Sunday, October 18, 2009
Proof of our mess
Exciting - the footings were poured, slab sprayed and down went plastic and rebar mesh.
In came the concrete truck. You can see how close to our neighbours we are. That's the price of inner city living, where land is in short supply and blocks are expensive. Why do we do this? I sometimes dream of a 20 acres where I can have chickens and a proper vegetable garden. Ah, the grass is always greener.
I went to buy groceries and came back to - voila! A concrete slab!
The slab again. The plan kicks in as the block gets narrower. What you're seeing here is the dining room and lounge room in part. There are verandahs which are not included in the slab.
You can just see our river view, but there's a blasted ugly concrete bus seat blocking it. Oh well, someone will build there one day and we'll have no river view at all. Enjoy it while you can. Sadly, we are on the cheap side of the street, we can't afford to migrate across the road - the last block on that side just went for $2.95 million - in a week! Like really, who has $2.95 million for a 1000 sqm block, even if it is on the Swan River. Meh - they get more mosquitoes than our side, and tiger snakes come up from the river. Still, I covet the expensive side of the street, but it is out of our financial reach. The houses over "there" are rotten old 1960's brick and tile bungalows. Most are in disrepair. One day on "that" side of the street the houses will all be knocked down and replaced with those monstrous low-ceilinged, aluminium windowed, rendered block multi-level McMansions. Maybe someone will even buy our little home in the future, and knock it down to make way for as many town houses as they can fit on 458sqm.
I sometimes wonder why we didn't just buy out in the 'burbs. It would have made so much more financial sense. But Bob and I have a love of character homes, with all their faults and need for repair, and constant sucking up of money, they just feel like homes.
I think we'll get a good five-10 years here with children, and then perhaps we'll move further out, maybe onto a small acreage. though any small acreage on the outskirts of Perth is valued now at $1-2 million, so perhaps not. There is no way this house is going to service teenagers, we still only have one bathroom. Maybe we can go up, one level, and put in a flat roof top and I can grow my herbs and flowers high above the ground. I believe a roof garden is excellent for cooling a house and environmentally kind, but I doubt our council would approve the plans I have in my head.
Who knows what the future will hold in the five to ten years. Five years ago I never thought I would move across the country, away from my beloved parents and little brother. Five years ago my dad was working on his beach house, suspended from ropes as he painted that stupid gable no-one seems to be able to reach. Since then he has had a triple bypass, and was back in surgery last week for his bleeding stomach ulcer, which turned out to be stomach cancer. It was such a shock when my mum phoned and told me my father had his whole stomach removed. I just howled - in shock. I saw visions of my beloved father having to be fed by a naso-gastric tube for the rest of his life. That is no way to live. Food rocks! To live without eating is just an awful thought. of course, I was the last to be told. I phoned my brother and howled, and he howled, and said "I howled, and was so upset I cleaned, I chowled!" My mum was in terrible shock and a great deal of distress, but they didn't call me because they know we have a lot going on, and what was the point - have me sitting here waiting for the results of surgery? That's my family, always protective. But i would have preferred to know. In tuth they didn't tell me or my sister because they didn't know what the outcome would be, it happened so quickly, and they didn't want the daughters to show up like the Grim Reapers.
Apparently people can live without stomachs, and they can eat normal food, just in small quantities more often. Dad is coming out of hospital on Tuesday, maybe, but he's out of ICU, and he's eating and doing all the normal things people who eat do. He still enjoys food, but he doesn't get hungry. I'm not sure if he enjoys food, but I doubt he will ever feel hunger and feel the pleasure of guzzling down a meal, and feeling the satisfaction we all feel when we eat.
I feel so bad for my dad, and for us, because he is wonderful man, and he doesn't deserve this ... but who ever does deserve the awful things that can happen in life?
The good news is that the cancer was fully contained on the inside of his stomach, and it was all removed. All his glands were removed (apparently there are about 80 glands around the stomach) and none of them showed cancer. He has had his liver, pancreas, spleen, colon, intestines ... all his internal organs checked and he is cancer free, so there is no talk of radiation or chemotherapy.
We feel very lucky because had they discovered the cancer first and not his blocked arteries, he wouldn't have survived the surgery. I am so grateful to the doctors who train so hard and are so dedicated to their work that they can fix bodies. And to his local GP who send my dad in for a standard EEG test five months ago, just to be on the safe side, which started this whole ugly avalanche of illness rolling - we are so indebted.
So, life has been full of remarkable change, happiness, excitement, growth, and also despair. We may well find ourselves back in BrisVegas sooner than anticipated as my parents are 71 and 73 now, and my little brother "Big Dog", is the only sibling on site to care for them day to day. But we can't sell up and move on short notice, we have William here, who loves us and needs us, and he has his mother, and brothers here. We also have Bob's family in Perth. I guess sometimes we feel stuck between a rock and a hard place, trying to be good adult children, and also parents to William, and satisfy everyone's needs, but not being able to.
How life will unfold is anybody's guess. I'm just so glad our upcoming trip to Brisbane is not for my dad's funeral. So, if you've read this far, bravo for you, I am really writing this for myself. And to the stalker and blog trolls who like to write untrue things about me on other people's blogs, give us a break - just a couple of months, then I'll be back in full fighting form and will take you losers on.
Posted by Phoenix at 10:15 AM