Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Stealing Magnolias

We are moving house soon.
Finally leaving this "just temporary" ramshackled old renovators delight that we have called home (or, "The White House") for three years.
Don't be fooled by the size, we only live downstairs as upstairs is uninhabitable. You can read more about that here 

During this time we have paid minimal rent, with the understanding that we wouldn't ring the owner/landlord up every time something went wrong.  The Husband and the Father-in-law have thus spent many many hours re-wiring light fittings that started smoking; re-digging sewerage systems that started stinking; laying kitchen benches down over peeling old lino; removing chandeliers that were really really wobbly (and fugly); and a million other little things that regular tenants would take for granted.

While we rent out our own house in Brisbane and get bills for plumbers who have cleaned the gutters for us, we (ahem... the Husband) have been here cleaning our own clogged Belgian gutters. When the tenants in Brisbane complain that their curtains are degrading, we get new ones hung, while meanwhile the curtains here are probably highly sought after in a 1950's vintage fabric kind of way, if only they were stable enough to take down and wash.  While we lay mice traps out in our loungeroom here and rejoice at catching the little buggers, we are simultaneously paying a pest-man some exorbitant fee to go remove a paper nest wasp from the front porch of the Brisbane house.

It is thus with not much sadness that we will depart this rambling old dump, and move to bigger and greener pastures.  We will have a kitchen from this century, a bathroom with a floor you can safely walk on, an attic bedroom (!) and enough bedrooms for me to turn one in to a sewing room! I AM SO EXCITED! We will have twice as much space for our chickens,and three times as much grass for the husband to mow kids to play on.

There are a few things I will miss though.

  • The view out of the kitchen window, looking down our garden to what was once a well established cottage garden, with apple trees, hazelnuts and walnuts (and squirrels!), rhododendrons, daffodils, tulips, azaleas, elderflowers, plums, blackberries and holly. It's so nice to watch the seasons change from the same window over the years. 

  • The close proximity to the supermarket (we can see our house from the carpark and it's literally quicker to walk there than to drive and find a carpark); and, mostly, 
  • The Magnolia Tree. 

flashback! how little are my big kids? this was from 2011. 

Bumba the rabbit will be moving with us

This house is for sale as "project ground" which means it will likely be demolished and replaced with 4 apartments.  The beautful Magnolia tree doesn't stand a chance. I am, at this moment, trying to convince the Husband that we can perhaps dig up the tree and relocate it.  Sure it will fit in the back of the Renault, and no-one will even notice it's absence.


The KitchenMaid said...

Here I was thinking you were living in some romantic fairytale palace! Best of luck for the move (and yes, I reckon you should take the tree, or at least a cutting from it) x

Jo said...

Oh, man! Good luck with the tree removal project :) That garden will be something to miss, but it sounds like you're going to something far better, so... best of luck and a smooth move to you!

Antwerp Papa said...

Good luck moving. I would take the tree...

If you're interested, there is a group in Antwerp for English speaking parents (APC). They do all kinds of activities (summer picnic, easter egg hunts, etc...) www.antwerpparentchild.com

ClaireyHewitt said...

I lie that garden. Love it. And the snow, I saw it last time, still it's so lovely.

You know, we are starting to plan a trip to Europe and a week or so in Belgium next year, i would love to get all your tips and advice on where to go, where to stay, what to do etc.

jade said...

As someone who never lived in this house, of course, I loved it from afar and am sad to see you go :) It always looked so cosy in the pictures, except that time the car smashed into it of course. But really, I loved what you did to the rooms we saw in the photos. And I loved the garden too. It's certainly been memorable. Looking forward to seeing what you do at the new digs! :)