Sign of the times

Having lost my bloggin mojo, it seems to have found me again.  Not that life is any less stressful or demanding or crazy, but suddenly I feel the urge to purge.
Picking up on the last post, whilst pulling out the timber frame of the old addition, little wads of newspaper rained out, which dates the addition: 1957.  The people that lived in our house were devout Catholics, so I'm guessing the pages from the tabloid and decidedly saucy Perth Weekend Mail were courtesy the building chaps.
This first piece is a classic.  Meet Patsy (another Patsy!), who interestingly comes from the area where we live. 


She's pretty gorgeous.  Cant quite make out what it she is holding, could be anything.  A radio? Pool ball?

But wait, let's read all about her ....  come hither...... what!  She's only 15!!

I was thinking this would make a fun item to frame and put in the loo, but I have to say, I'm wavering.  Yes it is an interesting piece of mass media that illustrates how times have changed, but do I really want my 11 year old daughter thinking this  is where she might see herself in four years time?  Prudish, I've never been, but I've got mixed feelings here.

Let's see, what else.  Oh my!  Nudist sunbathing in Geraldton!  I also find this pretty out there, for 1957.  Who would have thought that the local tabloid rag in this little town would have been so risque?

And now, moving away from salacious gossip, some useful advertising... for asbestos.  We've just spend three grand having all the asbestos in our old addition removed by men in white suits with rolls of black plastic.  There was a shitload of it.  Cheap, readily available and totally indestructable, it formed the fabric of so many Australian suburbs over the second half of the twentieth century.

Now James Hardie Industries face the wrath numerous courtcases and responsibility for many deaths in Australia, from the illnesses associated with asbestos mining and use. 
I was glad to see the back of it, as the ute travelled off down the lane, to deposit it in landfill somewhere.  Oh dear.


Ground Zero

Demolition is now complete. The guy is in with his bobcat today to clear away the final debris of our house's rear.   The lavvy was the only thing left by the time he arrived this morning.  As you can imagine, there has been lots of great photo opportunities with the below, which I won't share.

I've been sifting through the soil which was underneath the stumps, the builder thinks I'm mad.  There are lots of little fragments of packaging and other ephemera which are like clues and DNA to the past life of this house and its inhabitants. 

I've also been taking photos from this vantage point below nearly every day.  My plan is to do a time lapse series of the old coming down and the new going up.  Given the drip-drip approach to our building budget, that is going to be one hell of a file, if I take one every day.

You can see the old kitchen wall, which would have been original to the house, whereas the section to the right which housed a dining area and bathroom were added in the 50s.  When we were pulling it apart we found a load of newspaper rolled up to fill gaps from 1957.  More on that later.



I've been stupid busy the past few months, blogging is a distant and luxurious memory.   My book is soon to be printed (another post, note to self: write) and the house reno has now well and truly kicked off.

We've now moved into the recently completed garage/studio and set up residence for the foreseeable future, while the house is partially demolished and extended.  Some say we are mad, some say genius.  Time will tell.  If we are all still speaking to each other in a year's time it will be cause for celebration in itself.

Task one: turn garage into livable dwelling.  Upstairs we have loo, shower, kitchen, so downstairs is sleeping zone.  Our lovely builder put up this partition made from a bunch of Victorian pine doors we'd had getting in the way for the last ten years.

That's one less pile of crap under a tarp to shimmy around. 

So work begineth.  The old side sleepout was first to go.  One push, give or take, and it's gone.

Then work moves to the rear - old kitchen, diner and bathroom.  It's clinging on a bit harder, but another day or two and it will also be toast.

The plan is to reserve all the old jarrah timbers and reuse them in the build, somewhere, somehow.  Cue: five more piles of crap under tarpaulin.

When the inside wall skin was removed from the kitchen, this was revealed.  It's the old original weatherboard wall, with flaking paints and lovely patina. 

We might try and fiddle less rather than more with that and enjoy its distressed tones.  Not that there will be much distressing to do, that's for sure.