Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Hello!

It's a dreadful pity that I have not had sufficient time to blog adequitely of late as my life has been eventful, or what passes for eventful around here anyway, and it would be nice to have a record for posterity; and I recognise that it is also hard on you, most dearest reader, to be suddenly cut off from the supply of regular updates about which cushions, boxes, baskets, and piles of freshly washed linen Basil has been sleeping in or on of late. Consider this post just a kickstarter meant to open a path through the (b)logjam blocking up the doorway.

  • Have finally finished my coauthored chapter about nineteenth century Austen book illustrations. It turned out pretty well and was very good fun to do, and I am to be 'paid'£100 worth of books from the publisher. It is not clear whether I will be allowed to choose which books. I certainly hope so.
  • Yesterday I bought a shitload of tiny 1970s Japanese tiles for my new house (so many in fact that I had to drive home from Oakleigh really slowly and gently as I had a vivid mental image of the back tyres of the car exploding, rear axle snapping, car hitting Dandenong Road and basically bursting open and tiles flying everywhere, through windscreens of taxis, into truck brakes, etc.) The tiles are green, so green they could fairly be described as achieving ultimate greenness or indeed as smashing the barrier between mankind's previous achievements in green and a opening up vistas to a whole new unexplored dimension of greenness.
  • Basil is having a really great time now that furniture movement and cupboard-sorting has become the norm rather than the stasis he was used to before: so many superb opportunities to lie upon things and new objects to smell. Adaptable cat! I am very proud of him.
  • Our landlords want us to have the four dead trees on our block removed before we leave. Three of these are larger than the house and taking down the one on the fenceline would probably involve a crane and road closures. They describe this as 'normal garden maintenance,' well, I don't think so. Annoying as this is they have not formally indicated they will contest our retrieval of the bond (which I actually don't think would cover the cost of the tree work) and I wouldn't be surprised if they are simply making some sort of ambit which is dropped later on. Meanwhile we are really making an effort to ensure the rest of the house is left in as good a condition as it was when we arrived seven years ago, if not better. I've been falling asleep on the couch quite a lot.
It's only two weeks now until we get our house. I'm still immensely overexcited.

19 comments:

Sophie said...

On the tree business - it costs so much to remove them that, worse case scenario, you'd be better off losing the bond and leave it at that. But no, it cannot be considered normal garden maintenance. I'm sure a quick call to the tennants union would back you up on that one. the tiles sound nice.

Ampersand Duck said...

The tiles sound cool, in the best sense of the word. Or should that be: the tiles sound book.

Are they for the bathroom? Nothing like a beautiful colour to create a bathtime headspace.

cristy said...

Wanted to second Sophie on the trees - cannot see how it could ever be considered 'normal garden maintenance' and would definitely force them to take you to the Tenancy Tribunal to get any money out of your bond for such a huge job (they would almost certainly lose even they even bothered in the first place).

Also, wanted to add my voice to the chorus of approval over your tiles. They sound delicious!

cristy said...

There should be an 'if' in there...

elsewhere said...

Welcome back to the land of the blogging! (almost said 'living' instead of blogging).

There is an article in the New Yorker about people who set colour trends and the revival of 'green', if you're interested. (Err, somewhere recently -- sorry, couldn't find exact link.)

paoyi said...

Welcome back!

Cool tiles. I like it when one shade of colour completely obliterates the existence of every other shade of that colour and bullies them into taking on that new shade. Those colours rock.

And I'll join the chorus on the tree thing - real estate agents are corrupt, nasty buggers who will try to get away with anything. Take it to the tribunal if you have to. Usually, a carefully phrased and well-written letter politely telling them to get stuffed is all that's needed.

Meredith said...

Tree thing ridiculous. Ignore it? Tiles - fab! Where's the picture?

Anonymous said...

Hope you're enjoying nesting :)

Funny, today is the 4th anniversary of moving into our very first own-home, and I well remember being beside myself with excitement.

As for the tree thing, gosh they're really trying it on. Best ignored.

lucy tartan said...

Nesting, yes, that's pretty much what this is. And I'm enjoying it hugely although it's leavened by one or two qualms - just now is a pretty bad time for me to have such a huge and tempting distraction from the serious work things, and I am not altogether sure I want to get too caught up in house proprietor emotions, although I'm not really sure why. I've never been very impressed by the idea that nest-feathering is despicably mindless or materialist per se. And we are doing things in such a way that we'll be able to live more sustainably than we do now. I guess I just feel a bit weird about it because it's a really new thing for me to be bothered to care about.

Bernice said...

Trees are definitely not your responiblity unless you killed them. Which they would need to prove. Indeed the owners are negligent for not having removed them. I'd be suggesting that you'll ring their insurance company - fight evil with evil I say

Anonymous said...

I understand that; it was a new thing for me too, and I also felt a bit weird about it--it was all so adult, but at the same time so new and exciting :)

I don't think nest-feathering is mindless at all; and you're not being 'materialist' in the exclusive status-seeking 'keeping up with the Joneses' sense. I see from your posts and pics here that you love form, shape and colour, and you've created a beautiful and individual living environment already. This too is a creative act.

IMO A comfortable nest allows you to live and work in a healthy, productive and creative way and, as you point out, live more sustainably. Hope you enjoy settling in!

Anonymous said...

Um.... it's not the real estate property manager who is the corrupt nasty bugger demanding the trees be taken down. It is the greedy OWNER of the house, the property manager is working for, normally on a pretty crappy salary and receiving no commision because they aren't a sales person, relaying demands/dreams/fantasies of what the OWNER of the house can attempt to screw out of the tenant. In my rental days an owner once tried to with hold the bond because we forgot to clean the oven. Another time, different house one said the carpet was wet so we couldn't have the bond.... had to explain slowly and carefully they had just been steam cleaned, hence the wetness.
I digress. Ignore the tree demand. As someone who has had lots of experience of paying for dead trees to be removed it is often a thousand dollars. Per tree.

lucy tartan said...

Thanks anonymous. You are quite right it is not a real estate agent asking us to take down the trees it is indeed the landlord (as I did say), there is no property manager involved, we have dealt direct with the landlord ever since we moved in.

I am wondering if the anonymous comments here are all from the same person. I know the comment box is temperamental to use at times & this could be making Anon the easiest option to use. Anyone is welcome to comment here and I don't need to know who people 'are' - but if you give yourself some sort of nickname we can recognise you next time and you don't lose your privacy.

lucy tartan said...

I meant to say also that I don't know whether the house owners are greedy, exactly. What they are is ferociously intelligent and shrewd. This business about the trees will most likely evaporate as we continue to resist.

librarygirl said...

hello again - I was the 9.41 a.m. anonymous post.... didn't leave the other ones. New to your blog and enjoying it immensely. In cyberworld I usually post as librarygirl so will do so from now on here. Congratulations and good luck with the move. The tiles are a great colour.

Melly` said...

Absolutely resist! Take pictures and let it go to small claims. The magistrate will see sense. You didnt kill them intentionally and most likely they will leave them for the next tenant. If they dont have the receipt for the removal the magistrate will throw it out. It will be an hour of your time. Don't even let this one bother you for a minute.

By the time you get the bond back... will be when you know best where the money has to be used.

Red said...

Sorry, I was the other anon. I'm getting used to this comment box thingy and keep clicking the wrong buttons. I too am enjoying your blog immensely.

librarygirl is right of course, and we shouldn't just blame agents. I'm afraid that, after 20 years in the rental market and many jaw-dropping experiences, I'm a little cynical.

Guess this is where we need to know our rights when the shrewd 'try it on', as the shrewd will ;-)

via collins said...

Congrats Lucy, I can almost kind of sort of feel where your concerns about nesting come from. Best to avoid every single word, printed or televised, on lifestyle for a year.

Which I'm sure you already do.

The tree issue - christ on a bike, I can't believe anyone would try it on. They were planted by someone else, and "reasonable garden maintenance" (if I recall rental agreements correctly) do not include tree removal. Thanks for giving me a topic to be outraged about this morning. I'll be needing a Bex and a lie down.

Anonymous said...

Here in Adelaide there's a shop that specialises in makig furniture from recycled timber - they're always looking out for old trees lying about....might there be one in your neck of the woods?

(just thought it'd stick in the owner's craw if you were able to tell tem that you didn't so much pay to have the trees removed as had someone pay you for them to remove them:-))