypically and gaudily ‘boy’. A higher budget will get you something stereotypically ‘boy’. And a ridiculous budget opens up more ‘gender neutral’ options, which most designers seem to interpret as ‘bland and muted’. Anyway, I’m hoping to carry some of these colours into his room.
Of course, I had put this project off for months and months (I already had the fabric waiting), and how long did it take to make? A couple of hours. I just measured a doona cover we already had, and vaguely followed the instructions according to this tutorial. (Managed to make a bit of a mess of the snap opening, but I’ll be the only one to see that part, anyway.)

So. The title of this post refers to both the fact that we suddenly have our own house, and also to the fact that I seemingly need another deus ex machina to solve my money/job conundrum. I mean, two in one year. That’s not too much to ask, is it?