Emigration/moving house

I agree with your reticence about emigration – it’s a lot of bother if you decide it was the wrong thing to do… I think it is harder for single people, too.

Oz seems such an exciting place – strictly for the young? So many people I know are moving there. It seems many people’s Mecca. People are getting very fed up with the violence here, and Australia seems to appeal, preferably to UK with its bad climate and high prices. I am slightly soaked in Australia just now as we have just had a re-run of that awful movie Thorn Birds.

At last we seem to be part of the scenery down here. It’s a great town and there are such friendly people of all types and interest… but don’t ever be tempted to move away from your patch.

I have put this house up for sale, but I don’t really want to sell! So I will see what God will do. I am asking 2.65 million for this property, 2.85 if I don’t like the people!! I bought it for 450,000 15 years ago. The problem is no proper fence and gate so someone needs to buy it who can afford to do that. [I should think if someone can afford 2.65 million in any currency, they will have enough for a fence!]

We went to the village to attend, for curiosity, the auction of a house just outside of the railway (well, 200 yards from it). We had been told they had already turned down an offer of $72,000 (3 bedroom, 1 sitting, on a very small section, made of wood so requiring expensive maintenance). In his opening ‘blurb’ the auctioneer led up to his valuation of it as $95,000 – but he couldn’t get a bid until he had come down to $60,000 – and 2 bids and long pauses later, they withdrew it with the price at $65,000! We are not planning to move yet!

I saw the ‘new’ house with X – it could be v. nice but is in an abysmal state at present. It’s to be redecorated and she says ‘they’re’ putting formica etc. in the bathroom and it needs it – I’d have thought it would take a good month’s work and several thousand $$ – it was supposed to be done before they move but as someone didn’t turn several moves along the line it’s all been held up and they must move by the end of the month for someone else to go into their house. To add to the difficulties there is even less built in cupboard space in the kitchen than they have at present and there everything is three layers deep. Hope it works out.

Did we tell you we were weak enough to look at a house near the village – all we’d need in our senility but mad as mortgages carry vast interest.

Really, all that’s been wrong with me is general home-sickness and there’s nothing anyone can do about it, except me – got to learn to live with it.



Property – values/repairs/layout

Are you still enjoying your flat in London? Is the interest still going up and crippling you or are things easier now? It must have increased quite considerably already in capital value. My flat has increased in value to more than three times what I paid for it 6 years ago. I’m not sorry I bought!

the balcony

I have moved… I wanted a balcony…It is on the 6th floor and on a ridge so from such an elevation the lights at night are quite magnificent… I overlook an Indian Community – mostly lovely big homes. Part of their culture is to keep roosters. These do a lot of crowing in the early hours. I love it – it is like being on a farm!!

My poor house hasn’t progressed very much. This summer, providing it isn’t too hot, I plan to do renovations including paving my verandah and purchasing a garden shed to get rid of all of the odds and ends making the back of my house (inside and out) look like a reduced version of Steptoe’s yard.

I have two very smart door bells… the back door does a vibrant ‘come at once’ sort of ring and the front door does more of a Big Ben ‘Ping Pang’ – all marvellously suburban and quite right for such a dead-end road as we are… Both doors are down the side of the bungalow in ridiculous places as the kitchen door comes first so automatically one goes there – just as well as the front door opens cheek by jowl with the loo/bathroom door and I can imagine awkward confrontations and lurkings until the caller has gone!!

How I pity you with that selling business and I do hope the agent shows himself worthy of the colossal percentage and achieves a sale. Ones home suddenly seems shabby and unworthy and the callers look as though they can’t imagine anyone bearing with it and peer around suspiciously.

I have decided, after strenuously denying that I required one, to employ an architect to do my house. It will add considerably to the cost, however I have not got the energy to do the work. (Get the design through the local council, and supervise the building work.)… Of course I will be the worst possible client, as I have Ideas as to what I want. (Reading the architectural magazines, I have gathered that the ‘ideal client’ is the one who is willing to go with whatever the architect comes up with. Well, that’s not me.)

I am in the process of buying the dullest bungalow in X in a row of similar horrors so that I can’t even recognise mine yet. Never mind, it seems delightfully small and compact.

My house plans are static at the moment. I haven’t given up the idea, however I need the bigger income. As yet, I have not had any word as to my salary evaluation. According to our award, I am being under-paid. However, whether they will cough up or not is another matter. I have a collection of wonderful glossy magazines with beautiful places in, but of course I will have to come down to earth when I actually start doing it – even a bigger salary will only stretch to fairly ordinary basics.

The house renovations must be grim to live with but no doubt when all is finished you will be glad you did it. Contractors always do that sort of thing – take on several jobs at once and never finish any one completely… X had their house almost completely rebuilt by architects this year. So they are living in chaos still. All the outside walls were pulled off and for a time they lived behind tarpaulin sheets!

It has taken me the entire year to do all the improvements to my new home amidst HEAT, DUST and NOISE and much moving to and fro of furniture and accessories etc. etc…. I have a top-of-the-range ceiling fan in my bedroom so I can actually sleep under a blanket – and that is on speed 1 (of 5). Any higher and I may wake up pinned to the ceiling… The only problem here is that being closer to nature (2nd floor, previously 6th floor) moths and beetles and things fly in, in the hot weather.

It is indeed a most exceptional place, on a hill 5 Km from sea and shops, sea view, dream home, dream kitchen, granny flat, 2 garages under house, paved curved driveway and by the way a cycal in the front garden!! Small pool, gazebo seating 12, also separate cottage at far end of property, terraced beds for fruit, plenty of fruit and nuts, pawpaws, about 3 1/2 acres, old trees etc. etc. [Can we all have a place like this?]

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