What’ll it be then, white or yellow?
Last weekend was the last time we had the house properly to ourselves before the builder arrived to set about its pate with jack hammers and concrete saws and pick axes. Let the violence of renovation be not underestimated. So we spent a couple of peaceful hours there trawling up and down the stairs, in and out of the quiet and patient rooms. Sort of communing really, as far as it’s possible to commune with anything when there’s a pair of Herberts dashing about and carrying on like pork chops. One of them, who shall remain anonymous, even disgraced themselves in the sheer excitement of it all.
When we had done communing I went outside and slapped a bit of paint about,in our joint attempt with the neighbours to find an external colour scheme which we all like for our terrace and which will please the Powers That Be.
You might remember that after epic discussions with the Paint Expert we’d already settled on an ochre copperas limewash with black woodwork, and this was all feeling nicely done and dusted until we saw that the limewash, when wet, became a rather unpleasantly strident mustard colour. Good for hot dogs and salt beef sandwiches but not good for Regency Wrecks. So now we are considering an off-white for the stucco, off-black for the windows, and red for the front doors. Mr P and I still prefer the yellow but we ain’t in Chelsea where you get houses in all the hues of sorbet heaven, so in all probs we’ll end up white.
(The Rectory Red is not as pink as it appears on this photo btw. Though it’s not particularly nice. Apologies to Ms Pimp, who chose it).
While I was busy slapping the paint on the door a steady stream of passers-by stopped to comment and talk. Very nice it was too. A bit of a neighbour fest, really. We met a man with flowing grey hair who’s lived down the road for 40 years and he blessed our endeavours and blew us a multitudes of kisses in welcome. That was lovely. Another paused with his golden retriever to give an opinion on which red he liked better. Yet another said “hey, you’re the one from that renovation show aren’t you?”, and when I told him that I wasn’t, assured me that actually I was. So I must be! Without knowing it – fancy that. But if I dont find out which show I’m on soon, I shall be late for rehearsals.
On a rather astonishing note, a special mention goes to the neighbour on the other, non-terrace side of us: the owner of the architectural practice handling our renovation (I’m not talking about Esteemed Architect, I hasten to add). This particular gent, when asked by our builder whether he could perch two feet of our scaffolding on his property said yes, providing he paid rent. Rent I tell you! For scaffolding! And when the builder declined, he was sent a mail forbidding him from leaning anything against the boundary and all manner of suchlike things. Neighbourly, much? Call me prescient, but I don’t need the tea leaves or the Tarot cards to tell me to go elsewhere when I run out of sugar. (But actually, in the name of balance I must also say there are also lovely people who work next door).
After our painting efforts we took the dogs for a walk and found a park down the road which was furnished with great swathes of beautiful, green-black shade to lounge about in and read. Fantasies of future picnics began to pop up like beanstalks in my head and fair giddied me for a second. And at the bottom of the park, suddenly there was this, which seems forever to leap out at you at unexpected moments and which never fails to excite me:
There was also the bridge, good mate of the Opera House:
And the brides. One thing we’re learning fast is that we’re going to have to share the area with every single last bride in Sydney. Friday and Saturday nights are Hen nights, with the sateen sashes and froths of white net, that so often seems to end in tears and bedragglement. And during the daytime there are the photo opportunities, so if you don’t turn a corner with your bag of shopping and bump into the Opera House, you’ll likely bump into a bride and her photographer instead. In fact one reason we had the portico shored up when we did was to prevent it collapsing on one of the lovely ladies and their hapless grooms nestling there.