Thursday, September 08, 2011

The house I lived in....

So, the jury has been in and given the verdict...our house is to be completely demolished and eventually a new dwelling will take pride of place on the remains of our memories.


It's a new beginning for sure, even tho' it will be sad to see our lovely old house in a pile of rubble. It was built in 1923, and originally owned by a locomotive engineer according to the paper work. Sometime in the 60s the owners added a swimming pool which has been both a curse and a welcome respite during our ownership. The pool may well be sacrificed initially to make way for the wrecker and then the builders. New pool too then? Thanks! 


Our girls are weepy and unhappy - they have never lived anywhere else (unlike me who has globe trotted internationally as well as nationally) and it is hard for them to accept the premise that a house is more than bricks and wood - it is the people who live there, who love there, and it is the memories created there...we will always have those. And we get re-wired, and double glazed and re-insulated. Not all change is bad. 


So this weekend we will be carefully up-rooting the roses, and a few small trees that may be trampled in the demolition, take a few last photos of the way it is...



and then start planning the new place. We have a few things we have always thought we would change if we ever got the chance so it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good and the house we lived in will never truly fall down....


16 comments:

Nathalie said...

I can understand your daughters if they've never known anything else. You must take lots of photos, even of the smallest things you don't think are important. You never know what's going to trigger memories. Do it with them too, so they get a chance to express their feelings about such or such details before the house is demolished.

And then... go for it! It IS an exciting project and there's so much to gain from it and to learn in the process. In the end the girls will love the new house, new memories will be created there. Life pushes you forward always, there's no turning back and nostalgia is no way to build your life. You know what it's like to change and move and grow, they don't. They'll learn this with you, and with your loving support it will be a success !

Good luck with it all!

Steve said...

So sad to lose your home but, as you say, you now have the opportunity to build a new one together from the ground up and it must be seen as an opportunity. The very best of luck with it... do hope you'll be keeping a few rabbit hutches for future visitors.

Keith said...

I feel for the upheaval this will bring, but keep an eye on the future. You talk of the history of your house, well it's down to you now to keep that history going. This is just another bit of it's story. I think it is in good hands.

Acknowledge and enjoy the process, even the sad bits.

( The verification word was RETTYROO which could be something Scooby Doo wold say )

Marginalia said...

Gulp, I can imagine how gut wrenching this is. Our house is not a building - it's an important member of the family, a friend, a comfort and a joy. To lose it would be unthinkable.

I'd be in mourning, The new build might be exciting but first you have to say goodbye to an old friend.

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

It's so much harder for children to see beyond their experience to new potential. You are the first person I know who has had the demolition verdict. It feels newly traumatic and I know other people who are waiting, waiting.
Strangely your story of looking ahead has taken me back to the day that Elwin died - the day after we had the Skudder house first inspected. He was strolling around the Mitre 10 Garden Centre with me (he usually stayed amongst the tools), and we were imagining what we would do if the old concrete cottage had to be demolished and had come up with making one wall into a hanging garden - Elwin was dreaming up a system to run water along the top to trickle down the wall - a lovely memory. Thankyou for provoking it and may this be a wonderful new journey for your family.

Rol said...

Hope the new house is built extra-quick and it's all you ever wanted!

louciao said...

I'm presently reading a novel concerning the uprooting of whole communities in order to create dams, floodplains, etc. It's gut-wrenching for those involved and whole ways of living are lost in the process. Your experience must be similar. Of course it is a huge learning curve for your girls and only right that they should be allowed their own grieving processes. But with the positive outlook of their mum shining as an example, they will come through brilliantly. The chance to take part in and witness the building of a new nest will be exciting, and they'll be up to the heady challenge of creating a home from a house, together with their loving parents. Everything falls away...earthquakes or no. Is this why we bloggers try so hard to hold on to those precious fleeting moments with photos and words?
Funny you posted a video of old Gord; I was just listening to some of his tunes myself this morning.
Raise high the roofbeams, carpenters, while we raise our glasses in a toast to the Sagittarian's new double-glazed house!

ρομπερτ said...

oh ! wishing you only happiness and a soon new home. impressive picture indeed ! hope all remains still.

Pixie said...

there's been some lovin and some laughin in that gorgeous old house for sure. Makde sure there's a guest sofa and a very big dining table at its replacement xxx

The Sagittarian said...

Nathalie-great advice about photographing it all, thank you so much for your support!

Steve - we might even put carpet down for you this time round!!

Keith - haha, you really made me laugh with your scooby impersonation, the tail wagging was priceless! :-)

Marginalia - I try to visit your blog but a malware warning keeps coming up?? As for the house, we are swinging between mourning and just getting on with the process...

Lady M - oh I'm glad you got a happy memory from my post, your Elwin sounds very much like the sort of person my Dad was...always had a scheme out of the ordinary on the go!

Rol - well, superquick I suspect would be might powerful wishful thinking -one of the engineers who visited the property was telling us he will be our project manager BUT he also said he has been here since just after the Feb quakes and has not completed a house yet!!

Louciao-ah yes, what an interesting book! I have always had a soft spot for "Old Gord" - infact I think (and I will whisper this cos Pixie might be listening) I have a vinyl album of his that JUST MIGHT belong to Pixie from so long ago I am hoping she will have forgotten I have it! The Summertime Dream album, so lovely...

Robert-Thank you, it will be an interesting adventure, you are welcome to tag along for the ride!

Pixie -there will be a HUGE dining table and room for it, and always a guest bed for you!! (Please don't confuse the table with the guest bed tho'....that could be messy)

kj said...

sag, there is something both sad and exciting as i read this. i certainly understand how your daughters feel, and you are very wise to know that the memories of a house cannot be demolished.

i love the thought of you all digging up your rose bushes and i know you will have some fun planning new space.

with love
kj

Owen said...

Dear Sister Saj,
Am late getting here, and am not sure I have anything very wise or witty to say beyond what has already been said...

I think perhaps you are fortunate in the sense that at least you can salvage your belongings and take pictures before the demolition starts, unlike folks in the villages in Japan devastated by the tsunami, or more recently near Austin, Texas, where 1400 homes burned down, etc...

Hopefully your new place will be able to withstand some shaking ? And, as Steve said, will have some extra rabbit hutches for visitors ? I would recommend putting a jacuzzi in the guest bedroom suite bathroom, ok ?
:-)
And a big wine cellar plus wet-bar in the billiards room ?

Joey Polanski said...

May you have much to smile about in your new place.

And to get it all started, HERE's a link to what I believe is my only earthquake poemski to date.

Stickup Artist said...

Like you, I have moved around so much that home to me is wherever I am. But I can understand how difficult it is for your kids and how their sense of security might be shaken too. But when the demolition is done and the planning and coming together of the new digs takes place, I'm sure the fun and excitement will chase those blues away. Can't wait to see the project unfolding!

Bish Bosh Bash said...

I've no doubt there will be some sad and empty moments ahead, when the builders do their stuff, but there will equally come a day when it starts to get all a bit exciting again, especially when the plaster hits the walls.

I'm with Nathalie - take plenty of pictures - and - a comprehensive camcorder walk through/talk about. Garden too. You can then load the camcorder version to a PC, and play with it some time later.

3D printer products are already well on the way, meaning that it really won't be that long before you'll be able to email a selection of your digital photo images off to a local 3D model sculpturer, and they'll print you off a small scale 3D replica of your old house, and mail it back to you.

Good luck with it all. Spring is at least on its way to you all down there, whereas our English summer barely managed to give us all a cursory smile again this year.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

How terribly sad. But how positive you are about it. I hope you get to design your dream home Sagittarian!

I do hope you managed not to lose any important stuff too during the damage.