The shape of my future apparently begins with a 1960’s footprint. What exactly that is besides a motley, apricot brick with khaki rendering leaves much to the imagination. The visual disparity falters between initial disgust and eventual awe. A slow developed appreciation that both endears to challenge a soft, almost negligent respect to timely architecture. There are many houses similar to this in Grange, that era, those visual decisions. What’s odd is the commonality of these abodes, standing erect, proud in suburbia. Many opt to render facades, a smooth coherent surface; many continuing daily routine with no thought in that direction. Large sums of television seem to align with the latter category. Low level feels.
Rental properties have an excuse, temporary economics for a proprietor, no concern about visual extensions of their own temperament. Non-rentals do not. Painting a house will not break the bank. Initially, I thought there to be a design fault, a material conundrum; minimal choice in 1960 brick, minimal awareness, drugs- likely all three.
To cast light judgement on past eras is something of delight, the not-then-now humorous tastes, what were we thinking- type scenarios; the hairstyles, the fashion, the abodes, but really these houses are not worthy of such nostalgia. They go beyond initial shock, that extended pause leaving observation unable to navigate a clear perspective. A point to coerce from. It’s that ugly. The money, time and effort spent in what once were thought a worthy pursuit- a dream home, seems a little disheartened. Perhaps my critique is overtly dramatic, and the
architect homemaker brought cheap brick, built a cheap house and lived in it, cheaply. A shelter is a shelter.
Through my childhood this house had only visible, a grey length of roof from our backyard. Most days, covered in birds; seagulls, with a sprinkle of dove. Eventually, the neighbour became Bird-man, the invisible house, Bird-man’s house. We never saw him, only his extended companions, leaving a white-wash of roof presents, and generously sharing some fortune on our side. As years passed, tensions grew. Bird-man’s favoured bird fodder, small slithers of steak, gathering efficient traction with each throw, again providing treasures on this side. Eventually, spikes were to be installed on all light posts outside, these barbaric towering structures presenting themselves bird-proof. Peering through the window, I would watch these seagulls dance between bum spikes, seeking a place of quiet refuge, high up, like when trees existed. They kept trying, some even grew leg extensions. We had a file on Bird-man, with all the other household files. Documents, photographs, evidence and court cases. Sometimes we would provoke Bird-man, all standing around the fence with party poppers, counting 1-2-3 POP, over until he rang the police. Eventually, the situation turned bitter and legal ventures had to be arranged. Nothing serious, mostly lack of communication, an unwarranted suburban aviary. Matters settled, somewhat peacefully and Bird-man slowly trained his winged entourage to the park. To feed, nourish and delight in their company by the river.
Initially, the property kept historic labels. Once inspected, all labels vanished. As if all stories, memories were completely eradicated, having finally seen, discovered opposing sides. Even superficial wonders, diminished themselves. This is no longer Bird-man’s house. This is.
Adding to other situational misfortune, the dirt garden; tufts of nature growing in patches of available sunlight. There aren’t many patches, even weeds feature minimally. When placing the Solar-Powered Changing Crackle Balls into the
garden dirt, I feared the worst of which much evidence suggested – minimal exposure to sun rays. However, along the dirt path there seemed to be flickering enough sun for suitable placement, however temporary. The Changing Crackle Balls have a remote control, for colour change or disco.