Monday, February 28, 2011

Researching the history of our house

I love that our little house has a past, a history of previous owners who built it, lived in it, extended it, and loved it before it found its way to us. Who were these people? How much did the house cost to build (I bet it was something ridiculous like 25pounds!)? Did they raise their family in the home? Was the house flooded in the 1974 floods? So many questions and I am really curious to find out more.

I know how to go about the research, with the Department of Land and Resources, local historical societies, State Library records etc, but to begin with we need to know the exact address of the property before it was moved. We know the suburb (New Farm - we could discover an "interesting" history!) and street name, but not the number. You would think that the removal company would have records of this, no? I mean, someone had to go to the street in New Farm and put the house on the back of a truck! Not the sort of situation in which you would want to get the address wrong.

I am hoping they will get back to me with the address soon, so I can go off on my magical research journey and with luck discover some interesting things along the way. I have seen other bloggers research turn up old photographs of previous owners and even their pets - how fantastic would that be!

The house is in quite a state of disrepair at the moment, and from what I understand was being considered for demolition - how could they?? I'm so glad we have saved it from this fate, and will be able to add to its history with a whole new family to fill it with love and laughter.

x M

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Claddagh doorknocker

To explain the title of this blog, when we were in Ireland visiting friends in October 2010 we made the trip to nearby Blarney Castle. Yes, we did kiss the Blarney Stone (not sure Darren needed any help in the eloquence area!). It was quite a bizarre feeling to be upside down and leaning backwards from the top of a castle - it felt much higher than it really was. Being vertically challenged, I only managed to touch the stone with my nose ... not sure what that means in terms of the stone bestowing the gift of eloquence!

At a gorgeous gift store near the castle which stocked all things Irish, we bought cliche little leprechaun things for the boys, and a GORGEOUS brass Claddagh doorknocker. Talk about purchasing the doorknocker before the house! But we knew it would remind us of our special trip and wonderful friends in Ireland every time we open our front door, and we have been looking forward to the day we can hang it ever since. At least we now have the house to go with the doorknocker!

x M

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Remind me again why we're doing this?

We bought a 100yr old home under the influence of jetlag. Probably not the most sensible thing to do, but we were caught up in the whole "think with your heart and not with your head" frame of mind at the time. Quite the opposite of the usual real estate mantra, I realise.

Rewind back a couple of years, and you'll have seen us selling our standard 4 bedroom suburban home in favour of a half  acre block of land in a suburb we'd long wanted to live in. Off we went on a whirlwind of house designing ending with quite a large, very modern plan which we then lodged with council ... and therein began the drama. There were issues with the cut of the land (thanks very much, previous owner), removal of trees, and all manner of other "councilly" things. Throw in a husband unhappy with his work situation, and things spiralled out of control.

All the while we were designing our modern home, we kept dreaming wistfully of the Queenslander we would renovate "one day" ... You see hubby - Darren - is a builder (carpenter actually). Or rather he was in a previous life. Now he is rarely on the tools but works from home as a project manager. He comes in rather handy, considering I LOVE the building / renovating process! We have both always loved Queenslanders, and Darren has loads of experience renovating them in Brisbane. So we always thought that we would have one of our own one day.

When things went a little haywire and Darren left his job, we had an epiphany and realised that we could achieve our Queenslander dream by scrapping the modern home and relocating an old house from Brisbane onto our block! Brilliant! Why hadn't we thought of it before?

Also epiphany-related, we decided to take an impromptu trip to the UK and Ireland to visit friends and family while we were temporarily free of responsibilities (read: not building and not working, still had the kidlets to worry about!). Spontanteity is not a trait I would usually attribute to myself, but by supreme effort I decided to go with the moment and within 3 weeks of booking flights we were in the UK. Who knew I could manage a 5week overseas trip with 2 little boys without a year of planning beforehand?? But we did it and it was brilliant and I loved every moment.

While we were in Ireland with friends, we found THE PERFECT Queenslander available for sale on the website of a Brisbane relocatable home company. We emailed to request a floorplan, and from the second we saw it it was love, a fait accompli.

Which brings us back to the jetlag. The day after we arrived home, with tired little boys in tow (and even more tired grown up selves), we visited the little Queenslander and bought it that very day. And here our labour of love begins ...

Well done if you are still reading this! Such a long post is probably against the rules here in Blogland, but I am new to this so wouldn't know! I will save the rest of the story for another time.

Until then
x M