Just after Christmas 2007

Bing! Home again after a few days doing Christmas with rellies. Bought a Pictionary game at Borders in Tuggerah with Christmas vouchers. I love Pictionary! We played one game; I’m itching to do more but the box was too big for me to cart home by train and bus, so it’s still in Wyong. Finally got home from my Long Trek (with a stopover to see Atonement at Broadway Hoyts with Larissa) to find that Steve had already started on the renos. We’re officially renovating! What a relief! We’ve been moving towards this point for about three years. In the “wasted space”, Steve’s name for the nameless room that could be called a dining room, we now have a bit of actual rubble on the floor, and on the walls, some lurid green ’70s wallpaper under a layer of sweet green retro floral tiles. All this was revealed when Steve peeled back the ’70s wood paneling. Interesting – three layers of ’70s decor. It appears previous tenants tried painted hardboard first, then the wallpaper, and then the tiles, before covering the lot with the paneling. What fun, what fun! Steve’s at work today. I’d barely put everything down before I ran out to the shed to find a small axe. Then I went at the sweet green tiles. They dropped and smashed satisfyingly to the floor. I’m now moving back and forth between cleaning and reconstituting the outside dunny (I love it and I’m not sure I want to give it up) and dumping my tile rubble into the big green skip in the back yard. The dunny is your classic Australian piece, celebrated in many a chooks and chokos joke. I imagine it originally housed a pan toilet before moving up to the porcelain and bakelite beauty that is there now. Layers of flaking paint in various shades of green and blue, with evidence of bold red paintings on concrete and timber. The nails that would have held newspaper for wiping bottoms. The wonderful old latch. Stored memories of the trek into cold, cold nights to this little room lit only by wavering candlelight. Spiders in corners.

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