Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Poor Tree

We have begun to house hunt again. The cozy charm of our little abode has begun to wear thin, with the Canberra winter (chuckle, chuckle) in full swing. As we approach the winter solstice (I know it's weird) daylight wanes and we find ourselves indoors a little more often and the 900 square feet we possess begins to close around us. Perhaps an extra room or two would help to keep the peace.

House hunting in Canberra is depressing, especially if you are in the rental market. Houses come on the market and are snapped up fast by transient government yocals, international visitors and embassy types. The result is too much demand for a limited supply and Realtors that could care less about you because they know the place will get snapped up anyway. Rental properties are way over priced, run down and gloomy. Neighbourhoods are mixed, 2 nice homes followed by a train wreck and the pattern repeats itself all over the city.

The general rule is a bunch of houses that look like remakes of my parents place. The one I was honoured to grow up in about half a century ago. You know the 1960/1970 homes, the ram shackled bungalows with three small bedrooms and 1 bathroom.

It's the one bathroom that I object to the most, mainly from painful experiences from my childhood when my father would retire to the loo after dinner with a crossword in hand. A 6 p.m. entry would routinely turn into a one and half hour sit down and leave my brother, sister and I crippled in pain outside the door. A knock on the door was akin to a death sentence and therefore rarely even attempted. I am not entirely proud to say that many an early evening I snuck out and convened with a poor little maple tree in the gathering twilight. Years later the little tree was hideously disfigured and only I knew the truth, poor thing.

Alas we march on, searching the listings and looking to upgrade. It is a dance that many a new resident to Canberra knows all to well. So we keep looking for that perfect spot - actually we'd settle for functional at this stage. I have now lowered my standards to accommodations with bushy foliage in the backyard...hey kids if it was good enough for me...

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