The walls are bare. Various pictures, tapestries and fabrics adorned the fake timber walls of this house until yesterday. Now they lie in piles and boxes, awaiting decisions on their future. Some will be trashed, some will be cushion covers, some will be sold and some will make it to our new house, where E proposes to use them as a makeshift downstairs ceiling until we have the wherewithal and desire to make it appear more permanent.
E wants the house to stand for 500 years. In this knock ‘em down put ‘em up world, that is quite an objective. I remember visiting my hometown of Perth a few years back and stopping at many of the significant places in my life there. No less than three houses had been knocked down and replaced: my grandparents’ home, my babysitter’s, and the first place I lived when I moved out of home. The latter had to go, it was a hovel. But the others were comfortable homes replaced by soulless monstrosities. Perth is not a city renowned for paying homage to history; Perth is all about new, new, new.
The community of Floyd has an advantage for our house over the suburban streets of Perth: it is a rural area, and houses tend to get left alone more in the country than in keeping up with the Jones’ cities. So it may survive at least a little more than a few decades.
And who knows? Change is the only given. What happens beyond this moment is beyond our control. There is a house that is almost ready to move into, and one that we are on the way out of, and that is all.